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 Degree Level: Doctoral
The Character of Environmental Citizenship: Virtue Education for Raising Morally Responsible Individuals

The Character of Environmental Citizenship: Virtue Education for Raising Morally Responsible Individuals

Date: May 2013
Creator: Lindemann, Monica A.
Description: Surely, moral education is not merely intended to result in theoretical knowledge, but instead attempts to change people's behavior. However, when examining and evaluating current trends in moral education, it appears that hitherto moral education has fallen short of its goal to make people better. In this paper, I try to determine what has caused this perceived failure of moral education and conclude that approaches that focus on teaching moral reasoning skills rather than on teaching actual moral content, i.e., values and virtues, are generally ineffective for moral improvement. However, a more traditional form of moral education, namely character education, appears to be a viable alternative to the moral reasoning methods. Since character education can be regarded as the practical application of virtue ethics, I first describe and evaluate virtue ethics and defend it against potential criticisms. I then examine what methods are effective for teaching virtues, and how such methods can potentially be incorporated into the curriculum. Since virtues cannot be taught through theoretical instruction, the acquisition of good habits constitutes the necessary foundation for the establishment of good moral character. Some methods that have been suggested for laying the foundation for virtue are the use of stories, role ...
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Optimizing Non-pharmaceutical Interventions Using Multi-coaffiliation Networks

Optimizing Non-pharmaceutical Interventions Using Multi-coaffiliation Networks

Date: May 2013
Creator: Loza, Olivia G.
Description: Computational modeling is of fundamental significance in mapping possible disease spread, and designing strategies for its mitigation. Conventional contact networks implement the simulation of interactions as random occurrences, presenting public health bodies with a difficult trade off between a realistic model granularity and robust design of intervention strategies. Recently, researchers have been investigating the use of agent-based models (ABMs) to embrace the complexity of real world interactions. At the same time, theoretical approaches provide epidemiologists with general optimization models in which demographics are intrinsically simplified. The emerging study of affiliation networks and co-affiliation networks provide an alternative to such trade off. Co-affiliation networks maintain the realism innate to ABMs while reducing the complexity of contact networks into distinctively smaller k-partite graphs, were each partition represent a dimension of the social model. This dissertation studies the optimization of intervention strategies for infectious diseases, mainly distributed in school systems. First, concepts of synthetic populations and affiliation networks are extended to propose a modified algorithm for the synthetic reconstruction of populations. Second, the definition of multi-coaffiliation networks is presented as the main social model in which risk is quantified and evaluated, thereby obtaining vulnerability indications for each school in the system. Finally, maximization ...
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Accomplished Teachers' Instructional Decisions About Shakespeare

Accomplished Teachers' Instructional Decisions About Shakespeare

Date: May 2013
Creator: Parris, Sheri Rene’
Description: Teachers' decisions are a powerful influence on student learning and it is important to fully document accomplished teachers' instructional decisions, as well as to investigate possible influences on those decisions. Shakespearean dramas are central to high school curricula across the U.S. and pose particular instructional challenges, therefore teachers' decisions about teaching these texts are of particular interest. There is limited empirical research, however, about these instructional decisions. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe how four accomplished high school English teachers working on a single campus make instructional decisions about teaching a Shakespearean play. Specifically, research questions addressed teachers' decisions regarding the teaching of a Shakespearean play and various influences on those decisions (self-reports and inferences from the data). Case study methodology was used, including an inductive analysis of individual teacher interviews, classroom observations, focus group, instructional artifacts, and researcher's journal. The findings revealed that instructional activities described by these teachers addressed support for meaning-making during four stages of reading instruction: (a) before, during, and after; (b) before; (c) during; and (d) after. Comparison of these cases suggests that, although each teacher brings personal preferences and unique background knowledge to her instructional decisions, all make decisions to promote ...
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Convergent Validity of Variables Residualized By a Single Covariate: the Role of Correlated Error in Populations and Samples

Convergent Validity of Variables Residualized By a Single Covariate: the Role of Correlated Error in Populations and Samples

