Matching Items (15)
- All Subjects: Education
- Creators: Blasingame, James
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
- Resource Type: Text
Listen to the poet" [electronic resource]: what schools can learn from a diverse spoken word poetry group in the urban southwest
This dissertation shares findings from a yearlong qualitative case study of Young Voices Rise (YVR), a diverse spoken word poetry group in the urban Southwest. The study examined the group's characteristics and practices, adolescent members' views of their writing and themselves as writers, and changes members attributed to their experiences in YVR. Data sources included interviews with six adolescent poets and two adult teaching artists, observations of writing workshops and poetry slams, collection of group announcements through social media, and collection of poems. Sociocultural theory guided the study's design, and grounded theory was used to analyze data. This study found that YVR is a community of practice that offers multiple possibilities for engagement and fosters a safe space for storytelling. The adolescent participants have distinct writing practices and a strong sense of writing self; furthermore, they believe YVR has changed them and their writing. This study has several implications for secondary English language arts. Specifically, it recommends that teachers build safe spaces for storytelling, offer spoken word poetry as an option for exploring various topics and purposes, attend to writers' practices and preferences, encourage authentic participation and identity exploration, and support spoken word poetry school-wide.
Bilingual Latino high school boys' reading motivation: seven case studies examining factors that influence motivation to read
This qualitative case study examines seven bilingual Latino boys who were motivated readers. Several theories were examined in relationship to the study: sociocultural theory, reading motivation theories, and gender schema theory. Prior studies involving reading motivation of boys and Latinos showed a gap between boys and girls in reading achievement, high school completion, and college enrollment. Studies about reading motivation included choice in books, reading amount, social context of reading, habitual reading habits, and out-of-school reading as important factors that influence reading motivation. Additionally, Latino cultural factors such as machismo and familismo were examined as factors that influence motivation to read.
The study participants attended a large, urban school in Arizona and were selected from senior English classes after completing a participant selection survey. On the participant selection survey, boys self-identified their gender, language, and ethnicity; by several questions about attitudes toward reading and reading amount rated on a 10-point Likert scale gauged reading motivation. Each participant participated in an individual interview, completed a 60-question questionnaire/survey, and either attended a group interview or a second individual interview.
Data were triangulated by using data from these three sources and was coded as it was collected using Nvivo qualitative coding software. Coding began with five, basic categories derived from the study questions: motivation, home experiences, school experiences, school performance, and attitude toward reading. As coding continued, the coding categories expanded to include categories such as location of reading materials, access to books, choices in reading, format of texts, and many others. Eventually, there were four distinct categories that stood out in the findings: reading self-perception, purposes, preferences, and practices. The findings have a correlation to previous studies about reading motivation, but also add to the growing field of literature in the area of Latino boys' reading motivation.
Keywords: reading, motivation, self-efficacy, situational interest, Latino, boys, high school, gender, types of reading, reading purposes
ABSTRACT This study describes student interactions in the academic social network site Edmodo versus student interactions in Facebook. This qualitative case study relies upon four high school juniors enrolled in Advanced Placement Language and Composition who use Edmodo to complete assignments for their English class. Their experiences were gathered in an attempt to describe specific experiences in a complex system. Students were selected using an Internet Connectedness Index survey. Using a Virtual Community of Practice framework, students were asked about their experiences in Edmodo. This study concludes that Edmodo and Facebook can be compared in three categories: accessibility, functionality, and environment. Unlike Facebook, which students access regularly, students access Edmodo only to fulfill the teacher's participation expectations for the specific grade they wish to receive. Additionally, students appreciated the convenience of using Edmodo to complete assignments. The functionality of Edmodo is quite similar in layout and appearance to Facebook, yet students were unaware of the media sharing capability, wished for private messaging options, and desired the ability to tag peers for direct comment using the @ sign, all options that are available in Facebook. Students felt the environment in Edmodo could best be characterized as intellectual and academic, which some mentioned might best be used with honors or AP students. A surprising benefit of Edmodo is the lack of social cues enable students to feel free of judgment when composing writing. Some felt this allowed students to know their classmates better and share their true personae free from judgment of classmates. As a result of the case studies of four students, this study seeks to illustrate how students interact in Edmodo versus Facebook to provide a robust image of the academic social network site for teachers seeking to implement educational technology in their classes.
