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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Teacher Education and Administration
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
School Consolidation Impact on State and Local Revenues and Expenditures in Texas
This study examined financial aspects of the consolidation or annexation of 12 pairs of school districts in Texas during the period 1996-2006. Nine of the twelve districts consolidated by mutual agreement of the two school boards and three annexations were by order of the Commissioner of Education of Texas. Financial criteria studied were: a) per pupil expenditures, b) total state aid, c) transportation costs, d) administrative costs, e) school district "wealth" status, and f) facilities assets/liabilities. Each of the initial 24 independent school districts' criteria were collected for two years prior to consolidation and the 12 newly formed consolidated districts criteria were collected for the two years following consolidation. After consolidation, ten of the twelve districts had fewer than 1,000 students. Of the other two districts, one district had approximately 3,000 students and one large district had over 150,000 students. Some districts experienced increases in local expenditures relative to transportation, administrative costs and total expenditures while other districts decreased costs over time. Twelve non-consolidated districts with similar characteristics of the twelve consolidated districts were reviewed with the non-consolidated districts exhibiting increase and decrease fluctuations seen in the consolidated school districts. These findings suggested that each of the issues studied in public school finance need to be examined with more specific criteria in order to ascertain cause and effect relationships with regard to school consolidation financial impact on state and local revenues and expenditures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68048/
The School-Family-Community Partnership: A Superintendent's Perspective
The purpose of this study was to describe, from a superintendent's perspective, the current status of school-family-community partnerships in North Texas school districts. A secondary purpose of this study was to allow the superintendents to express themselves in an open-ended format regarding factors that encourage and limit the development of these partnerships, as well as their three-year goals for creating successful partnerships in their districts. A review of the literature revealed that very limited research exists regarding the relationship between the school superintendent and the school-family-community partnership. This literature review focused on research related to the school-family-community partnership including its place in federal legislation, and a historical and current perspective of the school superintendency. The target population for this study included 156 superintendents from the two educational service centers that make up the Dallas/Fort-Worth Metroplex. This research study employed an online survey research methodology. The instrument used in this study was the Measure of School, Family, and Community Partnerships by Dr. Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University. Participants were asked to respond to fifty-two items placed in the six categories that represent Dr. Epstein's six types of involvement. Superintendents were also asked to respond to open-ended questions regarding what they perceive to be major factors that contribute to and limit the success of their school districts' school-family-community partnership efforts and what their primary goals were for improving these partnerships over the next three years. An analysis of district size in relation to superintendent perceptions of their district's school-family-partnership practices yielded no significant partnership practices. An analysis of district accountability ratings in relation to superintendent perceptions of their district's school-family-partnership practices yielded seven significant partnership practices. Finally, an analysis of superintendent experience yielded four significant superintendent partnership practices. The major factors superintendents perceive as not only contributing to, but limiting the success of their partnership programs revolved around parent involvement. The primary three-year goal that superintendent's reported for improving their district partnership programs overwhelmingly involved enhancing parent involvement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5492/
The school reform movement and high stakes standardized testing: An analysis of factors impacting the academic outcomes of students receiving special education services.
The purpose of this study was to investigate special education outcomes in relation to state standardized testing. It specifically sought to determine if a relationship existed between selected data from the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) comparing district students receiving special education services TAAS scores with selected district demographic, fiscal, and special education data. The population for this study consisted of all 2001-2002 grades 3-8 and 10 public school students with the exception of charter schools, special-purpose statutory districts, and state-administered districts. The reading analysis incorporated data from 896 Texas school districts. The mathematics analysis used data from 914 school districts. Multiple linear hierarchical regression was chosen as the method for statistical analysis. Data was obtained from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as a special data pull. For both the reading and mathematics analyses, wealth and ethnicity were statistically insignificant although ethnicity individually accounted for a large percentage of the variance for both the reading (20.3%) and mathematics (13.2%) scores as well as producing negative β weights. All other predictor variables produced varying degrees of statistical significance. Community type, socioeconomic status, instructional expenditures per students, and instructional expenditures per student receiving special education services also produced negative β weights. Two variables in this study, enrollment and the percentage of students receiving special education services tested, produced positive β weights, substantial squared structure coefficients, and positive Pearson correlation coefficients. Of these two predictors, the strongest overall positive predictor for students receiving special education services success on the grades 3-8 and 10 reading and mathematics TAAS exams was the percentage of students receiving special education services tested. These percentages produced the largest positive correlations with passing rates (reading r = .283, mathematics r = .219) and the second largest regression coefficients (reading β = .224, mathematics β = .202). They individually accounted for the largest percentage of total criterion variance (reading = 33.0%, mathematics = 22.6%). For this study, these results clearly suggested that the dominant positive predictor of testing success for students receiving special education services was the percentage of students receiving special education services tested. Conversely, socioeconomic status was the dominant negative predictor. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4750/
School Resource Allocation in Texas Public Schools: Study of High-Poverty, High Performing Schools and High-Poverty, Low Performing Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between resource allocation practices in specific categorical functions and student performance in reading and math. This study utilized quantitative research methods to study the effects of spending and performance over four years of analysis. Quantitative data was acquired utilizing information from the Texas Education Agency. The data was collected from 81 campuses and represented over 1,500 students. The study's outcomes reported that little or no correlation could be found between inputs (dollars spent in three categories) and outputs (student results in reading and math). However, subgroup analysis revealed that students from non- low socioeconomic (SES) households started out higher than their low SES counterparts, and low SES students performed worse over time in both reading and math. Math results decreased more dramatically than reading indicating a need for school-level training in data analysis to ensure that limited dollars are spent appropriately. The study recommends that principals and school administrators be especially knowledgeable in critical data analysis skills. The study further recommends that state policy-makers invest more heavily in early math instruction. In addition, the current study found that student achievement, in low-SES students, especially in mathematics is very alarming. Low SES students are starting out behind the non low-SES counterparts and perform progressively worse over time. State policy makers must address these concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9927/
Searching for hidden treasure: The identification of under-represented gifted and talented students.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of staff development on the nomination and identification of culturally diverse and/or economically disadvantaged students for gifted programs. Teachers kindergarten through fifth grade from ten districts (N = 100) received 30 hours of staff development in gifted education. The experimental group (n = 50) received a specialized version of the training. The control group (n = 50) received the standard training provided by the Education Service Center. Teachers in the experimental group completed three Stages of Concern questionnaires at the beginning and end of the training and in the fall. Two Levels of Use interviews were also conducted, one in the fall and one in the spring. Innovation configurations were developed utilizing interview results. A repeated measures analysis of variance was conducted to determine differences in concerns of teachers over time. The results revealed growth, however, not of a significant level. A paired-samples t-test was conducted to determine differences in levels of use of the instructional strategies presented in the training. Again, results revealed growth in classroom application of strategies; however, the amount of growth was not significant. A paired-samples t-test was conducted on the components of the innovation configurations. Differentiated instruction was not significantly different, however, grouping strategies and student products showed significant growth in classroom application. Student nomination and identification data were analyzed across six ethnicities: White not economically disadvantaged, White economically disadvantaged, Hispanic not economically disadvantaged, Hispanic economically disadvantaged, African American not economically disadvantaged, and African American economically disadvantaged. Chi-square analyses determined statistical significance in nominations of Hispanic economically disadvantaged and African American not economically disadvantaged. Significant differences in placement of students occurred in White economically disadvantaged and Hispanic economically disadvantaged groups. No Hispanic not economically disadvantaged students met placement criteria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9020/
Secondary Teachers’ Concerns about Response to Intervention: Using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model
This case study addressed the problem of implementing response to intervention (RTI) in general secondary education. To investigate this problem, one north Texas school's RTI implementation was examined using the theoretical framework of the concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) and defining RTI as the innovation. RTI-related practices were studied for 10 secondary teachers, two from each core subject (i.e., mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies) and the fine arts who had been implementing RTI for several years. Data regarding participants' stages of concern about and levels of use of RTI were collected across three time intervals using the three diagnostic instruments of CBAM (i.e., Stages of Concern Questionnaire, Levels of Use interviews, and Innovation Configuration Checklist matrix), behavioral observations during instruction and RTI meetings, and structured exit interviews of participants. Overall, findings indicated that the secondary teachers were at similar stages of concern and levels of use of RTI. Teachers' RTI concerns scores remained highest in the Self phase and lowest in the Impact phase of concern at all three intervals of data collection. As levels of RTI use increased, observed RTI use increased; however, teachers' RTI levels of use scores remained in the early levels of RTI implementation at all three intervals of data collection. Patterns in teachers' responses during exit interviews suggested that contextual factors unique to this setting (e.g., unexpected changes in RTI protocol, priorities of administrative personnel, and demands placed on teachers) may have influenced teachers' concerns about the teacher's role in, the professional development in, and the sustainability of RTI as an innovation. The literature does not currently address secondary teachers' concerns about and levels of use of RTI in relation to CBAM. Therefore, this study not only fills a gap in literature but also has implications for how teachers are trained and supported in implementing and sustaining the practices of consultation and differentiated instruction associated with RTI. This case study provided insight about the importance and value of teachers' participation and knowledge of RTI to facilitate the change process successfully. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271832/
