NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED522570
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 225
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-5499-9
The Effects of Teaching a Science Topic in the Regents Living Environment Course in a Mini-Lesson Instructional Environment
Barrows, Calder James
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study investigated the effects on high school students' understanding of studying a science topic in the Regents Living Environment course using a Mini-Lesson educational protocol. Mini-Lesson instruction is one of guided instruction, which consists primarily of three sections. First, a brief, focused section in which the teachers explicitly teach the skills and strategies that students need to know in preparation for the second part, the students engagement or workshop activity session. During this time, students work with one another, working independently, in pairs and in groups applying various skills. Students read, discuss ideas, make interpretations, investigate and talk about the focus of the lesson with peers and teacher. A variety of resources are used, including notes, textbooks, teacher handouts, and the teacher providing guidance, monitoring student work and sometimes calling brief call conferences to link ideas and explain student concerns. The third section of Mini-Lesson brings students together as a whole to integrate and share their findings. In the Mini-Lesson instructional process there is a gradual shift of the learning responsibility from the teacher to the students. In this study two sets of clinical interviews were conducted after students' participation in pre-test, and formal instruction about the cell structure and function using the Mini-Lesson instructional protocol, and post-test. Fourteen students enrolled in a regular New York State Regents living environment course and three teachers were interviewed. Three other students participated in the pilot study. The findings from the study showed that students had considerable difficulty with several areas relating to basic biology about the cell structure and function, and did not have an integrated conceptual understanding of the topic. The study revealed that Mini-Lesson instruction appeared to impact student learning and understanding as to how to communicate and share ideas. As a result there were indications of modest improvements on the post-test, improved attendance and class participation. In light of this study, a shift in instruction is called for to meet the needs of the growing diverse populations of students. A balanced and comprehensive approach to assess student progress should be designed and implemented. This should include diagnostic feedback concerning students' readiness levels and related interventions to maximize individual students' progress towards achieving the goals of the Regents Living Environment course. Finally, the study recommends the establishment of a classroom community where shared goals are met by individuals and teams engaged and working together to capitalize on the talents and strengths of every member of the learning 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: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York