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The Role of Parental Involvement in a Chapter I Extended-Day Kindergarten

Description: This studied investigated parental involvement during the first year of a Chapter I extended-day kindergarten program which sought to promote parents taking an active role in their child's classroom and kindergarten educational experiences. A qualitative design was used to provide information about frequency and types of parental involvement as well as descriptive information about the interactions between parents and children within the classroom. This qualitative design also allowed investigation of the perceptions of the participants. Data analysis was ongoing and inductive; data were collected in the form of field notes, videotapes, audiotapes, interviews and classroom documents. Findings suggest that parental involvement provides benefits for the students, parents, teachers and the school as a whole. Findings also suggest that adult volunteers do not necessarily have to be parents; the adult volunteers could come from segments of the population that are not now fully utilized. Senior citizens and university teacher education students are two groups that could fill the volunteer positions. These findings have implications for the educational community in public schools and in teacher training programs of universities.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Stiefer, Toni Kilpatrick

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)

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

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

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)

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

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.)

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

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

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

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

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.

Parallels Between the Gaming Experience and Rosenblatt's Reader Response Theory

Description: The world of literacy has expanded alongside technology, and new literacies are being used as an alternative or an addition to traditional text. By including video gaming as literacy, the connection can be made between students' multimodal world outside of school with the world of literacy they encounter in school. This study took two approaches of a content study and a case study. A collective case study was used to examine the gaming experience of participants with three commercial video games falling into three separate genres: Sims FreePlay (simulation); Halo 1 (first person shooter); and World of Warcraft (role playing game). The 15 gamers were placed into three sets of five participants for each video game, and interviews were conducted to explore the gaming experience in relation to stance and transaction, which are major components of Louise Rosenblatt's reader response theory. Limited research has been conducted regarding reader response theory and the new literacies; by using the reader response lens, the gaming experience was compared to the reading experience to add the new literacies to the existing literature on reader response. As a way to look at both the text and the experience, a content study examined three mainstream video games to establish literacy content by using Zimmerman's gaming literacy theory. Even though this theory is useful by detailing elements found in video games and not traditional literature, literary value cannot be fully assessed unless the theory is developed further to include other components or discuss how the depth of the components can relate to literary value. The literature does not currently contain substantial research regarding how to assess the literary value of video games, so this study begins to add to the present literature by demonstrating that at least for these games the presence of the components of the ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Sanders, April

The Beliefs and Expectations of Effective Secondary Choral Teachers in Culturally Diverse Schools

Description: Through the years, educational theorists and researchers have been interested in a possible relationship between teachers' effectiveness and their beliefs and expectations. Three concepts underpinned this work: teacher effectiveness, cultural diversity, and teachers' beliefs and expectations. The premise of the study was that the beliefs and expectations of effective secondary choral teachers are related to the social-cultural contexts in which they teach. The study implemented critical discourse analysis as the theoretical framework and the in-depth phenomenological long interview for data collection. Three secondary choral teachers were selected to participate in the study based on the researcher's criteria. The study revealed how each teacher conceptualized student cultural diversity during the teaching experience. Teacher beliefs about effective teaching in culturally diverse settings were described as developing over time in phases along a continuum. The study also confirmed that teachers' beliefs about students can be changed through experiences and reflection. The study revealed effective teachers focused on three different types of expectations in the teaching and learning context and affirmed diverse cultural identities and backgrounds. Recommendations included the development of stronger mentorship programs to increase effective teaching strategies for the secondary choral classroom. The findings of this study support my previous work, which introduces a sequential learning framework for teaching music in culturally diverse schools.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Spradley, Mackie V.

