Community in the classrooom : an approach to curriculum and instruction as a means for the development of student cognitive, social and emotional engagement in a high school classroom

Jones, Tammy Elizabeth
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2012]
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This purpose of this qualitative research study was to document and analyze the impact of developing an intellectually safe classroom community of inquiry on student cognitive, social, and emotional engagement in a public high school setting on the leeward coast of O'ahu, Hawaiʻi. This study discusses the implementation of a student-entered curriculum that utilizes the Philosophy for Children (p4c) approach and is aimed at increasing student engagement and improving one's perception of self as a learner. A review of the literature for this study examines research in the fields of engagement, curriculum, inquiry, and teacher reflection. The combined research methods of case study and self-study were used to systematically examine ways in which learning occurred in my classroom in terms cognitive, social and emotional engagement. These qualitative methods were used to collect and analyze data from one class of 38 tenth-grade students over the course of a ten-month school year. Data were derived from multiple sources, including multiple student reflections, follow-up student interviews with five participants, and teacher observations of a critical incident. I coded each set of data for individual themes, and then in relation to one another to identify emerging themes. Implications are discussed in relation to schools, administrators, current educational politics, further research, and my future practice. The importance of fostering and developing student personal engagement in relation to the outside pressures of high-stakes testing and the upcoming implementation of the nationally aligned Common Core State Standards are also addressed. The findings of this study revealed that there is a strong connection between the level of student personal engagement and student academic and personal success. The results from this study can be used to inform teaching and curriculum development by viewing the classroom as a social setting that allows for insights on how students learn. This dissertation concludes with teacher self-reflection on the process of completing this study, as well as on lessons learned and the development of my personal teaching philosophy.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
curriculum, engagement, community, cognitive, social, emotional
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Education.
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