This paper focuses on two high school students and their thoughts and feelings as they engaged in a topic of their choosing during a two-month summer action research program. Their high school astronomy teacher monitored their choice of topic and progress. The students engaged in authentic tasks and materials couched in problem-oriented formats within meaningful learning contexts designed to foster thinking and learning. These students worked as a team, but pursued individual paths of inquiry using critical and imaginative thinking, and engaged in social and solitary contexts that involved them in writing, intervening, and reflecting on ideas gleaned from conversations and readings (electronic and conventional) with a university educator and an astronomer/educator during their self-directed case-based research. The process engaged students in formal skills such as written communication, literacy, logic, and calculation using an innovative electronic interactive network. Evaluations of timed writings, concept maps, notebook entries, and vee diagrams are presented and discussed.
Alvarez, Marino C.; Burks, Geoffrey; Sotoohi, Goli; King, Terry; Hulan, Bobby; and Graham, Adelicia, "Students Creating Their Own Thinking-Learning Contexts" (2000). Teaching and Learning Faculty Research. 3.