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It Takes a Village: An Inquiry into the Importance of Community in Educational Success

Description

This research looks at a group of students from Tumaini Children's Home in Nyeri, Kenya. The purpose of this paper is to explore why this particular group of students is so academically successful. Quantitative research was taken from the average

This research looks at a group of students from Tumaini Children's Home in Nyeri, Kenya. The purpose of this paper is to explore why this particular group of students is so academically successful. Quantitative research was taken from the average 2013 test scores of Tumaini students who took the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam in comparison to the scores of students who are not residing in the orphanage. Qualitative research involves interviews from those students who live in Tumaini and interviews from adults who are closely connected to the orphanage. The purpose is to understand why the students are performing so well academically and what support they have created for themselves that allows them to do so.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-12

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Education and curricular perspectives in the Qurʼan

Description

In this dissertation I attempt to find elements of education and curricular perspective in the Qur'an. I argue that there is little research in the field of curriculum instruction that discusses the Qur'an's educational aspects and, as a result, much

In this dissertation I attempt to find elements of education and curricular perspective in the Qur'an. I argue that there is little research in the field of curriculum instruction that discusses the Qur'an's educational aspects and, as a result, much ignorance of the Qur'an's material that deals with education and curricular perspective in the Qur'an. Researchers may find many materials that deal with reading, memorizing, and reciting the Qur'an, along with references that deal with science and math in the Qur'an. Therefore, this dissertation answers the question: What curriculum exists within the Quran? This dissertation is divided into five chapters exploring various aspects of the curriculum. The word "curriculum" is used in one chapter to mean developing the person as a whole in all aspects of life whether spiritual, social, or mental while in the other chapter curriculum is used to refer to methods of instruction. I concluded that curriculum in the Qur'an uses different methods of instructions to develop the individual as a whole in all aspects of life while granting freedom of choice.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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School Participatory Budgeting in Carson Junior High

Description

Participatory Budgeting (PB) can create changes within individuals and between them and their community. PB processes allow people to determine how to spend a portion of a particular budget (in the case of School PB, a portion of the school

Participatory Budgeting (PB) can create changes within individuals and between them and their community. PB processes allow people to determine how to spend a portion of a particular budget (in the case of School PB, a portion of the school budget). These processes help address the underrepresentation of youth in the realm of civics.

I spent time with the steering committee and teacher coordinator of school PB in Carson Junior High to explore the impact of school PB on students’ knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices in relation to civic engagement. In the study I used quantitative and qualitative components. The participants were unique in that they all had prior experience in civic engagement programs in Carson Junior High that were organized by the teacher coordinator of school PB.

The main findings suggest that the participants reported a significant amount of learning in civic knowledge. In comparison, their overall perceived growth in attitudes, practices and skills were much lower. School PB helped the participants in the steering committee to grow in different ways than their other civic engagement programs by providing them with knowledge about budgets, their school’s mechanisms and other students within their school. They also became more familiar with the democratic process of voting and more comfortable with public speaking and presenting.

Recommendations for future research on this process include compiling quantitative and qualitative data from a larger sample consisting of students who had prior civic engagement experience and students who didn’t, and students with different ethnicities from different grades. Another recommendation for future research is to conduct a longitudinal study following school PB participants to high school and beyond to explore long-term impacts.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Examining post-school outcomes for students with disabilities: a continuous improvement process for post-secondary transition practices

Description

The purpose of this action research study was to implement and study a systematic

framework for using data inquiry and collaborative teams to improve practices that affect the post-school outcomes of students with disabilities. Teams at six high schools in a

The purpose of this action research study was to implement and study a systematic

framework for using data inquiry and collaborative teams to improve practices that affect the post-school outcomes of students with disabilities. Teams at six high schools in a large public school district participated in a multi-level intervention involving work within their teams, collaboration with other schools, use of a web-based tool to examine data, and support from district leaders. Ultimately, teams used data to identify change targets, linked those to evidence-based predictors of post-school success, and designed action plans to change practices and programs related to post-secondary transition at their schools.

The researcher used a mixed methods concurrent design to explore how participants engaged in situated learning and a process of collaborative meaning- making to reflect on and change their practices. The researcher used a collaborative team survey and observations to collect data from all teams, as well as an in-depth case study of one team to collect further data through a focus group, semi-structured interviews, artifact analysis, and observations. Qualitative data analysis incorporated both inductive and deductive approaches through initial coding, focused coding, and mind mapping.

