The Effects of the Use of Stories in High School World Geography Classrooms on Feelings of Restlessness and Levels of Student Interest in the Subject Matter - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Effects of the Use of Stories in High School World Geography Classrooms on Feelings of Restlessness and Levels of Student Interest in the Subject Matter

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Title: The Effects of the Use of Stories in High School World Geography Classrooms on Feelings of Restlessness and Levels of Student Interest in the Subject Matter


1
The Effects of the Use of Stories in High School
World Geography Classrooms on Feelings of
Restlessness and Levels of Student Interest in
the Subject Matter
  • A research project conducted by Kelly Edward
    Garner
  • March 2008

2
Summary of the Study
  • This study was conducted to better understand the
    way that students feel about the use of stories
    in their world geography classroom.
  • I wanted to know if students find stories helpful
    and to determine if there is a connection between
    the use of stories and student interest in the
    subject.
  • Additionally, I wanted to find out if there is a
    connection between the use of stories and student
    feelings of restlessness during class.

3
How I Decided on this Topic
  • This study emerged from my frustration with the
    way that the current world geography curriculum
    is structured.
  • The material that we are required to teach seems
    to lack a connecting theme which provides 9th
    grade students with an adequate schema to
    interpret current events.

4
Topic (continued)
  • At first, I wanted to rearrange the sequence in
    which the world regions are taught, to begin with
    Europe and then to connect each world region to
    the theme of colonialism as we studied colonial
    expansion around the globe, then to compare their
    improvement with students taught the curriculum
    in the traditional way.

5
Topic (continued)
  • I wanted to do this for two reasons.
  • -- It was my intuition, based on
    learning from my graduate studies, that students
    would retain more information if they had a
    narrative framework to connect their new learning
    to.
  • -- I perceived colonialist expansion
    as an adequate framework for interpreting current
    events.

6
Topic (continued)
  • I abandoned this approach for two reasons.
  • Firstly, I discovered that I was not allowed to
    deviate from the proscribed sequence of the
    curriculum pacing guide due to standardized
    quarterly assessments.
  • Secondly, while colonialism provides a useful
    framework for understanding the cultural
    distribution of the modern world, the narratives
    associated with globalization provide one of
    critical import to the decisions and policies
    affecting all nations and international
    alliances, and should therefore be taught along
    side, if not in lieu of, the narrative of
    colonialism.
  • Which brings us to the current study.

7
Topic (continued)
  • The affective domain seemed more accessible due
    to the restrictions and limitations of the
    district mandated curriculum pacing.
  • The compromise was to design a study which would
    determine student and teacher perceptions of the
    frequency and efficacy of the use of narratives
    to teach world geography. While this study would
    not show me if using stories works, it was my
    hope was that it would show me if students and
    teachers perceive stories to be helpful and if
    there are any significant correlations with their
    use and levels of interest or restlessness.

8
Topic (conclusion)
  • It is my hope that this study will provide a
    basis for conducting further study into the
    usefulness of narrative frameworks for teaching
    world geography.

9
Procedures
  • After deciding on a topic, I reviewed the
    existing literature on the subject, stated my
    research questions, and consulted the school
    principal to determine the feasibility of the
    study. After obtaining the necessary approval, I
    designed a survey to administer to students and
    to teachers which would help me to obtain the
    needed data. I decided on mostly closed-ended
    questions with a few open-ended questions for the
    students. For the teachers, I created several
    open-ended questions. The information for these
    initial steps is found in chapters one, two, and
    three of my research paper.

10
Procedures
  • After sending out permission letters to parents,
    I administered 159 surveys to students divided
    into 7 world geography classes taught by 4
    different geography teachers. The teachers were
    sent an email with the open-ended questions.

11
Procedures
  • The data from the student surveys was entered in
    to the Statistical Package for the Social Studies
    (SPSS) program and then analyzed using a variety
    of tests which will be explained in more detail
    in the next section. This data was presented in
    chapter four of my research paper.

12
Procedures
  • The open ended questions were grouped and
    categorized according to the student responses
    and were taken into consideration while
    interpreting the results of the statistical
    analysis but were not entered into the SPSS
    program.

13
Procedures
  • I then analyzed the results of the tests
    performed as they related to my research
    questions, interpreted the significance of the
    tests that I performed, discussed how my study
    contributed to the base of knowledge, and
    reflected on changes that I would make for
    conducting further study. The results of these
    procedures can be found in chapter five of my
    research paper.

14
Tests Performed
  • Using the SPSS program I analyzed the data to
    determine relationships between variables.

15
Tests Performed
  • The test that I used most frequently was the test
    to determine bi-variate correlations. This
    allowed me to see how, if at all, two variables
    change in relation to one another. I found this
    test extremely useful because I could compare
    many variables with each other and the output was
    in table form which was ideal for comparing
    variables.

16
Tests Performed
  • The independent sample t- test helped me to
    determine if there was a statistically
    significant relationship between two variables. A
    particularly useful part of this analysis was
    that it would analyze the level of variance among
    responses. This is called Levenes test of level
    of variance. If the variance was too great then
    the results would not be considered statistically
    significant. This helped me to compare the data
    between males and females and to understand that
    there was a wide range of responses within each
    group.

