Date Approved

7-2-2003

Embargo Period

5-3-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Teaching

Department

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Cinaglia, Marianne

Subject(s)

Triton Regional High School (Runnemede, N.J.); Biology--Study and teaching; High school students--Diaries

Disciplines

Secondary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this action research project was to determine if: (a) writing in student journals affected the grades of my students, and (b) if student attitudes were affected by writing in journals and receiving teacher feedback. The research was conducted during the third semester at Triton Regional High School with a total of 49 tenth-grade students enrolled in two Laboratory Biology classes. Students in one class wrote in journals about teacher-posed topics for five minutes on average of once per week. The topics were written to encourage personalization of learning and further interaction with science. An attitude survey was administered to both classes in the beginning and again at the end of the semester. Responses from the pre- and post-test surveys for both classes were compared, as were each students' second and third trimester grades. Data revealed no correlation between journal writing and achievement and a positive correlation between journal writing and student attitudes. Suggestions for further research and future use of journals in the classroom are discussed.

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