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Toward an Ecofeminist Environmental Jurisprudence: Nature, Law, and Gender

Description: This thesis develops a legal theory reflecting the insights of feminism and environmental philosophy. I argue that human beings are not ontologically separate, but embedded in webs of relationality with natural others. My primary purposes are to 1) delineate ways in which institutions of modernity (such as law and science) have precipitated ecosocial crisis through the attempt to dialectically enforce mastery and control over nature and women; and 2) explore alternate political forms and ontologies which challenge the classical liberalist view of the (human) individual as a radically isolated, discrete, autonomous being. My overarching theme is that law functions as a narrative that can both hinder and enhance the promotion of ecological ideas, and how ecofeminism can contribute to transformative projects of environmental philosophy and feminist law.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Mallory, Chaone

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

A Discrimination of Software Implementation Success Criteria

Description: Software implementation projects struggle with the delicate balance of low cost, on-time delivery and quality. The methodologies and processes used to create and maintain a quality software system are expensive to deploy and result in long development cycle-time. However, without their deployment into the software implementation life-cycle, a software system will be undependable, unsuccessful. The purpose of this research is to identify a succinct set of software implementation success criteria and assess the key independent constructs, activities, carried out to ensure a successful implementation project. The research will assess the success of a software implementation project as the dependent construct of interest and use the software process model (methodology) as the independent construct. This field research involved three phases: (1) criteria development, (2) data collection, and (3) testing of hypotheses and discriminant analysis. The first phase resulted in the development of the measurement instruments for the independent and dependent constructs. The measurement instrument for the independent construct was representative of the criteria from highly regarded software implementation process models and methodologies, e.g., ISO9000, Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model (SEI CMM). The dependent construct was developed from the categories and criteria from the Delone and McLean (1992) MIS List of Success Measures. The data collection and assessment phase employed a field survey research strategy to 80 companies involved in internal software implementation. Both successful and unsuccessful software implementation projects (identified by the Delone/McLean model) participated. Results from 165 projects were collected, 28 unsuccessful and 137 successful. The third phase used ANOVA to test the first 11 hypotheses and employed discriminant analysis for the 12th hypothesis to identify the "best set" of variables, criteria, that discriminate between successful and unsuccessful software implementation projects. Twelve discriminating variables out of 67 were identified and supported as significant discriminators between successful and unsuccessful projects. ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Pryor, Alan N.

Exhibit Eh: Canadian Dependency, U.S. Hegemony, and the Amorphousness of English Canadian Culture

Description: This thesis begins by examining the factors that have resulted in the dependent nature of Canada's political and economic structure, and proceeds to examine how this has contributed to the cultural amorphousness of English Canadian identity. The hegemonic authority of American and trans-national interests, established and maintained in the cultural sphere through the extensive monopoly of the distribution of cultural and media products, perpetuates the amorphousness of English Canadian culture through the appropriation of Canadian space by the international image industry. Such categorization of Canadian space reflects and perpetuates the imaginary representation of Canada within the dominant ideology as an indistinct and amorphous entity, and comes to usurp the materiality that constructs the lived identities of English Canadians.
Date: August 1999
Creator: McIntosh, Andrew

Girl Power: Feminism, Girlculture and the Popular Media

Description: This project is an interrogation of three examples from recent popular culture of girlculture, specifically texts that target young female consumers: the Spice Girls, Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These examples are fundamentally different than texts from earlier female targeted generic models because they not only reflect the influence of the feminist movement, they work on feminism's behalf. The project's methodology grows out of feminist film theories and cultural studies theories. One chapter is dedicated to each text, and each reading works to reappropriate girlculture texts for a counter-hegemonic agenda by highlighting the moments when each text manages to subvert its mass mediated conservative biases.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Smith, Ashley Lorrain

The Computation of Ultrapowers by Supercompactness Measures

Description: The results from this dissertation are a computation of ultrapowers by supercompactness measures and concepts related to such measures. The second chapter gives an overview of the basic ideas required to carry out the computations. Included are preliminary ideas connected to measures, and the supercompactness measures. Order type results are also considered in this chapter. In chapter III we give an alternate characterization of 2 using the notion of iterated ordinal measures. Basic facts related to this characterization are also considered here. The remaining chapters are devoted to finding bounds fwith arguments taking place both inside and outside the ultrapowers. Conditions related to the upper bound are given in chapter VI.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Smith, John C.

Picosecond Dynamics of Free-Carrier Populations, Space-Charge Fields, and Photorefractive Nonlinearities in Zincblende Semiconductors

Description: Generally, nonlinear optics studies investigate optically-induced changes in refraction or absorption, and their application to spectroscopy or device fabrication. The photorefractive effect is a nonlinear optical effect that occurs in solids, where transport of an optically-induced free-carrier population results in an internal space-charge field, which produces an index change via the linear electrooptic effect. The photorefractive effect has been widely studied for a variety of materials and device applications, mainly because it allows large index changes to be generated with laser beams having only a few milliwatts of average power.Compound semiconductors are important photorefractive materials because they offer a near-infrared optical response, and because their carrier transport properties allow the index change to be generated quickly and efficiently. While many researchers have attempted to measure the fundamental temporal dynamics of the photorefractive effect in semiconductors using continuous-wave, nanosecond- and picosecond-pulsed laser beams, these investigations have been unsuccessful. However, studies with this goal are of clear relevance because they provide information about the fundamental physical processes that produce this effect, as well as the material's speed and efficiency limitations for device applications.In this dissertation, for the first time, we time-resolve the temporal dynamics of the photorefractive nonlinearities in two zincblende semiconductors, semi-insulating GaAs and undoped CdTe. While CdTe offers a lattice-match to the infrared material HgxCd1-xTe, semi-insulating GaAs has been widely used in optoelectronic and high-speed electronic applications. We use a novel transient-grating experimental method that allows picosecond temporal resolution and high sensitivity. Our results provide a clear and detailed picture of the picosecond photorefractive response of both materials, showing nonlinearities due to hot-carrier transport and the Dember space-charge field, and a long-lived nonlinearity that is due to the EL2 midgap species in GaAs. We numerically model our experimental results using a general set of equations that describe nonlinear diffraction and ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Stark, Thomas S.

Syllabus for Advanced Placement Biology

Description: The purpose of this syllabus is to provide a working copy to those teachers of the advanced placement biology course taught at the high school level. Reference materials used were the Texas Education Agency ( TEA ) approved Campbell text Biology and the College Board's, Advanced Placement Biology Laboratory Manual. The syllabus is divided into major topics with outlined notes and includes laboratory exercises as recommended by the College Board. The AP biology course is intended to be equivalent to college biology. College freshman biology courses can differ among colleges and among teachers within the same college. This syllabus is intended to serve as an aid to AP teachers, to cover the topics and experiments as set out by the College Board, and to the high school student, the necessary material to successfully complete the AP examination while providing freshman biology equivalence.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Turk, Cathy Christine

Parents' Motivation in Registering their Child for Gymnastics

Description: This study examined factors that motivate parents to involve their children in organized gymnastics programs. A questionnaire based on McCullagh et al.'s (1993) study of recreational soccer players was used along with open-ended questions. The questionnaire was administered to parents of children who were involved in a private gymnastics club. Descriptive statistics of 156 surveys showed that fitness, skill development, and fun were most frequently cited reasons for parents in their decision to enroll and keep their child in gymnastics programs. Competition was the least important factor. ANOVA showed that competition and team membership factors were more important to the parents of competitive gymnasts than parents of recreational gymnasts. Coaches and youth sport program organizers could use these findings to develop and market youth activity programs.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Wald, Jennie

