Recent research has demonstrated that utility value interventions in which students write about how their learning is relevant to their daily lives have been found to increase students’ perceptions of utility value, science interest and performance and even influence career choice. There is limited research on the effects of utility value interventions in schools with high demographics of minority groups. This research will explore the effects of a utility value intervention in a ninth-grade biology class composed of a high representation of minority and socioeconomically-disadvantaged populations in a high school located in Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA. Four biology classes were assigned by a flip of a coin to a control group or an experimental condition. Students in both control and experimental groups received the same instruction and class activities except for the intervention during the last 13 minutes of class, once a week for a length of four weeks. Students in the intervention group discussed for three minutes how the class content connected to their lives or to someone they know and then wrote about it independently for 10 minutes. Students in the control condition discussed for three minutes about a topic that they had learned in class and then wrote a summary of their learning independently for 10 minutes. A mixed methods approach was used to measure intervention effects on students’ perception of utility value, science interest and performance and students’
writings in the intervention group were qualitatively analyzed. It was found that the quantitative measures do not provide conclusive evidence to suggest that the utility value intervention had an effect on students’ perceptions of utility value, science interest, and academic performance. Qualitative analysis revealed that students made connections between learned class content and their everyday lives. Implications and future research are discussed.
|Commitee:||Colburn, Alan, Kisiel, James|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||interest, utility value|
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