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A Comparison of the Relative Effectiveness of Mainstream Versus Pullout Treatment Programs in Addressing the Needs of At-Risk Students
The purpose of the study was to compare the relative benefits of treating at-risk students, those considered to be potential dropouts, by separating them into special classes at a separate facility—a pullout program—versus having them remain in regular classes with periodic supplemental counseling based upon individual needs—a mainstream program. To carry out the purpose of the study, students enrolled in the two types of treatment programs were compared in respect to retention in school, attendance, academic achievement based upon pretest and posttest scores, report card grades, and attitude toward school.
The Effect of Parent Involvement Training on the Achievement of Hispanic Students
The purpose of this study was to ascertain the effect of a parent involvement education program on the academic achievement, school behavior, and educational motivation of Hispanic students enrolled in a bilingual education program. Fifty bilingual fourth-grade students and their parents were compared to 50 bilingual fourth-grade students and their parents who were subjected to a parent education program. The groups were randomly assigned from a stratified random sample. Students in each group were given the Student Attitude Measure prior to treatment and immediately following the parent involvement training. Parents in each group were given the Parent Opinion Inventory prior to and immediately following the parent involvement training. Students were also compared utilizing a norm-referenced achievement test. Discipline referrals were compared between the experimental group and the control group.
The Emergent Literacy Behaviors of Bilingual Education Kindergarten Students During Modified Sustained Silent Reading : A Descriptive Study
The purpose of this study was to describe the behaviors of kindergarten students during Sustained Silent Reading sessions modified to be developmentally appropriate.
From Knowing Content to Constructing Knowledge: A Trend Analysis of Secondary Science Education, 1953-1992
The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze secondary science education curriculum and instruction trends for the period 1953-1992 by using the technique of content analysis to examine a representative portion of journal articles and policy statements in secondary science education. Two major science publications, The Science Teacher and Science Education, were selected for analysis.
A Philosophical Study of the Holistic Paradigm with Heuristic Implications for Written Language
The problem of this study was to investigate the philosophical assumptions underlying the holistic paradigm. These underlying philosophical assumptions include beliefs about the nature of being (ontology), goals (axiology), and knowledge (epistemology). The interdependence of these assumptions, as well as how they translate into different research processes, is noted in this study.
Young Children's Construction of Physical Knowledge on Swings in the Outdoor Play Environment
This investigation examined the development of young children's behaviors on swings in the outdoor play environment and their emerging understanding of the physics principles associated with those behaviors. The children's language interactions were also examined in an effort to determine the relationship between language and cognitive development in their construction of physical knowledge. The procedures involved observing the children's behaviors and collecting samples of their spontaneous language interactions during their swinging activities. Informal interviews were also conducted with individual and groups of children. The findings indicate that young children's swinging behaviors develop in eight hierarchical stages. As these behaviors develop, children experiment with the physics principles of balance, gravity, force, resistance, and resonance. Children's swinging behaviors develop in a social context. Many early behaviors are acquired through observing and modeling other children. Language provides the medium for more-experienced peers to assist novice swingers through encouragement and direct instruction. The stage development of swinging behaviors is compared to Cratty's Theory of Perceptual-Motor Development and Harrow's Taxonomy of the Psychomotor Domain. Children's cognitive processing and language interactions are discussed in the context of Piagetian and Vygotskian theories of development. Implications for instruction and suggestions for further research are discussed.
Early Childhood Educators' Beliefs and Practices about Assessment
Standardized tests are being administered to young children in greater numbers in recent years than ever before. Many more important educational decisions about children are being based on the results of these tests. This practice continues to escalate despite early childhood professional organizations' calls for a ban of standardized testing for children eight years of age and younger. Many early childhood educators have become dissatisfied with multiple-choice testing as a measure of student learning and are increasingly using various forms of alternative assessment to replace the more traditional testing formats. Teachers seem to be caught in the middle of the controversy between standardized testing and alternative assessment. This research examined what early childhood educators in one north Texas school district believe about assessment of young children and what assessment methods they report using in their classrooms, as well as factors which influence those beliefs and practices. The sample for this study was 84 teachers who taught prekindergarten through third grade. An eight-page questionnaire provided quantitative data and interviews and the researcher's journal provided qualitative data.
