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A Study of Vocabulary Instruction with Fourth Grade Students Participating in an Individualized Reading Program

Description: he purpose of this study was to determine the effects of one approach to vocabulary instruction on the reading and writing vocabulary of fourth grade students in an individualized reading program. The vocabulary instructional approach used student-selected vocabulary words as well as instruction in vocabulary strategies such as context clues, structural analysis, and definition strategies. The twelve week study exposed one fourth grade classroom to vocabulary instruction in a Reading Workshop setting. Major components of the program were mini-lessons, which often involved vocabulary strategies, the silent reading of self-selected books, one-on-one researcher/student interactions, and the self-selection of vocabulary words. The research design is descriptive in nature and used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative data included student interviews, teacher interviews, student writing samples, and field note observations. Quantitative data included vocabulary test scores from two groups of students, Group A and Group B. Group A participated in the self-selected vocabulary approach and received vocabulary instruction from the researcher acting as participant observer. Group B received some vocabulary instruction from their classroom teacher, but did not participate in the same program. The test was constructed weekly from a class (Group A) generated list of ten words. Results from vocabulary tests indicate that the vocabulary instruction was effective in helping Group A learn vocabulary. Multiple exposures to words as well as use of vocabulary words in context influenced student performance on tests. Results from qualitative data indicate that students attend to vocabulary words in their print environment. In addition, students used vocabulary words in expressive language, including writing and speaking. The results of this study support opportunities for wide reading, implementation of a variety of vocabulary strategies, repeated exposures to vocabulary words, and opportunities for student choice of vocabulary, as ways to enhance vocabulary learning.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Pilgrim, Jodi L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identity Issues in Asian-American Children's and Adolescent Literature (1999-2007)

Description: Published research suggests that literature should transmit ethnic and societal values as well as reassure one's own confidence and self-respect. This study provides a model for examining Asian-American children's and adolescent literature critically from the perspective of identity issues. It examines fifteen award-winning Asian-American children's and adolescent titles written by writers of that culture and published in the United States from 1999 to 2007, with a focus on Chinese (Taiwanese) American, Korean American, and Japanese American books. As published studies indicate, self, social, and ethnic identities are significantly intertwined. Hence, a content analysis was conducted based on these three major groups of categories. The findings of the study demonstrate that even though the selected books cover all three aspects of the identity issues to a certain degree, a considerably greater number of depictions of ethnic identities are made over those of internal identities and social identities. Moreover, less than half of the main characters assume an active role in improving the difficult situation. Two major voids regarding the presentation of social identities are successful social integration and positive social interactions. Recommendations for teaching, writing, illustrating, publishing, and future research are suggested, including publishing more Asian-American books which present an optimistic outlook on life, active conflict-resolving behaviors, and a balance of gender among individuals with whom the main character interacts.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Liu, Yi-chen
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploration of the Relationship Between Principal Leadership Efficacy, Principal Computer Self-Efficacy, and Student Achievement

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not relationships exist between principals' technology proficiency and student achievement as indicated by 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) ninth grade reading scaled scores. Secondly, the study examined whether or not relationships exist between principals' leadership self efficacy and student achievement as indicated in the 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) ninth grade reading scaled scores. Lastly, the select principal's personal and school demographic variables (principal gender, total years of experience as a professional, total years as principal at current school, total years of principal experience, highest degree earned, school economic status, school size) were considered within the study. The survey instruments used in this study were the Technology Proficiency Self Assessment Scale (TPSA) developed by Ropp in 2000 and the Principal's Self-Efficacy Scale (PSES) developed by Tschannen-Moran and Garies in 2004. A total of 129 Texas principal's participated in the study. Multiple regressions were utilized and effect size was considered to determine the strength of the relationship between variables. A statistical significance was found relating to the school's social economic status only when using both the PSES and the TPSA instruments. The effect sizes reported were all moderate, which acknowledged that relationships did exist between all predictor variables tested. Based on the information provided for B weights, School's SES was found to be the best predictor of reading TAKS achievement, preceded by Principal's Highest Degree Earned and Gender. SPSS 16.0 was used to analyze all data. This study adds to the literature on principals' technology efficacy and principal's self efficacy.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Brown, Shelia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Gottshall Early Reading Intervention: A phonics based approach to enhance the achievement of low performing, rural, first grade boys.

Description: Learning to read is critical for quality of life and success in our society. Children who cannot read well face unsuccessful educational careers and limited job choices. Recently, policy makers and educators have made progress toward increasing the reading achievement of America's children. Still up to 60% of boys who live in poverty cannot read or read two years below grade level. In this experimental study, I designed and examined the effects of the Gottshall Early Reading Intervention (GERI) to determine if direct instruction with a small group, phonics based approach would increase the literacy achievement of low performing, rural, first grade boys. Participants were selected according to Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) scores, matched them across race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, and randomly assigned them to experimental/control group. Three times per week for 15 weeks, boys in the experimental group attended 30-minute pullout sessions taught by trained professionals in addition to classroom reading instruction. Control group members received classroom reading instruction only. Findings reveal no significant differences in reading gains across all variables. However, descriptive data indicate higher percentages of gains for the experimental group on four out of five reading components with rate of gain higher on fifth. Statistics also show that Hispanics are more likely to benefit.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Gottshall, Dorothy Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mass media in the writing process of English as a second language kindergarteners: A case study examination

Description: Mass media such as television, video players, video games, compact disks, and the computers are commonplace in current American culture. For English as a Second Language children, television may be the only source of English in the home serving as models of grammar, syntax, story structure. An investigation was made using English as a Second Language (ESL) kindergarteners, the classroom writing center, participant-observation, teacher as researcher, and case study methodology to investigate the following questions: Do ESL kindergarten children use media in their writing? If so, how do they use media in their writing? Upon examination of the data, it was found that all these ESL children did use media in the writing process. The function and form of the media references varied from child to child. Media was a cultural context for the childrenÕs social interactions. Oral language (with and without media references) not only informed the writing for some, but also served: to initiate, participate in, and sustain social relationships with peers. Findings indicated that two case study subjects used social dialogue as a separate operation from the production of a written story. Language informed the writing but it also had a socialization function in addition to what the writing needs were. The social aspects of literacy beyond language used to inform the writing is a topic suggested for further research.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Melton, Janet Moody
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reader-Reported Influences on a Fifth Grader's Transaction With Extended Text

Description: This study was designed to investigate the question of what goes on in a reader's mind as she transacts with extended text. It was a case study with one respondent, a ten year old girl. She reported, in writing, her thoughts during teacher read aloud, subsequent silent reading of the same text, and group discussions about the text. The findings support and flesh out Rosenblatt.s transactional theory, Vygotsky.s Zone of Proximal Development theory, and Lipman.s Philosophy for Children theory. Conclusions were that there are numerous sociocultural influences on a reader's transaction with text and that these influences must be taken into account in the classroom.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Hubble, Winona Gaye
Partner: UNT Libraries

A value-added approach to determine the relationships of mentoring to novice teacher classroom effectiveness.

Description: The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between scores of the new teachers' classroom effectiveness with numerical indexes of mentor support, mentor infrastructure, and workplace ecology. In addition, this study sought to determine the effect of various demographics (i.e., gender, age, race, degree, teaching level, and certification route) on the Classroom Effectiveness Index (CEI) scores of first-year teachers, and to determine the differences, if any, between the Classroom Effectiveness Index scores of first-year teachers who remained on campus, switched campuses, or left the district. This study is primarily correlational in nature - looking for relationships between quantifiable variables. The subjects are 68 first-year teachers. The mandatory mentoring program the subjects were involved in consisted of a paid, veteran teacher who worked on the same campus as the first-year teacher and assisted in instructional or behavioral needs. This study measured the impact of the first-year teachers' mentoring experiences to the Classroom Effectiveness Index scores and teacher retention. The findings suggest that the Classroom Effectiveness Index scores might not be an appropriate tool for uncovering which aspects of mentoring contribute to student achievement and retention. Adding the value-added measurement tool to the categories of mentor support (MS), mentor infrastructure (MI), and workplace ecology (WE), rendered no statistically significant results. Therefore, further research is necessary to continue to define the effective characteristics of mentoring and its impact on classroom effectiveness and retention.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Harris, Shelley B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parallels Between the Gaming Experience and Rosenblatt's Reader Response Theory

