Friday, February 13, 2015

Rebecca Houston's Honors Project

Through the course of my Honors Project, I have learned a lot about applying statistics to the real world. Following Mr. Pethan on his project/experiment was a very valuable learning experience. This project gave me a deeper understanding of not only the curriculum we learn in the classroom but how it is applicable to many scenarios. The entire experiment as a whole was put in place to see which 5th grade class was learning stronger learning skills in the classroom. There were two types of  classrooms that we assessed, the first being a standard classroom which taught curriculum and the second being a classroom that used project based curriculum to teach their students. The assessments that I graded had to deal with the creative portion of learning. Students were presented the task of creatively distributing a new invention to various groups of people. The assessment was so difficult because it was asking 5th grade students to be incredibly expansive on as the questions got narrower in content. Although there was some bias in our experiment the data was still very useful. The data helped us show that there was no significant difference between each classroom. There was also no significant difference if the student that we were testing was a male or a female. Also, when we plugged the numbers into StatKey we found that our regression line on a few graphs did not show substantial correlation or causation between the student`s MCA Score and their creative thinking. The data that we found did not follow the normal bell curve shape and it showed us that across the board creativity is not something that is strongly applied to the curriculum. The creativity that students exhibit may just come from their raw, individual creative thinking. Regardless of the data, I think it is important that we continue to apply creative thinking into the curriculum of young students. If we continued to apply creative thinking into the curriculum I do believe you would see some difference between the students who have creative thinking and the students who do not. The end of the year examines will be very interesting.  For further examinations I think it would be interesting to combine the creative portion of thinking with the critical thinking aspect that so many students have well developed. There are also many other directions that we can take to evaluate thinking both critically and creatively. The assessment was very useful because it showed me how the statistics and lessons that I learned in the classroom could be applied to find out actual statistics and solve problems outside the classroom. I learned that collecting data talks a lot more time then actually sitting down and analyzing the data. Although the data did not turn out how we initially thought the data has lots of valuable content. It shows us improvements that we can make in research and collecting data and differences in the curriculum that we teach students.