The Effect of Professional Development in Performance Assessment on Mathematics Achievement and Attitude
The problem of this study was to determine the effect of professional development in the use of performance assessment in fourth grade mathematics on student achievement and attitude toward mathematics. Achievement was measured by subtest and total mathematics scores on norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests. Attitude was measured by a survey of student attitudes.
The Effects of Writing-to-learn Tasks on Achievement and Attitude in Mathematics
The problem of this study was to determine the effects of implementing writing-to-learn tasks in mathematics instruction on fourth grade students' achievement and attitude toward mathematics. Also addressed in this study is whether or not achievement and attitude measures of female students and low achieving students are effected by the use of writing in mathematics.
Multiple Measures of the Effectiveness of Public School Montessori Education in the Third Grade
The problem of this study was to measure the effectiveness of a public school Montessori program. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare student academic achievement and self-concept, attendance and promotion rates, and level of parental involvement in the schools of students enrolled in public school Montessori and traditional programs. The 95 subjects in this study were third-grade subjects selected from the student populations in Montessori and traditional school sites. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) was used as the pre-test scores, and the Norm-referenced Assessment Program for Texas (NAPT) was used as the post-test scores to compare academic achievement in reading and mathematics. Multiple regression was used to compare the levels of academic achievement and self-concept. Multiple regression was also used to test for possible relationship between the Montessori and traditional programs and gender and ethnicity.
An Analysis of Texas Special Education Due Process Hearings from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992: Implications for the Administration of Special Education Programs
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of selected characteristics on the outcomes of those special education due process hearings brought forth in the state of Texas from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992. A further purpose was to determine if district characteristics of size or location affect the likelihood of a district's becoming involved in a special education due process hearing. Data for the study was collected for all special education due process hearings conducted in the State of Texas from September 1, 1983, to September 1, 1992. A coding system was used to record the data for the study and the Chi-square test of independence was used to determine whether a relationship existed between the selected variable (hearing issue, disability classifications and restrictiveness of placement) and hearing outcome. The frequency of involvement in hearings for districts of various size and urban characteristics was displayed as a percentage.
A Case Study of a School Superintendent's Decision Making in Initiating Year-Round Education in a Public School in Texas
Using a case study approach, this investigation focused on the decision-making processes and leadership of a school district superintendent as he initiated and implemented the school restructuring effort of year-round education. The study was conducted during 1 school year period but was enhanced through a 3 year follow-up report. The research questions focused on the superintendent's decision-making processes and the impact that groups had on those processes. Questions also emerged during the data collection phase of the study about the superintendent's change-facilitation leadership behaviors. A Texas school superintendent committed to the implementation of year-round education was selected as the subject of this study. Data were collected for 1 school year by the participant observer who served as an unpaid intern to the superintendent. Data included field notes recorded during the day-to-day operations and interactions of the district, meetings which the superintendent attended, newspaper articles, district memoranda and documents, observation, and interviews. Field notes and interviews were triangulated with document analysis to identify patterns in the data and to identify the factors influencing the decision-making processes and the leadership behaviors of the superintendent.
A Comparative Analysis of College Academic Achievement between Graduates of Public and Private High Schools: a Study of the Freshman GPA
This study reviewed the literature on the struggle for equal educational opportunity of the 1960s and 1970s, the reform movement of the 1990s, the public/private school debate of the 1980s and 1990s, the issue of school choice in the 1990s, and a brief history of private schools. The literature revealed that since the Supreme court's ruling, in 1954, on the unconstitutionality of separate-but-equal public schools and decisions on the separation of church and state, during the 1960s and 1970s, the number of and enrollment in private and parochial schools have grown steadily. This study was conducted on a sample of 14,242 students attending 17 colleges (15 private colleges and 2 public universities) to determine if there was a difference in their academic performance (GPA) at the end of their freshman year. The independent variables of the study were the size of the student's secondary school graduating class, the religious affiliation of the secondary school, the gender enrollment pattern of the secondary school, and the residential pattern of the secondary school. In addition, using the student's SAT score, an analysis was conducted to determine whether or not the student's first-year college GPA exceeded their GPA predicted by the SAT.
The Effect of Graphing Calculators in Algebra II Classrooms: A Study Comparing Achievement, Attitude, and Confidence
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the graphing calculator on the achievement, attitude toward mathematics, and confidence in learning mathematics of Algebra II students.
Perceptions of Site Based Decision Making Implementation in the Irving Independent School District, Irving, Texas
In 1983, the report A Nation at Risk catapulted school reform to the forefront of national attention. The State of Texas responded with legislation dictating curriculum and instructional time. Failure to accomplish the desired improvement in student achievement caused these mandates to be eased. In lieu of the mandates, the Texas legislature and the Texas Education Agency have set expectation standards called academic indicators. Local districts and campuses must utilize site based decision making (SBDM) to determine how each campus will meet the set standards. Dealing primarily with curriculum roles and responsibilities, this study details perceptions of principals and teachers as SBDM was being implemented in a suburban school district serving 25,000 students. Data were gathered utilizing a structured interview and a follow-up telephone interview. Addressed in the study are perceptions of: (a) role changes, (b) responsibility changes, (c) needed improvements in the implementation process, (d) teacher empowerment, (e) positive and negative elements, and (f) student achievement.
The Preparedness for Emergency Conditions of Public Schools in Texas
A survey of Texas public schools was conducted to determine the state of their emergency preparedness programs with particular interest in hazard analysis, disaster experience, chain of command of responsibility, personnel training, and inter-agency cooperation. A model emergency management plan was proposed. A stratified random sample of all Texas public school districts was drawn from the twenty education service center regions and university interscholastic league district size classifications. Of the 275 districts sampled, 214 questionnaires were completed for a 78% return. The strong return justified a generalization to the entire population.
Principals' Perceptions of Organizational Practices and Decision Making Roles in Middle Level Schools
The problem addressed in this study was whether middle level schools have adopted currently held research findings with respect to organizational structure and decision making processes promoted by the work of the Carnegie Foundation and various state agencies. Purposes included determining the perceptions of principals in schools utilizing interdisciplinary teams of teachers regarding the roles of principals and teachers in decision making processes, differences in campus performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills and specific demographic variables in comparison to perceptions of principals in schools not utilizing interdisciplinary teams on these same questions.
The Use of Nonfiction/Informational Trade Books in an Elementary Classroom
The purpose of the study was to describe the use of nonfiction/informational trade books within a literature-based elementary classroom by students and the teacher. Using a qualitative ethnographic approach, the researcher became a participant observer in a third grade classroom during a two and one-half week thematic unit about the westward movement. Data were collected from field notes, audiotapes of class discussions and informal interviews, documents of students' work, photographs, daily observer comment summaries, and memos. These data were coded, analyzed for recurring patterns, and grouped together, resulting in grounded theory.
An Analysis of the Management and Leadership Development Training Needs of Texas Principals on the Texas State Board of Education's Core Curriculum
The problem of this study was to determine training priorities as mandated by the Texas Legislature on the CORE Curriculum for Management and Leadership Development and their implications for Texas public school principals. Purposes of the study were to validate an instrument for assessing principals' training needs, to provide data for planning and delivering training for principals, to provide results to staff developers, and to develop a profile of similarities and differences in the perceptions of principals and their superordinates.
Computer Simulation Placements in a Unit of Instruction
Educators considering implementing a computer simulation must decide on the optimum placement of the simulation in the unit of instruction to maximize student learning. This study examined student achievement using two different placements for the computer simulation, The Civil War, in a unit of instruction of 8th grade American History students in a suburban middle school.
The Effects of an Interdisciplinary Program upon Students' Achievement, Attendance, and Attitude
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Project SAIL, a program designed to increase student achievement through interdisciplinary learning, upon the achievement, attendance, and attitude toward school of the ninth grade students who participated in it. The study also identified its benefits and liabilities from the perspective of teachers and students.
