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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: College of Education
 Degree Discipline: Curriculum and Instruction
Characteristics of Preservice Teachers Learning Parent Involvement Practices.
Numerous models of IS success and technology acceptance their extensions have been proposed and applied in empirical. This study continues this tradition and extends the body of knowledge on the topic of IS success by developing a more comprehensive model for measuring IS success and technology acceptance within a government organization. The proposed model builds upon three established IS success and technology acceptance frameworks namely the DeLone and McLean (2003), Venkatesh et al.'s (2003) unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), and Wixom and Todd (2005). The findings from this study provide not only a comprehensive IS success assessment model but also insights into whether and how IS success models are influenced by application variables as applied within a government organization. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were performed for instrument refinement and validity test of the existing and proposed models. Using data from employees of a local government municipal, the comprehensive model explained 32 percent variance. Four of the hypothesis were fully supported five were not supported, and four were partially supported. In addition, the results suggest that behavioral intention may not be the best predictor of technology acceptance in a mandatory environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9022/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279179/
A Comparative Analysis of Traditional Versus Block and Accelerated Block Scheduled High Schools Over an Eight-Year Period in a Large Urban School District
This study compared traditional, A/B and accelerated block scheduling and its effects on student achievement and attendance by comparing the differences in student outcomes observed before and after the adoption of block/accelerated block schedules. The independent variable was the use of time in a block-scheduling model. The dependent variables were student outcomes measured by nine indicators based on the Academic Excellence Indicator System in Texas: student attendance, graduation rate, dropout rate, percentage of students taking advanced courses, percentage of students passing all Exit-level Texas Assessment of Academic Skills tests, percentage of students taking College Admissions Tests, mean SAT total score of those students who took the SAT, mean ACT total score of those students who took the ACT, and percentage of students who are at or above criterion on the SAT or ACT of those students taking the SAT or ACT. Data from archival files from the Texas Education Agency's Academic Excellence Indicator System for each respective year of the eight-year longitudinal study was collected. Scheduling models (traditional, alternating block and accelerated block) were investigated. The sample was drawn from the student population of a large urban school district in north central Texas, a district serving approximately 77,000 students. The district has twelve regular high schools serving students in grades nine through twelve. All twelve regular high schools were included in this study. The indicators were analyzed using SPSS multivariate and univariate analysis to compare the means, regression line slopes, and regression line intercepts for each type of schedule: traditional only, traditional prior to A/B block change, traditional prior to accelerated block change, A/B block, and accelerated block. The regression line, slopes, and intercepts were based on separate regression analysis where a school year was used to predict the AEIS indicators for each type of schedule. With the exception of graduation rate, significant difference was found for all dependent variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2883/
Constructing Transformative Experiences Through Problem Posing in a High School English Research Project.
This dissertation chronicles my search to engage high school English students in inquiry as part of a formal research process. The perspective of critical literacy theory is used to describe the four phases of the problem posing process in shaping student research and action. Grounded in Freire's approach and consistent with Dewey and others who advocate inquiry, action and relevance, Wink's process is built into the instructional plan described in this study. Because of the real-life context of the classroom and the complex social phenomena being considered, a case study methodology was utilized in which multiple sources of data converged to develop the themes. Data sources included the work and artifacts of ten students in a tenth grade English class during the spring semester of 2008. The analysis focuses on the supports, the constraints and the impact of problem posing on the high school research assignment. The analysis, findings, and conclusions contribute to the literature in three areas: audience, reflection and grading. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9919/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278397/
Curriculum Analysis in Teacher Preparation Programs at the College of Basic Education in Kuwait
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Preparing quality teachers is a continuing issue and concern in discussions about the future of schools in many countries. This study described and compared the stated goals and perceived outcomes of teacher preparation programs at the College of Basic Education (CBE) in Kuwait. This information will assist educational decision makers in Kuwait to align teacher preparation at the CBE and decide what is needed to make the programs more effective. The study assessed the perceptions of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of student teachers, new teachers, and instructors toward the existing program at the CBE in Kuwait. The discussion of teacher preparation in Kuwait was used to set a cultural and historical context. The literature reviewed recommendations from the United States to develop a framework of five common standards for analyzing the teacher preparation curriculum: content knowledge, instruction, diversity, professional development, and field work. In addition, research and evaluation of teacher education programs were reviewed for perceptions of student teachers and new teachers about their preparation and for methodology. Document analysis techniques were used with current documents from four major teacher preparation programs in the CBE. Five standards from U.S. recommendations were also found in the CBE curriculum. However, the analysis suggested that the curriculum in Kuwait might increase attention to professional attitudes and use of new technologies to prepare teachers. A three-part questionnaire was developed based upon the questionnaires of Van Zandt, Smith, and Zelazek et al. The questionnaire was translated into the Arabic language, and 280 responses to the survey instrument were analyzed. Perceptions of pre-service teachers, new teachers, and instructors toward the existing curriculum at the CBE in Kuwait were positive (3.3 and higher on 5-point scale) toward preparation of teachersÂ’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes. However, a significant contrast was found between groups in perceptions of knowledge and skills. Pre-service teachers were more positive than first-year teachers or college instructors in their perceptions. No significant differences were found in attitudes. Recommendations included a suggestion to the faculty at CBE for continuing the model of curriculum analysis from this study to evaluate and address possible improvements in the teacher preparation program, such as use of technology and more attention to professional attitudes. Replication of the study was also suggested for other colleges of education in the Middle East. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2583/
Educators' Technology Level of Use and Methods for Learning Technology Integrations.
The purpose of this study was to describe technology learning methods that teachers attend and perceive as effective. The goal was to provide district personnel data that may be utilized when planning for more effective technology staff development. This study examined (1) the methods of learning instructional technology that are being utilized by teachers and administrators and (2) why these methods are being utilized in two Texas school districts. Data was collected from educators via an online survey consisting of demographics, technology training methods, level of technology use (CBAM 1 item), stages of adoption and technology level of use (LoTi, 50-item). Educators with different technology levels of use (high, low) differed on their perceptions and utilization of technology training methods. Specifically, educators with different technology levels of use differed in their perceptions of independent online help, and learning through trial and error technology training methods. Results from the study showed that educators tended to use the technology training method that they perceived as most effective. Educators tended to utilize learning by trial and error, peer support, and technology personnel support the most frequently for learning technology integration Educators' in the study had varying technology levels of use based on their educator categories. Administrators tended to score much higher than both elementary and secondary teachers on their technology levels of use. Participants gave a variety of reasons for utilizing certain technology training methods most frequently. The most popular reason was that the method fit into their time schedule followed by the location of the training. The least given reason was that it was the best method for learning the technology skill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4325/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278432/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277719/
An evaluation of student learning and engagement in a technology-enhanced algebra unit on slope
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a technology-enhanced unit on slope in algebra. The technology used in the study was the Topological Panorama Camera (Topocam). The research questions explored the learning and transfer of knowledge about slope and the engagement level of students during Topocam learning activities. The Topocam is a computer-controlled camera that moves on a modular track while it scans a scene through a vertical slit. Students can program the speed of the camera and frequency of pictures. They then witness the results of time and motion in the image created by the camera. Data for this study were collected from a pretest/posttest, as well as from observations of indicators of engaged learning. The research population consisted of 46 students from three classes of Algebra I students. Three classroom teachers each taught a unit on slope, while a fourth teacher conducted the activities with the Topocam for all the classes. The classroom activities focused on the concept of slope as a rate of change utilizing coordinate grids. The Topocam activities involved students in collaboratively making and testing predictions about slope. The findings of the study indicate that student learning did occur with this technology-enhanced unit on slope in algebra. Students showed statistically significant improvement in understanding slope and in transferring that concept to other situations. Since technology was only part of the unit presentation, the amount of learning attributed to the Topocam activities cannot be determined. However, students demonstrated a high degree of engagement in learning while working with the Topocam which suggests that the activities were a factor. A low correlation between studentsÂ’ slope unit test scores and previous algebra performance may indicate that students who have not been successful in algebra were more successful in the technology-enhanced unit. Some variation was found between classes that could be attributed to other factors than the Topocam. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2658/
Factors related to technology implementation of K-12 principals and teachers.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between principals' leadership styles and principals'/teachers' implementation of technology. The Leadership Effectiveness and Adaptability Description (LEAD) Self was used to identify the primary and secondary leadership styles of principals. The Level of Technology Implementation (LoTi) Questionnaire was used to identify the level of technology implementation (LoTi), personal computer use (PCU) and current instructional practice (CIP) scores for both teachers and principals. Data collected from 390 K-12 teachers and 22 principals of three large suburban districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was included in data analysis. The findings suggest that differing leadership styles do play a role in the LoTi, PCU, and CIP scores among teachers. Based on descriptive statistics it was determined that teachers with "participating" principals had higher mean LoTi and PCU scores than those with "telling" and "selling" principals. The difference in the mean PCU scores was statistically significant (p<.05) for teachers with "selling" and "participating" principals. Results also showed there was a statistical significance (p<.05) in the mean PCU and CIP scores of teachers working for principals with weak and high adaptability. Due to the low number of principals participating in this study, there is a need to conduct the same research using a larger more diverse sample of principals. The majority of principals in this study had either a primary leadership style of "participating" and a secondary leadership style of "selling" or vice versa. A larger population of principals would hopefully allow for the study of additional leadership styles and their effect on teacher use and implementation of technology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5355/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279264/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278982/
Latent Transition Analysis of Pre-service Teachers' Efficacy in Mathematics and Science
