viernes, 23 de octubre de 2009

Research objectives

The present action research study is important to me as a science teacher and to the educational institution where I work, because by no means the main goal of the science program and the teachers who teach it at Gimnasio de Los Cerros, can be the reinforcement of reading and writing skills in English, leaving aside more important aspects such as the development of critical thinking skills and the gradual increase of learner autonomy in the students based on the exploration and discovery of their surrounding world by means of continuously questioning themselves and others about life science, earth science, physical science, and their own bodies.

Another reason why this project is important is that students need to get to higher grades having the ability to ask questions on their own and looking for ways to answer questions themselves using different research strategies. The implementation of this inquiry-based learning unit is essential, because what our students need is to develop inquiry skills so that they can cope with future situations and become more autonomous lifelong learners.

Therefore, the main goal of this action research project is to increase the level of autonomy awareness in a group of fourth-grade students by means of implementing an inquiry-based learning unit about the systems of the human body in the current science program. Other specific objectives are:

1. To make learners more aware of their learning goals and the content of the science materials that they use by means of a student-centered methodology rather than a teacher-centered one.
2. To get students to inquire more than they are used to about science topics.
3. To make learners more aware of their own preferred learning styles.

What is expected from this action research project is that students demonstrate an increased level of their autonomy awareness by showing more awareness of their learning goals and the content of the science materials that they use (Nunan, 1997); by fostering inquiry, which implies involvement in activities that lead to understanding, since involvement in learning implies developing skills and attitudes that permit students to seek resolutions to questions and issues while they construct new knowledge (Exline, 2008); and by being able to identify better their own preferred learning styles.

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