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EDUC 457 Fran Sherwood

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April 12, 2010 (8 hours)

9:15 am- My arrival, Aleigha told me about her new haircut

9:20 am- Good morning meeting and sharing (Jeremy shared about video games and being at Hunter's house) Lights were off with a few scattered lights on

9:25 am- Spelling Test (No excuse words), Tables quiet, Kallie on floor doing independenet task, Mrs. Shea walks around the room making sure they are behaving.

9:30 am- Classroom Meeting with Mrs. Doyle about personal saftey, drugs, and alcohol. Personal goals.  (Kelsey-soccer goals, Nick-homerun, Aleigha-get 1st in math, Keyson-Dirt bike, Aaron-sign people up for Upword sports, Brynn-training wheels off)

10:00 am- Mid Chapter math practice

10:20 am - Played Mancala with Hailey.  She won and really broke out of her shy shell with me today

10:30 am- Played Snap it up with Brynn.  She won and was really excited

10:40 am- Snack and word problem.  Carson having a hard time trying to focus

10:45 am- Rescess

11:00 am- Music Class

11:30am- Social Studies lesson on salmon and Native Americans

11:45 am- worked with Hunter, Hailey, and Emilee on social studies lesson.  Helped Emilee read the passages

11:55 am- Aleigha and Kelsey joined the group and had group discussions about what was the importiant peices of what we learned.

12:05 pm- Class disscussion about salmon and Native Americans

12:15 pm- Video with Mrs. C's Class

12:30 pm- Video over and class instructed to meet in large group so that Madison can share about her camping trip that she had over the spring break

12:40 pm- Aleigha an Nick had a fight where Aleigha shoved Nick into the coat closet. 

12:45 pm- Lunch/Recess

1:20 pm- DOL/REad to self.  Talked to Nick about Greek Mythology, helped Emma with her DOL, helped Bethany with a book choice, had a talk with Carson about his focusing

2:00 pm- Checked and Corrected DOL

2:05 pm- Finished Spelling test

2:15 pm- Tapped books together

2:35 pm- Read a story written by Nick

3:00 pm- Bucket fillers

 

Ponderosa Reflections 4/12/2010

I think it is amazing that at a young age they are talking to the students about personal saftey when it comes to drugs, alcohol and being safe citizens. 


I didn't know that D.A.R.E was implimented in 1983 and that it is all over the United States.  I was a dare graduate in Spokane about 10 years ago.  That was the only experiance with learning drugs and alcohol growing up other then the information that my mom and dad had given me. I think that this program is benificial but it needs to be implimented at younger ages.

 

I like the program that our school has going.  Our guidence counsler at the end of the year comes in every friday for a month and talks to the students about drugs, alcohol and being safe when playing.  In this program they some of the following topics:

So not only are they talking about drugs and alcohol but how to be good members of society.

Article #1 4/12/2010 DARE Goes Way Beyond Drug and Alcohol Prevention

D.A.R.E. Goes Way Beyond Drug &
Alcohol Prevention

Since its inception in 1983, the D.A.R.E. program has continuously responded to the most important challenges facing our children.  While D.A.R.E. remains the largest and most comprehensive anti-drug, alcohol, and violence education program in the world, D.A.R.E is also tackling major problems facing our children including abuse of prescription drugs, bullying, and internet safety through special supplemental curriculaNo other organization offers such comprehensive educational lessons.


The Presidential Proclamation declaring April 8, 2010, as National D.A.R.E. Day is a reflection of and testament to the regard in which D.A.R.E. is held. President Barack Obama joins every U.S. president since the inception of D.A.R.E. in 1983 – Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush – in endorsing the D.A.R.E. program.  Our American Presidents are in good company. Major law enforcement agencies, educational and scientific organizations, and state legislatures have recognized D.A.R.E.’s effectiveness including the National Sheriff’s Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Journal of Medicine, and even the United Nations.

Article #2 4/12/2010 Alternatives to the Failed DARE program

Alternatives to  the Failed DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program

The popular Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program has consistently and without exception been found by scientific research to be ineffective and sometimes counterproductive -- that is, worse than doing nothing. That’s the conclusion of the US Department of Education (DOE), the US Surgeon General, the US General Accountability Office (GAO), and the American Academy of Sciences,  among others. The Department of Education strictly prohibits the use of any of its funding  to support DARE in any school.

Fortunately, schools are not faced with the choice between DARE and no program. A federal agency  (SAMSHA) has identified 66 model programs, any one of which would be preferable to the ineffective DARE program

 

Amanda Note:  They have alternatives to the D.A.R.E program listed on the follwing website.

Source: http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/controversies/20070111184521.html

May 17, 2010 (8 hours)

845 am- Arrival
905 am- students start coming in.
910 am- Morning meeting starts
920 am sharing time.  kids share about what they did over the weekend
1000 am- Math starts.  We are working on fractions and using manipulatives.
1045 am-Snack and handwriting
11 am- students in from recess
11:10- Students go to Physical Education
11:30- students go to music
12:00 -go pick up the students
12:05- social studies lesson on Native Americans and the Buffalo
1245-kids go to lunch and recess
100- Kids come back from recess and lunch
115- start of literacy block (read to self)
130- Kids are reading National Geographic Kids about lizards
200- I meet with my Book club Girls
300- planners and wrap ups
310-Kids go home

Article #1 The effects of participating in book clubs for people with Intellectual Disabilities

