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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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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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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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Journeys, adventures, bridges and puzzles: a case study approach to understanding teachers' conceptions of STEM

Description

Legislative changes and discussions about the United States falling further and further behind other nations in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) achievement are growing. As they grow, STEM instruction in elementary school has earned its place as a national

Legislative changes and discussions about the United States falling further and further behind other nations in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) achievement are growing. As they grow, STEM instruction in elementary school has earned its place as a national area of interest in education. In the case of Ivory School District, teachers are being asked to radically change their daily practices by consistently implementing inquiry-based STEM experiences in their classrooms. As such, teachers are being asked to scale a divide between the district expectations and their knowledge and experience. Many fourth grade educators are teachers who have been trained as generalists and typically do not have specific background or experience in the philosophy, instructional strategies, or content associated with STEM. Using a prototype approach, this study aims to understand how such teachers conceptualize STEM instruction and the relationship between their experience and conceptions.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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The theatrical ties that bind: an examination of the hidden curriculum of theatre education

Description

Examining the elements of the hidden curriculum in theatre education allows theatre educators the opportunity to reflect on their own pedagogy and its effects on the learner. The hidden curriculum refers to the unspoken or implicit values, norms, and beliefs

Examining the elements of the hidden curriculum in theatre education allows theatre educators the opportunity to reflect on their own pedagogy and its effects on the learner. The hidden curriculum refers to the unspoken or implicit values, norms, and beliefs that are transmitted through tacit messages. When the hidden curriculum remains veiled, the impact on the learner's education and socialization process can perpetuate gender, race, and class inequalities. In order to understand how the hidden curriculum manifests itself in theatre classrooms, we have to look at schools as "agents of legitimation, organized to produce and reproduce the dominant categories, values, and social relationships necessary for the maintenance of the larger society" (Giroux, 1983, p. 72). This qualitative study examined the hidden curriculum in theatre at the secondary level and looked at theatre teachers' pedagogy in reproducing elements of the hidden curriculum. Interviews, naturalistic observation, and a researcher reflective journal were employed in the data collection process to better understand: a) the elements of hidden curriculum that appear in theatre education at the secondary level, b) how the pedagogical practices of theatre teachers support societal structures, and c) how the hidden curriculum in theatre reinforces gender, race, and social class distinctions. Data were then coded and analyzed to find emergent themes. Multiple theoretical perspectives serve as a conceptual framework for understanding the hidden curriculum, and provide a neglected perspective of the hidden curriculum in theatre education. The theatre classroom provides a unique space to view hidden curriculum and can be viewed as a unique agent of social change. Themes related to the first research question emerged as: a) privileges for older students, b) school rules, c) respect for authority, d) acceptance of repetitive tasks, and c) punctuality. Themes related to the second research question emerged as: a) practices, b) procedures, c) rules, d) relationships, and e) structures. Finally, themes related to the third question emerged as: a) reinforcement of social inequality, b) perpetuation of class structure, and c) acceptance of social destiny. The discussion looks at the functions of theatre pedagogy in the reproduction of class, inequality, and institutionalized cultural norms.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Counting on: narratives of curriculum policy implementation

Description

This study is a narrative inquiry into teachers' and instructional coaches' experiences of new curriculum policy implementation at the classroom and district levels. This study took place during the initial year of implementation of the third grade Common Core

This study is a narrative inquiry into teachers' and instructional coaches' experiences of new curriculum policy implementation at the classroom and district levels. This study took place during the initial year of implementation of the third grade Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM). Interviews were conducted with individuals directly involved in policy implementation at the classroom level, including several teachers and the school's instructional coach. Observations of the teachers' instruction and professional practice were also conducted. As an embedded researcher, I used this data to create a series of fictionalized narratives of the initial policy implementation experience. My analysis of the narratives suggests that accountability structures shaped individual's sense-making of the original policy. This sense-making process consequently influenced individuals' actions during implementation by directing them towards certain policy actions and ultimately altered how the policy unfolded in this school and district. In particular, accountability structures directed participants' attention to the technical instructional `forms' of the reform, such as the presence of written responses on assessments and how standards were distributed between grade levels, rather than the overall principled shifts in practice intended by the policy's creators.

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Agent

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Date Created
2015

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Ideologies toward language minority students: a study of three newspapers in Arizona

Description

The presence of language minority students in American schools is a growing phenomenon in present-day times. In the year 2008, almost 11 million school-age children spoke a language other than English at home. Educational language policy is largely influenced by

The presence of language minority students in American schools is a growing phenomenon in present-day times. In the year 2008, almost 11 million school-age children spoke a language other than English at home. Educational language policy is largely influenced by the attitudes that society holds regarding the presence of language minority speakers in the community. One of the sources of these attitudes is the written press. This research aimed at identifying and analyzing the ideologies that newspapers display in connection with language minority speakers. The underlying assumption of the study was that the English language occupies a dominant position in society, thus creating a power struggle in which speakers of other languages are disenfranchised. Using critical theory as the theoretical framework enabled the study to identify and oppose the ideologies that may reproduce and perpetuate social inequalities. The methodological approach used was critical discourse analysis (CDA) which aligns with the main tenets of critical theory, among them the need to uncover hidden ideologies. The analysis of articles from English-language (The Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune) and Spanish-language (La Prensa Hispana) newspapers allowed for the identification of the ideologies of the written press in connection to two main hypothetical constructs: education and immigration. The analysis of the results revealed that the three newspapers of the study held specific ideologies on issues related to the education of language minority students and immigration. Whereas the East Valley Tribune showed an overarching ideology connected to the opposition of immigrant students in schools, the hegemonic position of theEnglish language, and a belligerent stance toward the immigrant community, The Arizona Republic showed a favorable attitude to both English Language Learners and immigrants, based on reasons mainly related to the economic interest of the state of Arizona. La Prensa Hispana, on the other hand, showed ideologies favorable to the immigrant community based on humanitarianism. In summary, the results confirm that newspapers hold specific ideologies and that these ideologies are reflected in the content and the manner of their information to the public.

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Agent

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Date Created
2012