A select study of Texas Principal Preparation Programs and their Relationship to Adult Learning and the Professional Leadership Responsibilities of their Graduates
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between principal preparation programs in Texas and professional leadership practices and responsibilities based on Mid-continent Research for Educational and Learning's (McREL) 21 leadership responsibilities. The study also examined the relationship between Texas principal preparation programs and Knowles's principles of adult learning. Through an online survey, the study solicited practicing principals' perceptions as to whether McREL's 21 leadership responsibilities and Knowles's principles of adult learning were included in their principal preparation programs. Quantitative findings indicated there were no significant differences between principals' perceptions of their principal preparation programs and the university/certification program in which they obtained their principal certification. Additionally, there were no significant differences between principals' perceptions of their programs and the year their principal certification was completed. There were also no significant differences between principals' perceptions of their programs and the geographic location of the school district in which they were presently employed. However, the study found there were significant differences in two areas of leadership responsibilities when comparisons were generated between principals who were fully certified before assuming the role of principal and those who were not fully certified: 1) ideas/beliefs and 2) optimizer. Principals who had not completed their certification program scored the two areas higher than those who had. The study also utilized qualitative methodology through in-depth interviews with principal program coordinators and practicing principals. Program coordinators and principals revealed leadership responsibilities of "communication," "culture," and "visibility" as areas of emphasis and importance in their programs. The need for more emphasis in the area of "discipline" was communicated mutually by program coordinators and principals. Principals stated areas of "knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment" and "resources" as leadership responsibilities needing more emphasis. Both program coordinators and principals concurred principal preparation programs should have more emphasis and importance placed upon Knowles's principles of adult learning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33205/
Sheltered Instruction: A Case Study of Three High School English Teachers' Experiences with the SIOP Model
The purpose of this study was to determine the current status of secondary teachers' implementation of the sheltered instruction operational protocol (SIOP) model and its effect on Hispanic English language learners' (ELL) English language proficiency and academic achievement. In addition, this study sought to determine whether teachers perceive the SIOP model as an effective tool for instruction of high school ELL students to increase English language content and English language proficiency. This study employed qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Data were collected from four sources: Hispanic ELLs' English language proficiency scores, students' English Language Arts scores, an oral interview with participating teachers and teacher observations. Each teacher was observed at four points during the school year with the SIOP instrument. Quantitative data on student achievement were collected employing a pre-experimental, one-group pretest-post-test design. Qualitative data were collected using a time-series design. Findings revealed that on the two student assessment measures there were increases in English proficiency and English language arts achievement among the Hispanic ELLs. On the assessment of English language proficiency, the students of the teacher with the highest level of SIOP implementation made the highest gains; the students of the teacher with the second highest SIOP implementation level made the second highest gains; and students of the teacher with the lowest level of SIOP implementation made the smallest gains. These findings suggest that the higher the level of SIOP implementation, the greater the student academic achievement gains. The gains in academic achievement attributed to the proper implementation of the SIOP model can have an extensive impact on English language learners who have not previously experienced academic success. Teacher participants perceived the SIOP model as effective for delivery of content through sheltered instruction lessons for high school ELLs. The teachers agreed that the SIOP model's components provided a consistent structure for planning and delivery of their sheltered lessons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67959/
The significance of supportive structure in improving student achievement in knowledge of the history of the Christian church in a Kenyan Bible college.
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The problem of this study was to determine whether Kenyan Bible college students who receive instruction using a modified (highly structured) mastery learning model will demonstrate greater achievement in knowledge of Christian Church history as compared to Kenyan Bible college students who receive instruction using a traditional (minimally structured) non-mastery learning model. The subjects were 17 second-year Kenyan Bible college students enrolled in a course on Christian Church history, and they were randomly assigned to the two treatment conditions. The researcher served as instructor for both groups. The experimental group used a textbook, detailed syllabus, 200 page study guide (featuring an advance organizer to provide an ideational scaffolding), and a lesson-development feature (providing an enabling objective, congruent questions, and informative feedback for each lesson segment). The control group used a textbook and a less-detailed syllabus. Both groups shared the same classroom lectures, class discussions, required assignments, examinations, and review of examination items. Five tests of Christian church history were administered, including a pretest, three unit tests, and a comprehensive course examination. Test data were analyzed using a 2 x 5 (treatment x testing occasion) repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA). The percentage of students performing at mastery level (80% correct) on each test was also calculated. Results indicated that, from the second unit test to the comprehensive examination, the modified mastery learning group achieved slightly but consistently higher mean percentage correct scores than the traditional group, but there was no significant main effect for treatment. In contrast, the main effect for testing occasion did reach statistical significance. Across the five test occasions, 8% to 51% more students in the modified mastery learning group attained mastery level as compared to the traditional learning group. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4464/
Social and Economic Characteristics Related to the Immediate College Transition of Recent High School Graduates: A Study of Southwest Region TRIO Participants' College Continuation
The purpose of this study was to determine whether: 1) Southwest Region TRIO high school students between the years 1991 - 2001 continued to college immediately after high school at rates significantly different than similar population students on national and state levels; and 2) immediate college continuation for this group was a function of social and economic characteristics including race, gender, parental education, and home-care environment. The sample included 414 TRIO program participants from Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Data on the 414 participants were gathered using an existing database containing demographic and post-secondary enrollment information on study participants. The findings of this study reveal Southwest Region TRIO students during this ten-year period continued to college immediately after high school at rates not significantly different than the national low-income population of students. Results indicate that when compared to all students in the five-state southwest region, the majority low-income, first-generation TRIO population continued to college at rates not significantly different than all-income students in the region. Findings of this study also revealed select social and economic characteristics were not predictors of immediate college continuation for this group. Finally, the study showed out-of-home care environment students continued to college at significantly higher rates than in-home care Southwest Region TRIO students. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3353/
Social Networking, Workplace, and Entertainment Literacies: the Out-of-school Literate Lives of Newcomer Latina/o Adolescents
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Studies indicate that Latina/o immigrant youth engage in a wide range of sophisticated literacy practices outside of school that are often transnational, crossing various linguistic, cultural, and social spaces. Technology has further afforded immigrant youth the opportunity to develop transnational capabilities which are rare in the mainstream population, yet needed in the 21st century of global connectedness. However, Latino immigrant youth drop out of school at disproportional rates, suggesting that their literacy practices are not recognized or valued by the educational system. Using a New Literacy Studies perspective that recognizes multiple literacies that are meaningful within their sociocultural traditions, this collective case study investigated the range, form, and purpose of the out-of-school literacies of four Latina/o adolescent English Learners who are new arrivals. The qualitative methodology employed constructivist interviews, digital and actual artifacts, and observations. Findings demonstrated that the most prevalent out-of-school literacies the participants practice take place on the social networking site of Facebook, in their workplaces, and through the entertainment media sources of music and television. A cross-case analysis suggests that the literacy practices in these spaces have unique and purposeful roles for the individuals that allow them to connect to their home countries and maintain their Latina/o identities. Additionally, the participants use their out-of-school literacy practices to acquire English, support themselves, and establish a place to succeed. The five aforementioned spaces that their Facebook, workplace, and entertainment literacy practices fill are virtually absent from their in-school literacies. This study suggests literacy pedagogy and research must not continue to impose a narrow monolingual, monocultural, monoliterate, and monomodal view of Latina/o immigrant students which essentially divests them of their greatest resources. Their literacy practices demonstrate that they are transnational, transcultural, emergent bilinguals who competently engage in multimodal means of communication across multiple linguistic, cultural, social, and geographic borders. Educators must reconceptualize school-based literacy to account for the ways immigrant youth make meaning outside of school to provide them a more equitable education that will nurture their transnational skills needed in modern society. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149668/
Social skills use of adolescents with learning disabilities: An application of Bandura's theory of reciprocal interaction.
