Static Learning Research Proposal

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Static Learning in the 21st Century

The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, mandated by Senate Bill 103 during the 76th Texas Legislative Session, assesses students in grades 3, through 11. Two of the tests are benchmarks for passing to the next level. The state of Texas requires students who do not pass the third grade, standardized test, to repeat that grade level and students in the eleventh grade must pass all tests in order to graduate (TEA, 2007). Test scores have come to dominate discussion about schools and their accomplishments. Amrein and Berliner (2002) found that educators at state and national levels use test scores to evaluate programs and allocate educational resources. A school, whose math test scores have dropped, might allocate money to buy a new math program, hire curriculum writers, or buy math software. States began to rely on tests of basic skills to ensure, in theory, that all students would learn at least the minimum needed to be a productive citizen. (Rosenshine, 2003).

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Despite its lack of scholarly credibility, a Nation at Risk (U.S.D.E., 1983) produced massive effects. The National Commission on Education called for more rigorous standards and accountability mechanisms to bring the United States out of its claimed educational recession. Because of a Nation at Risk (U.S.D.E., 1983), state policymakers in every state, but Iowa, developed educational standards and every state but Nebraska imposed assessment policies to check those standards. In many states high-stakes or serious consequences were attached to tests to hold schools, administrators, teachers, and students accountable for meeting the newly imposed high standards (Amrein & Berliner, 2002).

Research Proposal on Static Learning Assignment

Administrators face threats of termination and cuts in pay exist. Low average class scores may prevent teachers from receiving salary increases, may influence tenure decisions, and in sixteen states may be cause for dismissal. Only Texas has linked teacher evaluations to student or school test results (Amrein & Berliner, 2002). With this extreme focus on passing the assessment, many teachers are forced to tailor their lessons around the test. Even though teachers spend much time teaching test taking strategies and content, students still fail the test (McGill-Franzen, & Allington, 1993).

Teachers must find a way to present test content and test taking strategies that

(1) allow more time to focus on the science and social studies curriculum areas; and (2) help students retain the information presented.

According to Stuart Yeh (2005), critics of high-stakes testing generally report four negative classroom effects produced by testing:

(1) Narrowing the curriculum by excluding from it subject matter not tested;

(2) Excluding topics either not tested or not likely to appear on the test even within tested subjects;

(3) Reducing learning to the memorization of facts easily recalled for multiple-choice testing;

(4) Devoting too much classroom time to test preparation rather than learning.

This study will evaluate the success of an alternative method for presenting TAKS related content.

Statement of the Problem

In the spring of 2007, only 78% of all fifth grade students, in the state of Texas, passed the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills science test (TEA, 2007) With most of the academic day focused on teaching math and reading, the time devoted to teaching science has been reduced to twenty minutes or less each day (TEA, 2005). Elementary schools face a general problem because of the inadequate amount of time teachers have to teach the essential knowledge and skills needed to pass the TAKS science test.

This study explores the use of an old concept; static learning with a new concept, captive learning to address the specific problem which is to create a method to deliver information to students without increasing the amount of time in the school day (Lewalter, 2003). Bulletin Boards are considered static learning due to the stationary nature of the information (Belanger & Jordan, 2000). Captive learning is when the learner is unable to move from the environment for a period of time. When captive and static learning are combined, learners are in a confined space with information posted on the walls. This study places state testing information on the walls of bathroom stalls, sinks and urinals.

This quantitative method study, with an experimental design, will determine if a relationship exists between repeated exposure in a static/captive learning environment and science TAKS test scores of the fifth graders, in, two elementary schools, of the Northside Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas.

Problem Background

Today, many school districts are mandating tests to measure student performance and to hold individual schools and school systems accountable for that performance. Standardized tests are a critical reporting mechanism for the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurements mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (U.S.D.E., 2007). Test results give classroom teachers important information on how well individual students are learning and provide feedback to the teachers on their teaching methods and curriculum materials (Amrein & Berliner, 2002). Between the 1999-2000 academic year and 2003-04, the most recent date available, the average time spent weekly on science instruction in elementary schools dipped from 2.6 hours to 2.3, according to the U.S. Education Department (U.S.D.E., 2005).

Some public officials and educational administrators are increasingly calling for the use of tests to make high-stakes decisions, such as whether a student will move on to the next grade level or receive a diploma (Amrein & Berliner, 2002). Texas requires students to pass the third grade reading test, fifth grade reading and math tests and the entire eleventh grade test. The eleventh grade document includes reading, writing, math, language, science, and social studies TEA (2007). State required testing begins in the third grade. All grade levels, beginning with third; require testing in math and reading. A school's rating is based on the results of these two subject tests and attendance and graduation rates (Accountability Research, 2005).

In a majority of the states, there are 420 minutes, or seven hours, in a school day. The seven hours must include reading, math, grammar, handwriting, spelling, science, social studies, lunch, recess, physical education, music, library, computers, art and bathroom breaks (Dean, 2004). NCLB requires a ninety minute, uninterrupted block for reading instruction to those districts receiving money for the Reading First initiative. If one subtracts the ninety minutes from the four hundred twenty minutes, there are three hundred thirty minutes left. Most schools require sixty minutes of mathematical instruction which leaves two hundred seventy minutes. Subtract the required thirty minutes for lunch and there are two hundred forty minutes left. Schools now require forty five minutes of physical education each day due to increasing childhood obesity. A forty five-minute block serves as the planning period for teachers. Time must be subtracted when children are transported, which means a loss of approximately twenty minutes each day. This difference in time leaves one hundred seventy five minutes to divide between grammar, handwriting, spelling, writing, science, social studies, library, music, art, computers, social values, manners and recess. If library, music, art, computers, social values, manners and recess, are omitted there are 29 minutes left to teach each of the other subjects.

Teachers are faced with the impossible task of fitting in all the material they are required to teach in the time allotted. Many strategies have been attempted. A thematic unit is a method which begins with a theme and integrates all subjects into the lessons. A weakness to teaching in thematic units is the paperwork and planning involved ensuring all state required objectives are covered (Ojala, 1963). State required tests are academically stringent and their results impact students, campuses and districts. The project using static learning will research the efficacy of an alternative teaching venue. Static learning can ensure that all objectives are covered in an organized manner.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this study is to determine if a relationship exists between the repeated exposure in a static/captive learning environment and science TAKS test scores of the fifth graders. The use of static/captive learning can give teachers a venue to teach objectives required to pass the state test. This study will place fifth grade TAKS science information in strategic and obvious places in bathrooms to ascertain the affect this learning strategy has on test scores.

Significance of the Problem

This research topic brings static learning into the 21st century. Marketing and Advertising researchers have found a captive market to hawk their wares (Sadler, 2002). Using this same idea, schools may be able to use captive, static learning to increase their scores. With a minimum amount of time and effort, students can learn the required information. Teachers of all grade levels and subjects can use the static/captive approach. This study may bring a significant contribution to education through a new approach to present curriculum, without increasing the time needed to teach the subject.

NCLB, accountability testing, requires all schools in the United States to administer a standardized test and report the outcomes. Accountability results must be reported to state and federal education agencies. Schools are graded based on testing data. The pressure… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Static Learning" Research Proposal in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Static Learning.  (2009, April 3).  Retrieved January 26, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Static Learning."  3 April 2009.  Web.  26 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Static Learning."  April 3, 2009.  Accessed January 26, 2021.