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Effective Teachers in an Effective School: A Case Study

Description: The purpose of this investigation was to describe the behavior of effective teachers working within the context of an effective school. The study focused on both the content and techniques of instruction utilized by the teachers. In addition, the research examined teacher behaviors that were external to the classroom setting, including teacher-to-teacher relationships, teacher-to-parent relationships, and teacher-to-principal relationships. A qualitative research design was selected for this study. The site was an inner city elementary campus. Data were collected from eleven K-3 teachers using participant observation and interviews over a seven-month period. Documents were also used as a source of data. The analysis of data was ongoing and cyclical based on the constant comparative method. The final analysis of data resulted in nine themes based on recurring patterns of teacher behavior. The findings suggest that a caring school culture plays an important role in a school's success and the effectiveness of its teachers. Furthermore, there does not appear to be a universal description that fits all effective teachers. Instead, effective teachers in an effective school function as autonomous decision makers in their classrooms, choosing the curriculum and techniques that work best for them and their students. They tend to focus on basic skills, especially reading and mathematics, using explicit direct instruction methods. However, these teachers frequently digress from their planned lessons to teach life skills and test-taking strategies. Findings for this study also support the creation of structured school and classroom environments for low-income inner city students. Student self-esteem and parental support are not negatively impacted when firm discipline is administered fairly in a caring, supportive school climate. The conclusions of this investigation have implications for teacher staff development and campus administrator training. The findings also suggest further research in the areas of school culture, direct instruction, student discipline, and classroom ...
Date: May 1996
Creator: Seamster, Delores Stubblefield

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

A Critical Evaluation of the Religious Education Curriculum for Secondary School Students in Uganda

Description: This study documents a critical evaluation of the religious education curriculum used in Uganda's secondary schools. The study focused on goals and objectives, methods, content, and public perception of religious education instruction. The evaluation was based on a qualitative investigation that employed three methods to collect data: document analysis, classroom observation, and interviews. The investigation was guided by a series of research questions that included the following: What are the overall goals and objectives of religious education instruction? What are the attitudes from the community regarding religious education? What are the roles of religious leaders during implementation of this curriculum? How does the curriculum prepare students for the pluralistic nature of the society? What qualifications and training do the teachers have? What are the politics involved in curriculum implementation? What is the philosophy of religious education instruction as defined by policy makers and how is it implemented?
Date: December 1996
Creator: Musiime, Reuben

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

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.

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

Texas Teacher Education Reform of 1992: An Analysis of Events, Processes, and Results

Description: This was a qualitative study designed to document the historical process which brought about a performance-centered accountability (or results-based) system in educator preparation in Texas as reflected in the documents of the first 17 institutions approved under the new approval process for educator preparation. The study will also serve as a historical record which used the change process in political systems to analyze the adoption of the Accountability System for Educator Preparation (ASEP). Additionally, the study provided a thorough review of the literature on Michael Fullan's Change Process Model and David Easton's Political Systems Model.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Dixon, Marva T. (Marva Thomas)

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)

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.)

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

A Comparison of Teachers' Sense of Efficacy of Traditionally and Alternatively Certified First Year Teachers

Description: The purpose of this study was to compare the self-efficacy of two groups of first year teachers working in a large urban school district in North Texas. Twenty-eight of the participants were certified teachers. Ten participants held college degrees unrelated to teaching and were undergoing an alternative certification process. The Teacher Efficacy Scale was administered at the beginning and the end of the school year. Data from this scale was analyzed to determine if there were differences between the regular certification teachers and the alternative certification teachers at the beginning and the end of the school year, and to determine if their sense of efficacy changed over the course of the school year.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Groves, Katherine A. (Katherine Alice)

Effects of a Technology Enriched Learning Environment on Student Development of Higher Order Thinking Skills

Description: The problem for this study was to enhance the development of higher order thinking skills and improve attitudes toward computers for fifth and sixth grade students. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a Technology Enriched Classroom on student development of higher order thinking skills and student attitudes toward the computer. A sample of 80 sixth grade and 86 fifth grade students was tested using the Ross Test of Higher Cognitive Processes. The Ross Test was selected because of its stated purpose to judge the effectiveness of curricula or instructional methodology designed to teach the higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation as defined by Bloom. The test consisted of 105 items grouped into seven subsections. In addition, the students were surveyed using the Computer Attitude Questionnaire developed by the Texas Center for Educational Technology. The questionnaire assessed sixty-five questions combined to measure eight attitudes.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Hopson, Michael H. (Michael Hugh)