This was a mixed methods study designed to investigate the social skills use of adolescents with learning disabilities through an application of Albert Bandura's theory of reciprocal interaction. Data were collected through ranking surveys, observations, interviews, and school records. Three questions were investigated. The first question was to determine whether the language deficits of LD students contributed to their general decreased social competency. Through data from the Social Skills Rating System, the seventh grade participants were considered socially competent to some degree by self report, their teachers, and their parents. Factor analysis revealed students were the best predictors of their social skills use from all data sources. In ranking participants' social skills use, students and teachers were more strongly correlated than were students and parents, or teachers and parents. No relationship of any strength existed between the participants' cognitive ability and their social competence. A use of Bandura's determinants indicated that a relationship existed between some subtypes of learning disabilities and some types of social skills misuse. The participants diagnosed with reading disability, auditory processing disability, receptive/expressive language disability, or nonverbal learning disability all made the majority of their observed social skills errors in the environmental determinant of Bandura's triad of reciprocal interaction. The participants in the four subtypes experienced their information processing deficits in attending to environmental stimuli, or in attending to inappropriate environmental stimuli. The area of the subtype of information processing deficit aligned with the determinant in which the participants in that subtype's social errors were experienced. Bandura's triad of cognition, environment, and behavior was not equilateral because the balance did not exist between the three determinants in participants with learning disabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5291/
Staff Development Methods for Planning Lessons with Integrated Technology
This study compared cooperative and individual staff development methods for planning lessons with integrated technology. Twenty-three teachers from one elementary school participated in the study. The sample was the entire population. Nine participants were assigned to the control group, and fourteen participants were assigned to the experimental group. Names of participants were randomly drawn to determine group assignment. Participants in the control group worked individually in all three staff development sessions, while participants in the experimental group chose a partner, with whom they worked cooperatively in all three staff development sessions. Each participant or pair of participants submitted a lesson plan prior to participation in three staff development sessions. Following the sessions, each participant or pair of participants submitted a lesson plan. Three independent raters rated lesson plans to determine the participants' respective levels on the Level of Technology Implementation Observation Checklist (Moersch, 2001). The ratings of the lesson plans submitted before the training were compared to those collected after the training using a two-by-two mixed model ANOVA. The occasion (pre- vs. post-test), group, and interaction variables were all statistically significant at the .1 level; however, only the occasion variable had a strong effect size. These data suggest that (1) all teachers who participated in the training, whether individually or cooperatively, were able to develop lesson plans at a higher level of technology implementation and (2) cooperative staff development methods had no advantage over individual staff development methods with respect to teachers' ability to write lessons with integrated technology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3343/
Struggling Middle School Readers Learning To Make Intertextual Connections With Texts
When people read, they often make connections to their lives, the world, and other texts. Often, these connections are not overt, but are a thinking process invisible to observers. The purpose of this study was to explore the intertextual connections struggling middle school students made as they read multiple topically-related texts to build knowledge, through observation of discussions, surveys, and interviews with students. The students received 30 lessons based on the constructivist model of comprehension. Data sources included observations during the delivery of these interactive lessons and surveys regarding their connections, their use of the connection strategies in content area classes, and their knowledge of the topic. The observations and surveys were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Information rich cases were developed from these data, as well as from interviews with selected students. Although the students were considered struggling readers, they did not respond to the instruction as stereotypical struggling readers. They were engaged, and they led discussions and shared connections with the class. The students demonstrated they learned to make connections and more text-to-text or intertextual connections overall. The students made connections when interested in the topic and had opportunities to discuss the texts. Finally, the students sometimes made connections in content area classes with opportunity in those classes. The study has implications for theory, future research, and practice of teachers and library media specialists. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103338/
Students' and teachers' perceptions of culturally responsive teaching: A case study of an urban middle school.
This was a qualitative study that used the procedures of case study design while incorporating ethnographic techniques of interviewing and non-participant observation in classrooms with six selected students, six teachers, and eight interviews of selected administrators and staff members in one middle school in a large Texas urban school district. The purpose of this study was to understand the educational experiences and perceptions of selected immigrant students and their mainstream teachers. Following the method of case study design, the educational experiences of English Language Learner (ELL) students were examined in the naturally occurring context of the school and the classroom. Because the goal of case studies is to understand a given phenomenon from the perceptions of the participants (referred to as “emic” perspective) all participants were interviewed in-depth in order to understand their unique perceptions. The study took place during a five-month period in the spring of 2002. Data were analyzed concurrently during data collection and were framed by Geneva Gay's (2000) characteristics of culturally responsive teaching. The findings and interpretation of data are divided into three parts that encompass the results of the five research questions that guided this study. Part one presents the teachers' perceptions and addresses the themes that arose from research questions one and two: what are teachers' perceptions of the academic problems facing (ELL) students as they enter the mainstream classroom? What instructional practices do regular teachers use to meet the academic needs of students? Part two presents the students' perceptions and addresses the findings from research questions three and four: what are (ELL) students' perceptions of the academic challenges facing them in the mainstream classroom? What are the ELL students' perceptions of the instructional practices used by mainstream teachers to meet their academic needs? Part three addresses the fifth research question that guided this study: What administrative policies and procedures are in place in the school and district to meet the educational needs of ELL students? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3351/
Students As Historians: The Historical Narrative Inquiry Model's Impact on Historical Thinking and Historical Empathy
The dissertation explores middle-school students' abilities to engage in historical thinking. I dispute the Hallam-Piaget model, which discourages analytical thinking through the assumption that children lack skills to think critically about history. My historical narrative inquiry model (1) teaches procedural knowledge (the process of "doing" history); (2) enhances interpretative skills; (3) cultivates historical perspectives based upon evidentiary history; and (4) encourages student authorship of historical narratives. In the fall semester of 2006, with a classroom of twenty-five seventh-graders, I initiated a research study designed to explore the impact of the historical narrative inquiry model through a sequence of thirty-two lessons. The lessons involved small- and large-group activities, including oral presentations, discussions about primary documents, and consideration of the relation between narratology and the creation of written history. Students generated their own historical narratives in order to articulate their perspectives. Eight students having varied reading-level proficiency served as primary participants in the study. Each of these students received pre- and post-intervention interviews. Outcomes reflected the enhancement of pedagogy intended to facilitate historical thinking and historical empathy in the classroom. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5192/
A study of block scheduling and instructional strategies and their influence on algebra achievement in classrooms throughout north central Texas
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of block scheduling and instructional strategies on student achievement in Algebra I. The study was conducted during the 1997-98 school year. This study was comprised of two components, a quantitative study and a qualitative study. The quantitative study focused on block and traditional scheduling and the influence identified through scores on the Texas End-of-Course exam for Algebra I. The sample for this study consisted of 59 school districts from five counties in the north Texas area. The qualitative portion of this study focused on 10 classrooms, 5 block and 5 traditional, taken from the sample of 59 districts. Data for the qualitative study included questionnaires, interviews, and observations. The End-of-Course scores were analyzed using an ANOVA at the .05 level of significance, no significant difference was identified in the achievement levels of the two groups. The qualitative data was organized by categories derived from the NCTM teaching standards. Data from this portion of the study indicated that teachers in both block and traditionally scheduled classes spend their class time in a similar manner, using similar materials, and using more traditional strategies. Additional analyses of data based upon usage of the graphing calculator and manipulatives also resulted in no significant difference. Although all comparisons between block and traditional scheduling and usage or non-usage of technology and/or manipulatives resulted in no significant difference, the block groups and those using technology and/or manipulatives had higher mean scores. This indicates that allowing teachers more time to use alternative instructional strategies would benefit the student, but this will not take place without the teacher receiving training and support. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2220/
A study of computer technology use and technology leadership of Texas elementary public school principals.
