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Teachers' Perceptions of their Enculturation Process

Description: The purpose of this study was to construct portrayals of teachers7 work conceptions in various career stages from the stories they told and the metaphors they used to describe the ways in which teachers learned about their work. Specifically, the study included preservice teachers, first-year teachers, third-year teachers, and teachers with more than four years of teaching experience at the elementary and secondary school levels. Thirty-five elementary and secondary school teachers from the North-Central area of Texas participated in this study (nineteen inservice and sixteen preservice teachers). Qualitative techniques were employed to collect data. The preservice teachers filled out a questionnaire and wrote short stories about their preconceptions of their first year of teaching. Inservice teachers were interviewed using a short questionnaire and a long interview schedule. Nine inservice teachers participated in a storytelling workshop/focus group session. Group stories based on predetermined scenarios were constructed, tape-recorded and transcribed. The focus group session was videotaped and transcribed. Fifteen categories emerged from the analysis of the data: cyclical, ritualized, hierarchical, reciprocal, developmental, experiential, reflective, cumulative, body of knowledge, folkloric, individualized/personalized, order/control/manage, disciplinarian, facilitative, and replicative. These categories represent a summary of the constructs, images, contextual maps and metaphors held by these teachers to describe their enculturation process. The descriptive categories developed in this study offer teacher educators, supervisors and teachers a basis for understanding the culture of teachers. The storytelling technigues used in this study provide a means by which teachers and teacher-related personnel can generate further information about the enculturation process that can be applied to recruitment, orientation/ induction programming, reflective teacher preparation and change strategies.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Van Derveer Naylor, Sharon L. (Sharon Lynne)

Motion Versus Non-Motion in Interactive Video Lessons in High School Physical Science

Description: The most important question addresed in this study was whether there is any difference in student learning between a motion group and a non-motion group. The interactive video courseware is currently a part of the curriculum in this district. It was used in its original form with the contrast group. For the experimental group one unit of the courseware was modified to remove the motion video and replace it with photorealistic graphics that served as the non-motion part of the study. Covariates were selected to compensate for any differences in the two groups. A pretest and posttest was administered to both groups. Analysis of the posttest scores indicated that there was no difference in learning if motion in the presentation was the only variable.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Speers, Jimmy D. (Jimmy Dale)

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

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

A Comparison of the Attitude and Achievement in Mathematics of Algebra I Students Using Computer-based Instruction and Traditional Instructional Methods

Description: This study investigated the use of computer-based instruction as a means of teaching Algebra I, compared to the teaching of the same topics using traditional methodologies. The achievement level of the two groups, and three aspects of attitude toward mathematics were considered. Achievement and attitude differences by gender were also analyzed.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Wohlgehagen, Kathleen Shannon

Design and Evaluation of a Staff Development Program for Technology in Small Schools

Description: Technology experts suggest that one barrier in implementing technology has been a lack of appropriate training for teachers. Past efforts have been few in number, poor in quality, and uncoordinated. Some large school districts are developing comprehensive programs. However, few models exist and none are suitable for small school districts. The purposes of this study were: (1) to survey 53 small school districts in Texas to identify hardware and software configurations, patterns of recent technology staff development, and needs for future technology staff development; (2) to design a staff development program which addresses these technology needs; and (3) to evaluate the program in a small school district.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Halderman, Cheri Floyd

The Dimension of Risk and its Relationship to Effective School Leaders

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between teachers' or principals' effectiveness and their risk tendency. The population consisted of 57 principals and 115 teachers from the state of Texas from average and exemplary campuses. The exemplary campuses were those nominated by Texas Education Agency to participate in the National Exemplary School Recognition Program for the past four years. Data was generated by sending a survey packet to the 57 campuses requesting that the principal and two teachers (one who had been recently been recognized as teacher of the year and one who had never been so honored) complete the instruments. Teachers responded to a 16 item Risk Tolerance Questionnaire and principals responded to the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire and a Styles of Leadership Survey. The hypothesis that exceptional teachers will not take more risks was not upheld. It was determined that exceptional teachers do take more risks; however, there was no significant difference in scores on the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire of principals from average and exemplary campuses. The findings were that 1) exceptional teachers do take more risks, 2) age and years of experience of teachers was not significant, 3) principals from average and exemplary campuses did not score significantly different on the risk instrument, 4) principals' years of experience was not significant, 5) sex of principals was significant in determining style of leadership, and 6) there was no relationship established between principals' risk tendencies and styles of leadership. It may be concluded that leadership style may be reflective of the work situation and its people, while the tendency to take risks is an independent attribute.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Krohn, Betty June Burns

