Matching Items (159)

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Improving Science Education in International Schools Through Professional Development Targeting Next Generation Science Standards Assessment Design

Description

This study explores the impact of a professional development (PD) activity conducted for teachers of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at 15 American-curriculum international schools. The intervention involved

This study explores the impact of a professional development (PD) activity conducted for teachers of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at 15 American-curriculum international schools. The intervention involved teachers utilizing the 3D-PAST screening tool to systematically evaluate the alignment of teacher-designed assessments with the constructs of the NGSS and best practices in science instruction. Data about the way the intervention enhanced or challenged teachers’ understanding of the NGSS were collected via a multiple methods approach. The New Framework of Science Education Survey of Teacher Understanding (NFSE-STU) was used in a retrospective pretest-posttest fashion to assess changes in teachers’ understanding of NGSS constructs. Subsequently, interviews were conducted with participants which provided data that expanded upon the NFSE-STU findings. The Refined Consensus Model of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (RCM-PCK) was used to interpret the findings and situate the study within the extant literature on teacher PCK. The intervention was found to have a statistically significant effect on teachers’ understanding of the NGSS in all areas measured by the NFSE-STU. Additionally, data suggest that the intervention elicited changes in teachers’ classroom practices and improved collaborative professional practices. Also highlighted in the analysis was the significance of the relationship between the intervention moderator and the participants as a strong predictor of the way the intervention was perceived by teachers. The findings strongly support the suggestion that international school administrators seeking to maximize the impact of science teacher professional development should consider PD activities that train teachers in the use of aids to align NGSS assessments, because doing so simultaneously enhances teacher understanding of the NGSS while encouraging meaningful changes to professional practice. The study contributes to the nascent body of literature utilizing the RCM-PCK to situate understanding of science-teacher PCK, and fills a void in literature examining PD in American curriculum international schools, and highlights issues with potential to serve as foci for additional cycles of action research in the areas of international schools, science teacher and NGSS-related professional development, and the use of tools similar to 3D-PAST within other teaching disciplines.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Strength Braining: An Innovation Countering Fifth-Grade Underachievement in Mathematics Through Growth Mindset and Self-Regulation

Description

The problem of practice addressed in this mixed methods action research study is the underachievement of fifth-grade students in mathematics. This study explores the effects of an innovation designed to

The problem of practice addressed in this mixed methods action research study is the underachievement of fifth-grade students in mathematics. This study explores the effects of an innovation designed to help students develop a growth mindset by utilizing self-regulation strategies to improve academic growth in mathematics. Students’ underachievement in mathematics has been illustrated by both state and international assessments. Throughout the decades, mathematics instruction and reforms have varied, but overall students’ psychological needs have been neglected. This innovation was designed to develop students’ psychological characteristics regarding facing challenges in mathematics. For this purpose, two guiding theories were utilized to frame this research study, Dweck’s mindset theory and self-regulation theory. To address the research questions of this study, pre- and post-questionnaire data, observational data and student work was analyzed. Results of the qualitative data indicated that the innovation positively impacted students’ mindsets and use of self-regulation strategies. However, quantitative data indicated the innovation had no effect on students’ use of self-regulation strategies or academic growth, and a negative impact on students’ mindsets.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Research Administration Training and Developmental Provisions for Staff: Professional Developing and Structuring of a Library for Research Administrators

Description

This action research study utilized a mixed-method approach to better understand the current situation of the research administration community with respect to addressing the training and development needs for new

This action research study utilized a mixed-method approach to better understand the current situation of the research administration community with respect to addressing the training and development needs for new and junior staff within Arizona State University’s Fulton Schools of Engineering and encompass other departments and units at Arizona State University. The study extended on those efforts of support by implementing an innovative resource library as a foundation, to decipher the needs of the research administration community and better equip staff through successful training, development and learning experiences. This study assessed Arizona State University’s research administration training and development platforms and other institutional platforms (e.g., National Council of University Research Administrators, National Science Foundation, Grants.gov, and National Institutes of Health) – to garner the necessary ingredients and components to creatively design, develop and implement the innovative library. This study involved two naturally occurring groups consisting of a cohort of research administration staff with varying levels of experience. Specifically, a group of junior and a group of senior research staff were invited to participate in this study. The groups delivered on their experience, perceptions, evaluations, and ideas, which also aided in the necessary modifications to the library resource. For instance, following the delivery from the group of senior participants’ adjustments and modifications aided in the preparation of the junior participants' performance in the library portal. The junior participants performance experience in the library embodied and measured their perceptions, experience, confidence, and comfort levels. Performances within the site enabled the participants to clearly identify and clarify areas of need within the research administration infrastructure within Fulton Schools of Engineering and at Arizona State University overall. In addition, encouragement for future iterations of the library resource were strongly declared and proposed. The revelations brought about through the discussion modules from both groups gave insight through the eyes of participants (e.g., seniors and juniors); which heightened and strengthened the results of the study. Overall, the outcomes received and tracked through the discussion modules from both groups suggested that the current training and development research administration infrastructure within Arizona State University’s research community needed adjustments.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Equipping Regular Education Teachers with Instructional Strategies to Teach English Language Learners (ELLs)

Description

Schools are tasked with the responsibility of educating students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Teachers are tasked with finding and implementing effective teaching strategies for every student in

Schools are tasked with the responsibility of educating students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Teachers are tasked with finding and implementing effective teaching strategies for every student in their classroom. English Language Learners (ELLs), students who are not fluent speakers of English, represent an increasing population of students within the education system that have unique instructional needs. The goal of this study was to provide regular education teachers with instructional strategies targeted toward the educational needs of ELLs.

This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather data. Data sources include using pre-post innovation surveys, self-reflection forms, post-innovation interviews, and field notes. For this study, nine public school teachers from different (representing different content areas) and two English Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) teachers were used.

The innovation for this study was the implementation of a whole group professional development (PD) session and access to a digital toolbox that provided teachers with instructional strategies for ELLs. The strategies provided in the whole group PD session and the digital toolbox were based on the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model.

The results of the study show that the instructional strategies provided to the teachers from the innovation positively impacted the teacher’s ability to teach ELLs. Additionally, teachers liked the format of the whole group PD session and the Digital Toolbox as a way to learn new teaching strategies related to ELLs.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Finishing the Financial Aid Process: Increasing Student Access to Higher Education In a Community College

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine how positive impacts could be achieved on student’s ability to successfully navigate financial aid processes within the Maricopa Community College system and

The purpose of this study was to examine how positive impacts could be achieved on student’s ability to successfully navigate financial aid processes within the Maricopa Community College system and specifically at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC). By evaluating existing processes and implementing enhanced system protocols (ESP), this study aimed to see how much of a positive impact ESP would have on student’s ability to access financial aid funding and enroll in classes. The study also took a closer look at how financial aid staff could better understand the systems through ESPs. In order to effectively evaluate the implementation of ESPs at CGCC, there were two approaches used within the research methodology. The first was front-end ESPs designed to target protocols that were student facing. The second was back-end ESPs targeting the financial aid staff and operations at CGCC. With the help of established ESPs, when looked at as a whole, more students were able to successfully navigate the complexities of the financial aid process, and receive their financial aid award offers at CGC. One of the front-end ESPs that held the greatest significance, in terms of successfully influencing students, was text messaging campaigns. The available evidence suggested text messaging as the most impactful way to get student’s attention. Although all of the back-end process improvements were important, the online policy and procedure repository quantitative data analysis suggested staff were empowered to provide a higher level of service with confidence and accuracy. Each of the ESPs made a small impact to student’s success and when aggregated the combined ESP results demonstrated a large enough impact that other colleges should explore the options of implementing ESPs to help more of their students receive financial aid.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Impact of a non-traditional research approach

Description

Construction Management research has not been successful in changing the practices of the construction industry. The method of receiving grants and the peer review paper system that academics rely on

Construction Management research has not been successful in changing the practices of the construction industry. The method of receiving grants and the peer review paper system that academics rely on to achieve promotion, does not align to academic researchers becoming experts who can bring change to industry practices. Poor construction industry performance has been documented for the past 25 years in the international construction management field. However, after 25 years of billions of dollars of research investment, the solution remains elusive. Research has shown that very few researchers have a hypothesis, run cycles of research tests in the industry, and result in changing industry practices.

