Myrna Colon, Ph.D. Professor of Education Ruth WilliamsMorris, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology.
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Qualitative analysis of comments
Is it Worth the Time and Effort? Teachers Perceptions of 4MAT in the Southern UnionMyrna Colon, Ph.D.Professor of EducationRuth WilliamsMorris, Ph.D.Professor of Psychology
1In 2003, a transformed curriculum, Journey to Excellence, was established for the North American Division Seventh-day Adventist Schools In agreement with the educational initiative of the NAD, in 2004, the Southern Union decided to continue the modification with their own project called the Adventist EDGE from which 4MAT is derived. The focus of Adventist EDGE is to use ideal practices that aid in the learning process to assist students in obtaining their highest ability of learning. Adventist EDGE has proved successful and has grown to be a viable foundation for educators in the Southern Union. Each year Adventists EDGE educators express satisfaction with the program .
IntroductionSince the implementation of 4MAT as part of Adventist Edge initiative, there has been no systematic, empirical inquiry into what teachers think and feel about 4MAT.
This cross-sectional descriptive design using survey methodology was guided by six research questions.Statement of the ProblemTo measure and describe quantitatively and qualitatively the perceptions of teachers currently working in the Southern Union of Seventh-day Adventist about 4MAT.
This cross-sectional descriptive design using survey methodology was guided by seven research questions.
Purpose of the StudyHow effective do teachers perceive 4MAT to be?How much are teachers using 4MAT?What types of strategies are teachers using to enhance learning?What types of assessments are teachers using to measure student learning?How do teachers feel about 4MAT? How much support from school administrators do teachers perceive?How much do teachers know about 4MAT?
The Research QuestionsMethodParticipants152 teachers, elementary, secondary, from 8 conferences in the Southern Union38 men, 109 womenAverage Teaching experience = 18 years (SD = 10.8)
The InstrumentThe 4MAT Indicator Survey (4MATIS)34 items, 4 sections (3Quantitative, 1 Qualitative)Section 1 Beliefs and Actions (27) Likert scaleSection 2 Assessment and Strategies ChecklistSection 3 Feelings About 4MAT Open-endedSection 4 Demographic (4)Chronbachs alpha = .86
Sample Section 1 ItemsWhich of these assessments do you use during a school year? Check as many as apply.DailyFrequentSeldomNeverMultiple choice questions, DemonstrationsMatching questions, PresentationsTrue/false questions, PortfoliosShort answers questions, Peer AssessmentsEssay questions
Section 2 Assessment and StrategiesSample items:1. How have your thoughts and feelings about C/I changed as a result of using 4MAT?2. What do you see as the potential weaknesses of 4MAT?3. Please give us any suggestions that you have about 4MAT.Section 3. Feelings About 4MAT (Qualitative)ProcedureSouthern Union 2007Superintendents /Principals 2008All Schools in Southern Union 2008899 surveys 2008152 Received November 2008
QUANTITATIVE: Descriptive Statistics and Inferential StatisticsSPSS 17.0 softwareMeans, SDs, PercentagesIndependent Samples t-tests, One-Way ANOVA, Pearson Product-Moment Correlation CoefficientsData AnalysisQUALITATIVE: Content Analysis on Section 3 itemsPositive commentsNegative commentsEmotional climateWeaknesses of 4MATData Analysis contdResearch Question #11. How effective do teachers perceive 4MAT to be?4MAT contributes to increased student achievementM = 14, SD = 3.6, n = 152Range of effectiveness =5-25
Research Question#2 How much are teachers using 4MAT?I pose essential questions in the 4MAT unitM = 32.86, SD 6.97Use scores range = 11-55
Research Question #3 What types of strategies are teachers using to enhance learning?Which strategies do you use? Check as many as apply (case studies, problem-based learning)Amount and frequency-Daily Frequently, Seldom, NeverM = 105, SD = 31, n = 151Range = 21 -200
Research Question #4What types of assessments are teachers using to measure student learning? Amount and frequency
M = 17.64, SD = 3.10, n = 152Range = 3-20
Research Questions #5 How do teachers feel about 4MAT?
