Matching Items (8)

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Policy and curriculum recommendations for student cell phone use

Description

The phenomenon that prompted this study was the increasing number of teens with cell phones and the issues, both legal and nonlegal, that permeate to schools. The trend among teens

The phenomenon that prompted this study was the increasing number of teens with cell phones and the issues, both legal and nonlegal, that permeate to schools. The trend among teens called teen sexting is receiving national and local attention. Sexting typically involves teens using texts to send cellular messages that may include naked photographs or shared videos containing sexual content. This study reviewed 4 main issues (a) the policies for student use of cell phones on campus to regulate teen sexting issues, (b) whether teen sexting awareness and prevention curriculum is being implemented, (c) the extent to which teen sexting is perceived as a problem by school leaders on campus, and (d) the degree to which there is a need for curriculum about teen sexting awareness and prevention. School district policies for student cell phone regulation were accessed online and their content analyzed. The search for curriculum was done through telephone calls to school district curriculum and instruction department leaders. Questionnaires were administered to principals, assistant principals, school counselors, and school security leaders. Their responses provided data for the study of leadership perceptions on the sexting issue. The purpose of this study was to present the research findings and provide recommendations for cell phone policy and suggest the development of effective curriculum about cell phone safety. The findings of this research showed that school district policy considers teen sexting as a student offence of a sexual nature using electronic devices for bullying, intimidation, threats, harassment, and defamation. Currently, there is limited curriculum for teen sexting awareness programs in Arizona schools. Few incidents of teen sexting get reported to school leaders; however, when they do, the consequences for teen sexters are both legal and nonlegal. The results of this study provide insight for schools leaders and school policy makers regarding issues and response options for student cell phone use, specifically teen sexting issues, and suggest the direction school administrators should take in creating effective teen sexting awareness curriculum for students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010

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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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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White flight in rural America: the case study of Lexington, Nebraska

Description

The term "White flight" and its effects are well documented in large urban city centers. However, few studies consider the same effects on smaller American communities. This case study

The term "White flight" and its effects are well documented in large urban city centers. However, few studies consider the same effects on smaller American communities. This case study investigates Lexington, Nebraska, a rural community of approximately 10,000 citizens, that has experienced a population influx of minorities in the last 25 years. The population shift has increased the representation of Hispanic, Asian, and now Somali students in the Lexington Public School system, which, in turn, has been accompanied by a dramatic decrease in White, Anglo students. This study attempts to identify and describe the reasons for the exodus of White students from the public school setting. Possible reasons that might explain the decreases in White student enrollment may include overcrowding in schools, unsafe school environments, and/or less one-on-one attention with classroom teachers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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High school principals in the vortex: accountability, autonomy, and social justice

Description

As schools across Arizona worked to meet NCLB's AYP requirement in 2010-2011, they were also labeled and sanctioned by AZ Learns. This phenomenological study focused on six effective high school

As schools across Arizona worked to meet NCLB's AYP requirement in 2010-2011, they were also labeled and sanctioned by AZ Learns. This phenomenological study focused on six effective high school principals in two Arizona school districts to ascertain how accountability policies impacted the principals' job responsibilities, autonomy, and ability to pursue social justice on their campuses. Interviews were conducted in three phases: superintendents, three principals from the superintendents' recommendations of effective school leaders, and three teachers from each school. In addition to analysis of individual principal leadership patterns, comparisons were made across districts, and from school to school within the same district. The goal of the study was to determine if and how principals were able to accomplish their goals for their school. The principals' leadership styles were examined through a Vortex Leadership Framework that posited principals at the center of a vortex of varying leadership roles, interests, and external forces, including accountability, autonomy, and limited resources. Key findings included (a) high school principals' responsibilities now include selling change to their staff, (b) principals' accountability is limited more by district constraints than by state or federal accountability, (c) principals must contend with rigid one-size fits all accountability standards that do not always meet the needs of their students, and (d) principals' autonomy is tied to their resources, including funding for staffing and programs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Enlightened travelers?: cultural attitudes, cultural competency and study abroad

Description

In this study the impact of outside the classroom activities and experiences of study abroad participants on cultural attitude change and perceived cultural competence was investigated. Motives to participate, expectations

In this study the impact of outside the classroom activities and experiences of study abroad participants on cultural attitude change and perceived cultural competence was investigated. Motives to participate, expectations and outcomes of study abroad programs were also explored. The study used a mixed methods approach and was conducted in three parts including an exploratory sequential component followed by a concurrent embedded component. The exploratory sequential component included a photo elicitation project, the results of which contributed both to the results of the study and the development of the questionnaire used in the concurrent embedded component. The concurrent embedded component used a pre and post-test survey design and included a qualitative writing exercise with select participants between the completion of their pre and post-test questionnaires. The results suggest that study abroad participation does result in changes in both participants' cultural attitudes and cultural competency. It was hypothesized that length of time abroad and the cultural distance of the host country would have an influence on the change in cultural attitudes and cultural competency. As found in previous research, length of time abroad was not found to be a major contributing factor to this change when considering the results of the pre and post-test survey. However, the results of the qualitative studies resulted in many questions about the impact of length abroad. Participants in longer-term programs discussed changes in their cultural attitudes in a more complex way than short-term participants. Longer-term participants expressed changes in their cultural competency differently as well, though not in a way that it can be conclusively said they were more culturally competent. The reverse was the case for cultural distance. Cultural distance was a factor in the changes in cultural competency, however not in cultural attitudes when considering the results of the quantitative component. The qualitative results seem to bring up more questions. While shorter-term participants discussed cultural competency differently than longer-term participants, surprisingly the short-term programs had a higher percentage of participants studying in countries with large cultural distance than did long-term programs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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A funny thing happened on the way to the hippocampus: the effects of humor on student achievement and memory retention

Description

ABSTRACT Research literature relating to the use of humor as a teaching method or curricula specifically designed to include humor was reviewed to investigate the effects of humor on student

ABSTRACT Research literature relating to the use of humor as a teaching method or curricula specifically designed to include humor was reviewed to investigate the effects of humor on student learning in various environments from elementary schools to post-secondary classrooms. In this multi-method study, four instruments and a humor treatment were selected to test the hypothesis that students who receive humor-embedded instruction would perform better on assessments than students who did not receive humor instruction. These assessments were analyzed to show student growth in achievement and memory retention as a result of humor-embedded instruction. Gain scores between a pre- test and two post-tests determined student growth in achievement and memory retention. Gain scores were triangulated with student responses to open-ended interview questions about their experiences with humor in the classroom. The gain score data were not statistically significant between the humor and non- humor groups. For the short-term memory gain scores, the non-humor group received slightly higher gain scores. For long-term memory gain scores, the humor group received higher gain scores. However, the interview data was consistent with the findings of humor research from the last 20 years that humor improves learning directly and indirectly.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Teach what? Test what?: practices of a newly formed collaborative team working in a professional learning community

Description

This study was designed to capture the conversations and practices of seven educators who navigate teaching and learning decisions in their Title 1 elementary school. This case study was conducted

This study was designed to capture the conversations and practices of seven educators who navigate teaching and learning decisions in their Title 1 elementary school. This case study was conducted to answer the research question, "What are the behaviors and practices of a newly formed collaborative team of educators working within a professional learning community (PLC)?" In order to understand how this collaborative team worked together, data was collected through a survey, interviews, focus group discussion and questionnaire, observations of collaborative team meetings and artifacts generated from the team's work. The findings revealed that (1) participants spent the majority of their collaborative team time focusing on how to best prepare students for district and state standardized assessments; (2) teachers described themselves as learners who look to their colleagues to enhance their knowledge and skills; (3) members of PLCs need dedicated collaborative time to ensure all students and adults in the organization learn at high levels; (4) discussing and using student learning data can be difficult; (5) educators gravitate to colleagues who have similar philosophies and beliefs and (6) PLCs need supportive district, school and teacher leadership to accomplish their goals. This research study provides validation that the PLC process is a complex process of professional development designed to support school reform in an era of increased school accountability. The recommendations for school leaders are to create supportive leadership structures that allow all students opportunities to learn, build trusting environments, and provide clarity and focus of the vision for all stakeholders. District leadership needs to establish a priority for PLC work by embedding the processes in the vision, mission and goals of the district, examine policies to ensure they support the concepts of PLCs, provide access to resources and create a forum for critical conversations about teaching and learning. Policy makers need to ask the right questions so that they can design appropriate accountability systems that encourage collaboration.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Tagged: Arizona principals working under a label

Description

ABSTRACT External accountability is embedded in every school system across the United States. This dissertation study focuses on how ten principals negotiate the accountability system placed upon their school by

ABSTRACT External accountability is embedded in every school system across the United States. This dissertation study focuses on how ten principals negotiate the accountability system placed upon their school by the state of Arizona. The federal accountability policy, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), requires that states use a standardized assessment to document student achievement. Arizona's policy to meet the federal requirements of NCLB is Arizona Learns (AZLearns). AZLearns outlines the formulas for determining which schools are achieving and which schools need to improve. Each school is tagged with a label annually. The labels are Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming and Failing. The foundation of this study lies in the interpretation, application and negotiation of a school's label by its principal. To investigate the relationship between external accountability and the daily life of a principal, I interviewed ten Arizona elementary school principals. The research questions of this study are: (R1) What effects do external accountability measures have on the development of the organizational capacity of a school? (R2) How do Arizona principals negotiate their school's assigned label in their everyday professional practice? (R3) What are Arizona principals' views of the state accountability process? A qualitative, phenomenological research methodology was used to interview the participants and analyze their stories for common themes. The commonalities that surfaced across the experiences of the principals in response to the labels placed on their school are Accountability, Achievement and Attitude. This study found that Accountability was based on multiple interpretations of policies enforced by the federal government, state or district guidelines and parent or school expectations. Achievement was a result of multiple factors including data collected from test scores, the quality of teachers or instruction and the personal goals of the principals. Attitude was a process embedded in the high stakes testing era, boundaries or conflicts within the location of the school and the personal experiences of the principals. This research is an attempt to share the multiple voices of principals that may lead to alternative meanings or even provoke questions about the labeling system in Arizona schools.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011