The right to write: novice English teachers write to explore their identities in a writing community
ABSTRACT This research studies the effects of a writing community on three novice, middle school, Title I language arts teachers' perceptions of themselves as educators and as writers. The participants wrote on topics of their selection, on a bi-monthly basis, for one semester, to explore their teaching and learning. The teachers are in their first five years of instruction and work in Title I, urban schools with ethnically diverse students. All participants are National Writing Project fellows. The researcher analyzed teachers' journals, narratives, conversations, interviews and pre-surveys to collapse and code the research into themes. Findings suggest that teachers need time and support to write during the school day if they are going to write. They also need a supportive, honest, and friendly audience, the writing community, to feel like writers. Findings generated have implications for teacher preparation programs. The participant, who was not an education major, in her undergraduate program, is the only teacher who feels confident in her writing abilities which she connects to her experience in writing and presenting her work as an English and women's studies major. More teacher education programs should offer more writing courses so that preservice teachers become comfortable with the art of composition. Universities and colleges must foster the identities of both instructor and writer in preservice language arts teachers so that they become more confident in their writing and, in turn, their writing instruction. It may be implausible for novice teachers to be effective writing instructors, and educate their students on effective writing strategies, if they do not feel confident in their writing abilities. Although writing researchers may posit that English teachers act as gatekeepers by withholding writing practices from their students (Early and DeCosta-Smith, 2011), this study suggests that English teachers may not have these writing skills because they do not write and or participate in a writing community. When preservice English teachers are not afforded authentic writing opportunities, they graduate from their teacher education programs without confidence as writers. Once ELA teachers transition into their careers they are, again, not afforded the opportunity to write. In turn, it is difficult for them to teach writing to their students, particularly low-income, minority students who may need additional support from their teachers with composition. K-12 teachers need the time and space to write for themselves, on topics of their selection, during the school day, and then, must be trained on how to use their writing as a model to coach their students.
This research features a phenomenological investigation of the interactions between adolescent storytellers and audience members during a live storytelling event. The researcher partnered with an English teacher in an urban Southwest high school and a spoken word poet from a youth nonprofit to produce a storytelling workshop and corresponding story slam event for high school students. Fourteen participants, including seven student storytellers and seven student audience members, participated in extensive follow-up interviews where they described the experience of their respective roles during the event. Utilizing a phenomenological design (Moustakas, 1994; Vagle, 2014) and drawing from reception theory (Bennett, 1997; Hall, 1980) as a framework, the researcher used participant descriptions to compose a textural-structural synthesis collectively describing the phenomenon of interaction, connection, and transaction between storytellers and audience members during the live event.
The textural-structural synthesis of participants’ descriptions comprises four major essences of the transactional phenomenon. These include 1) the relational symbiosis of storytellers and audience members, 2) the nature of the story slam as a planned and produced event, 3) the storytellers’ inclusions of specific, personal details which resonated with specific, personal details in audience members’ lives, and 4) the storytellers’ intentional style and content choices which corresponded with reactions from audience members.
These findings provide a platform for fostering conditions for interaction, connection, and transaction in curricular and extra-curricular secondary contexts. For a classroom teacher, they may be helpful in creating principles for optimizing interactions between teachers and students in instruction and between students in collaboration. In extra-curricular contexts, these findings provide a platform for consideration of how to hold space for creative performance once spaces for creative expression have been made for youth.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (2001) was a tipping point for the requirement of academic and English language proficiency standards. Yet, there continue to be variations among English language proficiency standards linked and aligned to academic content standards across states, districts, and schools (Golden, 2011). The purpose of this research was to examine how the requirement of only linking language proficiency standards to academic content standards has impacted the quality of Arizona English Language Proficiency Standards with the Common Core English Language Arts State Standards and WIDA Standards at grades 2, 7, and 9. A modified version of Cook's (2007) method was used to determine the standards alignment as well as common and uncommon knowledge between the sets of standard. Results indicate no alignment and limited linkage. Findings also showed absence of grade-level academic content and academic language.
This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and receive the support they need. It includes all elements of argument, including evidence, warrants, backing, counterargument, claims, theses, the rhetorical triangle and the rhetorical appeals, including definitions and how they fit together in an argumentative essay. The largest portion of the project is dedicated to activities and resources for teachers based upon all of those elements, along with activities for the writing process as a whole. These activities are based upon the student's individual experience as well as various scholarly resources from leading professionals in the curriculum development field for English Language Arts. This is not meant to be an end-all be-all solution for teaching argument writing, but rather one of many resources that teachers can use in their classroom. This 30-page paper, including references, are condensed into an accessible website for teachers to use more easily. Each tab on the website refers to a different element or focus of the argument writing process, with both a definition and introduction as well as one or more activities for teachers to implement into the classroom. The activities are versatile and general for the purpose of teachers being able to include them into whatever curriculum they are currently teaching. The goal is that they can add argument instruction into what they are already either willingly or being required to teach in an easy and logical way. The website is available for any secondary teachers to use as they see fit at www.teachingargumentwriting.weebly.com.
