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Best Practices for Teaching Argument Writing in Secondary Schools

Description

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

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Exploring Panem: Teaching Issues of Violence and International Development within the Context of The Hunger Games

Description

This project created a teaching curriculum resource guide for using the popular series, The Hunger Games, in 6th-8th grade classrooms to introduce cultural issues such as child soldiers and international development to students. Studies have shown that literature can cultivate

This project created a teaching curriculum resource guide for using the popular series, The Hunger Games, in 6th-8th grade classrooms to introduce cultural issues such as child soldiers and international development to students. Studies have shown that literature can cultivate empathy and encourage youth to act. This combined with the expanding phenomenon of participatory culture and fandom activism as outlined by Henry Jenkins demonstrate the potential for youth to learn and act when given the opportunity and resources to do so. The curriculum is composed of three units: The first is a three-week reading of the books with various activities for students to really understand the narrative and source text. The second and third units address the issues of child soldiers and international development using The Hunger Games as a framework and a keystone to build connections so that these complex issues are accessible to youth. This project is a first step in the development of a curriculum that spans the full trilogy and covers a variety of current event topics.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

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Evaluations in the City of Phoenix Head Start Agencies

Description

There is a serious need for early childhood intervention practices for children who are living at or below the poverty line. Since 1965 Head Start has provided a federally funded, free preschool program for children in this population. The City

There is a serious need for early childhood intervention practices for children who are living at or below the poverty line. Since 1965 Head Start has provided a federally funded, free preschool program for children in this population. The City of Phoenix Head Start program consists of nine delegate agencies, seven of which reside in school districts. These agencies are currently not conducting local longitudinal evaluations of their preschool graduates. The purpose of this study was to recommend initial steps the City of Phoenix grantee and the delegate agencies can take to begin a longitudinal evaluation process of their Head Start programs. Seven City of Phoenix Head Start agency directors were interviewed. These interviews provided information about the attitudes of the directors when considering longitudinal evaluations and how Head Start already evaluates their programs through internal assessments. The researcher also took notes on the Third Grade Follow-Up to the Head Start Executive Summary in order to make recommendations to the City of Phoenix Head Start programs about the best practices for longitudinal student evaluations.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

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Student interactions in Edmodo versus Facebook

Description

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

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Bilingual Latino high school boys' reading motivation: seven case studies examining factors that influence motivation to read

Description

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

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

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Link, depth, and breadth: comparing Arizona's ELP standards to the Common Core and WIDA

Description

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,

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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The right to write: novice English teachers write to explore their identities in a writing community

Description

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,

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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I wasn't reinventing the wheel: the evolution of the writing processes of online first-year composition students

Description

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

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.”

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Listen to the poet" [electronic resource]: what schools can learn from a diverse spoken word poetry group in the urban southwest

Description

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

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.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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(Re)considering Diverse Masculinities: Intersections amid Art Process and Middle School Boys Fracturing Masculinities

Description

Given the profound influence that schools have on students’ genders and the existing scholarly research in the field of education studies which draws clear implications between practices of schooling and sanctioning and promoting particular gender subjectivities, often in alignment with

Given the profound influence that schools have on students’ genders and the existing scholarly research in the field of education studies which draws clear implications between practices of schooling and sanctioning and promoting particular gender subjectivities, often in alignment with traditional norms, I conduct a critical ethnography to examine the practices of gender in one eighth grade English language arts (ELA) classroom at an arts-missioned charter school. I do this to explore how ELA instruction at an arts charter school may provide opportunities for students to do gender differently. To guide this dissertation theoretically, I rely on the process philosophy of Erin Manning (2016, 2013, 2007) to examine the processual interactions among of student movement, choreography, materiality, research-creation, language, and art. Thus, methods for this study include field notes, student assignments, interviews and focus groups, student created art, maps, and architectural plans. In the analysis, I attempt to allow the data to live on their own, and I hope to give them voice to speak to the reader in a way that they spoke to me. Some of them speak through ethnodrama; some of them speak through autoethnography, visual art and cartography, and yet others through various transcriptions. Through these modes of analysis, I am thinking-doing-writing. The analysis also includes my thinking with fields – the fields of gender studies, qualitative inquiry, educational research, English education, and critical theory. In an attempt to take to the fields, I weave all of these through each other, through Manning and other theorists and through my ongoing perceptions of event-happenings and what it means to do qualitative research in education. Accordingly, this dissertation engages with the various fields to reconsider how school practices might conceive the ways in which they produce gender, and how students perceive gender within the school space. In this way, the dissertation provides ways of thinking that may unearth what was previously cast aside or uncover possibilities for what was previously unthought.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019