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ERIC Number: ED523485
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 122
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-9124-3
Academically At-Risk Students' Perceptions of a Constructivist High School Biology Pedagogy
Sweeney, Heidi
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Successful completion of the Living Environment, one state's high school biology course, is a state graduation requirement. The academically at-risk students enrolled in one suburban public high school had been disproportionately unsuccessful at achieving a passing grade in this course. In response, a constructivist biology curriculum was created to address the needs of at-risk students in a heterogeneous ability classroom. There is a gap in current research on students' perceptions of their learning experiences; consequently, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to obtain at-risk students' perceptions of a constructivist-based curriculum and to clarify what aspects of the Living Environment course assisted in their success. Eight academically at-risk students who successfully passed the Living Environment course were surveyed to seek their perceptions of the curricular and pedagogical change. These data were analyzed using the typological method with the inclusion of both inductive and predetermined categories. The students stated a preference for group work and active engagement. They also found that the binder system introduced in the course kept them better organized and helped them increase academic performance. Students perceived that effort was required but was rewarding. Findings derived from this study may contribute to social change by assisting teachers in tailoring curriculum and pedagogical decisions. This study provided a voice for the academically at-risk student and, in doing so, may contribute to social change by providing insight to teachers and administrators that can help students succeed academically, increase graduation rates, and enhance employment opportunities. [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: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A