Matching Items (6)

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

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Developing social capital for parents in low income urban schools

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The purpose of this study was to determine if social capital for parents in a low-income urban school would develop through structured or unstructured parent-teacher meetings. The parent-teacher meetings were

The purpose of this study was to determine if social capital for parents in a low-income urban school would develop through structured or unstructured parent-teacher meetings. The parent-teacher meetings were developed to provide opportunities for parents and teachers to meet to build relationships and develop trust through teaching and learning how to support reading fluency and reading comprehension strategies. In order to build relationships between parents and teachers both parties need to trust one another. Trust is the foundation of relationships but before parties can trust one another, opportunities to form relationships need to be provided. In the case of parents and teachers, the study suggests that the parent-teacher meetings might be a starting point to provide opportunities to form trusting relationships. As parents and teachers work collaboratively to support the academic needs of the children, parents will increase their social capital and learn how to navigate the school system. The findings of the parent-teacher meetings showed that the perceptions of parents and teachers varied. The findings of the study did not display any noticeable differences in responses between the structured and unstructured group of participants. Parents appreciated meeting with teachers to learn how to support student learning at home and believed teachers were influential in the educational experience of their children. Teachers believed: parents want to support student learning at home, but lack academic skills; parents are the influential in the educational experience of the students; and parents are hesitant to ask school staff for help.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Teacher stressors in an Arizona urban school district

Description

Teachers have the one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs to guide our impressionable youth into academically prepared independent thinkers. This undertaking requires a commitment, as well as

Teachers have the one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs to guide our impressionable youth into academically prepared independent thinkers. This undertaking requires a commitment, as well as an enormous effort that can oftentimes be overwhelming. Teaching has been found to be a stressful profession for several decades with the potential concern of negative consequences for both teachers and students. The purpose of this study was to view mutual influences that affected the stress levels of urban teachers, as well as gather possible solutions to help alleviate some areas of stress. This study evaluated an urban school district in Arizona to uncover existing stressors for elementary teachers. Through qualitative analysis, this study utilized focus group interviews within this urban district, which consisted of 20 teachers in various grade levels. Four to five teachers formed each focus group, where participants responded to six open-ended questions in a candid setting. Using the grounded theory, major and minor themes emerged as a result of teacher responses that revealed trends and commonalities. Additionally, participants relayed their suggestions to mitigate some of these stressors. This study revealed that the some of the stressors that surfaced were common to the entire group, while some grade level subgroups differed in areas of stress. The suggestion to implement purposeful support systems to improve the stress of teachers was recommended with the proposal to reexamine the results for their effectiveness in future studies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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A micro-ethnographic study of creative behavior of Title 1 urban art students: how do context, collaboration and content play a role in the development of creativity?

Description

Through the disciplines of art education, anthropology and psychology the researcher examined research-based traits and characteristics of the creative process among a second year Title 1 urban high school art

Through the disciplines of art education, anthropology and psychology the researcher examined research-based traits and characteristics of the creative process among a second year Title 1 urban high school art class. Within the theoretical framework of social justice, this micro-ethnographic study explored exactly what teaching and learning to be creative implies and proposes a potential resolution for art teachers learning how to enhance teaching children how to think creatively. The research proposition is that student creativity occurs as a function of a series of interrelated factors including a nurturing classroom context, strong teacher-student dialogue, strategic questioning, purposeful incorporation of visual culture, and manipulation of content in favor of student interests within the culturally situated context of the art classroom. Navigating teacher-student relationships at moments of creative origination produced results indicating that the art teacher alone is the single most influential factor for enhancing creative outcomes in a classroom. Through incorporation of a variety of collaborative activities and comparative analysis of dissimilar content-driven projects generated evidence that artistic skills and creativity do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. The study finds that the artworks produced evidence based nuances of the creative traits of originality, fluency, flexibility, and elaboration in which profoundly varied in character depending on the content and the context. The study concludes that creativity cannot be strictly taught or learned, but rather that it can be enhanced through teacher nurturing and manipulation of content to encompass a socially intelligent uptake in the culture of art-making. Broader implications are suggested focusing on the significance of creative education and the impact it can have for educational systems, schools and undergraduate programs in art education. The researcher proposes an art education curriculum model that fosters both creative thinking and the unique learning needs of Title 1 urban students. The curriculum suggests the art teacher begin initial instruction by teaching students about the traits, characteristics and obstructions of creativity prior to teaching artistic skills sets to serve as a foundation of creative awareness from the start.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The right to write: novice English teachers write to explore their identities in a writing community

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ABSTRACT This research studies the effects of a writing community on three novice, middle school, Title I language arts teachers' perceptions of themselves as educators and as writers. The participants

ABSTRACT This research studies the effects of a writing community on three novice, middle school, Title I language arts teachers' perceptions of themselves as educators and as writers. The participants wrote on topics of their selection, on a bi-monthly basis, for one semester, to explore their teaching and learning. The teachers are in their first five years of instruction and work in Title I, urban schools with ethnically diverse students. All participants are National Writing Project fellows. The researcher analyzed teachers' journals, narratives, conversations, interviews and pre-surveys to collapse and code the research into themes. Findings suggest that teachers need time and support to write during the school day if they are going to write. They also need a supportive, honest, and friendly audience, the writing community, to feel like writers. Findings generated have implications for teacher preparation programs. The participant, who was not an education major, in her undergraduate program, is the only teacher who feels confident in her writing abilities which she connects to her experience in writing and presenting her work as an English and women's studies major. More teacher education programs should offer more writing courses so that preservice teachers become comfortable with the art of composition. Universities and colleges must foster the identities of both instructor and writer in preservice language arts teachers so that they become more confident in their writing and, in turn, their writing instruction. It may be implausible for novice teachers to be effective writing instructors, and educate their students on effective writing strategies, if they do not feel confident in their writing abilities. Although writing researchers may posit that English teachers act as gatekeepers by withholding writing practices from their students (Early and DeCosta-Smith, 2011), this study suggests that English teachers may not have these writing skills because they do not write and or participate in a writing community. When preservice English teachers are not afforded authentic writing opportunities, they graduate from their teacher education programs without confidence as writers. Once ELA teachers transition into their careers they are, again, not afforded the opportunity to write. In turn, it is difficult for them to teach writing to their students, particularly low-income, minority students who may need additional support from their teachers with composition. K-12 teachers need the time and space to write for themselves, on topics of their selection, during the school day, and then, must be trained on how to use their writing as a model to coach their students.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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School-wide positive behavior supports: fidelity of implementation in urban schools

Description

The purpose of this study was to implement Tier 1 universal expectations and Tier 2 secondary preventions, using a School-wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) problem-solving framework with fidelity in a

The purpose of this study was to implement Tier 1 universal expectations and Tier 2 secondary preventions, using a School-wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) problem-solving framework with fidelity in a culturally and linguistically diverse urban elementary school. A mixed-method design was used to address the following three research questions. How can school leadership teams design and implement Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports with fidelity in an urban elementary school? In what ways can Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions, designed and created by a school leadership team, reduce disruptive student behaviors? How satisfied were staff members with implementation of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 preventions? Data collection was completed using office discipline referrals (ODRs), the School-wide Evaluation Tool (SET 2.0), the Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ), staff surveys, and interviews to aid researchers and educational leaders in urban schools in identifying successes, pitfalls, and areas needing improvement in the implementation of Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports in urban schools.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015