The Development of IAM District Lodge 776 in Fort Worth, Texas, 1942-1946: A Case Study in the Growth of Organized Labor During World War II

Description: This thesis concentrates on a local union of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), District Lodge 776, of Fort Worth, Texas, during the war years. The main argument of the thesis runs along three basic lines. First, it demonstrates that the experiences of the Fort Worth Machinists clearly fit into the national labor movement during the war years. Second, it argues that the existence, survival, and strength of the union depended greatly on outside forcesan expanding national economy, a powerful national union, and a generally labor-friendly government. Third, it shows that union officers and rank-and-file members used their bases of strengththe national economy, the national IAM, and the federal governmentto build an effective local labor organization.
Date: August 1999
Creator: White, Kirk

Academic Lineage and Student Performance in Medical School

Description: This research investigated the association between academic lineage and student performance in medical school. The purposes of the study were to: (1) determine whether the Carnegie classifications of medical school applicants' institutions of origin are associated with academic performance in medical school; (2) consider the relationship between the admission selectivity of the schools of origin and the academic performance of medical school students; (3) compare the performance of medical students from institutions under public governing control with students from privately controlled institutions; and (4) establish a model by which the relative academic strengths of applicants from a variety of undergraduate institutions can be understood more clearly based on the previous performance of medical students from schools with similar institutional characteristics. A review of the literature on medical school admissions was completed and used to develop this research. Medical students from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas who enrolled between the years 1990 and 1994 and graduated or were dismissed between the years 1994 and 1998 were selected as the sample for the study (n=933). The undergraduate institution of origin for each student was coded based on its Carnegie classification, admissions selectivity group, and whether its governing control was public or private. Because the sample was not randomly selected and the data likely would not meet the assumptions of equal means and variance with the population, nonparametric analyses of variance and multiple comparison tests were completed to compare the groups of the independent variables over each dependent variable. The analyses revealed that for the sample of medical students selected for this study there was an association between academic lineage and student performance in medical school. Differences were found among Carnegie classifications on the dependent variables of cumulative medical school grade point average, class rank, failure rate, and score ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Wright, James Scott

An Assessment of the Use of Seeding, Mowing, and Burning in the Restoration of an Oldfield to Tallgrass Prairie in Lewisville, Texas

Description: An examination of the effectiveness of seeding, burning, and mowing in the reestablishment of tallgrass prairie species on overgrazed and abandoned pastureland. The study site is a 20 acre tract on U.S. Corps of Engineers land below Lake Lewisville in Denton County, Texas. The site was partitioned into thirty-nine 40 by 40 meter plots with seeding (carried out in 1996) and management treatment (burning, mowing, and no maintenance carried out in 1998) randomly applied following a two level design. For each plot, nine stratified-random 0.1 m2 subplots were examined and shoot counts for each species recorded. The effects of the treatments on individual species and species richness were analyzed with a two-way ANOVA followed by a SNK multiple range test, both on ranked data. Community level analysis was conducted with both a MANOVA on ranked data and a Canonical Correspondence Analysis on raw data. Results indicate that seeding positively affected species richness, particularly when combined with either burning or mowing in the early spring. Mowing also significantly increased species richness in areas that were not seeded, while burning negatively affected species richness on unseeded plots. Treatments significantly affected community composition with treatments having the most clear effect on spring and summer forbs.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Windhager, Steven

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

Comparative Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Diversity in Isolated and Open Populations of Southern Flying Squirrels

Description: Three populations of Southern flying squirrels were studied in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas to assess the impact of population subdivision-due to island formation--on the population genetics of Glaucomys volans. One island, one mainland, and one open population were investigated. A 367 nucleotide hypervariable region of mitochondrial DNA was sequenced in individuals from each population. Individuals and populations were compared to assess relatedness. Higher sequence diversity was detected in the open and island populations. One island individual shared characters with both the island and mainland populations. Results support the hypothesis that the mainland population may have reduced gene flow. Also, the island population may have been originally founded by at least two maternal lineages.
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Date: August 1999
Creator: Cook, Melaney Birdsong