An Examination of How 4-8 Preservice Teachers Understand and Implement Multicultural Concepts

Description: Preparing teachers to teach in the diverse classroom has become one of the most important goals for universities and teacher training programs. The main purposes of this study included to examine what type of multicultural concepts were taught preservice teachers who sought certification in Grades 4-8 and how these preservice teachers understood and implemented multicultural concepts in their educational portfolios and coursework, field experiences, and student teaching. The population of the study consisted of 53 undergraduate, preservice teachers enrolled in the last two years of a 4-8 teacher certification program. A modified grounded theory methodology and interpretive approach was used in the analysis of the course syllabi, required readings and student coursework. The study found that this particular program exposed the preservice teachers to a significant number of multicultural concepts in preparation for teaching in the ethnically diverse schools in the area. In addition, the study looked at which of Grant and Sleeter's five multicultural approaches were found most often in the course syllabi and required readings, as well as the preservice teachers' portfolio artifacts, key assessments, and reflective writing samples. The research found the majority of the course syllabi and assigned readings covered concepts in the human relations and multicultural education approaches. The majority of the preservice teachers in this study identified most often with the multicultural education approach, although all five multicultural approaches were found in various portfolio artifacts, key assessments, and reflective writing samples. The study further indicates it was a combination of the multicultural courses, the field experiences, the student teaching, and the preservice teachers' adaptability to ethnic diversity that helped the preservice teachers experience successful opportunities with the students. The adaptability of the preservice teachers in the study also appears to match recent research that suggests that university students in general may be growing more ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Schellen, Julie K.

The Politics of Grading: a Comparative Study of High School English Teachers' Personal Beliefs, Self-reported Systems, and Actual Practices

Description: The purpose of this study was to attain and analyze data regarding high school English teachers' beliefs about grading practices and their self-reported grading practices, to identify and understand disparities that exist between teachers' beliefs and self-reported practices, to identify discrepancies between the same self-reported practices and evidence of the practices actually utilized, and to consider teachers' perceptions as to the causes for these discrepancies. Instrumentation for this study included two surveys with both Likert and Likert-like items and an interview/portfolio analysis of teachers' grading systems. A combined total of 204 high school English-language arts teachers representing thirty-eight states and eighty-five schools comprised the sample. Corresponding pairs of Likert-type items were analyzed using studies of the mode, median, mean rank, and the Mann-Whitney U Test to study a comparison of the medians, and comparisons of true Likert scale item results were completed using studies of the means and an independent samples t-test. Interview/portfolio analysis data were analyzed both descriptively and inferentially including the calculation of 95% confidence intervals for generalizability. All open-ended items were considered qualitatively through a process of identifying and categorizing trends in language and over-arching themes. Results indicate that the sample finds grading practices recommended by experts in the field to be best grading practices, and respondents generally report the use of these same practices in their own grading systems. The data reveal, however, discrepancies between the majority of teachers' reported practices and their actual practices. Study participants are likely to place blame for these discrepancies on these sources: campus or district authorities, the limited time available, and the interferences caused by parents.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Thibodeaux, Lisa M.

The Development of Algebraic Reasoning in Undergraduate Elementary Preservice Teachers

Description: Although studies of teacher preparation programs have documented positive changes in mathematical knowledge for teaching with preservice teachers in mathematics content courses, this study focused on the impact of a mathematics methods course and follow-up student teaching assignment. The presumption was that preservice teachers would show growth in their mathematical knowledge during methods since the course was structured around active participation in mathematics, research-based pedagogy, and was concurrent with a two-day-per-week field experience in a local elementary school. Survey instruments utilized the computer adaptive test version of the Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) measures from the Learning Mathematics for Teaching Project, and the Attitudes and Beliefs (towards mathematics) survey from the Mathematical Education of Elementary Teachers Project. A piecewise growth model analysis was conducted on data collected from 176 participants at 5 time-points (methods, 3 time-points; student teaching, 2 time-points) over a 9 month period. Although the participants' demographics were typical of U.S. undergraduate preservice teachers, findings suggest that initial low-level of mathematical knowledge, and a deep-rooted belief that there is only one way to solve mathematics problems, limited the impact of the methods and student teaching courses. The results from this study indicate that in (a) number sense, there was no significant change during methods (p = .392), but a significant decrease during student teaching (p < .001), and in (b) algebraic thinking, there was a significant decrease during methods (p < .001), but no significant change during student teaching (p = .653). Recommendations include that the minimum teacher preparation program entry requirements for mathematical knowledge be raised and that new teachers participate in continued professional development emphasizing both mathematical content knowledge and reform-based pedagogy to continue to peel away deep-rooted beliefs towards mathematics.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Hayata, Carole Anne

