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The academic needs of advanced freshman science students

1 May 1998


This research project was conducted at a high school which had a Freshman class of 179. All Freshmen were required to take a physical science course as a requirement for graduation. The students were divided into nine different classes with three different teachers. During casual observation of the various classes I noted that there was a wide range of academic capabilities of the students. The question I wanted to address was "How do the curricular offerings in Freshman physical science at Trillium High School satisfy the academic needs of the advanced students?" The research tools I used to answer this question included field observation, interviews with advanced students, interviews with current and past teachers of the students, and a questionnaire that was completed by the advanced students. The interpretation of the results of my data collection indicate that the academic needs of the advanced students are to become prepared for college entrance since they all indicated that they plan on attending college. In order to accomplish this, most of the advanced students felt that the standard course could move more quickly and be of greater depth for their liking. The students also indicated that the course material was not particularly mentally challenging. My conclusion IS that one class of advanced physical science should be offered. All of the TAG students should be allowed to sign up for it and advanced non-TAG students should be recommended for it by their 8th Grade science teachers.


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