The Implementation of Transition from Spanish Reading to English Reading Programs in Bilingual Classrooms
The purpose of this study was to describe the actual implementation of the transition process as observed in bilingual classrooms, and in particular, to examine the critical components (policy, curricular, and instructional characteristics) of the Spanish-to-English reading transition policies implemented in bilingual education programs in elementary schools in the Denton Independent School District in Texas. Four research questions drove this study. To investigate these questions, a multidimensional, descriptive research design was employed. The researcher used questionnaires, interviews, and field observations. The 11 educators, 6 bilingual teachers, 2 school-site principals, 2 school-site coordinators, and 1 district bilingual coordinator, were asked several types of questions (open response and closed response) using different types of instruments (questionnaires and interviews). Also, the six bilingual teachers were observed using two types of instruments (field notes and video tapes).
A Qualitative Study of Nine Elementary Principals Providing Inclusion for the Differently Abled
This is a qualitative description of the decision making processes that nine elementary principals use in determining campus level services for the differently abled and of how their administrative styles and values impact those decisions. Both the literature on leadership and on special education inclusion are reviewed. This review creates the framework in which the research questions are examined and structures the reporting of the findings. The defining attributes of leadership styles in conjunction with the defining attributes of inclusion are the heart of this study. Audiotaped interviews with each principal provide the data related to questions of leadership style, decision making, philosophy and autonomy. Separate site visits in which teachers from both regular and special education are queried as to the actual practices on their respective campuses and to their reactions to program changes involving the differently abled students. The combination of data gathered from the principal interviews, from the site visitations and the use of triangulation of data provide the basis for the findings.
The Relationship of a Spiritual Calling to Motivation, Locus of Control, Burnout and Longevity in Teaching
In this study, six research questions were addressed: (1) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different motivation (self, interaction, task) to his/her work than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (2) Does a teacher who feels a spiritual calling have a different locus of control (internal, external) than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (3) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different degree of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment) than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (4) Does a teacher who has a spiritual calling have a different sense of voluntary commitment in the longevity of his/her work experience than a teacher who does not have a spiritual calling? (5) Is there a different concentration of teachers who have a spiritual calling in public or parochial schools? (6) Does the public or religious school affiliation make a difference in research questions #1 through #4? A Teacher Motivation Inventory was compiled using The Orientation Inventory by Bass, Rotter's Internal/External Locus of Control, Maslach Burnout Inventory by Maslach, Jackson, and Schwab, a Researcher-made Spiritual Calling Inventory, and longevity questions. Tukey HSD post hoc comparisons test and Chi-square Test of Independence were used. This study was conducted in the spring of 1994 in public, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran and Jewish elementary schools. Teachers who scored in the upper third on the Spiritual Calling Inventory were categorized as having a spiritual calling to teaching. Teachers who had a spiritual calling had a significantly more internal locus of control, were less likely to depersonalize students, had greater personal accomplishment and were more likely to choose teaching again than those not having a spiritual calling. A spiritual calling had a significant relationship to some very meaningful, attractive qualities in ...
A Descriptive Study of Student Assistance Programs in the State of Texas
The purpose of this study is to examine the four basic student assistance models and determine their distribution in Texas, describe the student assistance programs in place in public school districts in Texas including the program's goals, objectives and components, and explore the perceived effectiveness of student assistance programs as a viable means of drug and alcohol education for students enrolled in public school districts in Texas in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Effects of a Teacher Inservice Training Model on Students' Perceptions of Elementary Science
The purpose of this study was to test a teacher inservice training model which was designed to increase the number and use of hands-on science activities, increase the number of times teachers teach science, and improve students' perceptions of science.
An Internal Belief System: Variables that Influence Eighth-Grade Girls' Mathematics Achievement-Related Behaviors
The purposes of this study were to apply a model of achievement-related behaviors to a sample of eighth-grade girls and to ascertain whether this theoretical model continued to describe girls' internal beliefs regarding mathematics.
The Launching of an Accelerated School: A Case Study
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the readiness, planning, training and implementation stages of staff development in the implementation of the Accelerated Schools Program in a suburban elementary school. The research questions focused on how the school became interested in the accelerated program; the steps that were taken to make the school ready to accept the program; the training made available to the staff, parents and students; how teacher approval and acceptance were achieved; and how the implementation was initiated and to what degree.
