Matching Items (60)

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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

Description

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Teacher use of curricular models across environments: content taught and student outcomes

Description

Recently, much of the Physical Education literature has focused on confronting the challenges associated with the rising number of overweight children in America's schools. Physical Education programs are often looked

Recently, much of the Physical Education literature has focused on confronting the challenges associated with the rising number of overweight children in America's schools. Physical Education programs are often looked to as intervention sites to remedy the current obesity epidemic. Teachers are often also not held accountable for curriculum adherence and student outcomes in Physical Education due to the lack of a common curriculum. Therefore, measuring teacher fidelity to specific Physical Education curricula is imperative to determine student outcomes when teachers follow the model as intended. In response to these issues, it has become increasingly important to measure student physical activity levels in Physical Education programs to determine moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels and to learn about teachers' fidelity to curricular models. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate teacher fidelity to the Dynamic Physical Education (DPE) curricular model after having completed DPE methods courses at the university level, when teaching in a DPE supported or non-supported districts. A secondary purpose of this study was to measure students' physical activity (PA) outcomes in classes where the curricular model was used with various levels of district support. Data were collected using mixed methods including an observation instrument, field notes, informal interviews, document analysis, and direct observation of physical activity. Descriptive statistics and t-tests were run to investigate differences between teacher support groups and by teacher fidelity groups. Teachers from both teacher support groups were teaching the curricular model with moderate to high fidelity. Findings suggest that fidelity levels were related to preparation on the DPE curricular model, ongoing professional development, and administrative support. Although the students were often standing (i.e., 40% of the lesson) and 30% of class time was spent in MVPA; teachers were frequently promoting physical activity both within (51%) and outside (50%) of Physical Education and the school day.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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On and off the street and somewhere in between: identity performance among adolescents living on (and off) the streets of Lima, Peru

Description

In this dissertation I present data gathered from an eleven-month qualitative research study with adolescents living and working on the streets of Lima, Peru. Through the pairing of photovoice with

In this dissertation I present data gathered from an eleven-month qualitative research study with adolescents living and working on the streets of Lima, Peru. Through the pairing of photovoice with participant observations, this work incorporates distinctive methodological and theoretical viewpoints in order to complicate prevailing understandings of street life. In this dissertation, I examine the identities that children and adolescents on the street develop in context, and the ways in which photography can be a useful tool in understanding identity development among this population. Through a framework integrating theories of identity and identity performance with spatial theories, I outline how identity development among children and adolescents living on the street is directly connected to their relationships with the urban landscape and the outreach organizations that serve them. The organizations and institutions that surround children on the street shape who they are, how they are perceived by society, and how they view and understand themselves in context. It is through the interaction with aid organizations and the urban landscape that a street identity is learned and developed. Furthermore, as organizations, children and adolescents come together within the context of the city, a unique street space is created. I argue that identity and agency are directly tied to this space. I also present the street as a thirdspace of possibility, where children and adolescents are able to act out various aspects of the self that they would be unable to pursue otherwise. Weaved throughout this dissertation are non-traditional writing forms including narrative and critical personal narrative addressing my own experiences conducting this research, my impact on the research context, and how I understand the data gathered.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Country day schools and juvenile detention: where U.S. schooling can lead to or leave you

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine compulsory schooling in the United States and its potential to provide an inconsistent avenue to employment for students from neighborhoods of differing

The purpose of this study was to examine compulsory schooling in the United States and its potential to provide an inconsistent avenue to employment for students from neighborhoods of differing socioeconomic status. Specifically, this study asked why do students from privileged neighborhoods typically end up in positions of ownership and management while those from impoverished urban or rural neighborhoods end up in working-class positions or involved in cycles of incarceration and poverty? This research involved the use of qualitative methods, including participant observation and interview, as well as photography, to take a look at a reputable private day school in the southwest. Data was collected over the span of eight weeks and was then analyzed and compared with preexisting data on the schooling experience of students from impoverished urban and rural neighborhoods, particularly data focused on juvenile detention centers. Results showed that compulsory schooling differs in ways that contribute to the preexisting hierarchical class structure. The research suggests that schooling can be detrimental to the future quality of life for students in impoverished neighborhoods, which questions a compulsory school system that exists within the current hierarchical class system.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Oh you graduated? No: dropping out of high school and the implications over the life course

