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ERIC Number: ED541341
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 92
Abstractor: As Provided
The Effects of Differentiated Instruction on Motivation and Engagement in Fifth-Grade Gifted Math and Music Students
Martin, Merissa R.; Pickett, Matt T.
Online Submission, Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University
The purpose of this action research project report was to increase student motivation and engagement. There seemed to be an increasing disconnect between student potential and performance, especially among gifted math and beginning music students. Two teacher researchers carried out this research with 25 fifth-grade students at two different sites in a gifted math class and a beginning band class. The research was conducted from September 11th, 2012, through December 17th, 2012. In order to document the lack of student motivation and engagement, three tools were utilized; a teacher survey, a student survey, and a student behavior checklist. After analyzing the collected data, it was evident that a notable percentage of students felt that their school work was too easy while teachers felt their lessons were appropriately challenging. While students felt they were sometimes given the options to make choices in the classroom, teachers reported that they rarely or never gave students the option to choose an assignment or activity. Students felt grades were the most motivating factor while teachers felt parental involvement motivated students more to do their best in school. During direct instruction, several off-task behaviors (hyperactive, withdrawn, poor attention, disruptive, uncooperative) were noted that reflected a lack of motivation and engagement. The interventions implemented to increase motivation and engagement included differentiated instruction based on flexible grouping and giving choices. Differentiated guided groups with a student choice menu were the selected interventions because the research states that these instructional strategies positively benefit student motivation and engagement. The data collected from the Student Survey provided validating insights into student engagement and motivation. After the intervention, more students felt that they were being appropriately challenged. Overall, more student felt that they were given options to choose their assignments in class. Grades, choosing projects, feeling challenged, authenticity, and knowing teachers care were the most motivating factors for students. Based on the post-results of the Student Survey, the teacher researchers concluded that the intervention positively impacted changes in students' perception of their engagement and motivation. Teacher Researchers attributed this result to increased differentiated instruction in their classes and an increase in open-ended choices during non-instruction time. As students were given more choice in the classroom, they perceived their school work to be more appropriately challenging. The Teacher Researchers thought this increase was due to creating a more learner-centered classroom environment. The following appendixes are included: (1) Student Survey; (2) Teacher Survey; (3) Behavior Checklist Chart; (4) Math Menu; (5) Math Test Reflection; and (6) Differentiated Math Homework. (Contains 14 figures and 8 tables.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois