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Promoting meaningful uses of technology in a middle school

Description

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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Agent

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Date Created
2011

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The impact of changing teaching jobs on music teacher identity, role, and perceptions of role support

Description

This study utilized symbolic interaction as a framework to examine the impact of mobility on four veteran elementary general music teachers' identities, roles, and perceptions of role support. Previous research has focused on teacher identity formation among preservice and

This study utilized symbolic interaction as a framework to examine the impact of mobility on four veteran elementary general music teachers' identities, roles, and perceptions of role support. Previous research has focused on teacher identity formation among preservice and novice teachers; veteran teachers are less frequently represented in the literature. Teacher mobility research has focused on student achievement, teachers' reasons for moving, and teacher attrition. The impact of mobility on veteran teachers' identities, roles, and perceptions of role support has yet to be considered. A multiple case design was employed for this study. The criteria for purposeful selection of the participants were elementary general music teachers who had taught for at least ten years, who had changed teaching contracts and taught in at least two different schools, and who were viewed as effective music educators by fine arts coordinators. Data were collected over a period of eight months through semi-structured interviews, email correspondence, observations, review of videotapes of the participants' teaching in previous schools, and collection of artifacts. Data were analyzed within and across cases. The cross-case analysis revealed themes within the categories of identity, role, and role support for the participants. The findings suggest that the participants perceived their music teacher roles as multi-dimensional. They claimed their core identities remained stable over time; however, shifts in teacher identity occurred throughout their years as teachers. The participants asserted that mobility at the start of their careers had a positive impact because they each were challenged to solidify their own teacher identities and music teacher roles in varied school contexts. Mobility negatively impacted role and teacher practices during times when the participants adjusted to new school climates and role expectations. Role support varied depending upon school context, and the participants discovered active involvement in the school community was an effective means of seeking and acquiring role support. Reflection experiences in music teacher preparation programs, as well as mentoring and professional development geared toward teacher identity formation and role maturation, may assist teachers in matching their desired school context with their teacher identities and perceptions of the music teacher role.

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Date Created
2011

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Guiding preservice teachers to critically reflect: towards a renewed sense about English learners

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The purpose of this practitioner inquiry was to explore the use of Guided Critical Reflection (GCR) in preparing preservice teachers for English learners (ELs). As a teacher researcher, I documented, analyzed, and discussed the ways in which students in my

The purpose of this practitioner inquiry was to explore the use of Guided Critical Reflection (GCR) in preparing preservice teachers for English learners (ELs). As a teacher researcher, I documented, analyzed, and discussed the ways in which students in my course used the process of GCR to transform their passively held understandings about ELs. Specifically, the research questions were: 1) What are preservice teachers' common sense about teaching and learning related to ELs? 2) How does GCR transform preservice teachers' common sense about ELs? 3) What is my role as an educator in creating opportunities for GCR? I utilized methods for data collection that fit my teaching practices. Data sources included three types of observations (self-reflective field notes, audio recordings of each class, and notes documented by an outside observer), student-work artifacts, and my audio reflection journal. I analyzed data inductively and deductively using a modified analytic induction approach. Building on previous research concerning the use of reflection in teacher preparation, I define GCR as the process in which I guided preservice teachers to acknowledge and examine their common sense about ELs, reframe what they know in light of course learning, and transform their understandings. Five major findings emerged from this study. First, preservice teachers entered the course with common sense notions about ELs rooted in their educational and life experiences. Students felt comfortable sharing what they knew about ELs, but needed to be scaffolded to examine how their life experiences shaped their common sense. Within the course, preservice teachers framed and reframed their common sense in different ways. Through the process of GCR, students evidenced a renewed sense about ELs. Finally, my role as a teacher involved establishing a comfortable learning environment, valuing my students' common sense as the catalyst for course learning, and guiding students through their reflective work. Ultimately, I was able to create opportunities for GCR because I too was reflecting on my practices, just as I was asking my students to reflect on their common sense about ELs.

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Date Created
2011

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Increasing mentoring skills of cooperating teachers to enhance support for pre-service teacher candidates

Description

Mentor teachers have a significant impact on pre-service teachers. Unfortunately, mentors are often underprepared for their role, and thus, the potential learning from a student teaching experience is not maximized. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University provides

Mentor teachers have a significant impact on pre-service teachers. Unfortunately, mentors are often underprepared for their role, and thus, the potential learning from a student teaching experience is not maximized. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University provides training to mentors who host pre-service teachers during their student teaching experience. Training is delivered in two formats: online prior to the start of the semester and face-to-face each month throughout the semester. This action research study looked at how training contributes to mentor understanding and actions in supporting teacher candidates and how mentor support impacts teacher candidate performance. The study included two mentor/teacher candidate dyads and one university site coordinator. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from a variety of sources including observations of mentor trainings, teacher candidate lessons, and coaching conversations. Additional data sources included semi-structured interviews with mentors, teacher candidates, and the site coordinator. Analysis of data found that training may contribute to mentor understanding, but other factors matter too. The data also indicated that current training is insufficient at producing all desired mentor behaviors. With respect to the ways that mentors support teacher candidates, this study found that mentors play a multifaceted role, provide ongoing feedback, and employ various strategies during coaching conversations. This study found mentors help teacher candidates see their performance through the eyes of an experienced educator. Modeling and coaching helped teacher candidates improve. This study also suggests a positive, professional relationship between mentor/mentee and certain teacher candidate characteristics such as openness to feedback facilitate learning from a mentor.

