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ERIC Number: ED552363
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-3898-5
Students' Reactions to the Use of Animals as Instructional Tools for Science
Gurzau, Vickie Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Teaching science to students with special needs requires different approaches. A program at the study site supplemented packaged science kits with animal-assisted instruction, but such an approach was never evaluated. The purpose of this study was to provide a formative program evaluation documenting students' reactions to the use of animals as instructional tools for science. Conceptually this research project was framed in the constructivist paradigm based on the work of Dewey and Darling-Hammond. This evaluation involved a qualitative case-study approach to explore how 5th grade students with learning disabilities reacted toward science when animals were used to facilitate instruction. The research question was addressed based on the collection of data through focus group interviews, observations, and student journals. Data were analyzed as they emerged using inductive analysis in combination with typological analysis, to deconstruct the data into themes and patterns. Findings revealed students' reactions to the use of animals were positive, resulting from the engagement of students in the lesson activities and connections to the animals. Students' verbal and nonverbal engagements were noted, as well as feelings of curiosity, anxiety, and self-efficacy. The project for this study was an evaluation report for stakeholders that contained recommendations for enhancing science instruction with animals as instructional tools, acknowledging students' interests, and providing students with authentic, hands-on experiences. Implications for positive social change were that students with disabilities may be provided affirmation of their abilities to actively learn, experience, and understand science through the use of animals in such a way as to recognize their interests and develop their strengths. [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: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A