Matching Items (15)

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Surveying Arizona's third through fifth grade teachers about their confidence in teaching the cognitive demands of the Common Core State Standards to all students

Description

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this descriptive study was to gain an understanding of the confidence level held by third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers as to their preparedness for teaching the

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this descriptive study was to gain an understanding of the confidence level held by third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers as to their preparedness for teaching the cognitive demands of the Common Core State Standards (Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards) to all students, in particular Hispanic students living in poverty, who occupy close to a third of all classroom seats in Arizona. The achievement gap between Hispanic students living in poverty and non-Hispanic students of non-poverty status is one of the largest achievement gaps in Arizona, which has existed with minimal change for more than 12 years. By gaining an understanding of the teachers' confidence in teaching critical thinking skills, further support and professional development is suggested to link a teacher's knowledge to instructional practice that in turn increases the academic achievement of Arizona's poor Hispanic students.

The process of gaining this understanding was by using a multi-dimensional survey with 500 third through fifth grade teachers in two uniquely different, but representative, Arizona school districts. Approximately one-third of those teachers responded to the multi-dimensional survey about teaching the critical thinking (CT) skills of Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts. The survey asked teachers to rate their levels of preparedness for teaching CT to several types of students, to choose a CT definition, describe the relationship of CT and reading, explain how they teach CT to students who are reading below grade level, express the support they need to teach CT to those students, and rate the effectiveness of several CT classroom vignettes for different types of students. Although the questions involved several types of students, the primary focus was on exploring the teachers' position with teaching CT to Low SES Hispanic students.

A disconnect was revealed between the teachers' perception that they had the ability and knowledge necessary to teach critical thinking skills and their ability to identify ineffective critical thinking instructional practices. This disconnect may be interfering with the link between the professional development teachers are currently receiving to implement Common Core State Standards and teachers actively engaging in learning what is needed to effectively teach critical thinking skills to their students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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

Description

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Improving Online Instructor Presence and Student Engagement: An Online Professional Development Intervention

Description

The purpose of the project was to explore the extent to which an asynchronous online professional development (PD) model focusing on instructor presence would improve feedback and interactions with students.

The purpose of the project was to explore the extent to which an asynchronous online professional development (PD) model focusing on instructor presence would improve feedback and interactions with students. The study is grounded in Community of Inquiry theory, which situates learning at the intersection of teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence. The study aimed to improve student success by empowering instructors to integrate engaging strategies and technology tools into fully online courses. The participants were 4 higher education instructors teaching in fully online degree programs delivered to 160-200 undergraduate students. For eight weeks the 4 instructors participated in the PD. The goals of the PD were to learn strategies for improving instructor presence and integrating student engagement opportunities in a collaborative online format. Data was collected from pre- and post-intervention offerings of the instructors’ courses to determine the impact of participation in the PD. Results suggest that the PD model was an effective intervention to increase presence and engagement. Presence and engagement were found to have increased in participants’ courses. Interactive video was found to serve multiple purposes including increasing instructor presence and student engagement, facilitating feedback between instructors and students, and elevating the level of cognitive presence of students. As a result, instructors and students both indicated a perception of improved interactions and feedback.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Eliminating Racism in Pinecreek?: Civic Participation in Local Education Policy

Description

The purpose of this study was to understand how community members within a segregated school district approached racial inequities. I conducted a ¬nineteen-month-long ethnography using a critical Participatory Action Research

The purpose of this study was to understand how community members within a segregated school district approached racial inequities. I conducted a ¬nineteen-month-long ethnography using a critical Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach to explore how members in a community activist group called Eliminate Racism interacted and worked with school district officials. My goal was to identify and examine how community members addressed racially inequitable policies and practices in the Midwestern city of Pinecreek (pseudonym) in the context of a school district that had undergone two school desegregation lawsuits. I conducted 32 interviews with 24 individuals, including teachers and school leaders, parents, and community members.

This study answers three research questions: (1) What strategies did the community activist group use to influence local education policy for addressing racism in the schools? (2) How did community participation influence local education policy? (3) What were the motivating factors for individuals’ involvement in issues of local school segregation? To answer these questions, I used concepts from Critical Race Theory and Social Capital Theory. I employ Putnam’s and Putnam and Campbell’s social capital, Warren’s civic participation, Bonilla-Silva’s color-blind racism, Yosso’s community cultural wealth and religio-civics. My analysis shows that the community group used the social capital and community cultural wealth of its members to create partnerships with district officials. Although Eliminate Racism did not meet its goals, it established itself as a legitimate organization within the community, successfully drawing together residents throughout the city to bring attention to racism in the schools.