This study modeled changes in pre-service teacher efficacy in mathematics and science over the course of the final year of teacher preparation using latent transition analysis (LTA), a longitudinal form of analysis that builds on two modeling traditions (latent class analysis (LCA) and auto-regressive modeling). Data were collected using the STEBI-B, MTEBI-r, and the ABNTMS instruments. The findings suggest that LTA is a viable technique for use in teacher efficacy research. Teacher efficacy is modeled as a construct with two dimensions: personal teaching efficacy (PTE) and outcome expectancy (OE). Findings suggest that the mathematics and science teaching efficacy (PTE) of pre-service teachers is a multi-class phenomena. The analyses revealed a four-class model of PTE at the beginning and end of the final year of teacher training. Results indicate that when pre-service teachers transition between classes, they tend to move from a lower efficacy class into a higher efficacy class. In addition, the findings suggest that time-varying variables (attitudes and beliefs) and time-invariant variables (previous coursework, previous experiences, and teacher perceptions) are statistically significant predictors of efficacy class membership. Further, analyses suggest that the measures used to assess outcome expectancy are not suitable for LCA and LTA procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30425/
A Study of the Effect of School-Sponsored, Extra- Curricular Activities on High School Students. Cumulative Grade Point Average, SAT Score, ACT Score, and Core Curriculum Grade Point Average
This study investigated the effect of school-sponsored, extra-curricular activities on academic achievement for students at a private school in north central Texas. Students selected for this study were graduates from the classes of 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. With a minimum participation of two years during grades nine through twelve, students were categorized into subgroups of activities. After eliminating students who participated in more than one of the extra-curricular activities of music, drama, visual arts, and athletics, three hundred sixty-one students were represented. The identity of students was encoded and information was recorded for gender, school-sponsored, extra- curricular activities, cumulative grade point averages, SAT Scores, ACT Scores, and cumulative grade point averages in core curriculum subjects. A two-way ANOVA test with a two-by-five factorial design was completed for research questions one through four. A one-way ANOVA with a one-by-five factorial design was completed for research question five. When a significant F was found, Scheffe and LSD post hoc tests were completed to determine pair wise interaction. Statistical differences did exist when comparing school-sponsored, extra-curricular activities and cumulative grade point averages with musicians having a significantly higher cumulative grade point average, SAT scores, and ACT scores than athletes. A significant difference was found among the activity subgroups regarding the cumulative grade point averages in the core curriculum subjects of foreign language, history/English (an interdisciplinary subject at the studied school), mathematics, and science with musicians scoring significantly higher than athletes in all subjects. It is recommended that further studies be conducted to investigate the impact of activities on student achievement. Studies might include larger and different populations, the impact of participation at a younger age, and the impact of other activities on student achievement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2879/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277909/
Unintended Outcomes: The effects of an entity's educator preparation accreditation on access to certification for individuals of color
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The purpose of this dissertation was twofold. First, the study sought to determine if the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) Reading score predicts success on the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET). Second, the study addressed the effect on individuals of color of raising the minimum TASP Reading score entrance requirement for admission to teacher preparation programs. Data were collected from the ExCET Office of a Carnegie I metropolitan university. The defined sample consisted of 961 participants who had a TASP Reading score and had taken an Elementary Comprehensive ExCET, an Elementary Professional Development ExCET or a Secondary Professional ExCET between September 1999 and January 2001. Linear Regression, Box Test, Predictive Discriminate Analysis, and frequency distribution tables were used for analyses. This investigation examined the effects of the independent variable of TASP Reading score on the performance of participants on the dependent variable, the ExCET. Four null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of significance. The TASP Reading score was a statistically significant predictor for success on the Elementary Comprehensive ExCET, Elementary Professional Development ExCET, and the Secondary Professional Development ExCET. However, the Predictive Discriminate Analysis indicated that a TASP Reading score of 220 predicted that no candidates would fail the Elementary Comprehensive ExCET, 6 participants would fail the Elementary Professional Development ExCET and 19 participants would fail the Secondary Professional Development ExCET. Five hypotheses addressed the effect of raising the TASP Reading score to 250. Findings of four hypotheses showed that raising this admission standard would impact the number of individuals of color granted admission to the teacher preparation program. These results call for the recommendation that governing agencies address the impact of state teacher education program accreditation that often results in the policy of relying on the TASP Reading score as one of the primary admission standards for teacher education programs. The unintended outcome of raising the reading admission standard in the anticipation of continued state accreditation is a noticeable loss of candidates of colors, especially African American candidates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2832/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278399/