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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Teacher Education and Administration
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Academic excellence and instructional expenditures in Texas.
Public school per pupil costs and demands for better performance have increased over the past several decades. While the overall per pupil expenditures have increased, the percent of the educational dollar directed toward instructional activities has remained at approximately 60%. A grass-roots movement known as the "65% Solution" caught national attention by claiming that schools are not efficiently allocating resources into areas that have the greatest link to student achievement, such as instruction. Proponents of the 65% Solution claim that per pupil expenditures can be increased by shifting funds from areas considered non-instructional to areas that directly impact student instruction, such as teachers and instructional materials. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between district Panel Recommended and Commended Performance TAKS Reading/ELA and Math results and three measurements of instructional expenditures, Instructional Staff Percent; TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio; and the NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (65% Solution), in Texas public schools. Data was collected from the 2003-2004 AEIS report. Multiple regression was used to conduct the analyses. In most instances, there was little, if any, relationship between TAKS Reading/ELA and TAKS Math, and the Instructional Staff Percent (ISP), TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio (TIER), and NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (NIER). However, a low to moderate relationship was discovered in the comparison of TAKS Reading/ELA, and the ISP and TIER. This result was the same for both the Panel Recommended and Commended Performance. In every instance, the ISP and TIER showed positive, statistically significant, relationships to TAKS results. The NIER, or 65% Solution, had the lowest correlation and was statistically insignificant in three out of four analyses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5370/
African-American parents' nutritional habits: Implications for the prevention of early childhood obesity.
This research study addressed the nutritional beliefs and habits of African-American parents of children aged 3 to 6 years old. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were employed. Quantitative data was collected via the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire as well as a demographic questionnaire. Qualitative data was collected from oral interviews conducted by the researcher. Seventy-five parents or guardians participated in the study. Findings for the research questions revealed the participants' beliefs about nutrition directly correlated with food they provided for their children and most believed nutrition rather than genetics played a role in their child(ren)'s weight. Furthermore, parents from lower income families consumed more home cooked meals per week and those with higher incomes did not consume more fast food per week. Food intake restriction and control in feeding was similar among all participants, regardless of restriction and control in feeding was similar among all participants, regardless of education or income level. Suggestions for future research were included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11062/
African Refugee Parents' Involvement in Their Children's Schools: Barriers and Recommendations for Improvement
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The purpose of this study was to examine involvement of African refugee parents in the education of their elementary school children. The setting of the study was Northern and Southern Texas. African refugee parents and their children's teachers completed written surveys and also participated in interviews. In the study's mixed-method design, quantitative measures provided data about parent involvement at home, parent involvement at school, frequency of parent-teacher contact, quality of parent-teacher relationship, parent endorsement of children's schools, and barriers to parent involvement. Qualitative data from the open-ended questions provided data on barriers and strategies to improve involvement. Sixty-one African refugee parents responded to the survey and also participated in an in-depth face-to-face or telephone interview. Twenty teacher participants responded to an online survey. Quantitative data gathered from the parent and teacher surveys were analyzed using frequency distributions and analyses of variance. Qualitative data were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories using Weft QDA, an open-source qualitative analysis software. From these data, I identified barriers to African refugee parent involvement in their children's schools, as well as challenges that teachers face as they try to involve African refugee parents. Results of analyses of variance revealed statistically significant differences in parent involvement between African refugee parents with limited English proficiency and those with high English proficiency. A key finding of the research was that, whereas the overall level of parent involvement for African refugee parents was low, a major barrier to involvement was language. Teachers and parents cited enrolment in English as a second language programs as the best strategy to enhance parent involvement of African refugees. Additionally, parents who reported higher education levels were more involved in their children's education both at home and at school. All groups of African refugee parents reported high endorsement of their children's school. Strategies suggested to improve involvement include the use of interpreters and parent education on importance of involvement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12128/
An Analysis of Advisory Committee Activities in a Successful Public School Bond Election
The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived effectiveness of specific advisory committee activities during a school bond proposal and election process. The study began with an extensive review of the literature on the use of advisory committee activities in school districts for the purpose of promoting a school bond issue. This revealed that school officials maintaining a low profile, the presence of a diverse community task force, focusing on YES voters, involving the committee in early planning, focusing on disseminating information, and focusing on benefits to children and the community are all important in the passage of a school bond election. A survey was developed and administered to committee members, school board members and school district administrators in a North Texas school district that had successfully completed a bond election. Survey respondents consistently supported the practices put into place by the studied school district, which closely mirrored the activities espoused in the research. Respondents believed the diversity of the task force and the roles of the committee members to be crucial to the passage of the bond. The only subcategory of questions that drew mixed reviews and positions of support was that of the need for the administration and board to maintain a low profile. Participants in the survey viewed having a diverse community task force, focusing on YES votes, involvement in early planning, focusing on disseminating information, and focusing on benefits to children and the community as being important to the successful passage of the school bond election, with clear dissemination of information being the most important activity of the committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4561/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3679/
Analysis of Qualified Immunity for Texas Public School Professional Employees as Interpreted by the Texas Courts
This dissertation analyzed Texas appellate court decisions relating to whether educators' actions were incident to or within the scope of duties and involved the exercise of judgment or discretion in cases involving defamation, motor vehicle exceptions, and excessive force in discipline exceptions. The questions addressed were: (1) How have the Texas appellate courts interpreted Texas Education Code Section 22.051 in litigation against teachers and school administrators for defamation? (2) How have the Texas appellate courts interpreted Texas Education Code Section 22.051 in litigation against teachers and school administrators for injury to students when plaintiffs have sued Texas educator under the motor vehicle exception to the educator immunity law? (3) How have the Texas appellate courts interpreted Texas Education Code Section 22.051 in litigation against teachers and school administrators under the excessive force in discipline exception to the educator immunity law? This dissertation utilized legal research as its methodology. Chapter 3 examines literature with regard to qualified immunity for Texas public school professional employees and discusses the limitations placed upon qualified immunity. Chapter 4 is a comprehensive study of the cases decided by Texas courts involving alleged defamation of students or others by teachers and school administrators. Chapter 5 is a comprehensive study of the cases decided by Texas courts involving the alleged negligent use of motor vehicles by professional public school employees. Chapter 6 is a comprehensive study of the cases decided by Texas courts involving the alleged use of excessive force in disciplining students. Chapter 7 discusses the findings of the analysis of cases as well as the implied limitations regarding qualified immunity of teachers and school administrators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9857/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2771/
An analysis of the benefits of the Student Success Initiative in the 3rd and 5th grades in a district in Texas.