The study’s results encourage school and district leaders to constantly bring race to the forefront of their decision-making processes and to question how policy implementation affects minoritized students. This research also suggests that strategies from this community group can be adopted or avoided by other antiracist groups undertaking similar work. Finally, it provides an example of how to employ critical PAR methods into ethnography, as it notes the ways that researcher positionality and status can be leveraged by community groups to support the legitimacy of their mission and work.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Houston, we have a problem: studying the SAS Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) from teachers' perspectives in the Houston Independent School District (HISD)

Description

This study examined the intended and unintended consequences associated with the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) as perceived and experienced by teachers in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). To

This study examined the intended and unintended consequences associated with the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) as perceived and experienced by teachers in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). To evaluate teacher effectiveness, HISD is using EVAAS for high-stakes consequences more than any other district or state in the country. A large-scale electronic survey was used to investigate the model's reliability and validity; to determine whether teachers used the EVAAS data in formative ways as intended; to gather teachers' opinions on EVAAS's claimed benefits and statements; and to understand the unintended consequences that occurred as a result of EVAAS use in HISD. Mixed methods data collection and analyses were used to present the findings in user-friendly ways, particularly when using the words and experiences of the teachers themselves. Results revealed that the reliability of the EVAAS model produced split and inconsistent results among teacher participants, and teachers indicated that students biased the EVAAS results. The majority of teachers did not report similar EVAAS and principal observation scores, reducing the criterion-related validity of both measures of teacher quality. Teachers revealed discrepancies in the distribution of EVAAS reports, the awareness of trainings offered, and among principals' understanding of EVAAS across the district. This resulted in an underwhelming number of teachers who reportedly used EVAAS data for formative purposes. Teachers disagreed with EVAAS marketing claims, implying the majority did not believe EVAAS worked as intended and promoted. Additionally, many unintended consequences associated with the high-stakes use of EVAAS emerged through teachers' responses, which revealed among others that teachers felt heightened pressure and competition, which reduced morale and collaboration, and encouraged cheating or teaching to the test in attempt to raise EVAAS scores. This study is one of the first to investigate how the EVAAS model works in practice and provides a glimpse of whether value-added models might produce desired outcomes and encourage best teacher practices. This is information of which policymakers, researchers, and districts should be aware and consider when implementing the EVAAS, or any value-added model for teacher evaluation, as many of the reported issues are not specific to the EVAAS model.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Investigating a teacher evaluation system: school administrator and teacher perceptions of the system's standards of effectiveness

Description

Increasing public criticism of traditional teacher evaluation systems based largely on classroom observations has spurred an unprecedented shift in the debate surrounding educational accountability policies, specifically about the purposes for

Increasing public criticism of traditional teacher evaluation systems based largely on classroom observations has spurred an unprecedented shift in the debate surrounding educational accountability policies, specifically about the purposes for and measures used to evaluate teachers. In response to growing public demand and associated federal mandates, states have been prompted to design and implement teacher evaluation systems that use increasingly available, statistically complex models (i.e., value-added) intended to isolate and measure the effects of individual teachers on student academic growth over time. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of school administrators and teachers within one of the largest school districts in the state of Arizona with regards to the design and implementation of a federally-supported, state policy-directed teacher evaluation system based on professional practice and value-added measures. While much research has been conducted on teacher evaluation, few studies have examined teacher evaluation systems in context to better understand the standards of effectiveness used by school administrators and teachers to measure system effectiveness. The perceptions of school administrators and teachers, considering their lived experiences as the subjects of the nation's new and improved teacher evaluation systems in context, must be better understood if state and federal policymakers are to also better recognize and understand the consequences (intended and unintended) associated with the design and implementation of these systems in practice.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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That's just the way it is: stories of racial, economic, and educational inequality under gentrification

Description

In the years following Lance Freeman’s seminal study, There Goes the ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (2006), the literature about how Black residents experience gentrification and its

In the years following Lance Freeman’s seminal study, There Goes the ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (2006), the literature about how Black residents experience gentrification and its impacts on education, agency, and life has grown only slightly, and tends to explore gentrification as a class-based phenomenon. Yet, in America, race is inextricably linked to economics and geographical space. Therefore any discussion of urban blight and economic redevelopment must necessarily locate race as its nucleus to connect the vestiges of systemic racism to contemporary issues of social transformation. Using Critical Race Theory as a construct, this dissertation attempts to demonstrate the interconnectedness of racism and capitalism to extend the academic and practical discussions of gentrification.

