In what ways can students become more engaged and self-sufficient as a result of different methods of teaching? What happens when students work together to learn a new concept? What happens when students are explicitly taught a new concept? How do students approach/react to new material? How do students approach/react to difficult, hard to understand material?
Jenny, I love the idea of exploring the way collaboration and cooperation affect learning. I wonder if your first question might be more specific in naming those "different methods of teaching."
Ooooh, yes! I agree with Brittany. I wonder if you could even specify it further by explicitly stating "in a math classroom"...
Jenny, I like where you are going with this! Experimenting with two different kinds of pedagogy is probably doable, but you'd want to name them. And because your larger question is about engagement and self-sufficiency, not results, you have a bit of room to play. Do you not already know/see the answers to the last two? And have you not already engaged in explicit instruction? Be sure to show how these new teaching strategies are different from what you already do.And as an aside, you seem just as interested in how to build relationships with kids. That could also be a fruitful line of research.
A couple weeks ago you mentioned PBL's in your math classroom and becoming "self-sufficient learners." I thought that would be a great focus in trying with new concepts and new materials. I still like your PBL focus and think you can incorporate it.
@JJ I am already engaged in explicit instruction but I would like to compare it to project based learning to see which style allows for students to be more engaged and self-sufficient when it comes to learning material. It is true that I do often focus on and think about my connectivity with my students, but I also am drawn to the academic side a lot, and making sure I am being a good teacher. My classes are so small so I do feel that connectedness to these students, I think if I was working at a big public school I would be more worried about my connections. But right now I have short classes with 4-5 students and I worry about their enduring learning the most.
Jenny, I think it would be interesting to look at two different types of pedagogy and see the results of each working with the same lesson/skill/objective. There is a great deal of research out there which suggests that project based learning is the best method for students to learn; however, I'd like to see how well your students learn from each method. I wonder how you could go about doing it and by what criteria you would gauge your results.
Jenny,I really like your tightly focused questions, it seems like you will be able to identify trends in data to indicate your findings. I am curious, when they are working in groups, will they be trying to apply previously learned concepts to new material, or will it be a new unit completely? I wonder if it would be worth it to offer them the chance to try new concepts individually? And I am definitely curious to know how you will set up groups, size-consistent or changing-etc?
I've been playing around with some ideas and I'm hoping this research will help me see if a project-based, more student-led approach can more authentically engage my reluctant learners. I am wondering how it will affect the connections we have (without resorting to some points/reward/behavior management system that I/the students don't buy into). Here are some ideas for my research questions: -In what ways can teachers maintain an authentic identity when engaging reluctant learners? -How does student choice in a project based learning assignment affect motivation and engagement? -What will students discover about themselves as learners in the process?
Brit, I like these ideas, just like I did the other day. Thinking some more about them, and now reading them, here are some more thoughts.I like that the first question focuses on the teacher identity, especially since we are relatively new teachers! Sometimes it's hard to stay true to oneself when trying to prod and push those reluctant students along!I'm wondering - would the third question be a subquestion of the second? It seems that it ties in very closely with motivation and engagement...
Britt, the first question is about you (which is fine), but I'm not sure where you are going with it. What's the problem you are trying to solve here? Maintaining your easygoing self when kids don't want to buy what you're selling? Just curious :)I like how the second one is specific at first, and then you'll have to decide how you're going to "measure" motivation and engagement, first by defining what those things look like. It's a good place for a chart.I also like the third one. We will have to figure out what kind of data you will need to answer it.
(ggrrr.... I get so annoyed with this program, i just wrote out my whole response, the hit publish and it disappeared, so i will try again)Brittany, I also agree with Tina that question 2 and 3 are very similar and you may be able to work those together into one question or use as a subquestion. On the other hand I think that question 1 is based on what you have shared with us about being able to connect with those tough to reach students who are not like you. I think that this is something that you have really been concerned about, and might be a good direction for your research right now. I just think that maybe rewording it so it is more about the way you can get students to connect and less about how the teacher may alter themselves to get the student connected. just a thought..
Ugh Jenny!! That happened to me with my memo #4...sooo frustrating!! Anyways, Brittany, I agree with Jenny here about you maybe looking more closely at question #1. I remember Dr. Johnson saying something at the beginning of the semester to focus on what "keeps you up at night" or something to that effect. I don't think she used those words at all, but I know the gist of her idea was that what we should be researching is what we are truly "bothered" by. This stuck with me because I think, in doing so, we are forced out of our comfort zones and the work becomes more authentic. So, if I were you, I guess I would focus on question #1, but think about in terms of a problem you are trying to solve. Maybe the other questions would be easier to research, but the results might not be as authentically useful to you in your practice.
When students are given the opportunity to transform their physical space to enhance learning, what happens to their academic achievement and social relationships?**What happens when students discover their own learning conditions?**If students take ownership of their learning experiences, does their academic achievement improve? **How can the transformation students' physical space foster social relationships?
I really like the focus you have with your ideas and your questions, Ken. Perhaps the second one could be altered slightly to avoid the "yes or no" answer: "How does students achievement change if students are allowed ownership over certain aspects of their learning experience?" ...or something along those lines.
I think the idea of "space" is interesting too! We read from Dr. August (and others) about the importance of creating and maintaining safe spaces, not just physically, but with our words and actions as well - so I love that you want to research the academic AND social effect. I also like the metacognitive aspect of students reflecting throughout the process. Their written reflections could serve as great data for your first sub-question!