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The Effects of Participating in Book Clubs for People with Intellectual Disabilities
A Senior Honors Thesis
Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Graduation with Distinction in
Psychology in the Undergraduate Colleges of The Ohio State University
By
Sarah Michalos
The Ohio State University
May, 2007
Project Advisors: Dr. Steven Reiss, Department of Psychology
Dr. Tom Fish, Division of Social Work
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Abstract
The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) is an innovative program that allows
individuals with intellectual disabilities to meet at book stores, libraries and coffee shops
and read a book of the groups’ choice. The study of NCBC looked at five measures
including language skill, motivation, behavioral problems, quality-of-life and overall
satisfaction with the book club. The study was conducted at the Ohio State Nisonger
Center. The participants were individuals who were either currently active in the book
club and those who were no longer active in the book club. The participants were
provided by the Columbus Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
(FCBMR/DD) and various programs at the Nisonger Center. Ten participants who were
still active in the club were matched based on age, gender, IQ and living environment
with eight participants who were no longer active in the club. The expected results
included improved language skills, increased motivation to read, learn and interact
socially, a decrease in social behavioral problems and an overall higher quality-of-life.
The actual results suggest that the need for social contact and community connectedness
was evident in both members and non-members. There were fewer behavioral problems
in active members, an increase in curiosity and motivation and an overall satisfaction
with their experience in the book club. The theoretical implications suggest that
individuals with intellectual disabilities who are exposed to reading and social
environments will want to read and interact with other individuals in a social setting as
well as read better and feel better about themselves in comparison to those individuals
that are not exposed to reading in social settings. The practical implications suggest that
the lives of people with mental retardation will live happier, more fulfilling lives when
they have a feeling of social connectedness and encounter a stimulating environment.
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The Next Chapter Book Club is an innovative program founded by Dr. Tom Fish
at The Ohio State University. Individuals who have intellectual disabilities (ID) meet
with facilitators at local book stores, coffee shops and libraries to read a book of their
choice. Facilitators are volunteers that assist the participants in reading. The mission of
the book club is for the members to feel social connectedness and community inclusion.
By meeting in public arenas, the members participate in their local community settings
and feel the stimulation of people though friendly interaction. The book club members
may experience a better overall quality of life. The community settings also allow for
interaction with people in the stores. Started in Columbus, Ohio, The Next Chapter Book
Club (NCBC) has attracted national interest. There is a total of 14 clubs in the Columbus
metropolitan area comprised of about 100 individuals.
There have been no empirical evaluations on this book club since its founding.
By studying the NCBC will provide researchers with important information on the effects
of participating in a book club for people with ID. People with ID now have a place to
meet in community settings and utilize their curiosity. People with ID have the right to
participate and interact as equal members in their communities. This program allows
people with ID to learn by repetition, learn by echo reading, make new friends and feel a
sense of community inclusion.
The purpose of the thesis is to collect and analyze the initial data of people with
mental retardation and their families. Ten book club members in the Columbus
metropolitan area will take a battery of assessments. The measurements are comprised of
six main categories including social connectedness, language, motivation, social
behavior, quality-of-life and overall satisfaction with the book club experience. The
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research strategy will include eight controls who are no longer members in the book club
matched on age, gender, IQ and living environment. The expected results include an
overall increase in the member’s quality of life. A book club member’s quality of life is
going to be measured by their improvement in language, increased motivation to read and
participate in social activities, decreased behavioral problems and their happiness with
being a member in The Next Chapter Book Club. The data for the book club members
and controls will be compared through a correlation matrix and an independent samples ttest.
Hypothesis I: Participation in the NCBC is expected to increase social
interactions. The main goal for the Next Chapter Book Club is for the members to feel a
sense of social connectedness and community inclusion. Social connectedness will be
defined as a feeling of having people around in which one can interact with, talk to and/or
feel included. Social inclusion and connectedness are well recognized by various
psychological experts, including the 1997 Gatehouse Project Adolescent Health Survey
of 8 Year Students. The findings of the 1997 project revealed that an individual with
poor social connectedness will be two to three times more likely to experience
depression. This study founded that a sense of community inclusion is clearly implicated
in a person’s mental state and personal well- being. Fish and Graff (2006) suggest that
interpersonal connections, friendships and belonging play important roles in a person’s
emotional and physical well-being. Members’ may make new friends and have new
social connections. By being an active member in the book club, individuals will meet
new people, interact in new social environments and have an overall positive sense of
well-being and thus, lack feelings of depression.
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Hypothesis II: Participation in the book club will improve social interaction and
decrease social behavioral problems. Involvement in the book club allows members’ to
learn new ways of interacting that are appropriate in social and community settings.
Social behavior will simply be measured in the manner in which a person acts or controls
oneself. A number of studies have suggested that people with ID have significant social
behavioral problems. Shessel and Reiff (1999) suggested actual differences of people
with ID are related to social difficulties.
Hypothesis III: Satisfaction with the book club will be associated with the
motivation for individual need for social contact (extroversion) and with individual need
for cognition (curiosity). Reiss (2005) defines motivation as a true assertion of
intrinsically held values. He also suggests that motivation has two characteristics;
intrinsically associated goals and the intensity of desire for that goal. Reiss (2004)
suggests that it is important to look at motivation because the need to think (curiosity)
and social extroversion predict satisfaction more than people who do not like to think (are
not curious) and introversion. If you are an introvert and you do not want to learn, then
you probably are not going to learn as much.
The NCBC may attract many people with non-normative intensities of
psychological needs. This study also will assess the motivational profile of participants
in NCBC. Reiss and Havercamp (1998) found a validated taxonomy of 16 psychological
needs that motivate much of what people do. Repeated demonstrations of his research
showed validity in large diverse samples. These samples include factor validity, testretest
reliability, concurrent validity and predicted validity of behavior. Sixteen
principals of psychological needs predict behavior in meaningful real life situations. By
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administering the Reiss motivational profile MRDD version to people that are starting the
NCBC, we will be able to assess which of the ten motives-such as the need to socialize,
the need to think and the need to be accepted. They found that the method variance was
only 10 out of the 16 fundamental motives that could be assessed in people with MRDD.
This version has a standardized validated scale that assesses need for curiosity and social
skills.
Reiss (1998) suggests that curiosity in people with ID has little to do with their
IQ. Rather, the curiosity in individuals with ID can be distinguished from the
individuals’ actual ability to learn. Reiss’ study suggests that if an individual with ID is
curious enough to want to learn, they will have an overall better learning experience.
Hypothesis IV: The NCBC will increase vocabulary and language as measured by
the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) and the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale
(WAIS). During this research, the language variable will be defined as the ability to
understand and use symbols for communication, including both oral and written forms
(Hammill & McNutt, 1980). Members’ in the NCBC will have improved vocabulary and
language because they will be practicing reading and hearing words. By hearing and
repeating while reading, it exposes them to words they might not have been exposed to
outside the book club. The involvement of members in the NCBC will enhance their lives
and their learning experience. I propose that by reading books monthly will increase
their ability to recognize words, sounds and syllables as a form of language to
communicate with those in the book club and other family members and friends.
Hypothesis V: The members’ quality of life (QOL) will improve. Their QOL will
improve because the individuals will be included and less excluded. While quality of life
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can be measured in numerous ways, a person’s quality of life will be defined by the
individuals overall enjoyment of life and fulfillment derived from their social, cultural
and environmental conditions.
Hypothesis VI: Participation in the NCBC is a satisfying experience. Satisfaction
will be measured and assessed by ratings of satisfaction with various aspects of the
NCBC. This is the first book club for people with ID. The book club will provide people
with ID a way to meet new people, learn new things and interact in different community
environments, thus providing an overall satisfying experience. Satisfaction will be
measured in terms of the members overall sense of well being as an active participant in
the book club. The satisfaction scale is comprised of five simple questions composed by
Dr. Steven Reiss, 2007.
My hypotheses are as follows: Participation in the NCBC is expected to increase
social interactions. Satisfaction with the book club will be associated with the motivation
for individual need for social contact (extroversion) and with individual need for
cognition (curiosity). The NCBC will increase vocabulary and language as measured by
the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). The members’ quality of life (QOL) will
improve because the individuals will be included and less excluded. Participation in the
NCBC is a satisfying experience.
The purpose of this study is to present practical and theoretical implications on
the involvement of the Next Chapter Book Club and the reasons for focusing on the
variables of motivation, language and learning, social behavior, social connectedness and
community inclusion, quality- of- life and satisfaction with member involvement. The
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experimental design suggests that these variables (dependent) will be altered because of
participation (independent) in the club.
Method
Participants
Participants in the NCBC are recruited from their local county MRDD and by
word of mouth from family and friends. They voluntarily register in a book club that
meets proximal to where they live. The NCBC member population is comprised of adult
aged (18+) individuals of sub-average intelligence. The book clubs include a similar
amount of males and females. The club is also very ethnically and racially diverse.
Letters and permission forms were sent to about 200 members and nonmembers along
with their respective parents and/or guardians. A total of 18 participants responded to the
mailing. The subjects in the study include ten individuals with intellectual disabilities that
are currently enrolled in the Next Chapter Book Club. They will be administered a
battery of assessments. They will serve as the experimental group. Eight matched
controls will be used as the control group who used to be active in the NCBC, but are no
longer active members. There were a total of six females and four males in the member
group. There were a total of three females and five males in the non-member group. The
Ss will be matched based on IQ, social environment, gender and age. There will be a
random selection of the matched controls as well as the experimental group.
Materials
The materials include using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), the
Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale- Third Edition (WAIS III), the Reiss Motivational
Screen and Profile MRDD Version and a satisfaction survey.
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The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test is a measurement tool used to determine
the individual’s receptive vocabulary attainment for standard English as well as verbal
ability. This version is an individually administered, untimed, norm-referenced, widerange
test. The PicturePlate is arranged with 204 test items grouped in 17 sets of 12
items each. The items are arranged in order of increasing difficulty. Each PicturePlate
consists of four black- and –white illustrations. The task for the test-taker is to correctly
identify the picture that best describes the meaning of a stimulus of a word presented
orally by the examiner.
The PPVT-III was standardized nationally on a stratified sample of 2,725 persons.
Raw scores can be converted to the following age-referenced normative scores. The
PPVT-III has been useful in establishing and restoring rapport because of its highly
appealing task requires little or no oral response and does not expose the test-taking to
extensive failure. The reliability of this measurement tool is rather satisfactory. The
characteristics of the items are consistent as well as parallel in the alternate forms. The
scores remain stable for about one month. The median split-half reliability coefficient is
.81. Validity measures show that the mean correlations of this achievement test ranges
from .33 to .80.
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Third Edition- Verbal Comprehension
Index is a measure of general verbal skills, such as verbal fluency, ability to understand
and use verbal reasoning, and verbal knowledge. The vocabulary index provides a series
of orally and visually presented words that the examinee orally defines. It is based on
both formal and informal educational opportunities, and requires understanding words.
The WAIS III has been used for assessing learning disabilities and for determining
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exceptionality and giftedness. It is also used for intellectual assessment as part of
development programs as well as for clinical research purposes. This is the first and most
reliable index.
The administrator will point to a word in the booklet and simply ask, “Tell me the
meaning of this word.” The administrator will assign a point value to the answer given
based on the norm of answers provided in the testing handbook. The scores allocated
will either be of a 0, 1, or 2 value. When the answer given is the most appropriate, a 2
value will be given. If the answer is a simple, but still correct answer, a 1 value will be
given. In the event that it is too vague and simple (again, based on the norms of the
results; including validity and reliability) a 0 will be allocated. If the answer given is in
need of a query, the examiner will simply say, “Please tell me more about that.” The
examiner must be careful as to not word the statement as a question in caution that the
participant does not want to answer the question. The examiner sets a basal set rule which
states that the lowest set of items administered contain one or no errors. The ceiling set
rule is established as the highest set of items administered containing eight or more
errors. Test-retest reliability shows that the reliability (.95) of this index is very good
with a small standard error of measurement (3.0).
The Reiss Motivational Profile MRDD version has standard validated scales that
assess the need for curiosity and need for social skills. This version consists of 15 scaled
scores that evaluate 10 different psychological needs (scales and needs noted in appendix
A). When items are administered and then a factor analysis is done, a factor validity
scale is provided. The test-retest reliability is found by testing the administered items and
then retesting them again in order to make sure the scale found is reliable and can be
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consistently found in various studies. Concurrent validity are scores that predict similar
scores in other validated measures. The predictive validity of behavior gives a score that
predict behaviors in real life situations.
A satisfaction survey will be given to the participants as well as their parents in
order to qualitatively determine the effects the NCBC had on the participants. The
utilization of the satisfaction survey allows the investigators to recognize the conscious
contentment of participation in the book club. While the other diagnostic tools are
grading the participants based on their unconscious effort at interpreting pictures and
words, this will be a survey either filled out by a family member or the book club
member themselves.
Procedure
Individuals that are active in a book club will be given a battery of the
assessments that were just discussed. This will determine their levels on the
aforementioned variables by being in the club. Individuals who are no longer active in
the book club will be given the same battery of assessments. This will help determine
their levels on the different variables based on their inactivity in the book club. An
independent samples t-test will assess whether the means of the two groups
(member/nonmember) are statistically significant on 22 variables (appendix B). A
correlation matrix will provide us with a degree of relationship of the two variables of
being active or inactive in the club.
Results
The results from the independent samples t-test suggests that the need for social
contact and interaction is not statistically significant at the 0.05 level (p-value is 0.40).
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Book club membership showed a mean score of 0.69 and non-membership showed a
mean score of 0.4. These results suggest that members as well as non-members both
have a need for social contact and social interactions.
The t-test shows that there is not a statistically significant difference in social
behavioral problems in members and non-members as tested by the Reiss Screen. Also,
one of the 15 variables on the Reiss Motivational profile was statistically significant:
curiosity. For instance, independence and romance are not significantly different in both
members and non-members in the book club. The only variable that showed a significant
difference on the RMP was curiosity (curiosity significant at .075 with equal variances
assumed).
There is not a difference between membership and non-membership in terms of
language and vocabulary based on the PPVT and WAIS. Therefore, language and
vocabulary is not dependent on membership in the book club. The groups are equal.
The quality of life based on Reiss’ fundamental motives shows that there is not a
statistically significant difference in the member’s life in comparison to the non-members
life. All of the fundamental motives (goals and sensitivities) are not significant with
numeric values larger than .10.
Additionally, the satisfaction in the book club was slightly different for nonmembers
when compared to members. The difference was not statistically significant
with a p-value of 0.209, but the mean shows a slight difference. Out of a possible score
of 25, members reported a mean of 23.6 satisfaction with the club and non-members
reported a mean of 21.3.
Discussion
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The need for social contact and community inclusion is evident in both groups,
therefore, hypothesis I is refuted. The majority of individuals with ID want to feel a
sense of community inclusion and social connectedness. Those individuals that are in the
book club could possibly want more interactions, but they are still interacting with peers
and workers in public settings. The individuals no longer in the book clubs could
potentially be getting their social contact from other therapeutic or developmental
programs. At the Nisonger Center alone, there are several programs that are appropriated
towards individuals with ID (e.g. Best Buddies International, Speed Dating Services). A
simple questionnaire could investigate why individuals dropped out of the book club and
are no longer active. Some participants stated that they are no longer involved because of
a conflict of other programs such as The Special Olympics.
The results from the RMP refute hypothesis II in terms of social behavioral
problems. Membership in the book club decreased social behavioral problems in
individuals with ID, but it was not a significant difference. It was anticipated that
membership in the book club would improve social interaction, but the hypothesis was
refuted. Based on undocumented reasons why participants are no longer active in the
book clubs were because of other extra-curricular activities for individuals with ID such
as bowling league and other Nisonger Center programs. Individuals no longer in the
book club could be fulfilling their need for social interaction through other activities.
Hypothesis III is supported because the NCBC members showed a significant
increase in curiosity. This can be interpreted as an indication that individuals with
curious or sociable personalities are attracted to NCBC. This would make sense because
the NCBC promises participants an intellectual and social experience. The result could
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mean that the NCBC book clubs as currently constituted may be helping to fulfill needs
of curious or sociable people with MR/DD, but not of people with opposite personality
traits who may be staying away from participation. This would be important information
for understanding the impact of this club and for guiding future development. Would the
founders, for example, want to take steps to reach a broader range of personalities?
Based on the results, members are more curious than non-members, but both
groups have a need for social contact. This would mean that the NCBC attracts people
who are motivated by their curiosity (in learning) but both groups are motivated by their
interest in socializing. This also suggests that introverts come to the book club to find a
means for social interaction. Extroverts are the members that drop out because they can
find their social interactions in other activities.
The results show a weak correlation between curiosity and satisfaction with the
book clubs (p value at .101). This would have implications for demonstrating intellectual
needs of people with MR/DD. Most people have assumed that people with MR/DD are
not smart enough to need intellectual stimulation. Capacioppo et al., however, have
shown only moderate correlations between intelligence and curiosity. Reiss and Reiss
(2004), moreover, have demonstrated curiosity in the context of mental retardation. If
curiosity is correlated to satisfaction with NCBC, this would be further evidence for the
possible importance of gratifying intellectual needs of people with subaverage
intelligence. It would mean that just because somebody is not smart, does not mean that
they cannot enjoy learning new words and literature. People with ID are not thought to
have curiosity, but this NCBC provides these individuals with a need for curiosity.
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The results show that the Next Chapter Book Club members do not have an
increase in language skill, thus hypothesis IV is refuted. Such a result may have
implications for teaching language to people with MR/DD. Learning is insufficient to
impact standardized scored (IQ is stable across time), but this could mean that non-verbal
people are more likely to be attracted to the NCBC than verbal people.
While satisfaction in the book club was fairly consistent across member and nonmember
responses, it is important to note that the majority of non-member participants
were no longer in the book club because of conflicting activities. Although a lot of nonmembers
had a satisfying experience, they had other activities and events to tend to. The
majority of them had planned on re-entering a book club once bowling was finished, for
example.
There are several limitations to this study that is necessary for future research and
examination of the book club. The number of participants was very low and makes it
hard to generalize the findings to a larger population. While there were only eight
members who are no longer active in the book club, it is important to look at why they
are no longer active. It is simple to state whether one is active or not active in a program,
but the reason behind, or the motive might vary for each individual. The reason might
not be because of a lack of motivation, but rather no form of transportation or a conflict
with another fundamental program. Although eight non-members were interviewed, the
majority of them had mentioned that they had intentions of attending and becoming
active members in the book club. This may have had a strong impact on the reasons why
a lot of the variables were not statistically significant between the two groups. Another
limitation would be that this research is investigating too many variables for the small
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population. Ideally, the research was expected to interview 50 plus participants and their
parents and/or guardians, but with the low response rate, the research was unable to
complete this task. The demographic was not as stratified as it could have been. Instead
of recruiting members from only the Columbus area, further research would benefit from
recruiting members and non-members from different cities and states around the country.
One theoretical implication is that the present study further demonstrates the
curiosity of people with ID. Being motivated and having the desire to think and learn is
not the same as having the ability to do so. Normative experiments such as the present
study will have a profound impact of people with ID. The practical implications include
raising public awareness of people with ID as well as giving the book club members an
opportunity to experience “café culture.” The practical implications also include a
favorable evaluation of the NCBC. This study may provide empirical evidence of the
benefits of the NCBC. The significance of this is to encourage the spread of such clubs
throughout the nation and beyond.
People with MRDD encounter social barriers that exclude them from the
community. The NCBC represents an effort to overcome such barriers by providing a
slice of ordinary life everyone can understand and making that available to people with
disabilities.
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Appendix A:
Reiss Motivational Variables
Independence Attention
Order Vengeance
Help Others Acceptance
Morality Social
Contact
Curiosity Anxiety
Physical
Activity
Frustration
Eating Pain
Romance
Appendix B:
Variables
Independence Social contact
order Anxiety
Help other Frustration
morality Pain
Curiosity Raw score on
PPVT-III
Physical activity Raw WAIS
Eating Satisfaction
Romance Raw score on Reiss
Screen
Attention
Vengeance
acceptance
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References
Capacioppo, J.T., Petty, R.E., Feinstein, J.A., Jarvis, B.G.,(1996). Dispositional
differences in cognitive motivation: The life and times of individuals varying in
need for cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 197.
Fish, T., & Graff, V., (2006, November 30). Next chapter book club: What a novel idea.
Exceptional Parent Magazine, 46-48.
Hammil, D., & McNutt, G., (1980). Language abilities and reading: A review of the
literature on their relationship. The Elementary School Journal, 80(5), 269-277.
Reiss, S (2004). Multifaceted nature of intrinsic motivation: The theory of 16 basic
desires. Review of General Psychology, 8(3), 179-193.
Reiss, S (2005). Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation at 30: Unresolved scientific issues.
The Behavior Analyst, 28(1), 1-14.
Reiss, S., & Havercamp, S. (1998). Toward a comprehensive assessment of fundamental
motivation: Factor structure of the reiss profiles. The American Psychological
Association, 10(2), 97-106.
Reiss, S., & Reiss, M., (2004). Curiosity and mental retardation: Beyond IQ. Mental
Retardation, 42(1), 77-81.
Reiss S, & Valenti-Hein D.,(1994). Development of a psychopathology rating scale for
children with mental retardation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
62, 28-33.
Shessel, I. & Reiff, H. B. (1999). Experiences of adults with learning disabilities:
Positive and negative impacts and outcomes. Learning Disability Quarterly,
22(4), 305-316.

Ponderosa Reflections 5/17/2010

I am loving the fact that my master teacher has given me my very own book club.  I think that the one on one interaction that I am having with each one of the three girls is very beneficial to their reading.  They are getting the help that they need and at the same time doing comprehension strategies that are helping them better understand what they are reading.  
I agree with both articles in the fact that they are both talking about how book clubs can help more then general education students.  I think that using book clubs in areas such as ELL and SPED can be a huge thing.  I noticed that as I was teaching my book club the three girls were slowly but surely taking over the club.  They really didn't need me in the end.  They were helping and guiding each other through the book, they were asking investigative questions and answering each other.  I was simply there to help guide any further.  I think that if we gave that kind of power to ELL and SPED students the impact would be so great.  As ELL or SPED kids they tend to feel isolated and not apart of a group other then other kids labeled the same way they are.  With a book club you can mix "general ed" students with ELL and SPED students and they can teach and help each other learn.  It gives them a sense of pride that many of them lack. 

Article #2 Using Book clubs to increase Multicultural Students intrests in reading

Using Book Clubs to Increase Multicultural Students’ Interests in Reading

Jennifer Miller and Nicole Ogranovitch

Glen Forest Elementary School

Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools

Submitted June 2001

Introduction

            In a nine-month study, multicultural students participated in an interactive book club meeting every two weeks.  About forty students previously taught by the book club leaders were invited to complete an application to participate in the club.  Out of the approximate forty students who received applications, eleven were returned.  At the first book club meeting and at the last meeting, students completed reading interest surveys.  The surveys’ focus was the students’ personal reading habits as well as their enjoyment in pleasure reading.  The ten students participating in the club represented the cultures of Egypt, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, the United States, and several countries in Latin America.  Throughout the nine months, students read books ranging in genres from science fiction to fantasy and realistic fiction.  After completing each book, students participated in a discussion followed by an interactive language arts activity.  The selection of books was chosen by the teachers with the exception of the final book being student chosen.  At the close of the book club, students showed an increase in student-initiated reading for pleasure.

The Question

            Does membership in an interactive book club increase multicultural students’ enjoyment of pleasure reading?

Research

            In today’s society children’s desire and motivation for pleasure reading is declining.  There are several factors that contribute to this decrease: the advanced technology that is at their fingertips: televisions, VCRs, computers, Internet, Nintendo, and other electronic games and all of these choices to consume their time with now.   

            Still another factor that effects pleasure reading is the child’s family dynamics.  The dynamics are the child’s social, cultural, and economical statuses.  Families that are led by a single parent, and even some working class families, may be limited at times by money.  Children who have working parents may have increased responsibility at home such as watching younger siblings and cooking meals. 

            Parents have a great influence on younger children and their reading habits.  Homes in which pleasure reading occurs on a regular basis and there is reading material readily available for the children greatly influences their desire for pleasure reading.  As for older children, peers are the greater influence for motivation to pleasure read.  For this reason, books clubs offer motivation for pleasure reading in older children.

            Book clubs offer students a new arena to enjoy recreational reading and to interact with other students.  In particular, book clubs offer multicultural students an informal, natural setting in which to interact and learn the new language.  Throughout the duration of book club meetings, research has shown that students’ participation, self-confidence and initiation within the book club groups have increased because of students’ increased comfort level with discussing and sharing about texts. 

            Many articles have cited that teaching students to acquire a new language is difficult, and there are many ways to increase their success.  Many factors that add to the success of second language learners acquiring a second language can be found in book clubs. 

For individuals to successfully acquire a second language, there needs to be some form of motivation for their learning the new language.  Book clubs provide motivation for students learning a second language because of the interactions between group members through the activities and sharing.  Within peer groups, children feel less pressure coming from the teacher.  The interaction within the peer group is more often in the form of dialogue, as opposed to teacher directed instruction.  Book clubs are a social aspect of school in which second language learners can participate in meaningful discussions about literature.  The social interactions and discussions serve as motivation for students to acquire their new language.