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Date Created
2014

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Lesson study, a means for fostering collaborative reflection: effects on the self-efficacy and teaching practices of developmental education college success course instructors

Description

ABSTRACT Counselors at a public community college who teach a first-year college success course to developmental education students do not have effective opportunities or a systematic method to develop their teaching practice. Moreover, like a majority of community college and

ABSTRACT Counselors at a public community college who teach a first-year college success course to developmental education students do not have effective opportunities or a systematic method to develop their teaching practice. Moreover, like a majority of community college and university instructors, many counselors do not have formal training in instruction. Since the retention and persistence rates of developmental education students are low when compared to non-developmental education students, and the purpose of the college success course is to increase developmental education student success, it is imperative that instructors of the college success course are well-trained to provide high quality learning experiences. The researcher implemented the Lesson Study (LS) professional learning experience in order to increase the collaboration amongst counselors in their efforts to improve their teaching practice as well as improve the quality of the learning experience for developmental education students, consequently potentially improving their retention and persistence. The researcher facilitated a mixed-method study to explore how instructors made meaning of their teaching practice as well as what changes they made to their instructional practice while engaging in LS. The researcher utilized qualitative means to analyze the following data: (1) instructors' weekly reflective journals, (2) semi-structured interviews with instructors after each cycle of LS, (3) video recordings of LS debrief meetings, and (4) video recordings of LS planning meetings. The researcher utilized quantitative means to analyze the following data: (1) pre/post instructor surveys on self-efficacy, and (2) 1,235 student questionnaires regarding LS lessons and non-LS lessons. Analysis of the qualitative data demonstrated that how counselors made meaning of their LS experience seemed to correlate with positive features attributed to the practice of LS in the research literature such as increased collaboration and in-depth reflection as well as positive changes in instructional practices and an increased focus on learning from practice. In addition, analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data showed that lessons created through LS produced a higher quality learning experience for students than lessons that were not created through LS. Moreover, the analysis of the data showed an increase in instructors' efficacy for teaching.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Preservice teachers' ability to identify technology standards: does curriculum matter?

Description

With the unveiling of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010, both preservice and inservice K12 teachers in the United States are expected to create a classroom environment that fosters the creation of digital citizens. However, it is unclear whether or

With the unveiling of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010, both preservice and inservice K12 teachers in the United States are expected to create a classroom environment that fosters the creation of digital citizens. However, it is unclear whether or not teacher education programs build this direct instruction, or any other method of introducing students to the National Education Technology Standards (NETS), "a standard of excellence and best practices in learning, teaching and leading with technology in education," into their curriculum (International Society for Technology in Education, 2012). As with most teaching skills, the NETS and standards-based technology integration must be learned through exposure during the teacher preparation curriculum, either through modeling, direct instruction or assignments constructed to encourage standards-based technology integration. This study attempted to determine the extent to which preservice teachers at Arizona State University (ASU) enrolled in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) can recognize the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and to what extent preservice teachers are exposed to technology integration in accordance with the NETS-T standards in their preparation curriculum in order to answer the questions of whether or not teacher education curriculum provides students an opportunity to learn and apply the NETS-T and if preservice teachers in core teacher preparation program courses that include objectives that integrate technology are more likely to be able to identify NETS-T standards than those in courses that do not include these elements In order to answer these questions, a mixed-method design study was utilized to gather data from an electronic survey, one-on-one interviews with students, faculty, and administrators, and document analysis of core course objectives and curriculum goals in the teacher certification program at ASU. The data was analyzed in order to determine the relationship between the preservice teachers, the NETS-T standards, and the role technology plays in the curriculum of the teacher preparation program. Results of the analysis indicate that preservice teachers have a minimum NETS-T awareness at the Literacy level, indicating that they can use technology skills when prompted and explore technology independently.

