Matching Items (10)

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Comparing graduate courses taught by the same instructor using competing approaches: traditional vs. technology-infused

Description

The use of educational technologies as a tool to improve academic achievement continues to increase as more technologies becomes available to students. However, teachers are entering the classroom not fully

The use of educational technologies as a tool to improve academic achievement continues to increase as more technologies becomes available to students. However, teachers are entering the classroom not fully prepared to integrate technology into their daily classroom teaching because they have not been adequately prepared to do so. Teacher preparation programs are falling short in this area because educational technology and the role of technology in the classroom is seen as an extra component to daily teaching rather than a central one. Many teacher preparation programs consist of one stand-alone educational technology course that is expected to prepare teachers to integrate technology in their future classrooms. Throughout the remainder of the program, the teachers are not seeing educational technologies modeled in their other core courses, nor are they getting the hands-on interaction necessary to become more confident in using these technologies with their future students. The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' views of educational technology in the classroom from those enrolled in a graduate program. The study consisted 74 first- and second-year teachers who were enrolled an alternative teacher preparation program. Thirty-four of the teachers received the Integrating Curriculum and Technology (iCAT) intervention and the remaining 40 teachers were part of the control group. Each teacher completed a pre- and post-intervention questionnaire and 23 of the 74 teachers participated in one of three focus group interviews. Additional data from the teachers' course instructors were gathered and analyzed to compliment the focus group and quantitative data. Results showed that iCAT participants' scores for confidence in using technology and efficacy for using educational technology increased at a faster rate than the control group participants' scores. Similarly, confidence in using technology, perceptions about integrating technology in the classroom, and efficacy for using educational technology could be predicted by the amount of hands-on interaction with technology that the teachers received during their graduate course. The discussion focuses on recommendations for infusing technology throughout teacher preparation programs so that teachers have the tools to prepare their students to use a variety of technologies so that their students can be better prepared to complete in today's workforce.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Classroom walkthroughs at two suburban high schools: gathering data to improve instructional practice

Description

With changes in federal legislation and the proposed reauthorization of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, school administrators are held to high standards in an attempt to improve achievement for

With changes in federal legislation and the proposed reauthorization of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, school administrators are held to high standards in an attempt to improve achievement for all students. They no longer just manage their schools but must now be instructional leaders charged with observing and conferencing with teachers, leading professional development aligned to data, and measuring results. Classroom walkthroughs have become a way of assisting with these tasks while supporting the mission of each school. The purpose of this research was to describe how walkthroughs operate in practice and how they were experienced by school administration, teacher leaders, and teachers at two schools within the same suburban district. Interviews illustrated that experiences were varied using the classroom walkthrough protocol. Continued professional development needed to occur with administrators and teachers. Participants shared their thoughts on implementation and usage, as well as made recommendations to schools and/or districts considering implementing classroom walkthroughs. Results also indicated a great deal of attention paid to the collection of data within the schools but there was less consensus on the analysis and use of the collected data. There was also confusion with teachers as to the vision, purpose, and goals of using classroom walkthroughs. Changes in leadership during the five years since implementation and young administrators, who were relatively new in their positions, helped shape school experiences. Recommendations to schools and/or districts considering implementation focused on support from the district office, a need for help with data collection and analysis, and a clear vision for the use of the protocol. Interviewees mentioned it would benefit districts and schools to develop a shared vocabulary for instructional engagement, alignment, and rigor, as well as a focus for professional development. They also shared the view that calibration conferences and conversations, centered on instruction, provided a focus for teaching and learning within a school and/or district.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Epilepsy and school performance: the influence of teacher factors and seizure control on children with epilepsy

Description

Epilepsy is a chronic illness impacting the lives of over 300,000 children nationally. Sexson and Madan-Swain offer a theory that addresses successful school reentry in children that are chronically ill.

Epilepsy is a chronic illness impacting the lives of over 300,000 children nationally. Sexson and Madan-Swain offer a theory that addresses successful school reentry in children that are chronically ill. Their theory posits that successful school reentry is influenced by school personnel with appropriate attitudes, training experiences, and by factors relating to the child's illness. The parents of 74 students, between second and twelfth grades, completed a questionnaire addressing their child's epilepsy and their current level of seizure control. Each child's homeroom teacher also completed a survey regarding their training experiences about epilepsy and their attitudes towards individuals with epilepsy. Additional information was gathered from the child's school regarding attendance rates, most recent Terra Nova test scores (a group achievement test), and special education enrollment status. Data were analyzed via four multiple regression analyses and one logistic regression analysis. It was found that seizure control was a significant predictor for attendance, academic achievement (i.e., mathematics, writing, and reading), and special education enrollment. Additionally, teachers' attitudes towards epilepsy were a significant predictor of academic achievement (writing and reading) and special education enrollment. Teacher training experience was not a significant predictor in any of the analyses.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Factors that influence teacher expectations of Africian American, Hispanic and low-income students

