Graduation Date

5-2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Suresh Appavoo, Ed.D.

Abstract

Many high school students struggle to stay engaged in their science class. As a result, student learning often suffers. The purpose of this study was to implement one additional strategy (Exit Tickets) to the teacher’s pedagogy in order to help better engage students and promote student learning. The teacher then evaluated the efficacy of the strategy by: comparing both participant behavioral engagement and assessment results prior to and during/after the implementation of the Exit Tickets. The data was disaggregated to compare students who were typically behaviorally disengaged to those who were consistently behaviorally engaged so as to better determine the effect of the strategy. This was a dual-method teacher-action research project, which assessed qualitative data collected during the lessons by the teacher as well as survey feedback from the participants about their views of the success of the strategy, and quantitative data from the results of both Exit Tickets (once implemented) and formal assessments pre- and post- the implementation of the additional engagement strategy. The study was conducted with 50 sophomore science students at a large, public, mostly affluent, largely European-American high school in Northern California. The results showed an average increase in behavioral engagement among participants with a 16.1% increase in engagement using the a teacher report, 14.8% increase in behavioral engagement using a daily monitoring index, and a 7.6% increase in quiz scores.

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