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Current and Future Trends in Computer Use in Elementary School Settings

Description: 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.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Al-Awidi, Hamed M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Block Scheduling and Instructional Strategies and their Influence on Algebra Achievement in Classrooms Throughout North Central Texas

Description: 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.
Date: August 1999
Creator: McClure, Melissa Sue
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Increased Collaboration Among the Library Media Specialist and School Personnel on Perceptions of the Roles and Responsibilities of the Library Media Specialist

Description: 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 ...
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Date: August 1999
Creator: Beaird, Marilyn Miller
Partner: UNT Libraries

Peer Mediation: an Empirical Exploration Empowering Elementary School Children to Resolve Conflicts Constructively

Description: 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.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Link, Kathleen Elizabeth Barbieri
Partner: UNT Libraries

Texas Public School Library Media Specialists' Perceptions of the Use of the Internet in their Schools

Description: With the advent of the 21st century, technological innovations are transforming the face of education and the school library media center. One of these significant developments is the ability to communicate through the Internet. The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of Texas public school library media specialists who are active Internet users about their utilization of the Internet, and how their efforts in implementing and supervising Internet access in their school library media centers impact the Texas public schools that they serve. A survey instrument of Likert items was developed that queried these public school library media specialists for their perceptions of Internet use in their schools. MANOVA was the chosen statistical measure for this study. An initial electronic mail-out to 1,232 Texas public school library media specialists (K-12) with Internet addresses were contacted to participate in this study. After a time frame of one month, 196 Texas school library media specialists e-mailed the researcher, confirming their willingness to be a survey participant. All respondents to this e-mail request participated in this study, and a second U.S. mail-out was sent containing the actual survey instrument. The researcher found that the use of the Internet by school library media specialists in Texas did not increase global collegiality from the viewpoint of the survey respondents. Survey respondents felt that an Internet acceptable use policy did not ensure student access to the Internet in Texas public school library media centers. The study examined the relationship between acceptable use policies and Internet censorship, and the researcher found no connection between these two elements from the perspective of the school library media specialist. The study found that school library media specialists believe that their training did improve their students' library research skills. Furthermore, the survey respondents believed that their Internet training ...
Date: June 1997
Creator: Bruns, Loretta A. (Loretta Ann)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Impact of Curriculum Management Audits on Public School Systems in Texas

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1997
Creator: Murdock, Sunnye (Sunnye J.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of the Changing Roles of Central Instructional Support Staff as Site-Based Decision Making is Implemented in One School District: A Descriptive Study

Description: 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.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Barnum, Rebecca Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Implementation of Transition from Spanish Reading to English Reading Programs in Bilingual Classrooms

Description: 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).
Date: December 1994
Creator: Amaya, Jesús, 1956-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Phasing Out Basic Classes: Patterns of Response to an Administrative Mandate

Description: 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.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Dugger, Harry Neil
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of the Use of Laser Video Disc on Achievement, Attitude, and Confidence of High School Biology Students

Description: 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.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Garza, Federico (Federico Angel)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Content Analysis of School Reading Textbooks in Taiwan and in Texas

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1993
Creator: Wang, Sheue-shya
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teacher Study Groups: A Case Study

Description: The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the operation and impact of teacher study groups at one school site throughout a school year. The study was exploratory in nature. The research questions focused on the major factors in the school's external and internal context that impacted the study groups, the typical behaviors and interactions of the study group participants, and the impact of the study groups on the participants, the curriculum, and instruction.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Rowland, Elizabeth Fraser
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a Strategic Thinking Program on the Cognitive Ability of Seventh Grade Students

Description: 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.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Houchins, Joyce S. (Joyce Ann S.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Use of Technology in the Delivery of Instruction in Algebra II in Texas Public Secondary Schools

Description: The purpose of this study was to survey Algebra II teachers in the State of Texas to determine the extent to which they use technology for the delivery of instruction. Additionally, the study attempted to determine reasons why teachers do or do not use technology when they have a choice.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Clay, James H. (James Hamilton)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Training in Test Item Writing on Test Performance of Junior High Students

Description: 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.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Tunks, Jeanne L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The International Newcomer Academy: A Case Study

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Maduawuchukwu, Augustina Eberechukwu
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Launching of an Accelerated School: A Case Study

Description: 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.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Montgomery, Alcynthia R. (Alcynthia Rose)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Parent Involvement Training on the Achievement of Hispanic Students

Description: 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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Davis, Lori Anne Jancuska
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Professional Development in Performance Assessment on Mathematics Achievement and Attitude

Description: 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.
Date: May 1994
Creator: McAdoo, Penny Coyne
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Quasi-Experimental Study of 5th-Graders' Use of Selected Self-Directing Perceptions and Learning Strategies

Description: 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.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Lane, Pam S.
Partner: UNT Libraries