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- Evaluating Quality Standards for Teachers in the Field of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- The purpose of this study is to determine quality indicators in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders based on six empirically validated standards outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children. Invitations to participate in the study were disseminated to a randomized selection of members within the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Respondents (N = 199) included teachers (n = 128) and related service personnel (n = 71) who directly and indirectly work with students with emotional and behavioral disorders throughout the United States. A rank order list of the most important knowledge and skills to teachers with regard to demographic characteristics (i.e., types of communities, educational settings, or years of experience) was developed. Additionally, a rank order list was developed to determine which knowledge and skills related service personnel felt should be most important to teachers. Level of agreement was determined between teachers and related service personnel and variances among the rank order lists were examined. Results of the study revealed statistically significant variances in the rank order of knowledge and skills among educational settings of teachers (i.e., self-contained, resource, and general education/inclusion) across the standard of Learning Environments and Social Interactions. Rank orders in two knowledge and skills (i.e., assistive technology and structure) were significant. When rank order was compared between teachers and related service personnel, level of agreement was low within the standards of assessment (58%) and collaboration (63%).
- Megatrends in Higher Education
- Utilizing the theory of John Naisbitt's 1982 Megatrends, this study identifies eight trends for the future of higher education using content analysis of generalized print media reports for three bell-wether states. For the period of 2001-2005, generalized reporting for three newspapers, the Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, CA, the Miami Herald from Miami, FL, and the Denver Post from Denver, CO, included over four thousand articles and covered 21 primary topics and over 200 secondary topics. Eight trends emerge from the content analysis. Trend 1, from the ivory tower to the public domain, identifies increasingly critical public scrutiny of higher education standards and curricula. Fight or flight, Trend 2, reveals more consistent no-tolerance policies for student behavior. Trend 3, scholar to celebrity, reveals an increasingly public role for university presidents. Academic freedom to academic flexibility, Trend 4, identifies a tightening of academic freedom policies for university staff and faculty. Trend 5, pay now, learn later, focuses on increased popularity of pre-paid and tax free plans for saving college tuition. Fraternity party to fraternity accountability, Trend 6, identifies increased scrutiny of Greek organizations and Greek life within the university environment. Trend 7, tenure to temporary, reflects the growing trend of hiring more part-time faculty rather than hiring faculty for tenure track positions or full-time instructor jobs. Lastly, campus to cyberspace, Trend 8, identifies the continued success of online instruction at the university level.
- Physical activity and its association with selected dietary behaviors
- This study examined the association between level of physical activity and changes in dietary behaviors of 3,945 employees after a 10-week work-site physical activity program. Fifty-seven percent of the participants met the CDC/ACSM standard for physical activity sufficient for a health benefit. Physical activity was not significantly related to increased fruit and vegetable consumption, decreased dietary fat and calorie intake, and participants acquiring new nutrition skills. Physical activity was negatively associated with increased food label awareness. Participants who exercised sufficient for a health benefit were less likely to increase their food label awareness. Physical activity and dietary behaviors are generally not associated. Interventions to improve these behaviors should be behavior-specific.
- The relationship between the TeacherInsight interview scores and student performance as measured by the Texas Growth Index.
- In their efforts to make the selection and hiring process more efficient, school administrators utilize teacher selection instruments such as the Web-based TeacherInsight assessment tool (The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ). Tools such as these instruments are now used regularly by school systems across the nation to assess teachers regarding their knowledge, talents, skills, attitudes, and values. According to Gallup, the TeacherInsight is a predictor of teacher talent and is based on 12 themes. This study utilized 132 elementary and secondary teachers and approximately 4,500 students currently enrolled in Grades 3 through 11 to determine if the TeacherInsight is a predictor of student achievement. This study considered: (1) the relationship between the TeacherInsight and student achievement as measured by the Texas Growth Index (TGI); (2) the relationship between teacher characteristics (years of experience, level [primary or secondary], gender, age, degree) and the TeacherInsight instrument; (3) the relationship between teacher characteristics (years of experience, level [primary or secondary], gender, age, degree) and student achievement as measured by the TGI; and (4) the relationship between student classifications (limited English proficient, economically disadvantaged, at-risk) and student achievement as measured by the TGI. The analyses found a very weak positive relationship between the TeacherInsight and student achievement using the TGI in the subjects of English/ reading and math. Additional analysis based on levels (primary and secondary) between TeacherInsight scores and TGI values were not significant. Teacher characteristics were poor predictors of scores on the TeacherInsight. Of the characteristics, years of teaching experience was the strongest predictor of scores on the TeacherInsight. Although the overall analyses indicated significant relationships, they were very weak for both English/reading and math. Teacher characteristics were also poor predictors of student achievement. Again, the overall analysis indicated a significant but weak relationship for both English/reading and math. When considering the relationship between student classifications of LEP, economically disadvantaged, and at-risk, only at-risk had a weak relationship to student achievement. The findings provide little support to the validity of TeacherInsight in terms of its ability to predict student achievement scores and its usefulness as a tool for the selection of teachers by school systems. Until more extensive research is completed on the TeacherInsight and its impact on student achievement, no definitive answers for school systems can be made. Suggestions and recommendations for future studies are provided in the discussion section.
- Student preferences in screen design factors for Internet delivered college courses.
- Colleges and universities throughout the world are offering many of their courses via the Internet. Some institutions offer entire degrees online. This has ushered in a renewed interest in the debate on the effectiveness of non-traditional course delivery method. Numerous educational research studies have been conducted in an attempt to quantify that effectiveness. In any form of experimental research, control of variables is paramount. The rich multimedia capabilities of the World Wide Web give educators a wide variety of delivery media. However, with the exception of advice from artisans on design factors of the media, little research has been conducted with regard to the aesthetics of Web page design as viewed by the student. This study was conducted in an effort to establish student preferences with regard to two factors of Web page design as they might be used on those Web pages, background color and typeface used for text. In addition, it contains an analysis of whether or not there is an interaction between the two factors. Use of the results of this study should prove beneficial to both educators and educational researchers in their future endeavors.
- Characteristics of preservice teachers learning parent involvement practices.
- Numerous models of IS success and technology acceptance their extensions have been proposed and applied in empirical. This study continues this tradition and extends the body of knowledge on the topic of IS success by developing a more comprehensive model for measuring IS success and technology acceptance within a government organization. The proposed model builds upon three established IS success and technology acceptance frameworks namely the DeLone and McLean (2003), Venkatesh et al.'s (2003) unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), and Wixom and Todd (2005). The findings from this study provide not only a comprehensive IS success assessment model but also insights into whether and how IS success models are influenced by application variables as applied within a government organization. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were performed for instrument refinement and validity test of the existing and proposed models. Using data from employees of a local government municipal, the comprehensive model explained 32 percent variance. Four of the hypothesis were fully supported five were not supported, and four were partially supported. In addition, the results suggest that behavioral intention may not be the best predictor of technology acceptance in a mandatory environment.
- Choice for All? Charter Schools and Students with Disabilities
- In order to assess the extent and quality of special education services in charter schools in north Texas, the researcher examined data submitted to Texa Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), and conducted qualitative interviews with selected charter school administrators. Five cornerstones of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): zero reject, individualized education program (IEP), appropriate assessment, free appropriate public education (FAPE), and least restrictive environment (LRE), were utilized in the assessment of quality. Levels of expertise in federal disability law and fiscal barriers were explored, as well.
- Impact of Absent Father-Figures on Male Subjects and the Correlation to Juvenile Delinquency: Findings and Implications
- This study was predicated on the belief that a father brings something unique to the family, thus, making irreplaceable contributions to the life of a child. Fathers are unique in that they provide something different from mothers. They are irreplaceable because when they are absent, children are said to suffer emotionally, intellectually, socially, and behaviorally. The contributions of fathers to a child's well being cannot be fully replaced by better programming, ensuring child support programs, or even by well-intentioned mentoring programs. A review of literature relevant to delinquency and adolescent behavioral and academic success revealed that there may be a correlation between a male role-model and the teaching of self-control and socially appropriate behaviors. Indeed, much of what the large body of research pertaining to fatherhood reveals is that, compared to children raised in two-parent homes, children who grow up without their fathers have significantly worse outcomes, on average, on almost every measure of well being (Horn, 2002). In addition, an understanding of the factors that may influence delinquent behaviors, in particular within the family unit, can better equip parents and educators to support those who may be exhibiting the beginning signs of delinquent behavior. This study was designed to determine the influence of, or correlation between, juvenile delinquency and the presence or absence of a father-figure in a child's life. Responses made on the Delinquency Check List between two sample sets, delinquent and non-delinquent adolescents, were examined. The study attempted to determine if delinquent activity among adolescents was differentiated by the absence or presence of a father-figure in a child's life. This study also investigated the frequency and severity of delinquent activities between adolescents in the determined sample groups.
