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- Current and Future Trends in Computer Use in Elementary School Settings
- The study examined current and future trends in computer use in elementary school settings. A survey instrument was developed and validated for distribution to a random sample of 200 technology coordinators in the public school districts in the state of Texas from whom 95 responses were received. The survey instrument was used to obtain information about five areas of computer use in elementary schools. These areas are: physical configurations, instructional uses, implementation issues, training and staff development, and Internet use. The study found that all public school districts that participated in the study have acquired computer hardware in their elementary schools. In addition, some other advanced computer technology components are starting to be found in elementary schools, such as teacher workstations, CD-ROM, interactive video, computer multimedia, LCD panels, and laser printers. Respondents reported that elementary school teachers in their districts have incorporated computers into their classrooms as an instructional tool and many changes have occurred in teachers teaching styles due to computers. However, there are some problems that hinder the effective use of computers. The major problem is lack of training. A high percentage of respondents, 81.3%, indicated that the majority of their elementary school teachers had completed less than 30 hours of technology related professional development. Another problem was lack of funding which prevents most school districts from acquiring computer hardware and software. Currently, elementary schools in 87% of districts that participated in the study are connected to the Internet and the plan is that by the year 2001 all elementary schools will be connected.
- The Effect of Increased Collaboration Among the Library Media Specialist and School Personnel on Perceptions of the Roles and Responsibilities of the Library Media Specialist
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This study measured and explored changes in perceptions of the roles and responsibilities of the library media specialist when the level of collaboration increased. Seven library media specialists targeted four members of their educational communities with whom to increase collaborative activities. Before and after the collaboration began, the library media specialists, the teachers with whom they chose to collaborate, other members from the same educational community, and a control group that did not participate in increased collaboration were given a roles and responsibilities rank-order form. This form was used to measure changes in perceptions regarding the importance of the three roles and selected responsibilities related to the three roles before and after the collaborative experience. The library media specialists and the targeted teachers also kept reflection logs to record factors that enhanced collaboration, factors that inhibited collaboration, and any changes in their teaching style as a result of the collaborative experience. Results indicate that the participating library media specialists themselves experienced the most change. Role identification remains a problem as library media specialists seek to become teaching partners with classroom teachers yet still must keep the library media center aligned with school and district goals and move toward making it an information center that provides information resources for all members of the educational community in an effective, efficient and timely manner. Major enhancers to increased collaboration included flexible scheduling of the library, sharing ideas and resources, partnership in teaching, and student achievement. Major inhibitors included time, wanting to keep things the way they were, and lack of resources. Changes in teaching practice included working with another professional instead of in isolation, integrating many resources into the lesson to provide for the learning needs of all students, the incorporation of technology into the lesson, and an awareness of the roles of both library media specialists and teachers.
- A study of block scheduling and instructional strategies and their influence on algebra achievement in classrooms throughout north central Texas
- The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of block scheduling and instructional strategies on student achievement in Algebra I. The study was conducted during the 1997-98 school year. This study was comprised of two components, a quantitative study and a qualitative study. The quantitative study focused on block and traditional scheduling and the influence identified through scores on the Texas End-of-Course exam for Algebra I. The sample for this study consisted of 59 school districts from five counties in the north Texas area. The qualitative portion of this study focused on 10 classrooms, 5 block and 5 traditional, taken from the sample of 59 districts. Data for the qualitative study included questionnaires, interviews, and observations. The End-of-Course scores were analyzed using an ANOVA at the .05 level of significance, no significant difference was identified in the achievement levels of the two groups. The qualitative data was organized by categories derived from the NCTM teaching standards. Data from this portion of the study indicated that teachers in both block and traditionally scheduled classes spend their class time in a similar manner, using similar materials, and using more traditional strategies. Additional analyses of data based upon usage of the graphing calculator and manipulatives also resulted in no significant difference. Although all comparisons between block and traditional scheduling and usage or non-usage of technology and/or manipulatives resulted in no significant difference, the block groups and those using technology and/or manipulatives had higher mean scores. This indicates that allowing teachers more time to use alternative instructional strategies would benefit the student, but this will not take place without the teacher receiving training and support.
- Attitudes toward computer use and gender differences among Kuwaiti sixth-grade students
- Because computer use become more and more important in the educational environment, the attitudes of students toward computer may play an important role in their learning success. This study investigated the attitudes toward computers and gender differences of sixth-grade Kuwaiti students and examined the relationships between students attitudes toward computers and school, motivation/persistence, study habits, empathy, creative tendencies, and achievement in the Informatics field. The Computer Attitude Questionnaire (CAQ), translated from the English into Arabic Language for this study, was originally developed by Knezek and Miyashita for the Texas Center for Educational Technology (University of North Texas). The CAQ was administered to a random cluster sample of 10 public middle schools: (5 boys and 5 girls schools), with a total of 562 students, (265 boys and 297 girls), in the State of Kuwait during the academic year 1999-2000. The pilot test was conducted to calculate the reliability with Cronbachs alpha = .87 for the CAQ Arabic version. This study found positive attitudes toward computer use (mean = 3.31 on 4-point Likert-scale); however, girls had significantly more positive attitudes toward computers (mean = 3.36) than did boys (mean = 3.26). It also found statistically significant correlations between attitudes toward computers and school (r. = .149), motivation/persistence (r. = .459), study habits (r. = .371), empathy (r. = .308), creative tendencies (r. = .530), and achievement in the Informatics field (r. = .201). A statistically significant gender difference was found in the correlations between attitudes toward computers and empathy. Girls had a stronger correlation (r. = .405) than boys (r. = .215). This study also found that students who use computers at home (mean = 3.40) have more positive attitudes toward computers than did students who do not (mean = 3.22). The main conclusion of the current study is that students like to use computers, therefore, the researcher suggests that computer should be introduced for the students in the classrooms environment and to be integrated into the curriculum of all subject areas.
- 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 teachers 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.
- The developmental stages of concern of teachers toward the implementation of the Information Technology curriculum in Kuwait
- Change is best carried out by individual teachers, and, thus, identifying and resolving teachers concerns about an innovation is imperative in guiding the change process to a successful point of implementation. The purpose of this study was to identify concerns that teachers experienced when implementing the Information Technology curriculum in all intermediate schools in Kuwait and to examine the relationships among teachers reported stages of concern and other factors, such as gender and experience. The stages of concern, one dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM), was applied to reveal teachers concerns. The Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) and a demographic survey were completed by 248 respondents. The SoCQ measures seven stages of concern that reflect three dimensions: self (awareness, informational, and personal); task (management); and impact (consequence, collaboration, and refocusing Group profile analysis revealed that teachers had four high concerns related to collaboration, personal, refocusing, and informational stages. Teachers also reported low concerns at the management and awareness stages. Both females and males reported collaboration as their greater concern. Teachers with more years of experience reported higher impact concerns. The analysis of individuals peak concerns revealed that the majority of the respondents were adopters of the innovation. The analysis of the first highest and second highest concerns among teachers revealed the development of three patterns of concerns: self concerns, mixed concerns, and impact concerns. Results indicated that the majority of teachers were at the mixed-concern level. With more years of experience, teachers concerns shifted from self to task and finally to impact concerns. The results of concern analysis are consistent with Fullers theory of concern development. MANOVA revealed significant differences in means between females and males at management and refocusing stages. Females had higher concerns about management; males had higher refocusing concern. However, no significant relationship was found between experience and the reported stages of concern. For successful implementation, the concerns of teachers must be resolved. The CBAM including the SoCQ is recommended to KISITP coordinators as a diagnostic tool to facilitate change and to provide appropriate staff development. Suggestions were made for future research to continue validation of the SoCQ in Arabic cultures.
