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 Department: Department of Teacher Education and Administration
A Comparison of Three Teacher Evaluation Methods and the Impact on College Readiness
Much attention in recent years has gone to the evaluation of teacher effectiveness, and some scholars have developed conceptual models to evaluate the effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to compare three teacher evaluation models – the Texas Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS), the teacher index model (TI), and the value-added model (VAM) – to determine teacher effectiveness using student demographic and longitudinal academic data. Predictive data from students included economic disadvantage status, ethnicity, gender, participation in special education, limited English proficiency, and performance on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Data serving as dependent variables were scores from Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT®) verbal/critical reasoning and mathematics. These data came from 1,714 students who were 9.7% Hispanic, 9.2% African American, and 81.2% White. The models were tested for 64 English language arts teachers and 109 mathematics teachers, using student examination scores from the SAT® verbal/critical reasoning and mathematics. The data were aligned for specific faculty members and the students whom they taught during the year of the study. The results of the study indicated that the TI and VAM explained approximately 42% of the variance in college entrance exam scores from the SAT® verbal/critical reasoning and mathematics (R2 = 0.418) across mathematics and English language arts teachers, whereas the TI model explained approximately 40% of the variance in the SAT® scores (R2 = 0.402). The difference, however, in the R-squared values between the VAM and the TI model was not statistically significant (t (169) = 1.84, p > 0.05), suggesting that both models provided similar results. The least effective model used to predict student success on college entrance exams was the PDAS, which is a state-adopted model currently in use in over 1,000 school districts in Texas, The teacher PDAS scores explained approximately 36% of the variance in student success on the SAT® (R2 = 0.359). The study provides school leadership with information about alternative methods of evaluating teacher effectiveness without difficult formulas or high costs associated with hiring statisticians. In addition, results indicate that the models vary significantly in the extent to which they can predict which teachers are most effective in preparing students for college. This study also emphasizes the critical need to provide teacher evaluations that align with student achievement on college entrance exams. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407840/
An Examination of Mathematics Teachers’ Use of Student Data in Relationship to Student Academic Performance
Among educational researchers, important questions are being asked about how to improve mathematics instruction for elementary students. This study, conducted in a north Texas public school with 294 third- through fifth-grade students, ten teachers and three coaches, examined the relationship between students’ achievement in mathematics and the mathematics teaching and coaching instruction they received. Student achievement was measured by the Computer Adaptive Instrument (CAT), which is administered three times a year in the district and is the main criterion for students’ performance/movement in the district’s response to intervention program for mathematics. The response to intervention model employs student data to guide instruction and learning in the classroom and in supplemental sessions. The theoretical framework of the concerns based adoption model (CBAM) was the basis to investigate the concerns that mathematics teachers and coaches had in using the CAT student data to inform their instruction. The CAT data, based on item response theory, was the innovation. Unique in this study was the paralleling of teachers’ and coaches’ concerns and profiles for their use of the data with student scores using an empirical approach. Data were collected at three intervals through the Stages of Concerns Questionnaire, the Levels of Use interviews, and the Innovation Configuration Components Matrix from teachers and at three intervals student CAT-scaled scores. Multiple regression analyses with the concerns and CAT scores and levels of use and CAT scores were conducted to determine if relationships existed between the variables. The findings indicated that, overall, the teachers and coaches who scored high in personal concerns at the three data points remained at low levels of use or non-use of CAT data in their instruction. Only two teachers indicated movement from high intense personal concerns to high concerns regarding the impact on students. This correlated with their increased use of CAT at the three-collection points. The regression analyses indicated no correlations between the teachers’ and coaches’ concerns and the CAT and no correlations between their levels of data use and the CAT. At the exit interviews, patterns suggested that the presence of a change facilitator might have made a difference in their understanding and use of the CAT data ultimately impacting student achievement. This study sets a new precedent in the use of CBAM data and offers insights into the necessity of providing support and training in a change process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407744/
Funds of Knowledge in a Hispanic Household: a Case Study of Family Experiences, Values, and Connections to Education
Traditionally, the field of education has often adopted a negative perspective in their views of minority families’ contributions to the educational progress of their children. However, research embodying the theoretical framework of ‘funds of knowledge’ attempts to counter that model through its assertion that all families possess extensive bodies of knowledge that have developed through social, historical, and cultural contexts. Teachers carry out studies of familial funds of knowledge in order to understand how family experiences shape the knowledge that a child brings to the classroom. There is then, the potential to use that body of knowledge to create meaningful learning experiences that connect prior understanding and experiences to classroom practice. This research served as a case study of the funds of knowledge existing in the home of a Hispanic family and the connections that existed between that knowledge and literacy. The results indicated that the family possessed extensive funds of knowledge that developed through their historical, cultural, and social experiences. They often used family networks, as well as formal and informal literacy experiences to share this knowledge with their children. A key component of the literacy value system that they communicated resulted from a desire to maintain aspects of their culture and heritage through maintaining and improving their children’s reading and linguistic abilities in Spanish. Furthermore, along with their emphasis on Spanish literacy, they held aspirations for their children related to familial and educational values that often stemmed from their expressed desire for their children to lead lives with greater opportunities and positive examples than they had experienced. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407772/
A New Era of Educational Assessment: the Use of Stratified Random Sampling in High Stakes Testing
