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Promoting meaningful uses of technology in a middle school

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Federal education policies call for school district leaders to promote classroom technology integration to prepare students with 21st century skills. However, schools are struggling to integrate technology effectively, with students often reporting that they feel like they need to power

Federal education policies call for school district leaders to promote classroom technology integration to prepare students with 21st century skills. However, schools are struggling to integrate technology effectively, with students often reporting that they feel like they need to power down and step back in time technologically when they enter classrooms. The lack of meaningful technology use in classrooms indicates a need for increased teacher preparation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact a coaching model of professional development had on school administrators` abilities to increase middle school teachers` technology integration in their classrooms. This study attempted to coach administrators to develop and articulate a vision, cultivate a culture, and model instruction relative to the meaningful use of instructional technology. The study occurred in a middle school. Data for this case study were collected via administrator interviews, the Principal`s Computer Technology Survey, structured observations using the Higher Order Thinking, Engaged Learning, Authentic Learning, Technology Use protocol, field notes, the Technology Integration Matrix, teacher interviews, and a research log. Findings concluded that cultivating change in an organization is a complex process that requires commitment over an extended period of time. The meaningful use of instructional technology remained minimal at the school during fall 2010. My actions as a change agent informed the school`s administrators about the role meaningful use of technology can play in instruction. Limited professional development, administrative vision, and expectations minimized the teachers` meaningful use of instructional technology; competing priorities and limited time minimized the administrators` efforts to improve the meaningful use of instructional technology. Realizing that technology proficient teachers contribute to student success with technology, it may be wise for administrators to incorporate technology-enriched professional development and exercise their leadership abilities to promote meaningful technology use in classrooms.

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2011

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The human capital accumulation of young mothers: the relationship with father involvement

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This study utilized ecological theory and social exchange theory to examine how father involvement effects the human capital accumulation of young mothers. This study used data from a sub-sample of young mothers taken from the Healthy Families Arizona longitudinal evaluation

This study utilized ecological theory and social exchange theory to examine how father involvement effects the human capital accumulation of young mothers. This study used data from a sub-sample of young mothers taken from the Healthy Families Arizona longitudinal evaluation (N = 84). The participants in the sub-sample were between 13 and 21 years of age. Using a random effects regression model, it was found that father involvement negatively affects a young mother's school attendance over time. The probability of a mother attending school when the father is involved decreases by 12%. It was also found that for the average age mother (19 years of age), the probability of attending school decreases by 59% every additional year. Furthermore, for a mother with an average number of children (one child), every additional child she has decreases the probability of attending school by 24%. In addition it was found that for the average age mother (19 years of age) every additional year, the likelihood of being employed increases 2.9 times, and for a mother with an average number of children (one child) every additional child decreases the likelihood of employment by .88 times.

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2011

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Sustainable water management in Ciudad Juarez

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ABSTRACT Water resources in many parts of the world are subject to increasing stress because of (a) the growth in demand caused by population increase and economic development, (b) threats to supply caused by climate and land cover change, and

ABSTRACT Water resources in many parts of the world are subject to increasing stress because of (a) the growth in demand caused by population increase and economic development, (b) threats to supply caused by climate and land cover change, and (c) a heightened awareness of the importance of maintaining water supplies to other parts of the ecosystem. An additional factor is the quality of water management. The United States-Mexican border provides an example of poor water management combined with increasing demand for water resources that are both scarce and uncertain. This dissertation focuses on the problem of water management in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. The city has attracted foreign investment during the last few decades, largely due to relatively low environmental and labor costs, and to a range of tax incentives and concessions. This has led to economic and population growth, but also to higher demand for public services such as water which leads to congestion and scarcity. In particular, as water resources have become scarce, the cost of water supply has increased. The dissertation analyzes the conditions that allow for the efficient use of water resources at sustainable levels of economic activity--i.e., employment and investment. In particular, it analyzes the water management strategies that lead to an efficient and sustainable use of water when the source of water is either an aquifer, or there is conjunctive use of ground and imported water. The first part of the dissertation constructs a model of the interactive effects of water supply, wage rates, inward migration of labor and inward investment of capital. It shows how growing water scarcity affects population growth through the impact it has on real wage rates, and how this erodes the comparative advantage of Ciudad Juarez--low wages--to the point where foreign investment stops. This reveals the very close connection between water management and the level of economic activity in Ciudad Juarez. The second part of the dissertation examines the effect of sustainable and efficient water management strategies on population and economic activity levels under two different settings. In the first Ciudad Juarez relies exclusively on ground water to meet demand--this reflects the current situation of Ciudad Juarez. In the second Ciudad Juarez is able both to import water and to draw on aquifers to meet demand. This situation is motivated by the fact that Ciudad Juarez is considering importing water from elsewhere to maintain its economic growth and mitigate the overdraft of the Bolson del Hueco aquifer. Both models were calibrated on data for Ciudad Juarez, and then used to run experiments with respect to different environmental and economic conditions, and different water management options. It is shown that for a given set of technological, institutional and environmental conditions, the way water is managed in a desert environment determines the long run equilibrium levels of employment, investment and output. It is also shown that the efficiency of water management is consistent with the sustainability of water use and economic activity. Importing water could allow the economy to operate at higher levels of activity than where it relies solely on local aquifers. However, at some scale, water availability will limit the level of economic activity, and the disposable income of the residents of Ciudad Juarez.

