The intervention in question is based on the idea of the learning community (Brophy, 2010). It can be applied in many disciplines, but the teacher should use a creative approach. This project will be called a Year Book 2016: Historical Insights. It aims at increasing students’ motivation to study history. The high school students will create an album of pictures and descriptions of themselves and their peers.
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Each student will have a page with two pictures (a photo and a cartoon) and two texts describing him/her as a historical personality. The work will involve interviewing and discussions that will take place every week. Students will be encouraged to share their backgrounds, their plans, expectations and so. The teacher will also share as there will be the corresponding page. The students will keep diaries with notes and their ideas. Discussion of historical figures will take place each week as well.
The basic source used is the book by Brophy (2010). The author dwells upon the benefit of creating the so-called learning community. Brophy (2010) describes ways to incorporate this strategy and make it effective. Importantly, the researcher stresses that the teacher has to be a model and use certain authoritative power to manage the classroom activities. Another important source focuses on particular factors contributing to the improvement of motivation.
Brown, Hughes, Keppell, Hard and Smith (2015) explore factors motivating distance learning students. Clearly, strategies that are effective in distance learning are likely to be efficient in high school classrooms. According to Brown et al. (2015) particular goals set and appropriate environments are central to students’ motivation. Wiesman (2012) also focuses on motivation and states that environment is very important to motivate students. Remarkably, the researcher stresses that it is crucial to take into account students’ views on motivation and learning when developing programs and teaching strategies.
The major benefit of this intervention is the improved motivation of students who will invest more time and effort into their history classes. The intervention is consistent with the recent findings discussed in the literature. Thus, it will be focused on the creation of the appropriate environment or rather learning community where students will be motivated to acquire and share knowledge (Brophy, 2010). Students will know each other better that can be beneficial for other classes.
At the same time, students’ will focus on the project that has a particular outcome, an album. Brown et al. (2015) emphasize that having a specific goal motivates students to perform better. They can become more interested in the subject as they will have to implement a thorough research. Finally, the teacher will also be able to learn more about students and shape some teaching strategies and practices to make them more student-oriented (Wiesman, 2012).
The intervention will start five classes after the start of the school year. This time is necessary for getting to know each other and get accustomed to the teacher. During the 6th class, the teacher explains the details of the project. The hook may be the fact that students will know how their peers see them at the end of the project. Each week, 15 minutes of a lesson will be devoted to interviews. Students will interview each other focusing on each other’s’ backgrounds, expectations, plans and so on. The teacher will also answer some questions. The students will have diaries where they will put the most relevant information. Each week, some historical figures will be discussed. The teacher chooses a number of figures based on students’ answers. Of course, the list of figures has to be considerable so that students would make their choices and learned more about various historical events.
Approximately one month before the end of the term, the teacher provides the online questionnaires where students share their views on each other and themselves. They note the historical personality, reasons for their choice, their own personalities’ descriptions and reasons for that. They upload their pictures (students can be in the corresponding costumes, make-up and so on). The teacher analyzes the information and inserts it into the template created by the entire class. The personality that is most recurrent for each student will be chosen for the page. Each page will include two pictures, two texts and a small chart of personalities chosen for each student.
During the last week of the term, students will complete a test concerning historical events studied during the term. At that students of the class where ‘conventional’ lessons (no Year Book 2016) took place will also complete the test. The last class will be devoted to the discussion of the albums. Students will share their ideas on the album and the way their peers see them. They will also share their views on the project.
This intervention perfectly fits within my teaching philosophy. I value autonomy and creativity. Students will be encouraged to learn more, acquire searching skills. They will also be motivated to participate in various discussions. I will teach them to make their choices and make conclusions based on data collected.
I believe educators should teach young generation how to interact in the society. The intervention equips students with the necessary skills to discuss issues that can be challenging or associated with bias. Tolerance, understanding, inquiry and questioning stereotypes or some norms should be present during each class.
The literature reviewed makes me sure that I can make students more motivated. I will be able to check whether learning community is beneficial for high school students. The studies reviewed provide helpful insights into the issues associated with motivation. The success of researchers makes me sure that my intervention will also be effective.
I will guide the discussions to make sure that students are respectful and positive. The teacher provides a list of personalities to choose from, to make sure no discrimination or any humiliation is involved. The completion of the test will not affect students in any way as it is a common practice to check skills and knowledge during tests. The teacher will inform students about the research and will have the permission to tape record the discussion of the intervention (not the album itself).
Both groups of students will not be informed about the research to avoid such threat as John Henry effect. This will not violate any rights as students are often tested. The use of intervention will be voluntary as the teacher will inform the students about it during the first classes. Finally, equal classes will take part in the study (no high performing classes will be involved) to avoid the bias of selection of subjects.
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Data Collection Procedures
|Research Questions||Data Collection Tool||Why this tool? Justify its use in your study. How does it match with what you are attempting to find and to measure?||Timeframe: |
How and when data will be collected.
|Does the intervention positively affect students’ performance and their motivation?|| ||The test will provide quantitative data that will help identify the effectiveness of the program through the analysis of students’ skills. The focus group discussions will help obtain qualitative data on students’ motivation.||Phase 1: |
Tests during last classes of the term
Phase 2: Discussion of the intervention during the last class
Brophy, J.E. (2010). Motivating students to learn. New York, NY: Routledge.
Brown, M., Hughes, H., Keppell, M., Hard, N., & Smith, L. (2015). Stories from students in their first semester of distance learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(4), 1-17.
Wiesman, J. (2012). Student motivation and the alignment of teacher beliefs. The Clearing House, 85(3), 102–108.