Theses Doctoral

Exploring the Impact of the Implementation of Reality Pedagogy: Self-efficacy, Social Capital, and Distributed Cognition

Taher, Tanzina

As our current society becomes more and more dependent on science and technology, it calls for our students to be more science-oriented and involved in science. However, as statistics show, our urban students are not as engaged in science classes, resulting in poor performance in science. With this fact in mind, this study explores a recently developed pedagogic approach called reality pedagogy. In this qualitative ethnographic case study, the yearlong experience of six urban students enrolled in a science class of an urban public secondary school where the pedagogic tools of reality pedagogy were being implemented is examined. The study examines reality pedagogy via the lens of self-efficacy, social capital, and distributed cognition frames in order to understand the contribution the tools of reality pedagogy offer. Participants in this study included immigrant and non-immigrant urban science students as well as students with learning disabilities (LD) and students with no learning disabilities (NLD). Findings of this study revealed that participating in reality pedagogy facilitated the development of self-efficacy in science of three of the four students, where one was an LD student and two were NLD students. The experiences of all four of these students are discussed in detail. The study also revealed that the two immigrant participants of reality pedagogy were positively impacted, in that both students' shared social capital was positively impacted and the frame of distributed cognition played a role in their science classroom participation.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Emdin, Christopher
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 28, 2013