|Institution:||Arkansas State University|
|Full text PDF:||http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10260123|
Although many studies have shown good effectiveness of student-centered instruction in a variety of educational settings, relatively few have focused on alternative learning environment (ALE) programs. This research study compared the learning outcomes of ALE students in a one rural Arkansas delta school sequentially utilizing a teacher-centered and a student-centered learning environment. Additionally, this research addressed how each environment nurtured independence skills, leadership, and social growth. Significant differences were observed in academic achievement, and student views about the classroom environment were well documented. A Mixed-Methods design was incorporated for quantitative and qualitative measures to compare learning outcomes in both student-centered and teacher-centered classroom environments. Quantitative measures included a student survey designed to measure student views and perceptions of both environments and that of academic grades. Qualitative measures included classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, student-focus groups, and journal entries. Research participants were alternative learning environment students and one primary investigator. The primary investigator was the teacher of the ALE classroom where implementation of student-centered and teacher-centered learning that included 25 student participants took place. Student-centered methods were based on democratic (Dewey, 1938), and constructivist (Vygotsky, 1978) principles. Teacher-centered methods were based on (Skinner, 1953) and (Lynch, 2010) ideologies and their incorporation of student lecture as the means for effective instruction. Data findings of this study indicate ALE teachers can incorporate a student-centered classroom environment that engage students, promote independence and leadership skills and promote higher academic achievement.