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The Effect of a Telementoring Program on Beginning Teacher Self-efficacy.

Description: This study examined whether the telementoring program had a positive impact on beginning teacher self-efficacy. Telementoring is an adaptation of mentoring, using telecommunications technology as the means to establish and maintain mentoring relationships between the participants. The program was intended to create an atmosphere of community; to provide expert training in the profession; to retain good teachers; and to offer support for the new teacher in times of self-doubt. A quasi-experimental design and mixed methods measures were used to determine the effect of a telementoring program on beginning teacher self-efficacy. Participants were members of a district induction/mentoring program. An experimental group of 20 first-year teachers that participated in a supplemental telementoring program were compared to 20 first-year teachers who did not. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was used to collect data on beginning teacher self-efficacy. A pretest was administered prior to the treatment and members completed a post-test at the conclusion of the study. Results were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance. The experimental and control group results from both assessments were measured and compared. No statistically significant differences were found between the experimental group that participated in the telementoring program and those in the control group who did not. Messages posted to a discussion board were analyzed by comparing concerns of beginning teachers in this study to concerns of beginning teachers found in current literature. A compilation of concerns served as a comparison framework. Participants in this study discussed many of the same issues and concerns found in current literature. Although statistically significant results were not found, discussion board postings suggest that telementoring is an effective form of mentoring and provides beginning teachers a forum for collegiality and support, which contributes to self-efficacy.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Muehlberger, Linda S.

The Effects of Reciprocal Teaching Comprehension-monitoring Strategy on 3Rd Grade Students' Reading Comprehension.

Description: Reciprocal teaching comprehension-monitoring is a reading comprehension instructional procedure that combines four instructional strategies: predicting, summarizing, questioning, and clarifying to enhance students' comprehension of text. The procedure is a dialogue between the teacher and the students. During reciprocal teaching instruction, the teacher and students take turns leading the dialogue in order to enhance the students' comprehension-monitoring skills. The research on reciprocal teaching has included meta-analyses, group designs, qualitative designs, and single-subject research designs. These studies have identified gaps in the literature to include the measurement of treatment fidelity and treatment acceptability, as well as the psychometric properties of the instruments used to measure daily reading comprehension growth. These gaps were investigated in this study. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of reciprocal teaching comprehension-monitoring with a group of fifteen 3rd grade students reading at grade level. Specifically, this study investigated the use of curriculum-based measurement maze probes (CBM-maze probes) to formatively assess the reading comprehension growth of the students. Additionally, this study implemented treatment integrity procedures and investigated the acceptability of reciprocal teaching and the CBM-maze probes through a treatment acceptability rating scale. A multiple baseline across groups with three phases (baseline, intervention, follow-up) was employed. Overall, visual analysis of the data suggested reciprocal teaching was an effective intervention in increasing reading comprehension abilities in students as measured by the CBM-maze probes. All three groups exhibited continual growth on the daily comprehension measures across all three phases. Implications for practice, cautions in interpreting the results, and future directions are discussed.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Sarasti, Israel A.

Third-year Evaluation of the University of North Texas/ Dallas Independent School District/ Southern Regional Education Board Leadership Development Program

Description: Under No Child Left Behind legislation of 2002, school principals shoulder the burden of school success determined by test scores of students. Challenges principals face demand school leaders possess greater knowledge and skills than administrators of the past. The need for well-trained, skilled school leaders makes it important to study the subject of school leadership training. This study examined a school leadership preparation partnership between the University of North Texas and Dallas Independent School District. Primary supporting references include work by Bottoms and O'Neill (2001) calling for the 16-member states of the Southern Regional Education Board to train a new breed of principal to meet the current demands for student achievement in public schools. This research adds to the body of knowledge of school leadership development programs, particularly those that involve cohort-based study groups and shared service partnerships between school districts and universities. Major questions investigated: 1) How did participation in the program change the involvement of administrative interns in campus-based decision-making? 2) How has participation in the program changed the ways participants perceive themselves? 3) What actions have members of the cohort group taken in their teacher-leader/administrative positions to affect student achievement? 4) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UNT/DISD/SREB Leadership Development Program partnership? Information was gathered from 16 of the 26 program participants through questionnaires, interviews, and document study.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Jordan, Mary Ann