Description: The world of literacy has expanded alongside technology, and new literacies are being used as an alternative or an addition to traditional text. By including video gaming as literacy, the connection can be made between students' multimodal world outside of school with the world of literacy they encounter in school. This study took two approaches of a content study and a case study. A collective case study was used to examine the gaming experience of participants with three commercial video games falling into three separate genres: Sims FreePlay (simulation); Halo 1 (first person shooter); and World of Warcraft (role playing game). The 15 gamers were placed into three sets of five participants for each video game, and interviews were conducted to explore the gaming experience in relation to stance and transaction, which are major components of Louise Rosenblatt's reader response theory. Limited research has been conducted regarding reader response theory and the new literacies; by using the reader response lens, the gaming experience was compared to the reading experience to add the new literacies to the existing literature on reader response. As a way to look at both the text and the experience, a content study examined three mainstream video games to establish literacy content by using Zimmerman's gaming literacy theory. Even though this theory is useful by detailing elements found in video games and not traditional literature, literary value cannot be fully assessed unless the theory is developed further to include other components or discuss how the depth of the components can relate to literary value. The literature does not currently contain substantial research regarding how to assess the literary value of video games, so this study begins to add to the present literature by demonstrating that at least for these games the presence of the components of the ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Sanders, April
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developing Culturally Responsive Literacy Teachers: Analysis of Academic, Demographic, and Experiential Factors Related to Teacher Self-efficacy

Description: This mixed-methods study examined teachers' culturally responsive teaching (CRT) self-efficacy beliefs and the relationships among selected academic, demographic, and experiential factors. Guided by theoretical and empirical research on CRT, teacher dispositions, and assessment in teacher education (TE) programs for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students, this study utilized an extended version of Siwatu's 2007 Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy (CRTSE) Scale to conduct correlational and comparative statistical analyses. Data sources included surveys from 265 participants enrolled in TE classes in the spring 2012 in Texas (one private and one public university). Content analyses were also conducted on participants' descriptions of CRT activities using a priori and inductive coding methods to triangulate and elaborate the explanation of quantitative results. In this population, those with higher CRTSE were typically young (undergraduates), specializing in ESL and bilingual certification coursework, who felt their TE program prepared them well for working with CLD student populations. Regression analyses showed that certain certification areas (ESL, bilingual, elementary, and advanced) and perceptions of better quality in TE program preparation for working with CLD students emerged as significant predictors of increased CRTSE. Those with second language skills were more efficacious in delivering linguistically-responsive instruction, and those professing more experiences with and interest in diverse individuals felt more confident in applying CRT skills. While the younger teacher candidates felt more efficacious, their descriptions of CRT were less sophisticated than those with more teaching experience. Despite much of the literature relating to CRT and minority teachers, ethnicity was not a significant factor in heightened CRTSE. This study informs TE programs for better measuring and supporting teacher candidate CRT development by revising and extending Siwatu's 2007 study in three ways. First, the CRTSE Scale instrument was extended to include items that address greater depth and breadth of the culturally responsive teaching continuum as ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Sarker, Amie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ninth-grade Students’ Negotiation Of Aesthetic, Efferent, And Critical Stances In Response To A Novel Set In Afghanistan