            Collaboration to complete specific tasks also assists second language learners in learning the new language.  The collaboration assists all students in interacting and creating meaning of the text with the help of their peers.  By utilizing peer groups, there is a larger range of background knowledge and experiences to assist students in creating meaning of text.  It has been found that having students attempt to become actively engaged in reading is not as effective without the help of the students’ peer group.  Simply the chance to interact and collaborate with peers is motivation for all students, especially multicultural students, to read more often.

            Another aspect found in book clubs which increases enjoyment of reading among students, is the presence of a stimulating, high interest reading program for students to participate in.  The program should include the discussion of books from a variety of genres.  Often students should be given choices as to which books they read.  Within this high-interest reading program, teachers should model reading as well as reading activities for the students to learn from.  Creating a high-interest reading program allows students to collaborate and interact with the texts to create comprehension.

            In conclusion, to increase students’ enjoyment of reading, especially multicultural students, a few factors must be present.  Students must be given opportunities to collaborate and interact with their peers.  Utilizing a stimulating, high interest program and allowing students to choose some of the books increases motivation for reading.  Books and reading programs are a source of motivation for students.  Books help students relate to one another, create meaning of text, and increase enjoyment of pleasure reading.

Students

The students that were selected for this project were previous students of the teachers.  About forty fourth and fifth graders received applications to participate in the book club.  These students represented all reading levels from apprentice (first grade) to young adult (sixth).  Out of the forty applications distributed, eleven were returned, five of which were from fourth grade and six from fifth grade.  Throughout the course of the year, one fourth grader did not attend the meetings and the book club requested him not to participate.  One fifth grader moved to another school half way through the year and another chose not to participate in the book club.  In return, another fifth grader that did not receive an application requested to become a member of the book club.  The book club voted on this and unanimously agreed to admit him.  At the close of the year, there were eight fully active members.  These eight members represented eight different nationalities. 

Program

            The book club’s program consisted of 45 minute meetings before school every two weeks.  During these meetings, children were engaged in discussions as well as hands-on activities relating to the assigned book.  Some of these activities included creating questions for game shows, locating unknown vocabulary, creating drawings to connect personal experiences with the novels, using Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast novels and their movies, and creating television advertisements for individually read books.  These books focused on areas such as realistic issues, creativity and imagination, and the importance of literacy.  On average, six students attended each meeting.  In the middle of the year, the teachers found that not having full attendance was due to students’ inability to complete the books in the allotted time.  After realizing students’ inability to complete the books within the two weeks allotted, the teachers extended the allotted time to three or four weeks between books.  This change allowed students to increase their comprehension of each book as well as increase their level of enjoyment of pleasure reading, as opposed to feeling as though the books were class assignments.  Changing the frequency of book club meetings increased student participation and decreased absenteeism.             

Results

The teachers had the students complete a reading interest survey at the start of the  school year (see Appendix A).  Students’ devotion towards pleasure reading, on average, fell within the middle of the scale provided.  At the close of the book club, the students completed the same reading interest survey.  The end of the year surveys indicated that the students’ interest in pleasure reading increased throughout the year.  Out of eight Book Club members, three students’ amount of enjoyment in pleasure reading increased, two decreased, and three students’ rating remained the same.  Two of the three students whose ratings remained the same indicated that their enjoyment surpassed the allotted scale so they chose the highest rating possible, which was equal to their pre- Book Club survey.  The teachers observed that throughout the year various book club members became more involved in the book discussions and activities by making connections between the books and their personal experiences. 

Conclusion

            Book Clubs offer multicultural students an opportunity to informally discuss books that are read and the connections that are made.  Through the course of the year, Book Club members became more insightful and took more initiative during each meeting.  The students in the book club showed an increased enjoyment in pleasure reading.  For the two students whose enjoyment in pleasure reading did not increase, television and video games were found to be more of a priority than reading.  It is also possible that in these few cases, reading was not a priority partly because the students’ parents are not proficient in English and do not model reading for their children. 

The book club yielded positive results, 75% of the participants either increased their enjoyment for pleasure reading or remained the same.  Students spent more time reading independently, became more comfortable participating in oral discussions conducted in English, and increased their English vocabulary.  Perhaps most importantly these children learned that reading can be fun - a lesson that can potentially impact them for years to come.

References

Angeletti, N. et al. (1996).  Improving Elementary Students’ Attitudes toward Recreational Reading. Action Research Project. 

French, Michael P. et al. (1989). “Using Children’s Literature.”  The Reading Teacher, 90-92.

Haverty, Lisa et al. (1996). “Improving Elementary School Students’ Attitudes toward Voluntary Reading.”  M.A. Project, Saint Xavier University.

Jensen, K., Papp, S. & Richmond, B. (1998). Improving Children’s Habits in Recreational Reading. Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/Skylight. 67

Raphael, T. & Brock, C. & Mei, H. (1992). Learning the Literacy Culture in an Urban Elementary School. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference.  20.

Strickland, D. et al. (1994). School Book Clubs and Literacy Development: A Descriptive Study.  National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning.  81.

           

 

 

 

 

 


Appendix A

 

Using Book Clubs to Increase Multicultural Students’ Interests in Reading

 

 

 

The objective: to discover whether an interactive book would increase multicultural students’ enjoyment of pleasure reading.

 

 

 

Research: parental influence, family dynamics, social culture, economic status, motivation, and active involvement in reading

 

 

 

 

Student population of book club

 

 

 

 

Program of book club (activities)

 

 

 

 

Results of book club

 

 

 

 

Conclusions from book club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article #1. 5/18/2010- Feild Trip Learning

The Field Trip Milieu: Learning and Behavior as a Function of Contextual Events

JOHN H. FALK
JOHN D. BALLING

Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies

ABSTRACT A study to assess the impact of school
field trips on attitudes, behavior, and learning was conducted
with 196 third and fifth grade children. Half the children
went on an all-day field trip to a nature center to learn about
the biology of trees; the other half were taught the same
lesson outside their classroom during their regular science
period. As measured by pre- and posttests, field experiences
resulted in significant immediate learning and 30-day reten-
tion for all groups. Observational measures revealed that stu-
dent behavior varied as a function of age and environmental
context. A model is proposed that relates learning and
behavior to both developmental level and environmental
novelty.

The field trip remains a conspicuous part of the
public school routine for most elementary school
children. The annual trek to the zoo, museum, nature
center, or other such facility is about as predictable as
the Halloween parade and the end-of-school party. On
most field trips, the students are put into busses early
in the morning, driven to a rather novel setting, led
through some activities by a stranger, put back on the
bus, and returned at the end of the day. In addition,
they usually bring a bag lunch and some money to
spend in the gift shop during periods of free time. In
many cases, the majority of time is actually spent in
transit rather than in direct participation in the lesson.
It has never been determined whether such extra-
activity factors and the disruption of normal school
routine affect behavior during the trip activity, learn-
ing of the material presented during the activity, or
retention of field trip experiences.

Most research on field trips has focused on a
description of either the cognitive outcomes of the ex-
perience (c.f. review by Koran & Baker, 1979; Wright, 1980), or on attitude changes as a result of the ex-
perience ( Bloomberg, 1929; Brady, 1972; Gottfried, 1981). Little analysis has been presented for why
students might behave or learn differently on a field
trip as opposed to in a classroom.

In a series of studies, Falk, Martin, and Balling ( 1978 ), Martin, Falk, and Balling ( 1981 ), and Balling
and Falk ( Note 1) have investigated some of the en-
vironmental and psychological dimensions of field
trips--specifically, the role of setting novelty in affect-
ing cognitive learning. This research showed that ex-
tremely novel settings placed preemptive demands on
the learner and thereby negatively influenced concept
learning.

Current psychological theory reinforces these no-
tions about setting novelty. Extensive theoretical and
empirical support has been provided by Helson ( 1964 )
in the development of his adaptation level theory.
Berlyne ( 1960 ) has shown that relative novelty has an
effect on many different types of human behavior.
Considerable animal research has highlighted the im-
pact of novelty on behavior and learning ( Harlow, 1965; Thompson & Grusec, 1970; Thompson & Heron, 1954). Lubow, Rifkin, and Alek ( 1976 ) and
Zelazo, Hopkins, Jacobson, and Kagan ( 1974 ) have
documented similar effects in young children. J. J.
Gibson's perceptual learning theory ( Gibson, 1966)
contributes yet another line of evidence suggesting that
behavior will vary as a function of experience. And E. Gibson
( 1969 ) reports a variety of studies in which

This research was supported in part by a grant, SED
77-18913, from the National Science Foundation. The
authors wish to thank Sharon Maves, Chris Kornet, and Ann
Coren for their assistance in conducting this study. A special
word of thanks goes to Mr. Howard Hall and the Anne
Arundel County Public School system. Address cor-
respondence to Dr. John H. Falk, Smithsonian Institution,
P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD 21037
.

-22-

mere exposure to a stimulus dimension enhances
discrimination along that dimension.

Studies of incidental learning and selective attention
have also suggested the importance of the environment
in which a learning activity takes place. Children learn
a great deal about the setting or non-task relevant
aspects (as defined by the teacher) of the learning
situation, such as the color of the flash cards, the place
where their instructor dropped her books, or the price
of a rubber gorilla at the zoo. More importantly, cer­
tain of these irrelevant stimuli may hinder task learn­
ing while others may facilitate it ( Hale, Miller, & Stevenson, 1968

The Field Trip Milieu: Learning and Behavior as a Function of Contextual Events

JOHN H. FALK
JOHN D. BALLING

Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies

ABSTRACT A study to assess the impact of school
field trips on attitudes, behavior, and learning was conducted
with 196 third and fifth grade children. Half the children
went on an all-day field trip to a nature center to learn about
the biology of trees; the other half were taught the same
lesson outside their classroom during their regular science
period. As measured by pre- and posttests, field experiences
resulted in significant immediate learning and 30-day reten-
tion for all groups. Observational measures revealed that stu-
dent behavior varied as a function of age and environmental
context. A model is proposed that relates learning and
behavior to both developmental level and environmental
novelty.

The field trip remains a conspicuous part of the
public school routine for most elementary school
children. The annual trek to the zoo, museum, nature
center, or other such facility is about as predictable as
the Halloween parade and the end-of-school party. On
most field trips, the students are put into busses early
in the morning, driven to a rather novel setting, led
through some activities by a stranger, put back on the
bus, and returned at the end of the day. In addition,
they usually bring a bag lunch and some money to
spend in the gift shop during periods of free time. In
many cases, the majority of time is actually spent in
transit rather than in direct participation in the lesson.
It has never been determined whether such extra-
activity factors and the disruption of normal school
routine affect behavior during the trip activity, learn-
ing of the material presented during the activity, or
retention of field trip experiences.

Most research on field trips has focused on a
description of either the cognitive outcomes of the ex-
perience (c.f. review by Koran & Baker, 1979; Wright, 1980), or on attitude changes as a result of the ex-
perience ( Bloomberg, 1929; Brady, 1972; Gottfried, 1981). Little analysis has been presented for why
students might behave or learn differently on a field
trip as opposed to in a classroom.

In a series of studies, Falk, Martin, and Balling ( 1978 ), Martin, Falk, and Balling ( 1981 ), and Balling
and Falk ( Note 1) have investigated some of the en-
vironmental and psychological dimensions of field
trips--specifically, the role of setting novelty in affect-
ing cognitive learning. This research showed that ex-
tremely novel settings placed preemptive demands on
the learner and thereby negatively influenced concept
learning.

Current psychological theory reinforces these no-
tions about setting novelty. Extensive theoretical and
empirical support has been provided by Helson ( 1964 )
in the development of his adaptation level theory.
Berlyne ( 1960 ) has shown that relative novelty has an
effect on many different types of human behavior.
Considerable animal research has highlighted the im-
pact of novelty on behavior and learning ( Harlow, 1965; Thompson & Grusec, 1970; Thompson & Heron, 1954). Lubow, Rifkin, and Alek ( 1976 ) and
Zelazo, Hopkins, Jacobson, and Kagan ( 1974 ) have
documented similar effects in young children. J. J.
Gibson's perceptual learning theory ( Gibson, 1966)
contributes yet another line of evidence suggesting that
behavior will vary as a function of experience. And E. Gibson
( 1969 ) reports a variety of studies in which

This research was supported in part by a grant, SED
77-18913, from the National Science Foundation. The
authors wish to thank Sharon Maves, Chris Kornet, and Ann
Coren for their assistance in conducting this study. A special
word of thanks goes to Mr. Howard Hall and the Anne
Arundel County Public School system. Address cor-
respondence to Dr. John H. Falk, Smithsonian Institution,
P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD 21037
.

-22-

mere exposure to a stimulus dimension enhances
discrimination along that dimension.

Studies of incidental learning and selective attention
have also suggested the importance of the environment
in which a learning activity takes place. Children learn
a great deal about the setting or non-task relevant
aspects (as defined by the teacher) of the learning
situation, such as the color of the flash cards, the place
where their instructor dropped her books, or the price
of a rubber gorilla at the zoo. More importantly, cer­
tain of these irrelevant stimuli may hinder task learn­
ing while others may facilitate it ( Hale, Miller, & Stevenson, 1968

The Field Trip Milieu: Learning and Behavior as a Function of Contextual Events

JOHN H. FALK
JOHN D. BALLING

Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies

ABSTRACT A study to assess the impact of school
field trips on attitudes, behavior, and learning was conducted
with 196 third and fifth grade children. Half the children
went on an all-day field trip to a nature center to learn about
the biology of trees; the other half were taught the same
lesson outside their classroom during their regular science
period. As measured by pre- and posttests, field experiences
resulted in significant immediate learning and 30-day reten-
tion for all groups. Observational measures revealed that stu-
dent behavior varied as a function of age and environmental
context. A model is proposed that relates learning and
behavior to both developmental level and environmental
novelty.

The field trip remains a conspicuous part of the
public school routine for most elementary school
children. The annual trek to the zoo, museum, nature
center, or other such facility is about as predictable as
the Halloween parade and the end-of-school party. On
most field trips, the students are put into busses early
in the morning, driven to a rather novel setting, led
through some activities by a stranger, put back on the
bus, and returned at the end of the day. In addition,
they usually bring a bag lunch and some money to
spend in the gift shop during periods of free time. In
many cases, the majority of time is actually spent in
transit rather than in direct participation in the lesson.
It has never been determined whether such extra-
activity factors and the disruption of normal school
routine affect behavior during the trip activity, learn-
ing of the material presented during the activity, or
retention of field trip experiences.

Most research on field trips has focused on a
description of either the cognitive outcomes of the ex-
perience (c.f. review by Koran & Baker, 1979; Wright, 1980), or on attitude changes as a result of the ex-
perience ( Bloomberg, 1929; Brady, 1972; Gottfried, 1981). Little analysis has been presented for why
students might behave or learn differently on a field
trip as opposed to in a classroom.

In a series of studies, Falk, Martin, and Balling ( 1978 ), Martin, Falk, and Balling ( 1981 ), and Balling
and Falk ( Note 1) have investigated some of the en-
vironmental and psychological dimensions of field
trips--specifically, the role of setting novelty in affect-
ing cognitive learning. This research showed that ex-
tremely novel settings placed preemptive demands on
the learner and thereby negatively influenced concept
learning.

