Digitally Curious: A Qualitative Case Study of Students’ Demonstrations of Curiosity in a Technology-Rich Learning Environment

Description:

Curiosity is an important construct for educators as it is connected with knowledge and higher-order thinking, goal-oriented behavior, motivation, and persistence. It is also negatively correlated with boredom and anxiety. While research documents this strong connection between learning and curiosity, no studies existed exploring curiosity in a technology-rich learning environment. The purpose of this study is to identify and examine whether students demonstrate curiosity in a sixth grade mathematics classroom with technology-integrated learning and if so, how and why. Technology-rich work was designed for students and included in the study to examine students’ demonstrations of curiosity while learning mathematical procedural knowledge, conceptual knowledge and problem solving knowledge. A case study methodology was used with 13 students purposefully selected from a Title I sixth grade class to participate. Data were collected from interviews using a semi-structured interview protocol and triangulated with observations and students’ reflective writings. Interviews were transcribed and coded. A total of 60 codes and four categories were identified. Three themes emerged: 1) digital play; 2) welcome and unwelcome scaffolds; and 3) action is power; power follows ideas. These themes identified ways in which students demonstrated curiosity in the sixth grade mathematics classroom and thus can inform educators.

Creator(s): McLeod, Julie Kiser
Creation Date: August 2011
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Total Uses: 429
Past 30 days: 16
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Creator (Author):
Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Publisher Info: Web: www.unt.edu
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: August 2011
Description:

Curiosity is an important construct for educators as it is connected with knowledge and higher-order thinking, goal-oriented behavior, motivation, and persistence. It is also negatively correlated with boredom and anxiety. While research documents this strong connection between learning and curiosity, no studies existed exploring curiosity in a technology-rich learning environment. The purpose of this study is to identify and examine whether students demonstrate curiosity in a sixth grade mathematics classroom with technology-integrated learning and if so, how and why. Technology-rich work was designed for students and included in the study to examine students’ demonstrations of curiosity while learning mathematical procedural knowledge, conceptual knowledge and problem solving knowledge. A case study methodology was used with 13 students purposefully selected from a Title I sixth grade class to participate. Data were collected from interviews using a semi-structured interview protocol and triangulated with observations and students’ reflective writings. Interviews were transcribed and coded. A total of 60 codes and four categories were identified. Three themes emerged: 1) digital play; 2) welcome and unwelcome scaffolds; and 3) action is power; power follows ideas. These themes identified ways in which students demonstrated curiosity in the sixth grade mathematics classroom and thus can inform educators.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
PublicationType: Doctoral Dissertation
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Case study | power | scaffold | play | curiosity | learning education | technology
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • LOCAL-CONT-NO: mcleod_julie_kiser
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc84250
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
Holder: McLeod, Julie Kiser
License: Copyright
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.