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The purpose of this study was to determine Texas elementary principals' level of computer technology use and their leadership in technology integration activities as defined by the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS*A). Additionally the study addressed technology implementation as an innovation and used the literature concerning change and innovation models to identify organizational and personal factors that might affect the level of technology use and the leadership behaviors. Survey data retrieved from 216 Texas elementary public school principals led to the formation of the following conclusions. The elementary principals involved this study reported high level computer technology use, especially with the computer tools involving communication. Principals also reported high level leadership performance to the NETS*A standards. Multiple analyses of variance (MANOVA) revealed no significant difference in mean scores between the dependent variables of computer use or leadership performance to the NETS*A standards and the independent variables including the organizational factors of school location, district spending per student, campus minority status, and campus Title I status. A regression analysis revealed a statistically significant positive relationship between principals' computer technology use and personal variables of training and perceived risk-benefit. Another regression analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between principals' technology leadership performance to the NETS*A standards and personal variables of training, perceived risk-benefit and perceived pressure to implement technology. Multiple regression analyses revealed no correlation between the dependent variables of technology use and technology leadership. A correlation analysis revealed a weak correlation between the two dependent variables with less than 4% of the variance explained by that relationship. There is a need for continuing research examining possible relationships between principals' technology use, their technology leadership behaviors, and the degree of technology integration in their schools. The findings from this study could be used by principal preparation programs to focus on technology integration training and personal factors that may affect principals' technology leadership behavior and technology use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5589/
A Study of Factors Related to Teacher Retention
Teacher attrition is a problem with a number of implications, not the least of which is the teacher shortage. Almost half of all new teachers leave the profession within the first five years, creating a difficult model where more teachers leave the teaching profession compared to teachers entering the profession. Part of the problem is a result of career progression. However, most of teacher attrition is a result of factors such as inadequate pay, administrative support, workplace conditions, student related issues, and collegiality with peers. Without a thorough understanding of the factors that contribute to teacher attrition it is impossible to create an environment where "No Child is Left Behind". Although teachers do not enter the profession with the notion of getting rich, they do need to make enough money to support themselves and their families. Furthermore, professional status in America is closely tied to socioeconomic status. Therefore, while salary may be the largest component of teacher attrition, school and district characteristics, teacher qualifications, and demographics also affect a teacher's decision to leave the profession. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4406/
A study of the effects of Everyday Mathematics on student achievement of third-, fourth, and fifth-grade students in a large North Texas Urban School District
Data were examined in this study from student records in a large North Texas urban school district who were taught with two different mathematics curricula to determine whether or not they had different effects on student achievement. One of the mathematics curricula, Everyday Mathematics, was developed upon national mathematic standards, written by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The other mathematics curriculum was district-approved, using a textbook from a large publisher, with a more traditional approach. The students selected for the experimental group came from six schools that had implemented the Everyday Mathematics curriculum for the 1998-99 school year. An experimental group was formed from these students. Twelve schools with similar socioeconomic ratios, ethnic makeup and 1998 Iowa Test of Basic Skills mathematic score profiles were selected. A control group was formed from this population of students that was similar to the experimental group with the exception of having been taught using the district-approved mathematics curriculum. These two groups were very similar in socioeconomic, ethnic, gender, and grade level makeup. Most importantly, the experimental group and control group were almost identical (there was no statistically significant difference) in their 1998 Iowa Test of Basic Skills mathematics scores, a gauge used to demonstrate that prior mathematics ability was equal going into the 1998-99 school year. In the statistical analysis, almost all comparisons showed that the experimental group taught with the Everyday Mathematics curriculum had higher scores on the 1999 Texas Assessment of Academic Skills mathematics test. When compared to children with similar mathematics ability at the beginning of the 1998-99 school year, the students in this study who were taught using Everyday Mathematics showed greater achievement gains than students in classes that used the district-approved curriculum. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2593/
A Study Of The Effects Of High School Scheduling Systems On Achievement Rates, Attendance Rates, And Dropout Rates
This study attempted to determine if the type of class schedule (traditional, A/B block, or accelerated block) used in Texas public high schools significantly affects students' achievement results, attendance rates and dropout rates. One thousand four hundred ninety (1490) Texas high school principals were surveyed to determine the type of schedule currently in use on each campus, the type of schedule previously used on each campus, the length of time the current schedule has been in place on each campus, and the length of time that the previous schedule was used on each campus. This study is particularly significant in that this research provides information to assist principals in determining if block scheduling is instrumental in improving achievement in reading and mathematics, in improving attendance and in lowering dropout rates. The results of the study indicated that the use of a particular type of schedule: traditional, A/B block, or accelerated block is not directly correlated to improved achievement, attendance, or dropout rates. An expectation that the implementation of a traditional, A/B block, or accelerated block schedule will be the sole factor to cause improved student achievement, improved attendance rates or improved dropout rates is inappropriate. Ultimately, campus and districts officials must assure that effective teaching practices are occurring on each campus, regardless of the schedule type. Currently, a projected (Texas) state education funding shortfall is causing school district administrators to review cost-saving options for the 2003 - 2004 fiscal year. There is discussion in many districts regarding the fact that traditional scheduling is more economical than A/B block or accelerated block scheduling. The results of this study indicate that the decision to move campuses from A/B block or accelerated block to traditional scheduling might be made as a cost-saving move without negatively impacting student achievement, attendance rates or dropout rates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4202/
A study of the relationships between personality as indicated by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and leadership strengths and weaknesses as identified by Skillscope
The purpose of this study was to improve the quality of information used in leadership assessment and development programs. The study determined the relationships between personality type, as indicated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and leadership strengths and developmental needs as measured by Skillscope. The study also determined the relationships between personality type and congruence between self-awareness of strengths and developmental needs and ratings by knowledgeable observers. The discriminate analysis of the Skillscope leadership feedback instrument compared with the selected personality types revealed that personal management was a strength for both ISTJs and ESTJs. The decision-making skill was a strength for ISTJs, and power/influence was determined to be a strength for ESTJs. The high energy/results oriented skill was determined to be a developmental need for ISTJs. There was agreement between ENTJs and other raters as they both saw interpersonal relationships as a strength for that type. INTJs underrated themselves in interpersonal relationships, and ISTJs underrated themselves in decision-making. Further study is recommended to expand the general body of knowledge of leadership development research. Of particular concern are methods to identify and explore developmental needs of leaders and how those needs can be addressed in training programs. Three hundred sixty degree feedback instruments should be further analyzed in an effort to explain the differences between raters. Of concern is the high percentage of ISTJ types, which reveals a need to expand research to include significant numbers of other personality types. Consideration should be given to studies that identify the unique contributions of gender to leadership skills and development, and the impact culture has on leadership in organizations. Although statistically significant research is difficult to obtain in the behavioral sciences, the effort is worthwhile as it provides information that allows leadership development decisions to be made based on dependable data. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2808/
A study of the technology leadership of Texas high school principals.