An Analysis of Changes in Perceptions of Certified Athletic Trainers from 1996 to 2006 on the Women in Athletic Training Survey

Description: This study investigates how perceptions vary in athletic trainers regarding issues pertaining to women in the profession. Subjects included 1500 male and 1500 female certified athletic trainers who responded to 44 demographic and perceptions survey items used to determine whether perceptions were different based on the respondent's gender. Results were compared to a previously disseminated survey in 1996 to also determine if perceptions had changed from 10 years earlier. Results regarding the presentation of awards and the attainment of leadership positions in the organization were also compared to actual data collected. The data suggested that males perceptions had not changed, but females' perceptions had changed, in that females perceived that opportunities had improved. Data regarding the number of females who had ascended to leadership positions or had received awards did not support these perceptions, however, and female athletic trainers continue to struggle to obtain equality in both of these areas. Additionally, homosocial reproduction continues to influence the decreased number of women who are hired into various jobs, or advance into leadership positions, maintaining patriarchy in the athletics arena and in the athletic training organizations. Results suggested that because athletic training has been dominated by men since its inception, patriarchy continues to influence the lack of ascension of women into leadership positions and awards recognition. Many women are choosing to leave the profession due to the gender role pressure that they can not sustain a career in athletic training and raise a family. Men's professional sports continue to reject the concept of hiring women to serve as athletic trainers with their athletes, which also continues to preserve a patriarchal environment.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Dieringer, Katherine I.

An Analysis of the Benefits of the Student Success Initiative in the 3rd and 5th Grades in a District in Texas.

Description: The state of Texas passed the Student Success Initiative (SSI) in 1999 which requires all 3rd graders to pass the reading portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test to be promoted to the 4th grade, and for 5th graders to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 6th grade. Beginning in spring 2008, 8th graders will also need to pass the reading and math portions of the TAKS test to be promoted to the 9th grade. The purpose of this study was to examine the academic performance of 3rd and 5th grade students who did not meet the passing standard on the TAKS test and were retained during the 2005-2006 school year. The population of this study included 33 3rd graders and 49 5th graders who were retained during the 2005-2006 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. There was also a second population of 49 5th graders who were retained in 3rd grade during the 2003-2004 school year due to not meeting the promotion requirements of the SSI. These students were enrolled in the 5th grade for the first time during the 2005-2006 school year. Their TAKS scores were examined to see whether students were still benefiting from the year of retention in 3rd grade. Results for all populations were broken down by ethnicity and program codes. The results of the study showed a statistically significant gain in 3rd grade reading and 5th grade math scores. The 5th grade reading scores did have a statistically significant improvement even though the reading mean score was still below the minimum passing score even after a year of retention. A cross tabulation done on students who had been retained in 3rd grade due to SSI ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Neblett, Pamela S.

Computer-Assisted Instruction in Literacy Skills for Kindergarten Students and Perceptions of Administrators and Teachers.

Description: The perceptions of administrators and teachers of a computer-assisted instructional program in literacy skills were collected by a survey. The survey participants were kindergarten teachers and administrators from four elementary schools in the same, fast-growing, suburban school district in Texas. Literacy assessments were given to all kindergarten students in the district in the fall, winter, and spring of the 2005-2006 school year. This study included a quasi-experimental research design to determine if students using the computer-assisted instructional program improved more on the district literacy assessments than students who did not use the program. The treatment group members were the 449 kindergarten students of the survey participants. The treatment group worked in The Imagination Station program for a nine-week trial period. The control group members were 1385 kindergarten students from thirteen other schools in the same school district. The study found that teachers and administrators perceived that their students' improvement in literacy skills after using the program was good. The quasi-experimental portion of the study found that there was a statistical difference between the treatment and control groups on the composite literacy assessment score. The group membership variable could explain 1.4% of the variance in the students' literacy assessment scores. Based on the small effect size, there was no practical difference between the groups.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Larson, Susan Hatlestad