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2011

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Lesson study and the co-construction of pedagogical knowledge among secondary specialty teachers

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Teacher learning in the workplace is situated within a complex context involving the individual and multiple aspects of an educational organization. The present action research study uses a socio-constructionist inquiry lens to further research the local and multifaceted nature of

Teacher learning in the workplace is situated within a complex context involving the individual and multiple aspects of an educational organization. The present action research study uses a socio-constructionist inquiry lens to further research the local and multifaceted nature of professional learning in schools. The goal is to re-conceptualize professional development away from reductionist approaches that assume teacher practice can be isolated, packaged, and directly transferable into the classroom. The present study examines how lesson study can structure interdisciplinary professional learning to address the current gap in the literature regarding professional development of secondary specialty teachers. Five teachers participated in two lesson study cycles for a period of 13-weeks. This study focused on how teachers co-construct pedagogical knowledge and the extent to which they make changes to their practice. Using a sequential mixed methods research design, this study collected qualitative and quantitative data in three phases. In the initial phase, participants completed a demographical survey and shared a digital ethnography of their philosophy of teaching. Phase two consisted of video recordings for two lesson study cycles. Phase three involved a second survey and semi-structured interviews. Classroom observations were conducted during the first and last phase of the study. All qualitative data was analyzed inductively using open and thematic coding. Cross-case analysis was employed at the analysis stage to integrate data tools for the purpose of complementarity. Results suggest lesson study was an effective, job-embedded model that supports active and continuous professional development that is sustained and transferrable to the classroom. The type of disposition reported and displayed by teachers changed positively over time having transformational effects in the depth of relationships among teachers, increasing co-creation of pedagogical knowledge, and increasing reflectiveness. Teachers' level of openness to learning related to higher levels of effective practices implemented during lessons. Further research is needed to examine the ways in which teacher disposition influences professional learning when secondary specialty teachers engage in lesson study.

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2014

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A measure of goodness: art teacher identity as a measure of quality

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ABSTRACT This qualitative study examines how high school art teachers conceive of being a good art teacher. Motivated by my own experiences as an art teacher, I designed this study to add teachers' voices to the conversation surrounding quality in

ABSTRACT This qualitative study examines how high school art teachers conceive of being a good art teacher. Motivated by my own experiences as an art teacher, I designed this study to add teachers' voices to the conversation surrounding quality in education. My research design included a narrative strand and an arts-based strand. In the narrative strand, I interviewed and observed 12 high school art educators from a major city in the southwest. I conducted an autoethnographic reflection exploring my connection to the research topic and research process. In the arts-based strand I used fiber-arts to further understand my topic. I wrote this dissertation using a narrative approach, blending the traditional research format, voices of participants, and my autoethnographic reflection. I included the results of my arts-based approach in the final chapter. Findings suggest that the teachers in this study conceptualize being a good art teacher as a process of identity construction. Each of the teachers understood what it meant to be a good art teacher in unique ways, connected to their personal experiences and backgrounds. As the teachers engaged in identity work to become the kind of art teacher they wanted to be, they engaged in a process of identity construction that consisted of four steps. I propose a model of identity construction in which the teachers chose teaching practices, evaluated those practices, identified challenges to their identities, and selected strategies to confirm, assert, or defend their desired identities. The findings have implications for teachers to become reflective practitioners; for teacher educators to prepare teachers to engage in reflective practices; and for administrators and policy makers to take into account the cyclical and personal nature of identity construction. This study also has implications for further research including the need to examine the dispositions of art teachers, teachers' evolving conceptions of what it means to be a good art teacher, and the effect labeling teachers' quality has on their identity construction.

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2014

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Quenching our thirst for future knowledge: participatory scenario construction and sustainable water governance in a desert city

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Transformational sustainability science demands that stakeholders and researchers consider the needs and values of future generations in pursuit of solutions to sustainability problems. This dissertation research focuses on the real-world problem of unsustainable water governance in the Phoenix region of

Transformational sustainability science demands that stakeholders and researchers consider the needs and values of future generations in pursuit of solutions to sustainability problems. This dissertation research focuses on the real-world problem of unsustainable water governance in the Phoenix region of Central Arizona. A sustainability transition is the local water system is necessary to overcome sustainability challenges and scenarios can be used to explore plausible and desirable futures to inform a transition, but this requires some methodological refinements. This dissertation refines scenario methodology to generate water governance scenarios for metropolitan Phoenix that: (i) feature enhanced stakeholder participation; (ii) incorporate normative values and preferences; (iii) focus on governance actors and their activities; and (iv) meet an expanded set of quality criteria. The first study in the dissertation analyzes and evaluates participatory climate change scenarios to provide recommendations for the construction and use of scenarios that advance climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. The second study proposes and tests a set of plausibility indications to substantiate or evaluate claims that scenarios and future projections could become reality, helping to establish the legitimacy of radically different or transformative scenarios among an extended peer community. The case study of water governance begins with the third study, which includes a current state analysis and sustainability appraisal of the Phoenix-area water system. This is followed by a fourth study which surveys Phoenix-area water decision-makers to better understand water-related preferences for use in scenario construction. The fifth and final study applies a multi-method approach to construct future scenarios of water governance in metropolitan Phoenix in 2030 using stakeholder preferences, among other normative frames, and testing systemic impacts with WaterSim 5.0, a dynamic simulation model of water in the region. The scenarios are boundary objects around which stakeholders can weigh tradeoffs, set priorities and reflect on impacts of water-related activities, broadening policy dialogues around water governance in central Arizona. Together the five studies advance transformational sustainability research by refining methods to engage stakeholders in crafting futures that define how individuals and institutions should operate in transformed and sustainable systems.

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2014

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Essays in international economics and development

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This dissertation consists of three essays that broadly deal with the international economics and development. The first chapter provides empirical evidence of the prevalence and importance of intangible capital transfer within multinational corporations (MNCs). Using a unique data set of

This dissertation consists of three essays that broadly deal with the international economics and development. The first chapter provides empirical evidence of the prevalence and importance of intangible capital transfer within multinational corporations (MNCs). Using a unique data set of Korean multinational foreign affiliates, I find that most of the foreign affiliates have managers transferred from their parent, while almost half are isolated from the parent in terms of physical trade. Furthermore, the transferred managers are positively associated with labor productivity, while physical trade from the parent is less so. I consider two possibilities for this productivity effect: (1) the managers transferred from the parent are simply more efficient than native managers; and (2) they provide knowledge that increases the productivity of all inputs. I find that the latter is consistent with the data. My findings provide evidence that transferring managers from the parent is a main source of benefit from foreign direct investment (FDI) to foreign affiliates because the managers transfer firm-specific knowledge. The second chapter analyzes importance role of service or other sectors for economic growth of manufacturing. Productivity in agriculture or services has long been understood as playing an important role in the growth of manufacturing. In this paper we provide an endogenous growth model in which manufacturing growth is stimulated by the non-manufacturing sector that provides goods used for both research and final consumption. The model permits to evaluatation of two policy options for stimulating manufacturing growth: (1) a country imports more non-manufacturing goods from a foreign country with a higher productivity; or (2) the country increases productivity of domestic non-manufacturing. We find that both policies increase welfare of the economy, but depending on the policy the manufacturing sector responses differently. Specifically, employment and value added in manufacturing rise with policy (1), but contract with policy (2). Therefore, specialization through importing non-manufacturing goods explains how some Asian economies experience fast growth in the manufacturing sector without progress in the other sectors. The third chapter tests for the importance of composition effects in affecting levels and changes of education wage premiums. In this paper I revisit composition effects in the context of Korea. Korea's large and rapid expansion of education makes it an ideal place to look for composition effects. A large, policy-induced increase in attainment in the 1980s offers additional scope for identifying composition effects. I find strong evidence that the policy-induced expansion of education lowered education wage premiums for the affected cohorts, but only weak evidence that the trend expansion of education lowered education wage premiums.