The state of Texas passed the Student Success Initiative (SSI) in 1999 which requires all 3rd graders to pass the reading portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test to be promoted to the 4th grade, and for 5th graders to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 6th grade. Beginning in spring 2008, 8th graders will also need to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 9th grade. The purpose of this study was to examine the academic performance of 3rd and 5th grade students who did not meet the passing standard on the TAKS test and were retained during the 2005-2006 school year. The population of this study included 33 3rd graders and 49 5th graders who were retained during the 2005-2006 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. There was also a second population of 49 5th graders who were retained in 3rd grade during the 2003-2004 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. These students were enrolled in the 5th grade for the first time during the 2005-2006 school year. Their TAKS scores were examined to see whether students were still benefiting from the year of retention in 3rd grade. Results for all populations were broken down by ethnicity and program codes. The results of the study showed a statistically significant gain in 3rd grade reading and 5th grade math scores. The 5th grade reading scores did have a statistically significant improvement even though the reading mean score was still below the minimum passing score even after a year of retention. A cross tabulation done on students who had been retained in 3rd grade due to SSI requirements and were enrolled in the 5th grade during the study showed a greater significant growth in math than in reading. A strong correlation between the ITBS and TAKS tests were found in both 3rd grade reading and 5th grade math. A weak correlation between the tests was found in 5th grade reading. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3634/
An analysis of the effect of distance learning on student self-efficacy of junior high school Spanish students.
Prior to the development of interactive television, schools that were either geographically isolated or financially restricted were often unable to provide courses that may have been essential for students. Interactive television has helped such school districts provide appropriate courses for their students. Because student self-efficacy is a significant indicator of student success, the relationship between distance learning and students' self-efficacy requires research. The problem of the study was to examine the impact of site location in a distance learning environment on student self-efficacy in Spanish instruction. The participants in this study were junior high school students enrolled in distance-learning Spanish classes at two junior high schools in a north central Texas independent school district. All of the students were taught by the same instructor. The age range of the students was from 11 to 14 years of age, and all students were in either the seventh or the eighth grade. Students took a modified version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire at the end of each treatment. Using the counterbalanced design, each subject was matched to themselves. T-tests for nonindependent samples were used to compare the two treatments. The findings indicate that there is no significant difference in the level of student self-efficacy by site location. The findings in this study support the use of distance learning as a medium for Spanish instruction at the junior high school level. Because of the strong statistical relationship between self-efficacy and student performance, teachers and administrators can reasonably believe that site location will not hamper their students' success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4563/
An Analysis of the Emotional Intelligence and Personality of Principals Leading Professional Learning Communities
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between a principal's emotional intelligence and personality and his or her ability to implement and develop professional learning communities within the school. The Professional Learning Community Assessment (PLCA) was administered to principals and teachers in 13 schools in Texas ranging from elementary to high school. Based on the strength of the PLCA scores, two elementary schools were selected to participate in case study research. The principals of these two campuses were administered an emotional intelligence instrument (MSCEIT), a personality instrument (DiSC), and were interviewed along with three of their teachers. The findings indicate that both of these principals scored high in the Influential and Conscientiousness subscales and low in the Dominance subscale. The principals also possessed either near-average or above-average emotional intelligence with both principals scoring particularly strong in the Strategic subscale. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6093/
An Analysis of the Perception of the Degree of Compliance of Selected Texas Public High Schools with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
In recent years, few laws have had greater impact on public education than Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. As a result of this legislation, participation levels of female athletes have risen dramatically. Conducted in the Texas Education Agency's Region XI, this study sought to ascertain the perceptions of high school principals, the lead coaches of male athletes, and the lead coaches of female athletes with regard to their schools' compliance with the components of Title IX. The study centered on the results of a survey instrument that included twenty Likert-scale questions as well as several demographic questions. The research questions sought to determine: (1) respondents' overall perception of compliance; (2) any differences in perceptions of compliance based upon the role of the individual; (3) any differences in perceptions based upon the percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch; (4) any differences based upon the state classification of the schools; (5) any differences based upon the gender of respondents; (6) whether complaints filed via OCR result in a perception of increased compliance; and (7) the program component areas in which respondents view their schools to be most compliant. Descriptive and causal-comparative methods were used to analyze the data. The results revealed that school leaders in north central Texas public high schools perceived a high degree of compliance of their schools with the requirements of Title IX regardless of their role. A descriptive analysis of the responses based upon respondent role yielded slight differences between coaches of males and females. An ANOVA of responses considering the variables of free and reduced lunch as well as state classification did not yield a statistical significance in terms of perceptions of compliance. Although the mean scores of female respondents were slightly lower than males, the research did not yield statistically significant differences based upon gender. The study was inconclusive in terms of whether districts that have experienced formal Title IX complaints are more compliant with Title IX. Finally, the study indicated that school leaders should focus more attention on the areas of coaching assignment and compensation as well as publicity as they seek to comply with Title IX. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4960/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4849/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3348/
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 Cronbach’s 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2663/
Attrition rates of teachers trained in alternative teacher certification programs, those trained in the centers for the professional development of teachers, and those trained in traditional university programs.