17
Tests Performed
  • I also utilized the graphing features to compare
    information in a visual format. I made bar graphs
    and in the preparation stage I also used line
    graphs. I did not find the output of these tests
    as useful as the output that was in table form
    because the tables would indicate if a
    statistically significant correlation existed.

18
Significant Results
  • Q11 Does a teachers usage of stories to teach
    correlate with student feelings of restlessness?
  • Yes. The data indicates a negative correlation
    between students feelings of restlessness in
    class and their claim that their teacher uses
    stories to teach the subject. The results
    indicate a -.186 Pearson correlation which is
    significant at the 0.05 level.
  • This means that as students perceive teachers to
    be using stories to teach there is a decrease in
    their feelings of restlessness.

19
Significant Results
  • Q8 Does a teachers usage of stories correlate
    with student interest in world geography?
  • Yes, significantly for average students, slightly
    less so for honors students.
  • Tests indicate that a positive Pearson
    correlation of .356, with significance at the
    0.01 level, exists between teachers use of big
    stories to teach and average level students
    finding world geography interesting.
  • Tests indicate that a positive Pearson
    correlation of .345, with significance at the
    0.01 level, exists between student perception
    that stories help them to learn and honors
    students finding world geography interesting
  • Finally, tests indicates that a positive Pearson
    correlation of .311, with significance at the
    0.01 level, exists between student perception
    that stories help them to learn and students
    finding world geography interesting.

20
Significant Results
  • Q16 Does student ethnicity correlate with how
    helpful they find teachers use of stories to
    teach?
  • Yes, Black students (especially in the honors
    level classes) showed statistically significant
    correlations with a decrease in feelings of
    restlessness and an increase in interest when
    they perceived that their teacher used stories to
    teach the material.
  • White, Latino, and Asian students also showed
    some correlations but the results were most
    significant for Black students.

21
Significant Results
  • Students perceive stories to be helpful.
  • Tests also indicate that a positive Pearson
    correlation of .464, with significance at the
    0.01 level, exists between teachers use of big
    stories to teach and students perception that
    stories help them learn.

22
Significant Results
  • One last side note, this studys results indicate
    that among the various preferred learning styles
    surveyed that students who prefer listening to
    explanations found stories least helpful and that
    students who preferred doing experiments found
    stories most helpful. This connection between
    story telling and interpretation, and active and
    passive learning, should be explored in more
    detail

23
How has this study added to the bank of knowledge
in this field?
  • Many research studies have investigated the
    effects of background knowledge on student
    comprehension, reading, and writing but this
    study narrows the focus to examine how world
    geography students and teachers feel about one
    method that students use to develop a context for
    learning, namely stories.

24
How has this study added to the bank of knowledge
in this field?
  • I was unable to find any research from Virginia
    about the use of stories in teaching the Virginia
    SOL curriculum framework or on student and
    teacher perceptions of the use of stories. This
    study may serve as a gateway to other teacher
    researchers seeking to improve their knowledge of
    this topic and as a reference to those who
    continue to investigate this topic.

25
Changes to expand the value of the study
  • In future versions of this study I would create
    several questions for the teachers and the
    students which probe the extent to which they
    practice connecting events in the news to the
    information that they are studying in class. This
    would help with analyzing the data and
    potentially work towards a rationale for
    including more emphasis on this practice in the
    classroom.

26
Changes to expand the value of the study
  • I would also create more questions about
    students preferred learning styles. I would
    expand it to include reading about a subject,
    writing about a subject, reading independently,
    and using computers. This is important to note
    because the use of narrative frameworks can be
    applied to a variety of learning modalities. .

27
Changes to expand the value of the study
  • I would also like to compare student responses
    with their actual performance in the class. I
    would have them identify their grade on their
    last report card, interim, and test to see how
    this compares with their stated preferences.

28
Changes to expand the value of the study
  • Finally, It might also be useful to have the
    students try to communicate their understanding
    of several narratives by relating current events
    to one of several different themes. This could be
    compared with the way that teachers are
    presenting the information and provide a way for
    us to see how they may use these stories in the
    future.

29
Future implications of this study
  • This study may serve as a basis for putting more
    thought into how stories are used to teach world
    geography. This study shows that black students
    show an increase in interest in the subject and a
    decrease in restlessness when their teacher uses
    stories to teach the material. Utilizing this
    interest in stories could help to decrease the
    achievement gap and improve the quality of world
    geography instruction for all students.

30
Future implications of this study
  • Additionally, since many Virginia students will
    not receive any higher level training in social
    studies, enhanced world geography instruction
    could be an important factor in increasing
    interest in civic responsibility and activity. If
    people are given adequate training to make sense
    of social issues then they will be less dependent
    on other to make informed decisions about the
    issues that affect them.

31
Future implications of this study
  • Lastly, the results of this study, and future
    studies on this topic, could be applied to other
    fields of study, such as science or mathematics.
    While these fields require that students learn
    specific kinds of non-narrative processes,
    stories could help to provide a context that
    students can relate to which would serve as an
    organizational schema for incorporating new
    information. Many students complain that they do
    not see how math and science are useful to them
    in their everyday life. Stories have the ability,
    known as mythopoeia, to construct worlds. If
    students can practice by finding their value
    within this constructed world then they may be
    able to find some connection to the way that
    these fields of study apply to the world as they
    perceive it.
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