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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: College of Education
 Decade: 1990-1999
A Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Video-Based versus Live Presentation Staff Development on Teachers' Cognitive Learning and Attitudes
The problem of this study was the identification of effective and efficient means of providing quality staff development for reading instruction within a school-district setting. The study investigated the comparative effectiveness of two staff development delivery systems measured by 1) a cognitive test of a school district's reading program and 2) an affective measure of teacher attitudes toward staff development. The sample was drawn from the teacher population of a large urban school district. The 46 subjects were elementary school teachers in grades K-5 randomly divided into two groups: Group A (videotape with a trained on-site facilitator) and Group B (face-to-face live presenter). Participants in the study received training using "The Fort Worth Reading Program," a staff development program designed by the researcher. In addition to the presentation of content information, which is the central component, the program features small group discussions, off-line activities, and question and answer periods. Both groups received the same treatment with the following exception. A central component to the Group A training was the presentation of content information in a videotape format. Group B did not view the videotape, but received the same information via live presenter. Two instruments developed by the researcher were used in the study: 1) The Teacher Staff Development Questionnaire, a Likert-type survey to obtain teacher attitudes toward staff development, and 2) The Cognitive Test of Reading Knowledge, an instrument designed to measure cognitive objectives of the district's reading program. A multivariate analysis of covariance revealed no statistically significant differences between the groups. It was concluded that elementary classroom teachers, regardless of their attitudes toward staff development, learn content material equally well with either of the two delivery systems explored in this study. Specific suggestions and recommendations for further studies are addressed and discussed. Examples of the measurement instruments are included.
A Content Analysis of School Reading Textbooks in Taiwan and in Texas
The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare the values, beliefs, and ideas in school reading textbooks (Readers) in Taiwan and in Texas. It intended to examine the social control function of school Readers, with which a culture deliberately molds its young generation. This study employed primarily qualitative methods. The collection of data used the technique of content analysis, student surveys, and teacher expert panel discussions. The analysis of data followed a constant comparative approach. The themes shared by the two sets of Readers included family, friends, humans and living creatures, political ideals, reading/writing, appreciation of nature, science, indomitable spirit, turning danger into safety, setting goals, education, desirable and undesirable qualities or behaviors. Despite the similarities of these themes, the substance or focus of them may vary. The themes unique to the Texas Readers were content knowledge, cultural diversity, dilemma and choice, observations about people, words, tomorrow's technology, winning, and general truth. The themes unique to the Taiwan Readers included life philosophy, learning, necessary difficulties, sensitivity, and military strategies. The theme occurring most frequently in both sets of Readers was the desirable qualities or behaviors. The values advocated in the Taiwan Readers were idealistic and had a society-centered focus (for example, patriotism, appreciation of others, serving others, and honesty). Absolute moral principles were taught. A group orientation and altruism were evident. In contrast, the Texas Readers did not have such an emphasis on the concept of group. Personal feelings, individual accomplishments, and self-centered values (for instance, effort, courage, determination, talent, and independence) received more attention. The values were perceived to be relative to the situation. The Taiwan Readers, produced by a national education system, transmitted traditional Chinese beliefs and values. The Texas Readers, with the publishers' intent to avoid controversies, presented more general or universal values. Although the sources of control were different, they influenced textbook content in a similar way.
Development of a Discouragement Scale for Adults with Normative Data for Gay Males
According to Alfred Adler, founder of Individual Psychology, a feeling of inferiority is in some degree common to all people. People who are unable to overcome these inferiority feelings by striving for cooperation may become discouraged. Although there are three scales to measure social interest, no scales measuring discouragement for adults was found. Additionally, Adler held basic assumptions regarding homosexuality, and the findings suggest that the assumptions should be reexamined. The purpose of this study was twofold. First, three University of North Texas candidates developed a discouragement scale for adults 18 years of age and older, known as the Discouragement Scale for Adults (DSA). Discouragement was examined relative to the five life tasks. Second, this candidate normed the instrument for the scores of gay male subjects and compared it to the scores of the other subject groups. Since the emphasis was on developing the instrument and norming it for various subject groups, no hypothesis was developed. Data was collected on three subject groups, known as the general norm subjects, the discouraged subjects, and the gay male subjects. Analyses were performed on the scores. Among the analyses, it was found that gay male subjects were slightly more discouraged than the general norm subjects, and the discouraged subjects were far greater discouraged than the other two subject groups. Initial reliability and validity was found to be high, offering support that the DSA is a reliable and valid instrument. The recommendations for further research include cultural and gender studies, predicting behavior, counseling intervention, and exploring the relationship between discouragement and stressors, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Dimensions of Quality : Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Texas Public Prekindergartens
This study explores beliefs and practices about standards of quality in Texas public prekindergartens as viewed from various perspectives, including prekindergarten teachers, administrators of prekindergarten programs, and families of prekindergarten students. These beliefs and practices are compared with widely-accepted national standards of quality for preschool programs.
