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University of Southern Maine

Educational Methods

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Teaching Place-Based Science In Kindergarten, Lucy Atkins May 2018

Teaching Place-Based Science In Kindergarten, Lucy Atkins

Capstone Research Projects

This action research explores how kindergarten students learn about forces and motion through inquiry-based, place-based methods. The learning took place as part of an existing day spent learning outdoors, known as Forest Monday, that includes extended time for free play. The three sub-questions addressed 1) science content learning, 2) science practice application, and 3) the incorporation of science content and practices into free play time outdoors. It was a mixed-methods study, with science assessment data supporting observations and interviews. The participants were 12 kindergarten students in a rural elementary school. All students were assessed and interviewed but observations were focused ...


The Impacts Of Explicit Systematic Phonics Instruction On The Areas Of Decoding And Fluency For Students With A Specific Learning Disability In Reading, Marina Hingston Dec 2017

The Impacts Of Explicit Systematic Phonics Instruction On The Areas Of Decoding And Fluency For Students With A Specific Learning Disability In Reading, Marina Hingston

Capstone Research Projects

The purpose of this embedded, mixed methods action research study was to examine the impacts of explicit, systematic phonics instruction on students with a specific learning disability in reading. A phonics intervention program, S.P.I.R.E., was implemented over the course of four weeks. The participants were two 4th graders and one 6th grader, all who had an identified specific learning disability in the area of reading. Data was collected on decoding accuracy pre and post intervention, as well as on reading fluency using timed one minute fluency drills. In addition, student perceptions of the S.P.I ...


Providing Adolescents With Outdoor Experiences To Deepen Nature Connection And Enhance Writing In Science, Amanda Ripa Oct 2016

Providing Adolescents With Outdoor Experiences To Deepen Nature Connection And Enhance Writing In Science, Amanda Ripa

Capstone Research Projects

This action research study investigates the use of the nature journal with middle school students for three purposes: strengthen descriptive writing, engage observation and thinking, and bridge nature journaling and student’s connection to the natural world. This study describes an interdisciplinary unit in science and language arts focused on the study of seasons, climate, and weather. Nature journals were used as a scientific tool by students to collect data and make observations of nature related to course content. Action research data was collected from a subset of students using the student's nature journals, direct observations, pre and post ...


An Investigation Into The Accessibility Of Ap Calculus, Brian Austin Dodge Jan 2016

An Investigation Into The Accessibility Of Ap Calculus, Brian Austin Dodge

Capstone Research Projects

This is a mixed methods ethnographic study conducted to determine what obstacles students face when approaching AP Calculus. I focused my study on home economics, peer pressure, ELL status and home support. Overall, I found that being a student who is ELL (hereafter defined as a student who was or currently is required to take ACCESS testing) had the most negative effect of the previously listed factors. Home economics and peer pressure were inconclusive or often had no effect. Finally, having a supportive home life in the form of parents who value education, encourage goal-setting, and set high expectations had ...