- 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 students 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.
- Pre-Service Teachers' Attitudes Toward Language Diversity
- This study examines pre-service teachers' attitudes toward language diversity and linguistically diverse students. Two hundred seventy-one teacher education students were surveyed to determine relative effects of demographic, mediating variables and psychosocial variables on language attitude as measured by the Language Attitudes of Teachers Scale (LATS). Independent variables include gender, age, race/ethnicity, teacher certification sought, region, psychological insecurity, cognitive sophistication, and helpfulness viewpoint. Research questions are established and methodology is outlined. A review of related literature places the study in the context of research with a broad interdisciplinary perspective and then links the study to other research relevant to the field of education. The findings of the study indicate that gender, race/ethnicity, teacher certification sought, political ideology, psychological insecurity, and cognitive sophistication contribute significantly to the variation found in attitude toward language diversity. The paper concludes with analyses and discussions of the significant variables and suggestions for application in teacher preparation.
- Intentions and Implementation of the Professional Development and Appraisal System in Texas
- The purpose of this study was to describe the intentions of the designers of the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) in Texas and the perceptions of teachers regarding its implementation. Information for the study was gathered in two phases using two methodologies. The first was a semi-structured interview with four expert informants instrumental in the design and implementation of the PDAS at the state level. The second component of the study was conducted with teachers using a 37-item Likert survey. The population for this phase of the study was 150 elementary and 150 secondary teachers chosen randomly from three school districts in North Central Texas. The districts were selected to represent a variety of sizes in regard to student population and represent diverse student population characteristics and socioeconomic levels. Data from the semi-structured interviews and the returned surveys were analyzed to determine the designers' intentions and areas of emphasis and to describe the alignment the teachers' perceptions and the designers' intentions. Quantitative data gathered from the surveys were analyzed using descriptive statistics as well as a correlation and function analysis and analysis based on a Cronbach alpha coefficient. The analysis of data revealed the following: 1. Teachers perceived that the implementation of the PDAS has a high level of effect in the areas of learner-centered instruction; classroom management; support for all students; the professional growth of teachers; communication; learning application; and, TAAS improvement. 2. Teachers' perceptions were not affected by years of experience. 3. Teachers' perceptions were not affected by their field of instruction. One implication of this study is that the final design represents the intentions of designers, although the area of student achievement is not weighted as heavily in teachers' evaluations as was originally intended. Furthermore, education leaders in Texas may conclude that teachers perceive a high level of impact upon their classroom practices as a result of implementation of the PDAS instrument. If future research reveals that the perceived impact is accurate and that classroom practices of teachers did change as a result of the instrument's implementation to the degree perceived, then this is a model for policy implementation at the state level that is extremely effective. Furthermore, additional researchers may investigate the link between classroom practices and student achievement. This research study is a first step toward describing effective, replicable practices.
- An Analysis of Teaching Periodicals for Aging Education Content
- Ninety elementary public school teachers were surveyed to find out where they obtained their teaching ideas. Seven popular elementary-level teaching periodicals, dated 1989-1999, were analyzed for aging-related content, and compared with 27 of the National Academy for Teaching and Learning about Aging (NATLA) aspects of aging recommended for students' learning. Results indicate that public elementary teachers obtain their teaching ideas from various places: teaching institutes or workshops; other teachers; ideas or lessons they develop themselves; and teaching periodicals. A large percentage obtain lesson ideas from teaching periodicals that they browse or read. This finding may assist NATLA in making recommendations to particular editorial boards. Surprisingly, few teachers obtain their teaching ideas from state and local curricular mandates. When the periodical issues were analyzed, aging-related content was categorized in four ways: informational articles with selected teaching or learning activities; articles describing intergenerational programs or activities; book reviews with selected learning activities; and book review titles mentioning older adult characters. Category totals among the 7 periodicals were highest in book review titles mentioning older adult characters and book reviews with selected learning activities. The content was compared to NATLA's recommendations for students' learning. The findings were not significant. The aging aspect that appeared most often in book reviews with selected learning activities was that most living things have life cycles of patterned biological changes, and/or that death and disability can occur at any age. Whether we formally teach them about aging or not, children learn about it. Earlier studies indicate that even preschool children may stereotype the aging process and/or older adults. Curricular and instructional ideas provided in teaching materials, even in an informal format can provide education, which prepares children for real life experiences.
- 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.
- The relationship between models of student laptop computer use and teacher instructional behavior
- This study investigated the relationship between four models of student laptop computer use and three components of teacher instructional behavior: planning, implementation of instruction, and evaluation of instruction. The four models of use: full access, dispersed, class set, and mixed, represented the numerous ways teachers in public and private schools and school districts nationwide implemented student use of laptop computers. Teacher planning behavior was investigated with regard to time, frequency, complexity, difficulty, the need for revision, and use of technological resources and materials. Implementation of instruction was examined with regard to student grouping, instructional strategies, instructional content/subject matter, teacher and student roles, assignments and learning tasks, and instructional activities. The evaluation of instruction component was examined with regard to assessment tasks, grading, and assessment of homework. Using a researcher-designed questionnaire, data was gathered in a single-stage cross-sectional survey from 356 teachers working in 74 public and private schools nationwide. Results indicated models of student laptop computer use had differential effects on teacher instructional behaviors. On average, teachers found planning to be more arduous, but more collegial, especially in the mixed model. The full access and mixed models were more likely to advance a constructivist approach to teacher instructional behaviors with regard to implementation and evaluation of instruction. Results from this study had implications for future research. The effects of student laptop computer use on the full access and mixed models of use should be given further study with regard to the implementation and evaluation of instruction.
- 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.
- 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.
- A meta-analysis of service learning research in middle and high schools.
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This study examines the relationship between service learning innovations and improved academics, self-concept, and social or personal growth in middle and high school students. Meta-Analysis is employed to arrive at effect-size estimates for each construct. A historical overview of service learning is presented and a detailed description of the study selection process is provided. The data revealed a moderate relationship between service learning participation and academics, self-concept and social or personal growth in middle and high school students. The findings are presented, and some appropriate conclusions are drawn. A discussion of the implications of these findings and recommendations for future research are also provided.
- Preservice teachers' attitudes toward and knowledge about cooperative learning in Kuwait: A quasi-experimental study
- The issue of developing effective teacher preparation and professional programs by providing effective teaching and learning strategies to prepare teachers to teach in more challenging ways and change their old ways of teaching to more powerful ones has gained great attention around the world. Cooperative learning was one of the astonishing strategies introduced by many researchers to prepare effective teachers and to solve many educational problems. Teacher educators have taken different approaches to help teachers learn and change in powerful ways. They have focused on the knowledge and attitudes of teachers in promoting their adoption of new practices through educational courses, workshops, and training. After introducing the cooperative learning strategy through a training workshop, this study investigated the knowledge of and attitude of teachers at the College of Basic Education (CBE) in Kuwait towards cooperative learning as a new teaching and learning strategy. The literature reviewed the historical and practical use, theoretical roots, different models, and outcomes of cooperative learning. In addition, (1) teachers' knowledge and attitudes as factors affecting implementation and (2) preservice teacher preparation and training in the use of cooperative learning were reviewed. An attitude survey and a knowledge test were developed based on Bouas, (1993) survey and test. Additionally, an interview guide and a demographic data survey were all used to collect data. The survey and the test were translated into the Arabic language. Ninety-one responses of participants in two experimental classes and one control class were analyzed. Twenty-one participants were interviewed. A significant difference in knowledge of and attitude towards cooperative learning was found between experimental classes and the control class (p< .05 for both knowledge and attitude). In conclusion, the training workshop affected preservice teachers' knowledge of and attitudes toward the cooperative learning strategy. Therefore, the researcher suggested that cooperative learning should be introduced in the College of Basic Education in Kuwait and the University of Kuwait as another teaching and learning strategy.
