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Exploring Computational Thinking in 9-12 Education: Developing a Computer Science Curriculum for Bioscience High School

Description

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

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

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

Description

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Comparing and Analyzing Electromyography and Electroencephalography

Description

Electromyography (EMG) and Electroencephalography (EEG) are techniques used to detect electrical activity produced by the human body. EMG detects electrical activity in the skeletal muscles, while EEG detects electrical activity from the scalp. The purpose of this study is to

Electromyography (EMG) and Electroencephalography (EEG) are techniques used to detect electrical activity produced by the human body. EMG detects electrical activity in the skeletal muscles, while EEG detects electrical activity from the scalp. The purpose of this study is to capture different types of EMG and EEG signals and to determine if the signals can be distinguished between each other and processed into output signals to trigger events in prosthetics. Results from the study suggest that the PSD estimates can be used to compare signals that have significant differences such as the wrist, scalp, and fingers, but it cannot fully distinguish between signals that are closely related, such as two different fingers. The signals that were identified were able to be translated into the physical output simulated on the Arduino circuit.

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Agent

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Date Created
2013-12

Gifted students and the Common Core State Standards

Description

The State of Arizona mandates that students with superior intellect or abilities, or identified gifted students, receive appropriate gifted education and services in order to achieve at levels commensurate with their intellect and abilities. Additionally, the State of Arizona adopted

The State of Arizona mandates that students with superior intellect or abilities, or identified gifted students, receive appropriate gifted education and services in order to achieve at levels commensurate with their intellect and abilities. Additionally, the State of Arizona adopted the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (AZCCRS) initiative. This investigation explores if, according to the perceptions of gifted educators, the AZCCRS support a gifted mathematic curriculum and pedagogy at the elementary level which is commensurate with academic abilities, potential, and intellect of these mathematically gifted students, what the relationships are between exemplary gifted curriculum and pedagogy and the AZCCRS, and exactly how the gifted education specialists charged with meeting the academic and intellectual needs and potential of their gifted students interpret, negotiate, and implement the AZCCRS.

This study utilized a qualitative approach and a variety of instruments to gather data, including: profile questionnaires, semi-structured pre-interviews, reflective journals, three group discussion sessions, and semi-structured post interviews. The pre- and post interviews as well as the group discussion sessions were audiotape recorded and transcribed. A three stage coding process was utilized on the questionnaires, interviews, discussion sessions, and journal entries.

The results and findings demonstrated that AZCCRS clearly support exemplary gifted mathematic curriculum and practices at the elementary level, that there are at least nine distinct relationships between the AZCCRS and gifted pedagogy, and that the gifted education specialists interpret, negotiate, and implement the AZCCRS uniquely in at least four distinct ways, in their mathematically gifted pullout classes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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The missing link: emotional intelligence in teacher preparation

Description

The purpose of this action research study was to examine the effects the Six Seconds model on the emotional intelligence development of teacher candidates in a teacher education program described above. How would this focus impact a teacher candidate's ability

The purpose of this action research study was to examine the effects the Six Seconds model on the emotional intelligence development of teacher candidates in a teacher education program described above. How would this focus impact a teacher candidate's ability navigate the emotional aspects of teaching, exercise optimism, and make daily choices based on a greater sense of purpose? A mixed-methods (QUAL-quant ) was employed to investigate this question and to gain a greater understanding of emotional intelligence in the teaching profession. The Six Seconds model of emotional intelligence was used as a foundation for the intervention and data collection. Data were collected through an emotional intelligence assessment, a teaching satisfaction survey, semi-structured interviews, observations, field notes, training transcripts, training artifacts, and a participant journal. The results from the study indicated that the Six Seconds model has the potential to positively impact emotional intelligence development in teacher candidates. Moreover, the study resulted in broader assertions about emotional intelligence development among future teachers. Emotional intelligence starts with a commitment to change. Second, teacher candidates must have the opportunity to continuously apply new learning in an environment conducive to EQ development. Finally, the pursuit of a noble goal is critical to the application of all other emotional intelligence competencies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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The invisible student: retaining minority males in the community college setting

Description

Disparities exist among minorities in educational a ttainment. The gap widens when examining access to higher education and persi stence rates among minority males as compared to their white counterparts and minorit y females. The purpose of this action research

Disparities exist among minorities in educational a ttainment. The gap widens when examining access to higher education and persi stence rates among minority males as compared to their white counterparts and minorit y females. The purpose of this action research study was to explore the impact of a recip rocal mentoring model between faculty and minority male students in an effort to examine the effects on student persistence and the students' academic experience. The researcher attempted to examine mentoring relationships, the process of reciprocal mentoring, and the effects on persistence and the students' academic experience f or the purpose of learning about one another's perspectives. This study investigated min ority male persistence within Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC). Persiste nce was defined as a student who enrolled during the fall 2013 academic semester and continued at the same institution or transferred to another two-year or four-year instit ution working on degree completion. The author used a mixed methods design and used Cri tical Race Theory (CRT) as the theoretical framework by which to examine issues pe rtaining to minority male student perspectives and experiences. The results yielded e ight assertions related to minority male retention and persistence.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Intersectionality: an arts-based approach to student awareness

Description

This study was designed to introduce specific activities/lessons to students in an online university gender and communication course. It was also designed to determine how participants made meaning of and felt about learning about intersectionality of gender and cultural identities,

