The purposes of this study were to (1) identify the recommendations of Curriculum Management Audits conducted in Texas Public School systems, (2) determine the degree to which each of the recommendations had been implemented, and (3) determine the perceptions of stakeholders as to the factors instrumental in the real and potential impact of the audit. The researcher conducted interviews with superintendents and key central office administrators with a working knowledge of the audit report in each of the eleven Texas school districts studied. Respondents were asked to rate recommendations written for their districts using the following descriptors: Implemented, In Progress, Plan to Implement, Recommendation Modified, No Implementation. The ranking of recommendation implementation revealed that 85% of the recommendations made in the 11 audit reports reviewed in this study had received action toward implementation to some degree. Respondents were also asked to cite factors which facilitated or impeded recommendation implementation. Significant factors facilitating the implementation of recommendations were reported to be time, organizational structure/personnel and planning. The analysis of the collective recommendations revealed that school board policies were not adequate to direct the design, delivery and monitoring of curriculum when measured against audit Standard One criteria. School districts in Texas rely on the Texas Association of School Boards' policy division for policies. Findings indicate that greater alignment between the Texas Association of School Boards' policies and Curriculum Management Audit criteria must be sought in order for school districts in Texas to meet this Standard. System-wide planning, curriculum documents, and program-driven budgeting processes were other areas requiring attention of the school districts in the study. Evidence of the extent of implementation of recommendations suggests that school districts valued the audit report with its recommendations. It can be generally concluded that the Curriculum Management Audit had a positive impact on the involved school ...
The problem of this study was the identification of effective and efficient means of providing quality staff development for reading instruction within a school-district setting. The study investigated the comparative effectiveness of two staff development delivery systems measured by 1) a cognitive test of a school district's reading program and 2) an affective measure of teacher attitudes toward staff development. The sample was drawn from the teacher population of a large urban school district. The 46 subjects were elementary school teachers in grades K-5 randomly divided into two groups: Group A (videotape with a trained on-site facilitator) and Group B (face-to-face live presenter). Participants in the study received training using "The Fort Worth Reading Program," a staff development program designed by the researcher. In addition to the presentation of content information, which is the central component, the program features small group discussions, off-line activities, and question and answer periods. Both groups received the same treatment with the following exception. A central component to the Group A training was the presentation of content information in a videotape format. Group B did not view the videotape, but received the same information via live presenter. Two instruments developed by the researcher were used in the study: 1) The Teacher Staff Development Questionnaire, a Likert-type survey to obtain teacher attitudes toward staff development, and 2) The Cognitive Test of Reading Knowledge, an instrument designed to measure cognitive objectives of the district's reading program. A multivariate analysis of covariance revealed no statistically significant differences between the groups. It was concluded that elementary classroom teachers, regardless of their attitudes toward staff development, learn content material equally well with either of the two delivery systems explored in this study. Specific suggestions and recommendations for further studies are addressed and discussed. Examples of the measurement instruments are included.
The purpose of this study was to compare the self-efficacy of two groups of first year teachers working in a large urban school district in North Texas. Twenty-eight of the participants were certified teachers. Ten participants held college degrees unrelated to teaching and were undergoing an alternative certification process. The Teacher Efficacy Scale was administered at the beginning and the end of the school year. Data from this scale was analyzed to determine if there were differences between the regular certification teachers and the alternative certification teachers at the beginning and the end of the school year, and to determine if their sense of efficacy changed over the course of the school year.
This study investigated the use of computer-based instruction as a means of teaching Algebra I, compared to the teaching of the same topics using traditional methodologies. The achievement level of the two groups, and three aspects of attitude toward mathematics were considered. Achievement and attitude differences by gender were also analyzed.
The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare the values, beliefs, and ideas in school reading textbooks (Readers) in Taiwan and in Texas. It intended to examine the social control function of school Readers, with which a culture deliberately molds its young generation. This study employed primarily qualitative methods. The collection of data used the technique of content analysis, student surveys, and teacher expert panel discussions. The analysis of data followed a constant comparative approach. The themes shared by the two sets of Readers included family, friends, humans and living creatures, political ideals, reading/writing, appreciation of nature, science, indomitable spirit, turning danger into safety, setting goals, education, desirable and undesirable qualities or behaviors. Despite the similarities of these themes, the substance or focus of them may vary. The themes unique to the Texas Readers were content knowledge, cultural diversity, dilemma and choice, observations about people, words, tomorrow's technology, winning, and general truth. The themes unique to the Taiwan Readers included life philosophy, learning, necessary difficulties, sensitivity, and military strategies. The theme occurring most frequently in both sets of Readers was the desirable qualities or behaviors. The values advocated in the Taiwan Readers were idealistic and had a society-centered focus (for example, patriotism, appreciation of others, serving others, and honesty). Absolute moral principles were taught. A group orientation and altruism were evident. In contrast, the Texas Readers did not have such an emphasis on the concept of group. Personal feelings, individual accomplishments, and self-centered values (for instance, effort, courage, determination, talent, and independence) received more attention. The values were perceived to be relative to the situation. The Taiwan Readers, produced by a national education system, transmitted traditional Chinese beliefs and values. The Texas Readers, with the publishers' intent to avoid controversies, presented more general or universal values. Although the ...