Results suggested the data inquiry process enabled school teams to construct meaning about their practices, and through collaboration, they were able to develop deeper understanding of problems and solutions. A comparison of means and standard deviations of five survey constructs indicated teams placed high levels of value on collaboration within their school teams and with other school teams. Furthermore,results suggested establishing a continuous improvement process to address post- secondary transition provided structure and sustainability for examining data and making changes in practices. This work resulted in the implementation of an ongoing continuous improvement process for special education practices in a large public school district.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Stayed in school or dropped out: negotiation of organizational structure and supports

Description

ABSTRACT High numbers of dropouts can be found throughout the country, but research has shown the problem to be most prevalent in minority communities. Although the majority of dropouts were Anglo, the highest event dropout rates were found among American

ABSTRACT High numbers of dropouts can be found throughout the country, but research has shown the problem to be most prevalent in minority communities. Although the majority of dropouts were Anglo, the highest event dropout rates were found among American Indians, Hispanics and African Americans. This descriptive study investigated how students negotiate school structure, social supports, and cultural identity to gain an insider or "emic" perspective on youth decision-making regarding whether to drop out or remain in school. Research was conducted in a suburban school district with a high school population of over 10,000 students in grades 9 through 12. Student selection was based on criteria developed through an analysis of district data of students that had dropped out of school over a three-year period from the 2006-2007 to 2008-2009 school years. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven participants of high school age. These participants were placed in one of three sample groups that fit the dropout profile. These groups were (1) students currently attending high school, (2) students who dropped out prior to completing graduation requirements, and (3) students who had graduated. The findings in this study will benefit the educational community as it relates to K-12 education and students leaving school (dropping out). Educators and administrators will be able to evaluate the findings of the study to review current practices and policies within their organization. The data will also give administrators the opportunity to develop and implement programs that can assist students in staying in school.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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Professional development in the area of autism: effectiveness of collaboration in online and face-to-face learning formats

Description

Effectively educating students with autism is a necessary element in providing all students with a free and appropriate public education, and as the number of students diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder continues to increase in both public and private

Effectively educating students with autism is a necessary element in providing all students with a free and appropriate public education, and as the number of students diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder continues to increase in both public and private educational settings, providing successful and satisfactory professional development opportunities in the area of autism is becoming increasingly essential. This study explored the experiences of twenty-three educators in a suburban southwest K-12 public school district, as they participated in a fifteen-hour professional development course in an online or face-to-face format, and collaboratively problem-solved their challenges in educating students with autism. Qualitative data was collected from participants' weekly written reflections and comments from a pre- and post-survey on attitudes, to determine quality of and satisfaction with collaboration in relation to course format. Results indicated that the online format produced higher-quality collaboration when it came to presenting one's own situation(s) to the group, finding group discussions helpful, having enough time to collaborate, providing feedback/suggestions to group members, and perceiving suggestions for one's own situation as helpful (as evidenced by the number of suggestions that participants said they would likely implement). The face-to-face format produced higher-quality collaboration when it came to in-depth problem-solving regarding a situation, implementing suggestions for one's own situation, and relating course content to collaborative activities. Participants' attitudes about using technology as a means of collaboration showed little change overall from pre- to post-survey. Though slight increases in positive attitudes concerning technology were found in various areas, many participants still thought highly of a face-to-face format for collaborative purposes, even after participating in the online professional development course. Findings may be of use to educational institutions developing online or face-to-face professional development opportunities in the area of autism.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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The Technology Core Teacher community: considerations for a community approach to professional development and technology integration

Description

The purpose of this project was to research the effects of a professional development intervention designed to build local capacity for technology integration among teachers at the school level. This was done by providing focused face-to face and online training

The purpose of this project was to research the effects of a professional development intervention designed to build local capacity for technology integration among teachers at the school level. This was done by providing focused face-to face and online training to twelve teachers referred to as the Technology Core Teacher (TCT) group. This project utilized the theoretical framework of social learning and communities of practice to provide an environment of ongoing support for technology integration. The findings addressed four areas: the TCT teachers' practice, their technology skill levels, the use of the online collaboration tools utilized for collaboration and virtual synchronous meetings, and whether the TCT teachers demonstrated signs of being a self sustainable community of practice. The findings demonstrate that the intervention had an influence on the participating teachers' practice and influenced the practice of other teachers as well. TCT teachers increased their skills when applying new learning with their students. TCT teachers used online collaboration tools minimally for communication, and synchronous meeting tools presented some difficulties. TCT teachers showed signs that they may be a sustainable Community of Practice. Although teachers reported that their technology skills increased, a pre-post survey of skills based on the ISTE NETS-T Assessment yielded lower confidence scores after the intervention. A follow up survey designed to explain these results indicated that teachers rated their skill set lower in light of more knowledge, indicating a possible paradox in self reporting of skills prior to awareness of technology based learning possibilities.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Governing more than language: rationalities of rule in Flores discourses