Effectively integrating technology into school requires the presence of informed and visionary leadership. Past research on change in schools demonstrates the importance of the principal to that process. In that research it is obvious that the principal must possess more than skills and knowledge about the change, he or she must also possess leadership skills to lead the campus through the change. Despite this finding, very little research has been attempted to determine the leadership knowledge and skills of principals for technology integration. This study attempts to investigate the technology leadership of high school principals in Texas using the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS*A). In addition, this study compares technology leadership among principals who have attended the Technology Leadership Academy with those who have not attended this training. The two questions that guided this study are: (1) What are the technology leadership actions of Texas' high school principals in each of the six technology leadership standards identified by the NETS*A standard document? (2) How are the technology leadership practices of high school principals who participated in the Technology Leadership Academy sponsored by TASA and TBEC different from those who have not participated in the training? Because no existing survey measured technology leadership using the NETS*A, a 46-part survey document was created by the researcher. The survey contained multiple questions covering each of the six standards of the NETS*A and was administered online. Descriptive statistics were used to answer the first research question. A MANVOA, using the combined mean scores for questions covering each NETS*A standard as the dependent variable and the principal's participation in the Technology Leadership Academy as the independent variable, was run to provide answers to the second research question. The principals in this study scored highly in each of the six NETS*A standards. The lowest combined mean score dealt with a principal's leadership and vision for technology. Descriptive statistics showed principals exhibited the highest combined mean score in the area of support, maintenance, and operations. Furthermore, the MANOVA indicated little difference between principals who attended the Technology Leadership Academy and those who did not attend. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4484/
A study of vocabulary instruction with fourth grade students participating in an individualized reading program
he purpose of this study was to determine the effects of one approach to vocabulary instruction on the reading and writing vocabulary of fourth grade students in an individualized reading program. The vocabulary instructional approach used student-selected vocabulary words as well as instruction in vocabulary strategies such as context clues, structural analysis, and definition strategies. The twelve week study exposed one fourth grade classroom to vocabulary instruction in a Reading Workshop setting. Major components of the program were mini-lessons, which often involved vocabulary strategies, the silent reading of self-selected books, one-on-one researcher/student interactions, and the self-selection of vocabulary words. The research design is descriptive in nature and used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative data included student interviews, teacher interviews, student writing samples, and field note observations. Quantitative data included vocabulary test scores from two groups of students, Group A and Group B. Group A participated in the self-selected vocabulary approach and received vocabulary instruction from the researcher acting as participant observer. Group B received some vocabulary instruction from their classroom teacher, but did not participate in the same program. The test was constructed weekly from a class (Group A) generated list of ten words. Results from vocabulary tests indicate that the vocabulary instruction was effective in helping Group A learn vocabulary. Multiple exposures to words as well as use of vocabulary words in context influenced student performance on tests. Results from qualitative data indicate that students attend to vocabulary words in their print environment. In addition, students used vocabulary words in expressive language, including writing and speaking. The results of this study support opportunities for wide reading, implementation of a variety of vocabulary strategies, repeated exposures to vocabulary words, and opportunities for student choice of vocabulary, as ways to enhance vocabulary learning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2508/
Success Factors among Early College Entrants
This study explored how various intrapersonal, familial, and life-goal characteristics related to the academic and personal success of first semester early college entrants attending the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas. The study sought to identify which intrapersonal factors and external factors affected grades, behavioral markers, and life satisfaction during the students' first semester at TAMS. Baseline data from TAMS entrance material such as standardized achievement test scores, previous grade point averages (GPA's), advanced courses taken, and other academic activities and awards were collected. Data were also collected from the students prior to their entry to the start of TAMS related to family cohesiveness, motivation, and career goals. Data from parents were gathered prior to the start of TAMS regarding parenting styles, demographics, parents' educational levels, careers, and income levels, as well as the child's homework, extracurricular activities, and other time demands. First semester grades, a measure of life satisfaction since the program began, and behavior reports from staff members were used as outcome/success indicators. These additional data were used to examine the relationship between success and familial/interpersonal/life goal factors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9091/
Superintendent Preparation for the 21St Century
This study focused on the perceptions of six superintendents regarding the state of the profession as of 2012, and it reports their thoughts and suggestions as to what preparation is needed by superintendents for the 21st century. The participating superintendents, who were all members of the Western States Benchmarking Consortium, were employed in six school districts in five states. Data were collected through surveys and telephone interviews. The findings of this study clearly indicate a lack of cohesion between what superintendents learned in their university professional preparation programs and what they practice in their day to day activities. The superintendents involved in this study tended to favor a hybrid approach – rigorous theoretical insight grounded in real world practice. Since superintendents typically spend a good deal of their time solving challenging problems including funding shortfalls, competition from other educational institutions, and the constant scrutiny of the media; their preparation needs to provide opportunities to develop their leadership skills and solve real world problems in an environment where they can take risks. Mentoring and participation in professional consortiums were recommended as key elements for the preparation of the twenty-first century superintendent. This study contributes to the discussion of how to best prepare school leaders for the current and future demands of superintendency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149596/
Supplementing Annual School District Budgets: Partnerships, Fundraisers, Foundations, and Local Support Venues
School finance is the topic of numerous research studies; printed in newspapers and magazines, heard on the radio and television, and frequently spoken among educators throughout the nation. Anyone dealing with education is searching for methods of obtaining additional funds for projects and supplies; and even adding money directly to school districts' budgets. To better understand the importance of searching for additional funds to supplement the annual school districts' budgets, this study examines four sources for obtaining financial assistance: partnerships, fundraising, foundations, and local source venues. Participants include 10 school districts in the state of Texas having only a single high school campus; five Chapter 41 school districts and five Chapter 42 school districts. Two school districts are selected from each classification level: A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. One Chapter 41 (wealthy) district will be compared with one Chapter 42 (poor) school district within the same classification level. The five selected Chapter 41 school districts are above the equalized wealth limit of $305,000 per weighted average daily attendance. Data gathering procedures utilize a purposive case study by interviewing administrators in each of the school districts; studying Texas Education Agency's School Report Card, each school district's Actual Financial Data Report; sending a survey to a district administrator within each school district; gathering data from the directors of partners-in-education or adopt-a-school programs; reviewing financial records from booster clubs and education foundations; and studying financial audits for each of the school districts. This study looks at the dependency on outside financial assistance to further educational endeavors, whether they are for enrichment purposes or for extended educational pursuits. The study examines how each school district utilizes some combination of supplements to obtain additional funds for their annual budgets, whether the district is classified as Chapter 41 or 42. Using the actual financial data records for each school district, per-pupil revenue is determined. Not all school districts have access to education foundations, and not all school districts rely on business partners in education. Yet, all school districts receive assistance from local parent-teacher organizations and booster clubs and allow fundraising efforts among the various campuses. All school districts have access to local support venues, even though some are quite limited. Overall, these four areas of obtaining additional funds make only a small percentage of impact upon the majority of the school district's budgets. Yet, some of the school districts are impacted by these revenue sources as much as the percentage of federal aid received. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6117/
Taiwanese Preschool Teachers' Awareness of Cultural Diversity of New Immigrant Children: Implications for Practice
This study investigated Taiwanese preschool teachers' awareness of cultural diversity of new immigrant children and how this awareness influences their educational practices. In particular, this study focused on the cultural awareness of preschool teachers who work with young Taiwanese children whose mothers are immigrants from Southeast Asia. This study used quantitative and qualitative methods. One hundred seventy-two Taiwanese preschool teachers from the different geographic areas of Taiwan participated in the study. Data were collected through the use of the Cultural Diversity Awareness Inventory (CDAI) survey and participant interviews. Research results of the study revealed: (a) most Taiwanese preschool teachers had an awareness of cultural diversity, but their perceptions of how to create a multicultural environment need to be improved; (b) Taiwanese preschool teachers' personal experiences with children from different cultures were more associated with their cultural awareness than their ages and educational levels; (c) Geographic location was the factor affecting preschool teachers' awareness of cultural diversity and educational practices. This study is informative to the understanding of Taiwanese preschool teachers' awareness of cultural diversity and the implications of this awareness for classroom practice. In addition, multicultural perspectives of the Taiwan society toward immigrant families and children can benefit from the findings of this study. Future research should include the cultural needs of new immigrant children and the implementation of practices for educating new immigrant children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9915/
Teacher certification content area tests: Predictors of teacher knowledge for post-baccalaureate secondary candidates.