- A Comparison of IRT and Rasch Procedures in a Mixed-Item Format Test
- This study investigated the effects of test length (10, 20 and 30 items), scoring schema (proportion of dichotomous ad polytomous scoring) and item analysis model (IRT and Rasch) on the ability estimates, test information levels and optimization criteria of mixed item format tests. Polytomous item responses to 30 items for 1000 examinees were simulated using the generalized partial-credit model and SAS software. Portions of the data were re-coded dichotomously over 11 structured proportions to create 33 sets of test responses including mixed item format tests. MULTILOG software was used to calculate the examinee ability estimates, standard errors, item and test information, reliability and fit indices. A comparison of IRT and Rasch item analysis procedures was made using SPSS software across ability estimates and standard errors of ability estimates using a 3 x 11 x 2 fixed factorial ANOVA. Effect sizes and power were reported for each procedure. Scheffe post hoc procedures were conducted on significant factos. Test information was analyzed and compared across the range of ability levels for all 66-design combinations. The results indicated that both test length and the proportion of items scored polytomously had a significant impact on the amount of test information produced by mixed item format tests. Generally, tests with 100% of the items scored polytomously produced the highest overall information. This seemed to be especially true for examinees with lower ability estimates. Optimality comparisons were made between IRT and Rasch procedures based on standard error rates for the ability estimates, marginal reliabilities and fit indices (-2LL). The only significant differences reported involved the standard error rates for both the IRT and Rasch procedures. This result must be viewed in light of the fact that the effect size reported was negligible. Optimality was found to be highest when longer tests and higher proportions of polytomous scoring were applied. Some indications were given that IRT procedures may produce slightly improved results in gathering available test information. Overall, significant differences were not found between the IRT and Rasch procedures when analyzing the mixed item format tests. Further research should be conducted in the areas of test difficulty, examinee test scores, and automated partial-credit scoring along with a comparison to other traditional psychometric measures and how they address challenges related to the mixed item format tests.
- The impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance in the mainstream school environment.
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of alternative school intervention on subsequent student performance. The literature review examined the history and development of alternative schools, the legislation pertaining to alternative schools, and related studies. The population consisted of students placed in the discipline alternative education program (DAEP) of an alternative school located in a large suburban school district in north Texas. Students placed in DAEP in the spring semester of 2001 in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 were included in the sample. Data on student success was gathered for the one semester prior to placement (pre-intervention) and for the two semesters after placement (post-intervention). Student success was measured in terms of course grade averages and attendance. The student sample was divided into the following subgroups: grade level, sex, ethnicity, and qualification for the school meal program. The students' grade averages were compared within the subgroups utilizing a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Tukey's post hoc comparison was utilized on the groups when ANOVA was found to be significant. The students' attendance was analyzed by comparing the proportion of days attended in each of the three semesters included in the study. A normal test of two independent means was conducted on the attendance proportions. The results of the study indicated the following significant findings (p <. 05): the eighth-grade students' grade averages were significantly lower in the second post-treatment semester, the 7th-grade students had lower attendance in the first post-treatment semester, the 8th-grade students had lower attendance in the second post-treatment semester, and the 10th-grade students had higher attendance in the first post-intervention semester. The female students' attendance was higher in both post-intervention semesters and significantly higher in the second. A discussion of the dropout rate for this group and recidivism to DAEP was included.
- The impact of computer assisted instruction on sensory cognitive factors in literacy learning.
- The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of computer assisted instruction on the development of literacy skills. The effect of instructional methodologies designed to stimulate sensory processing (auditory, visual, and somatic sensory) through information processing activities was analyzed. A software program was designed to present instruction to stimulate learning in one sensory modality, visual processing. Also, the effect of delivery mechanisms on the acquisition of literacy skills was investigated. Three treatment groups and a control group were established to analyze differences: cognitive processing methodologies presented via computer technology, conventional methodologies presented via computer technology, cognitive processing methodologies presented through traditional classroom tools, and a control group. A portable keyboard computer with word processing capabilities was selected to deliver technology-enhanced instruction. Results from this study suggest that activities designed to specifically promote processing in one sensory modality, do not promote acquisition of skills in other regions. There was no change in scores when visual methodologies were applied to auditory and somatic sensory cognitive processing goals. When spelling tests that utilized all sensory modalities were analyzed, visual processing instruction had no effect on achievement. This result was duplicated when tests requiring auditory processing skills were examined. However, when visual processing skills were applied to words requiring sight word memorization techniques, the methodologies improved achievement scores. Therefore, it can be concluded that methodologies increase achievement only if activities are designed to stimulate the sensory cognitive modality that the skill requires. Results of analysis concerning the effect of delivery mechanisms on spelling achievement revealed that technology is a useful tool when used to promote information processing related to the learning goal. Visual cognitive processing activities delivered via computer technology were effective only when practice activities matched instructional objectives. When conventional methods of learning spelling skills were presented utilizing technology, student scores did not increase. It can be concluded that spelling achievement can be improved through the introduction of intelligent software applications if the instructional program is designed to stimulate appropriate cognitive processes and to meet targeted learning objectives. A theory for designing instructional software to meet these criteria, The Integrated Processes Method, was presented.
- Presidents' Leadership Behaviors Associated with Followers' Job Satisfaction, Motivation Toward Extra Effort, and Presidential Effecitveness at Evangelical Colleges and Universities
- Transformational leaders have tendencies that include: 1) projecting confidence and optimism about goals and followers' ability, 2) providing a clear vision, 3) encouraging creativity through empowerment and rewarding experimentation, 4) setting high expectations and creating a supportive environment, and 5) establishing personal relationships with followers. Transactional leadership as a process in which leaders and followers decide on goals and how to achieve them through a mutual exchange. The leader provides followers with resources, rewards, and punishment in order to achieve motivation, productivity, and effective task accomplishment. Laissez-faire leadership is the process of letting followers work without direction or guidance from the leader. The laissez-faire leader avoids providing direction and support, shows a lack of active involvement in follower activity, and abdicates responsibilities by maintaining a line of separation between the leader and the followers. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the assumption that a combination of transformational and transactional leadership factors is more predictive of greater followers' job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness than either leadership style alone. The study investigated perceptions of the degree to which transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and laissez-faire leadership were practiced by presidents of member colleges and universities in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). In addition, the study considered whether some combination of transformational and transactional behaviors is more predictive of job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness than either transformational or transactional leadership alone. The independent variables in the study included the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership behaviors of the college and university presidents and the dependent variables were job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness. This study points to specific behaviors that are predictive of job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceived presidential effectiveness. By combining the behaviors identified as transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership behaviors, this study determines specifically which behaviors are predictive of the three dependent variables. By combining the transformational leadership behaviors of Attributed Charisma and Individual Consideration with the transactional leadership behavior of Contingent Reward, leaders may develop leadership styles that are more satisfying, motivating, and effective for followers than solely using the transformational model of leadership. Followers indicate that they are more satisfied and motivated by leaders who possess great energy, high levels of self-confidence, strong beliefs and ideals, are assertive, have the ability to make followers feel more confident, who create greater personal confidence within their followers, and who use positive reward systems to affirm desired behavior. This information provides empirical data to support the concept that a combination of charisma, personal consideration, and a reward system may increase follower's job satisfaction, motivation toward extra effort, and perceptions of leaders' effectiveness better than transformational leadership behaviors alone.
- Analysis of special education compliance and special education funding in four Texas open-enrollment charter schools.