Current psychological theory reinforces these no-
tions about setting novelty. Extensive theoretical and
empirical support has been provided by Helson ( 1964 )
in the development of his adaptation level theory.
Berlyne ( 1960 ) has shown that relative novelty has an
effect on many different types of human behavior.
Considerable animal research has highlighted the im-
pact of novelty on behavior and learning ( Harlow, 1965; Thompson & Grusec, 1970; Thompson & Heron, 1954). Lubow, Rifkin, and Alek ( 1976 ) and
Zelazo, Hopkins, Jacobson, and Kagan ( 1974 ) have
documented similar effects in young children. J. J.
Gibson's perceptual learning theory ( Gibson, 1966)
contributes yet another line of evidence suggesting that
behavior will vary as a function of experience. And E. Gibson
( 1969 ) reports a variety of studies in which

This research was supported in part by a grant, SED
77-18913, from the National Science Foundation. The
authors wish to thank Sharon Maves, Chris Kornet, and Ann
Coren for their assistance in conducting this study. A special
word of thanks goes to Mr. Howard Hall and the Anne
Arundel County Public School system. Address cor-
respondence to Dr. John H. Falk, Smithsonian Institution,
P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD 21037
.

-22-

mere exposure to a stimulus dimension enhances
discrimination along that dimension.

Studies of incidental learning and selective attention
have also suggested the importance of the environment
in which a learning activity takes place. Children learn
a great deal about the setting or non-task relevant
aspects (as defined by the teacher) of the learning
situation, such as the color of the flash cards, the place
where their instructor dropped her books, or the price
of a rubber gorilla at the zoo. More importantly, cer­
tain of these irrelevant stimuli may hinder task learn­
ing while others may facilitate it ( Hale, Miller, & Stevenson, 1968

The Field Trip Milieu: Learning and Behavior as a Function of Contextual Events

JOHN H. FALK
JOHN D. BALLING

Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies

ABSTRACT A study to assess the impact of school
field trips on attitudes, behavior, and learning was conducted
with 196 third and fifth grade children. Half the children
went on an all-day field trip to a nature center to learn about
the biology of trees; the other half were taught the same
lesson outside their classroom during their regular science
period. As measured by pre- and posttests, field experiences
resulted in significant immediate learning and 30-day reten-
tion for all groups. Observational measures revealed that stu-
dent behavior varied as a function of age and environmental
context. A model is proposed that relates learning and
behavior to both developmental level and environmental
novelty.

The field trip remains a conspicuous part of the
public school routine for most elementary school
children. The annual trek to the zoo, museum, nature
center, or other such facility is about as predictable as
the Halloween parade and the end-of-school party. On
most field trips, the students are put into busses early
in the morning, driven to a rather novel setting, led
through some activities by a stranger, put back on the
bus, and returned at the end of the day. In addition,
they usually bring a bag lunch and some money to
spend in the gift shop during periods of free time. In
many cases, the majority of time is actually spent in
transit rather than in direct participation in the lesson.
It has never been determined whether such extra-
activity factors and the disruption of normal school
routine affect behavior during the trip activity, learn-
ing of the material presented during the activity, or
retention of field trip experiences.

Most research on field trips has focused on a
description of either the cognitive outcomes of the ex-
perience (c.f. review by Koran & Baker, 1979; Wright, 1980), or on attitude changes as a result of the ex-
perience ( Bloomberg, 1929; Brady, 1972; Gottfried, 1981). Little analysis has been presented for why
students might behave or learn differently on a field
trip as opposed to in a classroom.

In a series of studies, Falk, Martin, and Balling ( 1978 ), Martin, Falk, and Balling ( 1981 ), and Balling
and Falk ( Note 1) have investigated some of the en-
vironmental and psychological dimensions of field
trips--specifically, the role of setting novelty in affect-
ing cognitive learning. This research showed that ex-
tremely novel settings placed preemptive demands on
the learner and thereby negatively influenced concept
learning.

Current psychological theory reinforces these no-
tions about setting novelty. Extensive theoretical and
empirical support has been provided by Helson ( 1964 )
in the development of his adaptation level theory.
Berlyne ( 1960 ) has shown that relative novelty has an
effect on many different types of human behavior.
Considerable animal research has highlighted the im-
pact of novelty on behavior and learning ( Harlow, 1965; Thompson & Grusec, 1970; Thompson & Heron, 1954). Lubow, Rifkin, and Alek ( 1976 ) and
Zelazo, Hopkins, Jacobson, and Kagan ( 1974 ) have
documented similar effects in young children. J. J.
Gibson's perceptual learning theory ( Gibson, 1966)
contributes yet another line of evidence suggesting that
behavior will vary as a function of experience. And E. Gibson
( 1969 ) reports a variety of studies in which

This research was supported in part by a grant, SED
77-18913, from the National Science Foundation. The
authors wish to thank Sharon Maves, Chris Kornet, and Ann
Coren for their assistance in conducting this study. A special
word of thanks goes to Mr. Howard Hall and the Anne
Arundel County Public School system. Address cor-
respondence to Dr. John H. Falk, Smithsonian Institution,
P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD 21037
.

-22-

mere exposure to a stimulus dimension enhances
discrimination along that dimension.

Studies of incidental learning and selective attention
have also suggested the importance of the environment
in which a learning activity takes place. Children learn
a great deal about the setting or non-task relevant
aspects (as defined by the teacher) of the learning
situation, such as the color of the flash cards, the place
where their instructor dropped her books, or the price
of a rubber gorilla at the zoo. More importantly, cer­
tain of these irrelevant stimuli may hinder task learn­
ing while others may facilitate it ( Hale, Miller, & Stevenson, 1968

The Field Trip Milieu: Learning and Behavior as a Function of Contextual Events

JOHN H. FALK
JOHN D. BALLING

Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies

ABSTRACT A study to assess the impact of school
field trips on attitudes, behavior, and learning was conducted
with 196 third and fifth grade children. Half the children
went on an all-day field trip to a nature center to learn about
the biology of trees; the other half were taught the same
lesson outside their classroom during their regular science
period. As measured by pre- and posttests, field experiences
resulted in significant immediate learning and 30-day reten-
tion for all groups. Observational measures revealed that stu-
dent behavior varied as a function of age and environmental
context. A model is proposed that relates learning and
behavior to both developmental level and environmental
novelty.

The field trip remains a conspicuous part of the
public school routine for most elementary school
children. The annual trek to the zoo, museum, nature
center, or other such facility is about as predictable as
the Halloween parade and the end-of-school party. On
most field trips, the students are put into busses early
in the morning, driven to a rather novel setting, led
through some activities by a stranger, put back on the
bus, and returned at the end of the day. In addition,
they usually bring a bag lunch and some money to
spend in the gift shop during periods of free time. In
many cases, the majority of time is actually spent in
transit rather than in direct participation in the lesson.
It has never been determined whether such extra-
activity factors and the disruption of normal school
routine affect behavior during the trip activity, learn-
ing of the material presented during the activity, or
retention of field trip experiences.

Most research on field trips has focused on a
description of either the cognitive outcomes of the ex-
perience (c.f. review by Koran & Baker, 1979; Wright, 1980), or on attitude changes as a result of the ex-
perience ( Bloomberg, 1929; Brady, 1972; Gottfried, 1981). Little analysis has been presented for why
students might behave or learn differently on a field
trip as opposed to in a classroom.

In a series of studies, Falk, Martin, and Balling ( 1978 ), Martin, Falk, and Balling ( 1981 ), and Balling
and Falk ( Note 1) have investigated some of the en-
vironmental and psychological dimensions of field
trips--specifically, the role of setting novelty in affect-
ing cognitive learning. This research showed that ex-
tremely novel settings placed preemptive demands on
the learner and thereby negatively influenced concept
learning.

Current psychological theory reinforces these no-
tions about setting novelty. Extensive theoretical and
empirical support has been provided by Helson ( 1964 )
in the development of his adaptation level theory.
Berlyne ( 1960 ) has shown that relative novelty has an
effect on many different types of human behavior.
Considerable animal research has highlighted the im-
pact of novelty on behavior and learning ( Harlow, 1965; Thompson & Grusec, 1970; Thompson & Heron, 1954). Lubow, Rifkin, and Alek ( 1976 ) and
Zelazo, Hopkins, Jacobson, and Kagan ( 1974 ) have
documented similar effects in young children. J. J.
Gibson's perceptual learning theory ( Gibson, 1966)
contributes yet another line of evidence suggesting that
behavior will vary as a function of experience. And E. Gibson
( 1969 ) reports a variety of studies in which

This research was supported in part by a grant, SED
77-18913, from the National Science Foundation. The
authors wish to thank Sharon Maves, Chris Kornet, and Ann
Coren for their assistance in conducting this study. A special
word of thanks goes to Mr. Howard Hall and the Anne
Arundel County Public School system. Address cor-
respondence to Dr. John H. Falk, Smithsonian Institution,
P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD 21037
.

-22-

mere exposure to a stimulus dimension enhances
discrimination along that dimension.

Studies of incidental learning and selective attention
have also suggested the importance of the environment
in which a learning activity takes place. Children learn
a great deal about the setting or non-task relevant
aspects (as defined by the teacher) of the learning
situation, such as the color of the flash cards, the place
where their instructor dropped her books, or the price
of a rubber gorilla at the zoo. More importantly, cer­
tain of these irrelevant stimuli may hinder task learn­
ing while others may facilitate it ( Hale, Miller, & Stevenson, 1968

The Field Trip Milieu: Learning and Behavior as a Function of Contextual Events

JOHN H. FALK
JOHN D. BALLING

Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies

ABSTRACT A study to assess the impact of school
field trips on attitudes, behavior, and learning was conducted
with 196 third and fifth grade children. Half the children
went on an all-day field trip to a nature center to learn about
the biology of trees; the other half were taught the same
lesson outside their classroom during their regular science
period. As measured by pre- and posttests, field experiences
resulted in significant immediate learning and 30-day reten-
tion for all groups. Observational measures revealed that stu-
dent behavior varied as a function of age and environmental
context. A model is proposed that relates learning and
behavior to both developmental level and environmental
novelty.

The field trip remains a conspicuous part of the
public school routine for most elementary school
children. The annual trek to the zoo, museum, nature
center, or other such facility is about as predictable as
the Halloween parade and the end-of-school party. On
most field trips, the students are put into busses early
in the morning, driven to a rather novel setting, led
through some activities by a stranger, put back on the
bus, and returned at the end of the day. In addition,
they usually bring a bag lunch and some money to
spend in the gift shop during periods of free time. In
many cases, the majority of time is actually spent in
transit rather than in direct participation in the lesson.
It has never been determined whether such extra-
activity factors and the disruption of normal school
routine affect behavior during the trip activity, learn-
ing of the material presented during the activity, or
retention of field trip experiences.

Most research on field trips has focused on a
description of either the cognitive outcomes of the ex-
perience (c.f. review by Koran & Baker, 1979; Wright, 1980), or on attitude changes as a result of the ex-
perience ( Bloomberg, 1929; Brady, 1972; Gottfried, 1981). Little analysis has been presented for why
students might behave or learn differently on a field
trip as opposed to in a classroom.

In a series of studies, Falk, Martin, and Balling ( 1978 ), Martin, Falk, and Balling ( 1981 ), and Balling
and Falk ( Note 1) have investigated some of the en-
vironmental and psychological dimensions of field
trips--specifically, the role of setting novelty in affect-
ing cognitive learning. This research showed that ex-
tremely novel settings placed preemptive demands on
the learner and thereby negatively influenced concept
learning.

Current psychological theory reinforces these no-
tions about setting novelty. Extensive theoretical and
empirical support has been provided by Helson ( 1964 )
in the development of his adaptation level theory.
Berlyne ( 1960 ) has shown that relative novelty has an
effect on many different types of human behavior.
Considerable animal research has highlighted the im-
pact of novelty on behavior and learning ( Harlow, 1965; Thompson & Grusec, 1970; Thompson & Heron, 1954). Lubow, Rifkin, and Alek ( 1976 ) and
Zelazo, Hopkins, Jacobson, and Kagan ( 1974 ) have
documented similar effects in young children. J. J.
Gibson's perceptual learning theory ( Gibson, 1966)
contributes yet another line of evidence suggesting that
behavior will vary as a function of experience. And E. Gibson
( 1969 ) reports a variety of studies in which

This research was supported in part by a grant, SED
77-18913, from the National Science Foundation. The
authors wish to thank Sharon Maves, Chris Kornet, and Ann
Coren for their assistance in conducting this study. A special
word of thanks goes to Mr. Howard Hall and the Anne
Arundel County Public School system. Address cor-
respondence to Dr. John H. Falk, Smithsonian Institution,
P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, MD 21037
.

-22-

 

mere exposure to a stimulus dimension enhances
discrimination along that dimension.

Studies of incidental learning and selective attention
have also suggested the importance of the environment
in which a learning activity takes place. Children learn
a great deal about the setting or non-task relevant
aspects (as defined by the teacher) of the learning
situation, such as the color of the flash cards, the place
where their instructor dropped her books, or the price
of a rubber gorilla at the zoo. More importantly, cer­
tain of these irrelevant stimuli may hinder task learn­
ing while others may facilitate it ( Hale, Miller, & Stevenson, 1968)

 

May 18, 2010 (Feild Trip) (8 hours)

8:45am- arrive at school

9:05 am- students start filing into the classroom, very excited about the trip

9:10 am- find my group of students that I am in charge of

9:15 am- led studnets to the bus

10:00 am- arrived at the West Valley Outdoor Learning Center

10:05 am- Introduced to our teachers for the day and went over iteneray

10:15 am- Disscussion about what we have been learning about Native Americans

10:30 am- Head outside for the first station

10:35 am- Head out to the pond where we are told that we are going to be fishing like the Native Americans.  (I got soaking wet from the kids!)

11:00 am- Head over to the archary station

11:05 am- Told that we are going to be hunting the way that the NA did, with bows and arrows (100% safe I assure you!)

12:00 pm- Head over to the garden center

12:05 pm- Told a folk tale about three sisters: corn, bean and squash.  The kids then draw and color their own version of what they think the three sisters looked like and recieved beans to plant on their own.

12:30 pm: Time for lunch and a break

1:00 pm- Clean up lunch and head to the WVOLC classroom

1:10 pm- Kids are asked to make their own land based on different senarios

1:20 pm kids present and are given a different senario that they have to impliment into their new land.

1:30 pm-Kids are instucted that there is one more station that they are going to visit.

1:35 pm- kids arrive at the Teepee and are told an old indian folk tale.

2:00 pm- head back to the WVOLC classroom for the last time.

2:05 pm- kids make their very own NA game that the kids would have played to pass the time:

2:15 pm- board the bus back to Ponderosa

3:00pm- Arrive back to the school and have kids write down their experiances from the trip.

3:10pm Dissmissed

 

 

 


 

Ponderosa Reflections 5/18/2010

If I had it my way we would have feild trips everyday.  I found that the students were actualy retaining the information that was being given to them in the classroom.  When the teacher was asking my students in particular different questions pertaining to the Native Americans they were answering them.  More importiantly the students labled as "problimatic" were participating and answering questions, something they usualy don't do in the classroom. 

I agree with the article that states that feild trips can effect the cognative learning plus add a motivation for learning.  I also noted that our feild trip did exactly what they article said feild trips should do/be and that is to be incorporated into a unit lesson plan.  We have spent the last month or so talking about the Native Americans of the Northwest and to be able to go to the WVOLC was a great way to close up the unit. 