This study documents a critical evaluation of the religious education curriculum used in Uganda's secondary schools. The study focused on goals and objectives, methods, content, and public perception of religious education instruction. The evaluation was based on a qualitative investigation that employed three methods to collect data: document analysis, classroom observation, and interviews. The investigation was guided by a series of research questions that included the following: What are the overall goals and objectives of religious education instruction? What are the attitudes from the community regarding religious education? What are the roles of religious leaders during implementation of this curriculum? How does the curriculum prepare students for the pluralistic nature of the society? What qualifications and training do the teachers have? What are the politics involved in curriculum implementation? What is the philosophy of religious education instruction as defined by policy makers and how is it implemented?
The study examined current and future trends in computer use in elementary school settings. A survey instrument was developed and validated for distribution to a random sample of 200 technology coordinators in the public school districts in the state of Texas from whom 95 responses were received. The survey instrument was used to obtain information about five areas of computer use in elementary schools. These areas are: physical configurations, instructional uses, implementation issues, training and staff development, and Internet use. The study found that all public school districts that participated in the study have acquired computer hardware in their elementary schools. In addition, some other advanced computer technology components are starting to be found in elementary schools, such as teacher workstations, CD-ROM, interactive video, computer multimedia, LCD panels, and laser printers. Respondents reported that elementary school teachers in their districts have incorporated computers into their classrooms as an instructional tool and many changes have occurred in teachers teaching styles due to computers. However, there are some problems that hinder the effective use of computers. The major problem is lack of training. A high percentage of respondents, 81.3%, indicated that the majority of their elementary school teachers had completed less than 30 hours of technology related professional development. Another problem was lack of funding which prevents most school districts from acquiring computer hardware and software. Currently, elementary schools in 87% of districts that participated in the study are connected to the Internet and the plan is that by the year 2001 all elementary schools will be connected.
Technology experts suggest that one barrier in implementing technology has been a lack of appropriate training for teachers. Past efforts have been few in number, poor in quality, and uncoordinated. Some large school districts are developing comprehensive programs. However, few models exist and none are suitable for small school districts. The purposes of this study were: (1) to survey 53 small school districts in Texas to identify hardware and software configurations, patterns of recent technology staff development, and needs for future technology staff development; (2) to design a staff development program which addresses these technology needs; and (3) to evaluate the program in a small school district.
The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between teachers' or principals' effectiveness and their risk tendency. The population consisted of 57 principals and 115 teachers from the state of Texas from average and exemplary campuses. The exemplary campuses were those nominated by Texas Education Agency to participate in the National Exemplary School Recognition Program for the past four years. Data was generated by sending a survey packet to the 57 campuses requesting that the principal and two teachers (one who had been recently been recognized as teacher of the year and one who had never been so honored) complete the instruments. Teachers responded to a 16 item Risk Tolerance Questionnaire and principals responded to the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire and a Styles of Leadership Survey. The hypothesis that exceptional teachers will not take more risks was not upheld. It was determined that exceptional teachers do take more risks; however, there was no significant difference in scores on the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire of principals from average and exemplary campuses. The findings were that 1) exceptional teachers do take more risks, 2) age and years of experience of teachers was not significant, 3) principals from average and exemplary campuses did not score significantly different on the risk instrument, 4) principals' years of experience was not significant, 5) sex of principals was significant in determining style of leadership, and 6) there was no relationship established between principals' risk tendencies and styles of leadership. It may be concluded that leadership style may be reflective of the work situation and its people, while the tendency to take risks is an independent attribute.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the graphing calculator on the achievement, attitude toward mathematics, and confidence in learning mathematics of Algebra II students.
