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An Ethnographic Study of Outstanding, Veteran Elementary Teachers

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe outstanding, veteran elementary teachers using an ethnographic approach. This qualitative study was conducted in a suburban independent school district in northeast Texas serving approximately 17,000 students. The data collected focused on five outstanding, veteran elementary teachers who had at least twenty years of uninterrupted teaching service. Data were collected through interviews, classroom observations, and the administration of the Mind Styles (Gregorc,1982) inventory. The findings of this research were as follows. This study found that many factors were responsible for retaining outstanding, veteran elementary teachers in the work force. These included adequate preparation, a strong personal commitment, a successful initial teaching assignment, a development of skills and abilities inside and outside the teaching field, and professional accomplishments throughout the teaching career.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Adams, Sandra K. (Sandra Kay)

The Status of Transitional First Grade Programs in Regions 10 and 11 in North Central Texas

Description: The purposes of this study were to identify public school districts that currently offer, or are planning to offer, transitional first-grade programs, to describe existing transitional programs, to describe the genesis of transitional first-grade classes in the North Texas area, and to assist in the establishment of a networking system for schools in the North Central Texas area that currently have, or are planning to have, transitional first-grade classes. The 158 school districts in Regions 10 and 11 were surveyed. The findings of the study indicate that about one-third of the districts offered transitional first-grade programs during the 1988-89 school year, and two-thirds of the districts saw a need for transitional first-grade classes. These transitional programs were implemented to meet the needs of children who had completed kindergarten but were not ready for regular first grade. Transitional first-grade programs focus primarily on language arts and math skills for kindergarten and early first grade. While curriculum materials vary from district to district, language arts is likely to be based on a whole-language approach, and math is likely to focus on manipulatives.. Kindergarten teacher observation is used in the screening procedures in the majority of the districts. A number of instruments are used in the transitional screening process. The Gesell School Readiness Inventory, used in 24% of the districts, is most popular. About one-half of the districts use an informal method of evaluating the transitional program. A pretest-posttest method is used in 32% of the districts, and a longitudinal student tracking method is used in 20% of the districts. Of the 158 districts surveyed, 122, or 77%, of the districts are interested in being included in a networking system to exchange information about transitional first-grade programs.
Date: December 1989
Creator: Angove, Dawn A. (Dawn Annyce)

A Study of School Attenders and Non-Attenders in the Ninth Grade in an Urban Inner-City School in North Central Texas

Description: The problem of this study was to determine the effect of academic self-concept, student aspiration, intellectual achievement responsibility, and certain other personal factors on the attendance patterns of selected ninth grade students, and to develop from data on all factors a typical profile of conditions likely to result in high absenteeism and make recommendations for initial steps in remediation. As a result of the statistical analysis and subsequent retention or rejection of the null hypotheses, the significant findings of this study may be summarized as follows. (1) Ninth grade attenders are significantly younger than non-attenders. (2) Attenders had more siblings than non-attenders. (3) Attenders are significantly more involved in school organizations than non-attenders. (4) There is a higher frequency in suspensions among non-attenders. Based on analysis of the findings of this study and within the limitations of the population described in the procedure section, the following conclusions were formulated. (1) Students who have been retained, started school later, or for some reason are older than their classmates, are more likely to attend school irregularly.(2) Educators cannot expect to find the major causes of student absenteeism to be academic self-concept, intellectual achievement responsibility, or student aspiration. (3) Family size may be an important consideration for educators to investigate when working with school non-attenders. (4) School attenders can be expected to be actively involved in the co-curricular elements of the school program. (5) Higher rates of student suspensions are more likely to increase attendance problems rather than reduce them. (6) How students use their time outside the school day is not likely to be the crucial factor in school attendance. (7) While students often complain about schedules, teacher selection, and proximity of friends, it is not likely that changes in these factors would influence student attendance.
Date: May 1980
Creator: Bailey, Madell

The Influence of Inner-City and Suburban Student-Teaching Upon Beginning Elementary Teachers

