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"Among Waitresses": Stories and Essays

Description: The following collection represents the critical and creative work produced during my doctoral program in English. The dissertation consists of Part I, a critical preface, and Part II, a collection of seven short stories and two nonfiction essays. Part I, which contains the critical preface entitled "What to Say and How to Say It," examines the role of voice in discussions of contemporary literature. The critical preface presents a definition of voice and identifies examples of voice-driven writing in contemporary literature, particularly from the work of Mary Robison, Dorothy Allison, and Kathy Acker. In addition, the critical preface also discusses how the use of flavor, tone, and content contribute to voice, both in work of famous authors and in my own writing. In Part II of my dissertation, I present the creative portion of my work. Part II contains seven works of short fiction, titled "Among Waitresses," "The Lion Tamer," "Restoration Services," "Hospitality," "Blood Relation," "Managerial Timber," and "Velma A Cappella." Each work develops a voice-driven narrative through the use of flavor, tone, and content. Also, two nonfiction essays, titled "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" and "Tracks," close out the collection. "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" describes the impact of methamphetamine addiction on family relationships, while "Tracks" focuses on the degradation of the natural world by human waste and other forms of pollution. In total, this collection demonstrates my approach to both scholarly and creative writing, and I am grateful for the University of North Texas for the opportunity to develop academically and achieve my goals.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Hobbs, Jessica

Analysis of Graduation Rates for Four-year Colleges: A Model of Institutional Performance Using IPEDS

Description: Under the George W. Bush U.S. presidential administration, the federal government pushed for greater accountability among institutions of higher education for educational outcomes. Graduation rate is a key performance indicator of institutional accountability. Previous researchers of student attrition focused primarily on the effects of student level factors on student persistence/withdrawal behavior. Recently, researchers put more focus on the effects of institutional characteristics on graduation rates, but most of these studies were exploratory and based on multiple regression models. No institutional model has existed to synthesize their results within a theoretical framework. Such an institutional model is needed to explain the process of student persistence at the institutional level. The purpose of this study was to develop a model of institutional performance in graduation rate for four-year, public and private not-for-profit, Title IV institutions in the United States. This study validated the institutional model based on the IPEDS dataset using the structural equation modeling (SEM) technique. Further group comparison analyses are conducted by fitting the same SEM model to several subgroup datasets based on grouping variables such as control, geographical region and state. Benchmarking analyses were conducted to demonstrate how administrators and policy-makers can use the institutional model to compare the performance of an institution with its peers and what policy changes can they pursue to improve graduation rates.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Fung, Terence Yip-hung

An Analysis of Performance Differences Between Self-Directed and Teacher-Directed Alternative Education Campuses in Texas

Description: This study was conducted to analyze the performance differences between alternative education campuses in Texas that used teacher-directed strategies and those that used self-directed strategies. The study was also conducted to inform educators of the results these two strategies had achieved with at-risk students during the three years of 2006-2008. The study used the results from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test as reported in the AEIS annual reports from the Texas Education Agency. Alternative education schools were grouped according to the strategy used to educate at-risk students. The results of the statistical tests showed the two strategies had similar performance results and there was no statistical difference between the two. The results offered several implications concerning the ability of at-risk students to achieve in alternative education schools including possible reasons why students who were previously unsuccessful became successful in alternative settings. The report also addressed the number of students who continued to be unsuccessful even when placed on an alternative education campus. Possible reasons for this continued inability to succeed are discussed. Recommendations for further research were listed at the conclusion of the study.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Wimberley, Alan

An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Music for Saxophone by Charles Ruggiero with an Analysis of Interplay for Soprano Saxophone and Piano

