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Beating the high stakes testing game: A three-year study of improvement rates on the TAKS social studies exit exam.

Beating the high stakes testing game: A three-year study of improvement rates on the TAKS social studies exit exam.

Date: May 2006
Creator: Evans, Barbara Anne
Description: The Texas high school class of 2005 faced a defining test that had no precedent in Texas and little nationally. Social studies testing is a relatively new addition to the world of high stakes testing currently impacting United States high schools. Although other diploma dependent areas of mandated testing have some testing history and, therefore, related paradigms for curriculum and instructional assistance, the area of social studies largely lacks that perspective. Texas Education agency provided specific school grant monies and training for the purpose of preparation for the social studies exams. This quasi-experimental study examines the scores to learn whether or not any statistically significant differences in social studies scores would exist between the schools that participated in the TEKS/Tools Training Program and the schools that did not participate in the TEKS/Tools Training Program. The two primary at-risk groups in Texas, Hispanic and low SES, were analyzed for statistically significant differences in scores. Independent t tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze the score differences between program schools and non-program schools. Results relate to individual school staffing and implementation. The at-risk groups remained flat in score gains whether they were part of the program schools or not. Results relate to ...
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Beliefs about language learning and language learning strategy use in an EFL context: A comparison study of monolingual Korean and bilingual Korean-Chinese university students.

Beliefs about language learning and language learning strategy use in an EFL context: A comparison study of monolingual Korean and bilingual Korean-Chinese university students.

Date: May 2006
Creator: Hong, Kyungsim
Description: This study compared strategy use and beliefs about language learning, and the relationship between beliefs and use reported by 428 monolingual Korean and 420 bilingual Korean-Chinese university students. This study also examined the influence of background variables (e.g., gender, self-rated English proficiency, and academic major) on learners' beliefs and strategy use. Data was collected using three questionnaires, the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI), and the Individual Background Questionnaire (IBQ). Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, principal-component analyses, factor analyses, Pearson r correlation analyses, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and the Scheffé post-hoc test. Monolinguals reported using compensation strategies most, followed by cognitive, metacognitive, memory, social/practical practice, and affective strategies. Bilinguals preferred to use cognitive strategies most, followed by metacognitive and affective, compensation, memory, social, and independent practice strategies. Students from both groups reported low use of social and memory strategies. Despite a less favorable formal English education environment in the Korean-Chinese community and fewer English learning experiences, bilingual Korean-Chinese reported higher use of learning strategies, which indicates bilinguals' superior language learning abilities. Students from both groups had strong instrumental motivation for learning English. Bilinguals held stronger beliefs about the importance of formal ...
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The Beliefs and Expectations of Effective Secondary Choral Teachers in Culturally Diverse Schools

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

Date: May 2013
Creator: Spradley, Mackie V.
Description: Through the years, educational theorists and researchers have been interested in a possible relationship between teachers' effectiveness and their beliefs and expectations. Three concepts underpinned this work: teacher effectiveness, cultural diversity, and teachers' beliefs and expectations. The premise of the study was that the beliefs and expectations of effective secondary choral teachers are related to the social-cultural contexts in which they teach. The study implemented critical discourse analysis as the theoretical framework and the in-depth phenomenological long interview for data collection. Three secondary choral teachers were selected to participate in the study based on the researcher's criteria. The study revealed how each teacher conceptualized student cultural diversity during the teaching experience. Teacher beliefs about effective teaching in culturally diverse settings were described as developing over time in phases along a continuum. The study also confirmed that teachers' beliefs about students can be changed through experiences and reflection. The study revealed effective teachers focused on three different types of expectations in the teaching and learning context and affirmed diverse cultural identities and backgrounds. Recommendations included the development of stronger mentorship programs to increase effective teaching strategies for the secondary choral classroom. The findings of this study support my previous work, which ...
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Better Teaching Model?  Middle School Science Classroom Using the 4MAT Instructional Strategy vs. Lessons Created Without this Model

Better Teaching Model? Middle School Science Classroom Using the 4MAT Instructional Strategy vs. Lessons Created Without this Model

Date: August 2002
Creator: Delaney, Alice
Description: The problem investigated was the need for effective and efficient learning for middle school science students to meet expectations set in Goals 2000. The use of the 4MAT Instructional Method was investigated as a possible method for attainment of current science standards. The study included one middle school science instructor's classes with 89 participating students. Measurements were taken and comparisons drawn using three assessment methods to determine if improved academic achievement and attitude scores resulted. Data analysis yielded no significant conclusion in either academic achievement or attitude improvement; however, observations of the researcher indicated potential usefulness of the 4MAT approach. The t-value calculated in the assessment methods was insufficient with a .05 probability of error present in the findings. The limitations of the study skewed the results and outweighed the possible observational insight.
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Career Paths to the Texas Public School Superintendency

Career Paths to the Texas Public School Superintendency

Date: December 2005
Creator: Farmer, Tod Allen
Description: This study focused on the identification of career paths that led to the Texas public school superintendency, including an examination of career path differences associated with gender, ethnicity, and district type, and on the identification of the career path positions superintendents perceived as being the most beneficial in preparing them for the superintendency. Additionally, the study examined place-bound versus career-bound superintendents. The most common career path to the Texas public school superintendency was secondary teacher, secondary principal, and superintendent. Female administrators and administrators who worked in large districts were more likely to take the director route to the superintendency. Additionally, most major urban superintendents took the director route to the superintendency. Ethnicity was not a significant factor in determining the career path to the superintendency. A significant correlation did exist between educational attainment and the secondary teacher, secondary assistant principal, secondary principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent career path. A higher representation of superintendent respondents who held earned doctorates existed in that career path than in any of the other career path groups. While educational attainment was important in higher paying districts, most Texas superintendents did not hold doctorates. Few held doctorates from the most prestigious, nationally recognized universities.
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A Case Study of Parental Behaviors in an English Language Learner Community Technology Literacy Lab Setting and the Extension of the Behaviors in the Home

