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ERIC Number: ED519061
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 192
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-4194-7
Engaging Bioanthropology College Students: The Role of Active and Cooperative Pedagogies
Soluri, Kathaeryne Elizabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
This dissertation examines the design and implementation of an active, cooperative pedagogy in an undergraduate biological anthropology course. The research draws upon a theoretical framework constructed from anthropology, education, and psychology research. The pedagogy studied was developed for and used in the laboratory component of a large, introductory course at the University of California at Berkeley. As such, the results of this research are relevant to not only other biological anthropology courses but also other large, introductory courses or laboratory-based courses in related disciplines. The dissertation evaluates the efficacy of the stated pedagogy by answering the following questions: Does the pedagogy effectively engage students of all learning styles in higher-level thinking? Does the pedagogy effectively promote high quality student learning, particularly learning of high-level course material? Does the pedagogy effectively foster long-term retention of key course concepts and higher-level thinking across students of various learning styles? Three lines of evidence are employed to answer these research questions. To address issues of student engagement, classroom observations of students are qualitatively evaluated. Student performance on the final exam in the course is statistically analyzed to answer questions related to initial student learning. In considering issues of student retention from a longitudinal perspective, student performance on a follow-up survey (administered between three months and two years after course completion) is statistically analyzed. Research presented here suggests the pedagogy does effectively promote student engagement with course material and foster students' long-term retention of learned course material. This efficacy is similar for students of different learning styles and generally applies to both low-level and high-level course material. Preliminary findings also suggest the pedagogy effectively promotes high quality student learning, including learning of high-level material. It is argued that the stated pedagogy is effective and that this and similar pedagogies could be usefully employed in similar courses in anthropology and biology. Within higher education, generally, and the discipline of anthropology, specifically, there is growing concern over how to effectively teach undergraduate students. The research discussed here provides evidence that active, cooperative approaches to undergraduate anthropology instruction are successful in promoting student engagement, learning, and retention. This research also provides a template for the evaluation of pedagogical approaches that can be applied to future investigations of various pedagogies used in anthropology instruction. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California