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This study uses teacher employment data provided by the State Board for Educator Certification to examine the similarities and differences between initial employment and attrition rates of teachers trained in three prevalent types of Texas teacher preparation programs; alternative certification programs (ACP), the centers for professional development of teachers (CPDT), and traditional certification programs (TCP). The population for the study includes all Texas teachers who completed training in these programs in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The study found that ACP participants gain employment as Texas public school teachers at a significantly higher rate than their CPDT and TCP trained peers in year-one after completion of their training. However, ACP completers experience higher attrition rates in each of the subsequent years investigated. The study concludes that the overall cumulative attrition rate of new teachers trained in these programs is not as pronounced as originally presumed, but that low production levels cannot keep up with the growing demand for new teachers. Teacher preparation program leaders must seek ways to recruit and train more teachers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3089/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5284/
Beliefs about language learning and language learning strategy use in an EFL context: A comparison study of monolingual Korean and bilingual Korean-Chinese university students.
This study compared strategy use and beliefs about language learning, and the relationship between beliefs and use reported by 428 monolingual Korean and 420 bilingual Korean-Chinese university students. This study also examined the influence of background variables (e.g., gender, self-rated English proficiency, and academic major) on learners' beliefs and strategy use. Data was collected using three questionnaires, the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI), and the Individual Background Questionnaire (IBQ). Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, principal-component analyses, factor analyses, Pearson r correlation analyses, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and the Scheffé post-hoc test. Monolinguals reported using compensation strategies most, followed by cognitive, metacognitive, memory, social/practical practice, and affective strategies. Bilinguals preferred to use cognitive strategies most, followed by metacognitive and affective, compensation, memory, social, and independent practice strategies. Students from both groups reported low use of social and memory strategies. Despite a less favorable formal English education environment in the Korean-Chinese community and fewer English learning experiences, bilingual Korean-Chinese reported higher use of learning strategies, which indicates bilinguals' superior language learning abilities. Students from both groups had strong instrumental motivation for learning English. Bilinguals held stronger beliefs about the importance of formal learning and felt less fear of speaking English with native English speakers. Significant correlations between strategy and belief variables indicated differences in the impact of beliefs on strategy use for both groups. The result of the MANOVA revealed that bilingual humanities or engineering majors used more strategies and held stronger beliefs about formal learning. Proficiency level was positively correlated with strategy use for both groups. No gender effect on strategy use and beliefs was found. The assumption that differences in the learning experiences of the participants from two distinct geographical and socio-educational learning settings would influence the findings of this study was upheld. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5270/
Better Teaching Model? Middle School Science Classroom Using the 4MAT Instructional Strategy vs. Lessons Created Without this Model
The problem investigated was the need for effective and efficient learning for middle school science students to meet expectations set in Goals 2000. The use of the 4MAT Instructional Method was investigated as a possible method for attainment of current science standards. The study included one middle school science instructor's classes with 89 participating students. Measurements were taken and comparisons drawn using three assessment methods to determine if improved academic achievement and attitude scores resulted. Data analysis yielded no significant conclusion in either academic achievement or attitude improvement; however, observations of the researcher indicated potential usefulness of the 4MAT approach. The t-value calculated in the assessment methods was insufficient with a .05 probability of error present in the findings. The limitations of the study skewed the results and outweighed the possible observational insight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3259/
Career Paths to the Texas Public School Superintendency
This study focused on the identification of career paths that led to the Texas public school superintendency, including an examination of career path differences associated with gender, ethnicity, and district type, and on the identification of the career path positions superintendents perceived as being the most beneficial in preparing them for the superintendency. Additionally, the study examined place-bound versus career-bound superintendents. The most common career path to the Texas public school superintendency was secondary teacher, secondary principal, and superintendent. Female administrators and administrators who worked in large districts were more likely to take the director route to the superintendency. Additionally, most major urban superintendents took the director route to the superintendency. Ethnicity was not a significant factor in determining the career path to the superintendency. A significant correlation did exist between educational attainment and the secondary teacher, secondary assistant principal, secondary principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent career path. A higher representation of superintendent respondents who held earned doctorates existed in that career path than in any of the other career path groups. While educational attainment was important in higher paying districts, most Texas superintendents did not hold doctorates. Few held doctorates from the most prestigious, nationally recognized universities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4970/
A Case Study of Parental Behaviors in an English Language Learner Community Technology Literacy Lab Setting and the Extension of the Behaviors in the Home
The purpose of the study was to describe a family literacy program attempting to teach adult English language learners (ELL) the knowledge and skills that would allow them to support their children's learning at home. The methodology employed was a multi-case study. Fourteen adult participants were interviewed to gather information regarding the factors that influenced the adult participant's ability to support their child's learning prior to participation in the family literacy program. The study focused on the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the literacy program and used to support their child's learning at home and the curriculum and instruction that the participants used to influence their child's learning. The methodology used to gather information included adult English language learner interviews, field observations, and contact analysis of lesson plans. The following conclusions were derived based on analysis of the data: 1. In the family literacy program that was studied, the only prior factor that appeared to influence the parent's ability to support their child's learning was the education level of the participant. 2. Pronunciation, conversation, listening, grammar and writing are are essential skills that ELL parents use to support their child's learning. Attitudes were directly affected by the participants' ability to master the English language in order to be able to guide their children through the U.S. educational system. 3. The curriculum supported the learning; however the instruction was vital to modeling the procedures for learning that the participants used to support their children's success in school. 4. Regardless of other factors such as marital status, occupation, and other variations in family background, all participants based their ability to support their child's learning on their own ability to master the English language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4297/
Character education programs and student suspension rates from school: Do character education programs decrease student suspensions from regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas?
The purpose of this study was to determine if character education programs impact the suspension rates of students from regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas. The data was also examined to determine if the number of years since a school's implementation of a character education program has an impact on the effectiveness of the programs as measured by the suspension rates of students from school. Finally, the study sought to determine if the socio-economic status of the schools has an impact on the effectiveness of character education programs as measured by the student suspension rates. A random sample of 135 regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas was collected. The principal of each school completed a questionnaire that was used to sort schools into three groups: schools with "direct" character education programs, schools with "indirect" character education programs, and schools that have implemented no type of character education program. A two-year history of suspensions was obtained for each school. The data was analyzed using one-way and two-way ANOVAs. The results of the analyses indicated that the implementation of character education programs, no matter what type, did not produce statistically significant differences in student suspension rates from school. Furthermore, the data revealed that neither the number of years since the implementation of the character education programs nor the socio-economic status of the schools had an impact on the effectiveness of the character education programs as measured by the student suspension rates from school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4778/
Characteristics of successful Texas schools which predict components of an adequate education.
