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Strength Braining: An Innovation Countering Fifth-Grade Underachievement in Mathematics Through Growth Mindset and Self-Regulation

Description

The problem of practice addressed in this mixed methods action research study is the underachievement of fifth-grade students in mathematics. This study explores the effects of an innovation designed to

The problem of practice addressed in this mixed methods action research study is the underachievement of fifth-grade students in mathematics. This study explores the effects of an innovation designed to help students develop a growth mindset by utilizing self-regulation strategies to improve academic growth in mathematics. Students’ underachievement in mathematics has been illustrated by both state and international assessments. Throughout the decades, mathematics instruction and reforms have varied, but overall students’ psychological needs have been neglected. This innovation was designed to develop students’ psychological characteristics regarding facing challenges in mathematics. For this purpose, two guiding theories were utilized to frame this research study, Dweck’s mindset theory and self-regulation theory. To address the research questions of this study, pre- and post-questionnaire data, observational data and student work was analyzed. Results of the qualitative data indicated that the innovation positively impacted students’ mindsets and use of self-regulation strategies. However, quantitative data indicated the innovation had no effect on students’ use of self-regulation strategies or academic growth, and a negative impact on students’ mindsets.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Building content knowledge in elementary English language arts: how a shift in curriculum affects teacher perception of reading

Description

Desert Elementary is a suburban Phoenix K-5 school. The school has undergone a significant change in its approach to reading instruction due to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) instructional

Desert Elementary is a suburban Phoenix K-5 school. The school has undergone a significant change in its approach to reading instruction due to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) instructional shift of building knowledge through content rich nonfiction. Teachers implemented this shift in their classrooms through a 16-month professional development program called Students Talking for a Change (STFAC). This qualitative action research study explored how teacher perception of reading instruction was affected by this change in instructional practice. Data collection comprised of classroom observations, teacher interviews, planning artifacts, professional development session artifacts and student work in order to determine teacher understandings about reading comprehension and perception of classroom practice. Prior to the professional development, teachers understood reading comprehension to be answering questions correctly and acquiring skills dictated by a basal reader. The texts teachers once used to teach reading lacked topical coherence. As teachers learned how to integrate content into language arts through long-term planning and sustained exposure to a topic of study, teachers changed their understanding about reading instruction. The perception was that content, discussion and multiple interpretations were central components to comprehension. Further, planning documents evolved from student packets to unit plans based on social studies, science and literature.

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Date Created
  • 2017