Description

This project offers an exploration of the constitution of English language learners (ELLs) in the state of Arizona as subjects of government through the discursive rationalities of rule that unfolded alongside the Flores v. Arizona case. The artifacts under consideration

This project offers an exploration of the constitution of English language learners (ELLs) in the state of Arizona as subjects of government through the discursive rationalities of rule that unfolded alongside the Flores v. Arizona case. The artifacts under consideration span the 22 years (1992-2014) of Flores' existence so far. These artifacts include published academic scholarship; Arizona's legislative documents and floor debate audio and video; court summaries, hearings, and decisions; and public opinion texts found in newspapers and online, all of which were produced in response to Flores. These artifacts lay bare but some of the discursive rationalities that have coagulated to form governable elements of the ELL student population--ways of knowing them, measuring them, regarding them, constituting them, and intervening upon them. Somehow, some way, students who do not speak English as their first language have become a social problem to be solved. ELLs are therein governed by rationalities of English language normalization, of enterprise, of entrepreneurship, of competition, of empowerment, and of success. In narrating rationalities of rule that appear alongside the Flores case, I locate some governmental strategies in how subjects conduct themselves and govern the conduct of others with the hope that seeing subject constitution as a work of thought and not a necessary reality will create a space for potentially unknown alternatives. Through this work, I'd like to make possible the hope of thinking data differently, rejecting superimposition of meaning onto artifact, being uncomfortable, uncertain, undefinitive, and surprised. With that, this work encourages potential paths to trod in the field of curriculum studies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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A micro-ethnographic study of creative behavior of Title 1 urban art students: how do context, collaboration and content play a role in the development of creativity?

Description

Through the disciplines of art education, anthropology and psychology the researcher examined research-based traits and characteristics of the creative process among a second year Title 1 urban high school art class. Within the theoretical framework of social justice, this micro-ethnographic

Through the disciplines of art education, anthropology and psychology the researcher examined research-based traits and characteristics of the creative process among a second year Title 1 urban high school art class. Within the theoretical framework of social justice, this micro-ethnographic study explored exactly what teaching and learning to be creative implies and proposes a potential resolution for art teachers learning how to enhance teaching children how to think creatively. The research proposition is that student creativity occurs as a function of a series of interrelated factors including a nurturing classroom context, strong teacher-student dialogue, strategic questioning, purposeful incorporation of visual culture, and manipulation of content in favor of student interests within the culturally situated context of the art classroom. Navigating teacher-student relationships at moments of creative origination produced results indicating that the art teacher alone is the single most influential factor for enhancing creative outcomes in a classroom. Through incorporation of a variety of collaborative activities and comparative analysis of dissimilar content-driven projects generated evidence that artistic skills and creativity do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. The study finds that the artworks produced evidence based nuances of the creative traits of originality, fluency, flexibility, and elaboration in which profoundly varied in character depending on the content and the context. The study concludes that creativity cannot be strictly taught or learned, but rather that it can be enhanced through teacher nurturing and manipulation of content to encompass a socially intelligent uptake in the culture of art-making. Broader implications are suggested focusing on the significance of creative education and the impact it can have for educational systems, schools and undergraduate programs in art education. The researcher proposes an art education curriculum model that fosters both creative thinking and the unique learning needs of Title 1 urban students. The curriculum suggests the art teacher begin initial instruction by teaching students about the traits, characteristics and obstructions of creativity prior to teaching artistic skills sets to serve as a foundation of creative awareness from the start.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Friends with autism: a comprehensive approach to building social skills among students with autism and an at-risk peer in the general education classroom

Description

The rise in the number of students found to have autism has been staggering over the past ten years. Accommodating these students effectively and appropriately in a public school is a challenge many teachers are deemed with, sometimes without adequate

The rise in the number of students found to have autism has been staggering over the past ten years. Accommodating these students effectively and appropriately in a public school is a challenge many teachers are deemed with, sometimes without adequate training. This study was aimed at affecting the underlying social misunderstandings inherent to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and an at-risk general education peer through a comprehensive intervention consisting of peer mentoring, interactive social stories and video modeling strategies. Observations, student interviews, vignettes and student and researcher journals served as data sources. Three fourth grade boys, including a student with autism, a peer with behavioral concerns and a model peer, participated in an intervention designed using a multiple baseline across behaviors. The target students, including the student with autism and the peer with behavioral concerns increased their ability to demonstrate three distinctive skills, attending to task, raising hand and academic responding. Analysis of the data also showed an overall increase in levels of engagement and motivation. Strong friendships developed among all three participants. Implications suggest that a comprehensive approach is effective in reducing unwanted social behaviors and promoting positive social skills and gives further insight into the target students' motivation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013