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Teachers' Perceptions of their Enculturation Process

Description: The purpose of this study was to construct portrayals of teachers7 work conceptions in various career stages from the stories they told and the metaphors they used to describe the ways in which teachers learned about their work. Specifically, the study included preservice teachers, first-year teachers, third-year teachers, and teachers with more than four years of teaching experience at the elementary and secondary school levels. Thirty-five elementary and secondary school teachers from the North-Central area of Texas participated in this study (nineteen inservice and sixteen preservice teachers). Qualitative techniques were employed to collect data. The preservice teachers filled out a questionnaire and wrote short stories about their preconceptions of their first year of teaching. Inservice teachers were interviewed using a short questionnaire and a long interview schedule. Nine inservice teachers participated in a storytelling workshop/focus group session. Group stories based on predetermined scenarios were constructed, tape-recorded and transcribed. The focus group session was videotaped and transcribed. Fifteen categories emerged from the analysis of the data: cyclical, ritualized, hierarchical, reciprocal, developmental, experiential, reflective, cumulative, body of knowledge, folkloric, individualized/personalized, order/control/manage, disciplinarian, facilitative, and replicative. These categories represent a summary of the constructs, images, contextual maps and metaphors held by these teachers to describe their enculturation process. The descriptive categories developed in this study offer teacher educators, supervisors and teachers a basis for understanding the culture of teachers. The storytelling technigues used in this study provide a means by which teachers and teacher-related personnel can generate further information about the enculturation process that can be applied to recruitment, orientation/ induction programming, reflective teacher preparation and change strategies.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Van Derveer Naylor, Sharon L. (Sharon Lynne)

Design and Evaluation of a Staff Development Program for Technology in Small Schools

Description: 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.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Halderman, Cheri Floyd

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

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

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.)

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

Perceptions of Site Based Decision Making Implementation in the Irving Independent School District, Irving, Texas

Description: 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.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Watson, Larry (Larry Paul)

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

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-

The Relationship of a Spiritual Calling to Motivation, Locus of Control, Burnout and Longevity in Teaching

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 1994
Creator: Zimmer, Katrina R. Nottingham (Katrina Rene Nottingham)

The School Council as an Agent of Instructional Change: a Comparative Case Study

Description: 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.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Murphy, Charles Michael

A Study of the Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction on Developmental Math Students in Higher Education

Description: This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of participation in a Supplemental Instruction (SI) program on student test performance in a second-level developmental mathematics class in a four-year university setting. This research deviated from past research on Supplemental Instruction in that it examined effects of the program at the end of each test block rather than at the end of the course only. The quasi-experimental design was precipitated by an inability to control factors of participation and limited sample size. Test data were analyzed using analysis of variance; final course grades were analyzed using chi-square.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Stephens, Jan (Jan Ellen)

Self-Perception of Objectivity in the Use of the TTAS

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if appraisers using the TTAS in Texas perceived themselves as being objective in the evaluation process. The population for this study was 213 appraisers, both elementary and secondary, chosen randomly from four educational service areas in four regions of Texas. Data were obtained from a 25-item questionnaire mailed to the appraisers. The organization of this study includes a statement of the problem, the research questions, a review of the literature, the methods and procedures used to collect the data, the analysis of the data, and a summary of the findings, conclusions, implications, and recommendations for additional research. Data from the 213 returned questionnaires were treated with the chi-square test of independence. The analysis of data revealed the following: 1. Regardless of the level, elementary or secondary, of the administrator, the majority of respondents held the same views. 2. Regardless of the region of Texas from which the respondents came, the majority of respondents held the same views. 3. Regardless of the number of years of experience of the appraisers, the majority of respondents held the same views. 4. The majority of respondents felt they are objective in their use of the TTAS. The implications are that the TTAS instrument is being used as was its intention, and that the appraisers feel comfortable in the use of the TTAS. Since the TTAS is effective as seen through a majority of respondents, it may be used in future revisions of the current instrument or by other districts as a model by which to begin construction of their own appraisal instruments.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Runnels, Sheila S. (Sheila Sargent)