- Teacher-directed student use of the Internet for curricular activities: Profiles of frequent and infrequent use.
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The purpose of this study was to develop profiles that described teachers with infrequent and frequent teacher-directed student use of the Internet for curricular purposes. Responses to the teachers' self-reported needs, beliefs, demographics, Internet skill levels, and other information were examined as the basis for the study. The study was descriptive in nature, utilized correlation and causal-comparative methods, and employed a convenience sample. The population consisted of 3,187 public school teachers from Nebraska and four service regions in upstate New York. Data related to the research questions were gathered using an online survey. After minimum access was determined, frequencies, percentages, t tests, and correlations were used to examine the data. Teachers with infrequent (<15 mins. /week) teacher-directed student use of the Internet comprised 63% of the sample. Teachers from elementary and high school levels were almost equally represented in the infrequent use group. The majority of the high school level teachers were assigned to language arts, mathematics or science courses. Teachers in the frequent (>. 90 mins. /week) use group were predominately (75%) high school level, with the majority teaching computer and business subjects. Significant differences were found between the use groups regarding beliefs about the Internet's effect on students and schools and feelings about designing lessons that included the Internet or technology. Within the infrequent use group, significant correlations were found between comparative Internet skill levels and (a) hours of technology-related professional development and (b) willingness to use the Internet for professional development. Further study should be given to the question of how these differences and correlations may affect the amount of teacher-directed student use of the Internet. The profiles developed in this study provide a starting point to assist regional, district, and school-level personnel in assessing local needs and focusing resources on developing strategies to increase teacher-directed student use of the Internet.
- Assessing the effect of inquiry-based professional development on science achievement tests scores.
- This study analyzed student test scores to determine if teacher participation in an inquiry-based professional development was able to make a statistically significant difference in student achievement levels. Test scores for objectives that assessed the critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies modeled in a science inquiry institute were studied. Inquiry-based experiences are the cornerstones for meeting the science standards for scientific literacy. State mandated assessment tests measure the levels of student achievement and are reported as meeting minimum expectations or showing mastery for specific learning objectives. Students test scores from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test (TAAS) for 8th grade science and the Biology End Of Course (EOC) exams were analyzed using ANCOVA, Chi Square, and Logistic Regression, with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) 7th Grade Science Subtest as covariate. It was hypothesized that the students of Inquiry Institute teachers would have higher scale scores and better rates of mastery on the critical thinking objectives than the students of non-Institute teachers. It was also hypothesized that it would be possible to predict student mastery on the objectives that assessed critical thinking and problem solving based on Institute participation. This quasi-experimental study did not show a statistically significant difference between the two groups. The effects of inquiry-based professional development may not be determined by analyzing the results of the standardized tests currently being used in Texas. Inquiry training may make a difference, but because of factors such as the ceiling effect, insufficient time to implement the program, and test items that are intended to but do not address critical thinking skills, the TAAS and EOC tests may not accurately assess effects of the Inquiry Institute. The results of this study did indicate the best predictor of student mastery for the 8th grade science TAAS and Biology EOC may possibly be prior knowledge acquired in elementary school and as demonstrated on the 7th grade ITBS science subtest.
- The Effects of a Kindergarten-First Grade Looping Program on Academic Achievement and Self-Esteem
- The purpose of this study was to determine if academic achievement and academic self-esteem can be linked to the non-traditional organizational pattern of looping in kindergarten and first grade classes. Looping is defined as one teacher remaining with the same students for two or more years. Using a control group-experimental group design where the experimental group participated in the looping program and the control group did not, and applying the statistical procedure of multivariate analysis of variance (MANAVO), it was found that there was no significant difference between the subjects in the two groups on the criterion variable of academic achievement as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, and the criterion variable of academic self-esteem as measured by the Culture-Free Self-Esteem Inventory, Second Edition. It was concluded that further study would need to be done to determine if there are advantages to an organizational pattern of looping for students in public elementary schools.
- A model for developing and disseminating multimedia materials for teacher educators.
- The purpose of this study was to develop a model that would enhance the development, dissemination, and adoption of educational multimedia materials. The grounded theory definition of open coding was used to analyze data collected from the 3-year Technology Leadership Web Library Project at the University of North Texas. Weekly meeting minutes, email communication, reports, notes, questionnaires, and surveys were examined to determine major factors involved in the process of product development and dissemination. From the analysis of this study, five major factors in product development and dissemination were identified. These factors were leadership, team dynamics, expert advisors, feedback, and consumers. The synthesis of the factors led to the development of the PROMOTE (process revolving around ongoing management of team and evaluative feedback) model. The PROMOTE model is based on the establishment of a system that includes leadership, development team, and expert advisors at its center. The system is tied together with well-established feedback loops for stages of evaluation. The PROMOTE model is iterative and uses consumer feedback to generate new products. The PROMOTE model differs from other product development and evaluation models both in the focus of the process and the nature of the evaluation feedback.
- Social and Economic Characteristics Related to the Immediate College Transition of Recent High School Graduates: A Study of Southwest Region TRIO Participants' College Continuation
- The purpose of this study was to determine whether: 1) Southwest Region TRIO high school students between the years 1991 - 2001 continued to college immediately after high school at rates significantly different than similar population students on national and state levels; and 2) immediate college continuation for this group was a function of social and economic characteristics including race, gender, parental education, and home-care environment. The sample included 414 TRIO program participants from Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Data on the 414 participants were gathered using an existing database containing demographic and post-secondary enrollment information on study participants. The findings of this study reveal Southwest Region TRIO students during this ten-year period continued to college immediately after high school at rates not significantly different than the national low-income population of students. Results indicate that when compared to all students in the five-state southwest region, the majority low-income, first-generation TRIO population continued to college at rates not significantly different than all-income students in the region. Findings of this study also revealed select social and economic characteristics were not predictors of immediate college continuation for this group. Finally, the study showed out-of-home care environment students continued to college at significantly higher rates than in-home care Southwest Region TRIO students.
