Matching Items (7)

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Searching for Superman: The Role of Language in the Corporate Education Reform Movement

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This thesis examines media rhetoric promoting neoliberal education reform, including the advancement of school-choice systems and movements towards privatization. Films like Waiting for Superman and Won't Back Down have ushered

This thesis examines media rhetoric promoting neoliberal education reform, including the advancement of school-choice systems and movements towards privatization. Films like Waiting for Superman and Won't Back Down have ushered in new, markedly "progressive" narratives that show neoliberal reform as both a model for a consumer-led culture in education and as a path towards educational equity, a goal typically associated with public schools promoted as a public interest.

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  • 2013-05

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Biology education in the age of global accountability: Exploring best instructional strategies and practices that promote academic excellence

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Abstract As we move forward in education reform in the globalized 21st century, the United States must visit new ways to teach science in high school classrooms. The goal of

Abstract As we move forward in education reform in the globalized 21st century, the United States must visit new ways to teach science in high school classrooms. The goal of this investigation is to analyze the current research literature for the best and most promising teaching strategies and techniques in secondary education biology classrooms that promote academic excellence for all students. Looking at policy and school reform literature in science education to establish the context of the current system, the paper will not focus on the political as or systematic changes needed to ground an overall successful system. However, because of their inherent effect on the education system, the political aspects of education reform will be briefly addressed. The primary focus, by addressing the emphasis on standardization, inflexibility of instruction and lack of creativity specifically in high school biology classrooms, seeks to clarify small changes that can influence students' academic outcomes. The United States is performing on such a poor level in science and math proficiency that it cannot match students abroad and this is seen through test scores and the production of competent graduates. This investigation serves to organize literature from education researchers and showcase best and promising teaching and learning practices that catalyze academic excellence for all students in our pluralistic, democratic and complex schooling and societal contexts.

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  • 2013-05

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From policy to practice: implementing "Move On When Ready" at the local level in Arizona

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The purpose of this study was to understand what promotes or hinders the implementation of a high school education reform policy in Arizona schools from the perspective of a nonprofit

The purpose of this study was to understand what promotes or hinders the implementation of a high school education reform policy in Arizona schools from the perspective of a nonprofit organization that served an active and intentional role as an intermediary organization working directly with schools and policymakers. The study was intended to facilitate implementation of the education reform policy in the school sites, to gain knowledge that will be used to inform future cycles of planning and implementation, and to influence state policy. This study was an explanatory nonexperimental multiple case study involving five high schools across Arizona. The study focused on the early phase of implementation of the education reform policy. A mixed methods case study design grounded in the tradition of participatory action research was employed. Data were collected through surveys, interviews, observations, focus groups, and a document review. The results suggest that the education reform policy was implementable in diverse schools across the state. However, how the education reform policy was implemented in each school site appeared to vary. A number of factors seemed to influence the actual implementation process including the design and understanding of the reform, selection process, district context and school characteristics, and school capacity to undertake the reform. The findings suggest that the nonprofit organization that served as an intermediary organization within the study influenced the implementation process. It appears that this primarily took place by providing direct assistance to the schools, creating opportunities for collaboration and communication across the multiple school sites implementing the same education reform policy, and serving as a connector to other organizations, policymakers, and the larger public. The study resulted in the nonprofit organization's deeper understanding of the complexity of implementing the education reform policy, the challenges schools face in implementing the reform, and the factors that appear to promote or impede the implementation process.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Banning corporal punishment in Taiwan: a narrative exploration of teacher change and critical examination of the legal ban

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Employing narrative ways of inquiry, this study interrogated how a reform action--legal banning corporal punishment in schools, which was intentionally introduced into Taiwanese society by advocates as a social movement

Employing narrative ways of inquiry, this study interrogated how a reform action--legal banning corporal punishment in schools, which was intentionally introduced into Taiwanese society by advocates as a social movement strategy at a time when the incidence rate of school corporal punishment was high--could contribute to ending educators' use of corporal punishment. From the narratives of the teachers who believed in corporal punishment, we see how the school system itself contributed to passing, mostly without educators' consciousness of doing so, from one generation to another, a punitive mind that deems punishment a necessity and humans to be incapable of self-regulation without extrinsic force. It is this punitive way of thinking, deeply rooted in Taiwanese culture that was challenged by the legal ban. The transformation of the punitive mind requires a psychological subject-object perspective move that allows the mind to break the identification with a previously built teacher identity submitting to coercive authority. Alternative values, beliefs, and ideas--particularly the caring, trusting, respectful and persuasive approaches to interpersonal relationship--must be brought into personal experiences in order to transform the punitive mind. However, the availability of alternatives does not guarantee transformation, nor does a pure logical reasoning of the alternatives make true transformation to happen. Transformation was discovered to happen in those moments, either in narrative critical reflection or in action, when the mind sees those stories of others or themselves that were once familiar but can be realized, interpreted, retold, or recreated if using a new set of assumptions and perspectives. The effects of the legal ban were mixed. It contributed to the decline of the most well-recognized form of corporal punishment--hitting students by sticks--and offered teachers who disbelieve corporal punishment, previously questioned and crowed out by their colleagues who hit, a strong backup to justify their opposition to sticks. And the ban created opportunities for teacher to learn alternatives. Nevertheless, because the wrongdoing-punishment disciplinary framework still dominates school campuses, the ban also led to the increase or creation of new forms of coercive and humiliating measures that could not be constrained by this legal ban.