Student to Teacher Racial/Ethnic Ratios as Contributors to Regional Achievement Gaps, 1999-2008

Description: With the advent of No Child Left Behind legislation in 2002 and its mandates for annual yearly progress for all students, many districts and schools in Texas have had difficulty elevating African American and Hispanic students’ scores. The current study examined these students’ achievement on the annual Texas high-stakes measure as a function of a numerical construct that aligns the race/ethnicity of students when the teacher race is White. Earlier studies have shown that racial/ethnic compatibility between students and teachers improves student achievement in the primary grades. The study, which was set in 10 north Texas school districts and 30 high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools, examined African American and Hispanic students’ achievement on the Texas state assessments in reading and mathematics over a 10-year period. District performance data came from 4,664,192 African American, Hispanic, and White students and 222, 834 White teachers. Campus level data encompassed 188,839 10th graders, 93,573 eighth graders, and 40,083 fourth graders, and 20,471 White teachers. Analysis revealed that, as the ratios of African American and Hispanic students to White teachers increased, the percentages of these two student groups passing the Texas assessments decreased. These patterns differed for White students whose passing percentages increased as these students’ numbers increased relative to White teachers in all settings except in elementary schools. These preliminary findings suggested that racial alignment at the high school and middle school levels might elevate African American and Hispanic achievement. Implications may lead to shifting focus on teacher quality and class size as the primary determinants of student achievement. Findings need validation with further study using larger data sets and sequential grade levels. If validated through further studies involving larger samples, contiguous grade levels, and more sophisticated statistical analysis, this study’s findings may have implications for teacher education curriculum, recruitment of minority ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: Hays, James M.

The Impact of Collegial-Teaming on High-School and University Instructors: A Descriptive Multi-Case Study

Description: This descriptive multi-case study systematically explored the team teaching relationship between a secondary teacher and a university faculty member. Multiple interviews, classroom observations, and analysis of available data provided insights into the interactions of these particular collegial-teams, drawn together for the purpose of providing rigorous STEM curriculum to high-ability students during a three-week residential program. Data revealed that successful collaboration can be described by the emergent themes of reciprocity, respect, flexibility, and time. It appears that an active interchange, or reciprocity, and mutual respect between partners during curriculum/lesson/unit planning, instructional delivery, and assessment facilitate effective collaborative instruction. Findings further revealed that instructors expressed an overall positive experience with collegial-teaming; one that has been valuable to them as professionals. The university instructors reported acquiring and improving upon their own pedagogical skills, while the high-school instructors reported gains in terms of obtaining in-depth content knowledge. The partnership also assisted in bridging insights between the secondary and college arenas in terms of content and academic expectations at both levels. The overall experience provided professional growth and development that would not have occurred without the unique pairing of a high-school instructor and a university faculty member.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Dearman, Christina T.

Novice Generalist and Content teachers’ Perceptions of Contextual Factors Affecting Personal Teaching Efficacy

Description: New teachers begin the school year with optimism and enthusiasm, but their excitement quickly wanes as they encounter the realities of the everyday life of a teacher. When they do not experience the successes they predicted, many begin to doubt their capabilities, which results in a lowered sense of teaching efficacy. This descriptive study was designed to identify the contextual factors novice teachers perceive as influences on personal teaching efficacy and to examine the relationships between the factors. Two groups of novice teachers who were concurrently enrolled in a post-baccalaureate accelerated educator preparation program and working as first-year teachers were the participants in the study. Data were gathered for the study through focus group activities, twice weekly journal entries completed during the teaching year, and a culminating “lessons learned” paper written during the last month of the first year of teaching. Each of the two focus groups identified nine contextual factors they perceived to affect personal teaching efficacy. Six factors were identified by both groups: parental involvement, support from administrators and colleagues, classroom discipline, testing results, teaching strategies and outcomes, and relationships with administrators and colleagues. The groups, however, perceived the relationships between the contextual factors differently. The generalists perceived recursive relationships between the factors, while the content group perceived a linear relationship.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Hooten, Dorleen Billman