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This action research project implemented and evaluated a program to improve students' lack of effort and use of ineffective learning strategies. Participants were students in one kindergarten class, one second-grade class, one high ability fourth-grade class and one high ability fifth-grade class in a Midwest suburban school. Student and teacher surveys indicated the need to reduce six target behaviors: (1) reliance upon seeking help; (2) lack of metacognition; (3) failure to learn from mistakes; (4) quitting; (5) producing poor quality work; and (6) apathy. Goal-setting and self-evaluation techniques were implemented to improve self-efficacy in the students. Specific interventions included: (1) authentic evaluation (teacher observation checklists); (2) student self-evaluation; (3) student initiated academic goal-setting, and (4) student self- regulation of goal achievement. Specific interventions were implemented over a 12-week period. Improvement was measured by a series of student surveys and teacher observation checklists. In kindergarten and second grade, findings of the surveys and checklists indicated substantial improvement in the focus areas of persistence, problem solving, motivation, and accuracy. In fourth and fifth grades, findings of student surveys remained consistent, while the teacher observation checklists showed some improvement in the focus areas. (Nine appendices include the survey and checklist forms. Contains 17 references.) (HTH)

Descriptors: Action Research, Attitude Change, Change Strategies, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Learning Strategies, Metacognition, Program Effectiveness, Self Efficacy, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Student Attitudes, Student Educational Objectives, Student Evaluation, Student Improvement, Student Motivation

Autor: Cunningham, Judy; Krull, Carol; Land, Nora; Russell, Sylvia


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