This study measured and explored changes in perceptions of the roles and responsibilities of the library media specialist when the level of collaboration increased. Seven library media specialists targeted four members of their educational communities with whom to increase collaborative activities. Before and after the collaboration began, the library media specialists, the teachers with whom they chose to collaborate, other members from the same educational community, and a control group that did not participate in increased collaboration were given a roles and responsibilities rank-order form. This form was used to measure changes in perceptions regarding the importance of the three roles and selected responsibilities related to the three roles before and after the collaborative experience. The library media specialists and the targeted teachers also kept reflection logs to record factors that enhanced collaboration, factors that inhibited collaboration, and any changes in their teaching style as a result of the collaborative experience. Results indicate that the participating library media specialists themselves experienced the most change. Role identification remains a problem as library media specialists seek to become teaching partners with classroom teachers yet still must keep the library media center aligned with school and district goals and move toward making it an information center that provides information resources for all members of the educational community in an effective, efficient and timely manner. Major enhancers to increased collaboration included flexible scheduling of the library, sharing ideas and resources, partnership in teaching, and student achievement. Major inhibitors included time, wanting to keep things the way they were, and lack of resources. Changes in teaching practice included working with another professional instead of in isolation, integrating many resources into the lesson to provide for the learning needs of all students, the incorporation of technology into the lesson, and an awareness of the roles of ...
The purpose of this study was to ascertain the effect of a parent involvement education program on the academic achievement, school behavior, and educational motivation of Hispanic students enrolled in a bilingual education program. Fifty bilingual fourth-grade students and their parents were compared to 50 bilingual fourth-grade students and their parents who were subjected to a parent education program. The groups were randomly assigned from a stratified random sample. Students in each group were given the Student Attitude Measure prior to treatment and immediately following the parent involvement training. Parents in each group were given the Parent Opinion Inventory prior to and immediately following the parent involvement training. Students were also compared utilizing a norm-referenced achievement test. Discipline referrals were compared between the experimental group and the control group.
The problem of this study was to determine the effect of professional development in the use of performance assessment in fourth grade mathematics on student achievement and attitude toward mathematics. Achievement was measured by subtest and total mathematics scores on norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests. Attitude was measured by a survey of student attitudes.
The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of level III video disc instruction on high school biology students. There were three areas studied: students' achievement in biology, students' attitude toward biology, and confidence. The experimental group consisted of 70 biology students. The control group also consisted of 70 biology students. The teacher of the experimental group used level in video disc instruction to teach about invertebrates, vertebrates, human systems, and plants throughout the semester. The teachers of the control group taught the same topics during the same period using the traditional lecture method and without level III video disc instruction. Students took the Biology Achievement Test, the Purdue Master Attitude Scale, and the Confidence in Learning Inventory before and after the treatment period. A t-test on the pretest scores of the experimental group and the control group showed no significant difference between the two groups. The experimental group also took the Technology Preference Survey after the treatment period.
Students in an inner city junior high school in North Central Texas participated in a study whose purpose was to examine the effect of training in test item construction on their later test performance. The experimental group underwent twelve weeks of instruction using the Test Item Construction Method (TICM). In these sessions students learned to develop test items similar to those on which they were tested annually by the state via the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). The TICM aligned with state mandated test specifications.
The purpose of this investigation was to describe the behavior of effective teachers working within the context of an effective school. The study focused on both the content and techniques of instruction utilized by the teachers. In addition, the research examined teacher behaviors that were external to the classroom setting, including teacher-to-teacher relationships, teacher-to-parent relationships, and teacher-to-principal relationships. A qualitative research design was selected for this study. The site was an inner city elementary campus. Data were collected from eleven K-3 teachers using participant observation and interviews over a seven-month period. Documents were also used as a source of data. The analysis of data was ongoing and cyclical based on the constant comparative method. The final analysis of data resulted in nine themes based on recurring patterns of teacher behavior. The findings suggest that a caring school culture plays an important role in a school's success and the effectiveness of its teachers. Furthermore, there does not appear to be a universal description that fits all effective teachers. Instead, effective teachers in an effective school function as autonomous decision makers in their classrooms, choosing the curriculum and techniques that work best for them and their students. They tend to focus on basic skills, especially reading and mathematics, using explicit direct instruction methods. However, these teachers frequently digress from their planned lessons to teach life skills and test-taking strategies. Findings for this study also support the creation of structured school and classroom environments for low-income inner city students. Student self-esteem and parental support are not negatively impacted when firm discipline is administered fairly in a caring, supportive school climate. The conclusions of this investigation have implications for teacher staff development and campus administrator training. The findings also suggest further research in the areas of school culture, direct instruction, student discipline, and classroom ...
