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ERIC Number: ED514965
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 192
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-6062-3
The Impact of Discovery Learning in Writing Instruction on Fifth-Grade Student Achievement
Treadwell, Julie Wilson
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
The problem is that 5th-grade students are not achieving sufficient writing scores on Georgia state-mandated writing assessments, which the researcher hypothesized was due to the teacher-directed instructional approach utilized at the school. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to determine whether discovery learning, a method based on the constructivist learning theory, increased student writing achievement. The research questions examined the impact of and factors related to the implementation of discovery learning on student writing achievement. Forty-six fifth grade students participated in this 8-week concurrent triangulation mixed methods study; all participated in writing instruction through the traditional writer's workshop, and half received the discovery learning component embedded within writer's workshop. Pre and posttests were given to measure the effect of the treatment and the data were analyzed using an independent measures "t" test. The key results indicated an insignificant mean difference between the 2 groups: t (44) = 1.031, p = less than 0.05, d = 2.021. Focus group interviews were conducted with student participants and a journal kept by teacher participants to verify the impact of discovery learning, which were analyzed through open, axial, and selective coding. Data from qualitative methods concluded that discovery learning positively impacted student achievement. It is recommended that fifth grade teachers incorporate discovery learning into writer's workshop to increase student engagement in the writing process and an extended study applying discovery learning methods be conducted. This study promotes positive social change and addresses the local problem by providing writing instruction that enhances students' written communication; thus, students may be more inspired writers who use writing to impart positive changes in their community. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia