Matching Items (93)

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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

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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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Creating the Prison-to-College Pipeline An Examination of the Educational Experiences of Formerly Incarcerated Women

Description

The United States accounts for only 4% of the world’s female population, but it is home to more than 30% of the world’s incarcerated women, the majority of whom will

The United States accounts for only 4% of the world’s female population, but it is home to more than 30% of the world’s incarcerated women, the majority of whom will eventually attempt a successful reentry into society. Almost half of the incarcerated women in the United States have not obtained a high school diploma or equivalency, and only 31% have attempted some college, compared to 58% among the general public (Ewert & Wildhagen, 2011). There is ample evidence of the impact of a post-secondary degree on reducing recidivism and increasing reentry success. However, the Arizona Department of Corrections reports that of the more than 40,000 people incarcerated in November of 2019, only 5,333, or 12.5%, were involved in any type of educational programming while incarcerated (2019).

Few studies have looked closely at the barriers to higher education for formerly incarcerated individuals, and even fewer have focused on women. The purpose of this qualitative action research study was to examine the educational experiences of formerly incarcerated women through the lenses of critical social theory (Freeman & Vasconcelos, 2010; Freire, 1970) and possible selves theory (Markus & Nurius, 1986) in an effort to more fully understand low educational attainment in this population and use this knowledge to develop an effective, participant-informed intervention and provide recommendations for university outreach programs. Study participants were formerly incarcerated women and individuals who work with this population. Data were collected from in-depth semi-structured interviews and materials created during the College After Prison Workshop which was developed for this project.

Interviews revealed that the women in this study crave a sense of belonging, feel regret over their lost possible selves, experience a fear of standing still or going backward, and have a strong desire to help others. Findings suggest that colleges and universities can support formerly incarcerated women in the post-secondary system by curating a community of scholars and demonstrating a clear path forward for formerly incarcerated women by reducing systemic barriers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The Red State Revolt The Uniqueness of Arizona's Red for Ed Teacher's Movement

Description

The ongoing Red for Ed movement in Arizona sparks an interesting discussion on its place as a social movement. This thesis examines the movement in close detail, particularly in regard

The ongoing Red for Ed movement in Arizona sparks an interesting discussion on its place as a social movement. This thesis examines the movement in close detail, particularly in regard to how it fits within the social movement literature’s insider/outsider framework. While partisanship is clearly important for understanding movement successes and failures, this study goes beyond party to explore through the case of Arizona how teacher movements are constrained by 1) teacher associations that operate as outsiders to state politics and 2) school districts that isolate the problem priorities (funding; teacher pay) from gaining large-scale public reaction that can be leveraged to change state policy. In short, I show how teacher movements face significant institutional barriers that localize their messaging and prevent insider access from state politics.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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What Matter(s) in Education Beyond the Human?: Learning as Sympoietic Storyworlding

Description

The current sustainability crisis is born from a specious notion that humans are separate from and in a position of control over nature. In response, this dissertation reconceptualizes education beyond

The current sustainability crisis is born from a specious notion that humans are separate from and in a position of control over nature. In response, this dissertation reconceptualizes education beyond its current anthropocentric model to imagine education as learning through relationality with all that is ‘beyond’ the human. The study leaves behind hegemonic binary distinctions (human
ature, teacher/student, formal
on-formal education) to reimagine education as a multidirectional process of learning as worlding and becoming-with Earth (Haraway, 2016a). It explores what matters in education and how it comes to matter.

This dissertation introduces the concept of storyworlding to describe what occurs when multispecies, multi-mattered assemblages (re)write Earth’s narratives through their relationships with one another. Taking its inspiration from the work of the Common Worlds Research Collective, Donna Haraway, and Isabelle Stengers, storyworlding acknowledges that the relationships between and among all biotic and abiotic forces on Earth make stories through their interactions, and these stories make a pluriverse of worlds.

The study is structured as a natureculture (Haraway, 2003) ethnography. This innovation on ethnography, a traditionally human-centered method, focuses on agential, multispecies/ multi-mattered assemblages rather than the description of human culture. Data is not generated and then labeled as fixed in this study. It is emergent in its assemblages as a co-narrator in sympoietic storyworlding (Haraway, 2016b).

Data generation took place over 6 months in a small, coffee-producing region of Southeastern Brazil. Data generation methods included walking conversations with children and the more-than-human world, participation in a multi-grade, one-room schoolhouse, and the collection of visual and audio data such as drawings, photographs, videos, and audio recordings.

Using an intentionally slow, messy, and fluid diffractive analysis, I follow the data where it leads as I think with the concept of storyworlding (Barad, 2007; Mazzei, 2014). Drawing inspiration from Donna Haraway, Isabelle Stengers, and Iveta Silova, the dissertation concludes with an Epilogue of speculative fabulation (SF) imaginings through which I invite the reader to engage in the thought experiment of reimagining not only what matters in education, but what education, itself, is.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Equity in Action: Estimating the Association Between Funding, Expenditures, Tuition, and Affirmative Action Case Law on Enrollment and Completion Rates at Selective Colleges

Description

I conduct a series of analyses aimed at assessing equity in selective American colleges over a 20+ year time frame. My main measures of equity are enrollment and completion

I conduct a series of analyses aimed at assessing equity in selective American colleges over a 20+ year time frame. My main measures of equity are enrollment and completion in selective colleges, which I disaggregate by race/ethnicity. After creating an institutional-level panel data set with variables on college revenues and expenses, tuition, institutional control, and affirmative action case law decisions, I estimate a Generalized Least Squares (GLS) model with institutional level random fixed effects to identify factors associated with enrollment and degree completion for white and non-white students at selective United States colleges. My results suggest that affirmative action case law is associated with changes in enrollment and degree completion rates of white and non-white student alike. Increasing equity for non-white students does not compromise equity for white students. There was a statistically significant relationship between federal spending, enrollment, and degree completion for non-white students. When selective colleges increased tuition, instructional costs, academic support services expenditures, and student support services, Asian American/Pacific Islander students were likely to see enrollment and degree completion declines. Degree completion and enrollment differences were observed for Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and white students at public, private and for-profit colleges. In the years after the Adams and Hopwood court decisions, equity for non-white students declined at selective colleges. Enrollment and degree completion for non-white students increased following Grutter, Gratz, Coalition, and Fisher decisions. Enrollment of white students increased following Fordice and Hopwood. Degree completion for white students increased post Coalition and decreased post Fisher.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Teacher evaluation systems: how teachers and teacher quality are (re)defined by market-based discourses

Description

Teacher evaluation policies have recently shifted in the United States. For the first time in history, many states, districts, and administrators are now required to evaluate teachers by methods that

Teacher evaluation policies have recently shifted in the United States. For the first time in history, many states, districts, and administrators are now required to evaluate teachers by methods that are up to 50% based on their "value-added," as demonstrated at the classroom-level by growth on student achievement data over time. Other related instruments and methods, such as classroom observations and rubrics, have also become common practices in teacher evaluation systems. Such methods are consistent with the neoliberal discourse that has dominated the social and political sphere for the past three decades. Employing a discourse analytic approach that called upon a governmentality framework, the author used a complementary approach to understand how contemporary teacher evaluation polices, practices, and instruments work to discursively (re)define teachers and teacher quality in terms of their market value.

For the first part of the analysis, the author collected and analyzed documents and field notes related to the teacher evaluation system at one urban middle school. The analysis included official policy documents, official White House speeches and press releases, evaluation system promotional materials, evaluator training materials, and the like. For the second part of the analysis, she interviewed teachers and their evaluators at the local middle school in order to understand how the participants had embodied the market-based discourse to define themselves as teachers and qualify their practice, quality, and worth accordingly.

The findings of the study suggest that teacher evaluation policies, practices, and instruments make possible a variety of techniques, such as numericization, hierarchical surveillance, normalizing judgments, and audit, in order to first make teachers objects of knowledge and then act upon that knowledge to manage teachers' conduct. The author also found that teachers and their evaluators have taken up this discourse in order to think about and act upon themselves as responsibilized subjects. Ultimately, the author argues that while much of the attention related to teacher evaluations has focused on the instruments used to measure the construct of teacher quality, that teacher evaluation instruments work in a mutually constitutive ways to discursively shape the construct of teacher quality.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Voices of social justice activist educators in Arizona

Description

The passing of anti-immigrant legislation in the state of Arizona over the last decade has exacerbated an already oppressive system perpetuated by globalization and its byproducts, neoliberalism and neoconservativism. The

The passing of anti-immigrant legislation in the state of Arizona over the last decade has exacerbated an already oppressive system perpetuated by globalization and its byproducts, neoliberalism and neoconservativism. The social justice activist educators who live and work with the children and families most affected by these laws and policies must learn to navigate these controls if they hope to sustain their work. I have drawn from Freire's work surrounding the theories of praxis and conscientization to explain the motivation of these teachers, and the sociological theory of Communities of Practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998; & Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002), to explain how the group, Arizona Teachers for Justice serves as a space of learning and support for these educators. This dissertation is a multiple case study and has employed semi-structured interviews with four social justice activist educators to understand how social justice activist educators in Arizona cope and sustain their teaching and activism, particularly through their membership in groups such as Arizona Teachers for Justice. The teachers in this study are each at different stages in their careers and each teaches in a different setting and/or grade level. This cross section provides multiple perspectives and varied lenses through which to view the struggles and triumphs of social justice activist educators in the state of Arizona. The teachers in this study share their experiences of being singled out for their activism and explain the ways they cope with such attacks. They explain how they manage to fulfill their dedication to equity by integrating critical materials while adhering to common core standards. They express the anger that keeps them fighting in the streets and the fears that keep them from openly rejecting unjust policies. The findings of this study contribute to the discussion of how to not only prepare social justice activist educators, but ways of supporting and sustaining their very crucial work. Neoliberal and neoconservative attacks on education are pervasive and it is critical that we prepare teachers to face these structural pressures if we hope to ever change the dehumanizing agenda of these global powers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Where did you come from? Where will you go?: human evolutionary biology education and American students' academic interests and achievements, professional goals, and socioscientific decision-making

