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This research paper describes strategies for increasing high school students' motivation in order to increase their academic success. The targeted population consisted of students in biology classes at a small high school in a growing middle-class community in rural Illinois. The problem of motivation was documented using anecdotal records, student grades, and standardized test results. Analysis of probable cause data focused on changing demographics, classrooms becoming overcrowded, and deterioration of family structure. A review of curricular practices revealed an overemphasis on traditional teaching practices that addressed only two of the seven intelligences. Students appeared to have low expectations of school and their academic success. A review of possible solution strategies suggested by the literature, combined with an analysis of the problem setting, resulted in the selection of two major types of intervention: cooperative group work stressing the seven intelligences, and improving student-teacher communication through student journals. The specific intervention strategies created a positive classroom climate in which at-risk students were able to achieve satisfactory grades through increased motivation. Moreover, all students in the targeted classes benefited from the interventions used. Appendices include student and teacher survey data. Contains 54 references. (Author/TD)

Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Educational Strategies, High Risk Students, High School Students, High Schools, Intervention, Multiple Intelligences, Rural Schools, School Districts, Small Schools, Student Journals, Student Motivation, Teacher Student Relationship

Autor: Hughes, Carol S.


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