Academic Research

Intrinsic Motivation and Learning Through Stories
Combining Creativity with Basic Skills

As a result of the implementation of the Action Research, Motivation and Learning Through Stories, over six years in a
Year 2 classroom, all children were motivated and found learning exciting. 

 

Publication of the methodology was requested by the National Year of Reading Coordinator, who saw the approach used in the classroom. This provided further substantial evidence of the effectiveness of the pedagogy for all children, as well as the enjoyment derived from its implementation by both teacher and learner.

The markedly improved literacy outcomes resulted in a request for the implementation of Academic Research in Year 1 in schools in areas of high deprivation.

Higher Ability

Methodology implemented September 2017

The table below shows that:

•    by March 2018 the experimental group’s attainment had already exceeded that of the control group;

•    the children’s mean raw scores show a difference of 3.1 between both groups;

•    the children’s mean spelling ages show a difference of 3 months between both groups.

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The table below shows further significant progress within a period of three months.

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Although the programme was implemented on average twice a week, instead of three times per week as stipulated, the progress was impressive. For example, one boy showed twenty months spelling progress in three months. As the programme focused on developing intrinsic motivation, the pace at which the stories/medium term plans were implemented was important. However, as the tables show, there is a marked difference between the attainment of children in the experimental group and the control group.

Spelling Assessment Tests March-July 2018

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Example of Work
Higher Ability Boy

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Example of Work
Higher Ability Girl

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Average Ability

Methodology implemented September 2017

The table below shows that:

•    by March 2018 the experimental group’s attainment had already exceeded that of the control group;

•    the children’s mean raw scores show a difference of 4.3 between both groups;

•    the children’s mean spelling ages show a difference of 5 months between both groups.

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The table below shows further significant progress within a period of three months.

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A small number of children were overreliant on decoding skills to read simple sentences when commencing the programme. The ability to read words with four sounds automatically – without decoding – is a prerequisite of this programme in order to prevent failure. Reading simple words automatically would have been advantageous. 

Spelling Assessment Tests
March-July 2018

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Example of Work
Average Ability Boy

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Lower Ability

Methodology implemented March 2018

At the commencement of the programme, the children in the control group had a higher standardised score (81-89) than the children in the experimental group (71-81). However, analysis of reading progress and teacher assessment showed that the experimental group was ready to commence the programme. The table below shows that:

•    the children’s mean raw scores show a difference of 1.0 between both groups;

•    the children’s mean spelling ages show a difference of 1 month between both groups.

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The table below shows significant progress within a period of three months.

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The programme was implemented three times a week over a period of three months. The teacher’s comments revealed that the statistics did not reflect the actual writing progress made. It was evident that the children understood and then applied correct and improved letter formation, punctuation and spelling within a short period of time, resulting in a positive impact on reading. 

Spelling Assessment Tests
March-July 2018

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Example of Work
Well-Below Average Girl

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