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  • 2013

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Entrepreneurship and business performance indicators as determinants of Arizona charter schools quality

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This dissertation focuses on entrepreneurial and business performance indicators as determinants of Arizona charter schools' quality. The study utilizes a mixed-method inquiry with focus on qualitative research, exploration, and implementation

This dissertation focuses on entrepreneurial and business performance indicators as determinants of Arizona charter schools' quality. The study utilizes a mixed-method inquiry with focus on qualitative research, exploration, and implementation studies. It draws data from surveys with charter operators performed by Education Team Partners (ETP). All survey results are drawn from the ETP database. The study reviews the genesis and evolution of charter schools. It reviews the social agreement within the context of public policy analysis, and the public-private partnership nature within the context of entrepreneurship and business management. It attempts to develop a research-based foundation for future action research to complement the newly introduced performance management plan (PMP) measurement and evaluation system in Arizona. The research includes four group indicators for measuring charter schools' business productivity and performance. They are studied in relation to three groups of indicators for measuring charter schools' quality. The case studies include two existing and two future charter schools. Study results indicate that all participating charter operators confirm the significance of the liquidity ratio in relation to any aspect of charter school quality covered in this study. The participants indicated a strong relationship between the capacities of their schools to utilize external resources and all indicators of charter school quality. This study draws two important conclusions. First, charter schools are business organizations, despite the fact that they receive public funds. Operationally, they differ substantially from district schools and government agencies and depend on market forces. Second, charter schools cannot survive inefficient management practices, as market forces tend to drive them out of business, regardless of academic success and student achievement levels. The intended implications from this study include: first, increased awareness about the importance of understanding business indicators in relation to charter school quality; second, the need for more research associated with the business and finance components of charter schools. As the body of collective knowledge about charter schools expands, the relationship between various business indicators to measures of quality should be routinely studied within larger populations, which may allow for an improved measurement system and applications of advanced statistical methods.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Laying the groundwork: the journey of an urban high school district implementing a college readiness initiative

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National and state education reforms are centered on developing higher academic expectations and standards to ensure students transitions into postsecondary options, college and career ready. What does this national emphasis

National and state education reforms are centered on developing higher academic expectations and standards to ensure students transitions into postsecondary options, college and career ready. What does this national emphasis signify for urban school districts that are educating a significant proportion of first-generation students and that struggle to produce students ready for the rigor of postsecondary education without remediation? Framed within Karl Weick's (1976) theoretical framework of loose coupling organizational theory, this qualitative study examined the implementation of the pseudonymous ABC High School District college readiness education reform initiative through the lens of district-wide system actors, which included district leadership, school-level implementers and the students as the intended beneficiaries. ABC High School District is the largest non-unified urban school district in a large metropolitan area in the Southwestern United States. I focused specifically on two implementation sites: Blue Sky and Desert Flower High Schools. The system actors expounded on their knowledge and understanding of how they perceived the implementation of the initiative, their interpretations of the district's new policy and initiative, and how this initiative guided their practices based on their respective roles. The findings included the four major themes of (a) building capacity of the actors, (b) communication, (c) policy and politics, and (d) academic rigor and high expectations. Two additional findings specific to counselors and students were also revealed. The counselor-specific experiences revealed the changes in their roles that have created confusion among school staff and their growing responsibilities that may impede the progress of the district initiative. The student-descriptions suggest their knowledge about college and career planning, challenges, and their academic preparedness to successfully transition to a postsecondary institution.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The "",field_main_title:"history and nature of science" in the era of standards-based reform

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The goal of science education in the United States is promoting scientific literacy for all students. The goal necessitates understanding the nature of science-what science is as a body of

The goal of science education in the United States is promoting scientific literacy for all students. The goal necessitates understanding the nature of science-what science is as a body of knowledge, explanatory tool, and human enterprise. The history of science is one of the most long-standing pedagogical methods of getting at the nature of science. But scientific literacy also encompasses education in scientific inquiry, and in the relationships among science, technology, and society (STS), as well as fact and theory-based subject-matter content. Since the beginning of the standards-based reform movement (circa 1983) many attempts have been made to codify the components of scientific literacy. National level voluntary standards have lead to state standards. Under No Child Left Behind, those state standards have become integral parts of the educational system. Standards are political in nature, yet play the role of intended curriculum. I examine one thread of scientific literacy, the history and nature of science, from its beginnings in science education through the political perturbations of the last thirty years. This examination of "the history and nature of science" through the history of standards-based reform sheds light on our changing conception of scientific literacy.

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Date Created
  • 2011