Matching Items (9)

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Bolstering youth community involvement: uncovering the essential role of family and leadership

Description

This dissertation explores youth community involvement in a geographically defined urban community in the United States. The research approach was qualitative, naturalistic, and ethnographic, and utilized grounded theory analysis. The

This dissertation explores youth community involvement in a geographically defined urban community in the United States. The research approach was qualitative, naturalistic, and ethnographic, and utilized grounded theory analysis. The study included fifty-six participants. In focus groups and interviews with youth and adults as well as with a group of youth and adults working on events in the community (hereby called the “Active Youth Group” or AYG), the characteristics of the community were discussed. Furthermore, the study inquired about the nature of youth adult-interactions. In this context, the categories “family” and “leadership” emerged. The study highlights the importance of family in the lives of residents of the community. Furthermore, the study contributes to the literature about youth adult-partnerships (Camino, 2000; Camino & Zeldin, 2002a; Jones, 2004; Lofquist, 1989) by exploring the dynamics between youth-led and adult-led community work. It discusses some of the factors that may influence whether the youth or the adults are in charge of various components of a youth development program.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Relationships Between Middle School String Teachers’ Teaching Beliefs and Classroom Practices

Description

Since the 1980s, interest in the cognitive and affective influences on teaching has initiated studies on teacher beliefs and practices. Studies of teacher beliefs in academic areas such as reading,

Since the 1980s, interest in the cognitive and affective influences on teaching has initiated studies on teacher beliefs and practices. Studies of teacher beliefs in academic areas such as reading, math, social studies, and science are prolific. However, studies about the teacher beliefs and practices of music teachers are scarce. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to explore the teacher beliefs of middle school orchestra teachers and to examine how their self-reported and observed teaching practices reflect these beliefs.

Based on the work of foreign language education researcher Simon Borg (2003) a conceptual framework was developed that shows the various sources of teacher beliefs and practices, including formative preservice musical experiences, inservice contextual factors, and inservice professional development. Employing a qualitative multiple case study method, six purposely-selected middle school orchestra teachers, representing a variety of experience levels and program characteristics, shared their teacher beliefs and practices. Data generation included observations, interviews, stimulated recall (think aloud teacher commentary of videotaped teaching episodes), and written reflection surveys. During analysis, six core teacher beliefs about middle school string students and how they learn were identified. These beliefs guided the teachers’ observed practices.

Findings from this study illustrated that preservice formative musical experiences influenced the middle school orchestra teachers’ beliefs about the value and importance of music teaching as a career. Data from the participants revealed a wide variety of instructional practices emanating from largely similar core pedagogical beliefs. Analysis suggested that experienced teachers held more developed teacher beliefs, and they selected instructional practices carefully, where inexperienced teachers were still formulating their own beliefs and experimenting with instructional practices. Data from the study point out that contextual constraints sometimes prevent teachers from enacting their closely held beliefs. This incongruence influenced three of the six participants to change teaching positions or retire early from the education profession.

The study of music teacher beliefs and practices may be of interest to preservice and inservice music teachers and music teacher educators. Future studies may explore the relationship between teacher beliefs and practices and student achievement, and contribute to string music education research.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Examining the effect of Club Aspire on low achieving middle school students

Description

This action research, mixed methods, case study examined middle school student perceptions of the effectiveness of Club Aspire. Club Aspire is an after-school program created to support the lowest achieving

This action research, mixed methods, case study examined middle school student perceptions of the effectiveness of Club Aspire. Club Aspire is an after-school program created to support the lowest achieving seventh and eighth graders in an Arizona K-8 school. The framework of this study comes from the theory of self-regulation, social learning theory and co-regulation. The primary focus of Club Aspire is to teach low achieving middle school students, self-regulation skills and learning strategies through goal setting, self-regulation learning strategy lessons and co-regulation activities.

The study took place over 13 weeks and included 11 participants and answered the following research questions. How do middle school Elevate students perceive the impact of Club Aspire on their self-regulation and themselves as a learner? How does Club Aspire affect middle school Elevate students’ academic success? What do middle school Elevate students perceive as the most influential elements of Club Aspire? Data collection tools consisted of interviews, class work, referral data, pre- and post-questionnaire and benchmark assessment data.