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The purpose of this study was to identify high performing school districts in Texas and to determine if there are different characteristics leading to the provision of an adequate education in high performing districts as compared to low performing districts. It specifically sought to determine which characteristics contributed most to an adequate education and used data from the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) which chronicled scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). The population for this study consisted of all 2001-2002 Texas public school districts with the exception of charter schools, special-purpose statutory districts, and state-administered districts, which resulted in using data from 1027 Texas school districts. Descriptive discriminant analysis was chosen as the method for statistical analysis. Data were obtained from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Adequate and inadequate districts were analyzed according to eight variables. They were (1) taxable value per pupil, (2) the percentage of special education students, (3) the percentage of students coded as bilingual and ESL, (4) pupil-teacher ratio, (5) the size of the district, (6) the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in the district, (7) the district community type, such as rural or suburban, and (8) the total operating expenditures per pupil. Two analyses were conducted. The first analysis sought to determine the different characteristics between adequate districts (districts that scored 80% or above on the TAAS test) and inadequate districts (districts that scored 79% or below on the TAAS test). In order to determine these differences with a higher standard for adequacy, a second analysis was performed. The second analysis focused on districts deemed adequate by scoring 90% or above on the TAAS test compared to those districts deemed inadequate by scoring 69% and below. The eight variables accounted for 21% and 37% of the variance between groups respectively. For both analyses performed, the three variables that clearly contributed most to predicting membership in the two groups were the percentage of economically disadvantaged students( .935, .652), the percent of students in bilingual or ESL programs (.332, .371), and the taxable values per pupil (.178, .058). The percentage of economically disadvantaged students indicated that this variable explained 94% and 65% of the overall effect sizes. The percentage of bilingual and ESL students explained 33% and 37% of the effect size. Taxable Value per pupil explained 17% and 6% of the effect size. The percentage of special education students, total operating expenditures per pupil, the student-teacher ratio, community type, and the size of the district each, revealed only slight contribution to group differences. These results clearly suggested that the inadequate districts had higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students and ESL students while the adequate districts had higher taxable value per pupil, or wealth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4907/
Children of teenage mothers: School readiness outcomes and predictors of school success.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teenage motherhood on the school readiness, literacy skills, and parental involvement of children participating in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) early intervention program, as well as make recommendations for optimal outcomes. Study children were participants in HIPPY at five diverse, urban school districts. Using a mixed method design, this study examined the results of quantitative measures of children's school readiness, literacy skills, and parent involvement along with qualitative data collected through mothers' responses to two, open-ended questions related to their satisfaction with HIPPY. According to results of independent samples t-test, mean scores on school readiness and parent involvement measures were not statistically significantly different for the children of teenage mothers and the children of traditional age mothers. However, there were moderate effect sizes for parent involvement and physical development indicating some practical significance. Chi-square results of literacy skills indicated that the children of teenage mothers were almost twice as likely [c2 (1, N = 36) = 4.21, p < .05] to have literacy skills that were "not on grade level" according to scores on the TPRI/Tejas. Descriptive discriminant analysis (DDA) indicated that the multivariate relationship of the four parent involvement variables statistically significantly contributed to whether children born to teenage mothers had literacy skills on grade-level, but it was not significant for the children of traditional-age mothers. DDA analysis conducted on the school readiness variables did not yield any significant results. In addition, odds ratios conducted between literacy level and each of the parent involvement and school readiness variables indicated an increased probability of a child's literacy skills being on grade level when scores were high, but these increases were not statistically significant. While there were differences in literacy skills, teen mothers indicated, through their responses to two, open-ended questions, their desire to for more support for their children in this area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9117/
Children's spiritual development: Analysis of program practices and recommendations for early childhood professionals.
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which faith-based preschools promote spiritual development in preschoolers. The participants in the study were faith-based early childhood teachers and administrators from seven states. Early childhood professionals representing 11 Christian faith traditions completed written surveys or online surveys. A total of 201 faith-based educators completed the survey; 20 respondents participated in semi-structured interviews. The concurrent triangulation mixed-method design provided data on 8 program dimensions which support children's spiritual development: prayer, Bible literacy, worship, building character, service opportunities, assessment, parental involvement and context. I analyzed quantitative data using descriptive and inferential statistics. All items were examined using mean, standard deviation, frequency, and percentages. Qualitative data gathered from semi-structured interviews were coded and analyzed using NVivo8® qualitative analysis software (QSR International, Inc., Cambridge, MA, http://www.qsrinternational.com). From this data I identified the extent to which faith-based preschool programs support children's spiritual development through the practices of prayer, Bible literacy, worship, building character, service opportunities, assessment, parental involvement and context. Data analyses revealed statistically significant differences in faith-based teachers' hours of training in children's spiritual development across all program practice dimensions. A key finding of the study was that training in children's spiritual development is important regardless of the education level of the early childhood professional. Qualitative data indicated no standardized spiritual development training in faith-based preschools represented in this study. The mixed-method analysis revealed that the 8 program practice dimensions were not always connected in a framework that supported children's spiritual development. Recommendations for professional practice include a program framework to support children's spiritual development in faith-based preschool programs; training for faith-based early childhood professionals in children's spiritual development; and formulating a definition of children's spiritual development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12169/
A Chronological Study of Experiential Education in the American History Museum