Equity in Texas Public Education Facilities Funding

Description: The need to establish appropriate, adequate, and decent educational facilities for school children across the nation has been well-established. The ability of school districts in each state to build these facilities has varied widely in the past. Historically, most facilities funding ability for school districts has come from the local community and has been tied to property wealth and the ability of the community to raise significant tax dollars to pay for school buildings. Responding to an expanding need for increased facilities funding and school funding litigation, the state of Texas added facilities funding mechanisms for public school facilities construction in the late 1990s. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the methods of facilities funding were equitable in the state of Texas. In this study, equity values were framed around three equity concepts established in school funding equity literature. These three concepts were (1) horizontal equity defined as the equal treatment of equals, (2) vertical equity defined as the unequal treatment of unequals, and (3) wealth neutrality defined as the absence of a relationship between school district wealth and the equal opportunity of students. The sample comprised 1,039 school districts in the state of Texas. Well-established equity measures were administered to data including capital outlays, weighted per pupil capital outlays, instructional facilities allotments, and school district wealth. Horizontal equity measures included the McLoone index, the Verstegen index, the federal range ratio, and the coefficient of variation tests. The Odden-Picus Adequacy index (OPAI) was administered to determine levels of vertical equity. Finally, wealth neutrality was determined utilizing the Pearson product-moment correlation test. Findings indicated that there were poor horizontal equity levels both in the top half and bottom half of the distribution of capital outlay spenders. A coefficient of variation test was administered to determine overall ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Luke, Charles A.

An Examination of the Relationship Between Teacher Efficacy and Teachers' Perceptions of Their Principals' Leadership Behaviors

Description: Over the years there has been significant discussion of the connection between principal's leadership qualities and teacher efficacy. Students come to the classroom from stable, traditional, supportive home environments as well as from unstable, broken, and homeless situations. Teachers are asked to teach a classroom full of students with a wide range of learning abilities as well as a varied range of learning disabilities. The confidence to do this for the measure of a teacher's career takes a strong sense of efficacy. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teachers' sense of efficacy and teachers' perceptions of their principals' leadership qualities that enhance and/or diminish the teachers' sense of efficacy. This study utilized both quantitative and qualitative research methods to study the effects of leadership qualities on teacher efficacy. Quantitative data was acquired utilizing the teacher sense of efficacy scale and the principal leadership questionnaire. Qualitative data was gathered through a focus group meeting of teachers with measurably strong efficacy to identify principal practices that affect teachers' efficacy. The study's outcomes reported that total respondent data indicates a generally positive relationship between these two variables. Subgroup analysis revealed varying results with diminishing relationships measured from elementary to secondary teachers. Qualitative information gathered from teachers with strong efficacy reported strategies that foster teacher efficacy, make teachers feel good about teaching and inhibit the development of teacher efficacy. The study recommends that principals and school administrators be especially knowledgeable of the six components of transformational leadership as well as the three aspects of teacher efficacy examined in this study. Being mindful of how daily leadership decisions not only fit within the transformational leadership constructs, but more importantly, how they affect good classroom teaching practices, should help principals plan and initiate strategies and programs that create a campus atmosphere ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Ryan, Harry D.

Examining the effects of scheduled course time on mathematics achievement in high school students.

Description: This study was designed to determine the effects of two different schedule types on mathematics achievement in public high school students. The instruments used included the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, given annually to all students in grades 3 through 11, the Texas Algebra I end-of-course examination, given as a district option to Algebra I students, and student final course grades as determined by classroom teachers. The study compared students' performance in these three areas during the 2004-2005 academic year in one suburban school district in North Texas. The study considers the type of schedule, either traditional or 8-block, between students in teachers' classes who teach the same course on both schedules concurrently. This study also investigates a qualitative aspect by including a short opinion survey of teachers' perceptions regarding student academic performance, teacher satisfaction and retention, and the ability to accomplish curricular goals. Findings from this research suggest course schedule does not have significant effects on student academic performance as measured using analyses of covariance comparisons with a 0.05 alpha-level, leading to the conclusion that a particular course schedule does not adversely impact student performance on academic measures. However, in some comparisons conducted within the course of the research, statistically significant results emerged. Qualitative data generated from a survey of teacher perceptions regarding the benefits of the two scheduling types, traditional 50-minute verses alternating day 8-block, suggested teachers preferred a traditional schedule over that of a block schedule design. Most teachers who responded to the survey instrument expressed the perception that traditional daily meeting classes allowed their students to be more successful. Additional research into the effects of scheduling types on students academic performance are suggested and would include examining larger population samples, a narrower study of specific courses within the field of mathematics, or an expansion of ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Mallory, Kelli D.

