Matching Items (105)

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Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners in Arizona's Mainstream Math and Science Classes: The Teachers' Perspectives

Description

This study aims to understand how Arizona's current approach to ESL education \u2014 a recently developed version of Structured English Immersion (SEI) known as the four-hour ELD block \u2014 affects high school teachers and students in mainstream math and science

This study aims to understand how Arizona's current approach to ESL education \u2014 a recently developed version of Structured English Immersion (SEI) known as the four-hour ELD block \u2014 affects high school teachers and students in mainstream math and science classes containing a mixed population of English Language Learners (ELLs) and native English-speaking students. This focus was chosen due to a lack of prior research on the ELD block's effects at the high school level, and the unique consequences of the ELD block for the timing of ELL students' math and science enrollment. Four teachers of mixed-population, mainstream math and science classes, from four different high schools within a single Arizona district, were interviewed and observed in order to understand their perspectives on their own experiences and those of their students. Areas of focus included students' academic and social experiences, challenges faced by teachers and their responses to these challenges, and teachers' evaluations of their teaching situation and of the ELD block itself. Data were analyzed using modified analytic induction. The study found that teachers believe the following: that the ELD block causes ELLs to be socially isolated; that it damages ELLs' content development; and that, by forcing some ELLs to take mainstream math and science classes before they have received any ESL instruction, it damages their ability to succeed in these classes. Additionally, teachers indicated that they struggled to meet the needs of their ELL students and non-ELL students at once. Given these findings, the removal of the ELD block, and the addition of bilingual, ESL specialist aides into mainstream classes, is recommended as a solution.

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2016-05

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Landscapes of school choice, past and present: a qualitative study of Navajo parent school placement decisions

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This study examines the contemporary school placement decisions of Navajo parents in the reservation community of Piñon, Arizona. School placement decisions are defined as the school where the parent chooses to enroll his/her child for schooling. Twelve Navajo

This study examines the contemporary school placement decisions of Navajo parents in the reservation community of Piñon, Arizona. School placement decisions are defined as the school where the parent chooses to enroll his/her child for schooling. Twelve Navajo parents participated in this qualitative study, which explored their past educational experiences in order to garner insight into the current school placement choices they have made for their children. Navajo parents who live within the community of Piñon, AZ who currently have school-aged children living in their household were recruited to participate in this study. Participants took part in 60- to 90-minute interviews that included questions related to their prior educational experiences and current school placement choices for their children. Parents were given an opportunity to reflect about the school placement decisions they have made for their children. The variety of schools Navajo parents are able to choose from were illuminated. These findings have implications for education decision makers by providing insight into which schools parents are choosing and why. The study will assist Navajo Nation policy makers in future educational planning, and may have more general implications for American Indian/Alaskan Native education. This may assist Navajo Education policy makers in making future decisions regarding the newly developed Navajo Department of Education and its education planning. Participants will also benefit from the study by being able to understand how the past has impacted the school placement choices they have made. In doing so parents may be better able to articulate the impetus behind the choices they make for their children, thereby becoming better advocates for themselves and their children. The results of this study impacts scholarly literature as a new viewpoint in the area of school choice. Navajo parents represent a distinct group who make educational choices within a specific context. This study is unique as the impact of historical Indian education policies is considered. Future studies can further expand on the topic creating a unique area of research in the field of Indian education.

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Date Created
2011

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A penny and a half and a pool: lead poisoning and its impact on academic achievement

Description

Lead is a neurotoxin that has been shown to have a long and lasting impact on the brains, bodies, and behaviors of those who are poisoned. It also has a greater presence in communities with high levels of poverty

Lead is a neurotoxin that has been shown to have a long and lasting impact on the brains, bodies, and behaviors of those who are poisoned. It also has a greater presence in communities with high levels of poverty and minority populations. Compounded over time, the effects of lead poisoning, even at low levels of exposure, impact a child's readiness and ability to learn. To investigate the relationship between the risk of lead poisoning, school level academic achievement, and community demographics, three sets of data were combined. The Lead Poisoning Risk Index (LPRI), used to quantify the risk in each census tract of being poisoned by lead, standardized state assessment data for third grade reading and eighth grade math, and census 2000 demographic data were combined to provide information for all Arizona schools and census tracts. When achievement was analyzed at the school level using descriptive, bivariate correlation, and multivariate regression analyses, lead's impact practically disappeared, exposing the powerful effect of poverty and race on achievement. At a school in Arizona, the higher the percentage of students who are poor or Hispanic, African American or Native American, these analyses' predictive models suggest there will be a greater percentage of students who fail the third grade AIMS reading and eighth grade AIMS math tests. If better achievement results are to be realized, work must be done to mitigate the effects of poverty on the lives of students. In order to improve schools, there needs to be an accounting for the context within which schools operate and a focus on improving the neighborhoods and the quality of life for the families of students.