- The purpose of this study was to conduct an in-depth examination of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools in north Texas and to examine relationships between special education compliance and funding. Six questions guided the research: How have the charter schools designed special education services, and do these services meet individual needs of students with disabilities? Have federal education and disability laws affected charter schools' admissions, operations, or student performance ratings? What were the levels of special education funding and compliance with federal and state regulations? Is there a relationship between special education funding and special education compliance with rules and regulations? Studies at the national and state levels have frequently been conducted in the form of surveys, and provide only preliminary information about the status of special education in charter schools. There is a paucity of case specific information about the management and delivery of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. A within-case study research design was used for this investigation utilizing qualitative methods of structured open-ended interviews, observations at the schools, and document analysis. Administrators at four open-enrollment charter schools were interviewed to gather data for this multi-case study. The data supported the hypotheses related to special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. The schools in this study provided special education services with an inclusion model for the first two years. In their first years of operation, charter schools face challenges of small budgets, few if any special education students, and difficulty finding special education teachers and other staff. In the third year and beyond, the schools were able to add special education services and staff and were more stable in terms of budget and operations. For the time period analyzed, special education costs exceeded special education funding. Compliance with special education regulations was relatively high as services were provided to students with mild disabilities with a high commitment to individualized instruction.
- Educators' technology level of use and methods for learning technology integrations.
- The purpose of this study was to describe technology learning methods that teachers attend and perceive as effective. The goal was to provide district personnel data that may be utilized when planning for more effective technology staff development. This study examined (1) the methods of learning instructional technology that are being utilized by teachers and administrators and (2) why these methods are being utilized in two Texas school districts. Data was collected from educators via an online survey consisting of demographics, technology training methods, level of technology use (CBAM 1 item), stages of adoption and technology level of use (LoTi, 50-item). Educators with different technology levels of use (high, low) differed on their perceptions and utilization of technology training methods. Specifically, educators with different technology levels of use differed in their perceptions of independent online help, and learning through trial and error technology training methods. Results from the study showed that educators tended to use the technology training method that they perceived as most effective. Educators tended to utilize learning by trial and error, peer support, and technology personnel support the most frequently for learning technology integration Educators' in the study had varying technology levels of use based on their educator categories. Administrators tended to score much higher than both elementary and secondary teachers on their technology levels of use. Participants gave a variety of reasons for utilizing certain technology training methods most frequently. The most popular reason was that the method fit into their time schedule followed by the location of the training. The least given reason was that it was the best method for learning the technology skill.
- Factors Affecting Academic Interest and Self Perception of Adolescent Hispanic Females
- This investigation identifies deterrents to the educational, social, and cultural success of Latina adolescent females. Across the nation, and especially in states such as Texas and California, the Hispanic population is fast becoming the largest minority in society. Because the adolescent Hispanic population within the United States today will comprise much of America's future economic and social base, identifying and addressing educational, cultural, and social deterrents to their success becomes important not only for personal well-being, but for the well-being of future society as a whole. A second purpose was that of determining the efficacy of group-centered psychoeducational therapy in improving self-esteem and decreasing anxiety and depression symptoms in adolescent female Hispanic high school students. The experimental groups consisted of one group of seven female Hispanic adolescents who received computer and internet training and psychoeducational group counseling twice a week for five weeks. and a second group of five female Hispanic adolescents who received computer and internet training and psychoeducational group counseling twice a week for five weeks. The control group consisted of fourteen female Hispanic students who received no treatments. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to measure pre and post test levels of depression, the Beck Anxiety Inventory was used to measure pre and post test levels of anxiety, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem questionnaire and the Index of Self-Esteem were used to measure pre and post levels of self-esteem.
- Computer supported collaboration: Is the transfer of cognitive structures mediated by mode of communication?
- The objective of this study was to observe evidence of structural transfer among subjects in a group problem-solving activity and determine whether mode of collaborative technology or use of a priming agent affected the nature of transferred structures. Evidence for structural transfer is found in three theoretical perspectives: organizational ditransitive (linguistic) verb structures, adaptive structuration theory, and mental model transfer theory. Dependent variables included various grammatical structures and coefficients derived from pretest and posttest scores on David Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory, modified for the experiment. The combination of changes in grammatical frequencies and learning style may suggest that one or more media or the priming agent may affect structural transfer. Results indicate that groups using the GroupSystems collaborative technology produced less overall linguistic content than did subjects using a generic chat system, but employed more complex language as indicated by frequency of the organizational ditransitive verb structure. Also, subjects supplied with an organization chart (priming agent) during the group problem-solving session experienced greater change on the learning styles inventory than did those participating in the session without the chart. These findings suggest that mode of communication and use of priming agents may contribute positively or negatively to the transfer of structures among group members. Researchers, collaborative system designers, organizational leaders, trainers & educators, and frequent collaborative technology system end-users should be aware of these potential affects. Suggestions for future research are provided. Relationship of theoretical foundations of structural transfer to constructivism is discussed.
- Mentoring the first-year superintendent in Texas public schools.
- This study determined what mentoring experiences first-year superintendents have had and what they need from a mentoring relationship. Structured interviews and field notes were used in this qualitative study focused on Texas first-year superintendents' perceived needs from mentors. Three patterns of mentoring relationships were found: 1) no mentor in the first year, 2) mentor-protégé relationship - those who developed mentoring relationships early in a career with a more senior person in the same school system, and 3) mentoring relationships of convenience - young relationships which developed outside the same system. Skills and knowledge areas novice superintendents identified as critical for mentor assistance were school finance, development of effective relationships with groups that have expectations of the superintendent while also improving student achievement, and working within the politics of the position. Mentor characteristics novice superintendents considered necessary for a positive effect on job success include: trustworthiness, confidentiality, empathy, encouraging, active listening, and integrity. An attitude in which the mentor problem solved with the protégé, and did not give an immediate solution was displayed. Mentors actively and frequently initiated contact. Ideas were freely exchanged, giving the protégé undivided attention while not making the protégé feel inferior. The effects that previous mentoring experiences had on novice superintendents influenced whether they chose to mentor another person. Most reported seeking or engaged in a new mentoring relationship. Differences in areas where help was needed among first-year superintendents associated with district size were reported. Assistance in finance was needed regardless of district size, gender, or ethnicity. Superintendents in small districts reported needing assistance in specific skill and knowledge areas. Those in larger districts reported mentor assistance in problem-solving processes to accomplish a task. Differences in needs of first-year superintendents based on gender or ethnicity were identified but generalizations could not be made due to small numbers. Recommendations for university administrative preparation programs and designing formal mentoring programs were made.
- Reactions and learning as predictors of job performance in a United States Air Force technical training program
- This study is based on Kirkpatrick's (1996) four level evaluation model. The study assessed the correlation between and among three levels of data that resulted from evaluation processes used in the U.S. Air Force technical training. The three levels of evaluation included trainee reaction (Level 1), test scores (Level 2), and job performance (Level 3). Level 1 data was obtained from the results of a 20 item survey that employed a 5-point Likert scale rating. Written test scores were used for Level 2 data. The Level 3 data was collected from supervisors of new graduates using a 5-point Likert scale survey. The study was conducted on an existing database of Air Force technical training graduates. The subjects were trainees that graduated since the process of collecting and storing Levels 1 and 2 data in computerized database began. All subjects for this study graduated between March 1997 and January 1999. A total of 188 graduates from five Air Force specialties were included. Thirty-four cases were from a single course in the aircrew protection specialty area; 12 were from a single course in the munitions and weapons specialty area; and 142 were from three separate courses in the manned aerospace maintenance specialty area. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients were computed to determine the correlation coefficients between Levels 1 and 2; Level 1 and 3; Level 2 and 3 for each subject course. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the relationship between the composite of Levels 1 and 2 and Level 3. There were significant correlation coefficients between Levels 1 and 2 and Levels 2 and 3 for only one of the five courses. The linear regression analysis revealed no significant correlation using the composite of Levels 1 and 2 as a predictor of Level 3.
- The impact of poverty on comparable improvement ranking for elementary campuses in Texas.