Although sampling techniques have been used effectively in education research and practice it is not clear how stratified random sampling techniques apply to high-stakes testing in the current educational environment. The present study focused on representative sampling as a possible means for reducing the quantity of state-administered tests in Texas public education. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to determine if stratified random sampling is a viable option for reducing the number of students participating in Texas state assessments, and (2) to determine which sampling rate provides consistent estimates of the actual test results among the population of students. The study examined students’ scaled scores, percent of students passing, and student growth over a three-year period on state-mandated assessments in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. Four sampling rates were considered (10%, 15%, 20%, & 25%) when analyzing student performance across demographic variables, including population estimates by socioeconomic status, limited English proficiency, and placement in special education classes. The data set for this study included five school districts and 68,641 students. Factorial ANOVAs were used initially to examine the effects of sampling rate on bias in reading and mathematics scores and bias in percentage of students passing these tests. Also 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and effect sizes for each model were examined to aid in the interpretation of the results. The results showed main effects for sampling rate and campus as well as a two-way interaction between these variables. The results indicated that a 20% sampling rate would closely approximate the parameter values regarding the mean TAKS reading and mathematics scale scores and the percentage of students passing these assessments. However, as population size decreases, sampling rate may have to be increased. For example, in populations with 30 or fewer students in a subgroup it is recommended that all students be included in the testing program. This study situated in one state contributes to the growing body of research being conducted on an international basis in sample-based educational assessments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407797/
A Case Study of 1:1 Technology Policies in Four Texas High Schools and Their Relationship to Practice
With increasing emphasis on technology in schools, the importance of technology policies is great. This study investigated policies for four 1:1 secondary schools in Texas (schools with a ratio of one computing device per student), particularly with respect to the relationship of those policies to practice. The purpose of the study was to determine the current status of the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) essential conditions as reflected in policy and the relationship of those conditions to practice as measured through levels of technology usage and teaching innovation. Schools were selected through purposive, criterion sampling. Open-ended interviews were conducted with twelve participants (principals, technology directors, and superintendents). Policies were rated by campus principals and the researcher using a rubric based on the NETS essential conditions. Finally, surveys of proficiency and readiness measures were collected from 156 teachers using the School Technology and Readiness (STaR) instrument and the Levels of Teaching Innovation (LoTI) instrument. Interviews were transcribed and coded using structural and frequency coding. Policies were analyzed using magnitude coding and policy ratings. A qualitative analysis determined patterns between policy and practice. Quantitative data collected from surveys were measured against policy ratings and magnitude coding using bivariate correlation methods in SPSS. Quantitative analysis revealed two statistically significant relationships between policy and reported levels of practice in the classroom. Qualitative elements of the study from interviews and policy ratings revealed six findings that may explain a lack of correlation between policy and practice: a lack of ability for leadership to identify 1:1 program policy; lack among school leaders of perceived relationship between policy and practice; a belief among leaders that they are communicating policy to stakeholders even though they demonstrated difficulty in articulating policy; an inability to identify specific research-based theoretical foundations in policy; a lack of meaningful measurement of practices; and a lack of leadership at the same school to interpret policy similarly. A seventh finding revealed potential patterns between conditions that are addressed extensively in policy and evidence of those conditions in practice. Qualitative findings, in particular, contribute insights into disconnections between policy and practice in 1:1 settings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407819/
Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge of Children’s Mathematical Development and Beliefs About Teaching Mathematics
Early childhood education emphasizes the need of providing high quality early childhood mathematics programs for preschool children. However, there is little research that examines the importance of preschool children’s mathematical knowledge development and teachers’ beliefs about how to teach mathematics to young children. The purposes of this study were to investigate pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development and their beliefs about teaching mathematics in the preschool classroom and also to determine how experience differentiates the two groups. This research employed a non-experimental research design with convenient sampling. Ninety-eight pre-service teachers and seventy-seven in-service preschool teachers participated in the research. The Knowledge of Mathematical Development survey (KMD) and the Beliefs survey were used to investigate possible differences between pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development and between their beliefs about teaching mathematics. The findings of this study indicate a statistically significant difference between pre-service teachers and in-service preschool teachers in relation to their knowledge of mathematical development. This finding shows that pre-service teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development is somewhat limited; most pre-service teachers have difficulty identifying the process of preschool children’s development of mathematics skills. A second finding reveals a statistically significant difference between pre-service teachers and in-service preschool teachers in relation to their beliefs about (a) age-appropriateness of mathematics instruction in the early childhood classroom, (b) social and emotional versus mathematical development as a primary goal of the preschool curriculum, and (c) teacher comfort with mathematics instruction. No statistically significant difference was found between pre-service teachers’ and in-service preschool teachers’ beliefs regarding the locus of generation of mathematical knowledge. Both groups believe it is the teacher’s responsibility to intentionally teach mathematics to young children. This result suggests that both pre-service and in-service preschool teachers believe that teachers should play a central role in the teaching of mathematics to preschool children. However, both groups would need appropriate education and training to learn how to teach mathematics to young children. Pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ varying levels of experiences and different levels of education may help explain why there is a significant difference between their knowledge of mathematical development and beliefs about teaching mathematics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407808/
The Validation of a Short-cycle Formative Assessment Observation Protocol for Science and Mathematics Instruction
Over the years, teachers, administrators, and policy makers have been concerned with optimizing learning for all students. The No Child Left Behind Act put an emphasis on summative assessments, which measure what students have learned. In contrast, formative assessment has been shown in many studies to improve student achievement and motivation because it is applied while students are learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate, for middle and high school mathematics and science instruction, the validity and reliability of a newly developed observation instrument called AssessToday, which is used in a single class period to assess a teacher’s use of short-cycle formative assessment. The content validity of the instrument was supported through an extensive literature review, feedback from experts in the field of formative assessment, and an examination of 98 classroom observations. For assessing reliability of the instrument, inter-rater reliability coefficients were calculated using data collected by trained observers who independently rated teachers during the same class period using three measures: percentage of agreement between raters, Cohen’s kappa, and Fleiss kappa. Cohen’s kappa (N = 36 pairs) ranged from .62 to 1.00 for all observer pairs with an average kappa of .75 for mathematics (n = 16 pairs) and .76 for science (n = 20 pairs). The recommended threshold for kappa is k = .70. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the observation data and the determined factors related to the theoretical framework established in the literature. The results affirmed that the instrument is a tool to be utilized in short-cycle formative assessment with middle and high school science and mathematics teachers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407820/
Hispanic Representation in the Superintendency: Perceived Competencies and Organizational Outcomes That Benefit School Districts
This study assessed 40 factors often cited in literature to determine the extent that Hispanic superintendents perceive them as influential when accessing the superintendency. Eight Hispanic superintendents in Texas participated in this qualitative study, which was based on interviews as well as written responses to a survey. This study found that the factors considered most influential to these superintendents were their ability to communicate, self-perception/self-efficacy, and level of overall preparedness. These findings contrast with previous research indicating that race or ethnicity, mentoring, and career path are most influential. The study also identified factors related to race and ethnicity that most influenced a Hispanic's ability to access the superintendency, albeit to a lesser degree. These factors were the ability to serve as a Hispanic role model to students, ability to increase Hispanic students' academic performance, and the ability to speak a second language. Moreover, through analysis of a large number of survey responses the study examined the extent to which a superintendent's race or ethnicity is significant to addressing the needs of Hispanics. To assure this question a comparative analysis of Hispanics' and non-Hispanics competencies and organizational outcome was conducted. The results indicate that superintendents, in general, regardless of race or ethnicity, can acquire knowledge about the Hispanic culture, develop cultural competence, and produce outcomes that affect Hispanics. A Hispanic, however, who possesses the ability to speak Spanish and has authentic cultural experiences, can potentially provide unique competencies in serving Hispanics. Cultural competence with Hispanics, however, does not supersede the importance of a superintendent's overall effectiveness and ability to meet the needs of all students. Whereas other studies have addressed the significance of cultural competency in other institutions that serve the public, such as the healthcare industry, this study addressed cultural competency in public education. Progressive definitions of cultural competency included the extent to which outcomes met constituent needs for measuring cultural competency. The overall findings in this study suggest a need to develop preparation programs that result in culturally competent leaders, a need to revise state required certification requirements to reflect a need for cultural competence, and a need to revise locally-developed job postings/descriptions to indicate that the superintendent must provide culturally competent leadership. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283806/
Central Office Administrators' Perceptions of the Professional Learning Community Process
This study provides a qualitative interpretation of the work done by central office administrators in a school district in Texas as they supported and built capacity for the professional learning community (PLC) process over a five year time period. Literature by PLC scholars, especially R. DuFour, R.B. DuFour, Eaker, Hord, Hipp, Huffman, and Olivier, informed development of the study. In a school district of 19,000 students and 2,000 staff members, ten central office administrators were interviewed to gain their perceptions of their roles in the PLC process. Interviews were analyzed through the processes of initial, focused, and theoretical coding. Documents were examined and used as supplemental sources of data to corroborate the perspectives provided. Findings revealed the story of central office administrators who worked interdependently to support and build capacity in the implementation and sustainment of the PLC process. A thick description of the work based on their perceptions offers actions and behaviors of administrators specific to their roles and practices and protocols developed to hold the work together. A grounded theory was developed with regard to central office administrators' support and capacity-building for the PLC process. From the administrators' perceptions, six theoretical categories relating to central office support and capacity building of the PLC process emerged: 1) establishment, 2) deployment, 3) accountability for implementation, 4) adult learning, 5) collaboration, and 6) leadership development. The study contributes an interpretivist description of the involvement of central office in the PLC process and confirms the importance of the change process in the implementation of the PLC framework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283851/
The Effects of the Texas Reading First Response to Intervention Program on Student Achievement and Campus Special Education Rates
The purpose of this study was to examine special education populations, special education reading achievement, and regular education reading achievement in relation to the implementation of the Reading First three-tiered model as a response to Intervention platform. The population for this study focused on rural schools with Grades K-3 in attendance. Schools participated in the reading first grant period of the 2003-2009 school years. Forty-seven Texas Reading First schools were compared to 47 campuses having similar populations, socioeconomic makeups, and grade structures. This study utilized quantitative research measures to evaluate the level of special education populations on Reading First campuses using a response to intervention model. Quantitative measures were also used to evaluate those same campuses achievement rates of both special education and regular education students on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills reading tests. The study's outcome data showed little to no statistic significance for the three research questions. However, the inferential statistics showed a decrease in the special education population of the Reading First schools. Inferential statistics also indicated both the special education and the regular education students showed growth on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills reading tests. The use of a response to intervention program can be effective in the reduction of special education students identified on school campuses. Response to intervention programs can boost achievement levels of students receiving special education services. Students not enrolled in special education can benefit from effective response to intervention services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283855/
An Exploration of Teachers' Adoption of the Bring Your Own Technology Program