Description: Ruggiero's contributions to contemporary music are noteworthy. They include 27 works written for solo instruments, voice, as well as chamber groups and large ensembles. This study serves as an annotated bibliography of selected works written for saxophone by Charles Ruggiero. They include a piece for large chamber ensemble, Dig: From Tunes My Grandmother Heard (2009), a trio for flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone titled Echoes of "Piano Red" (2006), two saxophone quartets, Dig: JSB 1 (2003), and Three Blues for Saxophone Quartet (1981), two works for alto saxophone and piano, Night Songs and Flights of Fancy (2005), and Strayhorn (1999-2000), one piece for soprano saxophone and piano, Interplay for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (1988), a single movement work for alto saxophone, piano, winds, and percussion, Dance Complusions (2004), one duo for tenor saxophone and percussion, Sizzlesax II (2001), one concerto for soprano saxophone and piano, Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra (1995, rev. 1999), and a trio for violin, alto saxophone, and piano, Dances and Other Movements (1983, rev. 1984). In addition, an analysis of Ruggiero's composition Interplay for Soprano Saxophone and Piano offers an insight into the compositional style of the composer.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Bradfield, Ann

An Assessment of Consumers' Willingness to Patronize Foreign-Based Business Format Franchises: An Investigation in the Fast-Food Sector

Description: This study aimed to address consumers' stereotypical categorizations in the form of essentialist views about foreign cultures and their effect on individual consumers, including their negative or aroused emotions and subsequent retail patronage behaviors. The research mission was to empirically assess the salient dimensions of consumers' states of mind (positive and negative affect, psychological essentialism, epistemic curiosity), states of being (store atmospherics), and states of action (retail patronage behaviors) in a cultural context based on Mehrabian-Russell theory of environmental psychology. Specifically, the retail patronage setting was selected as foreign-based fast-food franchises because it represents both a relevant and timely situational context for consumer behavior. This dissertation makes several contributions to international retail patronage literature. First, it frames curiosity as an aroused emotional state and finds support for the relationship between consumer epistemic curiosity and retail patronage. Second, it provides support for the linkage between consumer affect and retail patronage in an international retail setting. Third, it reveals that affect has a greater impact on retail patronage than epistemic curiosity. The overarching finding of this study is an inability to tie the cultural elements in retail atmospherics, including signs, symbols, and artifacts, to consumer emotions. In addition, we were unable to frame psychological essentialism as a personality trait that would reduce the levels of affect and curiosity in retail store environments characterized by foreign-cultural elements.
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Date: May 2010
Creator: Ertekin, Selcuk

An Assessment of Undergraduate Course Syllabi in the Departments of English at Universities in Taiwan

Description: This exploratory, qualitative research explored the extent that course syllabi in the Departments of English in 13 public and 9 private universities in Taiwan reflect the inclusion of syllabus components to promote learning as recommended in the literature in the United States. Research questions included: what components can be inferred from the literature in the U.S. for the recommended components of a course syllabus, for the components for a learning-centered syllabus, and for a model to analyze Bloom's cognitive level of learning? And when these are applied to analyze course syllabi in English courses, are syllabi in these universities congruent with the models? The research identified and analyzed 235 course syllabi from the core courses listed online at these universities. The findings indicated that these syllabi are highly congruent with the syllabus components template; 68% of the syllabi included seven or more of the ten components. Additionally, these syllabi reflect medium congruency with the learning-centered syllabus template. Verbs used in objectives and learning outcomes in different English courses indicate different levels of cognitive learning goals as identified by Bloom's cognitive domain. Additional findings indicate that there was no difference in inclusion of components based on where faculty earned their doctoral degree. This research assumed similarities between higher education in Taiwan and the U.S., conclusions indicate that the course syllabi in Departments of English in Taiwan are congruent with the models recommended in the literature in the U.S.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Lin, Baysan

Can These Bones Live? A Collection of Stories

Description: The collection concerns itself with race, gender, masculinity, marginalization, the act of violence as a means of self expression, identity and the performance of identity, love, and loss. The collection also uses historical events-more specifically, events that are central to black culture in Northeast, Ohio- to situate the characters and witness their response to these historical events. I strive to illustrate blackness as both political and fragmented with the characters in my collection. My characters believe that what they are doing-exacting violence, abusing women, disrespecting each other- is somehow the normative; that somehow what it is that they have learned is how they should perform black identity.
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Date: May 2010
Creator: Hoey, Danny M., Jr.

A Case Study of Undergraduate Course Syllabi in Taiwan

Description: Higher education in Taiwan has been influenced by U.S. and Western practices, and syllabi represent one means to verify this. However, limited research exists in Taiwan on course syllabi and on similarities of syllabi with practices in other countries. In the U.S. as the paradigm shifted from teaching to learning and to the learning-centered context, scholars argued that syllabi should be learning-centered. Given the assumption that higher education in Taiwan is similar to U.S. higher education and the call for a learning-centered context, this qualitative research examined 180 undergraduate syllabi at a public university in Taiwan with a (traditional) syllabus component template and a learning-centered syllabus component template derived from the literature in the U.S. to describe (1) the contents of syllabi, and (2) the extent that syllabi in Taiwan were congruent to U. S. syllabus component templates. Syllabi at this university were highly congruent with the (traditional) syllabus component template and were congruent at the medium level with the learning-centered component template. About 90% of syllabi included 8 of 10 major components. Additional findings included: 70% of faculty were male, and 30% were female; more than 75% of the faculty earned their doctoral degrees from the United States or Europe; gender made no difference on inclusion of major components for both templates; there was no difference in inclusion of components on both templates for faculty who earned their doctoral degrees from the U.S. or Taiwan; a high percentage (80%) of college courses adopted English textbooks published in the U.S.; some differences existed and use of English in the syllabus and on components included in the syllabi. Based on these syllabi, it is evident that syllabi in Taiwan represent course planning and organization congruent to recommended practices in the United States.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Tung, Yao-Tsu

The Characteristics of a Community of Practice in a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute

Description: This qualitative naturalistic descriptive case study provides an understanding of the characteristics of a community of practice within a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. This study utilized naturalistic, descriptive case study methodology to answer the research question: What characteristics of a community of practice are revealed by the perceptions and experiences of the fellows of a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute? Data were gathered in the form of interviews, focus group, observations, field notes, and participant reflective pieces. Peer debriefing, triangulation, thick rich description, as well as member checking served to establish credibility and trustworthiness in the study. Bracketing, a phenomenological process of reflecting on one's own experiences of the phenomenon under investigation was utilized as well. The findings of this study point to five analytic themes. These themes, ownership and autonomy, asset-based environment, relationships, socially constructed knowledge and practices, and experiential learning, intertwine to illuminate the three essential components which must be present for a community of practice to exist: joint enterprise, mutual engagement, and shared repertoire. Participants' portraits provide a description of their unique experiences as they moved fluidly between the periphery and core of the community of practice.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Pearce, Terisa Ronette

Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Description: This dissertation examines the role of noise in shaping the form of several recent musical compositions. This study demonstrates how the contrast of noisy sounds and harmonic sounds can impact the structure of compositions. Depending on context, however, the specific use and function of noise can vary substantially from one work to the next. The first portion of this paper describes methods for quantifying noise content using FFT analysis procedures. A number of tests on instrumental and synthetic sound sources are described in order to demonstrate how the analysis system may react to certain sounds. The second part of this document consists of several analyses of whole musical works. Works for acoustic instruments are examined first, followed by works for electronic media. During these analyses, it becomes clear that while the use of noise in each work is based largely upon context, some common patterns do exist across different works. The final portion of the paper examines an original work which was written with the function of noise specifically in mind. The original work is put through the same analysis procedures as works seen earlier in the paper, and some conclusions are drawn regarding both the possibilities and limitations of noise analysis as a compositional tool.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander

Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with Adoptive Families: Effects on Child Behavior, Parent-Child Relationship Stress, and Parental Empathy

Description: This randomized controlled study is a preliminary investigation on the effects of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with 61 adoptive parents. The participants in this study identified themselves as the following: 54 European American, 3 Black American, 3 Hispanic/Latino, and 1 individual who chose not to indicate ethnicity. The study included 23 couples and 15 individual mothers. The CPRT is a structured, time limited approach that trains caregivers to be an active participant as a therapeutic change agent in their child's life. Results from a two (group) by two (measures) split plot ANOVA indicated that adoptive parents who participated in 10 weeks of CPRT reported statistically significant decreases in child behavior problems and parent child-relationship stress. Statistically significant increases in parent empathy were also reported by raters blinded to the study. CPRT demonstrated a medium to large treatment effect on reducing children's behavior problems and parent-child relationship stress. In addition, CPRT demonstrated a large treatment effect on increasing parental empathy. The results of the study provide preliminary support for CPRT as a responsive intervention for adoptive parents and their children.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Carnes-Holt, Kara