Description: This qualitative, action research study was guided by two primary research questions. First, how do students negotiate aesthetic, efferent, and critical stances when reading a novel set in Afghanistan? Second, how do aesthetic and efferent stances contribute to or hinder the adoption of a critical stance? A large body of research exists that examines student responses to literature, and much of that research is based on the transactional theory of reading. However, it remains unclear how critical literacy fits into this theory. This study describes how one group of high school students’ aesthetic and efferent responses to a novel set in Afghanistan supported their development of critical stances. Six students enrolled in a ninth-grade English course participated in this study. Data were collected for 13 weeks. Data included two individual interviews with each student, student writing assignments in the form of 6 assigned journal entries and 7 assigned essays, transcriptions of 12 class discussions, field notes, lesson plans, a teacher researcher journal, and research memos. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Three major findings emerged from this study. First, class discussions provided a context for students to adopt stances that were not evident in their individual written responses to the novel, which were completed prior to the discussions. Second, the discussions provided scaffolding that helped several of the students adopt world-efferent and critical stances. Third, both the aesthetic and the efferent stances contributed to students’ adoption of critical stances.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Taliaferro, Cheryl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identity of African American Characters in Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor Award Winning Books: a Critical Content Analysis of Books From 1991 to 2011

Description: The purpose of this study was to conduct a critical content analysis of the African American characters found in Newbery Medal award winning books recognized between the years of 1991 and 2011. The John Newbery Medal is a highly regarded award in the United States for children's literature and esteemed worldwide. Children's and adolescents' books receive this coveted award for the quality of their writing. Though these books are recognized for their quality writing, there is no guideline in the award criteria that evaluated the race and identity of the characters. Hence, there are two overarching research questions that guided this study. The first question asked: To what extent are the African American characters in each award winning book represented? Foci in answering this question were the frequency of African American characters and the development of their ethnic identities. The second question asked: How are the African American characters' intergroup attitudes and interactions represented? Foci in answering this question examined the frequency of intergroup interactions and the characters' attitudes within the context of each book. The theoretical framework that undergirded this study is critical literacy, which encourages adults and youth to examine issues of diversity and social justice through their reading. Eighteen books met the criteria for the study, which provided 98 African American characters for investigation through content analysis. The qualitative methodology used frequency counts, anecdotal notes and questionnaires to analyze the characters. Findings revealed two key themes: the characterization of ethnic identity as a reflection of society and African American characters as models of agency. Further themes became evident in this study as well: the evolution of cultural authenticity, strong African American female characters, importance of the African American family and the acknowledgement of African American involvement in history. These findings are significant because they provided evidence of ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Morton, Tami Butler
Partner: UNT Libraries

Multimodal Design for Secondary English Language Arts: A Portraiture Study

Description: Employing the research approach known as portraiture, this study investigated the varying ways in which three secondary English language arts teachers at a visual and performing arts high school conceptualized and designed multimodal literacy learning. Also studied were the ways in which their students responded to these designs; and in keeping with portraiture, attention went to the changes in the researcher's own understandings. This multi-case study and cross-case analysis built on prior multimodal literacy research in secondary education, but unlike previous studies, gave major attention to how teachers' conceptualization of multimodality and their own roles related to the designs that they produced. Since the school emphasized arts as well as academics, particular attention went to teachers' conceptions of, and designs for, arts-related multimodalities. Data for the portraits came from observations, teacher and student interviews, artifacts, and a researcher journal. Recursive analysis focused on repetitive refrains, resonant metaphors, and emergent themes, which provided data for "painting" the teachers' portraits in prose. Findings show the connections among teachers' beliefs, values, and the multimodal designs, which included images, movement, sound, classroom displays, and room arrangements. The three teachers took dramatically different approaches to multimodal designs as they created their productions of English language arts. Differences across teachers were related to their conceptions of multimodal design (i.e., for social activism, for expression, for edification) and to their conceptions of their roles as multimodal literacy designers (i.e., challenger, facilitator, channel). Students' responses to, and participation in, the multimodal activities also varied across classroom and teacher. The concluding discussion addresses the relation of arts integration to multimodal literacy education, the value of students' transmodal activity, and connections between multimodality and portraiture. The study illustrates the potential of portraiture for studies of multimodality as well as the potential of using multiple modes to "paint" portraits. Lawrence-Lightfoot, S., ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Price, Cecelia Joyce
Partner: UNT Libraries

Multimodal Literacy Portfolios: Expressive and Receptive Opportunities for Children Labeled "At-Risk"

Description: Current literacy assessments are focused on a single mode of meaning-making (reading and writing, whether oral or written) and assume that literacy and language are "fixed systems"-- comprised of discrete skills that can be taught and measured in isolation. This validation and privileging of a single mode of assessment has resulted in children labeled "At-risk" falling significantly behind those without this label. This study investigates what a teacher can learn from a diverse range of assessment forms and modes. In a fourth-grade self-contained classroom, students engaged in multimodal assessments and created multimodal portfolios. Five students labeled "At-risk" were chosen for a deeper analysis. Students' artifacts, interviews, and observations served as the main data sources. Both narrative analysis and analysis of narrative were utilized to generate a more complete narrative of these five students as meaning makers and communicators. The general findings suggest that these children labeled "At-risk" were, in fact, able to engage in multimodal thinking and communication from a critical stance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Young, Whitney J
Partner: UNT Libraries

Elementary Students' Critical Examination of Characters in Children's Literature Depicting Social Justice

Description: Despite the ruling of Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, segregation in schools is still quite visible with suburban schools educating a student body of more than 70% White and urban schools comprised of mostly Black, Hispanic, and Asian students. Ideally, a school should dispel social and structural inequities through curriculum and quality resources, but fallibly, schools continue to be the vehicles to maintaining the status quo. Students who develop critical awareness and cultivate a critical literacy stance can become agents of change toward a more democratic society. In the current study, urban upper-elementary-age students were asked to engage in a critical literacy event by critically examining the power positions of characters in books that depict historical social injustice. The six female participants met in several sessions to read books and a newspaper article, use a critical reader response tool, and then engage in critical conversations about the books' characters. Their dialogue was recorded and analyzed using a critical discourse qualitative methodology. The findings show that older elementary students are capable of seeing multiple perspectives of an issue and can explain characters' power from born from privilege and fueled by fear and how a shift in power may occur through solidarity. The findings suggest school curriculum enhanced by media narrows the students' view of discrimination as being targeted mostly towards African-Americans, but those experiences through literature have the potential to expand the students' views to include other cultural groups. Subsequently, there is a need for broader teacher preparation using books that enhance students' views of social injustice.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Paiva, Deanne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does Technology = More Knowledgeable Other? an Investigation of the Effects of an Integrated Learning System on the Literacy Learning of Emergent Readers

Description: Professionals in education continue to explore technology as a way to instruct young students, and there is an accompanying belief that this technology can make an educational and academic difference. Despite the high percentage of young students in classrooms using technology, the impact of this technology on the early literacy skills of young children remains largely unknown. Guided by Vygotsky’s social learning theory, this study reports a 24-week investigation on whether regular use of Istation®, an integrated learning system used by approximately 3,000,000 students in the United States, had an effect on the early literacy achievement of children in twelve kindergarten classrooms. A mixed-method, quasi-experimental design was constructed using propensity scores. Also investigated were the effects of the level of teacher literacy support on early literacy achievement and the interaction between Istation® use and the level of teacher literacy support. A descriptive discriminant analysis was performed to determine the main effect of Istation®. The level of teacher support and the interaction effect was then tested using a multivariate between-subject analysis. Results indicated that Istation® did have a statistically significant effect on the early literacy skills of the 72 kindergarten students studied and was able to explain 17.7% of the variance in group differences. Hearing and recording sounds and letter sound knowledge were the main contributors to group differences. Teacher literacy support and the interaction between teacher support and Istation were not significant. This study considers the relationship between technology and early literacy and concludes that Istation® can serve as a more knowledgeable other as students develop some early literacy skills; however, teachers are still needed to provide complete literacy instruction for young students.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Putman, Rebecca S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Great Debate continued: Does daily writing in kindergarten lead to invented spelling and reading?

