This action research project devised and implemented an intervention for increasing student engagement in the learning process. The targeted population consisted of elementary students in an urban area in north central Illinois. The problem of non-engaged learning was documented by means of observation of class participation, a student attitude survey, and assessments of student academic performance. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that deficits in motivation and thinking skills contributed to non-engaged learning, as well as current teaching strategies that may not provide opportunities for student ownership. A review of solution strategies resulted in an intervention focusing on a thematic integrated unit, student assignment choices, and problem solving. Post-intervention data indicated that targeted students demonstrated marked improvements in remaining on task and following directions. Students became more aware of their responsibilities as learners and members of a group. This was evidenced by their enthusiasm for selecting their assignment choices and integrating the problem-solving model in their learning. (Five appendices include sample student survey, observational checklist, and the thematic integrated unit. Contains 34 references.) (HTH)
Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/Skylight.