The purpose of this study was to explore teachers' concerns, use, and actual practices in their adoption of the bring your own technology (BYOT) initiative. Twelve secondary teachers in a private school setting participated in this study. The participants represented all content areas including reading, math, science, and electives. The private school was in its third year of implementing BYOT. This case study incorporated multiple methods to collect data to gain a better understanding of teachers' adoption of an innovation, BYOT. The concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) was used as a theoretical framework. All three CBAM tools provided data: the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ), levels of use interview protocol (LoUIP), and the innovation configuration (IC) map. Twelve of the participants completed the SoCQ across three different points in time. Six of the twelve teachers participated in three one-on-one interviews, including the LoUIP. Additionally, six teachers were observed in their classrooms during instruction. After triangulating all pieces of data, the majority of teachers had highest concerns related to self. Teachers were concerned about their ability to implement the innovation and managing BYOT in their classroom. Four of the six teachers had a level of use (LoU) at mechanical, and two teachers had a LoU at routine. The teachers' LoU indicated that they are using BYOT in the classroom; however, the majority of teachers observed had adoption practices mostly in the non-ideal variations of IC. The teachers' LoU and IC indicated that teachers had implemented BYOT in their own way and not necessarily in alignment with the campus' vision or expectations. This case study had several limitations, including the small number of participants and the brevity of classroom observations. Additionally, this study was limited to one school setting. Recommendations for future research include exploring teachers' adoption of BYOT in various school settings (i.e., both public and private schools) and teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Researchers should consider exploring the impact of specific interventions and support on teachers' adoption. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283863/
Accountability in Schools: a Study of High School Accountability Ratings and College Success
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings, college readiness indicators, and the percent of students who achieved first year college success. Correlation and multiple regression analyses were used to analyze the relationship between the variables. Data was analyzed for two-year and four-year postsecondary educational institutions which were divided by eight school district types. Regression analysis of the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings and the percent of students who achieved first year college success for four- year post secondary educational institutions revealed statistically significant results ranging from R2 =.179 to R2 = .220. Similar results were found for two-year post secondary educational institutions with statistically significant results ranging from R2 = .049 to R2 = .218. The results indicated negligible to small relationships between the variables. Regression results of the analysis for the relationship between college readiness indicators and the percent of students who achieved first year college success revealed statistically significant results for 2 - year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .077 to R2 = .596 and for 4 -year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .048 to R2 = .304. These results indicated small to moderate relationships between college readiness indicators and the percent of students who achieve first year college success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283865/
Factors Related to Teacher Retention: the Lived Experiences of Four Teachers in an Urban, Hard-to-staff High School
Retaining quality teachers is critical to the success of America's schools. How to retain quality teachers, especially in high needs schools, is a question of fervent debate among educational researchers, policy makers, administrators, parents, and students. This study examines the issue of teacher retention from an emic perspective, focused on understanding the perspective of those closest to the retention decision, teachers in hard-to-staff schools. This study examines the lived experiences of four teachers at a hard-to-staff, urban, secondary school as these experiences impact their decisions to remain in teaching and at their current campus. Research methods adopted an existential phenomenological perspective and focused on understanding deeply the perspective of participants and how participants make meaning of their lived experiences as they relate to the retention decision. Three hour-long interviews were conducted with each of the four participants utilizing methodology laid out by Seidman (1991). Data were analyzed using NVIVO 10 to apply a series of coding and recoding procedures to interview transcripts. Conclusions suggest four factors motivated these teachers to teach and remain in their current hard-to-staff, urban, secondary school. These factors include: belief in the power of education, relationships with students, mentoring and professional partnering, and remaining professionally challenged. Findings suggest factors that drive teachers out of teaching and out of hard-to-staff schools include: inconsistent administrative support, low student motivation, and lack of resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283824/
Reading Informational Tradebooks Aloud to Inner City Intermediate Fourth and Sixth Grade Students : A Comparison of Two Styles
This study measured the effects of reading aloud informational books to fourth and sixth grade students in the inner city. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279041/
Texas Public School Mission Statements : a Factor in the Involvement of Parents, Family, and/or Home in Educational Reform
Despite site-based decison making (SBDM) educational mandates, research determined the virtual exclusion of parents, family, and/or home as co-authoritative voice in Texas public school district mission statements. Qualitative analysis determined six parent roles within 155 inclusive mission statements through rhetorical deconstruction, a text-based grammatical evaluation procedure; quantitative analysis determined no significance between inclusive and exclusive districts in factors of size, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. The implications of this study add further support to the growing parental insistence for greater educational decision-making options: ie., home schooling, voucher system, and charter schools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278711/
Formal Education among the Siberian Yupik Eskimos on Sivuqaq, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska: an Ethno-Historical Study
The major focus of this study is the effect of formal education on individuals, communities, cultural traditions and values on Siberian Yupik Eskimos of Alaska. The first school on St. Lawrence Island (Sivuqaq), Alaska was founded in 1899 under the direction of Sheldon Jackson. The formal school curriculum for the next thirty years was secretarian. Upon the initial operation of formal schooling on the island, various other forms of schools have impacted the islanders of St. Lawrence. Chapter two is an overview of the background of education in Alaska from its beginning as a territory to its present status as the 49th state in the United States. Chapter three presents the history of formal schooling on St. Lawrence Island. Chapters two and three contain descriptions of various other forms of schooling within the state (i.e. Bureau of Indian Affairs, mission, state-owned) and when and how these forms either existed on the island or had an impact upon its villagers. Chapter four discusses the methodology utilized in conducting the research and fieldwork for this study. Research findings are discussed in chapter five and include verbatim transcriptions of interviews with villagers. These interviews are unedited in order for readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the study. The interviews included in this written finding are representative of interviews taken. Chapter six discusses conclusions gleaned over the course of this study and recommends further areas of study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278793/
A Comparative Analysis of Curricular Programs in Private, Public Choice, and Public Attendance-Zone Schools in San Antonio, Texas
