ERIC Number: ED531546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
Exploring the Effects of Active Learning on Retaining Essential Concepts in Secondary and Junior High Classrooms
Bachelor, Robin L.; Vaughan, Patrick M.; Wall, Connie M.
Online Submission, Master of Arts Action Research Project, St. Xavier University
This report describes a program for improving retention of essential concepts exhibited by junior high and high school students. The purpose of the study was to increase cognitive retention in order to increase student success. The target sample consisted of junior high students in the seventh grade and high school students in grades nine through twelve. One site was a metropolitan area while the second site was in a suburb of a metropolitan area. The problem of retention was documented through teacher observation journals, teacher surveys, and student surveys. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that students reported issues with retaining information. Teachers also reported that students had issues with retaining essential concepts. Individual teachers noted in their journals that some students could not recall information and remember essential concepts after the initial teaching phase. A review of curriculum revealed a need for interventions to improve cognitive retention. A review of solution strategies suggested by educational practitioners, combined with an analysis of the problem context, resulted in the selection of an umbrella intervention strategy: active learning methodology. The researchers developed lessons incorporating a variety of active learning techniques which were student centered. These interventions were implemented several times each week during 44 minute class periods for the junior high students and 52 minute class periods for the high school students. The interventions occurred during the fall semester, so that students could respond to the active learning techniques implemented by the teachers. After the implementation of active learning strategies, the teacher researchers concluded that a moderately positive change occurred concerning retention of essential concepts after teachers converted from traditional lecture methods. The teacher researchers reported that incorporating active learning techniques in their classrooms encouraged cooperation, improved student engagement, and decreased unwanted behaviors. This led the team to proclaim this intervention as successful for their given classroom settings. Two appendixes present: (1) Student Survey; and (2) Teacher Survey. (Contains 4 tables and 3 figures.
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 7; Grade 9; High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A