Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Bradley H. Baltensperger


This report has two major objectives. First, the results of an action research project conducted at my high school concerning the use of graphic organizers and their effects on students' written expression abilities. The findings from this action research project indicate that the use of graphic organizers can prove beneficial to students. The second major objective of this report is to provide a reflection and evaluation of my experiences as a participant in the Michigan Teacher Excellence Program (MiTEP). This program provided middle and high school science teachers with an opportunity to develop research based pedagogy techniques and develop the skill necessary to serve as leaders within the public school science community.

The action research project described in the first chapter of this report was a collaborative project I participated in during my enrollment in ED 5705 at Michigan Technological University. I worked closely with two other teachers in my building - Brytt Ergang and James Wright. We met several times to develop a research question, and a procedure for testing our question. Each of us investigated how the use of graphic organizers by students in our classroom might impact their performance on writing assessments. We each collected data from several of our classes. In my case I collected data from 2 different classes over 2 different assignments. Our data was collected and the results analyzed separately from classroom to classroom. After the individual classroom data and corresponding analysis was compiled my fellow collaborators and I got together to discuss our findings. We worked together to write a conclusion based on our combined results in all of our classes.