This study used a posttest only design to determine the effects of a strategic thinking program on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT, Form 4) scores of seventh graders who received direct instruction in Strategic Thinking Skills (STS) with the scores of seventh graders who did not receive direct instruction in STS. The study was conducted in a large suburban middle school in north Texas.
The purpose of this study was to test a teacher inservice training model which was designed to increase the number and use of hands-on science activities, increase the number of times teachers teach science, and improve students' perceptions of science.
The problem for this study was to enhance the development of higher order thinking skills and improve attitudes toward computers for fifth and sixth grade students. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a Technology Enriched Classroom on student development of higher order thinking skills and student attitudes toward the computer. A sample of 80 sixth grade and 86 fifth grade students was tested using the Ross Test of Higher Cognitive Processes. The Ross Test was selected because of its stated purpose to judge the effectiveness of curricula or instructional methodology designed to teach the higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation as defined by Bloom. The test consisted of 105 items grouped into seven subsections. In addition, the students were surveyed using the Computer Attitude Questionnaire developed by the Texas Center for Educational Technology. The questionnaire assessed sixty-five questions combined to measure eight attitudes.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of using computer-managed, integrated testing and skills software with individualized homework packets on the reading achievement and attitudes of at-risk students in a low achieving urban school. An additional purpose was to determine teacher attitudes toward using technology to deliver, measure, and manage instruction.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether using integrated, networked testing and skills software combined with parental participation would increase students' achievement in reading, improve students' self-esteem and improve attitude toward school. Further, the purpose was to determine if parental participation promotes improved attitude toward school.
The problem of this study was to determine the effects of implementing writing-to-learn tasks in mathematics instruction on fourth grade students' achievement and attitude toward mathematics. Also addressed in this study is whether or not achievement and attitude measures of female students and low achieving students are effected by the use of writing in mathematics.
The major focus of this study is the effect of formal education on individuals, communities, cultural traditions and values on Siberian Yupik Eskimos of Alaska. The first school on St. Lawrence Island (Sivuqaq), Alaska was founded in 1899 under the direction of Sheldon Jackson. The formal school curriculum for the next thirty years was secretarian. Upon the initial operation of formal schooling on the island, various other forms of schools have impacted the islanders of St. Lawrence. Chapter two is an overview of the background of education in Alaska from its beginning as a territory to its present status as the 49th state in the United States. Chapter three presents the history of formal schooling on St. Lawrence Island. Chapters two and three contain descriptions of various other forms of schooling within the state (i.e. Bureau of Indian Affairs, mission, state-owned) and when and how these forms either existed on the island or had an impact upon its villagers. Chapter four discusses the methodology utilized in conducting the research and fieldwork for this study. Research findings are discussed in chapter five and include verbatim transcriptions of interviews with villagers. These interviews are unedited in order for readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the study. The interviews included in this written finding are representative of interviews taken. Chapter six discusses conclusions gleaned over the course of this study and recommends further areas of study.
The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze secondary science education curriculum and instruction trends for the period 1953-1992 by using the technique of content analysis to examine a representative portion of journal articles and policy statements in secondary science education. Two major science publications, The Science Teacher and Science Education, were selected for analysis.
This study examined the effects of specially designed thinking journal activities that have been attributed with encouraging reflective thinking, on instruction using generic, or content-free problem solving software. Sixty-three fourth grade students participated in four instructional sessions using a software package called Moptown Hotel. Students completed separate posttests that measured (1) performance on problems of the same kind as those used in instruction, and (2) transfer of skills to other kinds of problems. Scores of students who wrote thinking journals prior to testing were compared with scores of students who did not. Results indicate that students who wrote thinking journals performed the same as students who did not when tested on problems similar to those practiced in class. Tests in which students transferred their skills to word problems, however, produced significant differences. There was no significant difference between scores when averaged over all four weekly occasions. However, for the final session alone, students who wrote thinking journals scored higher on tests of problem solving transfer than students who did not (p < .01). The study also examined the relationship between the degree of metacognitive thought displayed in students' journal entries, and their measured problem solving ability. Results indicate that students who had higher average reflectivity scores also had higher average problem solving performance and transfer scores (p < .05). It was also noted that the significant relationship between reflectivity and scores of problem solving ability was only observed in male students. It was concluded that under the right conditions, and for the right kinds of problems, thinking journal writing can help students understand their own thinking processes, resulting in improved problem solving behavior. The study also raises the question of whether there are differences between the ways that male and female students apply metacognitive awareness gained through journal writing experiences.