The most impactful research identified in this thesis, has led to conclusions that pre-planning is critical, hiring contractors who have expertise will result in better performance, and risk is mitigated when the supply chain partners work together and expertise is utilized at the beginning of projects.

The problems with construction non-performance have persisted. Legal contract issues have become more important. Traditional research approaches have not identified the severity and the source of construction non-performance. The problem seems to be as complex as ever. The construction industry practices and the academic research community remain in silos. This research proposes that the problem may be in the traditional construction management research structure and methodology. The research

has identified a unique non-traditional research program that has documented over 1700 industry tests, which has resulted in a decrease in client management by up to 79%, contractors adding value by up to 38%, increased customer satisfaction by up to 140%, reduced change order rates as low as -0.6%, and decreased cost of services by up to 31%.

The purpose of this thesis is to document the performance of the non-traditional research program around the above identified results. The documentation of such an effort will shed more light on what is required for a sustainable, industry impacting, and academic expert based research program.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Surveying Arizona's third through fifth grade teachers about their confidence in teaching the cognitive demands of the Common Core State Standards to all students

Description

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this descriptive study was to gain an understanding of the confidence level held by third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers as to their preparedness for teaching the

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this descriptive study was to gain an understanding of the confidence level held by third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers as to their preparedness for teaching the cognitive demands of the Common Core State Standards (Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards) to all students, in particular Hispanic students living in poverty, who occupy close to a third of all classroom seats in Arizona. The achievement gap between Hispanic students living in poverty and non-Hispanic students of non-poverty status is one of the largest achievement gaps in Arizona, which has existed with minimal change for more than 12 years. By gaining an understanding of the teachers' confidence in teaching critical thinking skills, further support and professional development is suggested to link a teacher's knowledge to instructional practice that in turn increases the academic achievement of Arizona's poor Hispanic students.

The process of gaining this understanding was by using a multi-dimensional survey with 500 third through fifth grade teachers in two uniquely different, but representative, Arizona school districts. Approximately one-third of those teachers responded to the multi-dimensional survey about teaching the critical thinking (CT) skills of Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts. The survey asked teachers to rate their levels of preparedness for teaching CT to several types of students, to choose a CT definition, describe the relationship of CT and reading, explain how they teach CT to students who are reading below grade level, express the support they need to teach CT to those students, and rate the effectiveness of several CT classroom vignettes for different types of students. Although the questions involved several types of students, the primary focus was on exploring the teachers' position with teaching CT to Low SES Hispanic students.

A disconnect was revealed between the teachers' perception that they had the ability and knowledge necessary to teach critical thinking skills and their ability to identify ineffective critical thinking instructional practices. This disconnect may be interfering with the link between the professional development teachers are currently receiving to implement Common Core State Standards and teachers actively engaging in learning what is needed to effectively teach critical thinking skills to their students.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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The effect of change facilitation coaching using the concerns-based adoption model with an urban elementary school teacher-leadership team

Description

Public demands for accountability and educational change are at an all-time high. No Child Left Behind set the stage for public accountability of educators and the recently created Race to

