Dissertation Information for Karen L. Ford
MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected
Title: Student stances toward studying and doing homework in a middle school: How they use reading and writing to learn
Abstract: This qualitative study examined the approaches that middle school students used when studying and doing homework. The investigation sought to determine whether students consistently adopted specific stances toward these kinds of content area tasks. Throughout the spring and fall semesters, 30 students in a middle school class were observed as they studied and did homework. Thirteen of these students were then interviewed about their habits and attitudes toward these content area tasks. The findings suggest that middle school students do have specific stances that they take toward studying and doing homework; students adopt stances that can be described as either Independent or Dependent Learners. These stances result from the interplay of a variety of contextual variables. One of the most influential contextual variables is a self-assessment of capabilities for succeeding at tasks in various situations; this self-assessment determines a student's level of self-efficacy. The findings further suggest that student use of reading and writing in learning is directly related to the particular stance that they assume and that both processes are used for different purposes within each stance. Implications from these findings can be extended to teacher training, student instruction, and curriculum development.
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