- The problem was to determine how comparable is comparable improvement for campuses in Texas. An alternative strategy for determining comparable improvement was developed using 2000 comparable improvement data provided by the Texas Education Agency for 2,403 elementary campuses. Comparable improvement is a measure that shows how student performance has changed from one year to the next and then compares that growth to 40 schools that are demographically most similar to the target school. Instead of using the most dominant characteristic as in the current process, the percent of students in poverty was the initial sorting characteristic. The impact of sorting by poverty was reviewed in four areas: 1.) the impact on quartile placement, 2.) the TLI average growth for the comparison group, 3.) the award eligibility, and 4.) the changes in comparison group composition. No practical significant difference was found for research questions 1 and 3, however, a practical significant difference was found in group average TLI growth for math and in the comparison group composition. Overall, the alternative process had the greatest impact on campuses with 40-80% poverty. Three possible factors may have influenced the results. First, the middle poverty campuses had the most change in comparison group as found in question 4. Second, the interaction between the middle poverty campuses and the alternative process could have been fueled by the removal of the 1,295 campuses with poverty as the dominant characteristic in current system. Third, the high correlation between poverty and ethnicity may have limited any impact of the alternative process.
- Texas Public School Principals' Application of Procedures in Identification and Prevention of Sexual Harassment
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The procedural survey on sexual harassment procedures sent to 300 Texas principals had a response rate of 48.3 %. The mean score on the procedural survey for all 300 principals was 69.30 %. Eighteen research questions were addressed in detail in Chapter 4. Only five showed a significant correlation or effect size. Question 5 asked if there was a correlation between gender and the mean score of the survey instrument regarding sexual harassment procedures. The mean score of women was significantly higher than men. Question 6 asked if there was a correlation between the number of students in a school and the mean score of the survey instrument regarding sexual harassment procedures. This revealed that a significant correlation appeared between principals who worked at larger schools. Question 10 asked if there was a correlation between the location of the school, whether rural, urban, or metroplex and the mean score of the survey instrument. Principals of urban and metroplex schools scored significantly higher. Question 13 asked if there was a correlation between the hours of sexual harassment training attended in the last year and the mean score of the survey instrument regarding sexual harassment procedures. The results of this analysis revealed that a correlation approaching a medium effect size of .237 was present. Question 18 asked if there was a correlation between the total number of hours a principal had attended training and the mean score of the survey instrument. Neither the Pearson's correlation or the Spearman's rho was statistically significant. However, due to the large variation in responses on the sum of hours of training about sexual harassment, it was suspected that there might be a covariate accounting for sub-populations within the principals who participated in the survey. For ages 30-43.5, as the number of total training hours increased, the mean score on the survey instrument also increased. There was no significantly statistical significance between the other age groups and the mean score on the survey instrument. The other thirteen research questions did not show a significant correlation to the sexual harassment procedural survey instrument administered to Texas principals.
- The Relationship Between Classroom Climate and Student Achievement
- The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between sixth grade students' academic achievement levels in math and their perceptions of school climate. Student characteristics of socioeconomic status and gender were used to identify groups for the purpose of data analysis. Data was gathered using the five independent variables of the My Class Inventory (satisfaction, friction, competitiveness, difficulty, and cohesiveness) and the dependent variable of the Stanford Achievement Total Math scores. The results of the data collection were tested using a Pearson product-moment analysis and a backward multiple regression analysis. A univariate analysis of variance was also used to compare the five independent variables of the My Class Inventory as well as to compare socioeconomic status and gender with the Stanford Achievement Total Math scores. The schools selected for this study were from a city in Texas with a population of approximately 100,000. The sample consisted of 262 sixth grade mathematics students. The findings of this study are as follows: (a) The Pearson product-moment correlation analysis revealed little, if any, correlation for any of the five subscale predictor variables; (b) the multiple regression analysis revealed that all five classroom climate indicators combined together could explain only 10.5% of the variance in mathematics achievement; (c) the univariate analysis of variance revealed that there is a significant relationship between the climate factors of friction and difficulty when compared to mathematics achievement; and (d) the univariate analysis of variance also revealed that mathematics achievement scores vary significantly as a function of economic category membership, but there appears to be no relationship to gender.
- Ninth grade student success: An analysis of a credit recovery program.
- The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which a credit recovery program improved the academic success for high school freshmen. For the purpose of this study, academic success was defined as whether or not the student advanced from 9th to 10th grade. A total of 255 students from two junior high schools and one comprehensive high school were included in the study. Independent variables included program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, and TAKS Mathematics results. A review of related literature provided background information regarding the issues surrounding high school freshmen, dropouts, grade retention, and effective intervention programs. This quantitative study utilized descriptive statistics and logistic regression to analyze the relationship between the independent variables and student success as measured by whether or not the student advanced from ninth to tenth grade. In addition, the study examined the odds of success if participating in the credit recovery program. Sources of data included Incomplete and Failure Listing, Ninth Grade Advisor Listing, Tenth Grade Advisory Listing, and the Student Roster-Fall Collection. The Ninth Grade Success Initiative Program Evaluation for Cycles 6, 7, and 9 provided the individual student results of participation in the program. Levels of significance were set at the .05 level. The findings of this study indicated that no statistically significant relationship existed between participation in the credit recovery program, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, TAKS Reading/Language Arts results, TAKS Mathematics results, and advancing from 9th to 10th grade. It was concluded that further study would be needed to determine the most effective means for providing academic assistance to ninth grade students.
- Latent Transition Analysis of Pre-service Teachers' Efficacy in Mathematics and Science
- This study modeled changes in pre-service teacher efficacy in mathematics and science over the course of the final year of teacher preparation using latent transition analysis (LTA), a longitudinal form of analysis that builds on two modeling traditions (latent class analysis (LCA) and auto-regressive modeling). Data were collected using the STEBI-B, MTEBI-r, and the ABNTMS instruments. The findings suggest that LTA is a viable technique for use in teacher efficacy research. Teacher efficacy is modeled as a construct with two dimensions: personal teaching efficacy (PTE) and outcome expectancy (OE). Findings suggest that the mathematics and science teaching efficacy (PTE) of pre-service teachers is a multi-class phenomena. The analyses revealed a four-class model of PTE at the beginning and end of the final year of teacher training. Results indicate that when pre-service teachers transition between classes, they tend to move from a lower efficacy class into a higher efficacy class. In addition, the findings suggest that time-varying variables (attitudes and beliefs) and time-invariant variables (previous coursework, previous experiences, and teacher perceptions) are statistically significant predictors of efficacy class membership. Further, analyses suggest that the measures used to assess outcome expectancy are not suitable for LCA and LTA procedures.
- An analysis of sales people's perceptions of performance appraisal criteria at a telecommunications corporation.
- The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze sales people's perceptions of performance appraisal criteria in a telecommunications corporation. The study was prompted by the perceived disillusionment of the sales people with the current performance appraisal criteria. The perceptions of 67 sales people were assessed using a questionnaire developed by the researcher. One-way analysis of variance procedures (ANOVA) were used to determine if there were statistically significant differences in premise and telemarketing sales people's perceptions of performance appraisal criteria. Findings indicated that there were no statistically significant difference in premise and telemarketing sales people's perceptions of the 38 performance appraisal criteria statements. Findings did not indicate a statistically significant difference in premise and telemarketing sales people's perceptions of the performance criteria statements, the attitude or satisfaction statements, and the peripheral issue statements. Based on this study, the sales people appear to have clear perceptions of the performance appraisal criteria.
- The Effects of Premenstrual Syndrome Symptomatology on Marital Satisfaction
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Many women reporting PMS symptoms state their symptoms affect their mood, social, and family functioning. This study attempted to provide clinicians with information to assist in psychotherapeutic intervention, by determining the effect PMS has on marital satisfaction. Nineteen female subjects reporting PMS symptoms and their partners completed the study. The Marital Satisfaction Inventory - Revised (MSI-R) and the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire-Form T (MDQ-form T) were used to determine if the nineteen couples reported marital distress as a result of the women's cyclical premenstrual symptoms. The results of the study suggested that the women and their partners, report high levels of marital distress that is not reflective of the cyclical nature of the PMS symptomatology. Scores on the MSI-R for the subjects and their partners indicated the couples perceived level of distress in the t-50 to t-70 range on scales 3-8 is consistent throughout the menstrual cycle. The couples reported higher levels of marital distress than would be the expected norm, suggesting that PMS may be a contributing factor to the level of distress they reported experiencing. This study did not include a control group, which would have provided a norm for couples who do not report PMS by which to compare the MSI-R scores.
