Improving student achievement, interest and confidence in science through the implementation of the 5E learning cycle in the middle grades of an urban school
Hokkanen, Susanne Lorraine
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The purpose of this investigation was to ascertain if the implementation of the 5E learning cycle model in lesson planning and lesson presentation could improve student academics, interest and confidence in science. The 5E learning cycle model consists of five phases of teaching: engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. The phases are not linear and can be taught in a dynamic approach to address demonstrated student comprehension of the content. During this investigation, students completed an interest survey every six weeks and completed pre- and post-tests throughout the treatment period. The treatment consisted of an Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) preparation unit and three mini-units: atoms, force and motion introduction, and speed and motion graphing. There were slight gains noted in student self-expressed interest and confidence in science throughout the treatment period and school year, and student self-expressed interest and confidence fluctuated. Interest in a science career demonstrated the greatest gain. Students also demonstrated small gains within the mini-units. However, greater gains were achieved and noted within the ISAT preparation unit, especially when compared to a traditionally taught classroom. Within this research project, it was determined that the 5E model has the potential to improve student academics, interest and confidence in science, when implemented properly and with dedication and fidelity.