ERIC Number: ED411334
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Student Motivation in the Secondary Classroom through the Use of Critical Thinking Skills, Cooperative Learning Techniques, and Reflective Journal Writing.
Vojnovich, Christine M.
This report describes a program to use various instructional strategies to increase student motivation in the learning process. The targeted population was high school students in a multicultural, middle-class community in a suburb of Chicago (Illinois) with 1,926 students. The problems of low participation, off-task behavior, and inadequate processing skills were noted through teacher observation, checklists, and conduct reports. Faculty reported that lack of student motivation came from content-oriented classes that provided little opportunity for students to create individual expressions and to find relevance in the materials presented. Further analyses revealed that students were unprepared to apply critical thinking skills to problem solving tasks. A review of solution strategies suggested by research and an analysis of the problem setting resulted in selection of three major intervention strategies: (1) the introduction of a variety of critical thinking tasks; (2) the use of cooperative learning techniques; and (3) the practice of writing reflective journal entries to enhance metacognition. Generally positive results were apparent from each of the interventions. Participation increased, reflection and metacognition were enhanced through journaling, behavioral problems decreased, and a higher level of critical thinking was apparent in problem solving. In addition, the practice of cooperative learning activities resulted in a comfortable peer environment where students experimented with new and creative responses to the challenges of daily assignment. Fifteen appendixes present lesson plans and supplemental materials. (Contains 1 table and 17 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois