Advisor(s)

John Caron

Contributor(s)

Carol Young

Date of Award

2012

Date Accepted

1-2012

Degree Grantor

Northeastern University

Degree Level

Ed.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department or Academic Unit

College of Professional Studies, School of Education

Keywords

education, instructional design, special education, authentic assessments and tasks, inclusion, individual education plan /504, learning disabled, least restrictive environment, self-assessments

Disciplines

Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

The way in which education is taught is forever changing. Therefore, a new method in which content is delivered is a central component in examining areas for improvement. In this paper, participatory action research (PAR) was used to investigate authentic tasks in the inclusive tenth and eleventh grade classroom. The purpose of this study was to determine whether authentic tasks improved the academic performance and social interaction of regular and special education students in this type of setting. The research questions were; How does the use of authentic tasks impact the social interactions of general education and special education students in an inclusive tenth and eleventh grade biology classroom, and How does the use of authentic tasks impact the academic performance of general education and special education students in an inclusive tenth and eleventh grade biology classroom? This research provided a foundation in observational, survey, and interview data on authentic tasks in the inclusive setting in an effort to find meaning in the effectiveness of teacher-created authentic tasks versus the conventional method of textbook work. The study was conducted in a suburban New Jersey high school using an inclusive biology class consisting of 12 students, 10 of whom were participants in the study. Two surveys and one interview were conducted to triangulate the data collected. The results reflected that social interaction was increased as a result of using authentic tasks. The data collected regarding authentic tasks on academic performance did not appear to greatly improve or impede marking period results. Further exploration regarding academic performance for an entire school year would be recommended as a future study. Academic performance is conventionally measured by quantitative means. This study can be used as a foundation to provide educational professionals a new way to examine their students' academic performance and social interaction.

Document Type

Article

Rights Information

copyright 2012

Rights Holder

Wendy Raso Bruffy

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