- Comparisons of Improvement-Over-Chance Effect Sizes for Two Groups Under Variance Heterogeneity and Prior Probabilities
- The distributional properties of improvement-over-chance, I, effect sizes derived from linear and quadratic predictive discriminant analysis (PDA) and from logistic regression analysis (LRA) for the two-group univariate classification were examined. Data were generated under varying levels of four data conditions: population separation, variance pattern, sample size, and prior probabilities. None of the indices provided acceptable estimates of effect for all the conditions examined. There were only a small number of conditions under which both accuracy and precision were acceptable. The results indicate that the decision of which method to choose is primarily determined by variance pattern and prior probabilities. Under variance homogeneity, any of the methods may be recommended. However, LRA is recommended when priors are equal or extreme and linear PDA is recommended when priors are moderate. Under variance heterogeneity, selecting a recommended method is more complex. In many cases, more than one method could be used appropriately.
- Comparative analysis of management and employee job satisfaction and policy perceptions.
- The purpose of the study was to investigate the perceptions of job satisfaction as defined by management and nonmanagement employees and to compare both parties' perceptions of organizational benefits to a list prepared by the organization's benefit personnel. Turnover is costly to the organization, both in money and in the impact it has on those individuals remaining with the organization. Every effort should be undertaken to reduce the amount of turnover within the organization. A contributing factor leading to turnover may be a gap between what the employees believe is important to them and what management believes is important to the employees. The boundaries of the gap need to be identified before any effort can be made to reduce or bridge the gap. Once the boundaries are identified, policies can be analyzed and the possibility of reducing the gap investigated. Management as a whole must be aware of the needs and wants of their employees before any attempt to develop a retention strategy is undertaken. This knowledge can be acquired only through two-way communication with the employee. The communication process includes the simple process of asking employees for this information and then listening to how they respond. This study suggests that little difference exists in perception of job satisfaction importance for gender, age group, length of time with the organization, topic training hours, and between management and nonmanagement employees. However, perception gaps exist between the job satisfaction items addressed by organizational policies and procedures and those perceived by employees. Additional studies that include a number of varied organizations are needed before extensive generalizations can be made.
- Cyberbullying: Responses of Adolescents and Parents toward Digital Aggression
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Cyberbullying is a category of bullying that occurs in the digital realm which affects our students at astonishing rates. Unlike traditional bullying, where displays of aggression may be evident to bystanders, the ramification of cyberbullying occurs through unconventional ways (e.g., text messaging; online weblogs; video sharing), which results in many cases being camouflaged by the advancement in technology. Nonetheless, the effects of this digital form of peer aggression can be as detrimental as face-to-face bullying. The characteristics of cyberbullying and its influences on adolescents and parents of adolescents were examined. The data accrued is based on an anonymous survey through one of the following methods: (a) paper-pencil survey for adolescent group with 37-question items on the adolescent questionnaire and (b) web-based survey for the parent group with 22-question items on the parent questionnaire. Each survey was systematically coded according to the participating group and assigned code numbers (i.e., 1 represents adolescent group and 2 represents parent group) was provided to ensure confidentiality of the study. Survey examined individual variables among the two target groups: (a) adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age and (b) parents of adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age. Specifically, individual variables examined include (a) demographics, (b) personal experiences, (c) vicarious experiences, and (d) preventative resources. A total of 137 participants (62 adolescents; 75 parents) responded to the survey. Results indicated that 90% of the participants from the adolescent group have reported to experience either as victims or as bystanders of cyberbullying. In addition, 70% of the victims have been cyberbullied 1 to 2 times within a month period and 50% of the victims did not know the perpetrator. Secondly, 89% of parent participants indicated to be knowledgeable about the issues relating to cyberbullying and 89% reported to have no knowledge if their child has or has not been a victim of cyberbullying. Furthermore, qualitative findings of personal perspectives toward cyberbullying from each participating group are discussed. A review of literature is provided and results and analysis of the survey are discussed as well as recommendations for future research.
- Metro Environmental: The impact of training HVAC technicians using the SightPros-VirTechs system for remote, wireless, Internet video assistance.
- This qualitative study explored the overall impact of training HVAC technicians using the SightPros-VirTechs system for remote, wireless, internet video assistance at a small HVAC company, Metro Environmental. John Thomason, the president/co-owner developed a website and a new SightPros communication tool that allows wireless, one-on-one, just-in-time, high-quality, video-monitored instructions between an expert at one site and a technician at another site. Metro Environmental successfully used the SightPros-VirTechs system to train a new apprentice remotely. The apprentice and expert changed their normal and routine physical activities because the expert worked remotely and the apprentice worked on-site. Within just a few months, the apprentice proved competent enough to go to customer accounts without more experienced technicians nearby. The technicians express excitement about the SightPros communication tool as a way to contact remote experts whenever needed. The customer and business contacts also give good reviews and suggest other benefits. The expert permanently captures the communications so the company can use the saved video for many applications, especially training. The dissertation provides a list of recommendations to trainers/educators for similar applications.
- Regional airline qualifications: A study in the marketability of higher education graduates.
- The recent emergence and growth of the regional airlines in the United States has placed a strain on the supply of pilots that are needed for staffing scheduled flights. This present pilot shortage is presenting challenges for 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs to produce more pilot graduates in less time to meet the staffing demands made by the regional airlines. With this shortage, the pressing issues of how to train and hire qualified pilots to fly technologically advanced regional airline jet aircraft have forced the industry to demand more aviation skills from a shrinking market of aviation pilot candidates. Colleges and universities with aviation programs have been forced to compete with outside private aviation schools on a larger scale in the training of collegiate students for airline employment opportunities. The primary purpose of this study was to expose any inadequacies in the higher-education aviation curricula and to propose changes needed to better qualify aviation students in the hiring process at regional air carriers. This study concentrated on the principle that higher education is necessary for advancing a pilot's aptitudes and abilities to perform the highly technical tasks of a professional pilot in a regional airline environment. The avenues of obtaining aviation experience along with flight certificates and ratings in an academic environment from 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs is examined, along with qualifying these schools with the criteria regional airlines expects from new pilots hired. A survey was used to poll the pilots from two regional airlines that were based in Texas. By analyzing the responses from the returned surveys, the quality of training that existed in higher education aviation programs was revealed. The study confirmed the value of advising a path of higher education for students embarking on an aviation career as a pilot for a regional airline. The study concluded that 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs are meeting the present demands made by the regional airlines.
- Personality Type Preferences of Juvenile Delinquents
- The purpose of this study was to identify and explore personality characteristics of juvenile delinquents, to compare those characteristics with those of the general population, and determine if there are significant differences, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), between the personality characteristics of juvenile delinquents and the general population. Juvenile delinquents who were adjudicated into a Texas Youth Commission facility in North Texas were subjects for this study. Participants included 186 males who ranged in age from 14 years to 20 years. Statistical analyses were performed for each of the research questions. When comparing MBTI scores of juvenile delinquents to the general population, significant differences were found on the dichotomous scales, temperaments, function pairs, and types. All type preferences are represented within the juvenile delinquent population. The MBTI can be useful in responding to the education and rehabilitation needs of juvenile delinquents. Knowledge of personality type can help caregivers meet the needs of juvenile delinquents. Understanding personality type preference can serve to provide a deeper understanding of the behaviors that lead to adjudication of juvenile delinquents. A discovery of the types of adolescents who are adjudicated could lead to preventive measures, early detection, and early intervention for students at risk of becoming juvenile delinquents.
- An evaluation of student learning and engagement in a technology-enhanced algebra unit on slope
- The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a technology-enhanced unit on slope in algebra. The technology used in the study was the Topological Panorama Camera (Topocam). The research questions explored the learning and transfer of knowledge about slope and the engagement level of students during Topocam learning activities. The Topocam is a computer-controlled camera that moves on a modular track while it scans a scene through a vertical slit. Students can program the speed of the camera and frequency of pictures. They then witness the results of time and motion in the image created by the camera. Data for this study were collected from a pretest/posttest, as well as from observations of indicators of engaged learning. The research population consisted of 46 students from three classes of Algebra I students. Three classroom teachers each taught a unit on slope, while a fourth teacher conducted the activities with the Topocam for all the classes. The classroom activities focused on the concept of slope as a rate of change utilizing coordinate grids. The Topocam activities involved students in collaboratively making and testing predictions about slope. The findings of the study indicate that student learning did occur with this technology-enhanced unit on slope in algebra. Students showed statistically significant improvement in understanding slope and in transferring that concept to other situations. Since technology was only part of the unit presentation, the amount of learning attributed to the Topocam activities cannot be determined. However, students demonstrated a high degree of engagement in learning while working with the Topocam which suggests that the activities were a factor. A low correlation between students slope unit test scores and previous algebra performance may indicate that students who have not been successful in algebra were more successful in the technology-enhanced unit. Some variation was found between classes that could be attributed to other factors than the Topocam.