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2011

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Oh you graduated? No: dropping out of high school and the implications over the life course

Description

The Civil Rights Project estimates that Black girls are among the least likely to graduate from high school. More specifically, only about half, or 56%, of freshman Black girls graduate with their class four years later. Beyond the statistics

The Civil Rights Project estimates that Black girls are among the least likely to graduate from high school. More specifically, only about half, or 56%, of freshman Black girls graduate with their class four years later. Beyond the statistics little is known about Black girls who drop out, why they leave school and what happens to them once they are gone. This study is a grounded theory analysis of the stories eight adult Black women told about dropping out of high school with a particular focus on how dropping out affected their lives as workers, mothers and returners to education. There is one conclusion about dropping out and another about Black female identity. First, the women in my study were adolescents during the 1980s, experienced life at the intersection of Blackness, womaness, and poverty and lived in the harsh conditions of a Black American hyperghetto. Using a synthesis between intersectionality and hyperghettoization I found that the women were so determined to improve their economic and personal conditions that they took on occupations that seemed to promise freedom, wealth and safety. Because they were so focused on their new lives, their school attendance suffered as a consequence. In the second conclusion I argued that Black women draw their insights about Black female identity from two competing sources. The two sources are their lived experience and popular controlling images of Black female identity.

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Date Created
2011

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A funny thing happened on the way to the hippocampus: the effects of humor on student achievement and memory retention

Description

ABSTRACT Research literature relating to the use of humor as a teaching method or curricula specifically designed to include humor was reviewed to investigate the effects of humor on student learning in various environments from elementary schools to post-secondary classrooms.

ABSTRACT Research literature relating to the use of humor as a teaching method or curricula specifically designed to include humor was reviewed to investigate the effects of humor on student learning in various environments from elementary schools to post-secondary classrooms. In this multi-method study, four instruments and a humor treatment were selected to test the hypothesis that students who receive humor-embedded instruction would perform better on assessments than students who did not receive humor instruction. These assessments were analyzed to show student growth in achievement and memory retention as a result of humor-embedded instruction. Gain scores between a pre- test and two post-tests determined student growth in achievement and memory retention. Gain scores were triangulated with student responses to open-ended interview questions about their experiences with humor in the classroom. The gain score data were not statistically significant between the humor and non- humor groups. For the short-term memory gain scores, the non-humor group received slightly higher gain scores. For long-term memory gain scores, the humor group received higher gain scores. However, the interview data was consistent with the findings of humor research from the last 20 years that humor improves learning directly and indirectly.

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Date Created
2011

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Getting scholarship into policy: lessons from university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers

Description

There is a documented gap between research-based recommendations produced by university-based scholars in the field of education in the United States and the evidence that U.S. politicians' use when deciding which educational policies to implement or amend. This is a

There is a documented gap between research-based recommendations produced by university-based scholars in the field of education in the United States and the evidence that U.S. politicians' use when deciding which educational policies to implement or amend. This is a problem because university-based education scholars produce vast quantities of research each year, some of which could, and more importantly should, be useful to politicians in their decision-making processes and yet, politicians continue to make policy decisions about education without the benefit of much of the knowledge that has been gained through scholarly research. I refer to the small fraction of university-based education scholars who are demonstrably successful at getting scholarly research into the hands of politicians to be used for decision-making purposes as "university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers". They are distinct from other university-based education scholars in that they engage with politicians from both political parties around research and, as such, are able to use scholarly research to influence the education policymaking process. The problem that this dissertation addresses is the lack of use, by U.S. politicians, of scholarly research produced by United States university-based education scholars as input in education policy decisions. The way in which this problem is explored is through studying university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers. I focused on three areas for exploration: the methods university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers use to successfully get U.S. politicians to consider scholarly research as an input in their decision-making processes around education policy, how these scholars are different than the majority of university-based education policy scholars, and how they conceive of the education policy-setting agenda. What I uncovered in this dissertation is that university-based bipartisan scholarship brokers are a complete sub-group of university-based education scholars. They work above the rigorous promotion and tenure requirements of their home universities in order to use scholarly research to help serve the research needs of politicians. Their engagement is distinct among university-based education scholars and through this dissertation their perspective is presented in participants' own authentic language.

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Date Created
2013

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Where have we heard it before?: survey of Maricopa County high school teachers' perceptions of Common Core policy rhetoric

Description

The purpose of this study was to determine Maricopa County high school teachers' perspectives on educational policy rhetoric messages. The current time and setting among Arizona high school educators provide a unique opportunity to gain the perspective of those who