This study traced the evolution of experiential education in American history museums from 1787 to 2007. Because of a decline in attendance, museum educators need to identify best practices to draw and retain audiences. I used 16 museology and history journals, books, and archives of museums prominent for using the method. I also interviewed 15 museum educators who employ experiential learning, one master interpreter of the National Park Service, and an independent museum exhibit developer. Experiential education involves doing with hands touching physical materials. Four minor questions concerned antecedents of experiential learning, reasons to invest in the method, the influence of social context, and cultural pluralism. Next is a review of the theorists whose works support experiential learning: Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Lewin, Bruner, Eisner, Hein, and David Kolb plus master parks interpreter Freeman Tilden. The 8 characteristics they support include prior experiences, physical action, interaction with the environment, use of the senses, emotion, social relationships, and personal meaning. Other sections are manifestation of experiential learning, transformation of history museums, and cultural pluralism in history museums. The research design is descriptive, and the procedure, document analysis and structured interview. Findings are divided by decades after the first 120 years. Social context, examples of experiential learning, and multicultural activities are detailed. Then findings are discussed by patterns of delivery: sensory experiences, actions as diversion and performance, outreach of traveling trunks and of organized activity, crafts as handwork and as skills, role-playing, simulation, hands-on museum work, and minor patterns. The decline of involvement of citizens in the civic and cultural life of the community has adversely affected history museums. Experiential learning can stop this trend and transform museum work, as open-air museums and the National Park Service have demonstrated. In the future history museums may include technology, a more diverse audience, and adults in its experiential educational plans to thrive. Further research is needed on evaluation, finances, and small museums. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5190/
A Comparison of Academic Achievement of Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students Served in Title I Part A Programs: Targeted Assistance Versus Schoolwide Models
This study analyzed test scores of economically disadvantaged students who attended two elementary schools implementing different types of Title I models from 1999-2001. Test scores from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9) were analyzed. One school implemented the targeted assistance model (less than 50% poverty), which focused resources on students were identified as failing or at risk of failing. The other a schoolwide model (95% poverty), which used resources to help all students in a school regardless of whether they ware failing, at risk of failing, or economically disadvantaged. The quantitative approach was used with a causal comparative design. A cohort of continuously enrolled students was identified for the TAAS (n=169 and 189) and the ITBS/SAT-9 (n=49 and 87). Descriptive statistics such as the frequency, mean, and standard deviation, were used to measure differences on the Texas Learning Index (TLI) for the TAAS, and Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) on the ITBS/SAT-9. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to partially adjust for preexisting differences among the groups and because randomization was not possible. The independent variable was type of Title I model, targeted assistance or schoolwide. The dependent variable was the achievement measure, and the covariate was the initial achievement scores in third grade (pretest). The ANCOVA reports and descriptive statistics showed that economically disadvantaged students performed better in reading and math on TAAS and ITBS/SAT-9 at the targeted assistance school in 1999 and 2001, with mixed results in 2000. The academic performance of economically disadvantaged students at the targeted model was consistent all three school years. They scored slightly lower than the non-economically disadvantaged students, but higher than their peers at the schoolwide model. The students' third grade pretest score was the most significant predictor of future performance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4773/
A Comparison of Quantitative Skills in Texas Year-round Schools with Texas Traditional Calendar Schools
This study analyzed the academic impact of year-round calendar schools as compared with the academic achievement of traditional calendar schools. The population studied was the 1998 public elementary schools in Texas. The academic impact was based upon the 1998 Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) test administrated by the Texas Education Agency. The two groups of schools studied were Texas elementary schools that were on a year-round calendar schedule, and the Texas elementary schools on a traditional calendar schedule. Multiple regression statistics were used, in addition to means, and differences between the means of variables. Year-round schools (YRE), when compared to the means of traditional schools, have means lower in math scores (6.16 percent) than traditional schools. Year-round schools have fewer African Americans students (2.78%), White students (21.06%), and special education students (.25%). Year-round schools are higher in population size (72.72students), Economic Disadvantaged students (15.87%), Hispanic students (23.46%), and Mobility (3.23%). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2810/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5250/
Computer-assisted instruction in literacy skills for kindergarten students and perceptions of administrators and teachers.
The perceptions of administrators and teachers of a computer-assisted instructional program in literacy skills were collected by a survey. The survey participants were kindergarten teachers and administrators from four elementary schools in the same, fast-growing, suburban school district in Texas. Literacy assessments were given to all kindergarten students in the district in the fall, winter, and spring of the 2005-2006 school year. This study included a quasi-experimental research design to determine if students using the computer-assisted instructional program improved more on the district literacy assessments than students who did not use the program. The treatment group members were the 449 kindergarten students of the survey participants. The treatment group worked in The Imagination Station program for a nine-week trial period. The control group members were 1385 kindergarten students from thirteen other schools in the same school district. The study found that teachers and administrators perceived that their students' improvement in literacy skills after using the program was good. The quasi-experimental portion of the study found that there was a statistical difference between the treatment and control groups on the composite literacy assessment score. The group membership variable could explain 1.4% of the variance in the students' literacy assessment scores. Based on the small effect size, there was no practical difference between the groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3651/
Computer Skills And Usage Of Students In Grades 10-12 Who Are Legally Blind: A Descriptive Analysis
This research project was a descriptive analysis of the computer usage and skills of academic students in grades 10-12 who are legally blind and attending public school in the Region 10 Education Service Center service area of Texas. In addition, this study provided a process that other regions in the state or educational agencies may duplicate to document the computer skills and usage of students with visual impairments in their area. Twenty-seven students who are legally blind were surveyed by their teachers of the visually impaired regarding their computer usage and skill abilities, and eleven of the twenty-seven students were interviewed by the researcher to gain further information pertaining to computer usage and future plans upon graduation. Using prior research as a basis for understanding how sighted students used the computer, it was found that students who are legally blind used the computer similarly to their sighted peers except that students with significant visual impairments seemed to use to the computer to listen to music more than their sighted counterparts. In addition, students who are legally blind indicated that they learned most of their computer skills at school rather than at home like their sighted teenagers. Furthermore, it was determined that students who are legally blind were not learning the computer skills necessary for success in post-secondary education and vocational endeavors. Although the students were being exposed to many different computer applications, most did not use the applications weekly, nor report that they were experienced with the majority of basic skills related to applications such as word processing, Internet searching, emailing, spreadsheets and databases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4327/