- An experimental investigation on the effects of Web-based instruction / training on cognitive and psychomotor learning
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of web-based instruction (WBI) on cognitive and psychomotor learning. The subjects of the study received two types of instructional methods, WBI (experimental group) and traditional classroom instruction (control group). Each group received 30 minutes of instruction on "Soldering a Circuit Board." The researcher chose this content subject because it involved both cognitive and psychomotor objectives, which suited the purpose of this study. It was hypothesized that there would be no significant difference between the two methods of instruction, and also that there would be no significant interaction effects between methods of instruction and gender. Forty-six subjects from a population of students enrolled in summer classes offered by the Applied Technology, Training and Development (ATTD) program at the University of North Texas voluntarily participated in this study. Random assignment of subjects was applied in this study. A subject matter expert delivered the content for both the experimental and control groups. To measure cognitive variable, a 10 item, multiple-choice test was administered immediately after instruction. To measure the psychomotor variable, a 15-item checklist was utilized by trained judges to evaluate learners performances while soldering. The 2 x 2 factorial model with interaction was used in this study. The analysis was run for each of the dependent variables, cognitive and psychomotor learning. Although there was not a statistically significant difference in the main effects of method of instruction or interaction effects between method and gender, the results imply that students in the traditional-classroom instruction group performed better than those in the WBI group in psychomotor learning. Perhaps, this trend would be statistically significant if the sample size were larger. This study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of WBI in delivering cognitive and psychomotor objectives. The outcome of this study supports the need for more research on the effects of WBI on learning domains.
- The Great Debate continued: Does daily writing in kindergarten lead to invented spelling and reading?
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Many children in the United States cannot read on level by fourth grade. Traditionally, teachers have delayed reading instruction until first grade. However, involving children sooner in literary activities may provide skills needed to enable them to read on grade level. The purpose for this study was to determine the extent to which daily writing in kindergarten influences the development of invented spelling and learning to read. Five teachers modeled writing with 78 kindergarten children who wrote every day or almost every day for 20 weeks. There were 51 children in an experimental group, and 27 in a control group who were given a pretest and a posttest using the Observation Study (Clay, 1993). Results from a mixed model ANOVA indicated a significant difference between the control group and the experimental group on the Dictation Task F (1, 76) = 11.76, P≤ .001 and the Writing Test F (1, 76) = 4.33, P≤ .01. Results from a z-Test of dependent proportions indicated there were significant differences in the reading levels of the control group from the pretest to the posttest (z = 7.51, P ≥ .05) because (z = 7.51, Zcv = 1.96). The experimental group results from pretest to posttest were also statistically significant (z = 6.48, P ≥ .05) because (z = 6.48, Zcv = 1.96). At the end of kindergarten 82.35% of the experimental group was reading, while only 48.15% of the control group was reading. This research indicates that if kindergarten children are encouraged to write daily and use invented spelling there is a greater possibility they will enter first grade reading.
- Influence of Physically Active Leisure Participation on Obesity in Youth with Spina Bifida
- Childhood obesity and resulting secondary complications in youth with disabilities are occurring in epidemic proportions, due in part to a trend of physical inactivity. The purpose of this study is to report the prevalence of overweight, the leisure time activity patterns, and the association between frequency of physically active leisure participation and body mass index for age, in a sample of 50 youth with spina bifida, ages 4.5 to 17.9 years. Results indicate that 52% of the sample are classified as at risk of overweight or overweight; 36% were male and 16% were female. The top five leisure time activities and team sport participation are identified. Subjects who did not use a wheelchair for ambulation participated significantly more in physically active leisure than subjects who used a wheelchair. Future research and rationale for physically active leisure as an intervention for youth with spina bifida are discussed.
- The Anatomy of Academic Dishonesty: Cognitive Development, Self-Concept, Neutralization Techniques, and Attitudes Toward Cheating
- This study explored the relationship between cheating among university students and their cognitive developmental levels, use of neutralization techniques, self-concept as a multifaceted cognitive construct, and attitude toward cheating. The purposes of this study were to investigate: (1) The relationships between academic dishonesty and each of the following overall independent variables: cognitive development, use of neutralization techniques, self-concept as a multifaceted cognitive construct, and attitude toward cheating, and (2) the reasons behind college student academic cheating behaviors. The study used data from anonymous, self-report surveys administered to undergraduate students in-class and at supplemental sessions. Student participation was voluntary. The study was correlational. The five hypotheses were: (1) Self-concept is significantly and negatively related to academic dishonesty; (2) Cognitive development is significantly and negatively related to academic dishonesty; (3) Attitude toward cheating is significantly and negatively related to academic dishonesty; (4) The use of neutralization techniques is significantly and positively related to academic dishonesty; (5) Cognitive development, self-concept, and attitude toward cheating will make significant contributions to the regression model for the dependent variables of academic dishonesty. The data supported the first, third, and fourth hypotheses. However, the second and fifth hypotheses were supported under certain conditions. The roles of cognitive development and self-concept in academic dishonesty represent major findings.
- Knowledge and attitudes of preservice teachers towards students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.
- The study used a survey design to ascertain the levels of knowledge and attitudes of special education and non-special education preservice and inservice teachers towards students with different sexual orientations. The results of this study are based on 408 responses from preservice and inservice teachers enrolled at seven institutions of higher education within North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia offering teacher training programs in regular and/or special education. Two previously developed instruments were used to measure dependent variables in this study. Koch's modified version of The Knowledge about Homosexuality Questionnaire developep by Harris, Nightengale & Owen was used to measure the dependent variable of the preservice and inservice teacher's knowledge about homosexuality. Herek's Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) measured the dependent variable of attitudes towards homosexuals. The study found no significant differences reported mean scores for knowledge or attitude of homosexuality among the teacher groups surveyed: (a) special education preservice teachers, (b) non-special education preservice teachers, (c) special education inservice teachers, and (d) non-special education inservice teachers. Neither gender nor age were found to be factors in measures of knowledge or attitude of preservice or inservice teachers. Receiving prior instruction in serving the needs of GLBT students, or with a focus GLBT issues, contributed to higher levels of knowledge and more positive attitudes. This research identified current levels of knowledge and attitudes of preservice and inservice teachers towards GLBT youth, and this information may help outline areas of possible changes necessary in teacher preparation programs, research, and policy.
- Factors related to technology implementation of K-12 principals and teachers.
- The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between principals' leadership styles and principals'/teachers' implementation of technology. The Leadership Effectiveness and Adaptability Description (LEAD) Self was used to identify the primary and secondary leadership styles of principals. The Level of Technology Implementation (LoTi) Questionnaire was used to identify the level of technology implementation (LoTi), personal computer use (PCU) and current instructional practice (CIP) scores for both teachers and principals. Data collected from 390 K-12 teachers and 22 principals of three large suburban districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was included in data analysis. The findings suggest that differing leadership styles do play a role in the LoTi, PCU, and CIP scores among teachers. Based on descriptive statistics it was determined that teachers with "participating" principals had higher mean LoTi and PCU scores than those with "telling" and "selling" principals. The difference in the mean PCU scores was statistically significant (p<.05) for teachers with "selling" and "participating" principals. Results also showed there was a statistical significance (p<.05) in the mean PCU and CIP scores of teachers working for principals with weak and high adaptability. Due to the low number of principals participating in this study, there is a need to conduct the same research using a larger more diverse sample of principals. The majority of principals in this study had either a primary leadership style of "participating" and a secondary leadership style of "selling" or vice versa. A larger population of principals would hopefully allow for the study of additional leadership styles and their effect on teacher use and implementation of technology.
