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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.)

Elementary Pre-service Teachers’ Perceptions and Experiences of Mathematics Intervention and Response to Intervention Practices

Description: Response to intervention has become a widely implemented early intervention and pre-referral program in many schools due to the reauthorization of the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Limited studies exist that validate how teacher preparation programs are preparing the next generation of teachers to assess students, apply early academic interventions, monitor progress, and make educational decisions for students with learning difficulties as part of an RTI program. The purpose of this study was to examine elementary pre-service teachers’ perceptions and experiences in a mathematics intervention project (MIP), as part of a university mathematics methods course as related to RTI practices. Data were collected from multiple sources, including: Seidman’s three-step interview series with pre-service participants and course instructors, document analysis of the Mathematics Interactions Project (MIP) students’ responses, mathematics methods course syllabi, and observations of the mathematics methods course instruction. Haskell’s transfer theory was used as the framework from which to analyze the data. It was assumed that if a majority of the 11 principles of meaningful transfer were addressed, higher levels of transfer from university instruction to intervention instruction would be observed during the MIP. Findings indicate differences in RTI understanding according to elementary education degree plan. Candidates in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program did not demonstrate a strong foundational understanding of RTI, evidenced by a lower level of transfer about RTI. Alternately, pre-service teachers in the special education degree plan had a stronger foundational knowledge of RTI, discussed how RTI learning was supported, and had more experiences to implement RTI (principles 1, 7, and 9). Pre-service teachers in the Special Education (SPED) certification degree plan demonstrated a higher level of transfer since more of the principles were met; this was foundational in Haskell’s transfer theory. Implications are that elementary education programs, and particularly projects such ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Hurlbut, Amanda Renee

Secondary Teachers’ Concerns about Response to Intervention: Using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Isbell, Laura J.

Funding and Effectiveness of Staff Development Programs in Three North Texas School Districts

Description: This dissertation study focused on three aspects of staff development in North Texas: 1) funding sources, 2) types of professional learning programs, and 3) teachers' views of the effectiveness of the funded programs. Qualitative data came from interviews with nine district administrators concerning funding sources and how those resources enhanced teacher skills. Quantitative data came from 1,277 responses from teachers regarding their background and perceptions about staff development. Data from interviews with district administrators were diagrammed to depict elements of funding staff development and to reveal how resources were used to plan, implement, and evaluate staff learning. An analysis of interview data revealed that availability of grants, property tax rates, and student enrollment affected how districts funded staff development. Administrators reported that districts funded professional learning that was planned according to academic initiatives, met the needs of adult learners, and adapted to the changing needs of school communities. Both administrators and practitioners reported that time was a lacking resource critical to developing staff knowledge. Practitioners reported that sufficient opportunity to collaborate with colleagues about learning initiatives was more valuable than teaching materials. Teacher questionnaires were analyzed for possible relationships between participant variables and responses concerning knowledge about funding constraints and professional development experiences. Data revealed that practitioner experience and graduate degrees were not related to teachers' use of knowledge about financial constraints to more efficiently implement learning from staff development. Participants did not perceive professional learning differently than peers. Most teachers connected professional learning with improved teaching practices but a small percent attributed student achievement to their professional learning. The majority of teachers considered collaborative learning settings to elicit more personal professional growth than other formats. The findings of the teacher questionnaire suggest that teaching practices could be impacted if participants gained more knowledge about district financial constraints when developing ...
Date: August 2010
Creator: Ivey, Shannon Kay

Teacher certification content area tests: Predictors of teacher knowledge for post-baccalaureate secondary candidates.

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Jackson, Jennifer K.

The Interpretations of the Concept of "Inclusion" Held by Key Policy Makers, Policy Drivers and Policy Implementers Concerned with Service Delivery to Special Education Students in Texas Urban Public School Settings

Description: 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.
Date: May 1997
Creator: James, Leslie Charles

Preschool Mathematics: An Examination of One Program's Alignment with Recommendations from NAEYC and NCTM

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which a preschool program followed the recommendations outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in their joint position statement "Early Childhood Mathematics: Promoting Good Beginnings." Six teachers were randomly selected from three of the preschool program's six locations that are situated in an urban city in North Texas. Two parts of this program's approach to mathematics were investigated: the teachers' instructional practices and the program's curricular materials. Data came from observations using the Classroom Observation of Early Mathematics-Environment and Teaching (COEMET) protocol and field notes. Each teacher participated in three interviews over the course of this research. Analyses of these sources provided insights into teachers' instructional practices for mathematics. Reviews of curricular documents and lesson plans for mathematics instruction provided information pertaining to the math curriculum used at this preschool program. All of these data sources were analyzed using the framework presented in NAEYC and NCTM's position statement. Analysis of the data indicated that, although teachers did not have any knowledge of these guidelines, teachers followed some of these recommendations; such as presenting children with daily developmentally appropriate mathematics activities and connecting mathematics to classroom routines. Other practices did not align with NAEYC and NCTM's suggestions, such as offering children few opportunities to engage in problem-solving situations and providing an inconsistent integration of mathematics into meaningful activities related to other content areas. Several possible factors may have influenced teachers' use of these recommendations. Teachers' prior educational opportunities, the program's curriculum materials, and the teachers' prior experiences with mathematics all may have contributed to the teachers' understandings of high quality mathematics instructional practices. Results from this research help to provide the foundation for future investigations of ...
Date: December 2010
Creator: Johnston, Elisabeth

Teenager's doing history out-of-school: An intrinsic case study of situated learning in history.