This study addressed the perceptions of teachers, parents, and students in a suburban middle school about the effects of implementation of the middle school concept on instruction, peer group interaction, teacher attitudes and practices, and school culture. A qualitative approach was used for this study. Interview questions were developed to determine perceptions about effects in the areas identified in the research questions. Interviews were conducted with selected teachers, parents, and students who had exposure to the school before and after planned changes were implemented. Documents were examined for evidence of perceptions in the four areas identified. In addition, an existing data set (a student survey} was examined and the same survey was administered to a more recent group of students to identify possible patterns in student perceptions.
The purpose of this study was to describe the actual implementation of the transition process as observed in bilingual classrooms, and in particular, to examine the critical components (policy, curricular, and instructional characteristics) of the Spanish-to-English reading transition policies implemented in bilingual education programs in elementary schools in the Denton Independent School District in Texas. Four research questions drove this study. To investigate these questions, a multidimensional, descriptive research design was employed. The researcher used questionnaires, interviews, and field observations. The 11 educators, 6 bilingual teachers, 2 school-site principals, 2 school-site coordinators, and 1 district bilingual coordinator, were asked several types of questions (open response and closed response) using different types of instruments (questionnaires and interviews). Also, the six bilingual teachers were observed using two types of instruments (field notes and video tapes).
The purposes of this study were to apply a model of achievement-related behaviors to a sample of eighth-grade girls and to ascertain whether this theoretical model continued to describe girls' internal beliefs regarding mathematics.
This initial investigation into the special program for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, the International Newcomer Academy (INA), examines and describes the nature of this new school in comparison with the nature of the Language Centers functioning in host schools as schools within schools. This study was prompted by the need to document perceptions, behaviors, and practices of all principal players, which might result in program improvement to benefit students. The primary goal for establishing this new school was to focus primarily on beginner limited English proficient (LEP) students so that the language centers would be relieved, and so do a better job of teaching intermediate and advanced LEP students.
The purpose of this study was to examine concepts of "inclusion" held by policy drivers (PD), policy makers (PM) and policy implementers (PI) from various national organizations, state agencies and school districts. Interviews were conducted with 14 informants, and responses recorded, transcribed and clustered according to patterns of language. Documents provided by informants were reviewed. A Likert-type questionnaire was developed, grounded in patterns of language used in interviews and documents. Descriptive and inferential statistics identified variance between and within groups. Of 430 questionnaires sent, 266 were returned. Factor analysis of 29 items yielded 5 factors (definition of inclusion, training and support, receptivity, benefits/barriers, and prerequisites). One way analysis of variance, tests for homogeneity and multiple range tests were performed. Patterns of understanding of inclusion were clarified, and interpretations and conclusions were drawn. Significant variance was found among PD, PM, and PI on 3 of 5 factors (benefits/barriers, prerequisites, receptivity) with the greatest variance being between PD and PI. The most significant variance among 8 school districts occurred with factor 1 (benefits/barriers of inclusion). Informants' degree of support for inclusion was frequently not reflective of the organizations they represented. All groups associated inclusion with attitudes and beliefs, rather than with actions or programs. By describing patterns of definitions and critical attributes of inclusion, the development and implementation of educational policy relating to students with disabilities may be facilitated. Observed variations in how inclusion is philosophically and operationally defined may play a critical role in the implementation of inclusionary practices. The language used by informants reflects barriers to successful implementation of inclusion, as well as possible solutions. Variance between policy drivers, policy makers and policy implementers, as well as between individuals and their respective organizations may have implications for the evolution and development of educational policy.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the readiness, planning, training and implementation stages of staff development in the implementation of the Accelerated Schools Program in a suburban elementary school. The research questions focused on how the school became interested in the accelerated program; the steps that were taken to make the school ready to accept the program; the training made available to the staff, parents and students; how teacher approval and acceptance were achieved; and how the implementation was initiated and to what degree.
The most important question addresed in this study was whether there is any difference in student learning between a motion group and a non-motion group. The interactive video courseware is currently a part of the curriculum in this district. It was used in its original form with the contrast group. For the experimental group one unit of the courseware was modified to remove the motion video and replace it with photorealistic graphics that served as the non-motion part of the study. Covariates were selected to compensate for any differences in the two groups. A pretest and posttest was administered to both groups. Analysis of the posttest scores indicated that there was no difference in learning if motion in the presentation was the only variable.
