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ERIC Number: ED504816
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 96
Abstractor: As Provided
Motivating Students by Increasing Student Choice
Birdsell, Becky S.; Ream, Sarah M.; Seyller, Ann M.; Zobott, Pam L.
Online Submission, Master of Arts Action Research Case, Saint Xavier University
The purpose of this study was to increase motivation in 7th grade students. Four teacher researchers examined the change in motivational levels as a result of choice strategies. They gathered data from four different classes, 101 students in all, to track levels of motivation. They monitored their levels of observable behavioral patterns with a checklist to see if motivation affected students' performance in the classroom. A student survey was given pre-intervention which asked questions based on student opinion of how they felt regarding choice in the classroom. The last data gathering tool that was used were student reflection questions. These reflection questions asked students to write out how they interpret choices in the classroom according to grouping, curriculum, homework, and assessments. Interventions were then implemented on a weekly basis. Students were offered four types of choices: group choice, curriculum choice, assignment choice, and assessment choice. Reflection questions were given to the students prior to each intervention as well as after to determine their overall attitudes toward choice. The results of the post intervention data was compared with the baseline data to see if progress was made. The results showed that by giving the students choice in the above mentioned areas, there was an increase in student motivation to some degree. One substantial difference between pre and post-intervention in the area of curriculum, showed that when students were given more choices, 38% of the students felt they were able to utilize their strengths, which also created more success and enjoyment in the classroom. Another major difference between pre and post-intervention in the area of choosing groups showed that 58 students said they chose groups according to friends, and 36 chose their groups based on ability levels when only 13 chose their groups based on ability level pre-intervention. We concluded that validating middle school students' desire freedom through the offering of choice produced more positive behaviors and an increase of self-motivation. It is our recommendation that the knowledge gained in this study be used by other educators to create successful students. Six appendixes are included: (1) Student Survey; (2) Pre/Post Participation Checklist; (3) Pre/Post Reflection Journal Questions: Curriculum; (4) Pre/Post Reflection Journal Questions: Group; (5) Pre/Post Reflection Journal Questions: Homework; and (6) Pre/Post Reflection Journal Questions: Assessment. (Contains 69 figures and 1 table.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 7; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A