An Intervention Model Based on an Interdisciplinary Curriculum to Promote 'Underachievers'
The study deals with the issue of treating underachieving students through an interdisciplinary curriculum accompanied by a unique teaching and assessment method based on an interactive learning/ teaching environment (Zilbershtain 2000).
The paper also deals with different methods of constructing the student's self-knowledge according to the constructivist theory (Bronks and Bronks, 1997; Dougiamas, 1998).
The study examines the influence of an interdisciplinary curriculum, applied through alternative teaching and assessment methods, on a population of underachieving students, as defined by the Israeli Ministry of Education, in a school located in a northern development town in Israel. The study included 46 students in the 10th and 11th grades.
The study questions were: 1. Has any change occurred in the teacher-student relations, student-student relations and learning skills following the student participation in the BINAT program? 2. Has any change occurred in the graduates of the BINAT program in the following aspects: motivation to study, responsibility for studying, the development of independent learning, or a change in self-image? 3. How did the BINAT program influence the student's achievements?
The study, conducted over a two years period, led to the conclusion that student motivation and self image and academic performance improved as a result of the intervention curriculum and methodology.
The study was conducted in two stages: in the first stage, the program's suitability for its target audience was examined and in the second stage, the program's influence on the students' development and their achievements was examined. Most of the students who participated in the study preferred interdisciplinary learning to conventional learning.
Other findings indicate that more than a half of the students reported a considerable improvement in their motivation to study and in their willingness to invest in their development as independent learners, and a significant change in the teacher-student and student-student relations.
Keywords: Interdisciplinary Curriculum, Interaction Methodology, Underachieving Students, A Paedocentric Perception, Student's Self-knowledge, Constructivism
Dr. Anat Raviv
--, --, --