The purpose of this study was to examine curricular programs in private, public choice, and public attendance-zone schools to determine whether differences exist among curricular programs in the three types of schools. The findings from the student survey data indicated that private school students reported their curriculum to be more challenging than public school students, but no other significant differences were noted. Findings from the teacher survey showed more positive results for private schools in indicators of a challenging curriculum, expectations of students, school climate, and external support than public schools. This study showed that of the types of schools examined, Catholic schools exhibited the most consistent and well written curriculum that reflected the four research questions. Future research needs to be done to establish whether these indicators of a challenging curriculum result in higher student achievement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279260/
A Study of the Effects of Using Complete Hypertext Compared with the Effects of Using Focused Hypertext in the Delivery of Computer Based Instruction
The purpose of the study was to examine the impact that hypertext and hypertext design on the cognitive process. The study used two identical computer based lessons. One set of lessons used a complete set of hypertext resources that supported all of the learning objectives throughout the lessons. The other set of lessons focused the hypertext resources by limiting them to the immediate learning objective. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278867/
Assessment and Analysis of Per Pupil Expenditures: a Study Testing a Micro-Financial Model in Equity and Student Outcome Determination
The purpose of this study was to examine district level financial data to assess equity across districts, to compare equity benchmarks established in the literature using selected functions from the state's financial database, and to determine the predictive value of those functions to the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) tests of 1997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279253/
Effects of a Technology Enriched Learning Environment on Student Development of Higher Order Thinking Skills
The problem for this study was to enhance the development of higher order thinking skills and improve attitudes toward computers for fifth and sixth grade students. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a Technology Enriched Classroom on student development of higher order thinking skills and student attitudes toward the computer. A sample of 80 sixth grade and 86 fifth grade students was tested using the Ross Test of Higher Cognitive Processes. The Ross Test was selected because of its stated purpose to judge the effectiveness of curricula or instructional methodology designed to teach the higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation as defined by Bloom. The test consisted of 105 items grouped into seven subsections. In addition, the students were surveyed using the Computer Attitude Questionnaire developed by the Texas Center for Educational Technology. The questionnaire assessed sixty-five questions combined to measure eight attitudes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279055/
An Evaluation of the University of North Texas' "Youth Opportunities Unlimited" Program (a Compensatory Education Program for At-Risk, Secondary School Students)
Even though the Youth Opportunities Unlimited program has been in effect for ten years, there exists no current, comprehensive, effectiveness research on YOU. Such analysis is needed to determine the value of the YOU program. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the YOU program. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in this study. Quantitative analysis is provided through factual data collected through an alumni survey. Qualitative analysis is provided through personal opinion information obtained from YOU alumni through the survey and by personal interview. The YOU program at UNT is a successful compensatory education program that helps improve the education and the lives of America's at-risk students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278870/
A Comparison of Teachers' Sense of Efficacy of Traditionally and Alternatively Certified First Year Teachers
The purpose of this study was to compare the self-efficacy of two groups of first year teachers working in a large urban school district in North Texas. Twenty-eight of the participants were certified teachers. Ten participants held college degrees unrelated to teaching and were undergoing an alternative certification process. The Teacher Efficacy Scale was administered at the beginning and the end of the school year. Data from this scale was analyzed to determine if there were differences between the regular certification teachers and the alternative certification teachers at the beginning and the end of the school year, and to determine if their sense of efficacy changed over the course of the school year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278702/
The Effect of Job Congruency and Discrepancy with the National Athletic Trainers Association Athletic Trainer Role Delineation on the Job Characteristics Model of Work Redesign in Secondary School Athletic Trainers in Texas
This study investigated person-situation relations of professional preparation and job classification of secondary school athletic training positions with core job dimensions and affective outcomes within Hackman and Oldham's 1980 Job Characteristics Model. Research focused on which relations show increased affective outcomes; relationships between core job dimensions and affective outcomes; and characteristics of the core job dimensions of task identification, task significance, and skill variety of athletic trainer tasks as defined by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification, Inc. 1995 Role Delineation Study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279063/
Authors, Protagonists, and Moral Decision Making in Contemporary Young Adult Realistic Fiction: a Content Analysis
The purpose of this study was to investigate if there is a difference in the way male and female authors of contemporary realistic fiction for young adults portray decision making by their male or female protagonists. Questions asked in the study were: (1) Do female writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for male protagonists involved in moral decision making? (2) Do female writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for female protagonists involved in moral decision making? (3) Do male writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for male protagonists involved in moral decision making? and (4) Do male writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for female protagonists involved in moral decision making? Content analysis was used as the method of collecting data. The sample consisted of 194 novels written from 1989 to 1998, 53 of which contained a moral dilemma. A discussion of the novels included examples of moral dilemmas, alternative solutions, dilemma resolutions, and resolutions based upon care or justice. Analysis of the data revealed: (1) Female writers employ an ethic of care and an ethic of justice for male protagonists involved in moral decision making. (2) Female writers prefer an ethic of care for female protagonists involved in moral decision making. (3) Male writers prefer an ethic of justice for male protagonists involved in moral decision making. (4) Male writers prefer an ethic of justice for female protagonists involved in moral decision making. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278823/
The Perceptions of Site-based Management by the Principal
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of principals who had served in their positions prior to and since the state-mandated implementation of site-based management. The study sought to determine if the state mandates impacted the principals' perceptions regarding the pre-existing site-based management in their district. The study also sought to determine relationships between support or lack of support and the principals' gender, age, ethnicity, years as principal, and educational level. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279045/
A Study of the Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction on Developmental Math Students in Higher Education
This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of participation in a Supplemental Instruction (SI) program on student test performance in a second-level developmental mathematics class in a four-year university setting. This research deviated from past research on Supplemental Instruction in that it examined effects of the program at the end of each test block rather than at the end of the course only. The quasi-experimental design was precipitated by an inability to control factors of participation and limited sample size. Test data were analyzed using analysis of variance; final course grades were analyzed using chi-square. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279019/
Computer Simulation Placements in a Unit of Instruction
Educators considering implementing a computer simulation must decide on the optimum placement of the simulation in the unit of instruction to maximize student learning. This study examined student achievement using two different placements for the computer simulation, The Civil War, in a unit of instruction of 8th grade American History students in a suburban middle school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278685/
A Qualitative Study of Nine Elementary Principals Providing Inclusion for the Differently Abled
This is a qualitative description of the decision making processes that nine elementary principals use in determining campus level services for the differently abled and of how their administrative styles and values impact those decisions. Both the literature on leadership and on special education inclusion are reviewed. This review creates the framework in which the research questions are examined and structures the reporting of the findings. The defining attributes of leadership styles in conjunction with the defining attributes of inclusion are the heart of this study. Audiotaped interviews with each principal provide the data related to questions of leadership style, decision making, philosophy and autonomy. Separate site visits in which teachers from both regular and special education are queried as to the actual practices on their respective campuses and to their reactions to program changes involving the differently abled students. The combination of data gathered from the principal interviews, from the site visitations and the use of triangulation of data provide the basis for the findings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279287/
The Relationship of a Spiritual Calling to Motivation, Locus of Control, Burnout and Longevity in Teaching
In this study, six research questions were addressed: (1) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different motivation (self, interaction, task) to his/her work than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (2) Does a teacher who feels a spiritual calling have a different locus of control (internal, external) than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (3) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different degree of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment) than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (4) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different sense of voluntary commitment in the longevity of his/her work experience than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (5) Is there a different concentration of teachers who have a spiritual calling in public or parochial schools? (6) Does the public or religious school affiliation make a difference in research questions #1 through #4? A Teacher Motivation Inventory was compiled using The Orientation Inventory by Bass, Rotter's Internal/External Locus of Control, Maslach Burnout Inventory by Maslach, Jackson, and Schwab, a Researcher-made Spiritual Calling Inventory, and longevity questions. Tukey HSD post hoc comparisons test and Chi-square Test of Independence were used. This study was conducted in the spring of 1994 in public, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran and Jewish elementary schools. Teachers who scored in the upper third on the Spiritual Calling Inventory were categorized as having a spiritual calling to teaching. Teachers who had a spiritual calling had a significantly more internal locus of control, were less likely to depersonalize students, had greater personal accomplishment and were more likely to choose teaching again than those not having a spiritual calling. A spiritual calling had a significant relationship to some very meaningful, attractive qualities in a teacher's personal attitude toward a teaching career. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278705/
Effects of a Teacher Inservice Training Model on Students' Perceptions of Elementary Science
The purpose of this study was to test a teacher inservice training model which was designed to increase the number and use of hands-on science activities, increase the number of times teachers teach science, and improve students' perceptions of science. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278783/
A Descriptive Study of Student Assistance Programs in the State of Texas
The purpose of this study is to examine the four basic student assistance models and determine their distribution in Texas, describe the student assistance programs in place in public school districts in Texas including the program's goals, objectives and components, and explore the perceived effectiveness of student assistance programs as a viable means of drug and alcohol education for students enrolled in public school districts in Texas in kindergarten through twelfth grade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279367/
An Analysis of Texas Special Education Due Process Hearings from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992: Implications for the Administration of Special Education Programs
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of selected characteristics on the outcomes of those special education due process hearings brought forth in the state of Texas from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992. A further purpose was to determine if district characteristics of size or location affect the likelihood of a district's becoming involved in a special education due process hearing. Data for the study was collected for all special education due process hearings conducted in the State of Texas from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992. A coding system was used to record the data for the study and the Chi-square test of independence was used to determine whether a relationship existed between the selected variable (hearing issue, disability classifications and restrictiveness of placement) and hearing outcome. The frequency of involvement in hearings for districts of various size and urban characteristics was displayed as a percentage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279368/
Perceptions of Site Based Decision Making Implementation in the Irving Independent School District, Irving, Texas
In 1983, the report A Nation at Risk catapulted school reform to the forefront of national attention. The State of Texas responded with legislation dictating curriculum and instructional time. Failure to accomplish the desired improvement in student achievement caused these mandates to be eased. In lieu of the mandates, the Texas legislature and the Texas Education Agency have set expectation standards called academic indicators. Local districts and campuses must utilize site based decision making (SBDM) to determine how each campus will meet the set standards. Dealing primarily with curriculum roles and responsibilities, this study details perceptions of principals and teachers as SBDM was being implemented in a suburban school district serving 25,000 students. Data were gathered utilizing a structured interview and a follow-up telephone interview. Addressed in the study are perceptions of: (a) role changes, (b) responsibility changes, (c) needed improvements in the implementation process, (d) teacher empowerment, (e) positive and negative elements, and (f) student achievement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278726/
Multiple Measures of the Effectiveness of Public School Montessori Education in the Third Grade
The problem of this study was to measure the effectiveness of a public school Montessori program. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare student academic achievement and self-concept, attendance and promotion rates, and level of parental involvement in the schools of students enrolled in public school Montessori and traditional programs. The 95 subjects in this study were third-grade subjects selected from the student populations in Montessori and traditional school sites. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) was used as the pre-test scores, and the Norm-referenced Assessment Program for Texas (NAPT) was used as the post-test scores to compare academic achievement in reading and mathematics. Multiple regression was used to compare the levels of academic achievement and self-concept. Multiple regression was also used to test for possible relationship between the Montessori and traditional programs and gender and ethnicity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278832/
Principals' Perceptions of Organizational Practices and Decision Making Roles in Middle Level Schools
The problem addressed in this study was whether middle level schools have adopted currently held research findings with respect to organizational structure and decision making processes promoted by the work of the Carnegie Foundation and various state agencies. Purposes included determining the perceptions of principals in schools utilizing interdisciplinary teams of teachers regarding the roles of principals and teachers in decision making processes, differences in campus performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills and specific demographic variables in comparison to perceptions of principals in schools not utilizing interdisciplinary teams on these same questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279167/
Strategies Employed by School Administrators to Prevent or Reduce Gang-Related Activity and Violence in Selected High Schools in a North Central Texas School District
This research investigated the strategies used by school administrators in selected high schools to prevent or reduce gang-related activity and violence. Interviews were conducted with six high school principals, six assistant principals, fifteen staff members and eleven students. All of the students were gang members. The results of the study showed that there are gang members in all schools, but that their gang activity at school is curtailed by some specific strategies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278289/
A Study of Relationships Between University Interscholastic League Participation and Selected School Characteristics
The problem of this study was to determine whether differences exist between elementary and middle school campuses that participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) academic activities and similar campuses that do not participate. The Texas Education Agency Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) furnished data from 1993 through 1997 for this ex post facto comparative research. Using all Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) scores for grades 3 through 8, economically disadvantaged population data, attendance rates and campus accountability ratings, 12 hypotheses and 4 research questions were addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277619/
Stereotype Vulnerability in Elementary Aged African American Students
This study explores a link between "stereotype vulnerability" and the documented under performance of African American students on standardized tests. The subjects were 41 third grade African American students matched according to language arts grades with 41 third grade Anglo students. The students were from predominately middle class suburban schools, with similar educational experiences. The data suggest that third grade African American and Anglo students from predominately middle class schools, with approximately equivalent language arts grades and similar educational experiences, will score comparably to one another regardless of testing conditions. The data also suggest that this sample of third grade students are confident in their academic ability and are not affected by negative stereotyping. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278149/
Teacher Implementation of a Pretreatment Assessment Procedure in a Public Middle School
In an attempt to determine the effectiveness of a pretreatment assessment procedure known as the scatter plot (Touchette, MacDonald, & Langer, 1985), direct observational data was collected by 13 middle school teachers on four "problem" students. After four weeks of data collection, interobserver agreement probes were calculated and a visual analysis of the plotted data was performed to ascertain a possible pattern of problem behavior. Additionally, in an attempt to assess the teachers' perceptions of the scatter plot, the 13 teachers were asked to complete a questionnaire. Although a visual analysis of the plotted data suggested a possible pattern of problem behavior, interobserver agreement probes failed to achieve a desired overall reliability of 90% or higher. Despite a low IOA, results of the questionnaire administered to the 13 teachers generally supported the use of the scatter plot as a means of assessing student behavior. Possible reasons for failing to attain an IOA of 90% or higher include the total number of students in a class, the number of subjects observed per period, the teacher's location in the classroom, and the subjects ability to recognize if the teacher was "looking." Recommendations are provided regarding future research concerning the scatter plot and other more formal approaches to assessing student behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278169/
A Comparative Study of School District Expenditures in Texas Since the Enactment of Senate Bill 7
The purposes of this study were to: (a) determine the effects of Senate Bill 7 on expenditures in Texas school districts, (b) compare similarities and differences in expenditures among property-poor, medium-wealth, and wealthy-districts, (c) analyze spending patterns in light of equalization efforts, and (d) provide useful data to researchers in the area of equalization and adequacy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278137/
The Relationship of Developmentally Appropriate Beliefs and Practices of Greek Kindergarten Teachers
Sixty Greek kindergarten teachers were surveyed regarding their teaching beliefs and practices using the Teachers Questionnaire based on guidelines recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. A Varimax factor analysis produced four factors for the Teacher Belief Scale and five factors for the Instructional Activities Scale. Scores on developmentally appropriate factors were consistently higher than factors classified developmentally inappropriate. Correlation between appropriate beliefs and activities was significant (r = .470); correlation between inappropriate beliefs and practices was significant (r = .475). However, developmentally inappropriate beliefs were also positively correlated with developmentally appropriate practices (r = .537). Developmentally appropriate beliefs were not correlated with inappropriate practices. Results were discussed with possible theoretical and practical implications for future research and teacher development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278118/
Peer Mediation: an Empirical Exploration Empowering Elementary School Children to Resolve Conflicts Constructively