A Comparative Analysis of the 1915 and 1919 Versions of Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, op. 82 by Jean Sibelius

Description: The initial composition of the Fifth Symphony in E-flat Major, Op. 82 was undertaken as a commission to celebrate the composer's fiftieth birthday. Unhappy with the initial efforts, two revisions were then performed; the first was in 1916 and the final revision in 1919. Despite the larger form of the work seeming to have been changed between the 1915 and 1919 versions, the smaller gestures of thematic expression in both versions remained similar. On the surface, it had appeared that the composer had eliminated a movement, changing the 1919 version into a three movement form. This view was not challenged by the composer at the time, and since the earlier versions had either been withdrawn or destroyed, there was no way to compare the original efforts to the final product until recently. In comparing the 1919 version to the original, a definite strong parallel can be seen between the two - despite the changes to form, rearrangement of melodic material, and the seemingly different number of movements. However, the parallel is enough that the 1915 version can be a guide to classifying the 1919 version, an act that has eluded many scholars since the 1920s. Most importantly, comparing the two versions shows that the 1919 version is not a three movement form at all; it is a four movement form that is obscured by the connection of the first and second movements by a thematic bridge that contains elements from both movements, but is not placed within either structure.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Norine, John Richard, Jr.

Comparing the Effects of Home Versus Clinic-Based Parent Training for Children with Autism

Description: Research with parents on managing child problem behavior typically measures either child or parent behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training parents to implement a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) in a non-trained natural environment utilizing a Multiple Probe Design across Participants. Participants included four parent-child dyads. Measurement variables included parents' use of effective and ineffective strategies and child problem behavior. Intervention involved training parents to understand and implement the BIP using effective strategies, modeling the effective procedures, and providing feedback following parent implementation of procedures. Results showed that the intervention was very effective in promoting skill generalization of parents and decreasing child problem behavior. The findings have implications for research and clinical practice.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Crone, Regina M.

Comparing the Readability of Text Displays on Paper, E-Book Readers, and Small Screen Devices

Description: Science fiction has long promised the digitalization of books. Characters in films and television routinely check their palm-sized (or smaller) electronic displays for fast-scrolling information. However, this very technology, increasingly prevalent in today's world, has not been embraced universally. While the convenience of pocket-sized information pieces has the techno-savvy entranced, the general public still greets the advent of the e-book with a curious reluctance. This lack of enthusiasm seems strange in the face of the many advantages offered by the new medium - vastly superior storage capacity, searchability, portability, lower cost, and instantaneous access. This dissertation addresses the need for research examining the reading comprehension and the role emotional response plays in the perceived performance on e-document formats as compared to traditional paper format. This study compares the relative reading comprehension on three formats (Kindle, iTouch, and paper) and examines the relationship of subject's emotional response and relative technology exposure as factors that affect how the subject perceives they have performed on those formats. This study demonstrates that, for basic reading comprehension, the medium does not matter. Furthermore, it shows that, the more uncomfortable a person is with technology and expertise in the requested task (in this case, reading), the more they cling to the belief that they will do better on traditional (paper) media - regardless of how well they actually do.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Baker, Rebecca Dawn

Computational Study of Small Molecule Activation via Low-Coordinate Late First-Row Transition Metal Complexes