Perceptions of the Changing Roles of Central Instructional Support Staff as Site-Based Decision Making is Implemented in One School District: A Descriptive Study
The purpose of this study was to analyze ways in which the roles of instructional support staff as perceived by principals and instructional support staff members in a large, suburban school district have been affected by the implementation of site-based decision making (SBDM). Research questions focused on changes which have occurred in the roles of instructional support staff and in the services provided to schools by support staff since the implementation of SBDM, the roles which support staff members believe they have in SBDM, the perceptions of principals regarding the roles of instructional support staff in SBDM, and a comparison of the views of instructional support staff and principals regarding the district's implementation of SBDM.
A Study of the Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction on Developmental Math Students in Higher Education
This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of participation in a Supplemental Instruction (SI) program on student test performance in a second-level developmental mathematics class in a four-year university setting. This research deviated from past research on Supplemental Instruction in that it examined effects of the program at the end of each test block rather than at the end of the course only. The quasi-experimental design was precipitated by an inability to control factors of participation and limited sample size. Test data were analyzed using analysis of variance; final course grades were analyzed using chi-square.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972: Level of Implementation in Texas Public Schools
Using a survey and case study formats, this study focused on the level of understanding and implementation of Title IX relating to Texas public school students. The survey focused on the degrees of principal understanding and the compliance with the statute. Additional areas of study analyzed the impact of such factors as principal gender and school level on understanding and implementation. The case study examined the degrees of implementation for a district that had experienced civil rights action and one that had not.
The Emergence of an Inner-City Professional Development School: A Case Study
This paper examined the process followed in the selection and establishment of an inner-city Professional Development School located in a large, North Texas school district.
An Evaluation of the University of North Texas' "Youth Opportunities Unlimited" Program (a Compensatory Education Program for At-Risk, Secondary School Students)
Even though the Youth Opportunities Unlimited program has been in effect for ten years, there exists no current, comprehensive, effectiveness research on YOU. Such analysis is needed to determine the value of the YOU program. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the YOU program. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in this study. Quantitative analysis is provided through factual data collected through an alumni survey. Qualitative analysis is provided through personal opinion information obtained from YOU alumni through the survey and by personal interview. The YOU program at UNT is a successful compensatory education program that helps improve the education and the lives of America's at-risk students.
The Effectiveness of Institutionalization of a Curricular Change in Department of Defense Dependents' Schools
In this study factors which affect the degree of implementation of a curricular change were examined to determine how well a specific curricular change was implemented in relation to the original intent. The change, Developmentally Appropriate Practice, was implemented in Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Germany Region, beginning in school year 1991-1992 in grades kindergarten through two. During school year 1993-1994, grade three began the transition to Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Several factors which influence teacher behavior during the implementation process were investigated to determine if there is a correlation between those factors and degree of implementation, the dependent variable. The independent variables in this study were school culture; administrators' leadership effectiveness; teacher concerns about the implementation; and teacher characteristics including age, years teaching experience, years experience in Department of Defense Dependents' Schools, and training. The degree of implementation, the dependent variable, was defined in terms of the extent to which teachers had changed their behavior to become congruent with behavior required by the change. Teachers were identified as high, moderate, or low implementers, based on classroom observations. One purpose of the study was to increase understanding of implementation by analyzing the factors which affect the behavior of teachers in the change process. A second purpose of the study was to add to the body of research that explains why so many educational changes fail to become established practice. To establish interobserver reliability, two observers rated teachers using the same protocol. The interobserver reliability coefficient found was reported at .9820. The participants in the study completed the Stages of Concern Questionnaire, the Administrative Effectiveness Survey, the School Culture Survey, and a demographic survey. The results were correlated with the Early Childhood Classroom Observation form. Amount of training was found to have a statistically significant positive relationship with degree of implementation (p=.006). ...
How Adult Readers Navigate Through Expository Text in a Hypermedia Environment to Construct Meaning
Research methods from both the qualitative and quantitative paradigms were used to answer the question concerning how adult readers navigate through informational text embedded in a hypermedia environment to construct meaning.
