ElonActionResearchAnnonymous

ElonActionResearchAnnonymous - The Effect of Student...

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The Effect of Student Created Learning Goals on Second Grade Journal Writing Sue Smith Elon University 2006 - 2007
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Table of Contents Abstract iii Problem Formulation Introduction 1 Statement of Problem 2 Review of Related Literature 2 Research Questions 5 Method of Inquiry 5 Intervention 5 Participants 6 Instruments for Data Collection 7 Action Research Design 7 Procedure 8 Data Analysis 9 Results 9 Sharing and Action Planning 9 Discussion and Implications 11 References 13 Appendices 14 ii
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of having students create weekly learning goals to improve their journal writing. Specifically, the study determined if creating the learning goals affected the students’ writing performance, student attitudes towards writing, and the length of text that the children produced. The participants of this study were twenty-two students from a second grade class from a middle-class school in North Carolina. Journal entries from before the study and after the study were compared using the Orange County writing rubric. A student attitude towards writing survey was also administered to the students before and after the study. These assessments were used to determine if having students create learning goals should be used as an effective strategy to improve student journal writing performance. iii
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1 Introduction Many researchers agree that motivation has a dramatic effect on student learning (Smiley & Dewek, 1994). Fortunately, there are many ways to help motivate students to learn. One way is to help students to create achievement goals. According to Bruning, Schraw, Norby & Ronning (2004), there are two types of achievement goals. The first type is learning goals, in which students seek to improve their competence in a subject or skill. Students determine what they would like to learn, create a goal, and spend a given amount of time working towards their goal. The focus when setting a learning goal is on the process of learning and tends to increase intrinsic motivation. The second type of achievement goal is called performance goals, in which students seek to prove their competence of a skill or subject. With these goals, students focus on achieving a goal, which is often set by the teacher. The student works towards a final product to demonstrate competency. Performance goals lead to increased extrinsic motivation. The focus when setting performance goals are on a product versus the process of learning. Current research has shown that children who set learning goals instead of performance goals persist longer in the face of task difficulty, are more likely to attribute success to internal, controllable causes, such as strategy use and effort, and have an overriding concern for personal mastery (Bruning, Schraw, Norby & Ronning, 2004).
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