HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 17 no. 2 (2008)

Design and Implementation of an Instructional Innovation for At-Risk Learners: A Classroom Study

Jayson V. Godoy | Rotacio Gravoso

Discipline: Education Development



In cooperation with the Grade 6 science teacher and using the science textbook as guide, a learning unit on moving bodies — velocity, speed, acceleration, force and mass — was designed following a student-centered approach that combined case-based and collaborative learning. Entitled Dexter’s Reward Trip, the unit was composed of an audio CD and a workbook. The audio CD provided the story, while the workbook, the critical scenes of the story, formula, and problems. The fictitious story revolved around three students who won a science quiz and were given a computer package for their school and a trip to Manila’s historical and scientific places. Students were tasked to help Dexter’s team plan the trip. The learning unit was implemented for five days. Data showed a highly significant difference between the student-centered and teacher-centered groups in their skills in solving traditional word and authentic problems. Data also showed that a large proportion of the teacher-centered group’s incremental scores in solving traditional word and authentic problems were in the poor category. Interviews with students revealed that the use of Dexter’s Reward Trip made the class interesting and challenging, enabled them to experience solving realistic problems, promoted collaboration, integrated geography and history, and promoted development of their communication skills. The students also said that they liked the instructional intervention and suggested its sustained use in the classroom. The teacher reported that the learning unit improved her competence both in the subject matter and teaching methods. Believing in its effectiveness, the teacher said that she will apply Dexter’s Reward Trip in her science class.