Public demands for accountability and educational change are at an all-time high. No Child Left Behind set the stage for public accountability of educators and the recently created Race to the Top grant raised the stakes of public school accountability even more with the creation of national standards and assessments as well as public accountability of individual teacher performance based on student test scores. This high-stakes context has placed pressure on local schools to change their instructional practices rapidly to ensure students are learning what they need to in order to perform well on looming Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. The purpose of this mixed methods action research study was to explore a shared leadership model and discover the impact of a change facilitation team using the Concerns Based Adoption Model tools on the speed and quality of innovation diffusion at a Title One elementary school. The nine-member change facilitation team received support for 20 weeks in the form of professional development and ongoing team coaching as a means to empower teacher-leaders to more effectively take on the challenges of change. Eight of those members participated in this research. This approach draws on the research on change, learning organizations, and coaching. Quantitative results from the Change Facilitator Stages of Concern Questionnaire were triangulated with qualitative data from interviews, field notes, and Innovation Configuration Maps. Results show the impact on instructional innovation when teacher-leadership is leveraged to support change. Further, there is an important role for change coaches when leading change initiatives. Implications from this study can be used to support other site leaders grappling with instructional innovation and calls for additional research.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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The effects of the American Dream Academy on Hispanic parents' beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors regarding pre-kinder to post-secondary education

Description

ABSTRACT The high percentage and the steady growth of Hispanic/Latino students in Arizona demand that special attention be placed on improving academic achievement and attainment. The need to support Hispanic/Latino

ABSTRACT The high percentage and the steady growth of Hispanic/Latino students in Arizona demand that special attention be placed on improving academic achievement and attainment. The need to support Hispanic/Latino parents in becoming meaningful positive contributors to their children's schooling continues to surface as a critical issue in school improvement efforts in many Arizona districts. American Dream Academy, part of the Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at Arizona State University, has aimed to address this critical issue. Their focus has been to change Latino parents' beliefs about, knowledge of, and behaviors related to their children's education from pre-kindergarten to the post-secondary level. The Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler model, Realizing the American Dream, for parental involvement was the basis for the design of the curriculum used by the American Dream Academy. The purpose of this study was to analyze the efficacy of the American Dream Academy in changing the beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors of parents. The data sources were demographic and pre- and post-academy surveys taken by 719 parents representing 42 Title 1 school districts throughout Maricopa County, Arizona during the spring semester of 2012. Two tailed t tests and the significant p values revealed statistically significant changes after participation in the academy for each one of the survey statement constructs, beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors. A computation of the effect sizes using Cohen's d revealed that there were moderate to large effect sizes for each of the constructs. The knowledge construct had the largest effect size. Pearson correlation coefficients revealed that the gains for each construct were positively correlated with each of the other constructs and that the relationships were statistically significant. The significant effects of the American Dream Academy's curriculum were considerable in changing parents' beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors as to pre-kindergarten and post-secondary education. Of special notice is the effect that the academy had on parents' knowledge of how to help their children as they navigate through the United States' educational system. It is recommended that school districts partner with the American Dream Academy in efforts to engage parents in meaningful participation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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A qualitative study of urban elementary school teachers' perceptions of accountability in their practice

Description

ABSTRACT Current federal and state education mandates were developed to make schools accountable for student performance with the rationale that schools, teachers, and students will improve through the administration of

ABSTRACT Current federal and state education mandates were developed to make schools accountable for student performance with the rationale that schools, teachers, and students will improve through the administration of high-stakes tests. Public schools are mandated to adhere to three accountability systems: national, state, and local. Additional elements include the recent implementation of the Common Core standards and newly devised state accountability systems that are granted through waivers as an alternative to the accountability mandates in the No Child Left Behind Act NCLB of 2001. Teachers' voices have been noticeably absent from the accountability debates, but as studies show, as primary recipients of accountability sanctions, many teachers withdraw, "burn out," or leave the profession altogether. The present study is based on the premise that teachers are vital to student achievement, and that their perspectives and understandings are therefore a resource for educational reform especially in light of the accountability mandates under NCLB. With that premise as a starting point, this dissertation examines practicing urban teachers' experiences of accountability in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. To fulfill these goals, this qualitative study used individual and focus group interviews and observations with veteran elementary school teachers in an urban Southwestern public school district, to ascertain practices they perceive to be effective. The study's significance lies in informing stakeholders, researchers, and policymakers of practicing teachers' input on accountability mandates in diverse urban schools.

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Date Created
  • 2013