Date: May 2013
Creator: Nimon, Kim
Description: This study examined the bias and precision of four residualized variable validity estimates (C0, C1, C2, C3) across a number of study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error, correlations among error scores, and correlations between error scores and true scores (C3) performed the best, yielding no estimates that were practically significantly different than their respective population parameters, across study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error and correlations among error scores (C2) did a good job in yielding unbiased, valid, and precise results. Only in a select number of study conditions were C2 estimates unable to be computed or produced results that had sufficient variance to affect interpretation of results. Validity estimates based on observed scores (C0) fared well in producing valid, precise, and unbiased results. Validity estimates based on observed scores that were only corrected for measurement error (C1) performed the worst. Not only did they not reliably produce estimates even when the level of modeled correlated error was low, C1 produced values higher than the theoretical limit of 1.0 across a number of study conditions. Estimates based on C1 also produced the greatest number of conditions that were practically significantly different than their population parameters.
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Warrior Women in Early Modern Literature

Warrior Women in Early Modern Literature

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Date: May 2013
Creator: Oxendine, Jessica Grace
Description: Fantasies about warrior women circulated in many forms of writing in early modern England: travel narratives such as Sir Walter Ralegh's The Discoverie of Guiana (1595) portray Amazon encounters in the New World; poems like Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1596) depict women's skill with a spear; and the plays of Shakespeare, John Fletcher, and others stage the adventurous feats of women on the battlefield. In this dissertation, I analyze the social anxieties that emerge when warrior women threaten gender hierarchies in the patriarchal society of early modern England. The battlefield has traditionally been a site for men to prove their masculinity against other men, so when male characters find themselves submitting to a sword-wielding woman, they are forced to reimagine their own masculine identities as they become the objects acted upon by women. In their experience of subjectivity, these literary warrior women often allude to the historical Queen Elizabeth I, whose reign destabilized ideas about gender and power in the period. Negative evaluations of warrior women often indicate anxiety about Elizabeth as an Amazon-like queen. Thus, portrayals of warrior women often end with a celebration of patriarchal dominance once the male characters have successfully contained the threat of the ...
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A Study of Performance and Effort Expectancy Factors Among Generational and Gender Groups to Predict Enterprise Social Software Technology Adoption

A Study of Performance and Effort Expectancy Factors Among Generational and Gender Groups to Predict Enterprise Social Software Technology Adoption

Date: May 2013
Creator: Patel, Sunil S.
Description: Social software technology has gained considerable popularity over the last decade and has had a great impact on hundreds of millions of people across the globe. Businesses have also expressed their interest in leveraging its use in business contexts. As a result, software vendors and business consumers have invested billions of dollars to use social software to improve business and employee productivity. The purpose of this study was to provide insights to business leaders and decision makers as they shaped their enterprise social software (ESS) delivery plans. A vast body of information exists on the benefits of ESS and its technical implementation, but little empirical research is available on employees' perceptions of ESS expectancy factors (i.e. usefulness and ease of use). This study focused on IT managers' perceptions of ESS expectancy factors to understand their behavioral intent to adopt ESS technology. Additional research was performed to uncover relationships and differences between IT Managers' adoption intentions and employee age, gender, and generational groups. Survey results were analyzed using a correlation research design and demonstrated significant relationships were found between IT managers' expectancy factors and their behavioral intent to adopt ESS technology. Differences were also demonstrated between IT managers' age, gender, and ...
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The Beliefs and Expectations of Effective Secondary Choral Teachers in Culturally Diverse Schools

The Beliefs and Expectations of Effective Secondary Choral Teachers in Culturally Diverse Schools

Date: May 2013
Creator: Spradley, Mackie V.
Description: Through the years, educational theorists and researchers have been interested in a possible relationship between teachers' effectiveness and their beliefs and expectations. Three concepts underpinned this work: teacher effectiveness, cultural diversity, and teachers' beliefs and expectations. The premise of the study was that the beliefs and expectations of effective secondary choral teachers are related to the social-cultural contexts in which they teach. The study implemented critical discourse analysis as the theoretical framework and the in-depth phenomenological long interview for data collection. Three secondary choral teachers were selected to participate in the study based on the researcher's criteria. The study revealed how each teacher conceptualized student cultural diversity during the teaching experience. Teacher beliefs about effective teaching in culturally diverse settings were described as developing over time in phases along a continuum. The study also confirmed that teachers' beliefs about students can be changed through experiences and reflection. The study revealed effective teachers focused on three different types of expectations in the teaching and learning context and affirmed diverse cultural identities and backgrounds. Recommendations included the development of stronger mentorship programs to increase effective teaching strategies for the secondary choral classroom. The findings of this study support my previous work, which ...
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Finding Meaning in Context Using Graph Algorithms in Mono- and Cross-lingual Settings

Finding Meaning in Context Using Graph Algorithms in Mono- and Cross-lingual Settings

Date: May 2013
Creator: Sinha, Ravi Som
Description: Making computers automatically find the appropriate meaning of words in context is an interesting problem that has proven to be one of the most challenging tasks in natural language processing (NLP). Widespread potential applications of a possible solution to the problem could be envisaged in several NLP tasks such as text simplification, language learning, machine translation, query expansion, information retrieval and text summarization. Ambiguity of words has always been a challenge in these applications, and the traditional endeavor to solve the problem of this ambiguity, namely doing word sense disambiguation using resources like WordNet, has been fraught with debate about the feasibility of the granularity that exists in WordNet senses. The recent trend has therefore been to move away from enforcing any given lexical resource upon automated systems from which to pick potential candidate senses,and to instead encourage them to pick and choose their own resources. Given a sentence with a target ambiguous word, an alternative solution consists of picking potential candidate substitutes for the target, filtering the list of the candidates to a much shorter list using various heuristics, and trying to match these system predictions against a human generated gold standard, with a view to ensuring that the ...
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Graev Metrics and Isometry Groups of Polish Ultrametric Spaces

Graev Metrics and Isometry Groups of Polish Ultrametric Spaces

Date: May 2013
Creator: Shi, Xiaohui
Description: This dissertation presents results about computations of Graev metrics on free groups and characterizes isometry groups of countable noncompact Heine-Borel Polish ultrametric spaces. In Chapter 2, computations of Graev metrics are performed on free groups. One of the related results answers an open question of Van Den Dries and Gao. In Chapter 3, isometry groups of countable noncompact Heine-Borel Polish ultrametric spaces are characterized. The notion of generalized tree is defined and a correspondence between the isomorphism group of a generalized tree and the isometry group of a Heine-Borel Polish ultrametric space is established. The concept of a weak inverse limit is introduced to capture the characterization of isomorphism groups of generalized trees. In Chapter 4, partial results of isometry groups of uncountable compact ultrametric spaces are given. It turns out that every compact ultrametric space has a unique countable orbital decomposition. An orbital space consists of disjoint orbits. An orbit subspace of an orbital space is actually a compact homogeneous ultrametric subspace.
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An Examination of How 4-8 Preservice Teachers Understand and Implement Multicultural Concepts

An Examination of How 4-8 Preservice Teachers Understand and Implement Multicultural Concepts

Date: May 2013
Creator: Schellen, Julie K.
Description: Preparing teachers to teach in the diverse classroom has become one of the most important goals for universities and teacher training programs. The main purposes of this study included to examine what type of multicultural concepts were taught preservice teachers who sought certification in Grades 4-8 and how these preservice teachers understood and implemented multicultural concepts in their educational portfolios and coursework, field experiences, and student teaching. The population of the study consisted of 53 undergraduate, preservice teachers enrolled in the last two years of a 4-8 teacher certification program. A modified grounded theory methodology and interpretive approach was used in the analysis of the course syllabi, required readings and student coursework. The study found that this particular program exposed the preservice teachers to a significant number of multicultural concepts in preparation for teaching in the ethnically diverse schools in the area. In addition, the study looked at which of Grant and Sleeter's five multicultural approaches were found most often in the course syllabi and required readings, as well as the preservice teachers' portfolio artifacts, key assessments, and reflective writing samples. The research found the majority of the course syllabi and assigned readings covered concepts in the human relations and ...
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