Development of Cardiovascular Regulation in Embryos of the Domestic Fowl (Gallus Gallus), with a Partial Comparison to Embryos of the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus Agassizii)

Description: In adult vertebrates, cardiovascular regulation is accomplished by numerous systems with neural, hormonal and local components responsible for the majority of regulation. These regulatory components work in concert to maintain the essential function of blood perfusion to adult tissues. Given the essential nature of this function it is therefore surprising that the development of cardiovascular regulation during gestation is poorly understood. The majority of what is known is based on a single vertebrate model, the fetal lamb. The fetal lamb has been used in multiple studies due to the clear clinical applications and has been pivotal in understanding the onset of regulation in developing vertebrates. However, study on the fetal lamb is limited to the latter 40% of gestation and has the added complication of an in-utero developmental strategy. Therefore the primary focus of this dissertation was to characterize basic cardiovascular regulation in the chicken embryo to provided the needed information for it's use an alternative to the fetal lamb. Developing chicken embryos rely on both alpha and beta adrenergic tones to maintain normal heart rate and arterial blood pressure during incubation. However, on day 21, just prior to hatch, these animals lose both tones on arterial pressure suggesting the onset of adult regulation. Cholinergic tone, however, was absent throughout chicken development indicating that it must mature during the neonatal life. Adult cardiovascular reflexes become apparent late in chicken development with a clear baroreflex specifically operating initially on day. However, an adult response to changes in ambient gas tension was absent during incubation suggesting embryos possess unique regulatory systems that are absent in adult chickens. This mechanism is comprised entirely of adrenergic systems with no cholinergic action during change in ambient gas tension. Similar developmental patterns were determined in embryos of the desert tortoise suggesting fundamental differences between in-utero and ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Crossley, Dane Alan

A Multimedia Atlas of Dissection for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates

Description: Traditional methods of teaching the laboratory course for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates could be improved by applying current computer technology to construct an interactive, multimedial atlas of dissection. Five specimens used in comparative anatomy courses at most institutions were chosen as representative members of the Phylum Chordata: amphioxus, lamprey, dogfish shark, mud puppy, and cat. Specimens were dissected according to the modified method of Wischnitzer, 1993, and each stage was photographed with a Kodak DC120 digital zoom camera. These images were processed on a Power Macintosh 7600 computer with Adobe Photoshop v. 5.0. The atlas was constructed from these images using Macromedia Authorware v. 4.0.3. Each image contains a series of interactive objects that display a highlight and descriptive text as the cursor passes over each object.
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Date: August 1999
Creator: Curran, Anthony A.

Harbor: The Act of Autobiography

Description: This written thesis accompanies a sixteen-minute documentary video, Harbor, in which the filmmaker explores her relationship with her father who has suffered a stroke. Detailed accounts of the pre-production, production and post-production of the video allow the reader to understand the challenging and rewarding process of making an autobiographical documentary. Theoretical issues are also discussed, including the validity, criticisms, artistic nature and ethical concerns of autobiographical filmmaking. The filmmaker stresses the universality of her story, and how, despite the film's very personal nature, it is applicable for anyone who has dealt with the illness and/or disability of a parent.
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Date: August 1999
Creator: Doeren, Catherine Wallace

Animals-as-Trope in the Selected Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison

Description: In this dissertation, I show how 20th century African-American women writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison utilize animals-as-trope in order to illustrate the writers' humanity and literary vision. In the texts that I have selected, I have found that animals-as-trope functions in two important ways: the first function of animal as trope is a pragmatic one, which serves to express the humanity of African Americans; and the second function of animal tropes in African-American women's fiction is relational and expresses these writers' "ethic of caring" that stems from their folk and womanist world view. Found primarily in slave narratives and in domestic fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries, pragmatic animal metaphors and/or similes provide direct analogies between the treatment of African-Americans and animals. Here, these writers often engage in rhetoric that challenges pro-slavery apologists, who attempted to disprove the humanity of African-Americans by portraying them as animals fit to be enslaved. Animals, therefore, become the metaphor of both the abolitionist and the slavery apologist for all that is not human. The second function of animals-as-trope in the fiction of African-American women writers goes beyond the pragmatic goal of proving African-Americans's common humanity, even though one could argue that this goal is still present in contemporary African-American fiction. Animals-as-trope also functions to express the African-American woman writer's understanding that 1) all oppressions stem from the same source; 2) that the division between nature/culture is a false onethat a universal connection exists between all living creatures; and 3) that an ethic of caring, or relational epistemology, can be extended to include non-human animals. Twentieth-century African-American writers such as Hurston, Walker, and Morrison participate in what anthropologists term, "neototemism," which is the contemporary view that humankind is part of nature, or a vision that Morrison would ...
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Date: August 1999
Creator: Erickson, Stacy M.

Developing Criteria for Extracting Principal Components and Assessing Multiple Significance Tests in Knowledge Discovery Applications

Description: With advances in computer technology, organizations are able to store large amounts of data in data warehouses. There are two fundamental issues researchers must address: the dimensionality of data and the interpretation of multiple statistical tests. The first issue addressed by this research is the determination of the number of components to retain in principal components analysis. This research establishes regression, asymptotic theory, and neural network approaches for estimating mean and 95th percentile eigenvalues for implementing Horn's parallel analysis procedure for retaining components. Certain methods perform better for specific combinations of sample size and numbers of variables. The adjusted normal order statistic estimator (ANOSE), an asymptotic procedure, performs the best overall. Future research is warranted on combining methods to increase accuracy. The second issue involves interpreting multiple statistical tests. This study uses simulation to show that Parker and Rothenberg's technique using a density function with a mixture of betas to model p-values is viable for p-values from central and non-central t distributions. The simulation study shows that final estimates obtained in the proposed mixture approach reliably estimate the true proportion of the distributions associated with the null and nonnull hypotheses. Modeling the density of p-values allows for better control of the true experimentwise error rate and is used to provide insight into grouping hypothesis tests for clustering purposes. Future research will expand the simulation to include p-values generated from additional distributions. The techniques presented are applied to data from Lake Texoma where the size of the database and the number of hypotheses of interest call for nontraditional data mining techniques. The issue is to determine if information technology can be used to monitor the chlorophyll levels in the lake as chloride is removed upstream. A relationship established between chlorophyll and the energy reflectance, which can be measured by satellites, enables ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Keeling, Kellie Bliss

Peer Education: Building Community Through Playback Theatre Action Methods

Description: The primary purpose of this study was to use some of the action methods of playback theatre to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge through the experience of building community. The impact of action methods on group dynamics and the relationship among methods, individual perceptions, and the acquisition of knowledge were analyzed. The researcher suggested that playback theatre action methods provided a climate in which groups can improve the quality of their interactions. The Hill Interaction Matrix (HIM) formed the basis for the study's analysis of interactions. Since the researcher concluded there were significantly more interactions coded in the "power quadrant" after training, the researcher assumed that playback theatre action methods are a catalyst for keeping the focus on persons in the group, encouraging risk-taking behaviors, and producing constructive feedback between members. Based on session summaries, individual interviews, and an analysis of the Group Environment Scale (GES), the training group became more cohesive, became more expressive, promoted independence, encouraged self-discovery, and adapted in innovative ways. The experience of an interconnected community created a space where positive growth could occur. The researcher concluded that the process of community building is intricately connected with a person's ability to make meaning out of experiences. Participants in the study noted several processes by which they acquired new knowledge: (a) knowledge through internal processes, (b) knowledge through modeling, (c) knowledge through experiences, (d) knowledge through acknowledgment and application. Acknowledging and applying knowledge were behaviors identified as risk-taking, communication and active listening, acceptance of diverse cultures and opinions, and building community relations. The study suggested further research in the effects of these methods compared to other learning methods, the effects of these methods on other types of groups, the effects of the leader's relationship to the group, and the long-term effects on group dynamics.
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Date: August 1999
Creator: Kintigh, Monica R.