The Representation of Hispanic Females in Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement Programs in a Selected North-Central Texas Public High School

Description: Analysis of a particular north-central Texas public high school revealed a strong representation of Hispanic females in advanced academic programs, i.e., AP and GT in proportion to their representation in the overall student population. Research seems to indicate that a progressive approach to academic-potential identification; culturally effective mentoring, traditional Hispanic values, and newly emerging personal and social characteristics all seem to be contributing factors. This study seems to indicate that a new type of Hispanic female is emerging who is more assertive academically, more visible in the classroom, and less marriage-and-family oriented as might be believed by teachers, society, their peers, and perhaps even their parents.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Brown, Monty

The Effects of Using Children's Literature with Adolescents in the English As a Foreign Language Classroom.

Description: This study provides quantitative and qualitative data about the effects of using children's literature with adolescents in a language classroom and the role of children's literature in students' second/foreign language development, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The study presents qualitative data about the role of children's literature in developing more positive attitudes toward reading in the second/foreign language and toward reading in general. With literature being a model of a culture, presenting linguistic benefits for language learners, teaching communication, and being a motivator in language learning, this study presents empirical data that show that inclusion of children's literature in adolescents' second/foreign language classroom promotes appreciation and enjoyment of literature, enhances the development of language skills, stimulates more advanced learning, and promotes students' personal growth.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Belsky, Stella

Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing

Description: The purpose of this research was to conduct case studies to explore and describe Thai university students' awareness and application of cognitive and metacognitive strategies when reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL). Four participants, including two high and two low English language proficiency learners, were selected from 14 students enrolled in a five-week course called English for Social Sciences offered at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The major sources of data for the analyses included the transcripts of the participants' pair discussions, think-aloud protocols, interviews, and daily journal entries. In addition, field work observations, reading and writing strategy checklists, participants' written work, and the comparison of the pretest and posttest results were also instrumental to the analyses. The interpretive approach of content analysis was employed for these four case studies. Findings were initially derived from the single-case analyses, and then from cross-case analyses. Major findings revealed that strategic knowledge enhanced these English-as-a-foreign- language (EFL) learners' proficiency in English reading and writing. However, applying elaborative strategies for higher-level reading was challenging for most of the participants. Two crucial factors that impeded their development were the learners' uncertain procedural and conditional knowledge of strategy uses and their limited English language proficiency due to limited exposure to the second language (L2). The teacher's explanations and modeling of strategies, the participants' opportunities to discuss strategy use with peers, and extensive practice positively enhanced their development. Additionally, the learners' schema and knowledge of text structures played significant roles in their development of the two skills. These English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners also developed metacognitive awareness and strategy applications, but not to the level that always enhanced effective regulation and control of their reading and writing behaviors. Combining reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) instruction promoted the learners' awareness of the relationships of certain strategies for ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Tapinta, Pataraporn

Impact of Teachers' Common Planning Time on the Academic Performance of Students in a Middle School Setting

Description: The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of the common planning time for a team of middle school teachers by comparing the standardized test scores of middle school students selected from two school districts located in North Texas. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) 2 * 4 design was utilized to measure the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) math and reading scale score for 7th grade students from the test administered in spring 2005. The data for this study were compared by the variables of school, gender, and ethnicity. The measuring tool utilized in this study determined the ratio of the amount of variance of the scores for individuals of between-groups as opposed to the amount of variance of within-groups, indicating if there were a statistically significant difference on the scores in any one particular variable compared to the variances of scores for the other variables in this study. The statistical results indicated that there were no statistical significant differences in the scores of students attending a middle school where the teachers received a common planning time. However, there was a noted difference in the percentage ratings on the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report published by TEA for the African American students who attended the school with the common planning time. These students had higher scores on the TAKS reading test. The TAKS math scores did not indicate any notable differences.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Smitt, Shauna M.