In response to a growing teacher shortage, increasing numbers of secondary teachers are prepared through streamlined certification programs. For this reason, assessing candidates' content area knowledge gained from institutions of higher education across the United States is an important program admission factor as candidates must demonstrate content area knowledge by passing a Texas content area certification test (TExES). This study examines content knowledge for candidates enrolled in an online post­-baccalaureate program from September 1, 2002 through April 30, 2005. Academic transcript analysis and grades 8-­12 subject tests of the TExES were used as a proxy for subject matter knowledge for a sample of individuals seeking initial teacher certification in a post­-baccalaureate teacher certification at the University of North Texas. Descriptive data,linear regression, and logistic regression analyses were used to draw conclusions about the content area knowledge of the individuals in the sample. Scores on the TExES were used to determine the relationships between the content area knowledge of initial certification students and the number of content area courses completed, the grade point averages, and time elapsed between the completion of the last content area course and the student's initial attempt on the TExES. Results differed by the content area of the candidates. Analysis of variance results indicate significant differences between the five test groups with regard to number of courses taken F(4,139) = 9.334, p < .001 grade point average F(4,139) = 5.733, p < .001 and time between the last course taken F(4,139) = 6.135, p < .001. The three­-predictor model was statistically significant F(3,32) = 3.753, p = .02 for the History test group. The variable, upper-­level grade point average accounted for approximately 12% variance among scores within the History test group, and the variable months of time elapsed between last content area course work and the initial state content examination accounted for approximately 13% of variance among scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5267/
Teacher change: The effect of a professional development intervention on middle school mainstream teachers of English language learners.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a professional development intervention conducted with mainstream middle school teachers of English language learners (ELLs) in a North Texas school district. Teacher change was examined in the context of this intervention. Three groups of teachers participated in this study. Group 1 (n= 4) consisted of teachers returning to the intervention for a second year. Group 2 (n= 12) consisted of teachers new to the intervention. Group 3 (n = 16) served as the control group and consisted of teachers who were not part of the intervention. Mixed methods were utilized, including a self-assessment questionnaire, an observation tool, and data from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Statistically significant differences were found between teachers in Group 1 and teachers in Group 2 in the perception of self-efficacy. Statistically significant differences were also found for Group 1 and Group 2 teachers between the beginning and the end of the year. Group 3 teachers experienced a decrease in their perception of self-efficacy between the beginning and the end of the year. A statistically significant difference in the use of interaction was found across time for teachers in Group 1 and Group 2. The interaction of ELLs decreased between the beginning and the end of the year for teachers in Group 3. The use of modifications increased significantly for teachers in Group 1 and Group 2 and remained stable for teachers in Group 3 between the beginning and the end of the year. In the area of high expectations, no statistically significant difference was found between intervention teachers and the control group across time. An analysis of data for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test revealed a statistically significant difference in the percentage of All Students Commended for the writing test and in the percentage of All Students Met Standard in the social studies test between intervention and non-intervention classrooms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12074/
Teacher Decision-Making: Cultural Mediation in Two High School English Language Arts Classrooms
Although studies have addressed high school English language arts (ELA) instruction, little is known about the decision-making process of ELA teachers. How do teachers decide between the resources and instructional strategies at their disposal? This study focused on two monolingual teachers who were in different schools and grades. They were teaching mainstream students or English Language Learners. Both employed an approach to writing instruction that emphasized cultural mediation. Two questions guided this study: How does the enactment of culturally mediated writing instruction (CMWI) in a mainstream classroom compare to the enactment in an ESL classroom? What is the nature of teacher decision-making in these high school classrooms during English language arts instruction? Data were collected and analyzed using qualitative methodologies. The findings suggest that one teacher, who was familiar with CMWI’s principles and practices and saw students as partners, focused her decisions on engagement and participation. The other teacher deliberately embedded CMWI as an instructional stance. Her decisions focused on empathy, caring and meaningful connections. These teachers enacted CMWI in different ways to meet their students’ needs. They embraced the students’ cultural resources, used and built on their linguistic knowledge, expanded thinking strategies to make difficult information comprehensible, provided authentic learning opportunities, used formative assessments as instructional guides, and delivered just-in-time academic and non-academic support. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84162/
Teacher-directed student use of the Internet for curricular activities: Profiles of frequent and infrequent use.
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The purpose of this study was to develop profiles that described teachers with infrequent and frequent teacher-directed student use of the Internet for curricular purposes. Responses to the teachers' self-reported needs, beliefs, demographics, Internet skill levels, and other information were examined as the basis for the study. The study was descriptive in nature, utilized correlation and causal-comparative methods, and employed a convenience sample. The population consisted of 3,187 public school teachers from Nebraska and four service regions in upstate New York. Data related to the research questions were gathered using an online survey. After minimum access was determined, frequencies, percentages, t tests, and correlations were used to examine the data. Teachers with infrequent (<15 mins. /week) teacher-directed student use of the Internet comprised 63% of the sample. Teachers from elementary and high school levels were almost equally represented in the infrequent use group. The majority of the high school level teachers were assigned to language arts, mathematics or science courses. Teachers in the frequent (>. 90 mins. /week) use group were predominately (75%) high school level, with the majority teaching computer and business subjects. Significant differences were found between the use groups regarding beliefs about the Internet's effect on students and schools and feelings about designing lessons that included the Internet or technology. Within the infrequent use group, significant correlations were found between comparative Internet skill levels and (a) hours of technology-related professional development and (b) willingness to use the Internet for professional development. Further study should be given to the question of how these differences and correlations may affect the amount of teacher-directed student use of the Internet. The profiles developed in this study provide a starting point to assist regional, district, and school-level personnel in assessing local needs and focusing resources on developing strategies to increase teacher-directed student use of the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3095/
Teachers' and Students' Perceptions of the Impact of Content Literacy Strategy Instruction on Teaching and Learning
Reading researchers agree that content literacy strategies are beneficial in helping students learn. However, teachers remain resistant to teaching the strategies. Additionally, many students, even at the college level, lack the learning strategies necessary to experience academic success. This study sought to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of content literacy strategy instruction. The research questions that guided the study addressed the benefits, obstacles, and support and experiences needed to sustain the use of the strategies over time. Multiple data sources were used to investigate teachers' and students' perceptions of the research questions. The main benefit found was increased student understanding and learning of content; additional benefits included increased instructional repertoire, increased student engagement in class, and improved learner independence. Most of the obstacles documented in the literature were supported in the study; however, the obstacle of time was noted most frequently. Teacher confidence was observed by the researcher as an obstacle. The majority of participants indicated they would continue using the strategies learned during the study in the future. Students noted the support needed to sustain content literacy strategy use depended on teachers providing direct instruction, practice using the strategies, and personal success with the strategies. Teachers also identified practice and perseverance as critical to sustaining content literacy strategy instruction. The support teachers noted most frequently as important to successful implementation was collegial support - teachers helping teachers. Teacher meetings discussing the implementation process were viewed as critical to sustain effective content literacy strategy instruction. Additionally, quality teacher training, administrative support, and accountability were documented by teachers as important. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2709/
Teachers' Use of Children's Literature, Mathematics Manipulatives, and Scaffolding to Improve Preschool Mathematics Achievement: Does It Work?