Description: Methane and dinitrogen are abundant precursors to numerous valuable chemicals such as methanol and ammonia, respectively. However, given the robustness of these substrates, catalytically circumventing the high temperatures and pressures required for such transformations has been a challenging task for chemists. In this work, computational studies of various transition metal catalysts for methane C-H activation and N2 activation have been carried out. For methane C-H activation, catalysts of the form LnM=E are studied, where Ln is the supporting ligand (dihydrophosphinoethane or β-diketiminate), E the activating ligand (O, NCH3, NCF3) at which C-H activation takes place, and M the late transition metal (Fe,Co,Ni,Cu). A hydrogen atom abstraction (HAA) / radical rebound (RR) mechanism is assumed for methane functionalization (CH4 à CH3EH). Since the best energetics are found for (β-diket)Ni=O and (β-diket)Cu=O catalysts, with or without CF3 substituents around the supporting ligand periphery, complete methane-to-methanol cycles were studied for such systems, for which N2O was used as oxygen atom transfer (OAT) reagent. Both monometallic and bimetallic OAT pathways are addressed. Monometallic Fe-N2 complexes of various supporting ligands (LnFe-N2) are studied at the beginning of the N2 activation chapter, where the effect of ligand on N2 activation in end-on vs. side-on N2 isomers is discussed. For (β-diket)Fe-N2 complexes, the additional influence of diketiminate donor atom (N(H) vs. S) is briefly addressed. The remainder of the chapter expands upon the treatment of β-diketiminate complexes. First, the activation and relative stabilities of side-bound and end-bound N2 isomers in monometallic ((β-diket)M-N2) and bimetallic ((β-diket)M-N2-M(β-diket)) first row transition metal complexes are addressed. Second, the thermodynamics of H/H+/H- addition to (β-diket)Fe-bound N2, followed by subsequent H additions up to release of ammonia, is discussed, for which two mechanisms (distal and alternating) are considered. Finally, the chapter concludes with partial distal and alternating mechanisms for H addition to N2 ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Pierpont, Aaron

The Counterinsurgency Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of State Repression of Human Rights in Civil Wars

Description: In this project a theory of adaptive differential insurgency growth by the mechanism of repression driven contagion is put forth to explain variation in the membership and spatial expansion of insurgencies from 1981 to 1999. As an alternative to the dominant structural approaches in the civil war literature, Part 1 of the study proposes an interactive model of insurgency growth based on Most and Starr's opportunity and willingness framework. The findings suggest that state capacity, via its impact on state repressive behavior, plays an important gatekeeping function in selecting which minor insurgencies can grow into civil war, but contributes little to insurgency growth directly. In Part 2 of the study, I directly examine variation in insurgency membership and geographical expansion as a function of repression driven contagion. I find that repression increases the overall magnitude of insurgency activity within states, while at the same time reducing the density of insurgency activity in any one place. Despite an abundance of low intensity armed struggles against a highly diverse group of regimes around the world, I find an extremely strong and robust regularity: where repression is low - insurgencies don't grow.
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Date: May 2010
Creator: Quinn, Jason Michael

The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition

Description: This dissertation describes a compositional model rooted in cross-influential methodology between complementary musical compositions that share generative source material. In their simultaneous construction, two composition pairs presented challenges that influenced and mediated the other's development with respect to timbre, transposition, pitch material, effects processing, and form. A working prototype first provides a model that is later developed. The first work Thema is for piano alone, and the companion piece Am3ht is for piano and live computer processing via the graphical programming environment Max/MSP. Compositional processes used in the prototype solidify the cross-influential model, demanding flexibility and a dialectic approach. Ideas set forth in the prototype are then explored through a second pair of compositions rooted in cross-influential methodology. The first work Lusmore is scored for solo contrabass and Max/MSP. The second composition Knockgrafton is scored for string orchestra. The flexibility of the cross-influential model is revealed more fully through a discussion of each work's musical development. The utility of the cross-influential compositional model is discussed, particularly within higher academia.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Anderson, Jonathan Douglas

Design and Implementation of Large-Scale Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring Applications

Description: Environmental monitoring represents a major application domain for wireless sensor networks (WSN). However, despite significant advances in recent years, there are still many challenging issues to be addressed to exploit the full potential of the emerging WSN technology. In this dissertation, we introduce the design and implementation of low-power wireless sensor networks for long-term, autonomous, and near-real-time environmental monitoring applications. We have developed an out-of-box solution consisting of a suite of software, protocols and algorithms to provide reliable data collection with extremely low power consumption. Two wireless sensor networks based on the proposed solution have been deployed in remote field stations to monitor soil moisture along with other environmental parameters. As parts of the ever-growing environmental monitoring cyberinfrastructure, these networks have been integrated into the Texas Environmental Observatory system for long-term operation. Environmental measurement and network performance results are presented to demonstrate the capability, reliability and energy-efficiency of the network.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Yang, Jue