Conflict is inevitable in school and in life. Many children lack skills necessary to resolve daily conflicts constructively. Without knowledge of positive ways to manage conflicts, violence may result. Limited research suggests that involvement in a peer mediation program may have a positive influence on children. This study assessed effects peer mediation training and mediation experience had on student mediators. The pretest-posttest, control-group, and quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of a year long peer mediation program implemented in a suburban elementary school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277606/
Texas Public School Library Media Specialists' Perceptions of the Use of the Internet in their Schools
With the advent of the 21st century, technological innovations are transforming the face of education and the school library media center. One of these significant developments is the ability to communicate through the Internet. The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of Texas public school library media specialists who are active Internet users about their utilization of the Internet, and how their efforts in implementing and supervising Internet access in their school library media centers impact the Texas public schools that they serve. A survey instrument of Likert items was developed that queried these public school library media specialists for their perceptions of Internet use in their schools. MANOVA was the chosen statistical measure for this study. An initial electronic mail-out to 1,232 Texas public school library media specialists (K-12) with Internet addresses were contacted to participate in this study. After a time frame of one month, 196 Texas school library media specialists e-mailed the researcher, confirming their willingness to be a survey participant. All respondents to this e-mail request participated in this study, and a second U.S. mail-out was sent containing the actual survey instrument. The researcher found that the use of the Internet by school library media specialists in Texas did not increase global collegiality from the viewpoint of the survey respondents. Survey respondents felt that an Internet acceptable use policy did not ensure student access to the Internet in Texas public school library media centers. The study examined the relationship between acceptable use policies and Internet censorship, and the researcher found no connection between these two elements from the perspective of the school library media specialist. The study found that school library media specialists believe that their training did improve their students' library research skills. Furthermore, the survey respondents believed that their Internet training improved student learning. Finally, the study found no connection between school size, based on the Texas Education Agency's school classification system, and student access to the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277650/
A Comparative Study of the Impact of the Total Quality Management Program on Exit Level Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Scores
The management style being used by school personnel in Texas and across the nation today is predominately that of a bureaucracy. This model was organized around the industrial revolution that was exercising authority at the turn of the century. Writers and researchers have pointed out that such a model is not capable of providing students the knowledge and skills they will need to enter an increasingly demanding society. One management style relatively new to the educational arena today is that of Total Quality Management. This study reports the results of the impact of the training in those principles by measurement of student test scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277696/
An Analysis of the Impact of Curriculum Management Audits on Public School Systems in Texas
The purposes of this study were to (1) identify the recommendations of Curriculum Management Audits conducted in Texas Public School systems, (2) determine the degree to which each of the recommendations had been implemented, and (3) determine the perceptions of stakeholders as to the factors instrumental in the real and potential impact of the audit. The researcher conducted interviews with superintendents and key central office administrators with a working knowledge of the audit report in each of the eleven Texas school districts studied. Respondents were asked to rate recommendations written for their districts using the following descriptors: Implemented, In Progress, Plan to Implement, Recommendation Modified, No Implementation. The ranking of recommendation implementation revealed that 85% of the recommendations made in the 11 audit reports reviewed in this study had received action toward implementation to some degree. Respondents were also asked to cite factors which facilitated or impeded recommendation implementation. Significant factors facilitating the implementation of recommendations were reported to be time, organizational structure/personnel and planning. The analysis of the collective recommendations revealed that school board policies were not adequate to direct the design, delivery and monitoring of curriculum when measured against audit Standard One criteria. School districts in Texas rely on the Texas Association of School Boards' policy division for policies. Findings indicate that greater alignment between the Texas Association of School Boards' policies and Curriculum Management Audit criteria must be sought in order for school districts in Texas to meet this Standard. System-wide planning, curriculum documents, and program-driven budgeting processes were other areas requiring attention of the school districts in the study. Evidence of the extent of implementation of recommendations suggests that school districts valued the audit report with its recommendations. It can be generally concluded that the Curriculum Management Audit had a positive impact on the involved school districts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277718/
An Analysis of Program Options for Gifted Middle School Students
The purpose of this study was to compare three different types of programming options for identified gifted and talented middle school students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277734/
A Comparison of the Academic Intrinsic Motivation of Gifted and Non-gifted Fifth Graders Taught Using Computer Simulations and Traditional Teaching Methods
This study investigated the use of interdisciplinary computer-based simulations compared to traditional teaching methods. The academic intrinsic motivation of gifted and non-gifted students was analyzed using a quasi-experimental design, similar to a pretest/posttest design. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278001/
The Effects of the Advance Organizer on Student Perception of Teacher Communication Competence
The problem of this study was to determine whether the advance organizer would affect students' perception of instructor communication competence. The study also sought to determine any effect the organizer would have on student achievement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278591/
The Effect of Training in Test Item Writing on Test Performance of Junior High Students
Students in an inner city junior high school in North Central Texas participated in a study whose purpose was to examine the effect of training in test item construction on their later test performance. The experimental group underwent twelve weeks of instruction using the Test Item Construction Method (TICM). In these sessions students learned to develop test items similar to those on which they were tested annually by the state via the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). The TICM aligned with state mandated test specifications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278411/
Latin Vocabulary Acquisition : An Experiment Using Information-processing Techniques of Chunking and Imagery
The purpose of the study was to determine the effect on student performance and attitude toward high school Latin by Latin I students when provided with vocabulary instruction through chunking and imagery. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277583/
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