Self-Perception of Objectivity in the Use of the TTAS
The purpose of this study was to determine if appraisers using the TTAS in Texas perceived themselves as being objective in the evaluation process. The population for this study was 213 appraisers, both elementary and secondary, chosen randomly from four educational service areas in four regions of Texas. Data were obtained from a 25-item questionnaire mailed to the appraisers. The organization of this study includes a statement of the problem, the research questions, a review of the literature, the methods and procedures used to collect the data, the analysis of the data, and a summary of the findings, conclusions, implications, and recommendations for additional research. Data from the 213 returned questionnaires were treated with the chi-square test of independence. The analysis of data revealed the following: 1. Regardless of the level, elementary or secondary, of the administrator, the majority of respondents held the same views. 2. Regardless of the region of Texas from which the respondents came, the majority of respondents held the same views. 3. Regardless of the number of years of experience of the appraisers, the majority of respondents held the same views. 4. The majority of respondents felt they are objective in their use of the TTAS. The implications are that the TTAS instrument is being used as was its intention, and that the appraisers feel comfortable in the use of the TTAS. Since the TTAS is effective as seen through a majority of respondents, it may be used in future revisions of the current instrument or by other districts as a model by which to begin construction of their own appraisal instruments.
An Analysis of a Major State and a Small Local Newspaper Reporting on Public Education in the Years 1988 and 1993
This study was conducted to analyze the differences in the news coverage of public education by a state and local newspaper, to ascertain if trends exist in the coverage of topics, and if the coverage is negative, positive, or neutral. All issues of The Dallas Morning News and The Piano Star Courier from the years 1988 and 1993 were evaluated. All articles about public education (with the exception of athletics, obituaries, and advertisements) were evaluated using a content analysis form. The content analysis form provided information for classifying all articles. Information was tallied for the number of articles and column inches by newspaper and category. Findings indicated a number of differences between the two newspapers in 1988 and 1993. The Dallas Morning News increased the number of articles and column inches of space it committed to the coverage of public education from 1988 to 1993. During the same period The Piano Star Courier reduced both the number of articles and column inches of space which it used for the topic of education. The Piano Star Courier began publishing editions on only five of the seven days per week in February, 1993. The Dallas Morning News reduced its local coverage and increased its coverage of state and national education topics during the same period. The change in coverage was shown through the increased number of articles and space allocated to state and national topics. Changes also occurred in the number of negative articles published by the newspapers. The Dallas Morning News increased the number of negative articles as it focused on state and national news. The Piano Star Courier reduced the number of negative articles as it focused on local topics. The findings also indicate that certain categories of articles are more likely to present education in a positive manner. Local ...
Changes in Attitudes and Anxieties toward Teaching of Interns and Traditional Student Teachers
The problem of this study was to determine the difference in attitude and anxieties toward the teaching profession of beginning teachers entering public education in Texas who have been through a semester-long intern program as opposed to those who have gone through a traditional eight-week student teaching program. Purposes of the study were to provide assessment data for planning and delivering preservice training experiences to prospective teachers, to compare similarities and differences in the attitudes of prospective teachers who have been through the intern program with those who have been in traditional student teaching, and to provide useful information to colleges and universities concerning the effectiveness of their teacher education programs. The targeted study groups were 22 fall semester interns and a comparison group of 27 fall semester traditional student teachers. All participants were seeking secondary certification. The study was conducted in the fall of 1994. The groups were matched according to gender, chronological age, race designation, grade-point-average, and level of family income. In summary, the findings of this study indicate that only two of the six research questions proved to be statistically significant. It is interesting to note, however, that individually a significant percentage of both of the groups showed a reduction in anxiety and a significant percentage of both groups showed a reduced positive attitude toward teaching as a profession. It is only for the student teachers, however, that the results were statistically significant for both tests.
Effective Teachers in an Effective School: A Case Study
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 ...
Examining First-Graders' Construction of Knowledge of Graphophonemic and Orthographic Relationships: Reading and Writing Student-Selected Continuous Text
The purpose of this study was to examine first-graders' construction of knowledge of graphophonemic and orthographic relationships. Three levels of treatment were assigned randomly to three groups of first-graders in their first semester of first grade. Treatment varied in student engagement with reading and writing texts based on student interests and in the amount of interaction students had with one another and the researcher as they read, wrote, and examined words, word patterns, and graphophonemic relationships. The study was based on a quasi-experimental nonequivalent control group design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) with an added within-subjects factor of 12 weekly test occasions. These weekly tests involved students writing a researcher-dictated continuous text selected by students in the full-treatment group from the larger portion of text read each week. Additional elements of qualitative research were included in the design and analyses. Quantitative analyses revealed statistically significant results. Qualitative data analyses confirmed that students who interacted daily with each other and the researcher in reading and writing activities constructed more knowledge about graphophonemic and orthographic relationships than peers from the partial-treatment group and the control group. Results led to conclusions and implications involving a reexamination of current and traditional methods of spelling instruction and assessment for young children.