The Determinants and Consequences of Empathic Parenting: Testing an Expansion of Belsky's Model of Parenting Using SEM

Description: An understanding of factors that enhance empathic parenting behaviors is of considerable importance to the study of child development and to the development of parenting interventions to promote child adjustment. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that predict empathic parenting with older children is of interest since most research examining parental empathy focuses on infants. These were the goals of the current study. Guided by Belsky's 1984 process model of the determinants of parenting that impact child development, an expanded model of the determinants of parenting is proposed that includes various parent, child, and contextual factors of influence. Using data from a community sample, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model's strength in predicting empathically attuned parenting with children ages 5 to 10 years and, ultimately, the child's psychoemotional functioning. Results support the expanded model; however, a reduced model was found to be superior and revealed unique relationships between the determinants of parenting. Specifically, a parent's psychoemotional functioning and childrearing beliefs and attitudes were found to be critical to the parent's ability to engage in empathic parenting behaviors. Other parent factors such as the parent's developmental history of abuse, maladaptive personality traits, and age, along with contextual factors and child characteristics, were found to influence parenting only indirectly through their impact on the parent's level of psychoemotional distress or childrearing beliefs and attitudes. Ultimately, the current findings support Belsky's claim that parent factors are the strongest predictors of empathic parenting. Implications of these findings are many. The results highlight the importance of assessing a parent's childrearing beliefs and attitudes and level of distress in conjunction with characteristics of the child when a family comes in for treatment. Moreover, the results identify many points of intervention to stopping the cycle of abuse.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Morse, Margaret K.

Determination of the Optimal Number of Strata for Bias Reduction in Propensity Score Matching.

Description: Previous research implementing stratification on the propensity score has generally relied on using five strata, based on prior theoretical groundwork and minimal empirical evidence as to the suitability of quintiles to adequately reduce bias in all cases and across all sample sizes. This study investigates bias reduction across varying number of strata and sample sizes via a large-scale simulation to determine the adequacy of quintiles for bias reduction under all conditions. Sample sizes ranged from 100 to 50,000 and strata from 3 to 20. Both the percentage of bias reduction and the standardized selection bias were examined. The results show that while the particular covariates in the simulation met certain criteria with five strata that greater bias reduction could be achieved by increasing the number of strata, especially with larger sample sizes. Simulation code written in R is included.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Akers, Allen

Determining Factors that Influence High School Principal Turnover Over a Five Year Period

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of salary, compensation and benefits, accountability, job stress, increased instructional responsibilities, changes in student demographics, lack of support, politics, advancement opportunities and promotion on tenure and turnover among high school principals in the state of Texas. The participants in the study included 60 Texas high school principals who left a high school principalship for a different high school principalship within the past 5 years. The participants completed the Texas Principal Survey and data were analyzed using binary logistic regression. The data indicated that salary, compensation and benefits was a significant factor in predicting an increase in the odds of principal turnover for principals who had been in their prior principalship 5 or more years over principals who had been in their prior principalship less than 5 years. Additionally, advancement opportunities was a significant factor in predicting a decrease in the odds of principal turnover for principals who had been in their prior principalship 5 or more years over principals who had been in their prior principalship less than 5 years. Responses from an open ended question asking principals why they left their prior principalship suggested that principals left for reasons including new challenges, lack of support and family. The results of this study support the need for continued research in the area of principal turnover and provide insight to district superintendents, school boards and principals.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Sheppard, Rebecca Replogle