- Staff Development Methods for Planning Lessons with Integrated Technology
- This study compared cooperative and individual staff development methods for planning lessons with integrated technology. Twenty-three teachers from one elementary school participated in the study. The sample was the entire population. Nine participants were assigned to the control group, and fourteen participants were assigned to the experimental group. Names of participants were randomly drawn to determine group assignment. Participants in the control group worked individually in all three staff development sessions, while participants in the experimental group chose a partner, with whom they worked cooperatively in all three staff development sessions. Each participant or pair of participants submitted a lesson plan prior to participation in three staff development sessions. Following the sessions, each participant or pair of participants submitted a lesson plan. Three independent raters rated lesson plans to determine the participants' respective levels on the Level of Technology Implementation Observation Checklist (Moersch, 2001). The ratings of the lesson plans submitted before the training were compared to those collected after the training using a two-by-two mixed model ANOVA. The occasion (pre- vs. post-test), group, and interaction variables were all statistically significant at the .1 level; however, only the occasion variable had a strong effect size. These data suggest that (1) all teachers who participated in the training, whether individually or cooperatively, were able to develop lesson plans at a higher level of technology implementation and (2) cooperative staff development methods had no advantage over individual staff development methods with respect to teachers' ability to write lessons with integrated technology.
- Students' and teachers' perceptions of culturally responsive teaching: A case study of an urban middle school.
- This was a qualitative study that used the procedures of case study design while incorporating ethnographic techniques of interviewing and non-participant observation in classrooms with six selected students, six teachers, and eight interviews of selected administrators and staff members in one middle school in a large Texas urban school district. The purpose of this study was to understand the educational experiences and perceptions of selected immigrant students and their mainstream teachers. Following the method of case study design, the educational experiences of English Language Learner (ELL) students were examined in the naturally occurring context of the school and the classroom. Because the goal of case studies is to understand a given phenomenon from the perceptions of the participants (referred to as “emic” perspective) all participants were interviewed in-depth in order to understand their unique perceptions. The study took place during a five-month period in the spring of 2002. Data were analyzed concurrently during data collection and were framed by Geneva Gay's (2000) characteristics of culturally responsive teaching. The findings and interpretation of data are divided into three parts that encompass the results of the five research questions that guided this study. Part one presents the teachers' perceptions and addresses the themes that arose from research questions one and two: what are teachers' perceptions of the academic problems facing (ELL) students as they enter the mainstream classroom? What instructional practices do regular teachers use to meet the academic needs of students? Part two presents the students' perceptions and addresses the findings from research questions three and four: what are (ELL) students' perceptions of the academic challenges facing them in the mainstream classroom? What are the ELL students' perceptions of the instructional practices used by mainstream teachers to meet their academic needs? Part three addresses the fifth research question that guided this study: What administrative policies and procedures are in place in the school and district to meet the educational needs of ELL students?
- The effect of a laboratory-based, in-context, constructivist teaching approach on preservice teachers' science knowledge and teaching efficacy.
- This study began with a concern about elementary teachers, as a whole, avoiding the teaching of science in the elementary classroom. The three main factors noted as reasons for this avoidance were: (1) minimum science requirements to reach certification, leading to a lack of preparedness; (2) lack of exposure to science in elementary school; and (3) general dislike for and understanding of science leading to a low self-efficacy in science teaching. The goal of the Environmental Science Lab for Elementary Educators (ESLEE) was to conduct an intervention. The intervention was lab-based and utilized in-context, constructivist approaches to positively influence participants' abilities to retain science content knowledge and to affect their belief in themselves as teachers. This intervention was created to respond to all three of the main avoidance factors noted above. The research utilized a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest control group design. Two pretests and two posttests (science teaching efficacy and content knowledge) were given to all 1,100 environmental science lab students at the participating institution over two long semesters. Three experimental/control groups were formed from this population. The Experimental Group was comprised of 46 students who participated in the ESLEE Intervention. Control Group 1 was comprised of 232 self-described preservice educators (SDPEEs) in "regular" labs. Control Group 2 was comprised of 62 nonSDPEEs taught by ESLEE instructors in "regular" lab settings. A DM MANOVA was used to analyze the data. The results demonstrated that the ESLEE Intervention was statistically significant at the p> .05 level for science teaching efficacy between the Experimental Group and Control Group 1, and was statistically significant for both content knowledge and efficacy between the Experimental Group and Control Group 2. More notably, the effect size (delta) results ranged from .19 to .71 and .06 to .55 (partial eta squared) and demonstrated the practical significance of implementing the ESLEE Intervention.
- Elementary Teacher Attrition and Factors of Organizational Climate
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As the United States faces a critical teacher shortage, it is important to examine all factors that may contribute to the revolving door of teacher attrition. This study explored the climate of elementary schools to determine if there was a correlation between teacher attrition and school organizational climate. Three basic research questions were addressed: 1) Is there a relationship between school organizational climate and teacher attrition? 2) Is a change in campus leadership related to school organizational climate? 3) Is there a relationship between a change in campus leadership and teacher attrition? Thirty-seven elementary schools were examined in terms of their individual teacher attrition rates and their climate survey scores. The data utilized in this study came from one school district's climate survey and teacher attrition rates for the 2000-2001 school year. The findings of this study indicate that factors of organizational climate may predict teacher attrition rates. Specifically, instructiona support may be related to teacher attrition. Major components of instructional support include principal behaviors, respect for teaching and learning, and communication with administrators. Teacher attrition was not related to principal experience. Also, principal experience was not related to factors of school organizational climate.
- The impact of a junior high school leadership program on the academic success and leadership development of at-risk students.
- The primary purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a junior high school leadership program on the academic success and leadership development of its at-risk student participants. A secondary purpose, based on impact, was to evaluate the program as a potential school-based model for adolescent at-risk intervention. The leadership program investigated in this study is unique in three ways. First, the program is in a magnet school and the student population is heterogeneously mixed as to ethnicity and socio-economic status. Second, enrollment is open to all students. Third, its curriculum goals meet research-based criteria for effective intervention practices and leadership development. Academic success indicators associated with at-risk students included achievement, conduct, attendance, and school engagement. Leadership development indicators included leadership practices students had experienced and leadership positions students had held. The design of this post hoc study was the comparison of two groups of high school students who qualified as "at-risk" during their junior high years. Data collection included district or campus reports for cumulative attendance rates, grade point averages, and conduct demerits, as well as student survey responses for school activities, leadership practices experienced, and leadership positions held. Results of multivariate and univariate inferential analyses show the leadership program had a slight positive impact on the achievement and leadership experiences of at-risk student participants. Descriptive data analyses indicated a positive trend toward better conduct from program participants as well. The program did not have a significant impact on attendance, school engagement, and leadership positions students had held. While the program met criteria for effective at-risk intervention as well as exemplary leadership development, results were mixed, so evaluation of the leadership program as a model for at-risk student intervention is inconclusive. Further longitudinal research is recommended with a larger sample, using pretest and posttest measurements, group comparisons, and determination of short term and long term effects.
- 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.
- The effect of trade books on the environmental literacy of 11th and 12th graders in aquatic science.
- The purpose of this study was to compare the environmental literacy of 11th and 12th graders who participated in an eighteen-week environmental education program using trade books versus 11th- and 12th-graders who participated in an eighteen-week, traditional environmental education program without the use of trade books. This study was conducted using a quasi-experimental research technique. Four high school aquatic science classes at two suburban high schools were used in the research. One teacher at each high school taught one control class and one experimental class of aquatic science. In the experimental classes, four trade books were read to the classes during the eighteen-week semester. These four books were selected by the participating teachers before the semester began. The books used were A Home by the Sea, Sea Otter Rescue, There's a Hair in My Dirt, and The Missing Gator of Gumbo Limbo. The instrument used to measure environmental literacy was the Children's Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Scale. This test was given at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester. The scores at the end of the semester were analyzed by 2 X 2 mixed model ANOVA with the teacher as the random effect and the condition (trade books) as the fixed effect. The statistical analysis of this study showed that the students in the experimental classes did not score higher than the control classes on the Children's Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Scale or on a subset of "water" questions. Several limitations were placed on this research. These limitations included the following: (1) a small number of classes and a small number of teachers, (2) change from the original plan of using environmental science classes to aquatic science classes, (3) possible indifference of the students, and (4) restrictive teaching strategies of the teachers.