The Relationships Between Leadership Styles and Personality Types of Texas Elementary Administrators
The purposes of this study were to explore the leadership styles and personality types of Texas elementary administrators. The Leader Effectiveness and Adaptability Description-Self (LEAD-Self) assessed the leadership style and adaptability of the administrators. The four identified styles were Telling/Directing, Selling/Coaching, Participating/Supporting, and Delegating. The MBTI measured 16 combinations of 4 personality types which included Extrovert or Introvert, Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving. The sample was 200 Texas elementary administrators: 100 with early childhood certification and 100 without early childhood certification. A chi-square test of independence was utilized. Findings included: (a) A majority of Texas elementary administrators in both groups had a Selling/Coaching or Participating/Supporting leadership style; (b) Leadership adaptability scores of both groups were equivalent; (c) Most Texas elementary administrators had Introvert/Sensing/Thinking/Judging and Extrovert/Sensing/Thinking/Judging personality types; (d) Administrators with early childhood certification had a higher percentage of Intuitive personality types, while administrators without early childhood certification had a predominance of Sensing types; (e) A large percentage of administrators which had Participating/Supporting leadership styles had Feeling personality types; (f) No significant relationship between leadership styles and personality types was found in either group; and (g) No significant relationship between leadership adaptability and personality types was found in either group. Recommendations included: (a) further study to investigate the role of gender in leadership style and personality type; (b) further study to determine if elementary administrators have higher adaptability scores than secondary administrators; (c) further study to determine if elementary administrators have different leadership styles than secondary administrators; (d) further study to determine if elementary administrators have different personality types than secondary administrators; (e) further study to determine if leadership adaptability scores accurately portray an administrator's effectiveness; and (f) provide opportunities for future and practicing administrators to assess their leadership style, leadership adaptability, and personality type.
The Role of the Principal in Implementing Change in the Professional Development School
This qualitative research study investigated the role of the principal in implementing change in the professional development school (PDS). The study involved 7 elementary schools and 4 school-university collaboratives in the Texas network of 17 Centers for Professional Development and Technology (CPDTs). The research questions focused on the role, leadership, and management concerns of the PDS principal.
Self-Directed Learning Projects by Older Learners: Roles for Educational Organizations in Initiating and Facilitating the Process
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 ...
Strategic Planning : A Process for Restructuring the Public Schools and Improving Community Support
The problem of this study was to determine the change in public support which would occur due to a public school district's going through a strategic planning process and then the implementation of specific action plans. The purpose of the study was to demonstrate that the public support necessary to assure adequate funding for the district's programs could be gained by involving the community in a broad-based planning effort and by demonstrating a concerted effort to implement the actions required by the plan.
A Survey of Young Writers' Conferences in School Districts in the State of Texas
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 ...
Texas Public School Mission Statements : a Factor in the Involvement of Parents, Family, and/or Home in Educational Reform
Despite site-based decison making (SBDM) educational mandates, research determined the virtual exclusion of parents, family, and/or home as co-authoritative voice in Texas public school district mission statements. Qualitative analysis determined six parent roles within 155 inclusive mission statements through rhetorical deconstruction, a text-based grammatical evaluation procedure; quantitative analysis determined no significance between inclusive and exclusive districts in factors of size, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. The implications of this study add further support to the growing parental insistence for greater educational decision-making options: ie., home schooling, voucher system, and charter schools.