Article # 2 5/18/2010 Enhancing Natural Resource Programs With Feild Trips

Enhancing Natural Resource Programs with Field Trips1

Julie Athman and Martha C. Monroe2

Most educators are familiar with what has become a childhood ritual—the field trip. Taking youth to parks, school camps, nature centers, and other outdoor settings provides an important contribution to the learning process (See Figure 1). Researchers have documented the cognitive and affective benefits of field trips, including increased motivation for learning (Kern and Carpenter, 1984), a more positive attitude toward science and environmental concepts (Bitgood, 1989), and the acquisition of knowledge and skills (Mackenzie and White, 1981). Further, field trips can stimulate interest for natural resource-related careers and result in an improved attitude toward the site visited (Knapp, 2000). But not all field trips result in these benefits. A field trip can easily turn into nothing more than a day off from school. This fact sheet explains how to maximize learning during the field trip to ensure that students gain its cognitive and affective benefits.

1. Ensure that the Field Trip Is an Integral Part of the Broader Curriculum

Too often, field trips are isolated from the rest of the school curriculum. Research, however, has shown that there is less transfer of learning and less meaning when the field trip is not related to classroom teaching (Ferry, 1995). The field trip should be integrated into the broader instructional program and be used only when it is the most effective and efficient procedure for fulfilling the learning objectives. When working within the formal education setting, make sure field trips are relevant to the school's curriculum and that they support state education standards and current reform efforts.

Figure 1. 

Field trips provide youth with new experiences, like walking across a beaver dam.

Florida's Next Generation Sunshine State Standards provide a statewide guide to curriculum in public schools. Of course science standards are readily met on natural resource field trips, but it is also possible to develop a natural resource-focused field program that helps teachers meet standards in language arts, mathematics, and social studies. For example, a trip to a nature center for fourth-grade students could include an exploration of the forest ecosystem, collecting impressions to write a story, and calculating how many insects might be in a rotting log. The trip could then address the following standards:

SC.4.L.17.2: Explain that animals, including humans, cannot make their own food and that when animals eat plants or other animals, the energy stored in the food source is passed to them.

LA.4.4.2.1: Write in a variety of informational/expository forms.

MA.4.A.6.6: Estimate and describe reasonableness of estimates; determine the appropriateness of an estimate versus an exact answer.

2. Integrate the Field Trip into an Instructional Unit

Orion (1993) offers a three-part model that can be used to integrate field trips into the curriculum. Each part is a structured, independent learning unit, yet each links naturally to the next part of the model. The first part, the preparatory unit, prepares students for the field trip with targeted learning activities—usually incorporating some “hands-on” tasks. Learners might work with materials and equipment that will be used in the field and gain the basic concepts and skills necessary for the completion of field activities.

The field trip is the second and central part of the model. It serves as a concrete bridge toward more abstract learning levels. Making the field trip the central part of the instructional program, rather than using it as a summary or enrichment activity, provides the concretization learners need to move on to higher levels of cognitive learning when they return from the field.

The third part of Orion's model, the summary unit, includes more complex and abstract concepts, aiming toward helping learners to use their field trip learning and to transfer it to new situations. This component is usually conducted in the classroom.

While it may appear simple and intuitive at first glance, in fact this model advocates a significant departure from the typical stand-alone field trip. By including pre- and post-trip elements, the teacher becomes involved in the instruction of the field trip concepts, and students are more likely to make connections to other topics in the curriculum.

3. Familiarize Students with the Field Trip Site and Trip Expectations

The relative novelty or familiarity of the field trip setting affects learning. Settings that are too novel cause fear and nervousness; settings that are too familiar cause boredom, fatigue, and diversionary activities (Falk and Balling, 1980). Students learn best in a moderately novel field trip setting. It's best to familiarize them first by showing slides or a video of the field trip site and locating the field trip area and route on a map. Educators can also provide students with an itinerary of activities and details regarding the type of work they will be expected to do at each learning station, possible weather conditions, safety hazards and precautions, location of restrooms, and lunch or snacks (Figure 2).

Figure 2. 

Water quality testing equipment can be introduced before the trip to make more efficient use of time in the field.

Staff at the field trip site can provide teachers with pre-trip materials, maps, and resources that can help teachers prepare students for the field experience. In addition to suggesting content-based activities that would introduce topics, vocabulary, and concepts (see section 2), staff might provide a map of the route the bus could take and a map of the facility's trails that will orient students to the site. Teachers may be able to provide a slide show of last year's field trip, or readings from those students' reports. A letter to parents is another strategy to prepare youth for the upcoming field trip. It alerts parents to the event and encourages them to make sure students have appropriate clothing and necessary equipment. If the bus route passes an area of interest, such as a river, a former wildfire site, or a wetland, teachers may be able to point out these landmarks as students make observations.

4. Design the Field Trip as a Learning Experience Based on Educational Theory

The main instructional strategy of the field trip should be hands-on experience, focusing on activities that cannot be conducted in the classroom or laboratory (Orion, 1993). Rather than passively absorbing information through guided tours or participating in simulations, students should be actively constructing knowledge through their interactions with the environment. This strategy relies on a process-oriented rather than a content-oriented approach, incorporating activities such as observing, identifying, measuring, and comparing. Instructors should build in opportunities for structured exploration, such as scavenger hunts or sensory awareness activities. Further, the actual site of the field trip should be conducive to learning. Terrain that is too difficult, learning stations that are separated by great distances, extreme weather conditions, and constant pestering by mosquitoes make learning difficult.

The "stop and talk" approach many naturalists use is not sufficiently engaging for young learners. Consider asking students to find examples of insect feeding, three different shades of green, or animal homes. Readily available activities from Project Learning Tree, Project WET, and Project WILD offer ideas for outdoor games and exercises that bring concepts like camouflage, watershed, and population growth to life (Figure 3 ).

Figure 3. 

Youth at this Environmental Education Center play a game to reinforce the concept of energy flow.

5. Provide Students with Multiple Exposures to and Experience in Natural Settings

Some students, often those from urban backgrounds, arrive at the park or natural area with negative preconceptions and fears that interfere with the effectiveness of the field trip program (Bixler, Carlisle, Hammitt, and Floyd, 1994). These students need repeated positive exposures to natural settings to lower the novelty of these settings and help them “unlearn” misconceptions. Direct experiences can be planned to counter perceived threats, such as encountering dirt and germs, getting lost, and being attacked by venomous snakes or ravenous wolves. When possible, field trips should be provided to young children (as young as preschool and kindergarten) to prevent their developing these fears in the first place. With enough exposure and support, these students may be able to introduce their families to positive encounters with nature.

With the rising cost of bus transportation for field trips, it can be difficult for teachers to make multiple trips to natural settings. It may be wise to help teachers develop natural areas on their school sites. Also called "outdoor classrooms" and "land labs," these nearby locations can give teachers a place to conduct a variety of environmental activities. Similarly, a city park or cemetery can also provide areas to explore insects, plants, soil, and trees. The more comfortable youth become with these familiar, nearby locations, the better they will be able to appreciate more wild environments.

Figure 4. 

What better way to explore aquatic organisms than to wade in after them?

Summary

Field trips can be a valuable method of instruction, providing students with important cognitive and affective benefits. To help ensure that students actually gain these potential benefits, instructors must consider the factors that influence the educational effectiveness of field trips. They must integrate the field trip into the curriculum and align it with national and state education standards using pre- and post-visit activities; familiarize students with the field trip site and trip expectations; base the field trip on solid educational theory; and provide students with multiple experiences in natural settings. Extension agents, club leaders, agency staff, and classroom teachers aware of the importance of these factors can collectively plan and implement field trips that achieve optimal cognitive and effect results, as well as provide youth with the opportunities to enjoy and explore an outdoor environment.

References

Bitgood, S. (1989). School field trips: An overview. Visitor Behavior, 4(2), 3-6.

Bixler, R., C. Carlisle, W. Hammitt, and M. Floyd. (1994). Observed fears and discomfort among urban students on field trips to wildland areas. The Journal of Environmental Education, 26(1), 24-33.

Falk, J. and J. Balling. (1980). The school field trip: Where you go makes a difference. Science and Children, 6-8.

Ferry, B. (1995). Enhancing environmental experiences through effective partnerships among teacher educators, field study centers, and schools. The Journal of Experiential Education, 18(3), 133-137.

Kern, E. and J. Carpenter. (1984). Enhancement of student values, interests, and attitudes in earth science through a field-oriented approach. Journal of Geological Education, 32, 299-305.

Knapp, D. (2000). Memorable experiences of a science field trip. School Science and Mathematics, 11(2), 65-71.

Mackenzie, A. and R. White. (April 1981). Fieldwork in geography and long-term memory structures. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Los Angeles, CA.

Orion, N. (1993). A model for the development and implementation of field trips as an integral part of the science curriculum. School Science and Mathematics, 93(6), 325-331.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FOR105, one of a series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date July 2002. Revised October 2008. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Julie Ernst, Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota-Duluth; and Martha C. Monroe, Professor, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension service.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim Dean.

Ponderosa Reflections 5/24/2010

My reflection this week is on research papers in elementary
I think that having the students do research papers in elementary school is a fantastic way for students to have the chance to discover the world around them in a way that works for them.  To be able to ask their questions they want answered and be able to go and find the answers for themselves is a great thing in my opinion.  I remember doing research papers in elementary school and I remember thinking that it was so cool to be able to do something like that.  Also this is a great time to teach about two very different subjects: researching in books and researching online.  This is also a great way to incorporate technology into the classroom.  This is also something that all schools can do wither they are a wealthy school district or a poorer school district.  They are just going to be using different materials to do their research. 

Article #1 Action Research

a program of The
Education Alliance
THEMES IN EDUCATION
ACTION
RESEARCH
Northeast and Islands Regional Educational
Laboratory At Brown University
by Eileen Ferrance
ACTION
RESEARCH
Northeast and Islands Regional Educational
Laboratory At Brown University
by Eileen Ferrance
The LAB, a program of The Education Alliance at Brown
University, is one of ten educational laboratories funded by
the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational
Research and Improvement. Our goals are to improve
teaching and learning, advance school improvement, build
capacity for reform, and develop strategic alliances with
key members of the region’s education and policy making
community.
The LAB develops educational products and services for
school administrators, policymakers, teachers, and parents
in New England, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin
Islands. Central to our efforts is a commitment to equity
and excellence.
Information about LAB programs and services is available
by contacting:
LAB at Brown University
The Education Alliance
222 Richmond Street, Suite 300
Providence, RI 02903-4226
Phone: (800) 521-9550
E-mail: info@lab.brown.edu
Web: www.lab.brown.edu
Fax: (401) 421-7650
Copyright © 2000 Brown University.
All rights reserved.

This publication is based on work supported by the Office of
Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), Department of
Education, under Contract Number RJ96006401. Any opinions,
findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this
material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the
views of OERI, the U.S. Department of Education, or any other
agency of the U.S. Government.

About This Series
This is another edition in a series of “Themes in Education”
booklets produced by the Northeast and Islands Regional
Educational Laboratory at Brown University. The topics
addressed by these booklets are generated in response to
requests for information from practitioners, parents, and
other members of the public. Each booklet aims to present
a balanced view of its topic and a glimpse of how the
approach works in schools. Some discussions may lend
themselves to a state-by-state summary; others are
illustrated by a series of vignettes that demonstrate the
central concepts. For topics that are more global in nature,
the booklet will cite a few illustrations within the region
or nationally.
The goal of this series is to provide resources containing
useful information on education-related topics of interest.
Connections to other relevant resources, selected current
references, and ways to obtain more information are
provided in each booklet.