In 1992, the state of Texas awarded a number of inducement grants to collaboratives of universities, schools, and service centers to develop field-based professional development schools (PDSs) and provide preservice and inservice teachers with extensive professional development. This study investigated the design and effects of the professional development models in these Texas Centers for Professional Development and Technology (CPDTs). This study used qualitative data collection and analysis procedures. Raw data were collected in the form of individual interviews, focus group interviews, documentation, and fieldnotes. Forty-six interviews were completed involving a total of 83 respondents representing all partnering entities: university representatives, school representatives, education service center representatives, and policymakers. Documentation included annual and quarterly reports, grant applications, and program approval requests. Fieldnotes included observational data from site visits. Data analysis was an iterative process using a constant comparative analysis of coded categories emerging fromtranscribed data. This comparison examined: the vision of professional development as perceived by the respondents, the enactment of professional development as experienced by the respondents, and the effects that the CPDT initiative had on professional development as perceived by the respondents. This study revealed 18 themes that were common across all eight Texas CPDTs. The themes revealed patterns of vision which included: developing a common ground, breaking barriers, evolving visions, and partnership tradeoffs. Patterns of enactment included formal and informal professional development opportunities. Patterns of effects included: empowerment of teachers, updating of university faculty on public school issues, better prepared classroom-ready interns, and more attention for K-12 students. Another pattern of effect included the distraction of "technology toys" and the difficulty keeping pace with new technologies. The study provided strong evidence that relationship building processes are crucial for building a sustained learning situation for a community of learners. The themes also provided information regarding the demands of institutionalizing ...
Conflict is inevitable in school and in life. Many children lack skills necessary to resolve daily conflicts constructively. Without knowledge of positive ways to manage conflicts, violence may result. Limited research suggests that involvement in a peer mediation program may have a positive influence on children. This study assessed effects peer mediation training and mediation experience had on student mediators. The pretest-posttest, control-group, and quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of a year long peer mediation program implemented in a suburban elementary school.
In 1983, the report A Nation at Risk catapulted school reform to the forefront of national attention. The State of Texas responded with legislation dictating curriculum and instructional time. Failure to accomplish the desired improvement in student achievement caused these mandates to be eased. In lieu of the mandates, the Texas legislature and the Texas Education Agency have set expectation standards called academic indicators. Local districts and campuses must utilize site based decision making (SBDM) to determine how each campus will meet the set standards. Dealing primarily with curriculum roles and responsibilities, this study details perceptions of principals and teachers as SBDM was being implemented in a suburban school district serving 25,000 students. Data were gathered utilizing a structured interview and a follow-up telephone interview. Addressed in the study are perceptions of: (a) role changes, (b) responsibility changes, (c) needed improvements in the implementation process, (d) teacher empowerment, (e) positive and negative elements, and (f) student achievement.
The purpose of this study was to analyze ways in which the roles of instructional support staff as perceived by principals and instructional support staff members in a large, suburban school district have been affected by the implementation of site-based decision making (SBDM). Research questions focused on changes which have occurred in the roles of instructional support staff and in the services provided to schools by support staff since the implementation of SBDM, the roles which support staff members believe they have in SBDM, the perceptions of principals regarding the roles of instructional support staff in SBDM, and a comparison of the views of instructional support staff and principals regarding the district's implementation of SBDM.
The problem of this study was to determine patterns of response of Texas schools in implementing the Texas Education Agency mandate to phase out below grade level courses. High schools were instructed to phase out these courses, using one of four options outlined by the Texas Education Agency. The study was conducted in two parts with both a telephone survey and a mail survey. The data collected from the telephone survey was used to construct and validate the mail survey instrument. The mail survey was sent to a stratified sample of Texas high schools based on school size, district wealth, and geographical location.
The purpose of this study was to describe the criteria that students reported using when selecting writing samples for an assessment portfolio. Specifically, the study involved content analysis of student responses to five prompts which asked the students to give selection criteria for writing samples in language arts portfolios prepared for assessment. The population consisted of twelve eighth grade students in three urban middle schools. The students were in classes that were participating in the New Standards Portfolio Assessment Field Trial. In addition to the responses to prompts, students also submitted writing samples to be scored using New Standards rubrics. The writing samples were evaluated to determine if the students successfully selected pieces of their writing to provide evidence of standards attainment. Through the analysis of the student responses to the prompts, two categories of selection criteria were noted. Public standards were the standards that corresponded with the criteria that were presented to the students through their use of New Standards performance standards, portfolio exhibit requirements, and entry slips. Personal standards were criteria that did not correspond to the published criteria presented to the students. Ten sub-categories were identified. These ten sub-categories became the instrument for analysis and tabulation of the students' reported criteria for selecting writing samples for their portfolios. Findings indicated that students were willing to use the public standards and that they used them more frequently than personal standards in justifying selections for the assessment portfolio. However, student identification of appropriate criteria did not guarantee that the writing samples that the student submitted received scores that would indicate standards attainment.
