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 Department: Department of Teacher Education and Administration
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Texas Principals’ Data Use: Its Relationship to Leadership Style and Student Achievement

Texas Principals’ Data Use: Its Relationship to Leadership Style and Student Achievement

Date: May 2014
Creator: Bostic, Robert E.
Description: This study applies an empirical research method determine whether Texas public school principals’ leadership styles, coupled with their use of real time data in a data warehouse, influenced their leadership ability as measured by student achievement. In today’s world of data rich environments that require campuses and districts to make data-driven decisions, principals find themselves having to organize and categorize data to help their school boards, campuses, and citizenry make informed decisions. Most school principals in Texas have access to data in multiple forms including national and state resources and a multitude of other data reports. A random sample of principals was selected to take the Multi Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ5x) and the Principals Data Use Survey. The MLQ5x measured principals’ leadership styles as transformational, transactional, or passive avoidant. The Principals Data Use Survey measured how principals use data to inform campus decisions on student achievement, shaping the vision of the campus, and designing professional development. Data obtained from the survey were correlated to determine the relationship between principals’ use of data warehouses and their leadership styles on student achievement as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The results yielded significant relationships between student achievement, principals’ leadership ...
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Using Complexity Thinking to Build Adaptive Capacity in Schools: an Analysis of Organizational Change in California

Using Complexity Thinking to Build Adaptive Capacity in Schools: an Analysis of Organizational Change in California

Date: May 2014
Creator: Martin, Teddi Eberly
Description: In response to reductionist neoliberal approaches to organizational change that have been prevalent in American education since the 1980s, some educators have begun to employ a whole-systems approach to improving student learning. These approaches, based in complexity sciences, recognize the nonlinear, unpredictable nature of learning and the interconnected relationships among myriad factors that influence the teaching/learning that occurs in schools. In the summer preceding the 2011-2012 school year, a cohort of educators from California Unified School District participated in a 10-day training regarding human systems dynamics (HSD) and complexity thinking. Their goal was to build adaptive capacity throughout the district in the pursuit of improving student learning. Through analysis of the interviews from seven target participants from this training, this study investigates what target participants report regarding their use of HSD methods and models in their work in schools across the 2011-2012 school year. Findings indicate that target participants displayed distinct arcs of use of HSD methods/models. In addition, findings suggest that target participants’ need for support in learning and implementing HSD methods/models, the influence of systemic and individual history, and the role of agency affected their “arcs of use.” This study illuminates the ways in which HSD methods/models support ...
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A Vygotskian Analysis of Preservice Teachers’ Conceptions of Dissolving and Density

A Vygotskian Analysis of Preservice Teachers’ Conceptions of Dissolving and Density

Date: May 2014
Creator: Shaker elJishi, Ziad
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the content knowledge of 64 elementary preservice teachers for the concepts of dissolving and density. Vygotsky’s (1987) theory of concept development was used as a framework to categorize concepts and misconceptions resulting from evidences of preservice teacher knowledge including pre/post concept maps, writing artifacts, pre/post face-to-face interviews, examination results, and drawings. Statistical significances were found for pre- and post-concept map scores for dissolving (t = -5.773, p < 0.001) and density (t = -2.948, p = 0.005). As measured using Cohen’s d values, increases in mean scores showed a medium-large effect size for (dissolving) and a small effect size for density. The triangulated results using all data types revealed that preservice teachers held several robust misconceptions about dissolving including the explanation that dissolving is a breakdown of substances, a formation of mixtures, and/or involves chemical change. Most preservice teachers relied on concrete concepts (such as rate or solubility) to explain dissolving. With regard to density, preservice teachers held two robust misconceptions including confusing density with buoyancy to explain the phenomena of floating and sinking, and confusing density with heaviness, mass, and weight. Most preservice teachers gained one concept for density, the density ...
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A Case Study of 1:1 Technology Policies in Four Texas High Schools and Their Relationship to Practice

A Case Study of 1:1 Technology Policies in Four Texas High Schools and Their Relationship to Practice