M = 17.62, SD = 4.62, n = 150Range 5-27Higher values = more positive feelings
Research Question #6 How much support from school administrators do teachers perceive?M = 3.77, SD = 1.79, n = 147Range = 1-5Higher values = more perceived support
Research Question #7 How much do teachers know about 4MAT?I have had in-depth format training; I know my 4MAT typeM = 14.84 SD = 3.86, n = 150Range of knowledge scores = 4 - 20
Interesting RelationshipsThe more experienced the teacher the greater perceived effectiveness of 4MAT reported r(126) = .30, p = .001, r squared = 9%The more experienced the teacher the greater the use of different assessments used r(128) = .31, p < .01, r squared ~9%
What the quantitative analysis tells, and does not tell usSo, What did the teachers actually say?
Qualitative Analysis of Comments
A. How have your thoughts and feelings about curriculum and instruction changed as a result of using 4MAT? 65% of the comments were positive
Teachers address different learning styles:Im more aware of the needs of the different types of learners and how to reach them.Think more about how each one learns.More aware of learning styles in daily lessons.I think more about the fact that the learner may not learn in the same way I do that affects the strategies I choose.
Students enjoy the lesson and learn:
I love to include 4MAT and curriculum and instruction. It takes more time to prepare but I know my students are connected and learning.Student can learn more through 4MAT.When I do teach a 4MAT lesson I feel good about it and my students enjoy the lessons.
Some negative commentsMy feelings are ambivalent. In our conference it has poor implementation and relevance. Is extremely impractical.I dont enjoy 4MAT.Theres got to be a simpler way to I prove the quality of education!
Teachers do not use 4MAT or have had little or no trainingIve been told to use it, but have had zero exposure or training.For 4MAT training I have few materials. It would take more time to prep a 4MAT unit. I dont use it in my classroom.I need more training.I dont use 4MAT. I have 8 students in 6 grades!Im not using 4MAT at this time.
B. How have your thoughts and feelings about assessment changed as a result of using 4MAT?
The majority of the respondents expressed positive changeThe necessity of assessment has heightened.I am able to use a variety of assessment for my students. They also have the choice to show what they have learned.Increased the variety of assessment.I use far less testing & more authentic assessment.Using different methods.
40% of the respondents express little or no changeVery little.No, not at all.No ,still the same.Still assess basically the same.Somewhat. It leads itself to more forms of assessment.
C. How has the emotional classroom climate been affected by 4MAT?
The majority express a positive changeStudents look forward to learning new things.It has been good because most of the time the students are connected and want to learn what is being taught.Kids enjoy the lessons more.Students are happy.Kids love the 4MAT units. They tend to work together better.
Some express no change and negative feelingsNone noticedI dont use it enough to sense a difference. 4MAT is similar to my regular way of teaching so really no change.No difference.No change. I already plan around multiple intelligences.It seems that the class gets disruptive and disorganized.Students feel the lessons are disjointed-Whats the point? They have very little patience the traveling the wheel.
D. What do you see as strengths of 4MAT?
Addresses different types of learner
It meets all types of learners is very engaging for students.Seeing how different children thrive in different learning environments.It meets the needs of all learning styles. It helps organize teaching and objectives.Brain-based, connects w/ all types of learners, more variety.Helping all students learn in various ways.4MAT reaches every childs learning abilities and implements success for every child.
E. What do you see as the potential weaknesses of 4MAT?
Easy to spend too much time and not covering enough of the standards.Time consuming.Time in planning and carrying out.Too much time to develop lessons.It takes a lot of time to make. It also takes time to go through the wheel.It is terribly time consuming especially when you are planning for 5 different grades. It is very hard for students to make-up classwork when doing connect, etc.
Not relevant in multi-grade classes the complications arising from various implementations not covered during training.NOT ENOUGH PLANNING TIME! Cumbersome and unrealistic for multigrade teachers to use consistently.That if 4MAT has to be drastically implemented will be so difficult for teachers teaching multigrade.
