The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a differential effect of two different learning environments determined by constructivist classroom contextual factors on elementary science students' motivation and learning strategies. Teaching and learning practices in the regular classroom vs. teaching and learning practices in a life [biodiversity] laboratory were investigated for this study. The Constructivist Teaching Inventory (modified) was used to examine classroom contextual factors. The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) (modified) was used to examine student motivation and learning strategies. A Wilcoxon nonparametric test determined that constructivist teaching practices were found to occur more often in the life laboratory than in the regular classroom. Although constructivist teaching practices increased at each observation time in both the regular classroom and in the life laboratory, a Friedman test determined that they were not statistically significant increases. Also, some individual teachers had lower constructivist teaching practices in the life laboratory than in the regular classroom, indicating that classroom contextual factors can be teacher controlled and thus, not simply location dependent. Paired sample t tests determined that student motivation and learning strategies were higher in the life laboratory than in the regular classroom overall as well as at each survey time except for learning strategies at Post 1, which, although the life laboratory score was higher, did not show a statistically significant difference. A 2 x 4 between 3 within repeated measure ANOVA determined that student MSLQ motivation and learning strategy scores in the regular classroom varied statistically significantly by teacher. Student MSLQ motivation and learning strategy scores in the life laboratory varied statistically significantly by teacher. To triangulate data, individual interviews of a teacher-selected convenience sample of students were conducted at the end of the semester and focused on patterns of instruction and student learning. Theme analysis revealed students regard the life laboratory as an asset to their science study enabling advanced knowledge acquisition; however, students do appreciate and value working in the learning environment that the regular classroom provides; especially when it comes to learning new science concepts.Item 23 Instructional Instructional Instructional Instructional activities which intentionally create opportunities for students to explore their own disequilibria never occur. activities which intentionally create opportunities for students to exploreanbsp;...
|Title||:||The Effects of Constructivist Classroom Contextual Factors in a Life Science Laboratory and a Traditional Science Classroom on Elementary Students' Motivation and Learning Strategies|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2008|