Date: December 2013
Creator: Bauter, Cynthia
Description: With increasing emphasis on technology in schools, the importance of technology policies is great. This study investigated policies for four 1:1 secondary schools in Texas (schools with a ratio of one computing device per student), particularly with respect to the relationship of those policies to practice. The purpose of the study was to determine the current status of the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) essential conditions as reflected in policy and the relationship of those conditions to practice as measured through levels of technology usage and teaching innovation. Schools were selected through purposive, criterion sampling. Open-ended interviews were conducted with twelve participants (principals, technology directors, and superintendents). Policies were rated by campus principals and the researcher using a rubric based on the NETS essential conditions. Finally, surveys of proficiency and readiness measures were collected from 156 teachers using the School Technology and Readiness (STaR) instrument and the Levels of Teaching Innovation (LoTI) instrument. Interviews were transcribed and coded using structural and frequency coding. Policies were analyzed using magnitude coding and policy ratings. A qualitative analysis determined patterns between policy and practice. Quantitative data collected from surveys were measured against policy ratings and magnitude coding using bivariate correlation methods in SPSS. ...
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A Comparison of Three Teacher Evaluation Methods and the Impact on College Readiness

A Comparison of Three Teacher Evaluation Methods and the Impact on College Readiness

Date: December 2013
Creator: Smalskas, Tamy L.
Description: Much attention in recent years has gone to the evaluation of teacher effectiveness, and some scholars have developed conceptual models to evaluate the effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to compare three teacher evaluation models – the Texas Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS), the teacher index model (TI), and the value-added model (VAM) – to determine teacher effectiveness using student demographic and longitudinal academic data. Predictive data from students included economic disadvantage status, ethnicity, gender, participation in special education, limited English proficiency, and performance on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Data serving as dependent variables were scores from Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT®) verbal/critical reasoning and mathematics. These data came from 1,714 students who were 9.7% Hispanic, 9.2% African American, and 81.2% White. The models were tested for 64 English language arts teachers and 109 mathematics teachers, using student examination scores from the SAT® verbal/critical reasoning and mathematics. The data were aligned for specific faculty members and the students whom they taught during the year of the study. The results of the study indicated that the TI and VAM explained approximately 42% of the variance in college entrance exam scores from the SAT® verbal/critical reasoning and mathematics (R2 ...
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An Examination of Mathematics Teachers’ Use of Student Data in Relationship to Student Academic Performance

An Examination of Mathematics Teachers’ Use of Student Data in Relationship to Student Academic Performance

Date: December 2013
Creator: Hartmann, Lillian Ann
Description: Among educational researchers, important questions are being asked about how to improve mathematics instruction for elementary students. This study, conducted in a north Texas public school with 294 third- through fifth-grade students, ten teachers and three coaches, examined the relationship between students’ achievement in mathematics and the mathematics teaching and coaching instruction they received. Student achievement was measured by the Computer Adaptive Instrument (CAT), which is administered three times a year in the district and is the main criterion for students’ performance/movement in the district’s response to intervention program for mathematics. The response to intervention model employs student data to guide instruction and learning in the classroom and in supplemental sessions. The theoretical framework of the concerns based adoption model (CBAM) was the basis to investigate the concerns that mathematics teachers and coaches had in using the CAT student data to inform their instruction. The CAT data, based on item response theory, was the innovation. Unique in this study was the paralleling of teachers’ and coaches’ concerns and profiles for their use of the data with student scores using an empirical approach. Data were collected at three intervals through the Stages of Concerns Questionnaire, the Levels of Use interviews, and ...
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Funds of Knowledge in a Hispanic Household: a Case Study of Family Experiences, Values, and Connections to Education

Funds of Knowledge in a Hispanic Household: a Case Study of Family Experiences, Values, and Connections to Education