Fractional Integration and Political Modeling

Description: This dissertation investigates the consequences of fractional dynamics for political modeling. Using Monte Carlo analyses, Chapters II and III investigate the threats to statistical inference posed by including fractionally integrated variables in bivariate and multivariate regressions. Fractional differencing is the most appropriate tool to guard against spurious regressions and other threats to inference. Using fractional differencing, multivariate models of British politics are developed in Chapter IV to compare competing theories regarding which subjective measure of economic evaluations best predicts support levels for the governing party; egocentric measures outperform sociotropic measures. The concept of fractional cointegration is discussed and the value of fractionally integrated error correction mechanisms are both discussed and demonstrated in models of Conservative party support. In Chapter V models of presidential approval in the United States are reconfigured in light of the possibilities of fractionally integrated variables. In both the British and American case accounting for the fractional character of all variables allows the development of more accurate multivariate models.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Lebo, Matthew Jonathan

The Relation of Attachment, Adjustment and Narcissism to Masculine Gender Role Conflict

Description: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between masculine gender role conflict, attachment variables, narcissism, and adjustment. It was expected that men who reported higher masculine gender role conflict would also report unhealthy attachment, have a greater degree of narcissism and poorer adjustment. This study employed a sample of undergraduate males who completed self-report questionnaires measuring masculine gender role conflict, narcissism, adjustment, and attachment. Hypotheses were tested using canonical correlation techniques. Results indicated that healthy attachment was related to low masculine gender role conflict; however, unhealthy attachment was not related to high masculine gender role conflict. In terms of narcissism, higher amounts of narcissism were related to high amounts of gender role conflict, but in a subset of results individuals who reported low masculine gender role conflict also reported higher narcissism in areas that are assumed to relate to positive self regard. Results related to adjustment indicated that high masculine gender role conflict was related to less psychological well-being replicating past studies. Theoretical and methodological issues were discussed in light of these findings.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Selby, Brian W.

Examining the Nature of Interactions which Facilitate Learning and Impact Reading Achievement During a Reading Apprenticeship: A Case Study of At-risk Adolescent Readers

Description: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the interactions that take place during a reading apprenticeship which facilitate the learning of reading strategies by adolescent students who are at the middle school level and are still at-risk for reading failure and to investigate how a reading apprenticeship affects reading achievement in the areas of fluency, vocabulary development, comprehension, and the self-perception of the reader. The case study was descriptive and interpretive in nature, and examined two students, each of whom was part of a one-to-one reading apprenticeship. The researcher served as participant observer in both cases and was the teacher in each of the one-to-one reading apprenticeships. The primary data set was qualitative in nature, and elements of quantitative data were also considered. Sessions included pretesting and posttesting using the Classroom Assessment of Reading Processes (Swearingen & Allen, 1997), reading from narrative or expository books, working with words, writing, and dialoguing about the reading. Reading strategies were directly taught, modeled, and reinforced by the teacher/researcher with the goal of the students internalizing the strategies and improving their reading in the areas of fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension, as well as improving their attitudes toward reading and their self-perception about their reading ability. This study described a reading apprenticeship which positively impacted reading achievement for two students in the areas of fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary development, as well as influencing their motivation for reading and their self-perceptions as readers. The environment of the reading apprenticeship, the dialogue that occurred throughout the reading apprenticeship, and strategy instruction, modeling, and reinforcement were found to be factors and interactions which facilitated learning during this intervention.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Arthur, Mary L.