The Effects of Using Integrated Testing and Skills Software in Reading Instruction for At-risk Students

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of using computer-managed, integrated testing and skills software with individualized homework packets on the reading achievement and attitudes of at-risk students in a low achieving urban school. An additional purpose was to determine teacher attitudes toward using technology to deliver, measure, and manage instruction.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Pitre, Barbara J. (Barbara Jean)

The Effects of Using Networked Integrated Testing and Skills Software and Parental Involvement on Achievement, Attitude, and Self-esteem of At-risk Students

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether using integrated, networked testing and skills software combined with parental participation would increase students' achievement in reading, improve students' self-esteem and improve attitude toward school. Further, the purpose was to determine if parental participation promotes improved attitude toward school.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Robinson, Gary E. (Gary Edwin)

A Quasi-Experimental Study of 5th-Graders' Use of Selected Self-Directing Perceptions and Learning Strategies

Description: A major change being advocated in education is that of making students more self-directing; that is, helping them become more responsible for their own learning. The focus of this investigation was on fifth grade students' use of self-directed learning strategies and self-directed perceptual skills. An experimental study was conducted using the nested design for analyzing data obtained from the Guglielmino Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale, the Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons1 Self-Regulated Learning Interview Schedule, and the Bradley-Lane Self-Directing Perceptual Scale. One hundred fifty-two fifth graders were involved in the eight week study along with their six teachers. Both students and teachers were immersed in a module of training that included emphasis upon self-directing behaviors and learning strategies. Two striking findings emerged; namely, (a) in comparing the average number of learning strategies acquired after treatment, the experimental group (low, middle, and high IQ levels) scored 40%, 50% and 29% higher respectively, than did the control group; (b) in comparing the fifth grade students use of learning strategies it was found that most students nearly doubled the number of learning strategies they had previously acquired. Thus, it was concluded that children who do not have actual teaching of information or data concerning learning strategies will likely never acquire the same repertoire of skills that students acquire when exposed to this critical information in some specific, systematic fashion. A primary product developed for the purposes of this investigation was the Bradley-Lane Self-Directing Perceptual Scaleā€”a 132-item Likert Scale designed to identify the self-perceptions of elementary and middle school students. After field-testing, a chi-square treatment was applied to each item of the Perceptual Scale resulting in a reliability of p<.01 for the majority (79%) of the test items, while an additional twelve items (9%) were found to be reliable at the .02 level of significance.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Lane, Pam S.

Teacher Study Groups: A Case Study

Description: The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the operation and impact of teacher study groups at one school site throughout a school year. The study was exploratory in nature. The research questions focused on the major factors in the school's external and internal context that impacted the study groups, the typical behaviors and interactions of the study group participants, and the impact of the study groups on the participants, the curriculum, and instruction.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Rowland, Elizabeth Fraser

A Content Analysis of School Reading Textbooks in Taiwan and in Texas

Description: The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare the values, beliefs, and ideas in school reading textbooks (Readers) in Taiwan and in Texas. It intended to examine the social control function of school Readers, with which a culture deliberately molds its young generation. This study employed primarily qualitative methods. The collection of data used the technique of content analysis, student surveys, and teacher expert panel discussions. The analysis of data followed a constant comparative approach. The themes shared by the two sets of Readers included family, friends, humans and living creatures, political ideals, reading/writing, appreciation of nature, science, indomitable spirit, turning danger into safety, setting goals, education, desirable and undesirable qualities or behaviors. Despite the similarities of these themes, the substance or focus of them may vary. The themes unique to the Texas Readers were content knowledge, cultural diversity, dilemma and choice, observations about people, words, tomorrow's technology, winning, and general truth. The themes unique to the Taiwan Readers included life philosophy, learning, necessary difficulties, sensitivity, and military strategies. The theme occurring most frequently in both sets of Readers was the desirable qualities or behaviors. The values advocated in the Taiwan Readers were idealistic and had a society-centered focus (for example, patriotism, appreciation of others, serving others, and honesty). Absolute moral principles were taught. A group orientation and altruism were evident. In contrast, the Texas Readers did not have such an emphasis on the concept of group. Personal feelings, individual accomplishments, and self-centered values (for instance, effort, courage, determination, talent, and independence) received more attention. The values were perceived to be relative to the situation. The Taiwan Readers, produced by a national education system, transmitted traditional Chinese beliefs and values. The Texas Readers, with the publishers' intent to avoid controversies, presented more general or universal values. Although the ...
Date: August 1993
Creator: Wang, Sheue-shya