EEG, Alpha Waves and Coherence

Description: This thesis addresses some theoretical issues generated by the results of recent analysis of EEG time series proving the brain dynamics are driven by abrupt changes making them depart from the ordinary Poisson condition. These changes are renewal, unpredictable and non-ergodic. We refer to them as crucial events. How is it possible that this form of randomness be compatible with the generation of waves, for instance alpha waves, whose observation seems to suggest the opposite view the brain is characterized by surprisingly extended coherence? To shed light into this apparently irretrievable contradiction we propose a model based on a generalized form of Langevin equation under the influence of a periodic stimulus. We assume that there exist two different forms of time, a subjective form compatible with Poisson statistical physical and an objective form that is accessible to experimental observation. The transition from the former to the latter form is determined by the brain dynamics interpreted as emerging from the cooperative interaction among many units that, in the absence of cooperation would generate Poisson fluctuations. We call natural time the brain internal time and we make the assumption that in the natural time representation the time evolution of the EEG variable y(t) is determined by a Langevin equation perturbed by a periodic process that in this time representation is hardly distinguishable from an erratic process. We show that the representation of this random process in the experimental time scale is characterized by a surprisingly extended coherence. We show that this model generates a sequence of damped oscillations with a time behavior that is remarkably similar to that derived from the analysis of real EEG's. The main result of this research work is that the existence of crucial events is not incompatible with the alpha wave coherence. In addition to this important ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Ascolani, Gianluca

Effects of Tasks on Information-Seeking Behavior in a Police Work Environment in the Context of Criminal Intelligence

Description: Although dominant effects of tasks on individuals' information-seeking behavior is accepted by many scholars, a limited number of studies has been conducted to reveal the nature of the relationship between tasks and information-seeking behavior. In their studies, some earlier researchers categorized tasks according to their complexity while others did the same according to the specifications of tasks. Two of the groundbreaking researchers in this area are Katriina Byström and Kalervo Järvelin who contributed to the understanding of the relationship between task complexity and information-seeking behavior. However, their findings also need empirical support for theory growth. In response to this need, this study attempts to test Byström and Järvelin's findings through a research using different research methods and applied in a police work environment. Other than providing empirical support for theory growth, this research is also expected to contribute to the understudied area of police information-seeking behavior. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the participants who came from traffic, homicide, and anti-terrorism divisions of Ankara, Eskisehir, and Kirikkale Police Departments in Turkey. The participants identified terrorism cases as the most complex cases to solve, followed by homicide and traffic accident cases. Differences in the information-seeking behavior of three groups of police officers were examined through qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Oneway ANOVA technique and post hoc comparisons were used to analyze the quantitative data. In addition to shedding light on information-seeking behavior of police officers investigating related cases in Turkey, the results provided support for Byström and Järvelin's findings. For instance, the officers investigating more complex tasks used significantly more information sources than the others, while the use of external information sources was significantly higher in more complex cases.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Tatil, Serkan

The Enameling Arts in Kuwaiti Pre-service Art Teacher Education

Description: The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the knowledge, skills, and experiences in the enameling arts and the attitudes and perceptions of in-service (n = 12) and pre-service Kuwaiti art teachers (n = 170), art supervisors at the Ministry of Education (MOE) (n = 3) and art education faculty members at the College of Basic Education (CBE) and Kuwait University (KU) (n = 8) about what they believed pre-service art teachers should know and be able to do in order to teach the enameling arts, and (2) to use this information to inform and guide the development of a content outline for an enameling course for pre-service Kuwaiti art teachers that is educationally (how to perform enameling arts skills and how to teach what they know), practically (safety issues, workshop management, etc), and culturally (its relation to Islamic culture) suitable. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used. Most of the respondents revealed limited knowledge and skills and modest experiences in the enameling arts. All interviewees in the study expressed positive perceptions and attitudes about the enameling arts. Most agreed that a revision to the current art education curriculum at the CBE was needed and made suggestions about how the curriculum should be revised. It was clear that there is a disconnection and miscommunication between the MOE and the CBE with regards to the information about enameling that should be covered and taught in the art education classes. All respondents expressed support for the inclusion of a course in enameling in the art education curriculum at the CBE. Because of the limited knowledge of the participants in the study, they were not able to provide guidance in shaping the content for a course in the enameling arts. The researcher had to rely on the literature review and his ...
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Date: May 2010
Creator: Darweesh, Ali Hussain