Date: December 2013
Creator: Feild, Kelly A.
Description: Traditionally, the field of education has often adopted a negative perspective in their views of minority families’ contributions to the educational progress of their children. However, research embodying the theoretical framework of ‘funds of knowledge’ attempts to counter that model through its assertion that all families possess extensive bodies of knowledge that have developed through social, historical, and cultural contexts. Teachers carry out studies of familial funds of knowledge in order to understand how family experiences shape the knowledge that a child brings to the classroom. There is then, the potential to use that body of knowledge to create meaningful learning experiences that connect prior understanding and experiences to classroom practice. This research served as a case study of the funds of knowledge existing in the home of a Hispanic family and the connections that existed between that knowledge and literacy. The results indicated that the family possessed extensive funds of knowledge that developed through their historical, cultural, and social experiences. They often used family networks, as well as formal and informal literacy experiences to share this knowledge with their children. A key component of the literacy value system that they communicated resulted from a desire to maintain aspects of ...
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A New Era of Educational Assessment: the Use of Stratified Random Sampling in High Stakes Testing

A New Era of Educational Assessment: the Use of Stratified Random Sampling in High Stakes Testing

Date: December 2013
Creator: Brown, Stephanie N.
Description: Although sampling techniques have been used effectively in education research and practice it is not clear how stratified random sampling techniques apply to high-stakes testing in the current educational environment. The present study focused on representative sampling as a possible means for reducing the quantity of state-administered tests in Texas public education. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to determine if stratified random sampling is a viable option for reducing the number of students participating in Texas state assessments, and (2) to determine which sampling rate provides consistent estimates of the actual test results among the population of students. The study examined students’ scaled scores, percent of students passing, and student growth over a three-year period on state-mandated assessments in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. Four sampling rates were considered (10%, 15%, 20%, & 25%) when analyzing student performance across demographic variables, including population estimates by socioeconomic status, limited English proficiency, and placement in special education classes. The data set for this study included five school districts and 68,641 students. Factorial ANOVAs were used initially to examine the effects of sampling rate on bias in reading and mathematics scores and bias in percentage of students passing these ...
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Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge of Children’s Mathematical Development and Beliefs About Teaching Mathematics

Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge of Children’s Mathematical Development and Beliefs About Teaching Mathematics

Date: December 2013
Creator: Kim, In Hong
Description: Early childhood education emphasizes the need of providing high quality early childhood mathematics programs for preschool children. However, there is little research that examines the importance of preschool children’s mathematical knowledge development and teachers’ beliefs about how to teach mathematics to young children. The purposes of this study were to investigate pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development and their beliefs about teaching mathematics in the preschool classroom and also to determine how experience differentiates the two groups. This research employed a non-experimental research design with convenient sampling. Ninety-eight pre-service teachers and seventy-seven in-service preschool teachers participated in the research. The Knowledge of Mathematical Development survey (KMD) and the Beliefs survey were used to investigate possible differences between pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development and between their beliefs about teaching mathematics. The findings of this study indicate a statistically significant difference between pre-service teachers and in-service preschool teachers in relation to their knowledge of mathematical development. This finding shows that pre-service teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development is somewhat limited; most pre-service teachers have difficulty identifying the process of preschool children’s development of mathematics skills. A second finding reveals a statistically significant difference ...
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The Validation of a Short-cycle Formative Assessment Observation Protocol for Science and Mathematics Instruction

The Validation of a Short-cycle Formative Assessment Observation Protocol for Science and Mathematics Instruction

Date: December 2013
Creator: Heitz, Layne
Description: Over the years, teachers, administrators, and policy makers have been concerned with optimizing learning for all students. The No Child Left Behind Act put an emphasis on summative assessments, which measure what students have learned. In contrast, formative assessment has been shown in many studies to improve student achievement and motivation because it is applied while students are learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate, for middle and high school mathematics and science instruction, the validity and reliability of a newly developed observation instrument called AssessToday, which is used in a single class period to assess a teacher’s use of short-cycle formative assessment. The content validity of the instrument was supported through an extensive literature review, feedback from experts in the field of formative assessment, and an examination of 98 classroom observations. For assessing reliability of the instrument, inter-rater reliability coefficients were calculated using data collected by trained observers who independently rated teachers during the same class period using three measures: percentage of agreement between raters, Cohen’s kappa, and Fleiss kappa. Cohen’s kappa (N = 36 pairs) ranged from .62 to 1.00 for all observer pairs with an average kappa of .75 for mathematics (n = 16 pairs) ...
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