The Constitutionality of Dress Code and Uniform Policies
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This dissertation proposes to delineate the criteria for determining the constitutionality of public school dress codes based on an examination of relevant case law. The study addresses the following underlying questions: (1) Do students have a constitutional right to freedom of choice regarding their personal dress and grooming in public schools? (2) If so, what is the origin of the right? (3) What justification does a school district need in order to intrude upon the right? (4) Does the extent to which there is a right, and that it is accorded support by the judiciary, depend on the student's age and grade level? (5) What do state statutes say about dress codes and uniforms? (6) Do state statutes comport with the circuit courts' rulings in the various jurisdictions? The first part of Chapter I examines the purpose of school uniforms as set forth in relevant educational literature and commentary. The second part of the chapter examines empirical evidence on the effects of dress codes and uniforms. Chapter II addresses the first three questions listed above concerning students' right to choice in personal dress, the origins of such a right, and the justification required for a school to intrude upon this right. Chapter III examines dress code rulings from the United States Courts of Appeals in order to ascertain patterns of judicial rationale and determine whether students' rights vary depending on age, grade level, or federal circuit court jurisdiction. Chapter IV examines existing state statutes with regard to dress codes and uniforms. Chapter V utilizes the legal principles that emerge from the research in Chapter III and draws from the survey of state statutes in Chapter IV to make a comparison of state statutes and circuit court rulings in each jurisdiction. If a state statute does not comport with federal law in its particular jurisdiction, modifications are suggested to bring the statute into line with relevant judicial rulings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4725/
A content analysis of reading software commercially available for Pre-K to 3rd grade children.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the content and characteristics of the currently available commercial reading software for Pre-K through third grade children. The design of the study was a content analysis. Based on the evaluation rubric established by the researcher, ten commercial reading software were selected to be analyzed. By reviewing and transcribing, the data were obtained, and then coded, categorized, and interpreted. The findings from the analysis revealed that all reading software programs offered exercised for practicing basic phonics skills; the alphabetic principle, letter-sound association, word knowledge, sentence building, and reading comprehension. Depending on the software developers, phonics-based practice was presented in two ways; separate skill-based practice emphasis and storybook-reading emphasis. All software programs utilized drill-and-practice, direct instruction and mastery learning methods and utilized gaming strategies to motivate and engage the learners. Multimedia technology was used to make the software more appealing. All reading software programs were developed on the perspectives that view learning to read as the continuum of a child's oral language development and background experience about words. It is recommended that parents and teachers review and select the software based on reliable information sources, use the software as supplementary practice based on the learning objectives identified and individual student needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3124/
Correlates of Texas Standard AP Charter Campuses and How They Compare with Standard AP Traditional Public Campuses
The research sought to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of Texas standard AP open-enrollment charter school campuses and to discover independent variables that may be utilized to predict effective charter school campuses. The literature review was designed to enhance the current understanding of charter schools and therefore facilitate a more effective evaluation of them. A basic knowledge and understanding of the origins, characteristics and purposes of charters allow for a more objective analysis. The literature review covered the history of charters including their founders, characteristics, and growth patterns. The data items used in the analyses were downloaded from the 2007-2008 Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), which contains a variety of data from all Texas public schools. Multiple statistical analyses were utilized including chi-square, ANOVA, multiple regression and discriminate analysis. In order to evaluate Texas standard AP open enrollment charter campuses, their accountability ratings were compared with those of standard AP traditional public school campuses. The research evaluated twelve independent variables for charter schools to determine their relationship to accountability ratings, thereby providing charter operators indicators or predictors of accountability ratings to facilitate better academic quality. By analyzing the same variables for traditional public schools as charter schools, a baseline model was developed to compare the similarities and differences with the results of the charter school analyses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11042/
A Descriptive Review and Analysis of the Creation and Development of an Advisory Program in an Inner-City Middle School
This study described and analyzed the development and implementation of an advisory program at one urban middle school. Development of the advisory program began during the 1997-98 school year. The implementation of the program was examined during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 school years. This school site was chosen because of the in-depth research and planning of the program beyond the typical amount performed by many schools, and the wide-scale staff participation utilized in the program's development. In order to follow the processes of development and implementation, several models of change, innovation, and organizational analysis were used to provide focus for analysis of events that occurred during the three years of the program examined in this study. Data was collected in multiple manners. A complete review of school documents concerning the advisory program was performed, and over 50 percent of the faculty were interviewed through individual and team interviews. The findings of this study include various elements concerning the development and implementation of the advisory program. Data was collected and analyzed in three main categories including a) driving and resisting factors for beginning and implementing the program, b) processes used to plan, maintain and develop the program, and c) the periods in which the program became stable. Additional considerations were examined including the evaluation of the program, future possibilities for implementation, and staff roles in the program. Recommendations of the study include: limiting the focus of the advisory program; maintaining consistent goals; starting with a limited program; securing high staff participation; providing extensive time for planning; maintaining a high level of monitoring by administration and staff leaders; providing in-depth training; and, insuring that open lines of communication exist. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2802/
Development of a proposed toddler caregiver training program for South Korea.