A major change being advocated in education is that of making students more self-directing; that is, helping them become more responsible for their own learning. The focus of this investigation was on fifth grade students' use of self-directed learning strategies and self-directed perceptual skills. An experimental study was conducted using the nested design for analyzing data obtained from the Guglielmino Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale, the Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons1 Self-Regulated Learning Interview Schedule, and the Bradley-Lane Self-Directing Perceptual Scale. One hundred fifty-two fifth graders were involved in the eight week study along with their six teachers. Both students and teachers were immersed in a module of training that included emphasis upon self-directing behaviors and learning strategies. Two striking findings emerged; namely, (a) in comparing the average number of learning strategies acquired after treatment, the experimental group (low, middle, and high IQ levels) scored 40%, 50% and 29% higher respectively, than did the control group; (b) in comparing the fifth grade students use of learning strategies it was found that most students nearly doubled the number of learning strategies they had previously acquired. Thus, it was concluded that children who do not have actual teaching of information or data concerning learning strategies will likely never acquire the same repertoire of skills that students acquire when exposed to this critical information in some specific, systematic fashion. A primary product developed for the purposes of this investigation was the Bradley-Lane Self-Directing Perceptual Scale—a 132-item Likert Scale designed to identify the self-perceptions of elementary and middle school students. After field-testing, a chi-square treatment was applied to each item of the Perceptual Scale resulting in a reliability of p<.01 for the majority (79%) of the test items, while an additional twelve items (9%) were found to be reliable at the .02 level of significance.
The purpose of this study was to determine if a significant relationship exists between teachers' and administrators' global perspective and their receptivity to the inclusion of elements of global education in the curriculum.
This study examined the relationship between levels of implementation of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Curriculum and Evaluation Standards and 5th Grade Louisiana Educational Assessment Program Math Scores with the effects of race of students accounted for. Secondary areas of interest were the relationship between LEAP mathematics scores with the effects of race of students accounted for and the teacher characteristics of years experience and educational attainment and of the relationship between level of implementation of the Standards and teacher characteristics. The population, from which a sample size of 250 was randomly drawn, was comprised of 1994-95 Louisiana public school teachers who taught in a regular 5th grade or departmentalized math class. Survey research was used to place the responding teachers at one of the five levels of implementation. Hierarchical Multiple Regression was used to analyze the question of primary interest. Race of the students was found to have accounted for nearly 9% of the variance in LEAP mathematics scores. This figure was statistically significant. The independent variable Level of Implementation of the Standards produced ambiguous results. Students of Level 1 (non-implementers) teachers were found to have statistically significantly higher LEAP scores than did students of Level 2 teachers. The Level 1 students had scores which were non-statistically significantly higher than did those of Level 3 and 5. Students of Level 4 teachers had scores which were significantly higher than those students whose teachers were at Level 2 and 5. No significant relationship was found to exist between student LEAP mathematics scores and teacher characteristics of years experience and educational attainment nor between levels of implementation of the Standards and the same two teacher characteristics. Despite these findings, in light of the amount of research pointing to their value, implementation of Standards is still highly recommended.
The purpose of this study was to explore whether school-based decision making (SBDM) impacts student achievement. Specifically, the study involved determining if the degree of teacher involvement in SBDM across eight decision dimensions differed between schools that demonstrated the most and schools that demonstrated the least district improvement in student achievement. The population consisted of elementary schools in a large urban school district with more than ten years of SBDM implementation. Student achievement scores from 1993 to 1995 were examined for all 68 elementary schools. Based on degree of improvement for fourth grade scores over the three years, 15 schools from the 25% most improved and 15 schools from the 25% least improved were selected for study. Schools from the two extreme-groups sample were matched on five demographic variables. The Teacher Involvement Participation Scale—TIPS-2 (Russell,1992), an instrument for measuring the degree of SBDM in eight different decision dimensions, was given to all certified personnel at each school. A return of 575 surveys represented 63% of the sample schools' staff. Two short questionnaires were administered to principals and SBDM teams to collect descriptive data. Findings, using MANOVA followed by univariate tests, indicated significant differences between groups in six of the eight SBDM decision dimensions. The most improved schools had a higher degree of participation (p < .01) in SBDM decisions in dimensions of: 1) goals/vision/mission, 2) curriculum/instruction, 3)standards, and 4) facilitating procedures/structures. Although neither group participated widely in decisions about staffing and operations, the most improved schools were more involved in those decisions than the least improved schools (p < .05). No significant difference was found between the two groups in the dimensions of budget and staff development. It is concluded that student achievement is positively impacted by greater participation in SBDM in at least six of eight SBDM dimensions, with ...
