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 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Accomplished Teachers' Instructional Decisions About Shakespeare

Accomplished Teachers' Instructional Decisions About Shakespeare

Date: May 2013
Creator: Parris, Sheri Rene’
Description: Teachers' decisions are a powerful influence on student learning and it is important to fully document accomplished teachers' instructional decisions, as well as to investigate possible influences on those decisions. Shakespearean dramas are central to high school curricula across the U.S. and pose particular instructional challenges, therefore teachers' decisions about teaching these texts are of particular interest. There is limited empirical research, however, about these instructional decisions. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe how four accomplished high school English teachers working on a single campus make instructional decisions about teaching a Shakespearean play. Specifically, research questions addressed teachers' decisions regarding the teaching of a Shakespearean play and various influences on those decisions (self-reports and inferences from the data). Case study methodology was used, including an inductive analysis of individual teacher interviews, classroom observations, focus group, instructional artifacts, and researcher's journal. The findings revealed that instructional activities described by these teachers addressed support for meaning-making during four stages of reading instruction: (a) before, during, and after; (b) before; (c) during; and (d) after. Comparison of these cases suggests that, although each teacher brings personal preferences and unique background knowledge to her instructional decisions, all make decisions to promote ...
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Accreditation Facilitation Projects:  Supporting High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care

Accreditation Facilitation Projects: Supporting High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care

Date: May 2013
Creator: Reinke, Stephanie L.
Description: High-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) are linked to positive developmental outcomes for children. Systems have been created to define, measure and promote high-quality ECEC. National accreditation status is deemed the gold standard of a high-quality program, yet many centers are unable to achieve this without assistance. With the help of Accreditation Facilitation Projects (AFPs), many low-income centers are able to achieve accreditation. Centers collaborating with an AFP reap many benefits including financial support, ongoing training and mentoring, and guidance through the accreditation process. AFPs invest greatly in the centers they collaborate with and the longer the center takes to achieve accreditation, the more resources an AFP must expend. The purposes of this study were to understand if the educational level of center director, the total enrollment of a center, or the percentage of children receiving government subsidies could predict the time it takes for a center to complete the accreditation process while receiving assistance from an AFP, and to determine if there are differences in attitudes about program accreditation between center directors and early learning specialists who serve as accreditation mentors to the directors. Findings revealed that a) the higher educational level of program directors is associated with ...
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Aging Is a Determinant in Anoxia Stress Tolerance in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Aging Is a Determinant in Anoxia Stress Tolerance in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Date: May 2013
Creator: Goy, Jo M.
Description: Oxygen availability is critical for survival for most organisms. The nematode, C. elegans, has been useful for studying genetic regulation of anoxia tolerance due to the oxygen deprivation response mechanisms shared with other metazoans. Studies examining long-term anoxia (72h, LTA) tolerance have only been conducted at adult day 1. To investigate the effect of aging on anoxia tolerance wild-type and mutant strains were exposed to LTA between adult day 1 and day 9. Wild-type isolates and daf-16(mu86) (FOXO transcription factor regulated by insulin-signaling) and aak-2(gt33) (catalytic subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase) strains were anoxia sensitive at day 1 and displayed increased LTA tolerance with aging correlated with reproductive senescence followed by a decline in survivorhsip through day 9. The daf-2(e1370) (insulin receptor homologue of C. elegans), glp-1(e2141) (a lin-12/Notch receptor) and fog-2(q71) (required for spermatogenesis) strains were LTA-tolerant through day 5. I conclude that aging influences LTA-tolerance in a strain- and age-dependent manner. In addition to being LTA-tolerant the daf-2(e1370) and glp-1(e2141) strains have a longevity phenotype that is suppressed by loss of kri-1 or daf-12. While loss of kri-1 did not suppress the LTA-tolerant phenotype of glp-1(e2141) at day 1 the portion of impaired survivors increased at day 3 ...
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An Analysis of Pitch Organization in Villa-lobos's Rudepoêma