- The Effects of Technology Integration Techniques in Elementary Mathematics Methods Courses on Elementary Preservice Teachers' Computer Self-Efficacy, Software Integration Confidence, and Lesson Planning
- The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the effect of computer technology integration techniques on preservice teachers' feelings of computer self-efficacy and feelings of confidence in software integration. It was also the purpose of this study to interpret these preservice teachers' confidence in using computer technology integration techniques in their own planning and instruction during student teaching. The participants in this study were from two intact, non-randomly-formed classrooms. They were 27 preservice teachers enrolled in the College of Education at a university in north central Texas in two sections of a course entitled EDEE 4350, Mathematics in the Elementary School. This study was quasi-experimental, with a nonequivalent pretest-posttest control group design. The independent variable was the type of instruction experienced in an elementary mathematics methods course: novel instruction with specialized computer technology integration techniques versus traditional instruction with no specialized technology integration techniques. The dependant variables were measured using the following instruments: the Demographic Data and Previous Context Use of the Computer Survey which described participants' demographics and their previous usage of the computer; the Self-Efficacy With Computer Technologies Scale; the Preservice Teacher Software Integration Confidence Scale; and the Lesson Plan Infusion/Integration Scale. The results of the data analysis revealed, through the inferential statistics run on the Self-Efficacy with Computer Technology Scale pretest and posttest, that there was no statistically significant difference between treatment groups (p < .05). The posttest-only Preservice Teachers Software Integration Confidence Scale revealed a statistically significant difference between treatment groups (p < .05). The posttest-only Lesson Plan Technology Infusion/Integration Scale revealed no statistical significance between treatment groups (p < .05). The study provides insight into the benefits of instruction in specific software integration techniques instruction. It suggests that when preservice teachers are given instruction in specific computer software integration techniques, they are more confident in the use of those techniques.
- An investigation into the current practices of formal and informal teacher technologists on the use of computers in the classroom in an urban academy school and a private academy school.
- The purpose of this study was to explore the practices of formal and informal teacher technologists in two school settings: an elite private, high school academy and an urban poor, middle school academy. This investigation included clarifying the role of the formal and informal teacher technologist and investigating the need for both formal and informal teacher technologists. This study also explored the technological differences between the public academy middle school and the private academy high school. Two formal and eight informal teacher technologists were interviewed face-to-face three times, each using the transcendental phenomenology research design. Each teacher technologist was also observed at least once in classroom and teacher training sessions. The results of this study revealed (1) the role of the teacher technologist was a fast technology problem solver; and (2) although students and teachers used technology, the schools lagged in adequate technology and/or teacher training; (3) the teacher technologists used the Internet to build and evaluate curriculum; (4) most students used tool software centered around project-based activities; (5) teacher technologists trained other teachers to be collaborative risk-takers in using technology; (6) teacher technologists shared what they learn with students and other teachers; and (7) students could be student-learners or student-teachers and teachers could be teacher-learners. Four conclusions were reached: technology and constructivist teaching are compatible; technology is a tool; new approaches to professional development are needed; and hardware and software should be standardized for maximum use. Additionally, both schools in this study were evolving the role of the formal teacher technologist. It was recommended that (1) the schools employ at least one fulltime formal teacher technologist whose main role is to assist teachers in technology classroom incorporation, (2) the schools form teams of informal teacher technologists, (3) and the public middle school academy purchase one laptop for each student to use anytime, anywhere.
- The significance of supportive structure in improving student achievement in knowledge of the history of the Christian church in a Kenyan Bible college.
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The problem of this study was to determine whether Kenyan Bible college students who receive instruction using a modified (highly structured) mastery learning model will demonstrate greater achievement in knowledge of Christian Church history as compared to Kenyan Bible college students who receive instruction using a traditional (minimally structured) non-mastery learning model. The subjects were 17 second-year Kenyan Bible college students enrolled in a course on Christian Church history, and they were randomly assigned to the two treatment conditions. The researcher served as instructor for both groups. The experimental group used a textbook, detailed syllabus, 200 page study guide (featuring an advance organizer to provide an ideational scaffolding), and a lesson-development feature (providing an enabling objective, congruent questions, and informative feedback for each lesson segment). The control group used a textbook and a less-detailed syllabus. Both groups shared the same classroom lectures, class discussions, required assignments, examinations, and review of examination items. Five tests of Christian church history were administered, including a pretest, three unit tests, and a comprehensive course examination. Test data were analyzed using a 2 x 5 (treatment x testing occasion) repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA). The percentage of students performing at mastery level (80% correct) on each test was also calculated. Results indicated that, from the second unit test to the comprehensive examination, the modified mastery learning group achieved slightly but consistently higher mean percentage correct scores than the traditional group, but there was no significant main effect for treatment. In contrast, the main effect for testing occasion did reach statistical significance. Across the five test occasions, 8% to 51% more students in the modified mastery learning group attained mastery level as compared to the traditional learning group.
- Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students
- Today's global culture makes communication through writing in a foreign language a most desirable tool to expand personal and professional relations. However, teaching writing is a complex, time-consuming endeavor in any language. Foreign language teachers at every level struggle to fit writing into an already full curriculum and need the most effective methods and tools with which to teach. Technology may provide a viable scaffold to support writing instruction for teachers and students. The purpose of this research was to determine any benefits of weekly/structured, in-class, computer-assisted grammar drill and practice on the composition quality and quantity of intermediate university Spanish learners. A related purpose was to determine whether students who participated in such practice would access a computer-based writing assistant differently during writing than students without the treatment. The research design was a nonequivalent groups pretest-posttest design. Fifty-two subjects' compositions were graded with both holistic and analytic criteria to analyze composition quality and quantity, and statistical analyses assessed interactions of treatment and effects. The computer-based Atajo writing assistant, which could be accessed during composition, had a logging feature which provided unobtrusive observation of specific databases accessed by each student. There were no statistically significant differences found between the two groups in overall composition scores or in subscale scores. Improvements across time were observed in composition performance for both the experimental and control groups. The implementation of computer-based grammar and vocabulary practice did show a small to moderate positive effect; that is to say, students who received weekly, structured computer grammar and vocabulary practice had higher scores for composition quality and quantity on the posttest measure and accessed the databases less than the control group. The consistent positive trends in the composition data results intimate that over a more extended period of time, computer-based grammar instruction might enhance the quality and quantity of written composition in the foreign language classroom.
- Religiousness, current substance use, and early risk indicators for substance abuse and dependence among nursing students.