The study revealed that students made gains in self-regulation learning strategy usage, however, their academic achievement was not influenced. Students identified goal setting, learning self-regulation strategies and co-regulation activities with their peer partner as the most beneficial elements of Club Aspire. The study also revealed that student self-efficacy was increased throughout the semester.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Beyond the four walls: examining the use of authentic learning modules

Description

ABSTRACT

While attempting to provide real world experiences in STEM, educators face numerous challenges including adhering to curriculum requirements and working with potentially limited resources. The purpose of this action research

ABSTRACT

While attempting to provide real world experiences in STEM, educators face numerous challenges including adhering to curriculum requirements and working with potentially limited resources. The purpose of this action research study was to examine how the addition of authentic learning modules to the existing University of Arizona Middle School Engineering 101 (UA MS engineering 101) unit on energy efficiency can provide students with real world experiences as active participants. During an instructional workshop, participating teachers were introduced to strategies they use in their classroom so students could engage with individuals from both inside and outside of the school to create solutions for energy issues the students have identified within their own schools. This study used a series of observations, interviews, and focus groups with the teacher participants to gather data in determining how and in what ways students were able to obtain real world experiences as active participants through the authentic learning modules. Because there are numerous teachers within the UA MS engineering 101 group, a future goal was to assist these additional teachers in providing this innovation to their students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Cyberbullying: predictors and prevalence in American and German middle school students

Description

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate several factors associated with cyberbullying and its victims; gender, age, and the time spent using various forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC).

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate several factors associated with cyberbullying and its victims; gender, age, and the time spent using various forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC). Because cross-national studies are so important to understanding the similarities and differences found in this global problem, the current study explored the connection between traditional bullying and cyberbullying in middle school students in both the United States (N = 111) and Germany (N = 279). Participants ranged in age from 12 to 15 years and were administered self-report questionnaires during the regular school day. It was predicted that German students would have higher mean rates of CMC use; Americans would have higher mean rates of participation in and being victims of cyberbullying; there would be no mean differences in American and German student outcomes as either victims or perpetrators of traditional bullying. Results indicated that German students did use CMC more often than American students did, but Americans used certain forms of CMC more often, such as texting, IM and email. Contrary to expectations, Germans were more likely to participate in cyber and traditional bullying behavior. Americans did have a greater number of victims compared to perpetrators for both traditional and cyberbullying behavior. Additional results found that the American sample had a pattern of decreasing then increasing behavior as student age increased, across participation in all forms of bullying behavior, and participation rates often depended on the age of the students involved. Future research suggestions might focus on the importance of distinguishing the varying thought processes that define cyberbullying within a culture, specifically within our own culture. Additional research might also address how online communities and their inherent social norms and interactions, may inadvertently contribute to increasing cyberbullying and victimization of others outside of those groups and communities. Finally, due to the constant updating and improvement of social media, a follow- up study utilizing updated online applications would add considerably to the current knowledge base.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Science education at Riverside Middle School: a case study

Description

ABSTRACT For more than thirty years the gender gap in science and related careers has been a key concern of researchers, teachers, professional organizations, and policy makers. Despite indicators of

ABSTRACT For more than thirty years the gender gap in science and related careers has been a key concern of researchers, teachers, professional organizations, and policy makers. Despite indicators of progress for women and girls on some measures of achievement, course enrollment patterns, and employment, fewer women than men pursue college degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. According to the results of national assessments, the gender gap in science achievement begins to be evident in the middle school years. Gender and school science achievement involve a complex set of factors associated with schools and child/family systems that may include school leadership, institutional practices, curriculum content, teacher training programs, teacher expectations, student interests, parental involvement, and cultural values. This ethnographic case study was designed to explore the context for science education reform and the participation of middle school girls. The study analyzed and compared teaching strategies and female student engagement in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science classrooms. The setting was a middle school situated in a district that was well-known for its achievement in reading, math, and technology. Findings from the study indicated that while classroom instruction was predominantly organized around traditional school science, the girls were more disciplined and outperformed the boys. The size of the classrooms, time to prepare for hands-on activities, and obtaining resources were identified as barriers to teaching science in ways that aligned with recent national science reform initiatives. Parents who participated in the study were very supportive of their daughters' academic progress and career goals. A few of the parents suggested that the school's science program include more hands-on activities; instruction designed for the advanced learner; and information related to future careers. Overall the teachers and students perceived their science program to be gender fair. Eighth grade participants who had career goals related to science and engineering, indicated that their science instruction did not provide the rigor they needed to improve their critical skills for advanced placement in high school. Recommendations include the need for professional development on inquiry-based science, equitable student achievement, and diverse perspectives in science education.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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U.S. and Chinese Middle School Mathematics Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge: The Case of Functions

Description

This study investigated the current state of the U.S. and Chinese urban middle school math teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for the topic of functions. A comparative, descriptive case study

This study investigated the current state of the U.S. and Chinese urban middle school math teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for the topic of functions. A comparative, descriptive case study was employed to capture the PCK of 23 teachers in Arizona and of 28 teachers in Beijing, regarding their instructional knowledge, understanding of student thinking and curricular knowledge--three key components based on Shulman's conceptualization of PCK--related to functions. Cross-case comparisons were used to analyze the PCK of teacher groups across countries and socio-economic statuses (SES), based on the questionnaire, lesson plan, and interview data.

