Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Christopher Bogiages

Abstract

The purpose of this action research study was to ascertain the possible impact of using schema development strategies and the digital application Quizlet on student learning perspectives and achievement in a mid-level social studies classroom. U.S. schools are highly influenced by state standardized testing based on standards-driven curriculum that reinforces basic recall and recognition. School curriculum should be focused on higherlevel thinking skills such as critical thinking, social negotiation, and self-directed learning. The identified problem of practice of this study explored and described the use of technology at a basic level. Students are exploiting technology by copying and pasting information instead of constructing their own knowledge. Students are relying on rote memorization instead of using strategies that promote the construction of new schemata. The study was conducted in my seventh-grade iCivics classes in a large southeastern middle school through collaborative groups that fostered social negotiation. In the study, students constructed their own learning by using schema development strategies that would then be used when required to think critically on summative assessments. Specifically, students constructed their own learning using the teacher-modeled schemadeveloping strategies and used the flashcard-making application Quizlet as a note taking device to provide evidence of their newly acquired higher-level thinking. Students also used Quizlet as a formative tool to become self-directed learners. Students’ perspectives on the use of Quizlet and its impact on their academic success were also explored. Quantitative and Qualitative data were collected in the forms of a pilot study, informal interviews, pre- and posttest, pre- and post surveys, and summative test.

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