Description: This study investigates the influence of inner-city and suburban student teaching upon adjustment and effectiveness of first-year elementary teachers, with secondary attention to their personal and professional problems of adjustment to their initial teaching location. The fifty-five subjects of this study were first-year, inner-city and suburban teachers in the Dallas area. Except for two Black females and three Anglo males, all were Anglo females. The findings of this study support the following conclusions 1. Student-teaching locale should not be the determining factor in deciding the type of school for first-year teachers. 2. Effective inner-city student teachers may be expected to be highly effective teachers in both inner-city schools and those in other locales. 3. Successful student-teaching experiences, regardless of location, can be expected to produce well-adjusted, effective teachers. 4. It can be anticipated that inner-city teachers will experience a negative change in optimism, attitudes toward teaching, general adjustment and mental health during their initial year of teaching. 5. Both suburban and inner-city teachers who enjoyed successful student-teaching experiences can be expected to have good self-perception, empathy, a favorable view of children, confidence regarding classroom discipline, and effectiveness as a teacher.
Date: December 1974
Creator: Bitner, Joe L.

The Learning-Center Concept in Open-Space Elementary Schools of Texas

Description: The first purpose of this study is to determine whether significant differences exist among the perceptions of principals, librarians, and teachers with respect to the following categorical practices or conditions relative to the learning-center concept in open-space elementary schools: (1) teacher preparation for use of the learning center; (2) student preparation for use of the learning center; (3) learning center personnel and their role; (4) operation of the learning center; (5) facilities, materials, and equipment in the learning center; (6) use of the learning center for individualizing learning; and (7) use of the learning center for developing independent learning skills. The second purpose of this study is to determine whether a significant correlation exists among specific categories. The third purpose of this study is to establish the degree of emphasis placed upon various practices or conditions relative to the learning-center concept in open-space elementary schools of Texas.
Date: December 1973
Creator: Dunlap, Donald Ray

The Effects of English Immersion Mathematics Classes on the Mathematics Achievement and Aspiration of Eighth-Grade Spanish-Speaking LEP Students

Description: This research grew from concerns relative to the mathematical performance of Spanish-speaking limited English proficient (LEP) public school students. This investigation studied the effects of the sheltered mathematics class on eighth-grade Spanish-speaking LEP students with regard to mathematical achievement, attitudes toward mathematics, the dropout rate, and the number of math credits earned in high school. The enrollment of a sheltered mathematics class was limited to LEP students. The purpose was to compare Spanish-speaking LEP students enrolled in sheltered mathematics classes with Spanish-speaking LEP students enrolled in regular mathematics classes. The research hypotheses were that achievement, mathematical attitudes, the dropout rate, and high school math credits earned would favor enrollment in sheltered mathematics classes. The data for achievement, dropout information, and mathematics course work completed were drawn from student records in the school district data bank. A mathematics attitude survey was given to a sample from the 1995-96 eighth-grade advanced level Spanish-speaking LEP students. The research hypotheses were not accepted. All of the populations did show an academic deficit. However, they did have more positive attitudes than negative attitudes toward mathematics. To improve achievement, staying in school, and a higher rate of inclusion in mathematics related careers the following recommendations were made: 1. Research should be done to write standardized mathematics tests that would be accurate and fair for Spanish-speaking LEP students. 2. Further research should be done into teaching strategies and classroom management particularly suited to Spanish-speaking LEP students. 3. Attitude measures should be used as pretest and posttest to study the effect of sheltered mathematics classes on LEP students in relation to attitudes toward mathematics and motivation to continue schooling. 4. Recruit and train qualified mathematics teachers to teach English as a second language (ESL) mathematics.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Hunt, Beverly Thornhill

