This action research focuses on the problem and issues of developing a sustained premium level of interest, motivation and a work ethic in the potentially dangerous environment of the Material Design and Technology (MDT) classroom. This action research assignment is based on the Stringer (2008) method and was implemented to improve my teaching as I have recognized that students often seem disengaged in the classroom. If engagement can be enhanced this would then lead to a classroom environment that may have less behavioral management problems. The study involved the students of two grade 9 classes, both of which are predominantly male.
The research question is "What effect does Problem-Based Learning, compared to Direct-Instruction, have on student engagement and student behaviour in the Material Design and Technology classroom?" The purpose of the research was to ascertain if a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach and freedom of expression in a project, as opposed to Direct-Instruction following a set plan distributed by the teacher, will result in a higher rate of student interest in their learning and if there is any influence on student behaviour in the classroom.
The Direct-Instruction lessons I commonly implement have the benefit for the student that they have specifically defined tasks and they are clearly aware of what is expected from them. This format also allows me a more regulated teaching plan and assessment criteria.
This study is significant as the ability to engage students in the Material Design and Technology classroom should result in classes running more smoothly, with less behavioural problems, with students taking greater pride in their work as well as gaining deeper understanding of their learning. Allowing students greater freedom of expression in their work may result in students developing a stronger level of ownership over their learning and might result in a higher...