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Gerlach, Darla Lee (2008) PROJECT-BASED LEARNING AS A FACILITATOR OF SELF-REGULATION IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examined 56 middle school students' self-reflections and self-regulatory behavioral development in a project-based learning experience. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected providing a more comprehensive evaluation of 1) students' perceptions of their self-regulatory behaviors in the project-based learning experience and 2) both the teacher's and students' perceptions of what aspects of the project-based learning experience were beneficial in facilitating students' self-regulatory behaviors. The overall findings in this study suggest that students had success in using metacognitive processes to self-monitor the development of their self-regulatory skills. The self-monitoring process was a deliberate approach used to teach students to self-identify their weaknesses and strengths in terms of three self-regulatory skills: learning strategy use, goal setting and time management. These skills are instrumental in students' achieving success by independently completing a project. The outcomes of the study imply that students need scaffolding support in project-based learning in order to facilitate the development of self-regulatory skills. As students completed the social studies class project, they required careful guidance to learn to sift through and to synthesize information from a variety of resources. It was important to design a collaborative learning environment where students were encouraged to share in the decision-making process of the project outcomes and the curriculum. Students used the Student Weekly Reflection Form (SWRF) to engage in self-reflection throughout the project. NUD*IST N6 was used to quantify and analyze the data obtained from the SWRF. Students' pre- and post-test scores on the Goal Orientation Index (GOI) (Atman, 1986) showed a significant increase in the Reflecting and Planning Subscales at the .01 level of significance using a one-tailed t-test. The Bandura Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulated Learning Scale (as cited in Pajares and Urdan, 2006) was used to measure students' perceptions of their self-regulatory abilities to complete goals. There was no significant difference between the students' pre- and post-test scores as measured by a one-tailed t-test.This study adds to existing social cognitive understanding. In order for students to identify and develop self-regulatory skills in this project, they first had to experience the opportunity to participate as managers in their own learning.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gerlach, Darla
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairAtman, Kathryn
Committee CoChairPorter, Maureenmporter@pitt.eduMPORTER
Committee MemberMyers, Johnmyersjp@pitt.eduMYERSJP
Committee MemberStein, Mary Kaymkstein@pitt.eduMKSTEIN
Date: 27 June 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 20 April 2007
Approval Date: 27 June 2008
Submission Date: 9 May 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: goal setting; learning strategy; metacognition; middle school students; project-based learning; qualitative data; quantitative data; self-efficacy; self-reflection; self-regulation; time management
Other ID:, etd-05092008-114934
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:44
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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