Exploring Computational Thinking in 9-12 Education: Developing a Computer Science Curriculum for Bioscience High School
Bioscience High School, a small magnet high school located in Downtown Phoenix and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) focused school, has been pushing to establish a computer science curriculum for all of their students from freshman to senior year. The school's Mision (Mission and Vision) is to: "..provide a rigorous, collaborative, and relevant academic program emphasizing an innovative, problem-based curriculum that develops literacy in the sciences, mathematics, and the arts, thus cultivating critical thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and compassionate citizens, who are able to thrive in our increasingly complex and technological communities." Computational thinking is an important part in developing a future problem solver Bioscience High School is looking to produce. Bioscience High School is unique in the fact that every student has a computer available for him or her to use. Therefore, it makes complete sense for the school to add computer science to their curriculum because one of the school's goals is to be able to utilize their resources to their full potential. However, the school's attempt at computer science integration falls short due to the lack of expertise amongst the math and science teachers. The lack of training and support has postponed the development of the program and they are desperately in need of someone with expertise in the field to help reboot the program. As a result, I've decided to create a course that is focused on teaching students the concepts of computational thinking and its application through Scratch and Arduino programming.
I wasn't reinventing the wheel: the evolution of the writing processes of online first-year composition students
Writing is an important lifelong skill. Most college freshmen are required to take first-year composition (FYC) to meet the needs of writing across disciplines. Yet, a great number of students enter college unprepared. To combat this, the writing process should be practiced as part of a solid writing program. The Common Core State Standards, the “WPA Outcomes for First-Year Composition,” and the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Education address the use of the writing process as a lifelong skill. Using Emig’s (1971) work on the composing process and Flower and Hayes’ (1981) cognitive process theory as a theoretical framework, this study seeks to define the components of the writing process and how these evolve for students in an online FYC course.
A qualitative, descriptive case study approach was used to explore qualitative documents. These documents were coded according to themes gleaned from the writing process literature. These emerging themes: invention work, multiple draft production, and the collaborative and social aspects of writing were used throughout the process-based curriculum. Participants made changes to their general writing process by conducting more invention work than they had before and finding the practice worthwhile, by producing more drafts than they had on previous writing projects, and by reflecting more about what the collaborative and social aspects of writing mean to them. The online FYC course curriculum gave students the tools to build and shape their existing writing practices, or as one participant wrote, “I wasn’t reinventing the wheel, just operating the tools.”
This dissertation explored how a teacher learned to teach with and about unfamiliar (to her) media texts in her high school English classroom. This study also examined my role as the researcher/mentor in the teacher’s learning and development process. Through situated learning theories (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and discourse through identities (Gee, 2001; 2014a) theoretical frameworks, this study explored the ways the teacher accepted, resisted, and enacted her figured worlds and identities as an English teacher. Historically, texts in the English classroom consist of novels, poems, plays, and the occasional nonfiction book or essay, and English teacher education and development often keeps these texts at the center of English teachers’ content knowledge. However, research exploring students’ use of multiliteracies in out-of-classroom contexts advocates for a multiliteracies perspective within classrooms. Still, there is a lack of professional development opportunities for teachers to support multiliteracies practices in their classrooms. Further, teachers’ professional development is often provided in stand-alone experiences where teachers learn outside of their classroom teaching contexts. Taking place over a six-month time frame, this study is situated as one-on-one professional development mentoring and included researcher and teacher collaboration in multiple contexts including planning, teaching, and reflection. This qualitative case study (Merriam, 1998) sought to address a gap in the literature in how the collaboration of teachers and researchers impacted teacher learning. Using interpretive analysis (Erickson, 1986) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2014a; 2014b) I developed two assertions: (1) The process the teacher underwent from finding resources to teaching and reflection was complex and filled with many phases and challenges, and (2) I, as the researcher/mentor, served as a sounding board and resource for the teacher/learner throughout her process of learning about, teaching with, and reflecting on unfamiliar texts. Findings of this study indicate the teacher’s identities and figured worlds impacted both how she learned about and taught with unfamiliar texts, and how I approached my role as a researcher/mentor in the study. Further, findings also indicate collaborative, practice-based research models (Hinchman & Appleman, 2017) offer opportunities to provide teachers meaningful and impactful professional development experiences situated in classroom contexts.