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Date Created
2013

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Influencing social capital in times of change: a three pronged approach to instructional coaching at the middle school level

Description

This mixed methods participatory action research study explored how an instructional coach influenced a state mandated curriculum adoption at a Title 1 urban middle school. The purpose of this study was to identify ways in which an instructional coach supported

This mixed methods participatory action research study explored how an instructional coach influenced a state mandated curriculum adoption at a Title 1 urban middle school. The purpose of this study was to identify ways in which an instructional coach supported a veteran staff during the adoption of new curriculum standards. The instructional coach/action researcher employed a three pronged coaching approach that incorporated individual and team coaching sessions and increased networking to encourage and support the development of social capital. This study was informed using Vygotsky's Social Learning Theory, Wenger's Communities of Practice, Coleman's Social Capital Theory, and Hall and Horde's Concerns-Based Adoption Model. The study is heavily weighted in favor of qualitative data which includes participant reflections, coach individual session and team session reflections, field-notes, team meeting videos, and exit interviews. Several themes emerged supporting the use of a differentiated coaching approach, the promotion of social capital, and the identification of initiative overload as a barrier to curriculum adoption. The quantitative data analysis, pre and post study Stages of Concern Questionnaires, produced evidence that participants experienced minor shifts in their concerns relating to the adoption of Common Core State Standards. Results were used to inform coaching decisions based on individual participant needs as well as to augment the qualitative findings. Ideas for further research are discussed.

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Date Created
2014

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From the Common Core to the classroom: a professional development efficacy study for the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Description

In this mixed-methods study, I examined the relationship between professional development based on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and teacher knowledge, classroom practice, and student learning. Participants were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The 50-hour professional

In this mixed-methods study, I examined the relationship between professional development based on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and teacher knowledge, classroom practice, and student learning. Participants were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The 50-hour professional development treatment was administered to the treatment group during one semester, and then a follow-up replication treatment was administered to the control group during the subsequent semester. Results revealed significant differences in teacher knowledge as a result of the treatment using two instruments. The Learning Mathematics for Teaching scales were used to detect changes in mathematical knowledge for teaching, and an online sorting task was used to detect changes in teachers' knowledge of their standards. Results also indicated differences in classroom practice between pairs of matched teachers selected to participate in classroom observations and interviews. No statistical difference was detected between the groups' student assessment scores using the district's benchmark assessment system. This efficacy study contributes to the literature in two ways. First, it provides an evidence base for a professional development model designed to promote effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Second, it addresses ways to impact and measure teachers' knowledge of curriculum in addition to their mathematical content knowledge. The treatment was designed to focus on knowledge of curriculum, but it also successfully impacted teachers' specialized content knowledge, knowledge of content and students, and knowledge of content and teaching.

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Date Created
2013

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Interpreting critical literacy in a natural history museum

Description

The purpose of this study was to investigate critical literacy practices in two prehistoric exhibits in a natural history museum. Bourdieu's habitus and Bakhtin's dialogism served as theoretical frames to collect and analyze data. Data were collected and triangulated using

The purpose of this study was to investigate critical literacy practices in two prehistoric exhibits in a natural history museum. Bourdieu's habitus and Bakhtin's dialogism served as theoretical frames to collect and analyze data. Data were collected and triangulated using field notes, interview transcriptions, archives, and other data sources to critically scrutinize textual meaning and participant responses. Spradley's (1979) domain analysis was used to sort and categorize data in the early stage. Glaser and Strauss's (1967) constant comparative method was used to code data. My major findings were that museum texts within this context represent embedded beliefs and values that were interwoven with curators` habitus, tastes and capital, as well as institutional policies. The texts in the two Hohokam exhibits endorse a certain viewpoint of learning. Teachers and the public were not aware of the communicative role that the museum played in the society. In addition, museum literacy/ies were still practiced in a fundamental way as current practices in the classroom, which may not support the development of critical literacy. In conclusion, the very goal for critical museum literacy is to help students and teachers develop intellectual strategies to read the word and the world in informal learning environments.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Demographics and preparation levels of K-12 online teachers

Description

This study collected and examined information on K-12 teachers currently involved in online education in the United States. The purposes of this study included defining the demographics of these teachers, determining the extent to which they were formally educated and/or

This study collected and examined information on K-12 teachers currently involved in online education in the United States. The purposes of this study included defining the demographics of these teachers, determining the extent to which they were formally educated and/or trained to teach online, and to compare these findings to those from a similar study conducted six years earlier. A web-based survey, including questions in both open and closed form, was used to gather data from 325 participants currently teaching at least one online class at publicly funded K-12 online schools nationwide. Survey questions covered the following six domains: a) personal demographics, b) educational background and experience, c) pre-service training, d) in-service training, and e) current online teaching assignments. The results of this study indicate that those currently teaching online to K-12 students have demographic characteristics that are similar to face-to-face teachers, particularly in terms of gender, age, and ethnicity/race; however, the online teachers generally had higher levels of educational attainment, more years of teaching experience, and were significantly more likely to teach on a part-time basis. It was found that teachers working with K-12 students online are self-motivated, place a high value on learning and education, and enjoy the challenge and process of using technology for this purpose. Based on findings, only a limited number of university-based teacher preparation programs address any aspect of the methods and techniques required for teaching online, and even fewer offer online field placement opportunities for pre-service teachers. For the most part, current online teachers were found to have received training after graduation, while working in the field. Further research is needed to specifically define and empirically validate the methods and techniques required for effective online teaching at the K-12 levels so that formal educational and training programs can be further developed to effectively prepare future K-12 online teachers.

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Agent

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Date Created
2014