A Case Study of Parental Behaviors in an English Language Learner Community Technology Literacy Lab Setting and the Extension of the Behaviors in the Home

Date: August 2003
Creator: Preston, Jenny L.
Description: The purpose of the study was to describe a family literacy program attempting to teach adult English language learners (ELL) the knowledge and skills that would allow them to support their children's learning at home. The methodology employed was a multi-case study. Fourteen adult participants were interviewed to gather information regarding the factors that influenced the adult participant's ability to support their child's learning prior to participation in the family literacy program. The study focused on the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the literacy program and used to support their child's learning at home and the curriculum and instruction that the participants used to influence their child's learning. The methodology used to gather information included adult English language learner interviews, field observations, and contact analysis of lesson plans. The following conclusions were derived based on analysis of the data: 1. In the family literacy program that was studied, the only prior factor that appeared to influence the parent's ability to support their child's learning was the education level of the participant. 2. Pronunciation, conversation, listening, grammar and writing are are essential skills that ELL parents use to support their child's learning. Attitudes were directly affected by the participants' ability ...
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A Case Study of the Impact of the Middle School Data Coach on Teacher Use of Educational Test Data to Change Instruction

A Case Study of the Impact of the Middle School Data Coach on Teacher Use of Educational Test Data to Change Instruction

Date: December 2010
Creator: Hill, Rachelle Phelps
Description: With the advent of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation in 2002 and its attendant increases in accountability pressure, many districts and schools currently embrace data analysis as an essential part of the instructional decision making process. In their attempts to overcome low achievement on state-mandated tests, some districts have begun employing data coaches. The study reported here, which was set in three middle schools in a northeast Texas school district, assessed the influence of the campus data coach on a middle school mathematics teachers' use of analyzed data to make instructional decisions. It also examined the extent to which the Data Coach/teacher relationship resolved teacher concerns about data-driven decision making. Phenomenological interviews with data coaches were guided by Seidman's (2006) three-series interview. Measurement of teacher use of data to make decisions was based on the concerns-based adoption model's levels of use interview protocol, stages of concern questionnaire, and innovation configuration map. By the end of one school year, two out of the three teachers never used data to make instructional decisions, although the non-users both had moved closer toward employing the innovation in their classroom. Data indicated all teachers were aware of the innovation, but all three ended the ...
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Character education programs and student suspension rates from school: Do character education programs decrease student suspensions from regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas?

Character education programs and student suspension rates from school: Do character education programs decrease student suspensions from regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas?

Date: May 2005
Creator: Grinage, Adam L.
Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if character education programs impact the suspension rates of students from regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas. The data was also examined to determine if the number of years since a school's implementation of a character education program has an impact on the effectiveness of the programs as measured by the suspension rates of students from school. Finally, the study sought to determine if the socio-economic status of the schools has an impact on the effectiveness of character education programs as measured by the student suspension rates. A random sample of 135 regular instructional public elementary schools in Texas was collected. The principal of each school completed a questionnaire that was used to sort schools into three groups: schools with "direct" character education programs, schools with "indirect" character education programs, and schools that have implemented no type of character education program. A two-year history of suspensions was obtained for each school. The data was analyzed using one-way and two-way ANOVAs. The results of the analyses indicated that the implementation of character education programs, no matter what type, did not produce statistically significant differences in student suspension rates from school. Furthermore, the ...
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The Characteristics of a Community of Practice in a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute

The Characteristics of a Community of Practice in a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute

Date: May 2010
Creator: Pearce, Terisa Ronette
Description: This qualitative naturalistic descriptive case study provides an understanding of the characteristics of a community of practice within a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. This study utilized naturalistic, descriptive case study methodology to answer the research question: What characteristics of a community of practice are revealed by the perceptions and experiences of the fellows of a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute? Data were gathered in the form of interviews, focus group, observations, field notes, and participant reflective pieces. Peer debriefing, triangulation, thick rich description, as well as member checking served to establish credibility and trustworthiness in the study. Bracketing, a phenomenological process of reflecting on one's own experiences of the phenomenon under investigation was utilized as well. The findings of this study point to five analytic themes. These themes, ownership and autonomy, asset-based environment, relationships, socially constructed knowledge and practices, and experiential learning, intertwine to illuminate the three essential components which must be present for a community of practice to exist: joint enterprise, mutual engagement, and shared repertoire. Participants' portraits provide a description of their unique experiences as they moved fluidly between the periphery and core of the community of practice.
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Characteristics of successful Texas schools which predict components of an adequate education.

Characteristics of successful Texas schools which predict components of an adequate education.

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Ryan, Robin S.
Description: The purpose of this study was to identify high performing school districts in Texas and to determine if there are different characteristics leading to the provision of an adequate education in high performing districts as compared to low performing districts. It specifically sought to determine which characteristics contributed most to an adequate education and used data from the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) which chronicled scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). The population for this study consisted of all 2001-2002 Texas public school districts with the exception of charter schools, special-purpose statutory districts, and state-administered districts, which resulted in using data from 1027 Texas school districts. Descriptive discriminant analysis was chosen as the method for statistical analysis. Data were obtained from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Adequate and inadequate districts were analyzed according to eight variables. They were (1) taxable value per pupil, (2) the percentage of special education students, (3) the percentage of students coded as bilingual and ESL, (4) pupil-teacher ratio, (5) the size of the district, (6) the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in the district, (7) the district community type, such as rural or suburban, and (8) the total operating expenditures per ...
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