Texas Elementary Educators' Professional Reading Practices

Description: The purposes of this study were (1) to survey the amount of time spent by elementary educators in reading professional literature; (2) to survey elementary educators' purposes for reading professional literature; (3) to survey the availability of professional literature to elementary educators; (4) to survey the circumstances which encourage or discourage the reading of professional literature by elementary educators; (5) to survey the types of sources of professional literature used by elementary educators; (6) to compare the amount of time spent by elementary teachers, elementary administrators, and elementary teach educators in reading professional literature; (7) to compare elementary teachers', elementary administrators', and elementary teach educators' purposes for reading professional literature; (8) to compare the availability of professional literature to elementary teachers, elementary administrators, and elementary teacher educators; (9) to compare the circumstances which encourage or discourage professional reading among elementary teachers, elementary administrators, and elementary teacher educators; and (10) to compare the types of sources of professional literature used by elementary teachers, elementary administrators, and elementary teacher educators.
Date: August 1980
Creator: Jones, Carl B. (Carl Bruce)

A History of State Level Curriculum Legislation Affecting Texas Public Elementary Schools, 1950-1983

Description: The problem with which this study is concerned is that of tracing the history of state level laws and resolutions which affected the elementary school curriculum in Texas' public schools during the years 1950-1983. The roles of the legislature, the State Board of Education, and the State Department of Education in relation to the curriculum are presented. The purposes of the study are to review state level legislation since 1950 that affected the curriculum, to update the work of earlier historical accounts of public education in Texas, and to provide a basis for understanding the current state of curriculum by focusing on its evolution. Inspection of the data reveals that numerous topics were added to the elementary curriculum during the years under study, resulting in a fragmented and complex curriculum. Many of these topics were repealed in 1981. The study concludes that the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education, as well as the legislature exert considerable influence over the curriculum, and that this influence seems likely to increase as the result of reform legislation enacted in 1981. Further study relating to the implementation effects of the new curriculum is recommended.
Date: December 1984
Creator: Love, Dorothy Anne

The Most Important Educational Problems Affecting the Growth of Elementary Schools of Texas, 1972

Description: The problem with which this investigation is concerned is the identification of conditions, situations, and events that are important problems faced in the public elementary schools of Texas. Problems are categorized into sixteen areas: finance, desegregation and busing, school organization, school personnel, preschool and kindergarten, instructional improvement, reporting systems, pupil behavior, curriculum, in-service staff training, humanizing the schools, public relations, minority groups, migrant children, special education, and recent trends. The purpose of the study is to determine perceived importance of problems and to establish priorities of current issues from information obtained from education leaders of elementary schools.
Date: August 1972
Creator: Nicholson, Sara Carolyn, 1922-

A Study of Relationships Between Teachers' Knowledge of and Attitude Toward Selected Teaching Strategies and Their Implementation in the Elementary Classroom

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the variables of content knowledge, individual attitude, and span of time from initial training with regard to implementation of selected teaching practices in the elementary classroom. The sample consisted of thirty-two elementary classroom teachers who teach reading or mathematics in a large suburban school district in the Dallas Metropolitan Area. After completion of the second day's training in an inservice program on teaching strategies, the teachers were given a test to measure content knowledge of and attitude toward the teaching strategies. The test results were used in determining four groups for follow-up classroom observations four weeks and eight weeks after the in-service sessions. Using three-way analysis of variance, the data were analyzed. Results indicated that teachers with high content knowledge of the teaching strategies implemented these strategies to a greater degree than did teachers with low content knowledge. No significant relationship with regard to implementation was found for the variables of attitude or span of time. It can be concluded that teachers who know the content of inservice training are able to and do implement the training in their classrooms. Of equal significance is the conclusion that teachers who do not know the content do not demonstrate teaching skills which duplicate the training concepts. It can also be concluded that training of this type is beneficial to teachers regardless of their attitude, and that teachers who implement training will do so with knowledge of the content not affected by the factor of time. It is suggested that additional studies be conducted using these and other variables and combinations of variables which may have a relationship to the teachers' use of inservice training in the classroom.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Speak, Lynda Overton

First-Year Teacher Usage of Manipulatives in Mathematics Instruction: A Case Study

Description: This qualitative case study examined the use of manipulatives in mathematics instruction by six first-year intermediate teachers in a north Texas school district. Their preparation for, access to, and perceptions about manipulatives were examined. Specific content associated with manipulative usage was identified.
Date: December 1989
Creator: Sylvester, Barbara N. (Barbara Nelson)