The purpose of this study was to determine Maricopa County high school teachers' perspectives on educational policy rhetoric messages. The current time and setting among Arizona high school educators provide a unique opportunity to gain the perspective of those who will be implementing the reform and held accountable for subsequent student performance before the reform takes effect and while the policy talk that precedes reform efforts is at its peak. The questions that this study sought to answer were the following: 1. What are Maricopa County High School teachers' perceptions of policy talk regarding Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and high stakes accountability measures with respect to student achievement outcomes and implementation? 2. How do these perspectives vary by teacher context (e.g. experience, content taught, district, and site demographics) within the 9-12 educational system? To determine the answers, a sequential explanatory mixed methods design was selected. The first phase involved the collection and analysis of quantitative data followed by collection and analysis of qualitative data in the second phase. A survey instrument was developed utilizing CCSSI/PARCC policy rhetoric statements and was administered to high school teachers. Initially, survey data identified overall trends among high school teachers' perceptions of educational reform policy (CCSSI) talk messages. Subsequently, qualitative focus group interviews further informed results. Results indicated that portions of policy talk messages have resonated; however, these tended to be the oldest and most oft-repeated statements. Newer messages related to changes in instructional practices and student outcomes were less widely accepted. It would appear from the results that teachers are unsure of what CCSSI really entails due to a lack of clarity in message and presentations for practitioners regarding implementation. A significant complicating factor in this effort is the unique nature of the CCSSI as a nationalized movement. Furthermore in Arizona, the backlash of conservative Republicans against CCSSI has led some teachers to believe that the implementation is up in the air, without discernible direction or support. This has left educators to interpret this latest change through their own lenses, which has defined their level of agreement and acceptance with these policy statements.

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Date Created
2014

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Mixed messages: best practice, quality, and readiness : the power of discourse to shape an Arizona early childhood system

Description

This study sought to analyze the messages being conveyed through the discourse utilized in presenting the public face of The Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board, popularly known as First Things First (FTF) and to reveal how the different

This study sought to analyze the messages being conveyed through the discourse utilized in presenting the public face of The Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board, popularly known as First Things First (FTF) and to reveal how the different discourses and ideologies within FTF have been in the past and currently are "contending and struggling for dominance (Wodak, 2007)." FTF is located within the policy realm of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). The people and the system have been very influential in guiding the course and policies set forth in Arizona since the citizen initiative, Proposition 203, passed in 2006, which allowed for the creation of the Early Childhood Development and Health Board. Lakoff's techniques for analyzing frames of discourse were utilized in conjunction with critical discourse analysis in order to tease out frames of reference, shifts in both discourse and frames, specific modes of messaging, and consistencies and inconsistencies within the public face presented by FTF.

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Date Created
2013

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Seeing is achieving: assessment practice and student capital

Description

Assessment practices in U.S. schools have become a greatly debated topic since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. In response to these new guidelines, schools and teachers have made adjustments in the ways they implement

Assessment practices in U.S. schools have become a greatly debated topic since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. In response to these new guidelines, schools and teachers have made adjustments in the ways they implement assessment practice and utilize assessment data -- ultimately impacting the lives of students and their educational outcomes. Using elements of Bourdieu's Theory of Practice as a lens to consider both context and implications of assessment practices within this new legislative era, a case study is focused on the lives of teachers and students within a single U.S. middle school. This study synthesizes secondary data in the form of standardized test scores, teacher grades in math and reading, a student grit survey, along with student narratives and teacher observations to reveal the ways in which assessment practice structures the classroom field. Findings reveal the conflicting ways in which teachers and students navigate a system framed by bureaucratic legitimacy. For teachers, issues of assessment rules and time constraints lead to frustrations and bureaucratic slippage. Conversely, students implement strategies to resist and manage the routine assessment practices of teachers.

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Date Created
2015

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The cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships of early childhood school assessment policies with reading instruction and reading achievement: evidence from early childhood longitudinal study

Description

The purposes of this study were (1) to examine the direct and indirect effect of school-level testing policies on reading achievement though changes in amount and types of reading instruction, (2) to investigate the reading trajectories moderated by school-level testing

The purposes of this study were (1) to examine the direct and indirect effect of school-level testing policies on reading achievement though changes in amount and types of reading instruction, (2) to investigate the reading trajectories moderated by school-level testing policies longitudinally, and (3) to examine the relationship between testing policies and the achievement gap by exploring whether certain student characteristics moderate the relationship between testing policy and reading achievement, using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Cohort of 2010-2011 data. Findings from a multilevel full structural mediation model suggest that school-level frequency of state/local standardized tests had an indirect effect on student reading achievement through changes in both amount and the types of instruction at the school-level (cross-sectional fall kindergarten sample =12,241 children nested in 1,067 kindergarten classes). The findings from a three-level growth models indicated only children of Asian background and children from high socio-economic backgrounds who had frequent standardized tests in kindergarten accelerated in their monthly reading growth, whereas other children (e.g., low SES, non-Asian children) did not show any changes in the rate of the reading growth (longitudinal sample from fall of kindergarten to spring of first grade = 7,392 children nested in 744 kindergartens). The findings from the current study suggest that testing policy is not an effective means to reduce the achievement gap of children from disadvantaged family backgrounds, underperforming children or that children from low socieo-economic backgrounds. These children did not seem to benefit from frequent standardized tests longitudinally. Implications for supporting school assessment practices and instruction are discussed.

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Date Created
2015