Description

The Civil Rights Project estimates that Black girls are among the least likely to graduate from high school. More specifically, only about half, or 56%, of freshman Black girls

The Civil Rights Project estimates that Black girls are among the least likely to graduate from high school. More specifically, only about half, or 56%, of freshman Black girls graduate with their class four years later. Beyond the statistics little is known about Black girls who drop out, why they leave school and what happens to them once they are gone. This study is a grounded theory analysis of the stories eight adult Black women told about dropping out of high school with a particular focus on how dropping out affected their lives as workers, mothers and returners to education. There is one conclusion about dropping out and another about Black female identity. First, the women in my study were adolescents during the 1980s, experienced life at the intersection of Blackness, womaness, and poverty and lived in the harsh conditions of a Black American hyperghetto. Using a synthesis between intersectionality and hyperghettoization I found that the women were so determined to improve their economic and personal conditions that they took on occupations that seemed to promise freedom, wealth and safety. Because they were so focused on their new lives, their school attendance suffered as a consequence. In the second conclusion I argued that Black women draw their insights about Black female identity from two competing sources. The two sources are their lived experience and popular controlling images of Black female identity.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Reflective photographic practice: developing socially engaged student photographers

Description

This study examines the possibility of using social and historical contexts, image analysis, and personal themes to engage adolescent photography students in the craft of photography. This new curriculum

This study examines the possibility of using social and historical contexts, image analysis, and personal themes to engage adolescent photography students in the craft of photography. This new curriculum was designed around large themes that correspond to the developmental stage of adolescence. Issues such as self-identity, teenage stereotypes, school, family, and community were explored through examining historical documents and photographs, comparing popular culture perspectives, and learning basic semiotics. The students then worked within these ideas by creating their own photographs and reflecting upon their art making choices. The new approach was implemented in an analog film class in which basic 35mm camera and film techniques are taught. It is argued that meaning making motivates the adolescent photographer rather than the achievement of strong technical skills. This qualitative study was conducted using an action research approach, in which the author was both the classroom teacher and the researcher. The study incorporates data collected from student-created photographs, student written responses, interviews of students, interviews of photography teachers, and the researcher's field notes. Major themes were discovered over time by applying a grounded theory approach to understanding the data. The curriculum brought a new level of student engagement, both in participation in the course and in the complexity of their image making. By incorporating the chosen topics, students' images were rich with personal meaning. Students retained concepts of historical and social uses for photography and demonstrated a base understanding of semiotic theory. Furthermore, the data points to a stronger sense of community and teacher-student relationships within the classroom. The researcher argues that this deeper rapport is due to the concentration on personal themes within the practice of photography. Setbacks within the study included censorship by the school of mature subjects, a limited amount of equipment, and a limited amount of time with the students. This study demonstrates the need for art curriculum to provide connections between visual art, interdisciplinary associations, students' level of development, and students' personal interests. The research provides a possible approach to redesigning curriculum for photography courses for the twenty-first century student.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Social class bias in evaluator commentaries for the AP language and composition exam (2000-2010), a critical discourse analysis

Description

This study is a discourse analysis and deconstruction of public documents published electronically in connection with the evaluation of the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Examination, found on the educational