Description

In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among

In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class enrollment, academic achievement, interest in a STEM degree program, motivation to pursue a STEM career, and socioscientific decision–making for a sample of students enrolled full–time at Arizona State University. Given a lack of a priori knowledge of these relationships, the Grounded Theory Method was used and was the foundation for a mixed–methods analysis involving qualitative and quantitative data from one–on–one interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and an online survey. Theory development and hypothesis generation were based on data from 44 students. The survey instrument, developed to test the hypotheses, was completed by 486 undergraduates, age 18–22, who graduated from U.S. public high schools. The results showed that higher exposure to HEB was correlated with greater high school science class enrollment, particularly for advanced biological science classes, and that, for some students, HEB exposure may have influenced their enrollment, because the students found the content interesting and relevant. The results also suggested that students with higher K–12 HEB exposure felt more prepared for undergraduate science coursework. There was a positive correlation between HEB exposure and interest in a STEM degree and an indirect relationship between higher HEB exposure and motivation to pursue a STEM career. Regarding a number of socioscientific issues, including but not limited to climate change, homosexuality, and stem cell research, students' behaviors and decision–making more closely reflected a scientific viewpoint—or less–closely aligned to a religion–based perspective—when students had greater HEB exposure, but this was sometimes contingent on students' lifetime exposure to religious doctrine and acceptance of general evolution or human evolution. This study has implications for K–12 and higher education and justifies a paradigm shift in evolution education research, such that more emphasis is placed on students' interests, perceived preparation for continued learning, professional goals and potential contributions to society rather than just their knowledge and acceptance.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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A closer look at teacher-principal pairings and teacher mobility: testing a model of teacher-school fit

Description

Teacher mobility is a policy issue that affects students and school across the country. Despite a long-standing body of research related to teacher mobility, relatively little is known about

Teacher mobility is a policy issue that affects students and school across the country. Despite a long-standing body of research related to teacher mobility, relatively little is known about how teacher-school pairings affect teachers’ decisions to stay at or leave their schools. Therefore, this study tested a model of teacher-school fit with a focus on the value that teachers and principals place on standardized test scores. Survey responses were collected from 382 K-8th grade public school teachers from 22 schools in two school districts. The results show that teachers who placed higher values on standardized test scores reported slightly higher levels of teacher-school fit and were slightly less likely to leave their schools within five years. Additionally, teachers’ self-assessed teacher-school fit showed a strong, positive relationship with teacher retention. These findings suggest that a better understanding of the factors that affect teachers’ sense of teacher-school fit may help reduce teacher mobility.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Arizona's mature education market: how school and community stakeholders make meaning of school choice policies

Description

School choice reforms such as charter schools, vouchers, open enrollment, and private and public school tax credit donation programs have expanded throughout the United States over the past twenty years.

School choice reforms such as charter schools, vouchers, open enrollment, and private and public school tax credit donation programs have expanded throughout the United States over the past twenty years. Arizona’s long-standing public school choice system enrolls a higher percentage of public school students in charter schools than any state besides Washington D.C. A growing number of Arizona’s charter schools are managed by for-profit and nonprofit Education Management Organizations (EMOs). Advocates of school choice argue that free-market education approaches will make public schools competitive and nimble as parents’ choices place pressures on schools to improve or close. This, then, improves all schools: public, private, and charter. Critics are concerned that education markets produce segregation along racial and social class lines and inequalities in educational opportunities, because competition favors advantaged parents and children who can access resources. Private and for-profit schools may see it in their interest to exclude students who require more support. School choice programs, then, may further marginalize students who live in poverty, who receive special education services, and English language learners.

We do not fully understand how Arizona’s mature school choice system affects parents and other stakeholders in communities “on the ground.” That is, how are school policies understood and acted out? I used ethnographic methods to document and analyze the social, cultural, and political contexts and perspectives of stakeholders at one district public school and in its surrounding community, including its charter schools. I examined: (a) how stakeholders perceived and engaged with schools; (b) how stakeholders understood school policies, including school choice policies; and (c) what influenced families’ choices.

Findings highlight how most stakeholders supported district public schools. At the same time, some “walked the line” between choices that were good for their individual families and those they believed were good for public schools and society. Stakeholders imagined “community” and “accountability” in a range of ways, and they did not all have equal access to policy knowledge. Pressures related to parental accountability in the education market were apparent as stakeholders struggled to make, and sometimes revisit, their choices, creating a tenuous schooling environment for their families.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017