Based on the survey results of 150 South Korea toddler caregivers about training needs, I developed a relationship-based approach for a toddler caregiver training program. The training program was modified using suggestions provided by 6 South Korean professors, who were asked to review the program. Survey findings revealed that: (a) All participants (toddler caregivers) perceived that it is necessary for caregivers to attend training. However, most (72.2%) found that it was difficult to attend training programs more than 1 time per year because it was hard to find a substitute teacher (64%). Participants desired to attend training programs on toddler care because of the lack of in-service education (26%), curriculum (24%), and training programs (15.3%); (b) Caregivers who had the third-degree caregiver certification preferred to learn parent education more than child development. However, caregivers who had a higher degree of caregiver certification preferred to learn child development more than parent education; and (c) Caregivers who had more than 5 years of teaching experience preferred to learn about the teacher's role more than caregivers who had fewer than 4 years of teaching experience. Future studies need to evaluate the effect of this relationship-based training program for toddler caregivers in relation to improvement in the quality of child care and interaction between caregivers and toddlers. A large-scale study would increase the generalizability of research findings. A larger sample size from different cities in South Korea and random sampling would generate more reliable findings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9843/
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 Fuller’s 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2662/
Developmentally Appropriate Beliefs and Practices of Public and Private Kindergarten Teachers in the United States and Taiwan
The purposes of the present study are to: (a) describe the beliefs and practices of the US and Taiwan (TW) public and private kindergarten teachers regarding developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), (b) examine the group differences between the four groups of teachers, and (c) identify the salient factors related to the variability of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practice in these teachers. Three hundred and fifty-seven kindergarten teachers participated in the study. The group sizes were 123, 123, 57, and 54 for Taiwan private, Taiwan public, US private, and US public kindergarten teachers, respectively. A survey was used to collect data. Findings from this study showed: (a) Both the US and Taiwan kindergarten teachers highly endorsed beliefs about DAP; (b) US and Taiwan kindergarten teachers also held strong beliefs about developmentally inappropriate practices (DIP); (c) DAP activities occurred regularly in the classrooms; (d) developmentally inappropriate practice (DIP) activities also took place a lot although they were lower than the DAP activities; (e) the Taiwan teachers had higher beliefs about DAP and lower beliefs about DIP than the US teachers; (f) the US teachers reported both higher DAP and DIP activities than the Taiwan teachers; (g) there were no differences between public and private kindergarten teachers; (h) hierarchical regression analyses using teacher's personal demographic variables as the first block and numbers of boys and girls as the second block were generally not effective; (i) there were different sets of best predictors from the backward regression for different dimensions of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices; and (j) beliefs about DAP and DIP were usually more powerful than the demographic and classroom variables in predicting the DAP and DIP activities. Future studies are needed to refine the Teacher Belief Scale and Instructional Activity Scale instruments and include classroom observations to verify and expand the findings. Future teacher training on DAP should promote beliefs about DAP and reduce beliefs about DIP. Enhancing teachers' skills to implement the DAP activities and decrease the DIP activities is suggested. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5148/
Early Literacy: An Examination of the Principal Behaviors That Impact Reading Achievement
Literacy is fundamental to formal education, learning, and training for future career related skills. It provides not only the means of acquisition of information and skills during schooling, but it is a vital predictor of a person's general level of education in school as well as successful completion of schooling. Literacy skills serve as the major foundational skill for all school-based learning and without it, chances for academic and occupational success are limited. Despite the efforts of teachers, a significant portion of students continue to fail to achieve success in early literacy in school, with severe consequences for their subsequent educational progress, career opportunities and life chances. The extent of this problem varies throughout school systems. All of our children are affected by their reading ability, and as educators it is critical to provide for all students the most effective literacy programs and strategies which are research based, data-driven and successfully replicated. Because of the psychological, social and economic consequences of reading failure, it is critical to review the research to determine the risk factors that may predispose youngsters to reading failure, and the instructional practices that can be applied to ameliorate reading deficits at the earliest possible time. The failure to achieve in literacy is a fact, which continues to carry dire social and economic consequences for the children, as well as for this society. Furthermore, there is a substantial body of research indicating that schools have a narrow window of opportunity to make a difference. Students who fail to make progress in literacy during the first two years of school rarely catch up with their peers and are at-risk of becoming low achievers who are alienated from school and who dropout of education at the earliest opportunity. On the other hand, impressive empirical evidence is now available to support the notion that failure to make progress in literacy is preventable for all except a very small portion of children. This study reviews the relationship between the principal's knowledge of early literacy and student achievement in reading by the third grade. It will also describe the causal factors that may predispose young children to reading difficulties, as well as the instructional programs and teacher strategies that can be implemented to ameliorate the difficulties. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used to analyze the data. Narratives, tables and figures are used to further enhance the research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4439/
Educating Young Children with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms in Thailand
This study investigated what constitutes a teaching curriculum for students with autism in inclusive classrooms in Thailand. The researcher employed 3 qualitative methods: semi-structured interviews, document analysis of curricula and lesson plans, and nonparticipant observations. Six schools were selected as the sites. Participants for interview included 6 principals and 24 teachers. The researcher observed one inclusive classroom for each of the 6 selected schools. The study concentrated on 3 questions: (a) What contributes to appropriate instructional curricula to promote teaching of students with autism in inclusive classrooms in Thailand? (b) What teaching strategies improve the achievement and learning skills of students with autism in inclusive classrooms in Thailand? (c) What are the problems of curricula for teaching students with autism in inclusive classroom in Thailand? Key findings for the research questions were as follows: Common features of effective curricula for teaching students with autism in inclusive classrooms include opportunities, health care, specialized curriculum, students' individual needs and abilities, guidelines of teaching, teacher training and supervision, transition plan, parent involvement, tools/classroom environment, and students' class assignments. The teaching strategies include varying the teaching format (large group, small group, and one-on-one), teaching functional communication (giving direction, close-ended questions or open-ended questions), reinforce communication, using demonstration, modeling, and shaping to teach skills, expecting to gather the child's attention, demonstrating nonverbal communication (use gestures with speech), using appropriate language for the child (short sentence structure), providing visual materials (books, computers, or real objects), starting with small intervals of time and reinforcing, using other children as peer models for helping, working to maintain eye contact, asking the child to say the word, pointing to objects with hands and with gestures, including regular exercise (active movement activity), providing time to be alone, and using math activity (to include counting one-to-one, odd and even, and patterns). Moreover, the results revealed that all of interviewees always used applied behavior analysis (ABA), such as discrete trial instruction (DTI), task analysis, and peer tutoring in their classrooms. However, these classrooms never used floor time approach. The problems in teaching students with autism in inclusive classrooms in Thailand include lack of special teachers, lack of knowledge or training for teachers, lack of a good plan and curriculum, lack of supportive services or effective collaboration, lack of budget, and lack of essential information and materials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6067/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4174/
The effect of a telementoring program on beginning teacher self-efficacy.