- Constructing transformative experiences through problem posing in a high school English research project.
- This dissertation chronicles my search to engage high school English students in inquiry as part of a formal research process. The perspective of critical literacy theory is used to describe the four phases of the problem posing process in shaping student research and action. Grounded in Freire's approach and consistent with Dewey and others who advocate inquiry, action and relevance, Wink's process is built into the instructional plan described in this study. Because of the real-life context of the classroom and the complex social phenomena being considered, a case study methodology was utilized in which multiple sources of data converged to develop the themes. Data sources included the work and artifacts of ten students in a tenth grade English class during the spring semester of 2008. The analysis focuses on the supports, the constraints and the impact of problem posing on the high school research assignment. The analysis, findings, and conclusions contribute to the literature in three areas: audience, reflection and grading.
- Relationship Between Flow Experience, Flow Dimensions, And The Equivalence Of Challenges And Skills In The Web-Based Training Environment
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This study applied components of Csikszentmhalyis flow theory to the Web-based Training (WBT) environment. Specifically considered were how the equivalence of a learners perceived challenges and skills for an activity can effectively predict the emergence of flow in the WBT environment. Also considered was the ability of flow dimensions defined in flow theory to predict and model the occurrence of flow during WBT activities. Over a period of about one hour, students (n=43) from a southwestern US university engaged in WBT learning activities pertaining to on-line coursework or self-study. A special Web-based software installed on the students computers sporadically reminded them to complete a series of on-line questionnaires which collected data on their flow experience, learning activities, and flow dimensions. The data collection method employed by this study is effectively an electronic, Web-enabled version of, and functionally equivalent to, the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) used in other flow studies. This study employed questionnaires used in prior flow studies to collect data regarding respondents flow experiences and flow dimensions, and developed an on-line instrument to collect data on students learning experiences based on instructional events found in computer-based lessons from Gagné. Significant findings (p<.05) from this study suggest that, in the WBT environment studied, as the relative level of challenge and skill of a learning activity increases, so does the level of flow experienced by the individual. This study also found that flow dimensions are good predictors of flow experience. The results of this study should have important implications for WBT users and instructional designers. Since flow is a positive experience that most individuals wish to repeat, understanding how to facilitate the occurrence of flow, from both the WBT users and instructional designers perspective, is likely to be beneficial to the rapidly emerging field of WBT.
- Curriculum analysis in teacher preparation programs at the college of basic education in Kuwait
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Preparing quality teachers is a continuing issue and concern in discussions about the future of schools in many countries. This study described and compared the stated goals and perceived outcomes of teacher preparation programs at the College of Basic Education (CBE) in Kuwait. This information will assist educational decision makers in Kuwait to align teacher preparation at the CBE and decide what is needed to make the programs more effective. The study assessed the perceptions of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of student teachers, new teachers, and instructors toward the existing program at the CBE in Kuwait. The discussion of teacher preparation in Kuwait was used to set a cultural and historical context. The literature reviewed recommendations from the United States to develop a framework of five common standards for analyzing the teacher preparation curriculum: content knowledge, instruction, diversity, professional development, and field work. In addition, research and evaluation of teacher education programs were reviewed for perceptions of student teachers and new teachers about their preparation and for methodology. Document analysis techniques were used with current documents from four major teacher preparation programs in the CBE. Five standards from U.S. recommendations were also found in the CBE curriculum. However, the analysis suggested that the curriculum in Kuwait might increase attention to professional attitudes and use of new technologies to prepare teachers. A three-part questionnaire was developed based upon the questionnaires of Van Zandt, Smith, and Zelazek et al. The questionnaire was translated into the Arabic language, and 280 responses to the survey instrument were analyzed. Perceptions of pre-service teachers, new teachers, and instructors toward the existing curriculum at the CBE in Kuwait were positive (3.3 and higher on 5-point scale) toward preparation of teachers knowledge, skills, and attitudes. However, a significant contrast was found between groups in perceptions of knowledge and skills. Pre-service teachers were more positive than first-year teachers or college instructors in their perceptions. No significant differences were found in attitudes. Recommendations included a suggestion to the faculty at CBE for continuing the model of curriculum analysis from this study to evaluate and address possible improvements in the teacher preparation program, such as use of technology and more attention to professional attitudes. Replication of the study was also suggested for other colleges of education in the Middle East.
- Social skills and problem behavior assessment of general and special education vocational students
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The purpose of this study was to analyze students' specific ITP-related social skills goals, student self-reported social skills, and the relationship between teacher and employer ratings of vocational students social skills and problem behaviors. This study examined (48) vocational students, (24) general education vocational students and (24) special education vocational students in grades nine through twelve. The students' vocational teachers and employers also participated in the study. This represented (144) individual assessment of social skills and problem behaviors utilizing the Social Skills Rating System -Student version (SSRS-S) and the Social Skills Rating System Teachers -version (SSRS-T). The findings indicated no specific social skill goals were deliminated in the students' ITP's. However, the findings did indicate the general education vocational students rated themselves higher, on average, on the empathy subscale than did the special education students. The analysis of data comparing standardized social skill scores, social skill subscale scores, standardized problem behavior scores, and standardized problem behavior subscale scores between teachers and employers for general and special education vocational students indicated employers rated special education students higher on the cooperation subscale only. No other differences were found.
- Filial Therapy Training with Undergraduate Teacher Trainees; Child-Teacher Relationship Training
- This experimental research study investigated the effectiveness of the application of Child-Teacher Relationship training, adapted from child-centered play therapy procedures and skills training (filial therapy), with undergraduate teacher trainees. Specifically, this research determined if Child-Teacher Relationship training facilitated change in teacher trainees' interactions with children, parenting attitudes, and play therapy attitude knowledge and skills. The experimental group of teacher trainees (n=18) received 10 weekly ninety minute training sessions in child-centered play therapy skills and procedures and conducted 7 weekly special play times with children. The comparison group (n=20) received supplemental training in child guidance during the ten weeks that included parent training and alternatives to corporal punishment. Experimental and comparison group participants completed pre-test and post-test measures, consisting of the Adolescent and Adult Parenting Attitudes Inventory (AAPI-2), the Play Therapy Attitudes, Knowledge, and Skills Survey (PTAKSS), and a videotaped special play time with a child which was rated using the Measurement of Empathy in Adult and Child Interactions (MEACI). Analysis of covariance on adjusted post test means revealed that the teacher trainees in the experimental group demonstrated statistically significant ("<.05) increases in empathy towards children, allowing the child self direction, communication of acceptance, and involvement as measured by the MEACI. Significant ("<.05) increases were also reported on teacher trainees in the experimental group on play therapy attitudes, knowledge, and skills as measured by the PTAKSS. The experimental group demonstrated growth in level of empathy and adult-child role subscales on the AAPI, and positive trends (.07) were reported on the AAPI expectations of children subscale.
- A comparison of five robust regression methods with ordinary least squares: relative efficiency, bias and test of the null hypothesis
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A Monte Carlo simulation was used to generate data for a comparison of five robust regression estimation methods with ordinary least squares (OLS) under 36 different outlier data configurations. Two of the robust estimators, Least Absolute Value (LAV) estimation and MM estimation, are commercially available. Three authormodified variations on MM were also included (MM1, MM2, and MM3). Design parameters that were varied include sample size (n=60 and n=180), number of independent predictor variables (2, 3 and 6), outlier density (0%, 5% and 15%) and outlier location (2x,2y s, 8x8y s, 4x,8y s and 8x,4y s). Criteria on which the regression methods were measured are relative efficiency, bias and a test of the null hypothesis. Results indicated that MM2 was the best performing robust estimator on relative efficiency. The best performing estimator on bias was MM1. The best performing regression method on the test of the null hypothesis was MM2. Overall, the MM-type robust regression methods outperformed OLS and LAV on relative efficiency, bias, and the test of the null hypothesis.
