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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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Date Created
2014

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The structure of cyber and traditional aggression: an integrated conceptualization

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ABSTRACT The phenomenon of cyberbullying has captured the attention of educators and researchers alike as it has been associated with multiple aversive outcomes including suicide. Young people today have easy access to computer mediated communication (CMC) and frequently use it

ABSTRACT The phenomenon of cyberbullying has captured the attention of educators and researchers alike as it has been associated with multiple aversive outcomes including suicide. Young people today have easy access to computer mediated communication (CMC) and frequently use it to harass one another -- a practice that many researchers have equated to cyberbullying. However, there is great disagreement among researchers whether intentional harmful actions carried out by way of CMC constitute cyberbullying, and some authors have argued that "cyber-aggression" is a more accurate term to describe this phenomenon. Disagreement in terms of cyberbullying's definition and methodological inconsistencies including choice of questionnaire items has resulted in highly variable results across cyberbullying studies. Researchers are in agreement however, that cyber and traditional forms of aggression are closely related phenomena, and have suggested that they may be extensions of one another. This research developed a comprehensive set of items to span cyber-aggression's content domain in order to 1) fully address all types of cyber-aggression, and 2) assess the interrelated nature of cyber and traditional aggression. These items were administered to 553 middle school students located in a central Illinois school district. Results from confirmatory factor analyses suggested that cyber-aggression is best conceptualized as integrated with traditional aggression, and that cyber and traditional aggression share two dimensions: direct-verbal and relational aggression. Additionally, results indicated that all forms of aggression are a function of general aggressive tendencies. This research identified two synthesized models combining cyber and traditional aggression into a shared framework that demonstrated excellent fit to the item data.

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Date Created
2013

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Cyberbullying among children in Japanese and American middle schools: an exploration of prevalence and predictors

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ABSTRACT Cyberbullying has emerged as one of educators' and researchers' chief concerns as the use of computer mediated communication (CMC) has become ubiquitous among young people. Many undesirable outcomes have been identified as being linked to both traditional and cyberbullying,

ABSTRACT Cyberbullying has emerged as one of educators' and researchers' chief concerns as the use of computer mediated communication (CMC) has become ubiquitous among young people. Many undesirable outcomes have been identified as being linked to both traditional and cyberbullying, including depression,truancy, and suicide. America and Japan have both been identified as nations whose youth engage frequently in the use of CMC, and may be at a potentially higher risk to be involved in cyberbullying. Time spent using CMC has been linked to involvement in cyberbullying, and gender and age have, in turn, been linked to CMC use - these may play significant roles in determining who is at risk. In order to assess the effects of nationality, gender, and age on cyberbullying involvement among Japanese and American middle school students, a survey exploring these factors was developed and carried out with 590 American and Japanese middles school students (Japan: n = 433 and America: n = 157). MANOVA results indicated that that Americans tend to both use CMC more and be more involved in cyberbullying. In addition, Japanese involvement increased with age, while American involvement did not. There were minimal differences between Americans and Japanese with regards to traditional bullying.

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Date Created
2011

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Intersectionality: an arts-based approach to student awareness

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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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Date Created
2017