Young Children's Communicative Strategies During Pretend Play in the Context of the Block Center
In this study, various communicative strategies that young children employed to create and develop pretend play with peers in the block center were examined. Two preschools, one in Korea and the other in the United States, were selected. Subjects were children in the 4-year-old classroom in each school. The average age of the children at the time of the investigation was 59 months. For data collection, videotaping, audiotaping, field-note taking, interviews with teachers, and school enrollment records were used. During pretend block play, children created talk and actions in order to deal with challenges related to various aspects of play (e.g., accessory play materials, construction, plot, and enactment). Accordingly, children's communicative strategies were categorized as follows: (a) material communication, (b) construction communication, (c) plot communication, and (d) enactment. Also, subcategories under each category were developed. It was found that, in different phases of play in which they faced different types of challenges, children used certain strategies more often (communication about material selection and construction definition were most frequently used in the initiation phase of play). In terms of cultural aspects of the pretend play, in the Korean setting, the following were noticed: (a) a rigidly formed participant structure in which several positions were available, (b) the use of various comparison strategies, and (c) an overwhelmingly prevalent play theme: "The good guys winning over the bad guys." In the American setting, the following aspects were common: (a) frequent calling for the teachers when conflicts involving the ownership issue arose, (b) negotiable play atmosphere, and (c) consequent ample negotiation. Implications for educators as to how to encourage children to participate more in pretend play with peers in the block center were provided. Recommendations for further research pertained to the following: (a) methodological progress in studying children's play, (b) use of categories developed ...
A Content Analysis of Children's Historical Fiction Written about World War II
The purpose of this study was to investigate the evolution of children's historical fiction dealing with World War II in order to describe the changes that have occurred over the past 50 years. Two questions were asked in the study: (1) Has the characterization of protagonists portrayed in historical fiction about World War H evolved since 1943? and (2) Have the accounts of the events of World War H portrayed in historical fiction evolved since 1943? Content analysis was used as the method of collecting data. The sample consisted of 86 novels written from 1943 to 1993. Upon completing the reading and coding, the researcher discussed the categories and questions posed. As part of analysis, the discussion of the novels in each period was accompanied with an overview of trends in children's literature and events affecting society. The analysis led to the following conclusions: 1. Authors were impacted by changes in the social and political climate, as evidenced by the changes in the gender of the protagonists, an increase of violence, and the inclusion of women. 2. Novels written during the 1980s and 1990s were written with a stronger American perspective. 3. At the time that an increase of violence was seen in American society, descriptions of World War II events and protagonists' actions became more violent and more graphic. 4. Though the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war with Japan, an inadequacy still exists in the number of novels that provide readers with details related to the atomic bombs. Though much of World War II was fought in the Pacific Rim, a deficiency remains in the number of novels set in Pacific Rim countries. Recommendations for further research include performing a study that examines other genres, analyzing the changes observed in the portrayal of protagonists. A study ...
Effects of Change Facilitator Styles on Elementary Teachers' Concerns about Adoption of Outcome-Based Education
The impact of change facilitator styles (CFS) on elementary teachers' stages of concerns (SoC) about adopting outcome-based education (OBE) in their schools was studied. The group studied was 266 teachers from the Texas Network for Outcome-Based Education. Principal styles are based on the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM. Styles were determined by the Change Facilitator Style Questionnaire, and teachers' concerns profiles were measured by the Stages of Concern Questionnaire. ANOVA and t tests were conducted to assess the effects of CFS at each of the seven stages of concern. ANOVA assessed teachers' educational level, experience with teaching and OBE, principal gender and type of community related to SoC. Chi-square addressed the relationship among the demographic variables and CFS. With schools as the unit of analysis, significant differences at stages 0,1,2 were found. When teachers were the unit of analysis, significant differences were found at stages 0,1,2, and 3. Concerns of teachers with Initiator style principals were significantly lower at these stages. All teachers demonstrated concerns typical of nonusers, indicating resistance to OBE. Concerns were significantly lower for teachers with master's degree than for bachelor's at stages 0 to 3. Teachers with the least experience with OBE had significantly higher concerns. Chi-square compared change facilitator styles with the demographic variables. The only significant results were more males at the management style than expected. These findings support the CBAMtheory that the initiator style is more effective at impacting SoC and improving success in adopting an innovation. Teacher demographic variables do not affect SoC or CFS. The study indicates problems implementing OBE but suggests effective leadership could impact teachers' concerns.
Patterns of Vision, Action, and Effects in Professional Development as Experienced in the Texas Centers for Professional Development and Technology
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 ...