In this study, six research questions were addressed: (1) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different motivation (self, interaction, task) to his/her work than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (2) Does a teacher who feels a spiritual calling have a different locus of control (internal, external) than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (3) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different degree of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment) than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (4) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different sense of voluntary commitment in the longevity of his/her work experience than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (5) Is there a different concentration of teachers who have a spiritual calling in public or parochial schools? (6) Does the public or religious school affiliation make a difference in research questions #1 through #4? A Teacher Motivation Inventory was compiled using The Orientation Inventory by Bass, Rotter's Internal/External Locus of Control, Maslach Burnout Inventory by Maslach, Jackson, and Schwab, a Researcher-made Spiritual Calling Inventory, and longevity questions. Tukey HSD post hoc comparisons test and Chi-square Test of Independence were used. This study was conducted in the spring of 1994 in public, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran and Jewish elementary schools. Teachers who scored in the upper third on the Spiritual Calling Inventory were categorized as having a spiritual calling to teaching. Teachers who had a spiritual calling had a significantly more internal locus of control, were less likely to depersonalize students, had greater personal accomplishment and were more likely to choose teaching again than those not having a spiritual calling. A spiritual calling had a significant relationship to some very meaningful, attractive qualities in ...
This studied investigated parental involvement during the first year of a Chapter I extended-day kindergarten program which sought to promote parents taking an active role in their child's classroom and kindergarten educational experiences. A qualitative design was used to provide information about frequency and types of parental involvement as well as descriptive information about the interactions between parents and children within the classroom. This qualitative design also allowed investigation of the perceptions of the participants. Data analysis was ongoing and inductive; data were collected in the form of field notes, videotapes, audiotapes, interviews and classroom documents. Findings suggest that parental involvement provides benefits for the students, parents, teachers and the school as a whole. Findings also suggest that adult volunteers do not necessarily have to be parents; the adult volunteers could come from segments of the population that are not now fully utilized. Senior citizens and university teacher education students are two groups that could fill the volunteer positions. These findings have implications for the educational community in public schools and in teacher training programs of universities.
The involvement of teachers, parents, and administrators in shared decision making is a critical component in recent attempts to implement site-based decision making in Texas schools. This involvement is usually maintained through the school council, which is the sanctioned forum for discourse as defined by Texas laws. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe and analyze the content and patterns of decision making discourse in three Texas elementary school councils. The research questions focused on (a) council member role descriptions, (b) training, (c) patterns of deliberation, and (d) varieties of issues discussed. A total of 44 council members participated in the research. Observation, interviews, structured group interviews, decision-making inventories, and documents were used to collect data from December 1992 until January 1994.
Ways in which educational structures can initiate and facilitate older learners' self-directed learning projects are described in this study. The research was guided by questions related to the ways that educational organizations can facilitate the learning process for older learners. This study involved two distinct phases of research. In the first phase, a survey was administered to approximately 100 older learners at four organizations for senior citizens; the four organizations were Hillcrest Center for 55+, Golden Learning Opportunities and Workshop, Tulsa Senior Services, and Retired Senior Volunteer Program. The survey enabled the researcher to identify the 10 most frequented sites for gathering information related to the learning projects of senior citizens in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The survey respondents were volunteer participants from classes, social occasions, and other learning opportunities offered by the organizations. The survey produced three sites where older learners pursued learning activities. Phase two involved ethnographic techniques in order to identify and describe at each three sites specific educational structures that facilitated older learners' self-directed learning projects. The descriptions from each of the identified sites involved three data-collection techniques. The data-collection techniques used included interviews, observation, and artifact collection. The focus of this phase was to describe the educational structures that facilitated the development of learning projects endemic to each site as identified by the older learners. Notes taken during interviews and observations were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. Interviews were also transcribed. The transcripts were transferred to a conceptually clustered matrix for each site. Analyses of the administrator interviews, participant interviews, educational opportunity observations, and artifact collection at each site revealed patterns and trends that represent the educational structures that appeal to older learners as they pursue learning projects. The findings indicate that four patterns or trends were common to each site. These four patterns included accessible materials, service-minded ...
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