Sam Busick

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

James Carroll

Second Advisor

Julie Kalnin

Third Advisor

Eric Anctil

LC Subjects

Learning strategies--Education (Secondary); Educational evaluation


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the use of brain-based pre-writing strategies will improve students’ abilities to support claims, with evidence, on a state-mandated, classroom-based, assessment. Specifically, the research evaluated the working hypothesis that using brain-based, pre-writing activity in the non-fiction, expository writing process will assist students in their performances, as assessed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state-approved You and the Economy CBA CBA Rubric. By using brain-based strategies as a pre-writing activity in the non-fiction, explanatory, secondary social studies writing process, I hypothesized that those students would demonstrate logical use of claims and evidence in their typed essays.

The research questions were answered through an action-research data cycle. This research is guided by two overarching research questions:

1. As brain-based learning strategies are being implemented in real time, what is the nature of the process of using brain-based interventions? In documenting the brain-based interventions, what decision-making factors are considered when designing the unit of instruction?

2. What changes—if any—are demonstrated in student writing performances on a Classroom Based Assessment, when brain-based learning strategies are implemented over the span of the research cycle?

These research questions were answered through a study design involving a cycle of instruction, culminating in an explanatory writing sample. The results of the CBA-related to claims and evidence outlined in EALRs 2.2.1 and 5.2.2, instructional practices to implement brain-based pre-writing strategies will be implemented. Using brain principles to increase visual, auditory and kinesthetic contact with the concepts presented may improve students’ abilities to make claims and provide proper evidence for those claims, as measured by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State approved You and the Economy Class Based Assessment (CBA) Rubric. The process of my decision making, as well as student writing, was examined to evaluate the effect of brain-based pre-writing strategies, which students use to complete the CBA.


Copyright for this work is retained by the author.