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

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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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2014-12

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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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Date Created
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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The impact of tutoring with a supplemental educational services model on intrinsic motivation and mathematical achievement

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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of individualized afterschool tutoring, under federal Supplemental Educational Services (SES), on mathematical and general academic intrinsic motivation and mathematical achievement of at-risk students. The population of this study consisted of

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of individualized afterschool tutoring, under federal Supplemental Educational Services (SES), on mathematical and general academic intrinsic motivation and mathematical achievement of at-risk students. The population of this study consisted of two third graders and five fourth graders from an elementary school in the Reynolds School District in Portland, Oregon. One participant was male. The other six were female. Six of the students were Hispanic, and one student was multiethnic. Students' parents enrolled their children in free afterschool tutoring with Mobile Minds Tutoring, an SES provider in the state of Oregon. The participants were given pre- and post-assessments to measure their intrinsic motivation and achievement. The third graders took the Young Children's Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (Y-CAIMI) and the fourth graders took the Children's Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI). All students took the Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GMADE) according to their grade level. The findings from this study are consistent with the literature review, in that individualized tutoring can help increase student motivation and achievement. Six out of the seven students who participated in this study showed an increase in mathematical achievement, and four out of the seven showed an increase in intrinsic motivation.

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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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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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Date Created
2013

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Educational research in the United States: a survey of pre-K-12 teachers' perceptions regarding the purpose, conceptions, use, impact, and dissemination

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The purpose of this survey study was to collect data from pre-K-12 educators in the U.S. regarding their perceptions of the purpose, conceptions, use, impact, and results of educational research. The survey tool was based on existing questionnaires and case

The purpose of this survey study was to collect data from pre-K-12 educators in the U.S. regarding their perceptions of the purpose, conceptions, use, impact, and results of educational research. The survey tool was based on existing questionnaires and case studies in the literature, as well as newly developed items. 3,908 educators in a database developed over 10+ years at the world's largest education company were sent a recruiting email; 400 elementary and secondary teachers in the final sample completed the online survey containing 48 questions over a three-week deployment period in the spring of 2013. Results indicated that overall teachers believe educational research is important, that the most important purpose of research is to increase effectiveness of classroom practice, yet research is not frequently sought out during the course of practice. Teachers perceive results in research journals as the most trustworthy yet also perceive research journals the most difficult to access (relying second-most often for research via in-service trainings). These findings have implications for teachers, administrators, policy-makers, and researchers. Educational researchers should seek to address both the theoretical and the applied aspects of learning. Professional development must make explicit links between research findings and classroom strategies and tactics, and research must be made more readily available to those who are not currently seeking additional credentialing, and therefore do not individually have access to scholarly literature. Further research is needed to expand the survey sample and refine the survey instrument. Similar research with administrators in pre-K-20 settings as well as in-depth interviews would serve to investigate the "why" of many findings.

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2013

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Getting scholarship into policy: lessons from university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers

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There is a documented gap between research-based recommendations produced by university-based scholars in the field of education in the United States and the evidence that U.S. politicians' use when deciding which educational policies to implement or amend. This is a

There is a documented gap between research-based recommendations produced by university-based scholars in the field of education in the United States and the evidence that U.S. politicians' use when deciding which educational policies to implement or amend. This is a problem because university-based education scholars produce vast quantities of research each year, some of which could, and more importantly should, be useful to politicians in their decision-making processes and yet, politicians continue to make policy decisions about education without the benefit of much of the knowledge that has been gained through scholarly research. I refer to the small fraction of university-based education scholars who are demonstrably successful at getting scholarly research into the hands of politicians to be used for decision-making purposes as "university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers". They are distinct from other university-based education scholars in that they engage with politicians from both political parties around research and, as such, are able to use scholarly research to influence the education policymaking process. The problem that this dissertation addresses is the lack of use, by U.S. politicians, of scholarly research produced by United States university-based education scholars as input in education policy decisions. The way in which this problem is explored is through studying university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers. I focused on three areas for exploration: the methods university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers use to successfully get U.S. politicians to consider scholarly research as an input in their decision-making processes around education policy, how these scholars are different than the majority of university-based education policy scholars, and how they conceive of the education policy-setting agenda. What I uncovered in this dissertation is that university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers are a complete sub-group of university-based education scholars. They work above the rigorous promotion and tenure requirements of their home universities in order to use scholarly research to help serve the research needs of politicians. Their engagement is distinct among university-based education scholars and through this dissertation their perspective is presented in participants' own authentic language.

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2013