An Analysis of Pitch Organization in Villa-lobos's Rudepoêma

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kruger, Esthea
Description: Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) stands central to the music history of the Brazilian twentieth century. His music represents a synthesis of the European art influences he absorbed and his quest to find a true Brazilian identity, which was not rooted in the deliberate imitation of Brazilian folk elements, but rather in the natural assimilation of them in his compositional style. His early compositions embody strong post-romantic, impressionistic tendencies, especially in regard to their harmonies and use of tone color, whereas the works from the 1920's and onwards show Villa-Lobos increasingly asserting his unusual and strong voice. Villa-Lobos's large-scale composition for piano, Rudepoêma, was composed between 1921 and 1926, and stands as one of the most significant contributions to the Latin-American piano literature. Despite of its importance in Villa-Lobos's oeuvre, it has largely eluded analytical attention. Discourse on Villa-Lobos is often marked by a somewhat one-dimensional approach that identifies the folk and rhythmic elements as the most important characteristics of his compositional style, and displays a certain reticence with regard to in-depth analysis of other parameters of his works. This study redresses the imbalance in the general approach to analytical assessment of Villa-Lobos's oeuvre by illustrating that pitch organization plays an indispensable ...
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The Beliefs and Expectations of Effective Secondary Choral Teachers in Culturally Diverse Schools

The Beliefs and Expectations of Effective Secondary Choral Teachers in Culturally Diverse Schools

Date: May 2013
Creator: Spradley, Mackie V.
Description: Through the years, educational theorists and researchers have been interested in a possible relationship between teachers' effectiveness and their beliefs and expectations. Three concepts underpinned this work: teacher effectiveness, cultural diversity, and teachers' beliefs and expectations. The premise of the study was that the beliefs and expectations of effective secondary choral teachers are related to the social-cultural contexts in which they teach. The study implemented critical discourse analysis as the theoretical framework and the in-depth phenomenological long interview for data collection. Three secondary choral teachers were selected to participate in the study based on the researcher's criteria. The study revealed how each teacher conceptualized student cultural diversity during the teaching experience. Teacher beliefs about effective teaching in culturally diverse settings were described as developing over time in phases along a continuum. The study also confirmed that teachers' beliefs about students can be changed through experiences and reflection. The study revealed effective teachers focused on three different types of expectations in the teaching and learning context and affirmed diverse cultural identities and backgrounds. Recommendations included the development of stronger mentorship programs to increase effective teaching strategies for the secondary choral classroom. The findings of this study support my previous work, which ...
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The Character of Environmental Citizenship: Virtue Education for Raising Morally Responsible Individuals

The Character of Environmental Citizenship: Virtue Education for Raising Morally Responsible Individuals

Date: May 2013
Creator: Lindemann, Monica A.
Description: Surely, moral education is not merely intended to result in theoretical knowledge, but instead attempts to change people's behavior. However, when examining and evaluating current trends in moral education, it appears that hitherto moral education has fallen short of its goal to make people better. In this paper, I try to determine what has caused this perceived failure of moral education and conclude that approaches that focus on teaching moral reasoning skills rather than on teaching actual moral content, i.e., values and virtues, are generally ineffective for moral improvement. However, a more traditional form of moral education, namely character education, appears to be a viable alternative to the moral reasoning methods. Since character education can be regarded as the practical application of virtue ethics, I first describe and evaluate virtue ethics and defend it against potential criticisms. I then examine what methods are effective for teaching virtues, and how such methods can potentially be incorporated into the curriculum. Since virtues cannot be taught through theoretical instruction, the acquisition of good habits constitutes the necessary foundation for the establishment of good moral character. Some methods that have been suggested for laying the foundation for virtue are the use of stories, role ...
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Community Resilience in Thailand: a Case Study of Flood Response in Nakhonsawan City Municipality

Community Resilience in Thailand: a Case Study of Flood Response in Nakhonsawan City Municipality