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The purposes of this study were to examine the prevalence of current substance use and early risk indicators for substance abuse and dependence, and to investigate the relationships among religiousness, current substance use, and early risk indicators among nursing students at seven Seventh-day Adventist colleges. Data for this descriptive study were collected through Efinger's Alcohol Risk Survey (EARS) (Efinger, 1984), the CAGE Questionnaire ( Ewing , 1984), and the Intrinsic/Extrinsic-Revised Scale (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989). Participants were 241 nursing students enrolled in their first year of nursing courses at seven colleges and universities located across the United States . Findings indicated that 42% of students scored higher than the EARS mean; 24% reported current substance use; and 15% scored in the probable abuse/dependence category of CAGE. Students who reported current substance use and those scoring in the probable substance abuse/dependence category were significantly more likely to score above the EARS median. Intrinsic religiousness demonstrated a significant inverse relationship with current substance use. Significantly lower rates of current substance use were associated with higher rates of attendance at religious services. Respondents who indicated that their religion prohibited alcohol consumption reported significantly lower rates of current substance use than those who answered "No" or "I don't know" to their religion's prohibition of alcohol consumption. A substantial number of nursing students were found to have high numbers of early risk indicators for substance abuse and dependence that warrant intervention. The majority of students who scored in the probable substance abuse/dependence category also had higher EARS scores, thereby increasing their risk for substance impairment. Religious variables appear to have had a mediating influence on current substance use with this sample. Prevention programs should be aimed at risks that are modifiable, thus enabling students to make healthy decisions about using substances.
- The implementation of international education in colleges and universities in the state of Texas: A follow-up study.
- This study is a follow-up to a study completed by Dr. Thomas Barker in 1994 entitled The Status of the Implementation of International Education in Texas Four-year Colleges and Universities: A Comprehensive Study. A survey of 35 Texas universities and 6 out-of-state benchmark universities revealed information regarding the international programs at these universities in four areas. The four areas surveyed include: (a) administrative, (b) instructional, (c) international student support services, and (d) outreach. A summary of the survey results includes 34 tables detailing the university responses for the 2004 survey compared with the responses obtained from the original, Barker (1994). The results from the 2004 participating benchmark institutions were also reviewed. Texas universities continue to work toward the internationalization of the curriculum with increased numbers supporting an international focus in their mission statements and staffing patterns. Benchmark institutions continue to lead Texas institutions in a majority of areas surveyed. Funding for international education continues to be an issue for both the benchmark and Texas institutions. Changes in attitudes and immigration policies continue to affect the implementation of international programs on the university level. While universities continue to provide support to community and businesses in the area of international education, the extent of this support has decreased in the ten years since the Barker (1994) survey.
- Parental decision-making regarding their child's participation in a middle-school talent search.
- The present study sought to identify variables that predicted parental decision-making regarding their child's participation in a national gifted and talented identification program for middle school students and subsequent participation in recommended educational options. One hundred sixty-nine parents of students who qualified for either the 2001-2002 or 2002-2003 Duke Talent Identification Program participated in the study. The students were drawn from two large public school districts and six small private schools in a large metropolitan area in the southwestern United States. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to identify the variables predictive of parental decision-making regarding talent search participation. Each parent completed a questionnaire consisting of both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Selected parents participated in structured follow-up interviews. The results of the study indicated that parental perception of the helpfulness of school personnel in explaining the purpose and process of the talent search was most predictive of participation in the talent search. The educational level of the father, parent's prior awareness of the purpose and process of talent search, and the number of enrichment activities in which the child had previously participated were also predictive of talent search participation. Qualitative data indicated that parents of both participants and nonparticipants had a limited understanding of the purpose, diagnostic power, and potential benefits of the talent search. Very few parents chose to seek extracurricular or curricular/instructional options following the talent search testing. Qualitative data indicated that parents did not choose these options due to cost, logistical concerns regarding the special programs, and reservations about the developmental appropriateness of such options for middle school students. Although talent searches are sponsored and administered by organizations outside the local school, this study suggests that parents mostly rely on their local school for notification of their child's nomination, information on the purpose and benefits of talent search, interpretation of test scores, and guidance in selecting appropriate curricular or extracurricular follow-up.
- Assessing linguistic, mathematical, and visual factors related to student performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, eighth grade mathematics test.
- The No Child Left Behind Act and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Principles and Standards both had a significant impact on the format and content of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) math test. Content analysis of the 2004 TAKS eighth grade math test identified the prevalence of linguistic complexity, mathematical rigor, and visual presentation factors and explored their relationship to student success on individual test items. Variables to be studied were identified through a review of literature in the area of reading comprehension of math word problems. Sixteen variables of linguistic complexity that have been significantly correlated with student math test performance were selected. Four variables of visual presentation were identified and ten variables of mathematical rigor. An additional five variables of mathematical rigor emerged from preliminary study of the 2003 TAKS math test. Of the 35 individual variables, only four reached a significant level of correlation with the percent of students correctly answering a given test item. The number of digits presented in the problem statement and number of known quantities both exhibited a significant positive correlation with the dependent variable. The number of times a student had to perform a multiplication operation had a significant negative correlation with the percent of correct responses, as did the total number of operations required. Stepwise regression of these four variables revealed total number of operations and known quantities to be the best combination of predictors of correct responses. When grouped in categories by problem type and compared, items involving mathematical reasoning but no mathematical operations had a significantly higher percentage of correct responses than those requiring at least one operation. Further categorization revealed problems involving applications only (without computation) associated with the highest levels of correct responses, followed by those involving only computation. Items requiring both applications and computations had a significantly lower percent of correct responses.
- The effect of parent English literacy training on student achievement.
- When the Bush administration set out to revolutionize public education through the requirements commanded by No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), framers of the legislation chose language that appeared inclusive of all students in U.S. schools. The law demands that English language learners take the mandated exams early in their academic careers in the United States even though research indicates most will fail due to lack of time to acquire sufficient language proficiently to demonstrate their learning on the exams. Viewed through a critical theory lens, the inclusive nature of NCLB is in fact, oppressing ELL students. One district in Texas The study involved ELL students in grades 1-12 in a school district in North Central Texas that uses its family literacy center as an intervention to aid ELL families in English language acquisition. Students fell into three categories: students and parents who attend the family literacy center English classes, students whose parents attend the family literacy center English classes but the students do not attend, and students and parents who do not attend the family literacy center English classes. The quantitative data for the study were reading and math Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) scores of ELL students administered by the district in spring 2005. The independent variable was attendance at the family literacy center English classes. A series of one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) and descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, homogeneity of variance) was applied to the data and significant differences were observed on only two measures of the TELPAS. The qualitative data were phenomenological interviews of teachers at the district-run family literacy center. Data derived from in-depth phenomenological interviews were between August and September 2005.
- Beating the high stakes testing game: A three-year study of improvement rates on the TAKS social studies exit exam.
- The Texas high school class of 2005 faced a defining test that had no precedent in Texas and little nationally. Social studies testing is a relatively new addition to the world of high stakes testing currently impacting United States high schools. Although other diploma dependent areas of mandated testing have some testing history and, therefore, related paradigms for curriculum and instructional assistance, the area of social studies largely lacks that perspective. Texas Education agency provided specific school grant monies and training for the purpose of preparation for the social studies exams. This quasi-experimental study examines the scores to learn whether or not any statistically significant differences in social studies scores would exist between the schools that participated in the TEKS/Tools Training Program and the schools that did not participate in the TEKS/Tools Training Program. The two primary at-risk groups in Texas, Hispanic and low SES, were analyzed for statistically significant differences in scores. Independent t tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze the score differences between program schools and non-program schools. Results relate to individual school staffing and implementation. The at-risk groups remained flat in score gains whether they were part of the program schools or not. Results relate to differences in learning and teaching for at risk groups. A separate trend analysis was used on the program target school which was the only school with three years of scores to determine improvement from grade 9 to 10 to 11 on the social studies TAKS test scores. Results from the repeated measures analysis indicated a statistically significant linear trend in the program target school's TAKS social studies mean gain scores across the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade levels.
