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EDRS 6301 Assignment 5 Amanda Fox

Purpose:

Students in the United States struggle when faced with problems that require prolonged effort and

several failed attempts before a viable solution is found. Ask any successful individual what character

trait above all others determined their achievement, and time and again the response will be

perseverance. It seems that with perseverance, success is inevitable, yet this is a character trait that

students struggle the most to develop, and thus our students continue to fall behind their global peers on

the academic stage (Stevenson & Lee, 1990) Without the ability to see failure as a vital step in the

learning process, and the tenacity to keep trying for solutions, when the answers are not evident, our

students will continue to achieve at lower levels on standardized assessments. In order for American

schools to improve, we have to train problem solvers who are comfortable with a challenge. As a result of

these needs and deficiencies, the purpose of this study will be to evaluate and compare the effectiveness

of curriculum focused on building skills that support the development of perseverance in students at the

elementary level, in grades 3-5.

Design:

I would use a convergent parallel research design model to determine whether or not

curriculum focused on the development of perseverance skills would improve overall student

achievement. I would use this design model because I would want to collect qualitative

information about student attitudes, while simultaneously collecting quantitative data from

assessment results and calculated time on task, to determine effectiveness of intervention on

academic growth and student perceptions. Both forms of data will need to be analyzed to

evaluate findings. I would use data from 6 elementary schools. 2 schools will be Title I schools,

2 schools will be public schools that are not Title I, 2 schools will be private. The variable will

be the perseverance focused curriculum. 6 classes from each school will participate, half of

which will serve as a control and students in those groups will not receive the intervention.
EDRS 6301 Assignment 5 Amanda Fox

The experiment would begin with a pre-test in both mathematics and reading

comprehension to determine base line performance for students in both groups. The test will

include multi-step word problems in mathematics that require the utilization of prior skills in

new ways, and constructed response questions in reading, in which student response will need to

be supported by evidence found throughout several related passages. A rubric will be used to

score assessments. Scoring will be done twice and blindly. Time on task will also be calculated

during the assessment. Additionally, students will take part in individual interviews to determine

attitude, beliefs and perceptions about ability and effort and the effect these concepts have on

academic achievement. The experimental group will take part in instruction gained from

perseverance curriculum, over two consecutive quarters, or nine week segments. Students will be

given a formative assessment at the end of the first nine weeks to evaluate progress and in order

to do for a formative comparison between experimental and control groups. The experimental

group will complete another nine weeks of instruction, followed by a second round of interviews

and a summative assessment. Data from both groups will be compiled and compared, to ascertain

the level of curriculum effectiveness, if any.

Initial recorded interview will be transcribed, analyzed and coded to determine themes.

The same descriptions and themes will be used to evaluate final interviews for change. Interview

data will be used to determine if student attitudes about the relationship between ability and

effort changed, or stayed the same. The comparison of pre and post test data will determine if

curriculum had in impact on academic growth. The comparison of the experimental group to the

control will support, or deny causation.


EDRS 6301 Assignment 5 Amanda Fox

Sample:

I will utilize two sampling strategies. Maximal variation strategy is used to illustrate the

effectiveness of the program based on school type, and homogenous sampling occurs with the

selection of third grade classes in each school. 4, third grade classrooms will be selected from

each school at random, from those that agree to participate. Randomly selected classrooms will

be compared demographically and the most similar classes will be separated into either the

experimental set, or the control. This would give me 12 experimental classes, and 12 control, for

a total of 24 classes at 6 schools.

Analysis:

A composite student performance score will be compiled based on time on task, student

attitude indicators, and final assessment scores for each participant. The initial null hypothesis

(Ho) is that the introduction of perseverance focused curriculum, with increase student

performance. If the initial null is rejected, then the same data can be used to determine if there is

no change in achievement (Ha). The alpha level is .05, which will be compared to the statistical p

value determined by the t test. This will determine if there is a significant difference between the

control and experimental groups.

References:

Stevenson, H. W., & Lee, S. Y. (1990). Contexts of achievement: a study of American, Chinese,

and Japanese children. Monographs Of The Society For Research In Child Development,

55(1-2), 1-123.