This study finds that despite cultural differences, teachers are likely to share some commonalities with respect to their instructional decisions, understanding of student thinking and curricular knowledge. These similarities may reflect the convergence in teaching practice in the U.S. and China and the dedication the two countries make in improving math education. This study also finds the cross-country differences and cross-SES differences regarding teachers' PCK. On the one hand, the U.S. and Chinese math teachers of this study tend to diverge in valuing different forms of representations, explaining student misconceptions, and relating functions to other math topics. Teachers' own understanding of functions (and mathematics), standards, and high-stakes testing in each country significantly influence their PCK. On the other hand, teachers from the higher SES schools are more likely to show higher expectations for and stronger confidence in their students' mathematical skills compared to their counterparts from the lower SES schools. Teachers' differential beliefs in students' ability levels significantly contribute to their differences between socio-economic statuses.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Literacy development among adolescent ELLs: the impact of English-only classrooms

Description

This qualitative study explores the literacy development of adolescent ELLs in three middle school, Structured English Immersion (SEI) classrooms that implemented the four-hour, English Language Development (ELD), curriculum mandated by

This qualitative study explores the literacy development of adolescent ELLs in three middle school, Structured English Immersion (SEI) classrooms that implemented the four-hour, English Language Development (ELD), curriculum mandated by Arizona. The context of the study is set in two elementary school districts. Participants, three middle school teachers, were observed during four hours of ELD instruction within their English-only classrooms to examine literacy practices. Data were recorded using field note observations, semi-structured interviews, and artifact collection. During the year-long study, three main questions guided the design and implementation of the study: a) what kinds of literacy practices can be documented in Arizona SEI classrooms and what do they look like; b) how do junior high teachers implement mandated language policies; and c)what perceptions do junior high teachers have toward the mandated SEI, four-hour block? A descriptive qualitative approach informed data collection and analysis; data were collected during 76 hours of observed instruction in the classroom, in-depth interviews, and collection of classroom artifacts to document the preparation provided by Arizona Department of Education (ADE) for ELD instruction. A framework of Erickson's (1986) analytic induction and content analysis served as an analytical tool to observe literacy practices and events in the classroom. Observations of instruction within the four-hour language models in the classroom offer unique insight to the literacy development of adolescent ELLs. Findings show how State language policy mandates and teachers' policy implementation have impacted learning experiences and language development of adolescent ELLs. Findings are discussed through narrative-based vignettes, which illustrate the experiences occurring within middle school classrooms with students learning English. Data reveal skill-based approaches to the literacy development of adolescent ELLs and a lack of student-centered learning in the classroom. Teachers supported ELLs with prescriptive lessons that focused on decontextualized vocabulary development. Language policy in practice reveals a detrimental experience to second language acquisition (SLA) for adolescent ELLs in the four-hour language block.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Investigating the advancement of middle school mathematics teachers' meanings for partitive division by fractional values of quantities

Description

Researchers have described two fundamental conceptualizations for division, known as partitive and quotitive division. Partitive division is the conceptualization of a÷b as the amount of something per copy such that

Researchers have described two fundamental conceptualizations for division, known as partitive and quotitive division. Partitive division is the conceptualization of a÷b as the amount of something per copy such that b copies of this amount yield the amount a. Quotitive division is the conceptualization of a÷b as the number of copies of the amount b that yield the amount a. Researchers have identified many cognitive obstacles that have inhibited the development of robust meanings for division involving non-whole values, while other researchers have commented on the challenges related to such development. Regarding division with fractions, much research has been devoted to quotitive conceptualizations of division, or on symbolic manipulation of variables. Research and curricular activities have largely avoided the study and development of partitive conceptualizations involving fractions, as well as their connection to the invert-and-multiply algorithm. In this dissertation study, I investigated six middle school mathematics teachers’ meanings related to partitive conceptualizations of division over the positive rational numbers. I also investigated the impact of an intervention that I designed with the intent of advancing one of these teachers’ meanings. My findings suggested that the primary cognitive obstacles were difficulties with maintaining multiple levels of units, weak quantitative meanings for fractional multipliers, and an unawareness of (and confusion due to) the two quantitative conceptualizations of division. As a product of this study, I developed a framework for characterizing robust meanings for division, indicated directions for future research, and shared implications for curriculum and instruction.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019