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Johnston, Glenn T.

The Relationship between Level of Implementation of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Curriculum and Evaluation Standards and 5th Grade Louisiana Educational Assessment Program Math Scores

Description: 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.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Jones, Gregory A. (Gregory Alan), 1960-

Factors Related to Teacher Retention: the Lived Experiences of Four Teachers in an Urban, Hard-to-staff High School

Description: Retaining quality teachers is critical to the success of America's schools. How to retain quality teachers, especially in high needs schools, is a question of fervent debate among educational researchers, policy makers, administrators, parents, and students. This study examines the issue of teacher retention from an emic perspective, focused on understanding the perspective of those closest to the retention decision, teachers in hard-to-staff schools. This study examines the lived experiences of four teachers at a hard-to-staff, urban, secondary school as these experiences impact their decisions to remain in teaching and at their current campus. Research methods adopted an existential phenomenological perspective and focused on understanding deeply the perspective of participants and how participants make meaning of their lived experiences as they relate to the retention decision. Three hour-long interviews were conducted with each of the four participants utilizing methodology laid out by Seidman (1991). Data were analyzed using NVIVO 10 to apply a series of coding and recoding procedures to interview transcripts. Conclusions suggest four factors motivated these teachers to teach and remain in their current hard-to-staff, urban, secondary school. These factors include: belief in the power of education, relationships with students, mentoring and professional partnering, and remaining professionally challenged. Findings suggest factors that drive teachers out of teaching and out of hard-to-staff schools include: inconsistent administrative support, low student motivation, and lack of resources.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Julian, Chris

From Knowing Content to Constructing Knowledge: A Trend Analysis of Secondary Science Education, 1953-1992

Description: 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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Kelly, Janet Arlene

Examining the Relationship Between Persistence in Attendance in an Afterschool Program and an Early Warning Index for Dropout

Description: School districts constantly struggle to find solutions to address the high school dropout problem. Literature supports the need to identify and intervene with these students earlier and in more systemic ways. The purpose of this study was to conduct a longitudinal examination of the relationship between sustained afterschool participation and the host district’s early warning index (EWI) associated with school dropout. Data included 65,341 students participating in an urban school district’s after school program from school years 2000-2001 through 2011-2012. The district serves more than 80,000 students annually. Data represented students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, and length of participation ranged from 1 through 12 years. Results indicated that student risk increased over time and that persistent participation in afterschool programming had a significant relationship with student individual growth trajectories. Slower growth rates, as evidenced through successive models, supported students being positively impacted by program participation. Additionally, participation was more meaningful if students persisted, as noted in the lower EWI rates, as compared to students who attended less consistently.
Date: May 2014
Creator: King, Teresa C.

An Investigation of Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Buoyancy

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the conceptual understandings of 55 elementary preservice teachers for the concept of buoyancy. This study used Ausubel’s Assimilation Theory (Ausubel, 1963) as a framework for a 15-week intervention that used pre/post concept maps (Cmaps), pre/post face-to-face semi-structured interviews, and drawings as evidences for change of formation of cognitive structures. Using a convergent parallel design and mixed methods approach, preservice teachers’ conceptions were analyzed using these evidences. Results of the study show that preservice teachers held both scientific conceptions and misconceptions about buoyancy as a force before and after an instructional intervention. Of importance were the existence of robust misconceptions about buoyancy that included inaccurate scientific knowledge about the foundational concepts of gravity, weight, mass, and density. The largest gains in scientific knowledge included the concepts of gravity, surface area, opposing forces, and the buoyant force. These concepts were consistently supported with evidence from post-concept maps, post, semi-structured interviews, and drawings. However, high frequencies of misconceptions were associated with these same aforementioned concepts as well as additional misconceptions about buoyancy-related concepts (i.e., weight, density, displacement, and sinking/floating). A paired t test showed a statistically significant difference (t = -3.504, p = .001) in the total number of scientifically correct concepts for the pre-concept maps (M = 0.51, SD = .879) and post-concept maps (M = 1.25, SD = 1.542). The Cohen’s d effect size was small, .47. Even through gains for the pre/post concept maps were noted, a qualitative analysis of the results indicated that not only were there serious gaps in the participant’s scientific understanding of buoyancy, after the instructional intervention an increased number of misconceptions were presented alongside the newly learned concepts. A paired t test examining misconceptions showed that there was a statistically significant difference (t = -3.160, p = ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Kirby, Benjamin

Patterns of Vision, Action, and Effects in Professional Development as Experienced in the Texas Centers for Professional Development and Technology

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1996
Creator: Kjelgaard, Peggy Anne

The Dimension of Risk and its Relationship to Effective School Leaders

Description: 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.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Krohn, Betty June Burns

The role of federal district courts on desegregation: A logistic regression analysis of the factors that influence prodesegregation outcomes.