INTRODUCTION
Action research is one of those terms that we hear quite
often in today’s educational circles. But just what does it
mean? If you ask three people to define action research,
you may find yourself with three different responses.
Typically, action research is undertaken in a school setting.
It is a reflective process that allows for inquiry and discussion
as components of the “research.” Often, action
research is a collaborative activity among colleagues
searching for solutions to everyday, real problems experienced
in schools, or looking for ways to improve instruction
and increase student achievement. Rather than dealing
with the theoretical, action research allows practitioners to
address those concerns that are closest to them, ones over
which they can exhibit some influence and make change.
Practitioners are responsible for making more and more
decisions in the operations of schools, and they are being
held publicly accountable for student achievement results.
The process of action research assists educators in assessing
needs, documenting the steps of inquiry, analyzing data,
and making informed decisions that can lead to desired
outcomes.
This booklet discusses several types of action research,
its history, and a process that may be used to engage
educators in action research. Two stories from the field,
written by teachers about their own reflections on the
process, are given as illustrations of action research.
Action Research
1
What is Action Research?
Action research is a process in which participants examine
their own educational practice systematically and carefully,
using the techniques of research. It is based on the
following assumptions:
• Teachers and principals work best on problems
they have identified for themselves
• Teachers and principals become more effective
when encouraged to examine and assess their
own work and then consider ways of working
differently
• Teachers and principals help each other by
working collaboratively
• Working with colleagues helps teachers and
principals in their professional development
Although there are many types of research that may
be undertaken, action research specifically refers to a
disciplined inquiry done by a teacher with the intent that
the research will inform and change his or her practices in
the future. This research is carried out within the context
of the teacher’s environment—that is, with the students
and at the school in which the teacher works—on
questions that deal with educational matters at hand.
While people who call for greater professionalization say
(Watts, 1985, p. 118)
THEMES IN EDUCATION
2
that teachers should be constantly researching and
educating themselves about their area of expertise, this is
different from the study of more educational questions
that arise from the practice of teaching.
Implicit in the term action research is the idea that
teachers will begin a cycle of posing questions, gathering
data, reflection, and deciding on a course of action. When
these decisions begin to change the school environment,
a different set of circumstances appears with different
problems posed, which require a new look. Indeed, many
action research projects are started with a particular
problem to solve, whose solution leads into other areas
of study. While a teacher may work alone on these studies,
it is also common for a number of teachers to collaborate
on a problem, as well as enlist support and guidance from
administrators, university scholars, and others. At times,
whole schools may decide to tackle a school-wide study
to address a common issue, or join with others to look at
district-wide issues.
What is Not Action Research?
Action research is not what usually comes to mind when
we hear the word “research.” Action research is not a
library project where we learn more about a topic that
interests us. It is not problem-solving in the sense of trying
to find out what is wrong, but rather a quest for
knowledge about how to improve. Action research is not
about doing research on or about people, or finding all
available information on a topic looking for the correct
Action Research
3
answers. It involves people working to improve their skills,
techniques, and strategies. Action research is not about
learning why we do certain things, but rather how we can
do things better. It is about how we can change our
instruction to impact students.
Types of Action Research
Part of the confusion we find when we hear the term
“action research” is that there are different types of action
research depending upon the participants involved. A plan
of research can involve a single teacher investigating an
issue in his or her classroom, a group of teachers working
on a common problem, or a team of teachers and others
focusing on a school- or district-wide issue.
Individual teacher research usually focuses on a single issue
in the classroom. The teacher may be seeking solutions
to problems of classroom management, instructional
strategies, use of materials, or student learning. Teachers
may have support of their supervisor or principal, an
instructor for a course they are taking, or parents. The
problem is one that the teacher believes is evident in his
or her classroom and one that can be addressed on an
individual basis. The research may then be such that the
teacher collects data or may involve looking at student
participation. One of the drawbacks of individual research
is that it may not be shared with others unless the teacher
chooses to present findings at a faculty meeting, make a
formal presentation at a conference, or submit written
material to a listserv, journal, or newsletter. It is possible
THEMES IN EDUCATION
4
for several teachers to be working concurrently on the
same problem with no knowledge of the work of others.
Collaborative action research may include as few as two
teachers or a group of several teachers and others interested
in addressing a classroom or department issue. This issue
may involve one classroom or a common problem shared
by many classrooms. These teachers may be supported by
individuals outside of the school, such as a university or
community partner. The LAB at Brown has just such a
relationship with several teams.
School-wide research focuses on issues common to all. For
example, a school may have a concern about the lack of
parental involvement in activities, and is looking for a way
to reach more parents to involve them in meaningful ways.
Or, the school may be looking to address its organizational
and decision-making structures. Teams of staff from the
school work together to narrow the question, gather and
analyze the data, and decide on a plan of action. An
example of action research for a school could be to
examine their state test scores to identify areas that need
improvement, and then determine a plan of action to
improve student performance. Team work and individual
contributions to the whole are very important, and it may
be that problem points arise as the team strives to develop
a process and make commitments to each other. When
these obstacles are overcome, there will be a sense of
ownership and accomplishment in the results that come
from this school-wide effort.
Action Research
5
District-wide research is far more complex and utilizes
more resources, but the rewards can be great. Issues can
be organizational, community-based, performance-based,
or processes for decision-making. A district may choose
to address a problem common to several schools or one
of organizational management. Downsides are the
documentation requirements (communication) to keep
everyone in the loop, and the ability to keep the process
in motion. Collecting data from all participants needs a
commitment from staff to do their fair share and to meet
agreed-upon deadlines for assignments. On the positive
side, real school reform and change can take hold based
on a common understanding through inquiry. The
involvement of multiple constituent groups can lend
energy to the process and create an environment of
genuine stakeholders.
THEMES IN EDUCATION
6
Figure 1. Types of action research
Focus
Possible
support
needed
Potential
impact
Side
effects
Individual
teacher
research
Collaborative
action
research
School-wide
action
research
District-wide
action
research
Single classroom
issue
Coach/mentor
Access to
technology
Assistance with
data organization
and analysis
Curriculum
Instruction
Assessment
Practice informed
by data
Information not
always shared
Single classroom
or several
classrooms with
common issue
Substitute
teachers
Release time
Close link with
administrators
Curriculum
Instruction
Assessment
Policy
Improved
collegiality
Formation of
partnerships
School issue,
problem, or area
of collective
interest
School
commitment
Leadership
Communication
External partners
Potential to
impact school
restructuring
and change
Policy
Parent
involvement
Evaluation
of programs
Improved
collegiality,
collaboration,
and
communication
Team building
Disagreements
on process
District issue
Organizational
structures
District
commitment
Facilitator
Recorder
Communication
External partners
Allocation
of resources
Professional
development
activities
Organizational
structures
Policy
Improved
collegiality,
collaboration,
and
communication
Team building
Disagreements
on process
Shared vision
Action Research
7
A Brief History of Action Research
The idea of using research in a “natural” setting to change
the way that the researcher interacts with that setting can
be traced back to Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist and
educator whose work on action research was developed
throughout the 1940s in the United States. “Lewin is
credited with coining the term ‘action research’ to describe
work that did not separate the investigation from the
action needed to solve the problem” (McFarland &
Stansell, 1993, p. 14). Topics chosen for his study related
directly to the context of the issue. His process was
cyclical, involving a “non-linear pattern of planning,
acting, observing, and reflecting on the changes in the
social situations” (Noffke & Stevenson, 1995, p. 2).
Stephen Corey at Teachers College at Columbia University
was among the first to use action research in the field of
education. He believed that the scientific method in
education would bring about change because educators
would be involved in both the research and the application
of information. Corey summed up much of the thought
behind this fledgling branch of inquiry.
We are convinced that the disposition to
study…the consequences of our own teaching is
more likely to change and improve our practices
than is reading about what someone else has
discovered of his teaching.
(Corey, 1953, p. 70)
THEMES IN EDUCATION
8
Corey believed that the value of action research is in the
change that occurs in everyday practice rather than the
generalization to a broader audience. He saw the need for
teachers and researchers to work together. However, in the
mid 1950s, action research was attacked as unscientific,
little more than common sense, and the work of amateurs
(McFarland & Stansell, 1993, p. 15). Interest in action research
waned over the next few years as experiments with
research designs and quantitative data collection became
the norm.
By the 1970s we saw again the emergence of action research.
Education practitioners questioned the applicability of
scientific research designs and methodologies as a means
to solve education issues. The results of many of these
federally funded projects were seen as theoretical, not
grounded in practice.
The practice of action research is again visible and seen
to hold great value. Over time, the definition has taken
on many meanings. It is now often seen as a tool for
professional development, bringing a greater focus on
the teacher than before (Noffke & Stevenson, 1995). It
is increasingly becoming a tool for school reform, as its
very individual focus allows for a new engagement in
educational change.
Action research emphasizes the involvement of
teachers in problems in their own classrooms and
has as its primary goal the in-service training
and development of the teacher rather than the
acquisition of general knowledge in the field of
education.
(Borg, 1965, p. 313)
Action Research
9
Steps in Action Research
Within all the definitions of action research, there are four
basic themes: empowerment of participants, collaboration
through participation, acquisition of knowledge, and
social change. In conducting action research, we structure
routines for continuous confrontation with data on the
health of a school community. These routines are loosely
guided by movement through five phases of inquiry:
Figure 2. Action Research Cycle
1. Identification of problem area
2. Collection and organization
of data
3. Interpretation of data
4. Action based on data
5. Reflection
IDENTIFY
THE PROBLEM
GATHER
DATA
INTERPRET
DATA
NEXT
STEPS
EVALUATE
RESULTS
ACT ON
EVIDENCE
THEMES IN EDUCATION
10
 IDENTIFY A PROBLEM AREA
Teachers often have several questions they wish to
investigate; however, it is important to limit the
question to one that is meaningful and doable in the
confines of their daily work. Careful planning at this
first stage will limit false starts and frustrations. There
are several criteria to consider before investing the time
and effort in “researching” a problem. The question
should
An important guideline in choosing a question is to ask
if it is something over which the teacher has influence.
Is it something of interest and worth the time and
effort that will be spent? Sometimes there is a discrete
problem that is readily identifiable. Or, the problem to
be studied may come from a feeling of discomfort or
tension in the classroom. For example, a teacher may
be using the latest fashionable teaching strategy, yet not
really knowing or understanding what or how kids are
learning.
• be a higher-order question—not a yes/no
• be stated in common language, avoiding jargon
• be concise
• be meaningful
• not already have an answer
Action Research
11
 GATHER DATA
The collection of data is an important step in deciding
what action needs to be taken. Multiple sources of data
are used to better understand the scope of happenings
in the classroom or school. There are many vehicles for
collection of data:
Select the data that are most appropriate for the issue
being researched. Are the data easy to collect? Are there
sources readily available for use? How structured and
systematic will the collection be? Use at least three
sources (triangulation) of data for the basis of actions.
Organize the data in a way that makes it useful to
identify trends and themes. Data can be arranged by
gender, classroom, grade level, school, etc.
journals
individual files
logs of meetings
videotapes
case studies
surveys
records – tests, report cards,
attendance
self-assessment
samples of student work,
projects, performances
interviews
portfolios
diaries
field notes
audio tapes
photos
memos
questionnaires
focus groups
anecdotal records
checklists
THEMES IN EDUCATION
12
 INTERPRET DATA
Analyze and identify major themes. Depending upon
the question, teachers may wish to use classroom data,
individual data, or subgroup data. Some of the data are
quantifiable and can be analyzed without the use of
statistics or technical assistance. Other data, such as
opinions, attitudes, or checklists, may be summarized
in table form. Data that are not quantifiable can be
reviewed holistically and important elements or themes
can be noted.
 ACT ON EVIDENCE
Using the information from the data collection and
review of current literature, design a plan of action
that will allow you to make a change and to study
that change. It is important that only one variable be
altered. As with any experiment, if several changes are
made at once, it will be difficult to determine which
action is responsible for the outcome. While the new
technique is being implemented, continue to document
and collect data on performance.
 EVALUATE RESULTS
Assess the effects of the intervention to determine if
improvement has occurred. If there is improvement,
do the data clearly provide the supporting evidence?
If no, what changes can be made to the actions to
elicit better results?
Action Research
13
 NEXT STEPS
As a result of the action research project, identify
additional questions raised by the data and plan for
additional improvements, revisions, and next steps.
Benefits of Action Research
Action research can be a worthwhile pursuit for educators
for a number of reasons. Foremost among these is simply
the desire to know more. Good teachers are, after all,
themselves students, and often look for ways to expand
upon their existing knowledge.
Focus on school issue, problem,
or area of collective interest
Research done with the teacher’s students, in a setting with
which the teacher is familiar, helps to confer relevance and
validity to a disciplined study. Often, academic research is
seen as disconnected from the daily lives of educators.
While this might not always be true, it can be very helpful
for teachers to pick up threads suggested in academic
circles, and weave them in to their own classroom. It is
also comforting for parents, or education administrators
outside of the school, to know that a teacher is not just
blindly following what the latest study seems to suggest,
but is transforming the knowledge into something
meaningful.
THEMES IN EDUCATION
14
Form of teacher professional development
Research and reflection allow teachers to grow and gain
confidence in their work. Action research projects
influence thinking skills, sense of efficacy, willingness to
share and communicate, and attitudes toward the process
of change. Through action research, teachers learn about
themselves, their students, their colleagues, and can
determine ways to continually improve.
Collegial interactions
Isolation is one of the downsides of teaching. Teachers are
often the sole adult in a room of children, and have little
or no time scheduled for professional conversations with
others. Action research in pairs or by teams of teachers
allows time to talk with others about teaching and
teaching strategies. By working on these teams, teachers
must describe their own teaching styles and strategies and
share their thoughts with others. As a team they examine
various instructional strategies, learning activities, and
curricular materials used in the classroom. Through these
discussions with colleagues they develop stronger
relationships. As the practice of action research becomes
part of the school culture, we see increased sharing and
collaboration across departments, disciplines, grade levels,
and schools.
Action Research
15
Potential to impact school change
As teachers get into action research, they are more apt to
look at questions that address school and district concerns
rather than questions that affect the individual teacher.
This process creates new patterns of collegiality,
communication, and sharing. Contributions to the body
of knowledge about teaching and learning may also result.
Development of priorities for school-wide planning and
assessment efforts arise from inquiry with potential to
motivate change for improvement’s sake.
Reflect on own practice
Opportunities for teachers to evaluate themselves in
schools are often few, and usually happen only in an
informal manner. Action research can serve as a chance
to really take a look at one’s own teaching in a structured
manner. While the focus of action research is usually the
students, educators can also investigate what effect their
teaching is having on their students, how they could work
better with other teachers, or ways of changing the whole
school for the better. Conversations can take on a different
focus from attempting to “fix” to arriving at understanding.
Improved communications
Team work within the school or district brings individuals
together for a shared purpose. Educators involved in
action research become more flexible in their thinking and
more open to new ideas (Pine, 1981). Studies by Little
(1981) suggest positive changes in patterns of collegiality,
communication, and networking.
THEMES IN EDUCATION
16
Stories from the Field
Rebecca Wisniewski
Charlotte M. Murkland School
Lowell, Massachusetts
When I sat down to write about my experience with
action research, I began by looking over my team’s
final report, my meeting notes, and my e-mails to our consultant
from the LAB at Brown. I am glad I did. Doing
action research can be a little like labor. You forget what it
was really like. The notes and e-mails reminded me of the
messiness of our meetings and our struggle to pare down
the project into something manageable.
I am the Title I Resource Teacher for the Charlotte M.
Murkland School in Lowell, Massachusetts. Our school is
in the inner city and has about 530 students in pre-school
to fourth grade. The Murkland has a Khmer bilingual
strand and over 60% of our students are from homes in
which English is not spoken. Our poverty rate is one of
the highest in the city, at about 89%-92%, depending on
the month. The Murkland is a new building with an
experienced, stable staff that formed when the school was
built six years ago. Although our school offers us many
challenges, on most days, most of us are glad to be at the
Murkland.
“Do you like research?” asked my Title I facilitator, Eileen
Skovholt. “Yes,” I said, “I loved research in college.” With
those words I was on my way to becoming a teacher–
Action Research
17
researcher. That conversation led to a multidisciplinary
team, made up of our vice principal, the city-wide Title I
facilitator, an ESL teacher, a bilingual teacher, a special
education teacher, and myself, being asked to attend the
LAB Institute on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity:
Problem Solving through Action Research, held at Brown
University.
At the conference, our group was taken with the idea that
we could actually begin to conduct inquiries into our own
teaching. We have so often felt pulled in one direction or
another by the swing of the educational pendulum. By
doing our own action research we could gain a better
perspective into our own teaching and the students’
learning. The changes that we would make in our teaching
would come out of our own work. Perhaps most importantly,
we would be working as a community of learners.
During the conference, we began to talk about a group
of bilingual Cambodian students in our third and fourth
grades who were non-readers. Most of them were new to
our school. They would, of course, be referred to special
education for testing. The truth is, we see students such as
these just about every year. At this age, time is short and
the testing process is time-consuming. Even when the
testing is completed, we still need to develop a program
for them. Action research would provide us the opportunity
to try different strategies and see which ones
actually brought about significant change for our students.
After visiting Brown, we were invited to write the grant
that led to this project. Several of us had never worked
together before. The discussion that occurred as we were
writing the grant generated many ideas. As we wrote the
THEMES IN EDUCATION
18
grant, there was a sense of common goals and a feeling
that what we were about to do was important to our
school and to our own personal growth.
Our Approach
Our research question became, “What can we provide for
effective reading instruction for third- and fourth-grade
English language learners who are limited readers or nonreaders?”
We began the literature research project by gathering
articles that we felt would be of interest. We each read the
articles and set aside a day to report our findings back to
the group.
We also collected as much information as possible on our
target students. We looked at their past records and at
their current programs.
Then we had to determine where we would go from here.
This was the most difficult time for our team. Up to this
point we seemed to have moved along with only a few
problems. Now, our meetings seemed to go in circles.
We became very frustrated with our lack of progress.
Our impatience caused discord among the members
of the team. We were able to move past this point by
allowing each member to choose a different strategy to
research. We chose among strategies that we had either
discussed or read about, and then worked with a targeted
group of students. Each teacher collected data and then
looked to see how her own practice might be improved.
In retrospect, this was a good decision. Looking at your
own teaching is real professional development.
Action Research
19
Working With the Students
My part in the project was to work each morning with two
of our target fourth-grade students. They would sit with
me at the computer and we would write a few sentences
about what they were doing in school. This became a
newspaper that was sent home to parents. Students had to
read what they wrote to their parents and the parents had
to sign the newspaper and return it to school. In later
editions, we began to have students ask the parents for
feedback.
As students sat with me and we talked, I was able to help
them build and write sentences in English. The process
was easy and non-threatening. We also talked about
vocabulary and what concepts they were learning in their
other content areas. We wrote articles to inform their
parents about this. The concept of how to use a pulley is
the same in any language.
Findings
What makes action research so powerful? As a team, we
interviewed our students and asked for their views on
which of our strategies helped them to become stronger
readers. It is powerful to listen to students. Even as
seasoned teachers, we can make wrong assumptions about
how a child is learning. A staff member from the LAB at
Brown helped us to do a linguistic analysis of the students’
comments. For me, this was the most interesting piece. We
looked at all the student comments and then charted their
responses. For example, we counted how many times they
talked about needing to obtain support from a KhmerTHEMES
IN EDUCATION
20
speaking teacher. What they said made perfect sense. They
needed the most support when their English skills were
less developed. This need lessened as they became better
English speakers. For us, this supported our own feelings
that a few words in Khmer at the right time can make a
big difference in their learning. For my own research piece,
it was good to learn that most of the parents liked and
enjoyed reading the newspaper. By the end of the project,
parents began to request articles.
Helping Parents To Be Involved
With Their Child’s Learning
The newspaper was a wonderful way to communicate
with our parents about what their children were learning.
By having the students write the articles, they were
reinforcing their own learning and they were practicing
English. Therefore, the student newspaper was a viable
idea to teach English sentence structure, reinforce
vocabulary, reinforce content skills and information,
and communicate with parents.
The one common finding from everyone’s research was
that students needed to have their lessons supported in
Khmer. As they are learning English, they need to be able
to go back to their first language to have their learning
verified.
Action research allows us the opportunity to shape and
refine our own teaching and to build on our own
successes.
Action Research
21
In a climate that is at best stressful, action research allows a
teacher to focus her energy in a positive way. So many of
the issues in education today are out of our hands. As
education continues through the reform process, teachers
must have a say in how they change their own practices. I
found that action research was a process that helped me to
put some of my assumptions to the test. I made
unexpected discoveries about my own teaching by
listening carefully to students. Action research changes the
conversations that take place in a school. This has an
incredible effect on the school climate for staff and
children.
Need For Professional Educational Researchers
When doing action research it is vital to have the input
of professional researchers. They can bring a perspective
and experience to the work that is invaluable. Their
presence in the project helps to legitimize that work.
With their involvement there is an increased chance that
the work will play a role in school or district priorities.
Our consultants aided us by helping us to refine our
question, establish an action plan and timetable, and
reflect on our data to find trends or patterns. Our consultants
were able to give us that third-party perspective
and reassure us that our work and pace were on target.
THEMES IN EDUCATION
22
Julie Nora
Roger Williams Middle School *
Providence, Rhode Island
Before being sent to an action research conference by
my department head more than a year ago, I hadn’t
given much thought to what educational research could
teach me about my own busy classroom. Researchers, it
seemed, imagined a reality quite different from my own.
Rubrics, flow charts, and scaffolding offered me little in
the way of keeping my students engaged or of personally
gauging how many of my lessons led to serious learning.
My attitude changed when I joined several colleagues at
an action research conference in November 1997. As a tool
to help teachers ask questions about their everyday work,
action research promised something a little different: a
chance to study my own practices and the proficiencies of
my students with an eye toward what worked and what
didn’t. My goals were to assess the current level of performance
in my classroom, to experiment with new ways
of doing things, to measure the results, and to begin
again as necessary.
I teach ESL at the Roger Williams Middle School in
Providence, Rhode Island. This state now requires most
* At the time this reflection was written, Julie Nora taught at the
Roger Williams Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island. She
is now a program planning specialist at The Education Alliance
Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown
University (LAB). A version of this reflection first appeared in the
LAB’s online periodical, Voices from the Field.
Action Research
23
fourth-, eighth- and tenth-graders to take part in a
standards-based assessment tool created by the National
Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE). The test
is administered entirely in English and norm-referenced on
monolingual English language users. Because of this, and
because the state has mandated a 3-5% increase in each
school’s level of performance, my concern is on what the
consequences of this new assessment will be on non-native
speakers of English. As a teacher of these students, what
matters most to me can be summed up in the simple
question that forms the basis of my classroom inquiry:
Does the explicit teaching of the NCEE standards enhance
ESL student performance?
One of the basic principles of action research is that
researchers need each other’s ideas for stimulation and
depend on other people’s perspectives to enrich their own.
For this reason, I elected to become part of an action
research team that would apply for and receive technical
assistance from an outside consultant. The group was
initially comprised of all of the teachers from our district’s
bilingual department who had participated in the conference;
but it wasn’t long before our 12-person team
dwindled down to just two, myself and an elementary
school ESL teacher. Many of the members had joined
more out of a sense of obligation to our director than
out of a desire to participate at that particular time, while
others faced personal obstacles that interfered with their
ability to take part. Only the two final members were
involved with writing the proposal for assistance. In hindsight
we saw that these factors crippled our efforts to build
a larger team that could reap the greatest benefits of
research collaboration.
THEMES IN EDUCATION
24
Still, our two-woman group continued to meet once
per quarter to engage in dialogue about our individual
questions. The contact I had with my colleague was a
100% increase from the previous year and allowed me to
share triumphs and concerns in a productive environment.
Knowing that I would be presenting my findings to
someone else also helped me to organize my thoughts and
my data. Though my usual way of teaching was indeed
student-centered, I came to see that it wasn’t building in
a circular way as I had thought it was. The increased
dialogue between us contributed to the development of
our knowledge about teaching and learning.
Over time, I came to see that action research demands the
skills of two types of professionals: teachers who work in
the trenches every day, and educational researchers who
can help us to assess our teaching in a way that gives us
meaningful information. Teaching is, after all, quite
subjective. Our consultant helped us in the initial stages
to become aware of the need to conduct consistent data
collection. He also helped me to think more about the
instruments of assessment I choose so that I am clearly
witnessing the results of student change and not of
differing conditions.
As a result, I became more consistent in the creation of
tasks and the assessment of student work. For example,
in a weekly computer lab each student read from a book
called The House On Mango Street for a fixed period of
time, summarized some aspect of what he or she had read,
and related it to his or her personal life. The task addressed
two NCEE standards, reading and writing. I documented
student progress quantitatively and qualitatively on each
Action Research
25
element of these tasks. That is, I counted and recorded the
number of pages read during the 10-minute period and
the number of words written during the remaining 40
minutes. Qualitatively speaking, I was able to document
students’ abilities to summarize, relate the reading to their
personal lives, and express their ideas in writing. I also
began to document student errors in grammar, punctuation,
and spelling and to use student work as the basis of
explicit instruction of common areas of weakness.
In the course of the past year, the students in this class
have improved dramatically, as action research has allowed
me to address their needs and to document their progress.
This has felt especially significant in the current atmosphere
of accountability. When testing time comes, I
certainly hope that my students will be deemed “at
standard”; but if they are not, I will know more about
their progress than the simple fact that they have failed.
I will know what they still need to reach the next level and
how I can best help them to get there. Action research has
allowed me to see the bigger picture in my work.
THEMES IN EDUCATION
26
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is action research?
A. Action research is deliberate, solution-oriented investigation
that is group or personally owned and
conducted. It is characterized by spiraling cycles of
problem identification, systematic data collection,
reflection, analysis, data-driven action taken, and,
finally, problem redefinition. The linking of the
terms “action” and “research” highlights the essential
features of this method: trying out ideas in practice as
a means of increasing knowledge about or improving
curriculum, teaching, and learning (Kemmis &
McTaggart, 1988).
Q. What is the purpose of action research?
A. Action research is used for various purposes: schoolbased
curriculum development, professional development,
systems planning, school restructuring, and
as an evaluative tool.
Q. How can teachers become researchers?
A. A teacher can decide to tackle a problem alone or
join with others to learn more how children learn.
They can meet after school or during common time
to discuss the nature of a problem and decide on a
strategy based on an analysis of data.
Q. How do I learn more about action research?
A. Many local colleges and university offer coursework
Action Research
27
on action research. Some private organizations offer
workshops on the basic principles of action research
and have networks that are open to interested
educators. Additionally, contact the regional
educational laboratory in your area.
Q. How can I use action research in my classroom?
A. You can use it to chart the effects of implementation
of a curriculum or strategy, to study student learning
and responses, or to profile individual students.
Q. How does action research benefit students in the
classroom?
A. Action research can improve the teaching and learning
process by reinforcing, modifying, or changing
perceptions based on informal data and nonsystematic
observations.
Q. How does action research benefit teachers?
A. Teachers learn what it is that they are able to influence
and they make changes that produce results that show
change. The process provides the opportunity to work
with others and to learn from the sharing of ideas.
Q. Why should schools engage in action research?
A. Reasons for performing action research fall into
three categories: to promote personal and professional
growth, to improve practice to enhance student
learning, and to advance the teaching profession
(Johnson, 1995).
THEMES IN EDUCATION
28
Q. What gains can be made from action research that affect
students?
A. Change is based on data; the student is the subject
and object of inquiry.
Q. Does action research take away from other instructional
time?
A. Time must be made to organize, study, collect data,
analyze data, and for dissemination.
Q. Who will manage action research projects?
A. Projects can be managed by the individual teacher
or a team leader. With school-wide or district-wide
projects, it is not unusual for an outside facilitator to
manage the project.
Action Research
29
Conclusion
This booklet provides information about action research—
its history, the different variations occurring in the field,
and a step-by-step process that may be adapted by educators
or schools to address their need for learning more
about practice and successful interventions. While there
may be different terms to describe the steps in action
research, the basic concept is the same. Educators are
working in their own environment, with their own
students, on problems that affect them directly. They are
at the place where research and practice intersect and real
change can occur. Results of their actions can be seen
first-hand, and they can build on this information.
There are many uses for action research. It is used in
curriculum development, as a strategy for professional
development, as part of pre-service and inservice programs,
and in systems planning for schools and districts.
The active participation of teachers and others is part of
what makes this a viable and useful tool. The investment
of time and energy by the participants provides a sense of
ownership and connection to the process and outcomes.
Activities of action research and the mindset of those
involved in the process become an integral part of the
professional repertoire of many educators. When they see
the value of their work as they progress through the steps
and the reflection time that is used to discuss strategies
and methods, they find that the benefits go far beyond
student achievement. Practitioners develop skills in
analyzing their own teaching methods and begin to
unconsciously utilize the principles of action research
in their professional life.
THEMES IN EDUCATION
30
Action research will not provide all the answers to our
questions about how students learn or what educators can
do to improve practice. But action research happens at the
place where these questions arise; it happens where the real
action is taking place; and it allows for immediate action.
How Do I Get More Information?
For more information about action research or other
publications in this series, contact the Information Center
of the LAB at Brown University at 1-800-521-9550,
(401) 274-9548, or e-mail to info@lab.brown.edu.
Acknowledgments
The LAB at Brown University wishes to acknowledge
Donald Bouchard for reviewing the material for factual
accuracy and for providing helpful suggestions. The LAB
also wishes to acknowledge and thank the Northwest
Regional Educational Laboratory, whose successful By
Request booklets on educational hot topics spurred us to
develop our Themes in Education series.
Action Research
31
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Oja, S.N., & Smulyan, L. (1989). Collaborative action research: A developmental
approach. New York: Falmer Press.
Pine, G.J. (1981). Collaborative action research: The integration of research and
service. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association
of Colleges for Teacher Education, Detroit, MI.
Sagor, R. (1992). How to conduct collaborative action research. Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Watts, H. (1985). When teachers are researchers, teaching improves. Journal of
Staff Development, 6 (2), 118-127.
Action Research
33
Internet Resources
 http://ousd.k12.ca.us/netday/links/Action_Research/
begin_guide_action_research
This site gives a clear outline and summary of the
steps involved in action research. In addition, this site
highlights the benefits of the action research process.
 http://www.phy.nau.edu/~danmac/actionrsch.html
This site gives descriptions and diagrams of action
research cycles. It also describes the function of each
stage in the action research process.
 http://elmo.scu.edu.au/schools/sawd/arr/arr-home.html
This site provides a brief summary of the methodologies
used in action research, a bibliography with a
substantial list of authors and titles, frequently asked
questions, and links to various action research sites.
 http://educ.queensu.ca/~ar/
This site has various informational and personal essays
on action research. It also provides links to other action
research sites.
 http://www.tiac.net/users/dfleming/resource/arwhatis.html
This site describes many different forms of action
research and how each one is unique and useful.
The Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory
a program of The Education Alliance at Brown University
Adeline Becker
Executive Director, The Education Alliance
Phil Zarlengo
Executive Director, The LAB at Brown University
Vincent Ferrandino
Chair, LAB Board of Governors
Marjorie Medd
Vice Chair, LAB Board of Governors
Board Members
J. Duke Albanese
Barbara Bailey
Pamela Berry
Paul Crowley
David Driscoll
Victor Fajardo
Charlotte K. Frank
Edward McElroy
Peter McWalters
Richard Mills
Thong Phamduy
Daria Plummer
Olga Lucia Sallaway
Theodore Sergi
David Sherman
Ruby Simmonds
Jeanette Smith
Jill Tarule
Elizabeth Twomey
David Wolk
The Education Alliance
222 Richmond Street, Suite 300
Providence, RI 02903-4226
Phone: 800.521.9550
Fax: 401.421.7650
Email: info@lab.brown.edu
Web: www.lab.brown.edu
Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory

May 24,2010 (8 hours)

845 am- Arrival
905 am- students start coming in.
910 am- Morning meeting starts
920 am sharing time.  kids share about what they did over the weekend
1000 am- Math starts.  We are working on fractions and using manipulatives.
1045 am-Snack and handwriting
11 am- students in from recess
11:10- Students go to Physical Education
11:30- students go to music
12:00 -go pick up the students
12:05- social studies lesson on Native Americans and the Buffalo
1245-kids go to lunch and recess
100- Kids come back from recess and lunch
115- start of literacy block (read to self)
130- Kids are learning about researching their animal projects
200- I meet with my Book club Girls
300- planners and wrap ups
310-Kids go home

Rich text note

Improving Student Writing Using Technology

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Introduction

Over the last five years, great strides have been made in finding ways to integrate technology into all parts of the academic curriculum. There are multiple opportunities for improving student writing through the use of technology. While some criticize technology for spell- and grammar-checkers that lessen students' reliance on their own capabilities, research shows that students who use word processing programs to develop writing skills are able to write better compositions (Kulik). The tools available to teachers to develop and improve writing skills abound, through word processing programs and the Internet.

Application in classrooms and similar settings

Technology provides boundless opportunties for teachers to improve writing instruction. Teachers can model writing through the use of a computer connected to an LCD projector. Students can view and learn from the writing process as it is projected. Students can see the writing processes from drafting, to expanding, to editing and revising. Students can use Kidspiration or Inspiration software to brainstorm ideas and create story maps. As a proofreading strategy, students can listen to their writing read back to them by text-to-speech software. Students can peer edit through e-mail, and learn outlining techniques using Powerpoint (Austin). Online journals can be created using blogging, and students can comment on eachother's work. There are numerous websites available for publishing student work.

Readability Statistics. Microsoft Word is equipped with this handy little tool. The tool will count your words, characters, sentences, words per sentence, among other things. Within Readability Statistics, you can find the Flesch-Kincaid grade level, which is a rough calculation that tells the equivalent grade level of the reader to read the particular selection. The readability statistics occur at the end of a spell check. You may have to change your settings to find them (Tools, Options, Spelling and Grammar, Show Readability Statistics). This tool can be used as a motivator for students to improve their writing, by expanding vocabulary, and writing more complex sentences.