Description: Many children in the United States cannot read on level by fourth grade. Traditionally, teachers have delayed reading instruction until first grade. However, involving children sooner in literary activities may provide skills needed to enable them to read on grade level. The purpose for this study was to determine the extent to which daily writing in kindergarten influences the development of invented spelling and learning to read. Five teachers modeled writing with 78 kindergarten children who wrote every day or almost every day for 20 weeks. There were 51 children in an experimental group, and 27 in a control group who were given a pretest and a posttest using the Observation Study (Clay, 1993). Results from a mixed model ANOVA indicated a significant difference between the control group and the experimental group on the Dictation Task F (1, 76) = 11.76, P≤ .001 and the Writing Test F (1, 76) = 4.33, P≤ .01. Results from a z-Test of dependent proportions indicated there were significant differences in the reading levels of the control group from the pretest to the posttest (z = 7.51, P ≥ .05) because (z = 7.51, Zcv = 1.96). The experimental group results from pretest to posttest were also statistically significant (z = 6.48, P ≥ .05) because (z = 6.48, Zcv = 1.96). At the end of kindergarten 82.35% of the experimental group was reading, while only 48.15% of the control group was reading. This research indicates that if kindergarten children are encouraged to write daily and use invented spelling there is a greater possibility they will enter first grade reading.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Pierce, Laura Boehl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of agency: Beliefs of four adolescent girls in high school as revealed through literature discussions.

Description: Published research suggests that cultural practices and institutional structures influence adolescent girls' engagement and achievement in school. This study was an attempt to further investigate that claim by describing the perceptions of agency held by four adolescent girls in high school. Members of the same English class, the girls volunteered to participate in three lunchtime meetings to discuss Evelyn Coleman's (2001) Born In Sin. Analysis of classroom observations, transcripts of audio recordings of the book discussions, and individual interviews yielded a more precise definition of agency than those used in previous research, including a view of agency as dialogic. In addition, four major themes describe these girls' agentic moves: (1) a temporal orientation, which connects the past, present, and future; (2) responsibility for positive and negative events; (3) strategic decision making; (4) negotiating with people in power. Implications of this study inform both teaching decisions and future research related to adolescent girls.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Curtis, Joan Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Transfer and Sustainability of a School-Wide Writing Program: Year 2.

Description: Writing is an important life skill that all students need in order to succeed in today's society. However, proficient writing skills develop over time, requiring years of quality instruction combined with motivation, encouragement, and lots of practice. School-wide writing is an approach that provides specific writing instruction in a consistent manner across all grade levels, allowing students to develop increasingly complex writing skills and strategies over time. Implementation of programs, such as school-wide writing, requires teachers to transfer new understandings and skills from the training room to the classroom as well as efforts to sustain the program over time. This multiple case study examines the characteristics of an elementary school-wide writing program that was introduced in the field by local teachers and transferred five years later to another school in the same district. The study also examines factors affecting the transfer and sustainability of the program during the second year of implementation. Findings from the study indicate that the elements of school-wide writing transferred from School 1 to School 2 at a low road level of transfer. Factors affecting transfer included inquiry, ongoing training, support systems, authentic writing experiences, and time. Factors contributing to sustainability included ongoing support, accountability, communication, positive feelings, time, and individuality.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Dickson, Violet Myers
Partner: UNT Libraries

Framing Bilingual Education Policy: Articulation and Implementation in Texas

Description: Language education policy and its implementation have been controversial and ongoing issues throughout the United States, especially in the border state of Texas, with its large population of students who are learning English. This dissertation reports two studies, the first of which was a frame analysis of problems and solutions as represented by the five bills amending the Texas Education Code with regard to bilingual education and English as a second language programs. These laws, passed in 1969, 1973, 1975, 1981, and 2001, have been enacted since 1968, the year the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) was passed. The problem framed consistently by these state policy documents was inadequate instruction for children who come to school speaking languages other than English. More variability was seen in the framing of solutions, with approaches changing from the authorization of instruction in languages other than English, to the establishment of mandated bilingual programs, to the extension of special language programs, and to the establishment of dual language immersion programs. The primary ideology influencing the policy documents was the monolingual English ideology; however, alternative ideologies are apparent in the policies that allow for dual language immersion programs. Geographic information systems (GIS) analysis was used in the second study to investigate the geographic locations of particular programs and the demographics of students they served. Choropleth maps showed variability in program distribution across the state with distinct patterns apparent in only two programs. The maps indicated that districts with high percentages of student enrollment in one-way dual language programs tended to be located in and near the major metropolitan areas, whereas many districts offering early exit transitional bilingual programs tended to be located along the Texas-Mexico border. Despite the literature on bilingual/ESL program effectiveness, the predominant program in the border region of Texas is among those considered ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Dixon, Kathryn V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Teacher Quality on Reading Achievement of Fourth Grade Students: an Analysis of the 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (Naep)