- Accent and Grouping Structures in the String Quartets of Béla Bartók
- The music of Béla Bartók is defined in part by its unique blend of rhythmic vitality and inventiveness, and his string quartets offer a glimpse into a consistency of technique evident throughout his compositional career. Bartók's rhythmic environments are primarily metrical, but many of his rhythmic configurations are placed in such a way as to potentially override established meter. It is necessary, therefore, to institute an analytical means by which the delineation and comparison of rhythmic structures both within and without the metrical context may be accomplished. An analytical method using Timepoint Accent Structures (TAS) allows for the comparison of rhythms resulting from patterns of accent produced by pitch onset, dynamic stress, articulation or any other accentual factors. Timepoint Grouping Structures (TGS) delineate the number of timepoints present in alternating groups/blocks in a texture, thereby allowing for the recognition of patterning created by these larger groups. By applying TAS and TGS analysis, relationships of rhythmic equivalency, rotation, retrograde, complementation, augmentation, diminution, subset, superset, exchange, compression and expansion are clearly confirmed in the string quartets. In addition, symmetrical structures and arithmetic progressions are discovered. In many ways, Bartók's rhythmic organization mimics his procedures of pitch structuring.
- A Study Of Correlations Between Learning Styles Of Students And Their Mathematics Scores On The Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test
- The problem of this study was to determine whether learning styles of students affect their math achievement scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test. The research questions addressed relevant to this study were: 1. Is there a positive correlation between students' learning styles and their achievement test scores in mathematics? 2. Is there a positive correlation between specific sub group's (as deemed by the state of Texas) and gender's learning styles and their achievement test scores in mathematics? The Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient and the Point-biserial correlation analysis was applied to the data collected from 500 fifth grade students attending a North Texas Intermediate school. The significance level was established at the .05 level. Part of the data was the student's responses to the Learning Style Inventory by Dunn, Dunn and Price. The findings established that the learning style preferences of all students in the area of persistence significantly impacted their math achievement scores. Gender and ethnicity were mitigating factors in the findings. These learning style preferences significantly impacted achievement in the following ways: * Caucasian students' preference of a high level of persistence in completing a difficult task. * Hispanic students' preference for a warm learning environment and motivational factor of pleasing the teacher. * Afro-American students' preference for kinesthetic learning. * Female students' learning style preferences appear in: - the design of the learning environment - the need for intake of food and/or drink - a high level of responsibility - a high sense of self-motivation , of teacher and of parent motivation. * Male students' learning style preferences appear in: - a warm learning environment - a high level of responsibility - the need for intake of food and/or drink - a high sense of teacher and of parent motivation - a late morning learning In summary, the author suggests that supplying the teachers with information concerning students' learning style preferences will benefit student achievement.
- Unintended Outcomes: The effects of an entity's educator preparation accreditation on access to certification for individuals of color
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The purpose of this dissertation was twofold. First, the study sought to determine if the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) Reading score predicts success on the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET). Second, the study addressed the effect on individuals of color of raising the minimum TASP Reading score entrance requirement for admission to teacher preparation programs. Data were collected from the ExCET Office of a Carnegie I metropolitan university. The defined sample consisted of 961 participants who had a TASP Reading score and had taken an Elementary Comprehensive ExCET, an Elementary Professional Development ExCET or a Secondary Professional ExCET between September 1999 and January 2001. Linear Regression, Box Test, Predictive Discriminate Analysis, and frequency distribution tables were used for analyses. This investigation examined the effects of the independent variable of TASP Reading score on the performance of participants on the dependent variable, the ExCET. Four null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of significance. The TASP Reading score was a statistically significant predictor for success on the Elementary Comprehensive ExCET, Elementary Professional Development ExCET, and the Secondary Professional Development ExCET. However, the Predictive Discriminate Analysis indicated that a TASP Reading score of 220 predicted that no candidates would fail the Elementary Comprehensive ExCET, 6 participants would fail the Elementary Professional Development ExCET and 19 participants would fail the Secondary Professional Development ExCET. Five hypotheses addressed the effect of raising the TASP Reading score to 250. Findings of four hypotheses showed that raising this admission standard would impact the number of individuals of color granted admission to the teacher preparation program. These results call for the recommendation that governing agencies address the impact of state teacher education program accreditation that often results in the policy of relying on the TASP Reading score as one of the primary admission standards for teacher education programs. The unintended outcome of raising the reading admission standard in the anticipation of continued state accreditation is a noticeable loss of candidates of colors, especially African American candidates.
- Factors that influence teacher turnover in Texas: Correlations with variables from the academic excellence indicator system for the year 1998-99
- The teacher shortage problem is a national and state concern. In 1998, the Texas State Board of Education Certification reported that school districts in Texas had to hire teachers to fill over 63,000 vacancies. Teacher resignations, other than retirement, contributed to over 46,000 teachers who left the profession about 19 % of the state's total teacher workforce. A significant number of Texas teachers left the profession in the first five years. The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (1996) called the attrition of new teachers a chronic problem for American schools. Reducing the teacher shortage in Texas must begin with reducing the teacher turnover rate. Most studies concerning teacher attrition or turnover either address salary, or working conditions. Many of the studies deal with affective and subjective data regarding teacher turnover. The studies on teacher turnover often do not address quantifiable data collected uniformly across districts. Few studies address a comprehensive set of quantitative data to determine the variables associated with teacher turnover. This study addressed teacher turnover through quantitative research of data from the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) with multiple analysis to provide insights to teacher turnover conditions and trends. The population for the study included all 1042 Texas school districts, and 61 Charter schools. The Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) was used to determine the variables and supply data for the study. The study addressed only district data not individual school or campus data. The data captured for this dissertation were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlational methods, and regression tools of research.
- A comparative analysis of the effectiveness of three different GED preparation programs
- The purpose of this study was to identify effective instructional programs for GED tests preparation for students in a large suburban school district. Three different nonrandom, unequal naturally occurring instructional groups at three different locations were examined. One group participated in a traditional instruction program, a second group in a test/retest program, and a third group in a computer-assisted program. The demographics of the district population, the GED population, and the individual study groups were catalogued and analyzed. The demographics of the GED population were similar to the district population but different from the GED passers. Student characteristics did affect GED success. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. Random students in each of the three groups were interviewed about their experiences in GED preparation using a questionnaire. Quantitative data were analyzed using frequencies, means, correlations, and a multiple regression analysis. Since the GED credential is an alternative to the high school diploma, its use as a dropout alternative is important to every school district. The study found that instructional methods had little impact on students' success in receiving the GED credential. The overall success rate of students was low in each group. The student's reading achievement score, GPA, and IQ score were predictors of GED tests success. Little research has been done in the area of GED instruction; perhaps this lack of work is due to the known limited effectiveness of GED preparation. Districts hoping to build effective GED programs should screen students prior to admission to a GED program. High school GED instruction seems to be effective for students likely to be successful in the regular school setting but in need of an immediate credential because of pregnancy or parenting or the need to work full-time or the desire to begin college study. Districts should also design programs to help disenfranchised students in the regular program remain in school.
- Success For Life in Thailand: Educational and Cultural Implementation
- The purpose of this study was to investigate whether implementing Success For Life in Thailand would meet the needs of Thai public policy, the Thai educational system, and Thai culture. There were 46 respondents, including 4 early childhood professionals, 4 preschool owners, 6 directors, and 32 teachers. All respondents received the Success For Life training workshop. Each participant was requested to complete a questionnaire on their understanding and awareness of brain development and function, thoughts about implementing Success For Life in Thailand, and the appropriateness of Success For Life for the Thai educational system, Thai public policy, and Thai culture. In addition, all of the 4 early childhood professionals, 4 preschool owners, and 6 directors, and 8 teachers were interviewed to expand the information provided in the questionnaires. Two preschools implemented Success For Life in November 2000. Another 6 preschools implemented Success For Life in June 2001. Participating teachers in the preschools where Success For Life was implemented in November 2000 were also asked to write bimonthly journals. Journal entries included information about how participants changed their teaching styles after receiving the Success For Life training. Research findings indicated that Success For Life was appropriate to the preschool level in Thailand. Recommendations for Success For Life implementation in Thailand were 1) clarify the meaning of “teacher-centered” to conform with Thai policy, 2) modify the mathematics curriculum to reflect higher level concepts, 3) include ethics and financial education in the curriculum, 4) include in Success For Life staff development methods for teaching children with special needs, different learning styles, and in ESL programs, and 5) clarify how, in the Success For Life curriculum, children have a right to access to the Thai dream instead of the American Dream.