The Effects of a Strategic Thinking Program on the Cognitive Ability of Seventh Grade Students

Description: This study used a posttest only design to determine the effects of a strategic thinking program on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT, Form 4) scores of seventh graders who received direct instruction in Strategic Thinking Skills (STS) with the scores of seventh graders who did not receive direct instruction in STS. The study was conducted in a large suburban middle school in north Texas.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Houchins, Joyce S. (Joyce Ann S.)

The Impact of Student Thinking Journals and Generic Problem Solving Software on Problem Solving Performance and Transfer of Problem Solving Skills

Description: This study examined the effects of specially designed thinking journal activities that have been attributed with encouraging reflective thinking, on instruction using generic, or content-free problem solving software. Sixty-three fourth grade students participated in four instructional sessions using a software package called Moptown Hotel. Students completed separate posttests that measured (1) performance on problems of the same kind as those used in instruction, and (2) transfer of skills to other kinds of problems. Scores of students who wrote thinking journals prior to testing were compared with scores of students who did not. Results indicate that students who wrote thinking journals performed the same as students who did not when tested on problems similar to those practiced in class. Tests in which students transferred their skills to word problems, however, produced significant differences. There was no significant difference between scores when averaged over all four weekly occasions. However, for the final session alone, students who wrote thinking journals scored higher on tests of problem solving transfer than students who did not (p < .01). The study also examined the relationship between the degree of metacognitive thought displayed in students' journal entries, and their measured problem solving ability. Results indicate that students who had higher average reflectivity scores also had higher average problem solving performance and transfer scores (p < .05). It was also noted that the significant relationship between reflectivity and scores of problem solving ability was only observed in male students. It was concluded that under the right conditions, and for the right kinds of problems, thinking journal writing can help students understand their own thinking processes, resulting in improved problem solving behavior. The study also raises the question of whether there are differences between the ways that male and female students apply metacognitive awareness gained through journal writing experiences.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Sullivan, Gary E. (Gary Eugene)

The Effect of Parent Involvement Training on the Achievement of Hispanic Students

Description: 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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Davis, Lori Anne Jancuska

From Knowing Content to Constructing Knowledge: A Trend Analysis of Secondary Science Education, 1953-1992

Description: 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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Kelly, Janet Arlene

The Effect of Professional Development in Performance Assessment on Mathematics Achievement and Attitude

Description: 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.
Date: May 1994
Creator: McAdoo, Penny Coyne

The Effects of Writing-to-learn Tasks on Achievement and Attitude in Mathematics

Description: 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.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Millican, Beverly Robinson

The Effect of the Use of Laser Video Disc on Achievement, Attitude, and Confidence of High School Biology Students

Description: The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of level III video disc instruction on high school biology students. There were three areas studied: students' achievement in biology, students' attitude toward biology, and confidence. The experimental group consisted of 70 biology students. The control group also consisted of 70 biology students. The teacher of the experimental group used level in video disc instruction to teach about invertebrates, vertebrates, human systems, and plants throughout the semester. The teachers of the control group taught the same topics during the same period using the traditional lecture method and without level III video disc instruction. Students took the Biology Achievement Test, the Purdue Master Attitude Scale, and the Confidence in Learning Inventory before and after the treatment period. A t-test on the pretest scores of the experimental group and the control group showed no significant difference between the two groups. The experimental group also took the Technology Preference Survey after the treatment period.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Garza, Federico (Federico Angel)