A multi-state political process analysis of the anti-testing movement.

Description: I applied McAdam's political process model for social movement analysis to examine the level of collective resistance to high stakes testing in California, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, and Texas from 1985 to 2005. Data on protest occurrences in those states were gathered from online news reports, anti-testing organization websites, and electronic interviews from individuals associated with the anti-testing movement. Variables used in the analysis included each state's key educational accountability legislation, political affiliations of state political leaders, state political leaders' support of accountability issues, student ethnicity profiles, poverty indicators, dropout rates, and collective bargaining laws. I examined the relationship between those variables and protest development in terms of the political process model's three components: framing processes, mobilizing structures, and political opportunity. I concluded California and Massachusetts, with their strong networks of anti-testing organizations, showed more instances of protest than any other state. Slightly fewer protests occurred in New York. Texas showed few instances of anti-testing protests and there were no reports of protests in South Carolina. There was evidence of framing efforts from both proponents and opponents of high-stakes testing, with proponents' framing efforts tending to be more covert. I found that anti-testing protests were primarily initiated by middle-class and affluent groups of citizens, who demonstrated greater political access but whose major concerns differed by state. Evidence showed that although all five states have Republican governors, protests emerged more readily in the three states whose legislatures had a Democratic majority. I found that protest efforts were inhibited when protesters faced serious consequences as a result of their actions. In addition, state political leaders began to take part in the anti-testing protest movement once the state became subject to sanctions under the strict performance requirements imposed by No Child Left Behind. Overall, the political process model proved to be a ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: DeMerle, Carol

The School-Family-Community Partnership: A Superintendent's Perspective

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe, from a superintendent's perspective, the current status of school-family-community partnerships in North Texas school districts. A secondary purpose of this study was to allow the superintendents to express themselves in an open-ended format regarding factors that encourage and limit the development of these partnerships, as well as their three-year goals for creating successful partnerships in their districts. A review of the literature revealed that very limited research exists regarding the relationship between the school superintendent and the school-family-community partnership. This literature review focused on research related to the school-family-community partnership including its place in federal legislation, and a historical and current perspective of the school superintendency. The target population for this study included 156 superintendents from the two educational service centers that make up the Dallas/Fort-Worth Metroplex. This research study employed an online survey research methodology. The instrument used in this study was the Measure of School, Family, and Community Partnerships by Dr. Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University. Participants were asked to respond to fifty-two items placed in the six categories that represent Dr. Epstein's six types of involvement. Superintendents were also asked to respond to open-ended questions regarding what they perceive to be major factors that contribute to and limit the success of their school districts' school-family-community partnership efforts and what their primary goals were for improving these partnerships over the next three years. An analysis of district size in relation to superintendent perceptions of their district's school-family-partnership practices yielded no significant partnership practices. An analysis of district accountability ratings in relation to superintendent perceptions of their district's school-family-partnership practices yielded seven significant partnership practices. Finally, an analysis of superintendent experience yielded four significant superintendent partnership practices. The major factors superintendents perceive as not only contributing to, but limiting the ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Perry, Brant Patrick

Theatre teachers' attitudes toward the University Interscholastic League One-Act Play contest.