This study examined whether the telementoring program had a positive impact on beginning teacher self-efficacy. Telementoring is an adaptation of mentoring, using telecommunications technology as the means to establish and maintain mentoring relationships between the participants. The program was intended to create an atmosphere of community; to provide expert training in the profession; to retain good teachers; and to offer support for the new teacher in times of self-doubt. A quasi-experimental design and mixed methods measures were used to determine the effect of a telementoring program on beginning teacher self-efficacy. Participants were members of a district induction/mentoring program. An experimental group of 20 first-year teachers that participated in a supplemental telementoring program were compared to 20 first-year teachers who did not. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was used to collect data on beginning teacher self-efficacy. A pretest was administered prior to the treatment and members completed a post-test at the conclusion of the study. Results were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance. The experimental and control group results from both assessments were measured and compared. No statistically significant differences were found between the experimental group that participated in the telementoring program and those in the control group who did not. Messages posted to a discussion board were analyzed by comparing concerns of beginning teachers in this study to concerns of beginning teachers found in current literature. A compilation of concerns served as a comparison framework. Participants in this study discussed many of the same issues and concerns found in current literature. Although statistically significant results were not found, discussion board postings suggest that telementoring is an effective form of mentoring and provides beginning teachers a forum for collegiality and support, which contributes to self-efficacy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3933/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4973/
The effect of Texas charter high schools on diploma graduation and General Educational Development (GED) attainment.
This dissertation is a study of the effect of Texas's charter high schools on diploma graduation and General Educational Development (GED) attainment. Utilizing data from the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, the study follows a cohort of Texas students enrolled as 10th graders in the fall of 1999 and tracks their graduation outcomes through the summer of 2002 when they were expected to have completed high school. The analysis uses case study research and probit regression techniques to estimate the effect of charter school attendance on graduation and GED outcomes as well as the effect of individual charter school characteristics on charter students' graduation outcomes. The study's results indicate that charter school attendance has a strong negative effect on diploma graduation and a strong positive effect on GED attainment. In addition, the study finds that charter schools that offer vocational training, open entry/exit enrollment options, and charters that are operated in multiple sites or "chain" charters have positive effects on charter students' diploma graduation outcomes. Charters that offer accelerated instruction demonstrate a negative effect on diploma graduation. The study finds that charter school graduation outcomes improve as charters gain experience and that racially isolated minority charter schools experience reduced graduation outcomes. The study's results also indicate that Texas's charter high schools may be providing district schools with a means through which to offload students who may be difficult to educate. The analysis finds that districts may be pushing low-performing high school students with attendance and discipline problems into charter schools in order to avoid the effort of educating them and to improve district performance on accountability measures related to standardized test scores and graduation rates. This finding suggests that that competition from charter high schools will not provide much incentive for districts to improve their programs, undermining a central premise of school choice initiatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4855/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4311/
Effectiveness of a Web-based course in facilitating the integration of technology into early childhood curricula.
Although technology is available and used in early childhood classrooms, little is known about what early childhood teachers believe about the use of technology and how technology is integrated into early childhood curricula. This study was designed to (a) determine the beliefs of early childhood teachers about technology integration into early childhood curricula and (b) describe the extent to which early childhood teachers integrate technology in their early childhood curricula. The participants included 39 prekindergarten teachers who volunteered to participate in a technology integration project. The treatment group accessed a Web-based technology integration training program and participated in two classroom observations, along with completing an attitudinal questionnaire pretest and posttest. The Prekindergarten Web-based Technology Integration Training included four modules each expanding the following themes: (a) national and state standards and guidelines for technology; (b) setting up a computer center; (c) integrating technology; (d) using the digital camera. The control group participated in two classroom observations without the benefit of the Web-based technology integration training program and completed the attitudinal questionnaire pretest and posttest. Results indicate that Prekindergarten teachers believe that technology can enhance a child's learning, but there was no statistically significant difference between the control and the treatment group. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5176/
The Effectiveness of Business Leadership Practices among Principals on Student Achievement on Public School Campuses in Texas
The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine if business leadership practices by Texas public school principals have an impact on principals' campus student achievement in mathematics and reading, as measured by TAKS scores. The survey instrument was the Leadership Assessment Instrument (LAI), developed by Warren Bennis in 1989. The survey instrument was electronically distributed to a sample of 300 public school principals in Texas. Of the 300, 140 principals completed and returned the survey, for a response rate of 47%. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 16.0, was used for the analysis of data, which included descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and regression. In addition, reliability for the LAI was also calculated. The LAI consists of the following five categories of effective business practices: focused drive, emotional intelligence, building trust, conceptual thinking, and systems thinking. No significant relationships were found between principals' use of LAI elements and student achievement in mathematics and reading. However, the lack of significant relationships between the business model as used in public schools and student achievement reveals that current models of principal preparation programs do not result in school leaders who are adequately prepared to increase student achievement. Further research is recommended as public school leaders continue to seek alternative strategies and innovative practices to improve student achievement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12102/
The Effectiveness of Homeschool Collegiate Preparation: Four Alumni's Perceptions
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This qualitative study seeks to assess the effectiveness of homeschool collegiate preparation through the eyes of homeschool alumni. Four alumni who are current college students participated in the study. A triangulation of methods, which included surveys, open-ended questionnaires, and interviews, ensured reliability and validity. Although the students represented a wide range of varied homeschool experiences, the perceptions of all the students were that their environments prepared them for collegiate-level work at levels that are above average. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2851/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3327/
The effects of academic interventions on the development of reading academic competence in fourth grade students.
This dissertation examined the effects of academic interventions on the development of reading academic competence in fourth grade students who performed at or below grade level as determined by TAKS reading scale scores. Fifty students in fifth grade were chosen to participate in the study from five elementary schools in the Fort Worth Independent School District in Fort Worth, Texas. Only 46 students completed the study. The study was conducted with a control (n = 23) and treatment group (n = 23). The fourth grade students were administered pretests and posttests using the ACES and the fourth grade TAKS reading test. This quantitative study used a quasi-experimental design to answer the research questions. The final data results did not indicate that the implementation of interventions significantly increased TAKS reading scores at the p > .05 level. In addition, there were no significant increases at the p > .05 level between the ACES pretests and posttests. Although there were no significant gains on the TAKS or ACES, there are implications the interventions had a positive effect on teacher perceptions of their students' academic competence and some growth was evident for the treatment groups on both TAKS and ACE. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9094/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5273/
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