Date of Award/Publication

2000

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

Abstract

Much has been written about problem-based learning and its ability to promote metacognition and self-directed learning. (Sage and Torp, 1998) This study was designed to determine if teacher modeling of metacognitive strategies, within a problem-based learning unit, would help students become independent, reflective thinkers. Metacognitive strategies modeled were the need-to-know-board, mind mapping, and reflective writing in daily problem logs. The study was conducted in a seventh grade science classroom over a one-month period. Students were enrolled in the district's Major Achievement Program. Data collection included responses from daily problem logs and a summative reflective essay. Additional data was collected from teacher observations and a videotaped focus group of nine students. The study concludes that teacher modeling of metacognitive strategies, within a problem-based learning unit, does increase students self-directed learning behavior through adoption of these strategies. Additionally, this study showed a growth in t h e way students perceived their ability to solve problems. Finally this study suggests that students must experience several problem-based learning situations before they can become expert self-directed learners.

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