Description: The focus of aesthetic education is reflected in an arts curriculum designed for students to learn skills that make it possible for them to experience the world in a satisfying and meaningful manner. Incorporating aesthetics into school curriculum can be approached through the use of coordinated programs. In the state of Texas, over 1100 schools participate annually in the One-Act Play contest (OAP). The contest is governed by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which has designed and recommended a structure in which students actively participate in the fine art of theatre. This curriculum is the roadmap for instruction that leads students to learn the value of the aesthetic. This study examines teacher and student perception in the Texas One-Act Play contest and its implications for teaching and learning the aesthetic. The qualitative data were collected through a series of interviews and observations during the spring 2006 with five schools in the north Texas area. Students and teachers at each school were interviewed. Data revealed how the goals of the UIL OAP system are being met based on teachers' practices, perceptions, and experience. Implications of the study are seen through the teachers' attitude toward winning as well as how the elements of teaching, rehearsal technique, and external support systems affect the teachers' contest preparation.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Gotuaco, Jennifer E.

Academic excellence and instructional expenditures in Texas.

Description: Public school per pupil costs and demands for better performance have increased over the past several decades. While the overall per pupil expenditures have increased, the percent of the educational dollar directed toward instructional activities has remained at approximately 60%. A grass-roots movement known as the "65% Solution" caught national attention by claiming that schools are not efficiently allocating resources into areas that have the greatest link to student achievement, such as instruction. Proponents of the 65% Solution claim that per pupil expenditures can be increased by shifting funds from areas considered non-instructional to areas that directly impact student instruction, such as teachers and instructional materials. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between district Panel Recommended and Commended Performance TAKS Reading/ELA and Math results and three measurements of instructional expenditures, Instructional Staff Percent; TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio; and the NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (65% Solution), in Texas public schools. Data was collected from the 2003-2004 AEIS report. Multiple regression was used to conduct the analyses. In most instances, there was little, if any, relationship between TAKS Reading/ELA and TAKS Math, and the Instructional Staff Percent (ISP), TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio (TIER), and NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (NIER). However, a low to moderate relationship was discovered in the comparison of TAKS Reading/ELA, and the ISP and TIER. This result was the same for both the Panel Recommended and Commended Performance. In every instance, the ISP and TIER showed positive, statistically significant, relationships to TAKS results. The NIER, or 65% Solution, had the lowest correlation and was statistically insignificant in three out of four analyses.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Helvey, Jearl Kenton

An exploration of the relationships among teacher efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, and teacher demographic characteristics in conservative Christian schools.

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether teachers' perceptions of self-efficacy and collective teacher efficacy are interrelated and how these two constructs may be impacted by teacher demographic characteristics, such as educational level, grade level taught, and number of years of teaching experience. This study focused entirely on the interrelationships of teacher efficacy and collective teacher efficacy in three suburban, conservative Christian schools in north Texas. Specifically, the demographic characteristics of age, gender, ethnicity, particular school campus, number of years teaching, number of years teaching at the current school, highest degree received, type of teacher certification, certification grade level and subject area, grade level taught, and particular subject taught were studied for the non-random, convenience sample of 216 kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers. A correlational analysis of teacher efficacy and collective teacher efficacy yielded a Pearson r of .35 at a statistically significant level (p < .01); combining these two variables with teacher demographic variables in multiple regression analyses confirmed the relationship between teachers' perceptions of teacher efficacy and collective efficacy at a statistically significant level (p < .001). A review of the squared structure coefficients in the first multiple regression analysis (R2 = .284, p < .001) showed that individual teachers' perceptions of collective teacher efficacy explained the largest amount (43%) of the variance in teacher efficacy, followed by years of teaching experience (17%) and number of years of teaching at the current school (14%). A review of the squared structure coefficients in the second multiple regression analysis (R2 = .395, p < .001) indicated that individual teachers' perceptions of teacher efficacy explained the largest amount of variance in collective teacher efficacy (31%), followed the elementary teacher variable (22%) and particular school (19%).
Date: August 2006
Creator: Egger, Karen J.

Home-based family literacy practices of an Hispanic family: A case study of activities, functions, and the interface with school-based literacy expectations.