Description

There is a nationwide gap in which African American, Hispanic and low-income students perform significantly lower than their peers. Research suggests that teachers hold lower expectations for these students resulting

There is a nationwide gap in which African American, Hispanic and low-income students perform significantly lower than their peers. Research suggests that teachers hold lower expectations for these students resulting in lower achievement. There are four main factors that influence teacher expectations: stereotypes, teacher self-efficacy, school culture, language and formal policies and programs aimed at increasing teacher expectations. The purpose of this study was to inquire into the following questions: (1) What are the factors that influence teachers' academic expectations for low-income and minority students? (2) What are teacher's perceptions on the effectiveness of formal policies and programs that are aimed at increasing teacher expectations? More specifically, do teachers feel that top-down formal policies, such as teacher evaluations, uniform curriculum, and performance-based pay are effective in impacting their expectations, or do teachers believe that bottom-up policies, such as book studies and professional learning communities, make more of an impact on increasing their expectations? Ten teachers were interviewed in a school district that is consistent with the state and national achievement gap. The findings revealed that teacher expectations are influenced by the four factors I found in the research as well as two other factors: a cultural disconnect among teachers and students and teachers' level of motivation. A combination of top-down and bottom-up formal policies and programs are needed as teachers are individuals and all respond to various forms of formal policies and programs differently.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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What is relevant mathematics?: an exploration of two perspectives on relevant mathematics in the high school classroom

Description

Recently there has been an increase in the number of people calling for the incorporation of relevant mathematics in the mathematics classroom. Unfortunately, various researchers define the term relevant mathematics

Recently there has been an increase in the number of people calling for the incorporation of relevant mathematics in the mathematics classroom. Unfortunately, various researchers define the term relevant mathematics differently, establishing several ideas of how relevancy can be incorporated into the classroom. The differences between mathematics education researchers' definitions of relevant and the way they believe relevant math should be implemented in the classroom, leads one to conclude that a similarly varied set of perspectives probably exists between teachers and students as well. The purpose of this exploratory study focuses on how the student and teacher perspectives on relevant mathematics in the classroom converge or diverge. Specifically, do teachers and students see the same lessons, materials, content, and approach as relevant? A survey was conducted with mathematics teachers at a suburban high school and their algebra 1 and geometry students to provide a general idea of their views on relevant mathematics. An analysis of the findings revealed three major differences: the discrepancy between frequency ratings of teachers and students, the differences between how teachers and students defined the term relevance and how the students' highest rated definitions were the least accounted for among the teacher generated questions, and finally the impact of differing attitudes towards mathematics on students' feelings towards its relevance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Professional development in the area of autism: effectiveness of collaboration in online and face-to-face learning formats

Description

Effectively educating students with autism is a necessary element in providing all students with a free and appropriate public education, and as the number of students diagnosed with an autism

Effectively educating students with autism is a necessary element in providing all students with a free and appropriate public education, and as the number of students diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder continues to increase in both public and private educational settings, providing successful and satisfactory professional development opportunities in the area of autism is becoming increasingly essential. This study explored the experiences of twenty-three educators in a suburban southwest K-12 public school district, as they participated in a fifteen-hour professional development course in an online or face-to-face format, and collaboratively problem-solved their challenges in educating students with autism. Qualitative data was collected from participants' weekly written reflections and comments from a pre- and post-survey on attitudes, to determine quality of and satisfaction with collaboration in relation to course format. Results indicated that the online format produced higher-quality collaboration when it came to presenting one's own situation(s) to the group, finding group discussions helpful, having enough time to collaborate, providing feedback/suggestions to group members, and perceiving suggestions for one's own situation as helpful (as evidenced by the number of suggestions that participants said they would likely implement). The face-to-face format produced higher-quality collaboration when it came to in-depth problem-solving regarding a situation, implementing suggestions for one's own situation, and relating course content to collaborative activities. Participants' attitudes about using technology as a means of collaboration showed little change overall from pre- to post-survey. Though slight increases in positive attitudes concerning technology were found in various areas, many participants still thought highly of a face-to-face format for collaborative purposes, even after participating in the online professional development course. Findings may be of use to educational institutions developing online or face-to-face professional development opportunities in the area of autism.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Attitude and perspectives of teachers regarding principal effectiveness

Description

Educational Leadership is inherent of many qualities. Individuals who possess leadership stand apart from the mainstream population in general society and in any organization, thus they are change agents who

