Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Education

Date of Defense

4-26-2011

Graduate Advisor

Joseph L. Polman, Ph.D.

Co-Advisor

Catapano, Susan

Committee

Dr. Sheilah Clark Ekong

Slapac, Alina

Abstract

The Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP) was an idea conceived by the faculty at a large university in partnership with a surrounding school district that is characterized as urban. The idea of the SEP was to create a whole extra day of learning for students that was a departure from the regular routine of Monday through Friday class. The SEP was designed to be a more relaxed, hands-on, student driven program that followed a Project Based Learning (PBL) philosophy. The teachers were pre-service teachers (PSTs) from the university. This study sought to answer the research question; what are the perceptions of the participants (students, parents, administrators, university faculty, and pre-service teachers) regarding the impact of the SEP? The sub-questions that shaped the analysis were; what were the attitudes of learners toward learning? And how did learners participate in the SEP? Through a secondary analysis of case study research data previously collected by the researcher from 2005-2010, it was found that most participants considered the SEP a quality learning experience. This was shown through observations of regular attendance and participation, as well as, statements made in interviews. One key participant was of the opinion that the SEP could be more rigorous and structured, following the school district’s pacing guide. This researcher concluded that the SEP had gone through curriculum changes over the five years of the study and had lessened the PBL focus, but was still a worthy activity for students on a Saturday morning as the program maintained strong student engagement and the learning prepared students to some degree for Monday through Friday curriculum. Recommendations included strengthening the PBL guidelines, inviting the current principal to have more input, and adding rigor to the activities and experiments without losing the enjoyment factor that the students had come to expect.

Included in

Education Commons

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