F. Has your sense of professional efficacy grown through the Adventist EDGE initiative? If so, how?
The majority of the respondents answered positivelyConsideration of clear objectives makes for more effective yearly planning.Yes, it holds me more accountable and has raised the bar on what & how I teach.Yes, more so because it gives a sense of being responsible to make sure you do deliver great education and doing so you seek the necessary skills and tools to do so.Yes. I expect more of myself & feel like I am better at reaching my philosophy of helping each student everyday!I now understand a lot more about how we learn. I can do things in my class and for my students that not just anybody can do.
The majority of the respondents answered positively contdConsideration of clear objectives makes for more effective yearly planning.Yes, it holds me more accountable and has raised the bar on what & how I teach.Yes, more so because it gives a sense of being responsible to make sure you do deliver great education and doing so you seek the necessary skills and tools to do so.Yes. I expect more of myself & feel like I am better at reaching my philosophy of helping each student everyday!I now understand a lot more about how we learn. I can do things in my class and for my students that not just anybody can do.
of the respondents answered that there was little or no growth of efficacyNO Its just so much verbage! Please quit teaching us like we havent been applying these principles for years too much condescension re EDGE. AND we may come across to public school teachers as thinking we offer overall better programs. Our ONLY edge is our freedom to teach Jesus. No, it has not, due to the behavioral issues of students becoming a roadblock to conventional education, the EDGE initiative is reduced in efficacy because of the lack of relevance.
of the respondents answered that there was little or no growth of efficacy contdNot really. It has frustrated me more. When I dont have the time to create all the 4MAT lessons I need to I feel inadequate as a professional. I just dont think it is practical approach for a teacher in a small school.No. I always tried to be creative, on the cutting edge. Now I am frustrated.
G. Please tell us any suggestions that you have about 4MAT.Teachers request trainingMore training in actually making it usable and what our plan books should look like. More time to allow collaboration with others in writing good 4MAT units.Provide coaching!We need continuous training. Not a week of it because its overload. Break information into sessions so we are able to absorb it, just as you would a student. We would not give a student a bunch of work and then tell them to go do it.Please train new teachers in the use of it.More Webinairs [sic] with Bernice but after school hours. Most of us are still teaching at 2:30 when they were scheduled.
H. Are you willing to teach 4Mat units that have been developed by others and made accessible to teachers?
Yes: 115No: 17
I. Do you need more practice and coaching in 4MAT developed units?
Yes: 78No: 63
J. Would you like to collaborate with others to develop 4MAT units?Yes: 84No: 53
Additional comments:Dear Ones, Thank you for doing this. We do need to stress the development of student focused lesson plans in our organization. It aleviates [sic] boredom and disruptive behavior and enhances inquiry, and a love of learning. The days of mindless reading and writing should really soon become only a distant memory. I am guilty of not planning my units using the 4-mat structure. But the recent webinars have helped me to refocus. I appreciate the large data base and will try hard to make use of it in the future.
Additional comments: contdI do not formally 4MAT all of my units. I believe that 4MAT is excellent, however, I make every effort to reach all of the learning styles in my classroom, through use of all of the intelligences. I am still learning 4MAT and find it very time consuming so I analyze all my plans to make sure I am including the different styles and intelligences. Teaching in the lower grades has enabled me to do all the varieties and follow the 4MAT wheel, but not formally write it up as such.
I have not been trained with 4MAT yet.
Im willing [to teach 4Mat units that have been developed by others] but would have to modify / adapt to my class / curriculum.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDYSome teachers need 4MAT training.Multigrade teachers need training on how to make 4MAT work for them.Teachers need training on how to make 4MAT less time consuming.Teachers want available/prepared 4MAT units.Trainers should use 4MAT when training.Provide opportunities for teachers to plan together 4MAT units at a convenient time for them.Some teachers are using similar components of the 4MAT model and are also successful in the teaching learning process.Some teachers perceive 4MAT as mandatory for al l unit planning and this makes them uncomfortable.
Conclusion and DiscussionsStrengths of studyWeaknesses of studyAgenda for future inquiry
Thanks to Student Research AssistantsEmily BaldwinBrandon PierceGabriella PerezDaniel OlsonEdely YepezNadia Garmon
Thanks toSouthern Union for initial and continuing support of the projectSouthern Adventist University for providing funds through a small Research Grant