Description: In this study I analyzed the 1089 desegregation outcomes in federal district courts that occurred between 1994 and 2004 in order to identify a) the legal and non-legal factors in the litigation process that predict pro-desegregation outcomes and b) the judicial patterns that impact the future of desegregation policy. Twenty-one legal and non-legal variables were analyzed via logistic regression analysis to identify factors that predict pro-desegregation outcomes. Only three predictor variables were statistically significant: Government Litigants; Region 3 (West) and Region 4 (Northeast.) Descriptive analyses of the data identified two trends in the pattern of litigation: The percentage of defendant wins increased after 1991 at a lesser rate than has been previously reported. I conclude that based on the results of both the quantitative and qualitative analyses the federal district courts are not a barrier to desegregation and can still be a part of a comprehensive desegregation strategy.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Lane, Ginny G.

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.

Pre-Service Teachers' Attitudes Toward Language Diversity

Description: This study examines pre-service teachers' attitudes toward language diversity and linguistically diverse students. Two hundred seventy-one teacher education students were surveyed to determine relative effects of demographic, mediating variables and psychosocial variables on language attitude as measured by the Language Attitudes of Teachers Scale (LATS). Independent variables include gender, age, race/ethnicity, teacher certification sought, region, psychological insecurity, cognitive sophistication, and helpfulness viewpoint. Research questions are established and methodology is outlined. A review of related literature places the study in the context of research with a broad interdisciplinary perspective and then links the study to other research relevant to the field of education. The findings of the study indicate that gender, race/ethnicity, teacher certification sought, political ideology, psychological insecurity, and cognitive sophistication contribute significantly to the variation found in attitude toward language diversity. The paper concludes with analyses and discussions of the significant variables and suggestions for application in teacher preparation.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Leek, Patricia A.

The effect of trade books on the environmental literacy of 11th and 12th graders in aquatic science.

Description: The purpose of this study was to compare the environmental literacy of 11th and 12th graders who participated in an eighteen-week environmental education program using trade books versus 11th- and 12th-graders who participated in an eighteen-week, traditional environmental education program without the use of trade books. This study was conducted using a quasi-experimental research technique. Four high school aquatic science classes at two suburban high schools were used in the research. One teacher at each high school taught one control class and one experimental class of aquatic science. In the experimental classes, four trade books were read to the classes during the eighteen-week semester. These four books were selected by the participating teachers before the semester began. The books used were A Home by the Sea, Sea Otter Rescue, There's a Hair in My Dirt, and The Missing Gator of Gumbo Limbo. The instrument used to measure environmental literacy was the Children's Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Scale. This test was given at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester. The scores at the end of the semester were analyzed by 2 X 2 mixed model ANOVA with the teacher as the random effect and the condition (trade books) as the fixed effect. The statistical analysis of this study showed that the students in the experimental classes did not score higher than the control classes on the Children's Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Scale or on a subset of "water" questions. Several limitations were placed on this research. These limitations included the following: (1) a small number of classes and a small number of teachers, (2) change from the original plan of using environmental science classes to aquatic science classes, (3) possible indifference of the students, and (4) restrictive teaching strategies of the teachers.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Lewis, Ann S.

Public Standards/Personal Standards: A Descriptive Study of Eighth Grade Students' Selection Processes for Writing Samples to Include in an Assessment Portfolio

Description: 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.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Lewis, Linda Kathleen

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

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

Teachers’ Perceptions of Their Responsibilities in Teaching Social Emotional Skills: a Case Study

Description: This study investigated the beliefs of teachers at a particular elementary campus in North Texas during its first year of implementation of a social emotional curriculum regarding teaching social emotional skills and the influence of those beliefs on their classroom practices. The study drew from the works of Dewey and Bandura in the development of a framework for teacher decision making. A case study design incorporating multiple cases within the case study utilized a mixed-methods approach for data collection and analysis. Ten teachers volunteered and participated in the quantitative data collection, and four of those ten participated in the qualitative data collection through interviews and classroom observations. Data collection methods also included a demographic survey, a questionnaire on teacher beliefs about social emotional learning, and a self-ranking scale of practices related to teaching social emotional skills. Results indicated that although all participants believed social emotional skills instruction was part of their duties as teachers, their practices in teaching social emotional skills varied. Additionally, there was a mismatch between participants’ self-identified practices and the practices that were observed during the study. Administrative support for program implementation was high, but did not necessarily translate to effective practices during the first year of implementation of a particular program. While not significant in this study, variation in teacher characteristics may be important.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Madueke, Nkechi A.