- A Comparison of the Self-Efficacy Scores of Preservice Teachers Based on Initial College Experience
- The purpose of this study was to determine if any statistically significant difference exists between the self-efficacy scores of student teachers who began their college experience at the community college level and student teachers who began their education at the university level. The study was used to determine whether or not the type of initial college experience impacted the first two years of college study, in relation to the development of a sense of self-efficacy at the end of the program of study. Self-efficacy data were gathered from beginning student teachers at two comparative institutions. The participants were enrolled in the colleges of education at two large metropolitan universities. One university was located in southern Texas and the other was located in north central Texas. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was the instrument used, as well as a researcher-made questionnaire that collected demographic data. In addition to pattern of education, other independent variables included age, gender, ethnicity, certification level sought by the participant, and the number of contact hours spent by the participant in early field experiences in K-12 classrooms. A multiple regression analysis indicated no statistically significant difference in the composite score of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, a measure of self-efficacy. The TSES also loads on three factors: Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management, and Student Engagement. Multiple regression analyses of the individual factor scores indicated no statistically significant predictive ability for self-efficacy on any of the subscales across initial college experience. Multiple regression analyses as well as MANOVAs were conducted to determine if the demographic variables of gender, age, ethnicity, G.P.A, certification level, and contact hours impacted TSES scores. The dependent variable was the general self-efficacy scores and the individual factor scores (i.e., Student Engagement, Instructional Strategies and Classroom Management) of student teachers as measured by the TSES. Analyses indicated a positive relationship between age, pattern of education, and global self-efficacy scores. In addition, a statistically significant relationship was indicated between age, pattern of education, and the factor of Instructional Strategies. No statistically significant relationship was found between initial college experience and global TSES scores or factor scores across the other demographic variables.
- The effects of an inquiry-based American history program on the achievement of middle school and high school students.
- Implicit in the call for educational reform in the teaching of social studies has been the suggestion that pursuing inquiry-based principles will lead to improvement in student achievement. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two types of pedagogy: traditional and inquiry-based upon student achievement as measured by a standards-based, state administered examination. Second, this study examined the relationship between the treatment teachers' level of implementation and student achievement. A nonequivalent control group posttest and experimental design was used in this study. Subjects involved in this study include 84 secondary American history teachers and their respective students from a large urban public school district in Texas. The sample consisted of two groups, one taught by traditional/didactic instruction (n=48) and the other taught by inquiry-based pedagogy (n=36). Data for this study were collected using a classroom observation protocol based upon the level of use rubric developed by the concerns-based adoption model. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p<.05) was used to measure the effects of inquiry-based instruction and traditional pedagogy on student achievement. Student achievement results were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for American history, grades 8 and 11. The study found that mean scores of the Grade 8 History Alive! group were significantly higher than the scores of the control group, but not for the Grade 11 History Alive! group. However, a comparison of mean scores by teachers' level-of-use suggested that the more faithful the teacher in designing standards-based lessons and delivering them through inquiry, the greater retention of American history student's knowledge about the subject.
- Photographic metaphors: A multiple case study of second language teachers' experiences using the acquisition model.
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The purpose of this study was to examine and document second language teachers' perceptions of their implementation of a meaning-making approach, known as the Acquisition Model, to second language instruction. Of particular focus were the concerns and strategies the second language teachers experienced when changing their pedagogical practice from mechanical to meaning making. The main research question, which guided this study, was: "What is the 'lived experience' of L2 teachers as they implement an innovative pedagogy to teach a second language?" The researcher addressed this research question through Max van Manen's (1990) six step phenomenological method, "Researching Lived Experience" and image-based research techniques (i.e., photo elicitation and reflexive photography). In addition, the researcher also created and applied an innovative data collection technique, which she called Collaborative Imagery. Findings from this study generated various implications in the areas of second language education, curricular change, teacher reflection, image-based research, and educational research.
- Social skills use of adolescents with learning disabilities: An application of Bandura's theory of reciprocal interaction.
- This was a mixed methods study designed to investigate the social skills use of adolescents with learning disabilities through an application of Albert Bandura's theory of reciprocal interaction. Data were collected through ranking surveys, observations, interviews, and school records. Three questions were investigated. The first question was to determine whether the language deficits of LD students contributed to their general decreased social competency. Through data from the Social Skills Rating System, the seventh grade participants were considered socially competent to some degree by self report, their teachers, and their parents. Factor analysis revealed students were the best predictors of their social skills use from all data sources. In ranking participants' social skills use, students and teachers were more strongly correlated than were students and parents, or teachers and parents. No relationship of any strength existed between the participants' cognitive ability and their social competence. A use of Bandura's determinants indicated that a relationship existed between some subtypes of learning disabilities and some types of social skills misuse. The participants diagnosed with reading disability, auditory processing disability, receptive/expressive language disability, or nonverbal learning disability all made the majority of their observed social skills errors in the environmental determinant of Bandura's triad of reciprocal interaction. The participants in the four subtypes experienced their information processing deficits in attending to environmental stimuli, or in attending to inappropriate environmental stimuli. The area of the subtype of information processing deficit aligned with the determinant in which the participants in that subtype's social errors were experienced. Bandura's triad of cognition, environment, and behavior was not equilateral because the balance did not exist between the three determinants in participants with learning disabilities.
- Teacher certification content area tests: Predictors of teacher knowledge for post-baccalaureate secondary candidates.
- In response to a growing teacher shortage, increasing numbers of secondary teachers are prepared through streamlined certification programs. For this reason, assessing candidates' content area knowledge gained from institutions of higher education across the United States is an important program admission factor as candidates must demonstrate content area knowledge by passing a Texas content area certification test (TExES). This study examines content knowledge for candidates enrolled in an online post-baccalaureate program from September 1, 2002 through April 30, 2005. Academic transcript analysis and grades 8-12 subject tests of the TExES were used as a proxy for subject matter knowledge for a sample of individuals seeking initial teacher certification in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification at the University of North Texas. Descriptive data,linear regression, and logistic regression analyses were used to draw conclusions about the content area knowledge of the individuals in the sample. Scores on the TExES were used to determine the relationships between the content area knowledge of initial certification students and the number of content area courses completed, the grade point averages, and time elapsed between the completion of the last content area course and the student's initial attempt on the TExES. Results differed by the content area of the candidates. Analysis of variance results indicate significant differences between the five test groups with regard to number of courses taken F(4,139) = 9.334, p < .001 grade point average F(4,139) = 5.733, p < .001 and time between the last course taken F(4,139) = 6.135, p < .001. The three-predictor model was statistically significant F(3,32) = 3.753, p = .02 for the History test group. The variable, upper-level grade point average accounted for approximately 12% variance among scores within the History test group, and the variable months of time elapsed between last content area course work and the initial state content examination accounted for approximately 13% of variance among scores.
- An exploration of the relationships among teacher efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, and teacher demographic characteristics in conservative Christian schools.
