Author(s)

Caley Spahn

Date Approved

8-16-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.T. Teaching

Department

Teacher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Madden, Marjorie

Subject(s)

Individualized instruction;Civics--Study and teaching (Elementary);Cognitive styles in children

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to see what happened when elements of a learner- centered classroom were implemented in a 4th grade classroom in social studies. Qualitative sources of data collected included teacher research journal, focus group discussions, student interest surveys, student talk, and a self esteem scale. Data was analyzed, triangulated, and informed by Katherine Schultz's (2003) listening framework. The students determined how they were going to learn about government in social studies and then how they were going to show what they learned. They assumed control of their learning experience, guided by the teacher researcher. Findings suggested that self-instruction pedagogy increases students' control of their ability to learn. Also, when students are given choices on how to express their learning, they respond positively.

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