Description: This study examined the home-based family literacy practices of one Hispanic family, especially focusing on the parents' memories of home-based and school-based literacy activities, current home-based literacy activities and functions, and the interface of home-based family literacy practices and school-based literacy expectations. Ethnographic data offered insight into the understanding that literacy acquisition begins in the home and is dependent and reflective of literacy experiences that are sociocultural based. These home-based family literacy activities and functions are broad in scope and are valuable forms of literacy. However, these activities of marginalized families are often regarded as unimportant and/or unrelated to school-based literacy expectations, and therefore inferior. In response to this perceived mismatch between home-based family literacy activities and school-based literacy expectations, educators approached families from a deficit perspective. This deficit assumption created a sense of devalue on the part of the parents, who assisted their children by culturally and socially relevant means. To meet the school-based literacy expectations familial relationships were jeopardized as the pressure, frustration, and guilt from educators can result in emotional and physical abuse from mother to her children.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Page, Jim Larkin

Beating the High Stakes Testing Game: A Three-Year Study of Improvement Rates on the TAKS Social Studies Exit Exam.

Description: The Texas high school class of 2005 faced a defining test that had no precedent in Texas and little nationally. Social studies testing is a relatively new addition to the world of high stakes testing currently impacting United States high schools. Although other diploma dependent areas of mandated testing have some testing history and, therefore, related paradigms for curriculum and instructional assistance, the area of social studies largely lacks that perspective. Texas Education agency provided specific school grant monies and training for the purpose of preparation for the social studies exams. This quasi-experimental study examines the scores to learn whether or not any statistically significant differences in social studies scores would exist between the schools that participated in the TEKS/Tools Training Program and the schools that did not participate in the TEKS/Tools Training Program. The two primary at-risk groups in Texas, Hispanic and low SES, were analyzed for statistically significant differences in scores. Independent t tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze the score differences between program schools and non-program schools. Results relate to individual school staffing and implementation. The at-risk groups remained flat in score gains whether they were part of the program schools or not. Results relate to differences in learning and teaching for at risk groups. A separate trend analysis was used on the program target school which was the only school with three years of scores to determine improvement from grade 9 to 10 to 11 on the social studies TAKS test scores. Results from the repeated measures analysis indicated a statistically significant linear trend in the program target school's TAKS social studies mean gain scores across the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade levels.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Evans, Barbara Anne

Beliefs About Language Learning Strategy Use in an EFL Context: A Comparison Study of Monolingual Korean and Bilingual Korean-Chinese University Students.

Description: This study compared strategy use and beliefs about language learning, and the relationship between beliefs and use reported by 428 monolingual Korean and 420 bilingual Korean-Chinese university students. This study also examined the influence of background variables (e.g., gender, self-rated English proficiency, and academic major) on learners' beliefs and strategy use. Data was collected using three questionnaires, the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI), and the Individual Background Questionnaire (IBQ). Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, principal-component analyses, factor analyses, Pearson r correlation analyses, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and the Scheffé post-hoc test. Monolinguals reported using compensation strategies most, followed by cognitive, metacognitive, memory, social/practical practice, and affective strategies. Bilinguals preferred to use cognitive strategies most, followed by metacognitive and affective, compensation, memory, social, and independent practice strategies. Students from both groups reported low use of social and memory strategies. Despite a less favorable formal English education environment in the Korean-Chinese community and fewer English learning experiences, bilingual Korean-Chinese reported higher use of learning strategies, which indicates bilinguals' superior language learning abilities. Students from both groups had strong instrumental motivation for learning English. Bilinguals held stronger beliefs about the importance of formal learning and felt less fear of speaking English with native English speakers. Significant correlations between strategy and belief variables indicated differences in the impact of beliefs on strategy use for both groups. The result of the MANOVA revealed that bilingual humanities or engineering majors used more strategies and held stronger beliefs about formal learning. Proficiency level was positively correlated with strategy use for both groups. No gender effect on strategy use and beliefs was found. The assumption that differences in the learning experiences of the participants from two distinct geographical and socio-educational learning settings would influence the findings of this ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hong, Kyungsim

A Comparison of the Self-Efficacy Scores of Preservice Teachers Based on Initial College Experience

