The action for this action research project was to present boys with and series of challenges to help and to encourage the boys in my study to embrace failure, reflective, not to be risk-averse and to dismiss the notion that success is all that matters. It is believed that acceptance of failure must surely help in developing the boys to become robust, resilient, and adaptable learners in any learning environment.
Adaptability in a Changing World
2017-18: Adaptability in a Changing World
Reports ordered alphabetically by title. Click/tap on report titles to read full report posting.
Read the description of the 2017-18 theme - Adaptability in a Changing World.
Gain valuable insight from action research conducted by colleagues when you download their final reports below. Congratulations to each member of the 2017-18 IBSC Action Research cohort. We applaud your hard work, persistence, and dedication to your project. Your research enhances best practice in educating boys.
The following researcher has been awarded the top research project for the 2018 cohort.
Nick Little, Scots College
Enhancing Adaptability in Grade 9 Boys Through Task-Based Learning
Nick receives this award for the completion of a highly innovative action research project of the highest standard, and for his valuable contribution to the IBSC research community.
A list of the Top 10 Reports for 2017-2018 is also available.
The boys demonstrated several areas of growth through the use of key and essential questions. Their ability to formulate questions that enabled them to delve deeper into an article became evident. Their comprehension of issues heightened every time they read a new article. With added opportunities to discuss and debate their thoughts and findings, the boys demonstrated increasing ability to empathize with differing viewpoints. Some students began applying their questioning techniques to other subjects, which got them to begin to see multiple perspectives in many different content areas.
Upon reflecting with the participants, the boys seemed significantly impacted by the program. Boys shared increased insights and a sophisticated appreciation of cultural differences and poverty. The intervention seemed to help increase boys’ confidence and improve their communication skills. They were particularly conscious of travelling through Cambodia as “guest” and respecting the “innate dignity” of others. The experience impacted the boys’ self-awareness, emotional literacy, and seemed to deepen boys’ relationships with others.
All boys mentioned that, in various ways, they needed to be adaptable due to the nature of gardening and partner work. Many boys mentioned the need for precision with their measurements as well. As they went into the project, many also noted that they needed to adapt their expectations regarding the outcome of the project and were surprised by the fickleness and unpredictability of gardening.
Key findings of the research included a perceived improvement in the ability of students to build explanations and form conclusions, develop their metacognition, effectively communicate with their teacher and peers, and cultivate their flexible thinking. There also seemed to be an enhancement of the learning environment of the students. As a result, the use of visible thinking routines appeared to have a positive impact on the students, and further use of this intervention and expansion into other grade levels is merited.
The results of this action research project highlighted in my mind as an educator the continuous need to strategize, plan, and reevaluate our goal of resilience through problem-solving as a mathematical and social skill that boys can develop.
At the completion of the project, each boy reflected on his learning and academic resiliency levels through various data collection methods. Qualitative data revealed that all boys could identify a time in which they had applied the Learning Pit model to an academic challenge over the 10 weeks.
In the variety of modes given to boys to reflect on their experiences, we found that in creating a space for boys to reflect on their place in the world, one of the most important aims of being adaptable in a changing world was developed through giving boys a voice within their complex negotiation of finding an authentic sense of self.
Key themes that emerged from the data included the importance of optimism, a sense of control, meaningful feedback, and an increase in self-sufficiency. Overall, the SDL project resulted in a net positive experience from both a teacher and student perspective.