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2014

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Teacher stressors in an Arizona urban school district

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Teachers have the one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs to guide our impressionable youth into academically prepared independent thinkers. This undertaking requires a commitment, as well as an enormous effort that can oftentimes be overwhelming. Teaching has

Teachers have the one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs to guide our impressionable youth into academically prepared independent thinkers. This undertaking requires a commitment, as well as an enormous effort that can oftentimes be overwhelming. Teaching has been found to be a stressful profession for several decades with the potential concern of negative consequences for both teachers and students. The purpose of this study was to view mutual influences that affected the stress levels of urban teachers, as well as gather possible solutions to help alleviate some areas of stress. This study evaluated an urban school district in Arizona to uncover existing stressors for elementary teachers. Through qualitative analysis, this study utilized focus group interviews within this urban district, which consisted of 20 teachers in various grade levels. Four to five teachers formed each focus group, where participants responded to six open-ended questions in a candid setting. Using the grounded theory, major and minor themes emerged as a result of teacher responses that revealed trends and commonalities. Additionally, participants relayed their suggestions to mitigate some of these stressors. This study revealed that the some of the stressors that surfaced were common to the entire group, while some grade level subgroups differed in areas of stress. The suggestion to implement purposeful support systems to improve the stress of teachers was recommended with the proposal to reexamine the results for their effectiveness in future studies.

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2013

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Office design: an exploration of worker satisfaction and their perceptions of effective workspaces

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ABSTRACT Recent studies indicate that top-performing companies have higher-performing work environments than average companies. They receive higher scores for worker satisfaction with their overall physical work environment as well as higher effectiveness ratings for their workspaces (Gensler, 2008; Harter et

ABSTRACT Recent studies indicate that top-performing companies have higher-performing work environments than average companies. They receive higher scores for worker satisfaction with their overall physical work environment as well as higher effectiveness ratings for their workspaces (Gensler, 2008; Harter et al., 2003). While these studies indicate a relationship between effective office design and satisfaction they have not explored which specific space types may contribute to workers' overall satisfaction with their physical work environment. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between workers' overall satisfaction with their physical work environments and their perception of the effectiveness of spaces designed for Conceptual Age work including learning, focusing, collaborating, and socializing tasks. This research is designed to identify which workspace types are related to workers' satisfaction with their overall work environment and which are perceived to be most and least effective. To accomplish this two primary and four secondary research questions were developed for this study. The first primary question considers overall workers' satisfaction with their overall physical work environments (offices, workstations, hallways, common areas, reception, waiting areas, etc.) related to the effective use of work mode workspaces (learning, focusing, collaborating, socializing). The second primary research question was developed to identify which of the four work mode space types had the greatest and least relationship to workers' satisfaction with the overall physical work environment. Secondary research questions were developed to address workers' perceptions of effectiveness of each space type. This research project used data from a previous study collected from 2007 to 2012. Responses were from all staff levels of US office-based office workers and resulted in a blind sample of approximately 48,000 respondents. The data for this study were developed from SPSS data reports that included descriptive data and Pearson correlations. Findings were developed from those statistics using coefficient of determination.

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2013

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Vulnerability to heat stress in urban areas: a sustainability perspective

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Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et al. 2011; Knowlton et al. 2007; Meehl and Tebaldi 2004;

Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et al. 2011; Knowlton et al. 2007; Meehl and Tebaldi 2004; Patz 2005). Heat waves will likely have the worst health impacts in urban areas, where large numbers of vulnerable people reside and where local-scale urban heat island effects (UHI) retard and reduce nighttime cooling. This dissertation presents three empirical case studies that were conducted to advance our understanding of human vulnerability to heat in coupled human-natural systems. Using vulnerability theory as a framework, I analyzed how various social and environmental components of a system interact to exacerbate or mitigate heat impacts on human health, with the goal of contributing to the conceptualization of human vulnerability to heat. The studies: 1) compared the relationship between temperature and health outcomes in Chicago and Phoenix; 2) compared a map derived from a theoretical generic index of vulnerability to heat with a map derived from actual heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix; and 3) used geospatial information on health data at two areal units to identify the hot spots for two heat health outcomes in Phoenix. The results show a 10-degree Celsius difference in the threshold temperatures at which heat-stress calls in Phoenix and Chicago are likely to increase drastically, and that Chicago is likely to be more sensitive to climate change than Phoenix. I also found that heat-vulnerability indices are sensitive to scale, measurement, and context, and that cities will need to incorporate place-based factors to increase the usefulness of vulnerability indices and mapping to decision making. Finally, I found that identification of geographical hot-spot of heat-related illness depends on the type of data used, scale of measurement, and normalization procedures. I recommend using multiple datasets and different approaches to spatial analysis to overcome this limitation and help decision makers develop effective intervention strategies.

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2013