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ERIC Number: ED539273
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 130
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-6752-1
Analysis of Self-Directed Mastery Learning of Honors Physics
Athens, Wendy
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
Self-directed learning (SDL) is an important life skill in a knowledge-based society and prepares students to persist, manage their time and resources, use logic to construct their knowledge, argue their views, and collaborate. The purpose of this study was to facilitate mastery of physics concepts through self-directedness in formative testing with feedback, a choice of learning activities, and multiple forms of support. This study was conducted within two sections of honors physics at a private high school (N=24). Students' learning activity choices, time investments, and perceptions (assessed through a post survey) were tracked and analyzed. SDL readiness was linked to success in mastering physics concepts. The three research questions pursued in this study were: What SDL activities did honors physics students choose in their self-directed mastery learning environment? How many students achieved concept mastery and how did they spend their time? Did successful and unsuccessful students perceive the self-directed mastery learning environment differently? Only seven of 24 students were successful in passing the similar concept-based unit tests within four tries, and these seven students were separated into a "successful" group and the other 17 into an "unsuccessful" group. Differences between the two groups were analyzed. A profile of a self-directed secondary honors physics student emerged. A successful self-directed student invested more time learning from activities rather than simply completing them, focused on learning concepts more than rote operations, intentionally selected activities to fill in gaps of knowledge and practice concepts, actively constructed knowledge into a cognitive framework, engaged in academic discourse with instructor and peers as they made repeated attempts to master content and pass the test given constructive feedback, used a wide variety of learning resources, and managed their workload to meet deadlines. This capstone study found that parallel instruction in content and SDL skills could be important for improving learning outcomes and better equipping secondary honors physics students for college and life in general. Mastery learning principles coupled with modeling in self-direction appear mutually reinforcing and, when more explicitly approached, should yield dual benefits in concept mastery as well as self-efficacy. [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: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A