This study was designed to introduce specific activities/lessons to students in an online university gender and communication course. It was also designed to determine how participants made meaning of and felt about learning about intersectionality of gender and cultural identities, using arts-based data collection. Previous research on the symbolic nature of language, ground-breaking work on intersectionality, and work on arts-based research were instrumental frameworks in guiding this study. Participants were asked to create poems in response to their readings of class materials and vignettes about cultural identity issues that were provided to them. The researcher was able to determine how individuals from disparate cultural backgrounds made meaning of what they read and then how they articulated their feelings relative to learning about intersectionality, their experiences with arts-based data collection, and their perceptions of their futures application of the lessons learned. The poetic expression about those experiences provides a valuable initial base for future research with regard to more narrowly focused studies of gender intersected with identities associated with socioeconomic status, age, ableism, religious affiliation, and other cultural identities.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Genealogy of play at free schools

Description

This is a genealogical study of the taken-for-granted ‘free’ or ‘self-governed’ play practice at the free schools. The study places play practice within a historical trajectory. The study compares and analyzes the current (1960s to present) discursive formations of play

This is a genealogical study of the taken-for-granted ‘free’ or ‘self-governed’ play practice at the free schools. The study places play practice within a historical trajectory. The study compares and analyzes the current (1960s to present) discursive formations of play practice as they emerge in various archival texts such as on free schools, and juvenile delinquency and youth crime, to the discursive formations of the 1890s to 1929s as they emerge in various archival texts such as on physical education, public bath, city problems, playground, outdoor recreation legislation, and recreation areas and juvenile delinquency. The study demonstrates how various “subjugated knowledges” appeared during these time periods around play practice. Foucauldian genealogy is crafted for the study through Foucault’s lectures, interviews, essays, and how other scholars wrote about Foucauldian genealogy and conducted genealogical work themselves. The study is to challenge what it seems to be the grand narrative of this play practice in free schools. Instead of being the form of learning that allows students to seek their truest capacity and interest, learning, and eventually growth and happiness, this practice does so at a great cost, and therefore it is a dangerous practice, opens up various power/knowledge such as play is used as a systematic and accurate technology to shape, mold, and organize the schooled children body, a means to interrupt and intervene with the children growth, as the technology of school hygiene, and as a governing tool to help the state, nation, family, and school, produce ‘good’ citizens, who will not commit to idleness, delinquency, gang-spirit, and similar others.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Digital learning in the wild: re-imagining new ruralism, digital equity, and deficit discourses through the thirdspace

Description

Digital media is becoming increasingly important to learning in today’s changing times. At the same time, digital technologies and related digital skills are unevenly distributed. Further, deficit-based notions of this digital divide define the public’s educational paradigm. Against this backdrop,

Digital media is becoming increasingly important to learning in today’s changing times. At the same time, digital technologies and related digital skills are unevenly distributed. Further, deficit-based notions of this digital divide define the public’s educational paradigm. Against this backdrop, I forayed into the social reality of one rural Americana to examine digital learning in the wild. The larger purpose of this dissertation was to spatialize understandings of rural life and pervasive social ills therein, in order to rethink digital equity, such that we dismantle deficit thinking, problematize new ruralism, and re-imagine more just rural geographies. Under a Thirdspace understanding of space as dynamic, relational, and agentive (Soja, 1996), I examined how digital learning is caught up spatially to position the rural struggle over geography amid the ‘Right to the City’ rhetoric (Lefebvre, 1968). In response to this limiting and urban-centric rhetoric, I contest digital inequity as a spatial issue of justice in rural areas. After exploring how digital learning opportunities are distributed at state and local levels, I geo-ethnographically explored digital use to story how families across socio-economic spaces were utilizing digital tools. Last, because ineffective and deficit-based models of understanding erupt from blaming the oppressed for their own self-made oppression, or framing problems (e.g., digital inequity) as solely human-centered, I drew in posthumanist Latourian (2005) social cartographies of Thirdspace. From this, I re-imagined educational equity within rural space to recast digital equity not in terms of the “haves and have nots” but as an account of mutually transformative socio-technical agency. Last, I pay the price of criticism by suggesting possible actions and solutions to the social ills denounced throughout this dissertation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Beyond the four walls: examining the use of authentic learning modules

Description

ABSTRACT

While attempting to provide real world experiences in STEM, educators face numerous challenges including adhering to curriculum requirements and working with potentially limited resources. The purpose of this action research study was to examine how the addition of authentic learning

ABSTRACT

While attempting to provide real world experiences in STEM, educators face numerous challenges including adhering to curriculum requirements and working with potentially limited resources. The purpose of this action research study was to examine how the addition of authentic learning modules to the existing University of Arizona Middle School Engineering 101 (UA MS engineering 101) unit on energy efficiency can provide students with real world experiences as active participants. During an instructional workshop, participating teachers were introduced to strategies they use in their classroom so students could engage with individuals from both inside and outside of the school to create solutions for energy issues the students have identified within their own schools. This study used a series of observations, interviews, and focus groups with the teacher participants to gather data in determining how and in what ways students were able to obtain real world experiences as active participants through the authentic learning modules. Because there are numerous teachers within the UA MS engineering 101 group, a future goal was to assist these additional teachers in providing this innovation to their students.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016