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Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity

Dissertation - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Keith Thiede, Ph.D.


Place-based education (PBE) seeks to provide students with a rich and meaningful context for science learning through connecting classroom study to experiences in the local environment. This study contributes to the field a quantitative assessment of student science learning in the context of an innovative PBE program. The study compares student learning across two distinct PBE elements: in-class presentation and on-snow field experience. Fifth and sixth grade students (n = 234) were assessed pre/post for knowledge of physical science concepts. A three-way ANOVA revealed the greatest main effect for on-snow field experience, followed by in-class presentation. A significant interaction indicated that the combination of these treatments produced more learning than can be explained by the individual treatments themselves. Results thus demonstrated significant quantifiable gains in student learning and worked to validate the PBE curriculum model.