UNT Theses and Dissertations - 4 Matching Results

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The Effectiveness of a Professional Learning Community on Student Achievement in Elementary Reading and Mathematics in a Large Urban School District

Description: The study was to determine the impact of a Professional Learning Community on student achievement as measured by the state's criterion referenced reading and mathematics achievement tests. Data for this study were extracted from the school district's student database. Two cohorts of 90 students each were randomly selected from a population of approximately 600 students in 3 schools that participated in a Professional Learning Community (treatment) and 3 schools that did not (control). Professional Learning Communities known as PLCs, can serve as a major theoretical framework to promote the improvement of classroom teachers' instructional practice, teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Reading and mathemtics mean scale scores were extracted at three time points (year 1, year 2, and year 3) across three grades (grade 3, grade 4 and grade 5). Test for equality of variance found that no statistically significant difference existed between the mean scale scores of the two cohorts at the beginning of the study. The findings revealed that both cohorts trend toward increased academic achievement from year to year individually; however, when compared to each other, no statistically significant difference existed. Further research is indicated to examine each PLC for implementation, support and leadership as they relate to the PLC and a focus on instruction and learning.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Landry, Jacqueline Hayles
Partner: UNT Libraries

Becoming Successful in Education: Beating the Odds, Despite a Background Entrenched in Poverty

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of three relationships on academic achievement in mathematics in students of poverty. The three factors that were examined included: teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer- student relationships. The driving question for the research was as follows: Do external factors such as teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer-student relationships lead to academic success for students of poverty? The study employed a non-experimental, quantitative approach and utilized longitudinal data from a national database High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS) used a sample of 944 public and private high schools across the USA. A total 0f 28,240 were represented in the survey. Of these 28,240 students, 2641 were used in this study as identified by parental income below the poverty threshold. The outcome of the study indicated that there was little or no correlation between the three relationships and mathematics achievement (academic success). Correlations between the dependent variable (math achievement) and the independent variables even though some were statistically significant their weights had no concrete significance. The study recommends that several initiatives can be instated in schools to support and enhance academic achievement in students of poverty.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Thompson, Pauline A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Professional Learning Communities: A Comparative Case Study of Shared Personal Practice

Description: Effective instructional practice has a significant impact on student learning. Shared personal practice within a professional learning team (PLT) is one of the key elements in consistently improved instructional practice. However, this PLT characteristic is often the least evident and the hardest to absorb into PLT culture. This study examined the relational characteristics, facilitating factors, or barriers to shared personal practice within a PLT. Two PLTs in core subject areas across two Texas high school campuses were included in this comparative case study. Data from document analysis, PLC observations, focus group interviews, and in-depth individual interviews were examined thematically to answer the research questions guiding this study. The results of this study revealed that building strong relationships and an emphasis on collective creativity were strong predictors of sharing personal practice. Collective clarity on PLT practices and the purpose of sharing personal practice increased the success and occurrence of sharing personal practice. The results also revealed that the copious tasks of teaching and negative perceptions of being observed by colleagues hindered consistent sharing of personal practice. This study describes the current context of shared personal practice as a foundation for future studies to examine how practice can be transformed.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Curtis, Anna E
Partner: UNT Libraries

Use of an Online Readiness Assessment to Determine Necessary Skills, Aptitude, and Propensities for Successful Completion in a Secondary Online Credit Course

Description: A gap exists in education research in the area of online readiness for secondary courses. In the current study, I examined the use of an online readiness assessment to inform students and educators of the necessary skills, aptitudes, and propensities needed for secondary course completion. In this research study, the perceptions of 17 secondary students in a North Texas public school were examined. Using a three-phase design, qualitative demographic surveys, focus groups, and open-ended end-of-course success questionnaires were collected and analyzed. The findings revealed the Revised McVay Online Readiness Assessment beneficial for providing students with information regarding skills needed for their online course success. Students were interested in how prior online experience influences online readiness and successful completion as well as the influence prior expectations of online learning had on online success. In addition, the study revealed the importance of student readiness relating to more specific self-regulatory skills including time-management, metacognitive self-monitoring, and task-strategies. The study results also revealed students found importance in knowing their comfort with online communication. K-12 school system and curriculum leaders may consider and take action to ensure effective curriculum and programs are implemented to achieve the desired results of student online course completion as well as providing students with necessary skills, such as comfort in online communication, and self-regulation specific to time-management, metacognitive self-monitoring, and task-strategies. The study results suggest an online readiness assessment would prove even more useful with the inclusion of such specific skills.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Vineyard, Tracy Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries