Matching Items (24)

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High school students' perceptions of teaching and their intention to choose teaching as a profession

Description

This study was conducted to (a) explore high achieving high school students' perceptions of the teaching profession, (b) examine the influence of these perceptions on intentions to teach, and (c) test a recruitment suite of tools to determine the effectiveness

This study was conducted to (a) explore high achieving high school students' perceptions of the teaching profession, (b) examine the influence of these perceptions on intentions to teach, and (c) test a recruitment suite of tools to determine the effectiveness of recruitment messaging and strategies. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) served as the theoretical framework for this study. Using the TPB allowed examination of students' behavioral, normative, and control beliefs as well as their attitudes, subjective norms, and efficacy and how those components affected intentions to teach. Participants included high school seniors in the top 20% of their class. A mixed methods approach was employed to identify how the characteristics that students value when considering a profession were aligned with those they believed to be true about the teaching profession. Additionally mixing methods allowed for a more thorough exploration of the matter and an in-depth depiction of perceptions and intentions to teach. Results from a confirmatory path analysis showed students' perceived behavioral control, a measure of efficacy, and attitudes toward teaching were predictive of intention to teach and accounted for 25% of the variation in intention to teach scores. A series of exploratory structural equation models was developed to examine additional paths that might be useful in understanding students' intention to teach. Three additional, important paths were found among TPB variables that accounted for an additional 14% of the variation in intention scores. Additionally, these paths had implications for recruitment practice. Five themes emerged from the qualitative data--status, societal importance, influences of important others, teaching as a backup option, and barriers. The discussion focused on implications for recruitment practice and research, limitations, and conclusions. The following conclusions were drawn: (a) students must be provided with knowledge about the teaching profession to overcome stereotypical beliefs, (b) recruitment must begin much earlier, (c) parents must be better informed about teaching, (d) use of a longer recruitment process with multiple touch points must be used to inform and inspire students, and (e) students must be provided with practice teaching opportunities and systematic observational opportunities, which can foster increased efficacy for teaching.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Effects of training in collaborative norms on the development of professional learning communities

Description

Abstract   Much has been researched and written concerning the structure, attributes, and benefits of the professional learning community (PLC), yet many have found that this highly collaborative model is difficult to implement. One reason for this was that conflict

Abstract   Much has been researched and written concerning the structure, attributes, and benefits of the professional learning community (PLC), yet many have found that this highly collaborative model is difficult to implement. One reason for this was that conflict among team members often limited communication and therefore halted collaboration. In an attempt to overcome conflict, the researcher introduced an intervention to five grade-level teaching teams at a suburban elementary school where staff had been struggling to develop teams into PLCs. The intervention consisted of training participants in the use of collaborative norms, and then tracking the use of these norms during team meetings, as well as gathering the teachers' perceptions on how their team was being affected by the use of the norms. Seven training sessions were conducted, each devoted to an individual norm such as pausing, putting ideas on the table, or presuming the positive, and so on. A mixed-methods action research model was utilized in gathering and analyzing the data in this study. Qualitative measures included reflection journals completed by the teachers, open-ended survey questions, and written responses in which the teachers described prior to the intervention and again after the intervention how their team: 1. Is like a PLC, 2. Is not like a PLC, and 3. Is becoming like a PLC. Quantitative measures included a survey of team communication that used questions regarding efficacy, conflict, and candor/trust. Quantitative measures also included an instrument developed as part of the System for Multi-Level Observation of Groups (SYMLOG) which is used for recording evidences of values observed in team members. Results demonstrated increases in teachers' perceptions of friendliness among their colleagues, ability to deal with conflict amicably and constructively, and in teachers' perception that they were now being listened to and understood more than they had been previously. Teachers also reported that they came to think of their team as a PLC, and began to perceive that there were benefits with respect to student achievement because they were becoming a PLC. Discussion focused on lessons learned, implications for practice, and implications for research.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Parent involvement as an instructional strategy: academic parent-teacher teams

Description

Families and schools share the monumental responsibility of educating children. Children and parent-teacher conferences remain the primary means by which parents and teachers share academic information. Given the limited effectiveness of these conferences, a more compelling alternative for home-school collaboration

Families and schools share the monumental responsibility of educating children. Children and parent-teacher conferences remain the primary means by which parents and teachers share academic information. Given the limited effectiveness of these conferences, a more compelling alternative for home-school collaboration on academic matters is warranted. The purpose of this action research study was to examine an alternative approach to parent-teacher conferences, Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT). APTT is a classroom-based parent involvement model composed of three 75-minute parent-teacher team meetings and an individual 30-minute parent-teacher session. Team meetings are highly structured and include six components: personally inviting parents by the teacher; sharing whole-class and individual student data; setting 60-day academic goals; coaching parents in `teaching' skills; distributing take-home practice materials; and networking. Quantitative data included pre- and post-intervention parent surveys, and pre- and post-intervention student scores on high frequency words and oral reading fluency. Qualitative data included field notes from APTT meetings, pre- and post-intervention teacher reflections, and teacher, parent, and student interviews. Findings from this study supported previous research that suggested most parents have high aspirations for their children's academic success. Findings also indicated parents understood their involvement was important to support academic growth. Increased quality and quantity of parent-teacher communication and interaction improved parents' ability to support student learning at home. Parents increased involvement in children's academics was related to teachers' provision of detailed information and training of parents. Qualitative results showed parents' teaching efforts contributed to students' improvement in reading. To understand this outcome, effectual congruence (EC) was offered as an explanation. EC occurred when parents and teachers agreed on an action plan for student achievement, when there was a mutual commitment to taking specific actions and when each person's role was clearly defined and implemented. EC became the process that supported achievement growth. These results demonstrated that relationships between parents and teachers are complex. Further, when teachers and parents were fully invested in collaboration it produced powerful results for students. This study provided critical information for parents, teachers, administrators and policy makers attempting to implement more effective parent involvement initiatives.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Learning college algebra by creating student experts

Description

In any instructional situation, the instructor's goal is to maximize the learning attained by students. Drawing on the adage, 'we learn best what we have taught,' this action research project was conducted to examine whether students, in fact, learned college

In any instructional situation, the instructor's goal is to maximize the learning attained by students. Drawing on the adage, 'we learn best what we have taught,' this action research project was conducted to examine whether students, in fact, learned college algebra material better if they taught it to their peers. The teaching-to-learn process was conducted in the following way. The instructor-researcher met with individual students and taught a college algebra topic to a student who served as the leader of a group of four students. At the next step, the student who originally learned the material from the instructor met with three other students in a small group session and taught the material to them to prepare an in-class presentation. Students in these small group sessions discussed how best to present the material, anticipated questions, and prepared a presentation to be shared with their classmates. The small group then taught the material to classmates during an in-class review session prior to unit examinations. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. Quantitative data consisted of pre- and post-test scores on four college algebra unit examinations. In addition, scores from Likert-scale items on an end-of-semester questionnaire that assessed the effectiveness of the teaching-to-learn process and attitudes toward the process were obtained. Qualitative data consisted of field notes from observations of selected small group sessions and in-class presentations. Additional qualitative data included responses to open-ended questions on the end-of-semester questionnaire and responses to interview items posed to groups of students. Results showed the quantitative data did not support the hypothesis that material, which was taught, was better learned than other material. Nevertheless, qualitative data indicated students were engaged in the material, had a deeper understanding of the material, and were more confident about it as a result of their participation in the teaching-to-learn process. Students also viewed the teaching-to-learn process as being effective and they had positive attitudes toward the teaching-to-learn process. Discussion focused on how engagement, deeper understanding and confidence interacted with one another to increase student learning. Lessons learned, implications for practice, and implications for further action research were also discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Supporting and fostering the development of alternatively certified teachers: creating a collaborative community

Description

First-year alternatively certified teachers face significant challenges as they attempt to address the complexities of classroom teaching, particularly when they are assigned to teach in urban school settings. As the number of alternatively certified teachers continues to increase, it is

First-year alternatively certified teachers face significant challenges as they attempt to address the complexities of classroom teaching, particularly when they are assigned to teach in urban school settings. As the number of alternatively certified teachers continues to increase, it is important to provide them with professional development opportunities that address the challenges that they encounter in their first year of teaching. This action research study was conducted to examine a professional development model designed to support the development of a small group of first-year alternatively certified teachers in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) at Arizona State University. As first-year teachers within the Induction, Masters, and Certification (InMAC) program, their professional learning needs were unique. They had an immediate need to effectively acquire knowledge and apply it in their teaching practice as they concurrently completed coursework to obtain their master's degree and certification while serving as the teacher of record. This study provided the opportunity for five first-year alternatively certified teachers to participate in a project that provided professional development to meet their specific needs. This two-pronged professional development model included two components: (a) a mentoring component provided by a recently retired master teacher, and (b) a learning community that included opportunities for observation, collaboration, and reflection with National Board Certified teachers. This study was designed to improve teaching practices and increase teaching self-efficacy among the first-year alternatively certified teacher participants. Results from the mixed-method study provided evidence that the model benefited the participants by improving their teaching practices and increasing their teaching self-efficacy. In the discussion, the importance of non-evaluative feedback provided by the mentors was emphasized. Further, highly developed interpersonal relationships, effective communication processes, and helpful collaborative procedures were useful in understanding how alternatively certified teachers benefited from mentor feedback and guidance. Finally, implications for future practice and further research were offered.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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From doing to being: nurturing professional learning communities with peer observation

Description

In this dissertation I employed a culminating cycle of action research following two earlier ones to facilitate the creation of a professional learning community (PLC). My research took place at an elementary school in an urban area of the

In this dissertation I employed a culminating cycle of action research following two earlier ones to facilitate the creation of a professional learning community (PLC). My research took place at an elementary school in an urban area of the American southwest. As principal of this school I had initiated the policies and procedures that were often recommended to create PLCs. However, observations of teachers in PLC meetings indicated that conversations focused on logistical planning issues, rather than on the in-depth pedagogical discussions that characterize high functioning PLCs. To address this problem I introduced a form of peer observation into the PLC meeting. This was achieved by showing short video recordings of teachers in their classrooms. I used a mixed methods approach to investigate how this innovation influenced three constructs associated with PLC meetings: professional learning, the sharing of tacit teaching knowledge, and collaboration in the PLC.

Quantitative data consisted of responses to a survey given as a pre-, post-, and retrospective pre-test. Results showed significant gains for all three constructs between the retrospective pre-test and the post-test, but no significant gain between the pre- and post-test. Analysis of qualitative data produced four assertions. First, the process of peer observation during a PLC meeting benefitted the personal learning of teachers. Second, peer observation benefitted teacher teams' abilities to demonstrate the critical behaviors of a true PLC. Third, the process of facilitating peer observation through video recordings evoked negative emotions. Fourth, the degree to which teachers were able to learn from a video was influenced by their perceptions of the video's authenticity and similarity to their own classrooms.

In the discussion, complementarity of the quantitative and qualitative data was described and results were explained in terms of previous research and established theory. Additionally, practical lessons that were learned, limitations, and research implications were described. In a concluding section, I discussed my personal learning regarding leadership, innovation, and action research; the purpose of the doctorate in education; and strengthening connections between research and practitioners.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Co-constructing college-going capital in a rural high school English class

Description

Compared to their urban and suburban counterparts, rural students have lower college enrollment rates. Despite many school and community benefits including small class sizes, close student-teacher relationships, and strong connections among community members, many rural high school students’ post-secondary

Compared to their urban and suburban counterparts, rural students have lower college enrollment rates. Despite many school and community benefits including small class sizes, close student-teacher relationships, and strong connections among community members, many rural high school students’ post-secondary educational opportunities are constrained by factors such as: fewer college preparatory courses, narrow school curriculums, geographic isolation, high poverty rates, and limited access to college and career counseling. This action research study was conducted to examine how and to what extent underserved rural high school students constructed college-going capital through their participation in an English class designed to supplement their school’s limited college-access services. The study took place over a 19-week semester at Seligman High School, a small rural school comprised of approximately 55 students. To support their construction of college-going capital, students’ junior- and senior-level English class curriculums blended traditional college preparation activities with college-level reading and writing assignments focused on the U.S. educational system and its college-access inequities. The theoretical perspectives that framed this study included: social cognitive career theory, sociocultural theory, and critical literacy. Further, research on perceived post-secondary educational barriers and supports, dialogic discourse, and college access informed the study. By using a concurrent, transformative mixed methods research design, both qualitative and quantitative data were collected simultaneously. Then, while maintaining an advocacy stance, the data were analyzed separately and brought together to determine convergences and divergences. Drawing data from student surveys, student and researcher journal entries, student and college coach interviews, dialogic discussion transcripts, and an image elicitation process, this study showed that, through their participation in an English language arts college-going class, students developed college-going skills, knowledge, self-efficacy, and critical literacy. The study also revealed the following: students acquired varying levels of critical consciousness; students benefited from adult mentors coaching them about college-going; and students did not experience significant changes in their perceptions of barriers to and supports for college-going during their participation in the course.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Preparing teacher candidates for 21st century classrooms: a study of digital citizenship

Description

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University recently adopted a "technology infusion" approach to prepare teacher candidates (TC) to integrate technology into their instruction and meet the International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Teachers (ISTE Standards*T)

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University recently adopted a "technology infusion" approach to prepare teacher candidates (TC) to integrate technology into their instruction and meet the International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Teachers (ISTE Standards*T) by infusing technology integration approaches into methods courses. At the onset of the technology infusion approach, one important ISTE Standard-T was neglected in the curriculum--that is, digital citizenship (DC), i.e., the responsible, legal, and ethical use of technology. To address this problem of practice, a suite of teaching materials and support services was created, the Technology Infusion Support System (TISS), to help instructors effectively teach DC. The suite consisted of four online modules on essential DC topics including copyright/fair use, digital footprint/social media, acceptable use policies, and responsible student behavior. The support component consisted of ongoing just-in-time support from a technology integration specialist, an instructor's guide, and a resource folder.

This mixed methods action research study was conducted to examine: DC instruction by those who used the TISS and the influence of DC instruction on TC's intention to promote and model DC in their future classrooms. With respect to the second objective, the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) guided study efforts.

Participants included teacher education faculty members who taught DC in technology-infused methods courses, their students, and the technology infusion specialists who provided ongoing support to instructors throughout the duration of the study. Data gathered included survey data, observations, focus group interviews, instructor interviews, and researcher journal entries. Results suggested the TISS was a useful intervention in a college using a technology infusion approach. Course instructors provided consistent instruction on a topic outside of their area of expertise. Further, there was a significant increase in the students' intention to promote and model DC in their future classrooms. The discussion focuses on explaining: the effectiveness of DC instruction; how instruction in DC changes students' intentions to promote and model DC; and the usefulness of the TPB model in understanding how attitudes toward DC, and perceived behavioral control, i.e., efficacy, influence intention to promote and model DC.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Blended professional development: toward a data-informed model of instruction

Description

Data and the use of data to make educational decisions have attained new-found prominence in K-12 education following the inception of high-stakes testing and subsequent linking of teacher evaluations and teacher-performance pay to students' outcomes on standardized assessments. Although the

Data and the use of data to make educational decisions have attained new-found prominence in K-12 education following the inception of high-stakes testing and subsequent linking of teacher evaluations and teacher-performance pay to students' outcomes on standardized assessments. Although the research literature suggested students' academic performance benefits were derived from employing data-informed decision making (DIDM), many educators have not felt efficacious about implementing and using DIDM practices. Additionally, the literature suggested a five-factor model of teachers' efficacy and anxiety with respect to using DIDM practices: (a) identification of relevant information, (b) interpretation of relevant information, (c) application of interpretations of data to their classroom practices, (d) requisite technological skills, and (e) comfort with data and statistics.

This action research study was designed to augment a program of support focused on DIDM, which was being offered at a K-8 charter school in Arizona. It sought to better understand the relation between participation in professional development (PD) modules and teachers' self-efficacy for using DIDM practices. It provided an online PD component, in which 19 kindergarten through 8th-grade teachers worked through three self-guided online learning modules, focused sequentially on (a) identification of relevant student data, (b) interpretation of relevant student data, and (c) application of interpretations of data to classroom practices. Each module concluded with an in-person reflection session, in which teachers shared artifacts they developed based on the modules, discussed challenges, shared solutions, and considered applications to their classrooms.

Results of quantitative data from pre- and post-intervention assessments, suggested the intervention positively influenced participants' self-efficacy for (a) identifying and (b) interpreting relevant student data. Qualitative results from eight semi-structured interviews conducted at the conclusion of the intervention indicated that teachers, regardless of previous experience using data, viewed DIDM favorably and were more able to find and draw conclusions from their data than they were prior to the intervention. The quantitative and qualitative data exhibited complementarity pointing to the same conclusions. The discussion focused on explaining how the intervention influenced participants' self-efficacy for using DIDM practices, anxiety around using DIDM practices, and use of DIDM practices.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Data analysis discussions: from hesitancy to thirst

Description

A core reform area of President Obama’s Race to the Top (RTT) framework, the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) program, offered funding to states for the development of their own data systems. As a result, Arizona received funding to build

A core reform area of President Obama’s Race to the Top (RTT) framework, the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) program, offered funding to states for the development of their own data systems. As a result, Arizona received funding to build a longitudinal student data system. However the targeted audience—teachers—needed training to move from a state of ‘data rich but information poor’ to one of developing actionable knowledge.

In this mixed methods action research study, six teachers from three schools participated in job-embedded data-informed decision making (DIDM) and root cause analysis (RCA) professional development to improve their abilities to employ DIDM and RCA strategies to determine root causes for student achievement gaps. This study was based on the theories of situated learning, specifically the concept of communities of practice (CoP), change theory, and the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM). Because teachers comprise most of the workforce in a district, it is important to encourage them to shift from working in isolation to effectively implement and sustain changes in practice. To address this concern, an online wiki provided an avenue for participants to interact, reflect, and share experiences across schools as they engaged in the application of new learning.

The results from this ten-week study indicated an increase in participant readiness levels to: (a) use and manage data sources, (b) apply strategies, and (c) collaborate with others to solve problems of practice. Results also showed that participants engaged in collaborative conversation using the online wiki when they wanted to share concerns or gain further information to make decisions. The online collaboration results indicated higher levels of online discussion occurred when participants were attempting to solve a problem of practice during the learning process.

Overall, participants (a) used collaborative strategies to seek, create, and/or utilize multiple sources of data, not just student learning data, (b) worked through implementation challenges when making changes in practice, and (c) sought further types of data collection to inform their decisions about root causes. Implications from this study warrant further investigation into the use of an online CoP as an avenue for increasing teacher collaboration across schools.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016