Educational Leadership is inherent of many qualities. Individuals who possess leadership stand apart from the mainstream population in general society and in any organization, thus they are change agents who influence others by their uniqueness and dynamism. The art of leadership is challenging, but meaningful, and purposeful as the focus is implementation of consistent affective and effective practices at all levels to assure achievable outcomes no matter the organization type. A leader's calling is rewarding and the journey is that of making and sustaining change through influence. The purpose of this study centered on the relationship factor of educational leadership especially the dynamics between the principal and the teacher and what constructs affect this relationship to affect principal effectiveness. The methodology employed a quantitative format and consisted of a 20 question survey sent to one school district's teachers (N=465) over a 3 month window. The summaries of results were presented in two formats: Raw (exactly how teachers answered) and a Cross-tabulation (Age & Licensure). The findings of the study yielded attitudes and perspectives of teachers regarding valuable information on leadership behaviors, styles, and practices that teachers believe were relevant to principal effectiveness. The most noteworthy aspect gleaned from this study was the people factor wherein relationships are a key factor to a leader's success in any realm that one leads.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Teachers' preferred methods of gaining information about epilepsy

Description

Children with epilepsy represent a unique group of students who may require accommodations in school to be optimally successful. Therefore, it is important for teachers to understand the possible

Children with epilepsy represent a unique group of students who may require accommodations in school to be optimally successful. Therefore, it is important for teachers to understand the possible academic consequences epilepsy can have on a child. An important step in providing this information about epilepsy to teachers is understanding where they would prefer to acquire this information. The current study examined differences between teachers of differing ages, school levels and special education teaching status in their preferences for gaining information from parents and the internet. Contrary to expectations, older teachers (those 56 years of age and older) were no less likely that younger teachers to prefer information from the internet. As predicted, elementary school teachers were more likely than high school teachers to prefer information from parents. However, interestingly middle school teachers were also more likely to prefer information from parents than high school teachers. Lastly, contrary to hypothesized results, special education teachers were no more likely to prefer information from parents than non-special education colleagues. Limitations of this study, implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Teacher collaboration in context: professional learning communities in an era of standardization and accountability

Description

Proponents of current educational reform initiatives emphasize strict accountability, the standardization of curriculum and pedagogy and the use of standardized tests to measure student learning and indicate teacher, administrator and

Proponents of current educational reform initiatives emphasize strict accountability, the standardization of curriculum and pedagogy and the use of standardized tests to measure student learning and indicate teacher, administrator and school performance. As a result, professional learning communities have emerged as a platform for teachers to collaborate with one another in order to improve their teaching practices, increase student achievement and promote continuous school improvement. The primary purpose of this inquiry was to investigate how teachers respond to working in professional learning communities in which the discourses privilege the practice of regularly comparing evidence of students' learning and results. A second purpose was to raise questions about how the current focus on standardization, assessment and accountability impacts teachers, their interactions and relationships with one another, their teaching practices, and school culture. Participants in this qualitative, ethnographic inquiry included fifteen teachers working within Green School District (a pseudonym). Initial interviews were conducted with all teachers, and responses were categorized in a typology borrowed from Barone (2008). Data analysis involved attending to the behaviors and experiences of these teachers, and the meanings these teachers associated with those behaviors and events. Teachers of GSD responded differently to the various layers of expectations and pressures inherent in the policies and practices in education today. The experiences of the teachers from GSD confirm the body of research that illuminates the challenges and complexity of working in collaborative forms of professional development, situated within the present era of accountability. Looking through lenses privileged by critical theorists, this study examined important intended and unintended consequences inherent in the educational practices of standardization and accountability. The inquiry revealed that a focus on certain "results" and the demand to achieve short terms gains may impede the creation of successful, collaborative, professional learning communities.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Factors affecting teacher satisfaction in an urban school district

Description

The purpose of this study was to distinguish factors that influence the satisfaction levels of teachers in urban school districts. This work also distinguished factors that directly impacted teachers' level

The purpose of this study was to distinguish factors that influence the satisfaction levels of teachers in urban school districts. This work also distinguished factors that directly impacted teachers' level of satisfaction towards their work and their attitude towards the administration of their schools. Forty-one teachers from two kindergarten through eighth grade schools in the southwest region of the United States were given a modified version of the 2007/08 Schools and Staffing Survey, a federally recognized survey on the satisfaction levels of teachers in America, combined with a select number of questions created by the researcher in this study to address the research questions of this study. Data were collected and analyzed through Survey Monkey, an online data portal, and imported into SPSS for data analysis. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were compiled to provide answers to the research questions established for this study. Results from this study indicated that although a majority of teachers sampled were satisfied with their teaching positions (78%), kindergarten through fourth grade teachers were more satisfied than teachers in the older grades. For the whole group, salary was the most influential factor; however, the teachers with 11 to 15 years of experience were the only ones who chose salary as their primary choice to increase their satisfaction. This study found that the levels of satisfaction per subgroup (teachers' years of experience, level of education, gender, age, type of certification, and grade level) were different than the group needs as a whole. This study revealed that the needs of the whole group and the needs of the subgroups can differ, consequently individual differences of the staff need to be taken into consideration. To view the staff as a whole may discredit the needs of the individual. Even though data indicated that a significant number of teachers felt supported by their administration, this study revealed the need for administrative staff to address specific issues of subgroups in their schools.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011