The Understanding and Attitudes of Elementary Teachers Toward Economic Education

Description: The purposes of this study are to determine the understanding of economic concepts and attitudes toward economic education of selected elementary teachers, to determine which variables relate to the understanding of economic concepts and attitudes toward economic education, to determine the interaction of selected variables, and to determine if there is a positive correlation between the understanding of economic concepts and attitudes toward economic education. The analysis of data reveals the following: 1. Completion of a recent college level social studies methods course does not appear to have a significant relation to the teachers' understanding of economic concepts. The methods course does appear to have some positive significant relation to teachers' attitudes toward economic education, although not significant at the .05 level. 2. Completion of two or more college level courses in economics does not appear to have a significant relation to the teachers' understanding of economic concepts or their attitudes toward economic education. 3. Participation in a Developmental Economic Education Program (DEEP) workshop appears to have a significant relation to the teachers' understanding of economic concepts, but does not appear to have a significant relation to their attitudes toward economic education. 4. Teaching assignment (classroom organization) does not appear to have a significant relation to the teachers' understanding of economic concepts, but does appear to have a significant relation to their attitudes toward economic education with teachers in a self-contained classroom having a less favorable attitude toward economic education than do teachers in team-teaching or departmentalized classrooms. 5. The interaction of the variables grade level taught and adopted textbook series used appears to have a significant relation to the teachers' understanding of economic concepts and their attitudes toward economic education. Sixth grade teachers using textbooks with high-economic content score higher in cognition and fourth-grade teachers using textbooks with low-economic ...
Date: August 1976
Creator: Vines, Carolyn Wadkins

The Use of Learning Styles in Teaching Social Studies in 7th and 8th Grade: A Case Study

Description: This qualitative case study examined the extent to which learning styles were used by teachers in four seventh and eighth grade social studies classrooms in a large suburban north Texas junior high school. The conclusions were as follows: 1) The environment on the junior high level did not afford the flexibility found in the elementary classroom. The changing of students, teachers, and the multi-purpose use of rooms did not afford flexibility of light, temperature, sound, and design preference. 2) The physical and the psychological categories had elements within each category that overlapped. A right brain activity closely aligned to a tactile/kinesthetic activity. A parallel between physical-mobility and psychological-global was noted, as well as a pattern between the global and the tactile/kinesthetic projects. 3) The split lunch period created problems for the global, kinesthetic, impulsive students. The academic environment was interrupted for a thirty minute period; students had to re-acclimate to a more analytic environment after lunch. 4) Each teacher alternated between primary style and secondary and tertiary styles. This mediation ability enabled each teacher to use all styles in lessons the researcher observed. 5) Abstract random and concrete random teachers did more group and team teaching than concrete sequential and abstract sequential teachers. Further, dominant sequential ordering in a teacher limited random activities. Whereas, dominant random ordering in a teacher limited sequential ordering activities. Both groups of teachers experienced teacher burnout when forced out of their primary style. 6) It was easier for those teachers whose primary and secondary ordering were opposite (CS/CR or AS/AR), as opposed to those whose primary and secondary ordering were the same (CS/AS or CR/AR), to align to a different environment. 7) These results suggest that teachers should not be required to stay in any one style. The flexibility of being able to alternate between ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: Woodring, Betty Gregory

A Comparison of Opinions of Three Professional Groups with Regard to Various Levels of Deviant Behavior in Children

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which fifth-grade teachers, teachers in special education, and child psychiatrists hold similar views regarding the seriousness of commonly observed student behaviors. In addition, the views of these three groups are compared to research regarding which behaviors in children are predictive of future delinquency. The Wickman Scale, consisting of fifty commonly observed children's behaviors, and a fifteen-pair Semantic Differential Scale, designed for use in this study, were administered to a group of fifth-grade teachers, a group of special education teachers, and a group of child psychiatrists.
Date: December 1973
Creator: Woodruff, Ralph S.