The primary purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of an intervention involving teachers' use of children's literature, related storybook manipulatives, and a scaffolding (LMS) approach to learning would improve preschool children's mathematics test scores. Additionally, the LMS approach was examined to determine whether teachers' perceptions of their effectiveness in mathematics instruction changed from the beginning to the end of the study. The subjects of the study included 60 preschool-aged children and six teachers from two child care centers. The preschool teachers participated in either a control or experimental condition (the LMS approach) in their daily mathematics instruction with their preschool children. The researcher tested the children using the Test of Early Mathematics Ability and an abbreviated version of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. The study was based on two main research questions. The first question asked if there was a difference in the Test of Early Mathematics Ability total posttest scores between children in the literature-manipulatives-scaffolding intervention group and children in the control group after assuring equivalency of the two groups. The second question addressed if preschool teachers believed they were more effective in their mathematics instruction after implementing the LMS approach with young children. The answer to the first research question was that there was no statistically significant difference in the Test of Early Mathematics Ability total posttest scores between children in the literature-manipulatives-scaffolding group and children in the control group. However, the answer to the second question was that preschool teachers believed they were more effective in their mathematics instruction after implementing the LMS approach with young children. Recommendations for future research on early childhood mathematics include the investigation of preschool children's ability, achievement, and interest in mathematics; teachers' use of mathematics scaffolding techniques; and longitudinal mathematics interventions beginning during the preschool years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2733/
The Teaching of Children's Poetry: An Exploration of Instructional Practices in University Courses of Children's Literature, English, Language Arts, and Reading Education
There are no studies which focus on the instructional practices employed in the teaching of children's poetry at the university level. This project aimed to describe the instructional practices utilized in the teaching of children's poetry at universities across the United States. Limited to the practices of the university professors and adjunct instructors who were members of the Children's Literature Assembly (CLA) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) at the time of this study, this investigation attempted to ascertain the general perceptions of poetry held by these university professors and adjunct instructors, their in-class instructional practices, and the types of poetry assignments given. Additionally, this study revealed both the poets typically highlighted and the goals held by professors and instructors in courses of children's literature, English, language arts, library science, and reading education. A mixed-methods design provided the framework for the descriptive data gleaned from the Poetry Use Survey. Quantitative data analysis yielded descriptive statistical data (means, standard deviations, ranges, percentages). Qualitative data analysis (manual and computer-assisted techniques) yielded categories and frequencies of response. Major findings included respondents': (a) belief that the teaching of poetry was important, (b) general disagreement for single, "correct" interpretations of poetry and general agreement in support of multiple interpretations, (c) general disagreement whether current curricular demands have prevented or impaired their teaching of poetry, (e) high frequency of reading poetry out loud in class, (f) emphasis on inclusion of award-winning poets in assignments, (g) instructional emphasis on variety and breadth in the selection of poets highlighted in a particular course, (h) goals for inclusion of poetry centered on pedagogical issues (e.g., frequent use, appreciation of craft; writing models; thematic uses) in language arts and across content areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4697/
Teenager's doing history out-of-school: An intrinsic case study of situated learning in history.
This intrinsic case study documents a community-based history expedition implemented as a project-based, voluntary, out-of-school history activity. The expedition's development was informed by the National Education Association's concept of the intensive study of history, its structure by the history seminary, and its spirit by Webb's account of seminar as history expedition. Specific study objectives included documentation of the planning, implementation, operation, and outcomes of the expedition, as well as the viability of the history expedition as a vehicle for engaging teenagers in the practice of history. Finally, the study examined whether a history expedition might serve as a curriculum of identity. Constructivist philosophy and situated learning theory grounded the analysis and interpretation of the study. Undertaken in North Central Texas, the study followed the experiences of six teenagers engaged as historians who were given one year to research and write a historical monograph. The monograph concerned the last horse cavalry regiment deployed overseas as a mounted combat unit by the U.S. Army during World War II. The study yielded qualitative data in the form of researcher observations, participant interviews, artifacts of participant writing, and participant speeches. In addition, the study includes evaluations of the historical monograph by subject matter experts. The data indicate that participants and audience describe the history expedition as a highly motivational experience which empowered participants to think critically, write historically, and create an original product valuable to the regiment's veterans, the veterans' families, the State of Texas, and military historians. The study supports the contention of the National Education Association that the intensive study of history can be beneficial both to expedition participants and to their community. The assertion that engaging teenagers as researchers within a discipline serves as a curriculum of identity was supported in the study as well. The study underscored the importance of oral history as a gateway for learning about modern history. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6090/
Texas High School Principals' Attitudes Toward the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in the General Education Classroom
This study examined Texas high school principals' attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. School leaders today face increasing demands with the revised state accountability system. For example, students with disabilities are required to take the Texas Assessment Knowledge and Skills Test (TAKS) and on grade level. Hence, one of the strategies of schools has been to mainstream or include special education students in the regular classroom. Inclusion provides the opportunity for students with disabilities to be educated in the general education curriculum with their non-disabled peers. This study investigated the attitudes of Texas high school principals' attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. The principals' personal experiences, professional training, and formal training in inclusion were examined. This study was a qualitative study using survey methodology. The Principal's Inclusion Survey developed by Cindy Praisner and G.H. Stainback was distributed electronically to 1211 Texas high schools. With the permissions of Praisner and Stainback, the survey was loaded into Survey Monkey, which is a website for creation of professional online surveys. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The return rate was 395 (32.1%) overall responses. The results of the study concluded that majority of the principals agreed that inclusion of students with disabilities into the general education classroom was the best placement for the disabilities listed in the survey. However, for the more severe disabilities, the principals favored a more non-inclusive setting. Those disabilities included mental retardation and serious emotional disturbance. For the cognitive disabilities, combinations of an inclusive and non-inclusive setting were chosen. Also revealed in the study is that principals did not receive inclusion training as part of their formal education, but more emphasis was placed on special education law. The results of the survey indicated more training should be provided for principals in inclusion during their formal training. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67981/
Texas Principals’ Perceptions of Professional Development Provided By the Local School District
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of Texas principals as to the degree to which their local school districts are meeting their ongoing professional development need. The study was conducted to analyze and describe the survey and interview responses of Texas principals as to their perceptions of the degree to which their local school districts provide learning experiences aligned with their needs. Texas principals’ perceptions regarding the characteristics of important and meaningful professional learning experiences were explored. The study included an analysis of the extent to which Texas principals perceive that the learning opportunities they are provided adequately meet those needs. Additionally, various factors influencing principals and their perceptions were examined. These factors included type of school, school setting, school system size, characteristics of students, and characteristics of the principals. The perceptions of school district staff development administrators were analyzed regarding topic importance, topic provision by the local district, and the usefulness of those topics. Finally, the perceptions of the principals and the staff development administrators were compared. Thirteen school districts participated in this study. Of the 273 principals surveyed, 155 completed the survey, yielding a return rate of 56.8%. One campus principal from each of the 13 districts was interviewed. Additionally, 13 district staff development administrators were surveyed and interviewed. Data analysis produced several findings. First, as a whole, principals rated the importance of each of the 22 proposed professional development topics at or above the important level. However, the degree to which local school districts provided training on those topics varied according to the size of the district and the setting of the campus. Second, the relationship between the professional development provided and the quality, or usefulness, of that school district’s training was considered strong for several of the 22 topics. Finally, principals and staff development administrators agreed on several characteristics of successful professional development efforts. This study’s findings offer implications for campus principals and school districts striving to meet the individual, campus, and district needs for professional development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149565/
Theatre teachers' attitudes toward the University Interscholastic League One-Act Play contest.