This ethnographically inspired study begins with a historical analysis of Olde Towne East (OTE), a gentrifying community in Columbus, Ohio and then moves to a contemporary analysis of relevant data to demonstrate the vast disparities across myriad measures between the neighborhood’s Black and White residents. The crux of the dissertation features interviews with Black residents (N=17) who shared their stories about life in OTE and reflected upon the dynamics they perceive and ascribe to be associated with the transformation of their community.

Using grounded theory to analyze the values, attitudes, and beliefs contained in participant reflections, findings indicate that Black folks in this study are keenly aware of the systemic forces, including institutionalized racism, that have resulted in the gentrifying of their community. In addition to the systemic factors these participants ascribe to be associated with the transformation of OTE, they also contend that a lack of Black critical consciousness exacerbated the racially inequitable outcomes associated with gentrification.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Teaching Academic Writing for Engineering Students: An Embodied, Rhetorical Approach

Description

This dissertation details an action research study designed to teach engineering students enrolled in a First Year Composition course understand and learn to use effective conventions of written communication.

This dissertation details an action research study designed to teach engineering students enrolled in a First Year Composition course understand and learn to use effective conventions of written communication. Over the course of one semester, students participated in an intervention that included embodied and constructive pedagogical practices within a rhetorical framework. The theoretical perspectives include Martha Kolln’s rhetorical grammar framework, embodied cognition, and Chi’s ICAP hypothesis. The study was conducted using an explanatory multi-methodological approach. The majority of students demonstrated that in their post-intervention writing samples, their ability to use effective conventions had improved. Over the course of the study, students’ attitudes about writing improved as did their self-efficacy about their writing ability.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Language policy, ideology, and identity: a qualitative study of university-level Chinese heritage language learners

Description

This research investigates the experiences of Chinese heritage language learners (CHLLs) in a federally funded program of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in the United States. Most pertinent studies

This research investigates the experiences of Chinese heritage language learners (CHLLs) in a federally funded program of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in the United States. Most pertinent studies on Chinese heritage language education focus on stakeholders such as teachers and parents. Instead, this study explores the agency of heritage language learners in their efforts toward heritage language maintenance. Adopting a three-pronged conceptual framework of language planning and policy as a sociocultural process, language ideology, and language identity, this study applies an ethnographically-informed qualitative approach to understanding how CHLLs develop and exercise implicit language policies—taken-for-granted norms about language that guide their language choices and practices—their language ideologies that undergird these policies and the relationship of these informal policies to these learners’ language identities.

This study suggests CHLLs participate in Chinese learning activities to reconnect to their family and culture. Their language maintenance efforts, however, do not necessarily change their language use dramatically. In CHLLs’ everyday social interactions, their language choices depend on the interlocutors, locations and topics of the conversation and are impacted by the dominant language ideologies toward Chinese and English. CHLLs’ Chinese language maintenance practices strengthen learners’ relationship with both the language and culture. But Chinese language can be absent from learners’ pursuit of their cultural heritage. Furthermore, the multilayered identities of CHLLs are constructed and negotiated in the heteroglossic and multicultural environments.

This is an endeavor in connecting the initiatives of increasing foreign language capacity at the national level with the efforts of maintaining heritage language at the individual level. This study can contribute to a holistic picture for teachers and parents to understand CHLLs’ language learning experience. It also offers strategies that can benefit heritage language education.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Situated hope: understanding teacher educators' notions of hope

Description

This study examines teacher educators' understandings of hope related to teacher education. The study provides a previously unforeseen perspective on teacher educators' hope or lack of hope, and gives

This study examines teacher educators' understandings of hope related to teacher education. The study provides a previously unforeseen perspective on teacher educators' hope or lack of hope, and gives insight into that hope's foundation and maintenance. I have designed and implemented a rigorous multi-method study, beginning with developing and conducting a nationwide on-line survey with 625 participants. From a pool of 326 participants expressing interest in participating in interviews, I interviewed 23 teacher educators selected from a randomized and purposive sample. Finally, 25 participants took part in a writing prompt sent in lieu of an interview. Findings reflect that teacher educators' "hope" is a construct, a mixture of abstract ideas, emotions, dispositions, attitudes, that is hard to conceptualize or measure, but appears to be a very relevant and influential and hope for teacher educators takes place on a continuum from bystander to actualizing. The results of this study serve as a way to encourage educators to be more explicit about hope and discourses about teaching. It raises awareness about "false senses" of hope, which arise from narratives of redemption, paving the way for a conception of hope grounded in a strong understanding of the multiplicities of teaching, and how things "are." This conception of hope has the potential to foster discussions and actions of what education can be, rather than dwelling in the rhetoric of what education is not. Further, this research has the potential to open up spaces to discuss both the importance of and how to begin to think about incorporating hope into curricula through critical pedagogy and pedagogies of hope.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011