Nice job here! Space is so important, and giving kids ownership and freedom is a risky--and lovely thing to try. Good job enhancing your "vulnerable identity"! I agree with Tina and Britt's comments. Not sure what you mean by "learning conditions"--can you define that for us?
I think I meant "learning styles." I think the 'conditions' covered learner conditions and learner qualities of students in general. I thought that I would be general, but I think LEARNING STYLES might be more appropriate and focused.
I know that you have already started with the freedom of seat choice. I wonder in what other ways will you have the students transform their learning space. Desk groupings? Posters on the walls? Learning styles (group, pair or independent work). How are you going to measure the transformation of social relationships? Just a few thoughts
I agree with all of the comments above. Ken, I also find the idea of "space" both as a physical place and a mind set to be intriguing. Even the word "discover" that you use in your first question seems important. The word discover implies that students are finding out something about themselves and is extremely student centered. Overall, I think this is a really cool idea!
Alright. So I'm still unsure of these questions, but I think I have narrowed down a good amount (thanks to Brittany and Dr. Horwitz over vacation)...but I'd also like to note that I think this has proven to be the most difficult and stressful thing I've had to share with you. Is there such a thing as stage fright for sharing research questions? I keep writing and rewriting these, hoping they will come across and convey exactly what I wish to look into over the course of this project. And then I look and think and write some more, and I decide that I don't think they do. Then I change my mind. First, I was focusing on narratives and diversity, but now I think this is slightly more focused, and I can incorporate my schoolwide goals (which focus on anti-bullying) into the paper. So here goes - help me out! *How does increasing student awareness of power and privilege [in their school and (or?) community] affect the ways they think about and treat others? -In what ways can students be made aware of their own power and privilege? -What effects do narrative stories have on student awareness of issues of power and privilege in their worlds? -How will students' attitudes and actions toward their classmates be affected?
I think we had been using the phrase "issues of diversity" when we were brainstorming, so I love the revision to "power and privilege." It's much more specific and naming those "issues of diversity" gives a better focus. Also, the connection to the school goals is a great tie-in. I feel like the bullying conversations at my school often don't go far enough because the kids nod their heads and agree that bullying is wrong, but never get to acknowledging how power and privilege play a role.
Nice job here, Tina! I agree that tying it into anti-bullying is important, but that assumes that power/privilege is related to bullying. I'd like to see you make that explicit somewhere. It might be in the literature. Bullying is a complex issue, and so are power and privilege. Seeing how they intersect will be fascinating!
I think this topic really is interesting because I never was aware of my 'power and privilege' until my undergrad. I wonder how students of 'power and privilege' will react to valuable information. This is almost like an extension to what we touched upon learned last semester. I would have never connected this to bullying.
Tina, I love how this continues the studies that we started with in the Fall. I also love how you want to make this a focus at your school, where the diversity statistics are lower, but it is still so important to bring up awareness and open up the conversation. I think that all your hard work and continued revisions have helped narrow down a great topic question. I also agree with JJ and that maybe you can place bullying into that question where you bring up how others are treated.
I agree Jenny. This is a great way to extend from topics we discussed in the fall. Tina, I think that bullying and power/privilege can be connected but are not always connected. But I think your main focus question is great because it uses the word awareness and it also links that awareness to how they treat others. So, based on the progression of your questions, I do think you can, in fact, connect your research to bullying. And I also agree with Dr. Johnson that the way you might make this connection more concrete is through the literature you choose. Nice job!
I’m also having a bit of a hard time coming up with research questions. At first, I was pretty sure about what I wanted to focus on…which was the idea about getting students to be more intrinsically motivated. But someone last week, I don’t remember who it was…suggested that no one could foster intrinsic motivation in a student. It has to be just that. Intrinsic. I’m still not sure how I feel about that because I feel like certain teachers have made me want to learn for the sake of learning…but, I digress…here goes…• In what ways can students be motivated to value intrinsic learning in the ELA classroom?• How can students become more motivated in their own growth in learning without a constant focus on grades?• What are ways to support students in valuing the process of learning?• How can students be encouraged to willingly receive and reflect on feedback?• How are students best able to value growth, feedback and improvement?• Which methods of teacher feedback encourage and motivate students to truly invest in their learning through a focus on reflection and revision?Thanks in advance for your feedback! I’m going to go back and comment on everyone’s questions tomorrow when hopefully everyone has them posted on the blog.
I see a couple of different threads here, Melissa. One is about motivation and one is more specific about seeing feedback as an opportunity to grow. The latter will be easier to research, partly because there is not much you can do about kids' dependence on grades, as that is how the system works. Going along with feedback, how about teaching students to give it as well as receive it? that way, they have some ownership.
I find this fascinating that you want to make this about the 'value' of learning... and I put value in quotes because I automatically think value as NUMBERS. And that is something you are trying to get away from. I like where you are going with the last question and wonder if you could expand on more questions using that as a focus. Just a thought...
You have some good questions here. I also agree with Ken, that your last questions seems to tie together what you are trying to get at, motivation and investment on the side of the student. I think that if you focus on motivation and investment you will be able to get some clear data back that will hope you move forward to hopefully that growth of intrinsic motivation.
What will happen with my students if I make the Second Classroom the First Curriculum?How does teaching counterculture ideas and social justice in the classroom prepare students for success in a world that expects conformity?How do I develop lesson plans around systematic improvisation?What second language techniques and hidden rules lead do I prioritize?How does building emotional security lead to financial security?How does descriptive language about my students affect my students?I am struggling with focus and intent, with putting words to what I mean and want to look for. I feel like I have an idea what I want to study, but not a clear set of objectives to look for.
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