The focus of aesthetic education is reflected in an arts curriculum designed for students to learn skills that make it possible for them to experience the world in a satisfying and meaningful manner. Incorporating aesthetics into school curriculum can be approached through the use of coordinated programs. In the state of Texas, over 1100 schools participate annually in the One-Act Play contest (OAP). The contest is governed by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which has designed and recommended a structure in which students actively participate in the fine art of theatre. This curriculum is the roadmap for instruction that leads students to learn the value of the aesthetic. This study examines teacher and student perception in the Texas One-Act Play contest and its implications for teaching and learning the aesthetic. The qualitative data were collected through a series of interviews and observations during the spring 2006 with five schools in the north Texas area. Students and teachers at each school were interviewed. Data revealed how the goals of the UIL OAP system are being met based on teachers' practices, perceptions, and experience. Implications of the study are seen through the teachers' attitude toward winning as well as how the elements of teaching, rehearsal technique, and external support systems affect the teachers' contest preparation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5462/
Third-year Evaluation of the University of North Texas/ Dallas Independent School District/ Southern Regional Education Board Leadership Development Program
Under No Child Left Behind legislation of 2002, school principals shoulder the burden of school success determined by test scores of students. Challenges principals face demand school leaders possess greater knowledge and skills than administrators of the past. The need for well-trained, skilled school leaders makes it important to study the subject of school leadership training. This study examined a school leadership preparation partnership between the University of North Texas and Dallas Independent School District. Primary supporting references include work by Bottoms and O'Neill (2001) calling for the 16-member states of the Southern Regional Education Board to train a new breed of principal to meet the current demands for student achievement in public schools. This research adds to the body of knowledge of school leadership development programs, particularly those that involve cohort-based study groups and shared service partnerships between school districts and universities. Major questions investigated: 1) How did participation in the program change the involvement of administrative interns in campus-based decision-making? 2) How has participation in the program changed the ways participants perceive themselves? 3) What actions have members of the cohort group taken in their teacher-leader/administrative positions to affect student achievement? 4) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UNT/DISD/SREB Leadership Development Program partnership? Information was gathered from 16 of the 26 program participants through questionnaires, interviews, and document study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3956/
The Transfer and Sustainability of a School-Wide Writing Program: Year 2.
Writing is an important life skill that all students need in order to succeed in today's society. However, proficient writing skills develop over time, requiring years of quality instruction combined with motivation, encouragement, and lots of practice. School-wide writing is an approach that provides specific writing instruction in a consistent manner across all grade levels, allowing students to develop increasingly complex writing skills and strategies over time. Implementation of programs, such as school-wide writing, requires teachers to transfer new understandings and skills from the training room to the classroom as well as efforts to sustain the program over time. This multiple case study examines the characteristics of an elementary school-wide writing program that was introduced in the field by local teachers and transferred five years later to another school in the same district. The study also examines factors affecting the transfer and sustainability of the program during the second year of implementation. Findings from the study indicate that the elements of school-wide writing transferred from School 1 to School 2 at a low road level of transfer. Factors affecting transfer included inquiry, ongoing training, support systems, authentic writing experiences, and time. Factors contributing to sustainability included ongoing support, accountability, communication, positive feelings, time, and individuality. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30450/
A value-added approach to determine the relationships of mentoring to novice teacher classroom effectiveness.
The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between scores of the new teachers' classroom effectiveness with numerical indexes of mentor support, mentor infrastructure, and workplace ecology. In addition, this study sought to determine the effect of various demographics (i.e., gender, age, race, degree, teaching level, and certification route) on the Classroom Effectiveness Index (CEI) scores of first-year teachers, and to determine the differences, if any, between the Classroom Effectiveness Index scores of first-year teachers who remained on campus, switched campuses, or left the district. This study is primarily correlational in nature - looking for relationships between quantifiable variables. The subjects are 68 first-year teachers. The mandatory mentoring program the subjects were involved in consisted of a paid, veteran teacher who worked on the same campus as the first-year teacher and assisted in instructional or behavioral needs. This study measured the impact of the first-year teachers' mentoring experiences to the Classroom Effectiveness Index scores and teacher retention. The findings suggest that the Classroom Effectiveness Index scores might not be an appropriate tool for uncovering which aspects of mentoring contribute to student achievement and retention. Adding the value-added measurement tool to the categories of mentor support (MS), mentor infrastructure (MI), and workplace ecology (WE), rendered no statistically significant results. Therefore, further research is necessary to continue to define the effective characteristics of mentoring and its impact on classroom effectiveness and retention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9773/
Voices of worth- listening to teachers: A phenomenological study of professional development and instructional change.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe and explain teachers' perceptions about effective professional development as well as to identify the environmental factors that affect the teacher participants' ability to engage in and implement various behaviors and beliefs transferred from the professional development experience. Four teachers were studied in depth for one school year, and data collected included in-depth interviews and classroom observations. Findings indicate three main themes related to the research questions, which sought to understand how teachers perceive and describe their experiences of participating in professional development and the factors that support or constrain their instructional decision-making as it relates to new knowledge and skills acquired through professional development. These themes are that: (a) Effective professional development must have a supportive context and meaningful purpose which: meets the physical and cognitive needs of participants; focuses on improving practice, content knowledge, and pedagogy; provides participants with choice, adequate time and ownership of learning experiences; and includes opportunities for sustained learning and accountability; (b) Learning experiences are greatly affected by interpersonal relationships and opportunities for social learning and should be built upon the principles of: taking risks in the learning environment; sharing beliefs in a community of practice with effective support structures; involving all members, including the leaders, in the community of practice; and including opportunities for dialogue and the sharing of best practices as tools for learning, and (c) Implementation efforts are influenced by multiple sources, including: collegial and administrator support; curriculum and standardized testing; and time. Effective professional development must include attention to assisting teachers in dealing with these influences when they become barriers to implementation efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9831/
Well-Being and Academic Success in Gifted College Students: Early-College Entrants and Honors College Students
As a society, we seek to have our young people, including the gifted, be healthy and happy, and go to good schools with good teachers. Framed by Sayler's theoretical model of giftedness and thriving, this study examined psychological constructs (i.e. general self-efficacy, theories of intelligence, hope, gratitude, religiosity, disposition, and resiliency) to determine their mediating effect on personal well-being and academic success in gifted college students. The 213 subjects for this study included gifted college students from two distinct programs at the University of North Texas. One hundred twenty-two participants were students from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS). TAMS is an early-college entrance program allowing gifted students to enter college after their sophomore year of high school. Ninety-one participants attended the UNT Honors College. Honors College students are gifted students who enter college after high school graduation. Latent transition, latent class, general linear model repeated measures, and regression analyses were used in the examination of the data. Results of the study revealed that positive disposition and hope-agency were significantly related to the development of personal well-being for gifted students during their first year of college. The ability to identify pathways to goals and the self-theory of intelligence as a fixed trait were significantly related to academic success during the first year at college. Knowledge of psychological constructs that are facilitative of the positive personal well-being and academic achievement helps parents, teachers, administrators, and counselors prepare gifted students for success in college. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31526/
Who is Helping Our Children? Development of a Model for the Training of Tutors for America Reads
The purpose of this research study was to examine the effectiveness of training for college work study students who participated in an America Reads program, which was designed to help at-risk children struggling with reading. Two groups participated in this research study. One group of college tutors had minimal training in reading strategies at the beginning of the study and the other group of college tutors had continuous training and feedback throughout the study. The research study sought to answer the following questions: 1) Will training for college student tutors in the area of reading, more specifically in the strategies and skills, help improve their comprehension and vocabulary? And 2) Will training for college student tutors in the area of reading, more specifically in strategies and skills, significantly improve the comprehension and vocabulary scores of the children being tutored? This was a quasi-experimental research design, used to examine the effectiveness of training college students participating in the America Reads program. The tutors were pre-and post-tested, measuring both their vocabulary and comprehension knowledge at the beginning and the end of the study. The children being tutored were also pre- and post-tested, measuring both their vocabulary and comprehension knowledge at the beginning and the end of the study. The statistical analysis for this design was the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The ANCOVA was used to handle the main threat to the internal validity of this research design, due to the fact that the tutors for the control and experimental group were not selected randomly. The tutors and the children were randomly assigned to two groups. The control group of tutors received minimal training (11 hours) and the experimental group received the same minimal training with extra (21 hours) weekly training added. The study began in October 1999 and ended in December 1999. The tutoring sessions were 1 ½ hours long, three days a week. The training for the experimental group was for 1 ½ to 2 hours weekly. The results from this study found no significant difference between the control and experimental groups on comprehension, as measured by the assessment instruments. The results from this study did find, however, a significant difference between the control and the experimental groups on vocabulary, as measured by the assessment instruments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2650/
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