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An Exploratory Study of the Impact of a Meaningful, Mastery Project Based Learning Curriculum Structure Based on Self-Determination Theory and Agentic Engagement on Motivation, Engagement and Outcomes in a SEND Secondary School in England

Silver, Matthew; (2021) An Exploratory Study of the Impact of a Meaningful, Mastery Project Based Learning Curriculum Structure Based on Self-Determination Theory and Agentic Engagement on Motivation, Engagement and Outcomes in a SEND Secondary School in England. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study looks to address the challenges of engagement in learning for those with additional needs in the UK in the 21st century. In doing so, the model’s aim is to improve access to roles of social value and address the 6% employment rate through better educational outcomes and future opportunities. The meaningful, mastery project-based learning (MMPBL) curriculum model was designed to best facilitate the psychological needs of Ryan and Deci (2000) Self Determination Theory (SDT) and enhance engagement, enhancing student agency. It was tested on Key Stage 4 students (n51) in a secondary special education needs or disability (SEND) school. They chose one of six MMPBL projects and dedicated 350hours towards ‘mastery’ of their strengths. The mixed-method methodology sought to explore what impact, if any, the MMPBL would have compared to the previous ‘typical’ delivery of the national curriculum. Secondary data was drawn from typical academic outcomes and stakeholder voice through focus groups and surveys, using coded analysis of the presence of motivational components and observations of engagement. As an exploratory piece of research, the study was also left open to spontaneous data. The results showed an increase in the presence of competence, relatedness and autonomy, but also built conceptual and applied learning into education. The model led to a positive spiral in outcomes, including engagement (behaviourally- 83% reduction in negative behaviour incidents and +4.16% attendance), improved academic outcomes (cognitively- increasing 0.4 qualifications per student and quality, 0.5 in level), improving autonomy in transition choices (those who went on to subject specific college courses increased by 32% and 2 students gained employment). Stakeholders highlighted a positive impact on culture, perceptions (including identity), development and connecting networks locally and globally (entrepreneurially supporting 29 causes). The research will benefit practitioners, policy makers and academic research as it is the first whole curriculum based on SDT and agentic engagement in SEND. Future studies look to explore if sustainable projects can be built into post-19 social entrepreneurship in SEND.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: An Exploratory Study of the Impact of a Meaningful, Mastery Project Based Learning Curriculum Structure Based on Self-Determination Theory and Agentic Engagement on Motivation, Engagement and Outcomes in a SEND Secondary School in England
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129105
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