Spell Check and Grammar Check. These tools are found on most word processing software. They are certainly not "foolproof," but they can help point students in the right direction in their composition. Critics say that spell check and grammar check cannot replace the "complexity of the human mind," which is no surprise.

Thesis Builder and Online Outline Builder. This website, found at http://www.ozline.com/electraguide/thesis.html, is a great tool for students to organize their thoughts with the purpose of creating a persuasive essay.

Citation Machine. Here is an Internet resource that can build citations in either MLA or APA style for a variety of resources, including books, magazines, websites and many more. Find it at http://citationmachine.net. (Site verified March 25, 2006).

EndNote. While this is not free software, as is citation machine, it is a wonderful way to teach students to store their resources. There are also fields which allow students to write a paragraph summary, for ease of an annotated bibliography. Students can choose from a variety of output styles, including APA, MLA, and many, many others. Students are able to create a different library for each paper or research project, and can easily insert both in-text citation and create bibliography in Word automatically. While it is not free, it is well worth the price!

Paragraph Punch and Essay Punch. Two great websites to help students organized their thoughts on a specific topic. Paragraph Punch can be found at http://www.paragraphpunch.com/. This site helps students write a topic sentence and develop an idea into a well-written paragraph. Essay Punch (http://www.essaypunch.com/) guides students through the procedure of writing an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.

Writing Fix is an incredible site sponsored by the Northern Nevada Writing Project and the National Writing Project. Visit it at http://www.writingfix.com/. Whether you're a writer or a teacher of writing, you will discover not only "Logical and Structured Writing Ideas," but also "Recklessly Creative Writing Ideas." This site does a great job with interactive writing prompts as well as an Interactive Instant Plot, where writers can "get a setting, character, and conflict that inspires a story . . ."

Read, Write and Think, sponsored by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English provides a multitude of lesson plans and ideas for teaching writing at all grade levels. Visit it at http://www.readwritethink.org/student_mat/index.asp.

Writing Bugs. This is a wonderful website for primary teachers to find writing ideas for writers just getting started. Printable pages on a variety of topics are included at this website: http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/archives/writing_bugs.shtml.

Read Please. Read Please is award-winning text-to-speech software made for Windows. The free version comes with a couple voices to choose from and will read anything you can copy and paste into it. It's a great way to motivate your students to proofread what they've written.

Turnitin Write Cycle, not only is an online service that automatically checks for plagiarism, thus eliminating the ease of copy/paste, but also allows the online collaboration of peer feedback which can be used to improve a student's writing ability. Although the program is not free, you can find out additional information about the program's function, research, and pricing here.

Evidence of effectiveness

From an efficiency standpoint, it would be hard to argue the ease with which students can draft, edit, and finalize a written report using a simple word processing program compared to the pencil and paper methods of the past. If equipped with basic keyboarding skills, students can easily type an assignment and revise endlessly, continuing to improve the finished product. With good and reasonable use of spelling and grammar checking software, students receive immediate feedback on those aspects of their work. Admittedly, they cannot rely completely on these tools, but must have a fairly good basis in spelling, grammar, and punctuation to effectively make use of these tools. Further, they can utilize readability statistics to place their writing at a particular grade level, and explore the statistics related to the assignment, such as number of words, sentences, etc.

Within a creative writing assignment, those students and other writers who experience "writers' block" can find online a variety of story starters, ideas and much more to start the flow of creative expression. Thanks to the sharing component of the Internet, teachers of writing can capitalize on the experiences of other teachers, sharing lesson plans and ideas for improving their students' writing capabilities.

Critics and their rationale

The effect of spell check on writing was analyzed in a study at the University of Pittsburgh. It was found that, among the graduate students surveyed, too heavy a reliance was placed on spell-checking software, and some of those surveyed made changes to text that were already correct. Richard Stern, of Carnegie Mellon University said that "grammar and spelling software will never reach the complexity of the human mind." (Study, CNN).

"Dew knot trussed yore spell chequer two fined awl yore mistakes," is an interesting quote by Brendan Hills that exemplifies the problems with automated spell checking (Quote of the Week). Students can be easily fooled into believing the spell check and grammar check will take care of all their technical problems.

There are conflicting accounts of the impact of technology on writing. Researchers suggest that the effectiveness of technology on the writing process depends on how the teacher implements technology. Simply replacing drill and practice worksheets with drill and practice software is not effective. Teachers need to use technology to enhance instruction and promote active learning (Austin).

Another issue occurs when students, who use computer technology so often for personal communication, bring that type of slang and "half-speak" into educationally viable written texts. The computer is now so much more than a word processor that it is now common place in our society. Like sending an email to a friend, students will crank out a written assignment so fast they might not even read it over before they turn it in. Finding and teaching the line between chatting and writing will make the difference in whether technology is actually helping writing or not.

Alternative explanations due to Diversity considerations

The writing curriculum has been improved for students with disabilities through the use of technology. Pen to paper writing assignments have been difficult for students with motor problems to accomplish successfully in the past. Now, touch screens are available, as are voice activated word processing programs. Students with vision impairments can use screen reading programs. Specialized programs have been developed for students with learning disabilities, not to mention the benefits of spell-check and grammar-check for learners with difficulties in these areas. The bridge from home to school has been shortened, providing opportunities for students to spend additional time outside the school day completing assignments. Specialized software that develops language skills is available, not only for students with learning disabilities, but also for those learning English as a second language. While assistive technologies support students with disabilities in many ways, teachers need to continue to modify and adjust the curriculum for students with special needs.

Signed "life experiences", testimonies and stories

Testimonial of Pat Reed:

It has been my experience that a strong language arts curriculum that includes spelling, phonics, grammar, writing skills and literature is necessary to cultivate good writers. This curriculum can be enriched through the use of technology, but technology alone cannot replace the curriculum. The particular tools and websites described above are just a few of the multitude available to students and teachers to improve student writing. A teacher knowledgeable in the many facets of a language arts curriculum and well-versed in the wide array of technological resources available can educate better writers than a teacher who does not utilize the available technology.

Student motivation is a key factor. Desk work can be tedious, and handwriting and rewriting with pen or pencil often becomes a painful task for students. Teachers are frustrated at their students handwriting, and at times they overlook good content due to poor handwriting. Language arts software and the Internet provide interactive opportunities for students to improve their skills with immediate and individual feedback that is rarely available in a traditional classroom. Students become engaged learners, actively striving to improve their abilities, while having fun at the same time.

Over the last nine years, I worked as the technology coordinator at an elementary school. It was my job to work closely with all subject and grade level teachers to develop lesson plans which integrated technology into all areas of the curriculum. Writing has been a focus for years, as we strive to help our students become good communicators in a digital world. Not only have students developed their writing skills, but also their research skills due to the nature of information available to them with a click of the mouse.

Over the last two years, our school has developed a writing curriculum for seventh and eighth grade entitled "12 Simple Steps to Writing a Research Paper with Technology" (Reed&Darche, 2003). This project, coordinated jointly by the language arts and technology departments, has been quite successful in helping the students prepare for high school. Their writing has become more organized, they know the mechanics of introductory paragraphs, thesis statements, body paragraphs, and concluding paragraphs. They can evaluate the content of websites, and determine what information is reliable and what isn't. They know how to properly cite their sources, and are taught what constitutes plagiarism, and how and why to avoid it.

Is there a downside to using technology in writing? Of course. My frustration level has reached its peak when students replace a misspelled word with another incorrect word using spell check, or when they write "u" instead of "you" in a formal paper because they have spent too much time the night before instant messaging. However, I feel the benefits far outweigh the problem areas (AccessSTEM - Writing Assignments).

Technology does no make the skill of writing easier, but it does remove some of the drudgery. Many of my students type faster than they write, so that they are able to get their thoughts down as they occur. Also, it makes it easier to read, both for understanding, and for editing. Finally, I think my students take their own writing a little more seriously when they see it in print, coming off of the printer. Warner Ferratier


I teach in the elementary schools and we have several programs to help students writing such as Kidspiration and Amazing Writing Machine. Unfortunately, young kids don't know how to type so this makes typing their stories very tedious. For young children, I think they need to be developing writing fluency, an understanding of the writing process as well as grammar and spelling skills. This works best with paper and pencil not a computer. I think that we can use the computer but more to teach the skill of typing so that someday it can be used as a composing tool. E. Elrick elementary/preschool teacher for 7 years.


I truly worry that the writing style and knowledge base of our young people is being negatively affected by the use of word processing programs. If we were to have a student write an essay, for example, would they be able to use correctly grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.? We have become reliant on technolgy and it does have its benefits. However, we still need to make sure the 'computer' in our head, is able to do things without the computer on our desks. -J. Daeschler

I think it has really hurt our students in terms of using technology as a crutch in their writing. I have seen a drop in spelling scores and an increase in grammar errors because they know that the computer will fix it for them. With the increased use of Instant Messenger services, I think this will continue to get worse. -N. Hartz

With my upper elementary students, the biggest advantage I witness in using technology in writing is the kids' willingness to edit. Typically, the idea of rewriting an essay is about as welcome as a dose of cod liver oil. They do it, to be sure, but under duress. However, when the kids compose, edit, revise, and finalize on the computer (complete will illustrations or graphics) they tend to put more time and effort into the process. It is less tedious, more fun, and therefore they learn more about what they're doing instead of dreading the assignment. - Carolyn St

We have used technology to help reinforce writing skills in preparation for ISAT testing. As a computer teacher, I also realize the benefits of grammar and spelling check software to help correct student work. I used to teach Language Arts, and I dreaded the grading of long student essays. We have also used the paragraph punch and citation machine websites at different times. -S. Yunker

This is interesting because I have always wondered what technology has done to the writing ability of our nations children. It seems like with spell check and grammer check that we have installed in our word processing programs hurts are actually writing skills because it doesn't allow us to learn from our mistakes like normally would from having somebody else read over our work. It just simply corrects the problem and allows us to move on. This is something that should be more researched. J. Simmons

The problem of mis-spelling English using technology truly is a problem not only for young kids, but also among college and graduage students. I am not sure if people using other languages have the same problem, but at least the word processor for Chinese that I am using does not correct the Chinese characters. So I think for children who use English as a common communication tool, it is the teachers' and parents' responsibility to work together to help children realize the problem and overcome it. ---X. Zheng

The negative opinions about word processing make me chuckle. We are in the middle of technology change and teaching methods have not caught up fully to the varied options within the new tools (the word processor). When we went from the quill pens to erasable pencils was there a change in how writing took place and thus taught? or to the typewriter? Of course. The writing process is part thinking, part mechanical, part logistical, moving the developing written ideas to final publishing. Word processors shift these activities at each stage around a bit. Just as the pencil, the ballpoint pen, and the typewriter. As teachers we need to be fully cognizant of that and adapt. I can safely bet that electronic writing will not be going away. -J. Tubbs

Technology, although not without some faults, has helped in many ways in the classroom. There are a variety of pieces of technology our district has adapted to help students learn more efficiently. Whether it is a piece of assistive technology for special education students (software to read text, or speech to text, pictureIt, etc), technology that helps the teacher (projects, document cameras, computers, etc) or technology for regular education students there is a large role for it in the classroom and that role will continue to grow. In our district, students for a number of years each had their own laptop checked out to them from grades 4-6 which helped a great deal with research projects, writing their daily journals and so on. Technology helping with writing, or in general, is definitely here to stay so we need to work with it and help downplay the faults in order to best adapt in our classrooms. E. Bostrom


Many educators have embraced how technology and writing go hand in hand. Using a word processing tool to develop writing can be seen as opening a door to a whole different world. Before writing can begin there are many technology programs that help students organize their thoughts. These technology organizers such as Inspiration or Kidspiration do a great job in creating an outline for the student. It is beneficial for all students’ especially lower level learners who might need extra assistance with organization. After putting thoughts into an organized plan, students can use word processors to put their thoughts into reality. Using the computer also allows kids to use spelling and grammar check. Students learn how to make their writing better through the technology programs that are available. S. Nottoli

Although I teach students how to write using several technologies, I often give them a choice on how they would like to compose their writing. I have several students who prefer to type their first drafts, while others absolutely loathe typing and will save that for just the publishing phase. I think the most important is to expose students to multiple methods of writing, and allowing them to discover what works best for them. -S. Becker

I am both an eighth grade writing teacher as well as a technology teacher. I try to integrate technology as much as possible into student writing. I feel that by doing this, students do not even realize they are writing if they are using technology. One resource that I use for informal writing is [Piclits http://www.piclits.com]. Students pick a stock photo and choose words from a given list to describe the picture. I also like to use Google documents for collaborative writing. Student interaction increases this way because students find it more interesting to collaborate by e-mail than sitting in a group in the classroom. Another great editing tool is to use Audacity and have students record their writing. They quickly start editing their writing, both as they are recording and as they listen to their recording. They hear their mistakes as they are reading their writing and catch more mistakes than ever. - L. Storm

As a high school Social Studies teacher, I have taken on the task of improving student writing. The topics they write on always connect to the content we are studying but they are none the less, writing. I have found as many teachers have that the students HATE writing at all levels. We have a program at my school called MY Access which is designed to give students tools to pre-write, write, and revise, which should improve their writing. The program itself has been useful in some cases on a small scale, but overall the kids have manipulated the program so that they get the "score" they want and then they won't work on their writing anymore. I have found a more successful strategy is as L.Storm mentioned above is to have students use technology such as Photostory or Scratch where they are essentially writing a script but they don't realize they are writing at all. It does not serve the exact same purpose (as formal writing is an extremely important skill) but they are writing more often and honing their skills while enjoying learning! - M. Allen

References and other links of interest

"AccessSTEM - Writing Assignments." Northwest Alliance for Access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 2001-04. Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology, University of Washington. 03 Feb. 2005

Austin, S. F., & Lacina, J. G. (2003). Technology and the writing workshop. Childhood Education, 80(2), 101+.

Kulik, J. A. (2003, May ). Computer use helps students to develop better writing skills. SRI International, Retrieved Jan 30, 2005, from http://www.sri.com/policy/csted/reports/sandt/it/Kulik_ITinK-12_Writing_IssueBrief.pdf.

Quote of the week. (n.d.). Retrieved Jan. 31, 2005, from http://www.edu.pe.ca/montaguehigh/quotes.htm.

Reed&Darche, P. K. (2003). Twelve simple steps to writing a research paper with technology. Illinois Computing Educators ICE Cube, 2003(3), 4-6.

Study: spell check can worsen writing. (2003). Retrieved Jan. 31, 2005, from http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/03/14/spell.check.ap/.

Final Thoughts

Days In Classroom:  Monday and Friday

Number of hours a week: 12

Total hours for this class: 32

School Name: Ponderosa Elementary

Location: Spokane Valley

Master Teacher: Mary Shea

Fears in Teaching

  1. Evil Crazy Parents
  2. Disaster Happening
  3. Violent Child
  4. Management Plan
  5. Legal Issues
  6. Reaching out to every child
  7. Having no control
  8. unmotivated students
  9. actions/lessons being perceived as inappropriate
  10. Losing control
  11. Not knowing how to answer a question
  12. getting burned out
  13. interacting with different grades/ages
  14. students falling too far behind
  15. not being good enough/hurting students chances at success