ERIC Number: ED374088
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-May-1
Reference Count: 0
Active Learning and the At-Risk Student: Cultivating Positive Attitudes towards Science and Learning.
Basham, Laura B.
Fourth-grade students (83% of whom were identified as "at risk") in an inner-city school in the southeastern United States participated in a hands-on, interdisciplinary unit about the environment for 2 weeks. Lessons covered a wide range of environmental issues such as pollution, rainforest devastation, recycling, and Earth appreciation. Students engaged in activities with environmental topics including soil, water, insects, trees, trash, paper, and recyclable items. Children discovered environmental problems through experiments, art work, and literature-based activities and became active participants in solving these problems. Attitudes about science and learning were gauged through surveys of 19 students and interviews with 7 students before and after the intervention. Results indicated that positive attitudes toward science and toward learning about science increased from before to after the intervention. Student interest in science also increased. However, positive attitudes toward the environment actually decreased. Student attitudes toward active learning remained the same. Attitudes toward learning were influenced by teaching style. The paper includes an examination of literature regarding active learning and at-risk students. Appendixes contain the questionnaire, interview questions, and the learning unit titled "Our Earth in Danger." (Contains 28 references.) (JDD)
Descriptors: Active Learning, Attitude Change, Classroom Research, Elementary School Science, Elementary School Students, Environmental Education, Experiential Learning, Grade 4, Hands on Science, High Risk Students, Interdisciplinary Approach, Intermediate Grades, Lesson Plans, Science Activities, Science Education, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Units of Study, Urban Education
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Hands on Science