Description: This study investigated the effects of teacher background variables on fourth grade reading achievement data collected from the 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) using a causal-comparative research design. Teacher quality variables related to teacher credentials, instructional methods, training, and support were selected from the NAEP background questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were used to examine teacher background information and fourth grade reading NAEP scaled scores using measures of central tendency, independent t-tests, analysis of variance, and Tukey’s HSD post hoc analysis. Findings suggest that certain teacher quality variables positively impact fourth grade reading achievement. Significant differences existed among fourth grade reading scaled scores for the following variables: teaching credentials [region (p < .05), traditional preparation route (p < .001), highest degree earned(p < .05), years of experience (p < .001)]; instructional methods [reading aloud by students (p < .01), questioning character motives (p < .01), student selection of reading materials (p < .001), explaining/supporting text (p < .05), identifying main theme (p < .001), time spent on reading (p < .001), primary language arts integration (p < .05)]; teacher support [instructional grade level support/technical assistance by reading specialist (p < .05) and mentoring (p < .05)]. This study expands the current literature on teacher quality by exploring the effects of teacher variables on reading achievement.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Curry, Daphney Leann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Missed Opportunities: Examining The LiteracyExperiences Of African American Students Displaced By Hurricane Katrina.

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine how five African American middle school students, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina represent their literacy experiences before, during, and after their displacement. Specifically, the two research questions were: (a) What are the stories that these middle school students tell about their lives, before, during, and after their displacement, and (b) What do their stories reveal about their literacy experience before, during, and after their displacement? Narrative Inquiry was the chosen methodology for the study, which allowed the participants to tell their experiences from a first-person perspective. It also encouraged the participants to reflect upon these experiences, in order to give meaning to their thoughts and emotions. Employing a critical lens and perspective, I constructed a narrative profile for each participant, which was then analyzed using these methods. Each narrative profile detailed the literacy experiences of the participants before Hurricane Katrina, during the transition period, and current literacy experiences now that the participants are resettled and attending school in the host city. These data were supplemented by archival data such as report cards, individual education plans (IEPs), and Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores. Data analysis of the five participants’ literacy experiences revealed common themes. These participants have pleasant memories of school literacy before the storm and mentioned “choice” as a component of those experiences. During the transition period, few or no literacy experiences took place. Hence, there were missed opportunities for the participants to use literacy experiences to make connections to their new world. Participants reported current classroom and school experiences were controlled environments that led to controlled literacy experiences. This compartmentalization of literacy experiences is not consistent with the critical literacy perspective adopted in this study. Their interviews suggested that they that they saw no connection between school ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: Pollard, Tamica McClarty
Partner: UNT Libraries

Struggling Middle School Readers Learning To Make Intertextual Connections With Texts

Description: When people read, they often make connections to their lives, the world, and other texts. Often, these connections are not overt, but are a thinking process invisible to observers. The purpose of this study was to explore the intertextual connections struggling middle school students made as they read multiple topically-related texts to build knowledge, through observation of discussions, surveys, and interviews with students. The students received 30 lessons based on the constructivist model of comprehension. Data sources included observations during the delivery of these interactive lessons and surveys regarding their connections, their use of the connection strategies in content area classes, and their knowledge of the topic. The observations and surveys were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Information rich cases were developed from these data, as well as from interviews with selected students. Although the students were considered struggling readers, they did not respond to the instruction as stereotypical struggling readers. They were engaged, and they led discussions and shared connections with the class. The students demonstrated they learned to make connections and more text-to-text or intertextual connections overall. The students made connections when interested in the topic and had opportunities to discuss the texts. Finally, the students sometimes made connections in content area classes with opportunity in those classes. The study has implications for theory, future research, and practice of teachers and library media specialists.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Johnson, Sunni
Partner: UNT Libraries