The Effect of Problem Solving Software on the Improvement of Critical Thinking Skills
The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of advertised reports by computer software companies claiming to improve critical thinking skills.
The Effects of a Strategic Thinking Program on the Cognitive Ability of Seventh Grade Students
This study used a posttest only design to determine the effects of a strategic thinking program on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT, Form 4) scores of seventh graders who received direct instruction in Strategic Thinking Skills (STS) with the scores of seventh graders who did not receive direct instruction in STS. The study was conducted in a large suburban middle school in north Texas.
Homecourt: A Nondirective Student Support Group
The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze how Homecourt, a nondirective support group at a public high school in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, operates and how it affects students.
The Impact of Student Thinking Journals and Generic Problem Solving Software on Problem Solving Performance and Transfer of Problem Solving Skills
This study examined the effects of specially designed thinking journal activities that have been attributed with encouraging reflective thinking, on instruction using generic, or content-free problem solving software. Sixty-three fourth grade students participated in four instructional sessions using a software package called Moptown Hotel. Students completed separate posttests that measured (1) performance on problems of the same kind as those used in instruction, and (2) transfer of skills to other kinds of problems. Scores of students who wrote thinking journals prior to testing were compared with scores of students who did not. Results indicate that students who wrote thinking journals performed the same as students who did not when tested on problems similar to those practiced in class. Tests in which students transferred their skills to word problems, however, produced significant differences. There was no significant difference between scores when averaged over all four weekly occasions. However, for the final session alone, students who wrote thinking journals scored higher on tests of problem solving transfer than students who did not (p < .01). The study also examined the relationship between the degree of metacognitive thought displayed in students' journal entries, and their measured problem solving ability. Results indicate that students who had higher average reflectivity scores also had higher average problem solving performance and transfer scores (p < .05). It was also noted that the significant relationship between reflectivity and scores of problem solving ability was only observed in male students. It was concluded that under the right conditions, and for the right kinds of problems, thinking journal writing can help students understand their own thinking processes, resulting in improved problem solving behavior. The study also raises the question of whether there are differences between the ways that male and female students apply metacognitive awareness gained through journal writing experiences.
Reactions and learning as predictors of job performance in a United States Air Force technical training program
This study is based on Kirkpatrick's (1996) four level evaluation model. The study assessed the correlation between and among three levels of data that resulted from evaluation processes used in the U.S. Air Force technical training. The three levels of evaluation included trainee reaction (Level 1), test scores (Level 2), and job performance (Level 3). Level 1 data was obtained from the results of a 20 item survey that employed a 5-point Likert scale rating. Written test scores were used for Level 2 data. The Level 3 data was collected from supervisors of new graduates using a 5-point Likert scale survey. The study was conducted on an existing database of Air Force technical training graduates. The subjects were trainees that graduated since the process of collecting and storing Levels 1 and 2 data in computerized database began. All subjects for this study graduated between March 1997 and January 1999. A total of 188 graduates from five Air Force specialties were included. Thirty-four cases were from a single course in the aircrew protection specialty area; 12 were from a single course in the munitions and weapons specialty area; and 142 were from three separate courses in the manned aerospace maintenance specialty area. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients were computed to determine the correlation coefficients between Levels 1 and 2; Level 1 and 3; Level 2 and 3 for each subject course. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the relationship between the composite of Levels 1 and 2 and Level 3. There were significant correlation coefficients between Levels 1 and 2 and Levels 2 and 3 for only one of the five courses. The linear regression analysis revealed no significant correlation using the composite of Levels 1 and 2 as a predictor of Level 3.
The Relationship of Chinese Malaysian Maternal Child Rearing Practices and Preschool Children's Empathy
The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between Malaysian maternal child-rearing practices and preschool children's empathic behavior. This study additionally investigated the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and child-rearing practices, as well as explored whether gender differences exist in preschool children's empathy.
Teacher Study Groups: A Case Study
The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the operation and impact of teacher study groups at one school site throughout a school year. The study was exploratory in nature. The research questions focused on the major factors in the school's external and internal context that impacted the study groups, the typical behaviors and interactions of the study group participants, and the impact of the study groups on the participants, the curriculum, and instruction.
The Use of Technology in the Delivery of Instruction in Algebra II in Texas Public Secondary Schools
The purpose of this study was to survey Algebra II teachers in the State of Texas to determine the extent to which they use technology for the delivery of instruction. Additionally, the study attempted to determine reasons why teachers do or do not use technology when they have a choice.