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if any statistically significant difference exists between the self-efficacy scores of student teachers who began their college experience at the community college level and student teachers who began their education at the university level. The study was used to determine whether or not the type of initial college experience impacted the first two years of college study, in relation to the development of a sense of self-efficacy at the end of the program of study. Self-efficacy data were gathered from beginning student teachers at two comparative institutions. The participants were enrolled in the colleges of education at two large metropolitan universities. One university was located in southern Texas and the other was located in north central Texas. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was the instrument used, as well as a researcher-made questionnaire that collected demographic data. In addition to pattern of education, other independent variables included age, gender, ethnicity, certification level sought by the participant, and the number of contact hours spent by the participant in early field experiences in K-12 classrooms. A multiple regression analysis indicated no statistically significant difference in the composite score of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, a measure of self-efficacy. The TSES also loads on three factors: Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management, and Student Engagement. Multiple regression analyses of the individual factor scores indicated no statistically significant predictive ability for self-efficacy on any of the subscales across initial college experience. Multiple regression analyses as well as MANOVAs were conducted to determine if the demographic variables of gender, age, ethnicity, G.P.A, certification level, and contact hours impacted TSES scores. The dependent variable was the general self-efficacy scores and the individual factor scores (i.e., Student Engagement, Instructional Strategies and Classroom Management) of student teachers as measured by the ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Ritchie, Kelly Renea

The Effects of an Inquiry-based American History Program on the Achievement of Middle School and High School Students.

Description: Implicit in the call for educational reform in the teaching of social studies has been the suggestion that pursuing inquiry-based principles will lead to improvement in student achievement. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two types of pedagogy: traditional and inquiry-based upon student achievement as measured by a standards-based, state administered examination. Second, this study examined the relationship between the treatment teachers' level of implementation and student achievement. A nonequivalent control group posttest and experimental design was used in this study. Subjects involved in this study include 84 secondary American history teachers and their respective students from a large urban public school district in Texas. The sample consisted of two groups, one taught by traditional/didactic instruction (n=48) and the other taught by inquiry-based pedagogy (n=36). Data for this study were collected using a classroom observation protocol based upon the level of use rubric developed by the concerns-based adoption model. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p<.05) was used to measure the effects of inquiry-based instruction and traditional pedagogy on student achievement. Student achievement results were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for American history, grades 8 and 11. The study found that mean scores of the Grade 8 History Alive! group were significantly higher than the scores of the control group, but not for the Grade 11 History Alive! group. However, a comparison of mean scores by teachers' level-of-use suggested that the more faithful the teacher in designing standards-based lessons and delivering them through inquiry, the greater retention of American history student's knowledge about the subject.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Harmon, Larry G.

The Effects of District Expenditure Per Pupil and Low Socio-Economic Status on the Grade 10, 2000 and 2002 Disaggregated Student Performance Scores on the TAAS

Description: Educators can no longer simply look at student totals to distribute instructional dollars. Databased decision-making must be instituted to overcome achievement gaps between white and non-white students. In low-socioeconomic (SES) settings, districts must increase expenditure per pupil (EPP) as low-SES rates rise for all students as district administrators must be in a position to show product rather than process. It was attempted to determine if a positive or negative relationship existed between Anglo, Hispanic, and African-American student test scores and wealth factors on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills tests in 2000 and 2002. Wealth factors studied included EPP and SES. Data analysis was carried out on 974 independent and consolidated school districts in Texas. Low-SES was found to be a negative predictor of higher test performance on standardized reading and mathematics tests. To varied degrees, low-SES affected all students from all ethnicities as well as affluent students. EPP was attributed with a positive effect on student test performance. Increases of $1,000 or more at one time produce performance increases from 0.20 to 0.40 points. In making specific recommendations, the researcher advises increasing expenditures low-SES districts, schools, and classrooms through the creation of specific district linear equations exhibited in this study. Funds must be earmarked for those students that are affected by poverty. It is also recommended to decrease the number of low-SES students by merging high-SES and low-SES students to dilute poverty's effects. Additional correlation studies that address instructional strategies and outside factors are needed. Finally, a replicating study using Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills data over a period would be beneficial.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Iker, Gary A.