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- An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program at the University of North Texas: A Pilot Study
- This study seeks to determine the effectiveness of the Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success (CHAMPS)/Life Skills program at the University of North Texas, as perceived by the student athletes who participate or participated in this program. The study attempts to measure the extent to which the student athletes feel that the program had value; if they received helpful information to support them through their college career to career transition; if the student athletes felt that the program provided them with skills to encourage better self-esteem; and if they believed that the CHAMPS/Life Skills program provided them with leadership and character education. The study, conducted in the Fall of 2003, had 163 respondents. An instrument was developed to determine student athletes' perceptions of the effectiveness of the CHAMPS/Life Skills program at UNT. The instrument consisted of 30 questions using a Likert-type scale. A Mann-Whitney U, a non-parametric t-Test, was utilized to analyze the data. This type of t-Test was used because it is specifically designed to compare the means of the same variable with two different groups and account for non-homogeneous groups. The lack of homogeneity was very likely influenced by the unequal group sizes. Generally, all aspects of the CHAMPS/Life Skills program at UNT were found to be positive by each subgroup. Student athletes found value in the CHAMPS/Life Skills program at UNT. In three of the four components studied, males had a statistically stronger feeling than females. Minority status had no statistically significant impact on the results in any of the four components studied. For the variable measuring the number of years in the program, a significant difference existed in three of the four components studied. The study shows that if a student athlete was involved in the program for more than two years, the CHAMPS/Life Skills program at UNT was more valuable for them than those enrolled for a shorter period of time.
- Candidates' Perception of Training and Self-Efficacy in Traditional and Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs.
- This research was encouraged by the tremendous demand for teachers. Two million new teachers will be needed in the United States over the next decade. The teacher shortage has school administration, school boards, education agencies, and institutions of higher education investigating how to train and retain more teachers. Alternative certification programs have been developed to address the teacher shortage. This study examined the effectiveness of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers in two separate programs with regard to their self-efficacy, perception of their training, and their ExCET scores. Traditional candidates (10) and alternative candidates (74) were examined using survey research. According to this data on self-efficacy, perception of training, and ExCET passing rates, there is no significant difference between those teachers who receive traditional training and those who are trained in alternative certification programs.
- The Effects of Bilingual Education on Reading Test Scores: Can Dual-immersion Support Literacy for All Students?
- Dual-immersion is a bilingual education method offered that places English as a first language (EFL) and English language learner (ELL) students in the same classroom to learn two languages at the same time. This study examines whether second language acquisition through dual-immersion supports literacy for both ELL and EFLS children over time. Students' scores on standardized tests (ITBS, TAKS, Logramos, Stanford 9, and Aprenda) were studied to assess the impact, if any, of dual-immersion instruction vs. regular/bilingual education on reading development. Scores from 2000 through 2004 were gathered and analyzed for students enrolled in a dual-immersion class which started in kindergarten in 2000. These scores were compared to scores of students enrolled in regular and bilingual education classrooms for the same amount of time at the same school to examine whether there was an effect for students in the dual-immersion class. It was found that no significant difference existed between the groups. All groups were performing at a passing level on the standardized tests. The dual-immersion class was performing as well as the regular education class on standardized tests in both English and Spanish.
- An Investigation of Relationships Between Teacher and Administrator Knowledge and Perception of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills and Student Performance
- The purpose of this study was to (1) gather information regarding knowledge of TAAS and perceptions (attitudes) about TAAS (excluding the current battery of End of Course Tests) from teachers and administrators; (2) relate teacher and administrator knowledge and perceptions of the test to student test performance as reported in the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) Reports. Answers to the following questions were sought: 1. To what extent do teachers and administrators possess different levels of knowledge regarding TAAS, and different attitudes toward TAAS about its purpose and usefulness? 2. Are differences in teacher and administrator knowledge of TAAS related to student performance? 3. Are differences in teacher and administrator attitude toward TAAS related to student performance? Information was collected, by means of a twenty-six-item survey measuring teacher and administrator knowledge and attitude toward TAAS. The selected schools were chosen from schools rated as either exemplary or low performing by the state accountability system. The data were examined using Descriptive Statistics (Mean, Median, Mode, Standard Deviation) and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). ANOVA was performed to determine if a significant variance existed between the responses of teachers and administrators and also between exemplary and lowperforming schools. Exemplary and low performing schools were chosen to determine if there were differences in teacher and administrator responses from these two groups. The results of this study attempt to show what, if any differences there are in attitudes toward and knowledge about TAAS based on responses from teachers and administrators from both exemplary and low performing schools. Based on the analysis of the data, there is no evidence from this study that indicates that there are significant differences in knowledge between teachers and administrators regarding TAAS. There is evidence that administrators possess a more positive attitude toward TAAS than do teachers. There is no evidence presented in this study that differences in teacher or administrator knowledge significantly impact student performance.