- The purpose of this study was to determine whether teachers' perceptions of self-efficacy and collective teacher efficacy are interrelated and how these two constructs may be impacted by teacher demographic characteristics, such as educational level, grade level taught, and number of years of teaching experience. This study focused entirely on the interrelationships of teacher efficacy and collective teacher efficacy in three suburban, conservative Christian schools in north Texas. Specifically, the demographic characteristics of age, gender, ethnicity, particular school campus, number of years teaching, number of years teaching at the current school, highest degree received, type of teacher certification, certification grade level and subject area, grade level taught, and particular subject taught were studied for the non-random, convenience sample of 216 kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers. A correlational analysis of teacher efficacy and collective teacher efficacy yielded a Pearson r of .35 at a statistically significant level (p < .01); combining these two variables with teacher demographic variables in multiple regression analyses confirmed the relationship between teachers' perceptions of teacher efficacy and collective efficacy at a statistically significant level (p < .001). A review of the squared structure coefficients in the first multiple regression analysis (R2 = .284, p < .001) showed that individual teachers' perceptions of collective teacher efficacy explained the largest amount (43%) of the variance in teacher efficacy, followed by years of teaching experience (17%) and number of years of teaching at the current school (14%). A review of the squared structure coefficients in the second multiple regression analysis (R2 = .395, p < .001) indicated that individual teachers' perceptions of teacher efficacy explained the largest amount of variance in collective teacher efficacy (31%), followed the elementary teacher variable (22%) and particular school (19%).
- 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.
- The effects of using children's literature with adolescents in the English as a foreign language classroom.
- This study provides quantitative and qualitative data about the effects of using children's literature with adolescents in a language classroom and the role of children's literature in students' second/foreign language development, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The study presents qualitative data about the role of children's literature in developing more positive attitudes toward reading in the second/foreign language and toward reading in general. With literature being a model of a culture, presenting linguistic benefits for language learners, teaching communication, and being a motivator in language learning, this study presents empirical data that show that inclusion of children's literature in adolescents' second/foreign language classroom promotes appreciation and enjoyment of literature, enhances the development of language skills, stimulates more advanced learning, and promotes students' personal growth.
- A multi-state political process analysis of the anti-testing movement.
- I applied McAdam's political process model for social movement analysis to examine the level of collective resistance to high stakes testing in California, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, and Texas from 1985 to 2005. Data on protest occurrences in those states were gathered from online news reports, anti-testing organization websites, and electronic interviews from individuals associated with the anti-testing movement. Variables used in the analysis included each state's key educational accountability legislation, political affiliations of state political leaders, state political leaders' support of accountability issues, student ethnicity profiles, poverty indicators, dropout rates, and collective bargaining laws. I examined the relationship between those variables and protest development in terms of the political process model's three components: framing processes, mobilizing structures, and political opportunity. I concluded California and Massachusetts, with their strong networks of anti-testing organizations, showed more instances of protest than any other state. Slightly fewer protests occurred in New York. Texas showed few instances of anti-testing protests and there were no reports of protests in South Carolina. There was evidence of framing efforts from both proponents and opponents of high-stakes testing, with proponents' framing efforts tending to be more covert. I found that anti-testing protests were primarily initiated by middle-class and affluent groups of citizens, who demonstrated greater political access but whose major concerns differed by state. Evidence showed that although all five states have Republican governors, protests emerged more readily in the three states whose legislatures had a Democratic majority. I found that protest efforts were inhibited when protesters faced serious consequences as a result of their actions. In addition, state political leaders began to take part in the anti-testing protest movement once the state became subject to sanctions under the strict performance requirements imposed by No Child Left Behind. Overall, the political process model proved to be a highly efficient analytical tool in this context.
- Theatre teachers' attitudes toward the University Interscholastic League One-Act Play contest.
- The focus of aesthetic education is reflected in an arts curriculum designed for students to learn skills that make it possible for them to experience the world in a satisfying and meaningful manner. Incorporating aesthetics into school curriculum can be approached through the use of coordinated programs. In the state of Texas, over 1100 schools participate annually in the One-Act Play contest (OAP). The contest is governed by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which has designed and recommended a structure in which students actively participate in the fine art of theatre. This curriculum is the roadmap for instruction that leads students to learn the value of the aesthetic. This study examines teacher and student perception in the Texas One-Act Play contest and its implications for teaching and learning the aesthetic. The qualitative data were collected through a series of interviews and observations during the spring 2006 with five schools in the north Texas area. Students and teachers at each school were interviewed. Data revealed how the goals of the UIL OAP system are being met based on teachers' practices, perceptions, and experience. Implications of the study are seen through the teachers' attitude toward winning as well as how the elements of teaching, rehearsal technique, and external support systems affect the teachers' contest preparation.
- An analysis of changes in perceptions of certified athletic trainers from 1996 to 2006 on the women in athletic training survey
- This study investigates how perceptions vary in athletic trainers regarding issues pertaining to women in the profession. Subjects included 1500 male and 1500 female certified athletic trainers who responded to 44 demographic and perceptions survey items used to determine whether perceptions were different based on the respondent's gender. Results were compared to a previously disseminated survey in 1996 to also determine if perceptions had changed from 10 years earlier. Results regarding the presentation of awards and the attainment of leadership positions in the organization were also compared to actual data collected. The data suggested that males perceptions had not changed, but females' perceptions had changed, in that females perceived that opportunities had improved. Data regarding the number of females who had ascended to leadership positions or had received awards did not support these perceptions, however, and female athletic trainers continue to struggle to obtain equality in both of these areas. Additionally, homosocial reproduction continues to influence the decreased number of women who are hired into various jobs, or advance into leadership positions, maintaining patriarchy in the athletics arena and in the athletic training organizations. Results suggested that because athletic training has been dominated by men since its inception, patriarchy continues to influence the lack of ascension of women into leadership positions and awards recognition. Many women are choosing to leave the profession due to the gender role pressure that they can not sustain a career in athletic training and raise a family. Men's professional sports continue to reject the concept of hiring women to serve as athletic trainers with their athletes, which also continues to preserve a patriarchal environment.
- Examining the effects of scheduled course time on mathematics achievement in high school students.
- This study was designed to determine the effects of two different schedule types on mathematics achievement in public high school students. The instruments used included the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, given annually to all students in grades 3 through 11, the Texas Algebra I end-of-course examination, given as a district option to Algebra I students, and student final course grades as determined by classroom teachers. The study compared students' performance in these three areas during the 2004-2005 academic year in one suburban school district in North Texas. The study considers the type of schedule, either traditional or 8-block, between students in teachers' classes who teach the same course on both schedules concurrently. This study also investigates a qualitative aspect by including a short opinion survey of teachers' perceptions regarding student academic performance, teacher satisfaction and retention, and the ability to accomplish curricular goals. Findings from this research suggest course schedule does not have significant effects on student academic performance as measured using analyses of covariance comparisons with a 0.05 alpha-level, leading to the conclusion that a particular course schedule does not adversely impact student performance on academic measures. However, in some comparisons conducted within the course of the research, statistically significant results emerged. Qualitative data generated from a survey of teacher perceptions regarding the benefits of the two scheduling types, traditional 50-minute verses alternating day 8-block, suggested teachers preferred a traditional schedule over that of a block schedule design. Most teachers who responded to the survey instrument expressed the perception that traditional daily meeting classes allowed their students to be more successful. Additional research into the effects of scheduling types on students academic performance are suggested and would include examining larger population samples, a narrower study of specific courses within the field of mathematics, or an expansion of the content areas explored to fields such as science, languages, or non-academic core subjects, including the fine arts.