Self-Directed Learning Projects by Older Learners: Roles for Educational Organizations in Initiating and Facilitating the Process

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 1996
Creator: Webb, Holbrook Lawson

A Survey of Young Writers' Conferences in School Districts in the State of Texas

Description: This study describes young writers' conferences in school districts in the state of Texas. The study proposed: (a) to describe the characteristics of young writers' conferences; (b) to determine how young writers' conferences were created and implemented; (c) to identify the purpose of writing conferences; (d) to identify the population served; (e) to describe the unique contribution of conferences; (e) to determine the perceived value of conferences to school district personnel. A 26 item survey was developed and distributed to 133 Texas school districts. One hundred percent of the districts responded to the survey or telephone interview Data was collected from the ten districts that provided young writers' conferences for young writers during the 1994-95 school year. Eighty percent of the school administrators surveyed rated their program as very beneficial for young writers. Twenty percent rated their program at the second highest rating, or beneficial. All of the districts reported that as a result of the workshop, writing has become more important in the districts. In addition, the majority of the districts reported that parents are more aware of the importance of writing and that teacher attitudes toward writing have improved as a result of participation in the workshop Districts also reported that students have a more positive attitude toward writing and are more interested in writing after having attended the workshop. It can be concluded from the study that students in grades nine through twelve were largely undeserved by the districts in the sample. Therefore, the researcher suggests that districts serve this population in future conferences. The researcher also recommends that a democratic process be established that would maximize the number of participants attending young writers' conferences in each district. Information obtained from the study can inform educational policy makers, educators, parents and citizens about young writers' conferences and ...
Date: May 1996
Creator: Garrett, Sandra E. Renfro

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 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-

The Relationship between School-Based Decision Making and Student Achievement in Elementary Schools in a Large Urban School District

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1996
Creator: Standridge, Louise Norton

Teaching the Inductive Bible Study Method of Bible Interpretation to Adults: a Comparison of Three Instructional Approaches

Description: This study compared three groups of adult learners in a church education environment in order to determine the effectiveness of using lecture/demonstration plus cooperative learning elements with or without group processing (LCL) as compared to the use of lecture/demonstration plus individualistic learning elements (LIL) with the Inductive Bible Study Method (IBSM) as the common subject for all groups. While group A experienced highly structured cooperative learning without having group processing, group B experienced highly structured cooperative learning with an emphasis on group processing. Group C served as a control group. This study took place with a total of five class hours. For measuring student cognitive achievement, the subjects were administered a written pretest and posttest in the form of a "use-of-IBSM measure." For measuring students' attitude toward Bible interpretation (as promoted by IBSM), the students responded to an "attitude-toward-Bible-interpretation measure" at pretest and posttest. For measuring students' affective reactions, the students responded to a posttest-only "students'-satisfaction-with-the-learning-experience measure". Students' attitude toward the philosophy behind IBSM was measured by using an "attitude-toward-IBSM" instrument at posttest. In addition, teachers and students were interviewed orally at posttest to ascertain their affective reactions to the instructional approach they experienced. Connections between demographic data and students' use and/or attitude toward ISBM, as well as their satisfaction with the learning experience and attitude toward cooperative versus individualistic instructional methodology were also explored. The data from the use-of IBSM as well as attutide-toward-Bible-interpretation measures were analyzed by analysis of covariance. Other posttest-only tests were analyzed by a priori comparisons. Three major findings of this study were: (1) LCL did not produce any significant impact on learners' use of IBSM, attitude toward IBSM, or satisfaction with the learning experiences compared to LIL; (2) Group processing did not enhance the achievement effects of the experimental group B when compared to ...
Date: August 1996
Creator: Pak, Luke Kyungwhan