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

Formal Education among the Siberian Yupik Eskimos on Sivuqaq, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska: an Ethno-Historical Study

Description: The major focus of this study is the effect of formal education on individuals, communities, cultural traditions and values on Siberian Yupik Eskimos of Alaska. The first school on St. Lawrence Island (Sivuqaq), Alaska was founded in 1899 under the direction of Sheldon Jackson. The formal school curriculum for the next thirty years was secretarian. Upon the initial operation of formal schooling on the island, various other forms of schools have impacted the islanders of St. Lawrence. Chapter two is an overview of the background of education in Alaska from its beginning as a territory to its present status as the 49th state in the United States. Chapter three presents the history of formal schooling on St. Lawrence Island. Chapters two and three contain descriptions of various other forms of schooling within the state (i.e. Bureau of Indian Affairs, mission, state-owned) and when and how these forms either existed on the island or had an impact upon its villagers. Chapter four discusses the methodology utilized in conducting the research and fieldwork for this study. Research findings are discussed in chapter five and include verbatim transcriptions of interviews with villagers. These interviews are unedited in order for readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the study. The interviews included in this written finding are representative of interviews taken. Chapter six discusses conclusions gleaned over the course of this study and recommends further areas of study.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Powell, Pam, 1958-

Teacher Implementation of a Pretreatment Assessment Procedure in a Public Middle School

Description: In an attempt to determine the effectiveness of a pretreatment assessment procedure known as the scatter plot (Touchette, MacDonald, & Langer, 1985), direct observational data was collected by 13 middle school teachers on four "problem" students. After four weeks of data collection, interobserver agreement probes were calculated and a visual analysis of the plotted data was performed to ascertain a possible pattern of problem behavior. Additionally, in an attempt to assess the teachers' perceptions of the scatter plot, the 13 teachers were asked to complete a questionnaire. Although a visual analysis of the plotted data suggested a possible pattern of problem behavior, interobserver agreement probes failed to achieve a desired overall reliability of 90% or higher. Despite a low IOA, results of the questionnaire administered to the 13 teachers generally supported the use of the scatter plot as a means of assessing student behavior. Possible reasons for failing to attain an IOA of 90% or higher include the total number of students in a class, the number of subjects observed per period, the teacher's location in the classroom, and the subjects ability to recognize if the teacher was "looking." Recommendations are provided regarding future research concerning the scatter plot and other more formal approaches to assessing student behavior.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Alcala, Angelo L. (Angelo Lee)

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.

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

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

Attitudes Toward Computer Use and Gender Differences Among Kuwaiti Sixth-Grade Students

Description: Because computer use become more and more important in the educational environment, the attitudes of students toward computer may play an important role in their learning success. This study investigated the attitudes toward computers and gender differences of sixth-grade Kuwaiti students and examined the relationships between students’ attitudes toward computers and school, motivation/persistence, study habits, empathy, creative tendencies, and achievement in the Informatics field. The Computer Attitude Questionnaire (CAQ), translated from the English into Arabic Language for this study, was originally developed by Knezek and Miyashita for the Texas Center for Educational Technology (University of North Texas). The CAQ was administered to a random cluster sample of 10 public middle schools: (5 boys’ and 5 girls’ schools), with a total of 562 students, (265 boys and 297 girls), in the State of Kuwait during the academic year 1999-2000. The pilot test was conducted to calculate the reliability with Cronbach’s alpha = .87 for the CAQ Arabic version. This study found positive attitudes toward computer use (mean = 3.31 on 4-point Likert-scale); however, girls had significantly more positive attitudes toward computers (mean = 3.36) than did boys (mean = 3.26). It also found statistically significant correlations between attitudes toward computers and school (r. = .149), motivation/persistence (r. = .459), study habits (r. = .371), empathy (r. = .308), creative tendencies (r. = .530), and achievement in the Informatics field (r. = .201). A statistically significant gender difference was found in the correlations between attitudes toward computers and empathy. Girls had a stronger correlation (r. = .405) than boys (r. = .215). This study also found that students who use computers at home (mean = 3.40) have more positive attitudes toward computers than did students who do not (mean = 3.22). The main conclusion of the current study is that students like ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Almahboub, Shafi Fahad