Date: May 2013
Creator: Khunwishit, Somporn
Description: Natural disasters such as flooding often affect vast areas and create infinite demands that need to be addressed in the same time. The wide scopes and severe impacts of such catastrophes often exceed, if not overwhelm, capacity of the national government to handle. In such a situation, communities such as cities and neighborhoods need to rely on their own capacity (resources, strategies, and expertise) to respond to disaster impacts at least until external assistance can be reached. Thus, studying how communities can be resilient to the impacts of natural disasters is important because this would enhance their ability to respond to the next disaster better. Within the context of great flooding in Thailand in 2011, this dissertation investigated the factors that generated or enhanced resilience of flood stricken-communities in Thailand. Nakhonswan City Municipality was selected as the research site. Qualitative research methods were employed in this study. Data were collected using in-depth interview and focus group. Thirty-six participants (28 for in-depth interview and 8 for focus group interview) from various organizations were recruited using snowball and purposive sampling strategies. Interview data from the field research were transcribed, translated from Thai language to English, and then analyzed using open coding and ...
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A Comparative Study of the Effects of State Grant Reductions on Local Expenditures: Empirical Studies in Massachusetts and Colorado Municipalities

A Comparative Study of the Effects of State Grant Reductions on Local Expenditures: Empirical Studies in Massachusetts and Colorado Municipalities

Date: May 2013
Creator: Chaicharoen, Siwaporn
Description: State grants are perceived to mitigate the fiscal disparities among local governments in providing services. However, cutbacks in state grants as a result of changes in state grant policy in different states affect local expenditures dedicated to maintaining service provisions to citizens. This dissertation constructs a theoretical model to explain the extent to which and the ways in which types of state grants, revenue diversity, and form of local government impact local spending and the provision of public programs when local governments experience cuts in state grants. The dissertation also argues that when facing state grant cuts, local governments with a council-manager form of government and with higher revenue diversity will experience reduced change in local expenditures and that decreases in state categorical grants will lead to more cuts in distributive program expenditures. Given the diversity of state and local arrangements, this dissertation conducts a comparative and panel data study to test the hypotheses in 351 and 271 municipalities in Massachusetts and Colorado, respectively, in 2000 through 2008. The empirical results indicate that the form of government and the degree of revenue diversification have a greater impact on the local spending behaviors in Colorado than in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, decreases in ...
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Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kraha, Amanda
Description: Flashbulb memories are highly vivid and long-lasting memories for events that are emotionally significant and personally important. These memories are held in very high confidence in accuracy over an extended period. In particular, individuals believe that they can remember the personal details surrounding the event such as where they were and what they were doing at the time the event occurred. Evidence from research, however, indicates that this may not be the case. The study of flashbulb memories has typically been confined to negative events such as September 11, 2001. In the current study, we employ the methods of Talarico and Rubin (2003) to investigate flashbulb memory formation to a positive event. The event is the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which resonated as a highly positive event for many Americans evidenced by the thousands of people flooding the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City to celebrate. We examined various memory properties over a one-year period, including vividness, rehearsal, belief in accuracy, and consistency. Results confirm the formation of flashbulb memories to the assassination event, but results did not support many of the proposed hypotheses. Some differences were found for different testing groups (i.e., immediate versus one week ...
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Convergent Validity of Variables Residualized By a Single Covariate: the Role of Correlated Error in Populations and Samples

Convergent Validity of Variables Residualized By a Single Covariate: the Role of Correlated Error in Populations and Samples

Date: May 2013
Creator: Nimon, Kim
Description: This study examined the bias and precision of four residualized variable validity estimates (C0, C1, C2, C3) across a number of study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error, correlations among error scores, and correlations between error scores and true scores (C3) performed the best, yielding no estimates that were practically significantly different than their respective population parameters, across study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error and correlations among error scores (C2) did a good job in yielding unbiased, valid, and precise results. Only in a select number of study conditions were C2 estimates unable to be computed or produced results that had sufficient variance to affect interpretation of results. Validity estimates based on observed scores (C0) fared well in producing valid, precise, and unbiased results. Validity estimates based on observed scores that were only corrected for measurement error (C1) performed the worst. Not only did they not reliably produce estimates even when the level of modeled correlated error was low, C1 produced values higher than the theoretical limit of 1.0 across a number of study conditions. Estimates based on C1 also produced the greatest number of conditions that were practically significantly different than their population parameters.
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