Effects of the 4MAT System of instruction on achievement, products, and attitudes toward science of ninth-grade students

Date of Completion

January 1995


Education, Secondary|Education, Sciences|Education, Curriculum and Instruction




The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of the 4MAT System of Instruction on students' achievement, products and attitudes in science. The 4MAT model (McCarthy, 1987) is an organized method of instruction which recognizes students' learning styles. The subjects were 48 students from a rural, public high school in Connecticut. The students were taught an Earth Science curriculum for one semester. The experimental group was taught using the 4MAT System; the control group was taught a textbook approach.^ Quantitative methodology was used in this study. Data were collected and analyzed using Analysis of Covariance and Analysis of Variance to evaluate students' attitudes toward science and achievement, respectively. An analysis of variance on the product scores was also performed.^ The hypothesis pertaining to students' attitudes toward science was tested using Analysis of Covariance. No significant differences were found, thus the null hypothesis was not rejected. However, the experimental group did have positive gains in attitude on the posttest. A two-way Analysis of Variance by sex and class showed no significant differences between the sexes in both groups on total attitude scores. Therefore, the subhypothesis was not rejected.^ The Analysis of Variance on the product scores demonstrated significant differences favoring the control group for 6 individual categories, total performance and categories 1-8 collectively. The differences on the overall assessment were not significant. Therefore, the null hypothesis was not rejected.^ Descriptive data tables were constructed to show the preferred learning style of the students in both groups. A t-test revealed no significant differences between the groups on achievement. Post achievement mean scores indicated that the experimental group scored higher on the posttest. However, an Analysis of Covariance procedure showed no significant difference. Thus, the null hypothesis was not rejected. There was the gain score increase of 9.94 points in the mean for experimental group females and 6.41 points for experimental group males. A t-test revealed that the results were significant. This study is considered significant because no studies have assessed the effects of 4MAT Instruction on achievement, products and attitudes toward science at the secondary level. ^