This study is a discourse analysis and deconstruction of public documents published electronically in connection with the evaluation of the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Examination, found on the educational website: apcentral.collegeboard.com. The subject of this dissertation is how the characteristic of writing identified as Voice functions covertly in the calibration of raters' evaluation of student writing in two sets of electronic commentaries: the Scoring Commentaries and the Student Performance Q&A;'s published between the years 2000-2010. The study is intended to contribute to both socio-linguistic and sociological research in education on the influence of inherited forms of cultural capital in educational attainment, with particular emphasis upon performance on high-stakes examinations. Modeled after Pierre Bourdieu's inquiry into the latent bias revealed in the "euphemized" language of teacher commentary found in The State Nobility, lists of recurrent descriptors and binary oppositions in the texts are deconstructed. The result of the deconstruction is the manifestation of latent class bias in the commentaries. Conclusions: discourse analysis reveals that a particular Voice, expressive of a preferred social class identity, which is initiated to and particularly deft in such academic performances, is rewarded by the test evaluators. Similarly, findings reveal that a low-scoring essay is negatively critiqued for being particularly unaccustomed to the form(s) of knowledge and style of writing required by the test situation. In summation, a high score on the AP Language Examination, rather than a certification of writerly competence, is actually a testament to the performance of cultural capital. Following an analysis of the language of classification and assessment in the electronic documents, the author provides several "tactics" (after de Certeau) or recommendations for writing the AP Language and Composition Examination, conducive to the stylistic performances privileged by the rating system.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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The paracultural imaginary: cultural appropriation, heterophily and the diffusion of religious/spiritual traditions in intercultural communication

Description

Buddhism is thriving in US-America, attracting many converts with college and post-graduate degrees as well as selling all forms of popular culture. Yet little is known about the communication dynamics

Buddhism is thriving in US-America, attracting many converts with college and post-graduate degrees as well as selling all forms of popular culture. Yet little is known about the communication dynamics behind the diffusion of Buddhist religious/spiritual traditions into the United States. Religion is an underexplored area of intercultural communication studies (Nakayama & Halualani, 2010) and this study meets the lacuna in critical intercultural communication scholarship by investigating the communication practices of US-Americans adopting Asian Buddhist religious/spiritual traditions. Ethnographic observations were conducted at events where US-Americans gathered to learn about and practice Buddhist religious/spiritual traditions. In addition, interviews were conducted with US-Americans who were both learning and teaching Buddhism. The grounded theory method was used for data analysis. The findings of this study describe an emerging theory of the paracultural imaginary -- the space of imagining that one could be better than who one was today by taking on the cultural vestments of (an)Other. The embodied communication dynamics of intercultural exchange that take place when individuals adopt the rituals and philosophies of a foreign culture are described. In addition, a self-reflexive narrative of my struggle with the silence of witnessing the paracultural imaginary is weaved into the analysis. The findings from this study extend critical theorizing on cultural identity, performativity, and cultural appropriation in the diffusion of traditions between cultural groups. In addition, the study addresses the complexity of speaking out against the subtle prejudices in encountered in intercultural communication.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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When the bell rings we go inside and learn: children's and parents' understandings of the kindergarten transition

Description

The transition to kindergarten is a significant milestone for children and families in the United States. Education reform movements and early childhood policy initiatives have had significant impact on the

The transition to kindergarten is a significant milestone for children and families in the United States. Education reform movements and early childhood policy initiatives have had significant impact on the transition process in recent years, and as a result, there is greater emphasis on promoting "ready children" for school. Previous research on the transition to kindergarten in the U.S. consists primarily of adult perspectives, examining parents and teachers' expectations for kindergarten and explicating their concerns about the transition. While adults impart important considerations about the transition to kindergarten, members of the early childhood community should also pay attention to children's perspectives as they too offer critical insight on getting ready for school. This dissertation foregrounds children's and experiences getting ready for and being in kindergarten, bringing attention their participation in transition activities and school routines. In addition, this study examines ways parents structure children's participation in transition activities and school routines to provide background information on children's experiences preparing for school. This study used data from a large-scale qualitative research project conducted in Arizona to understand children's experiences transitioning to kindergarten. Specifically, interviews with preschool-aged children, kindergarten-aged children, and mothers were analyzed to impart a deeper understanding of children's viewpoints becoming and being kindergarteners. Findings illustrate how mothers' understandings of kindergarten, and constructions of readiness have influence over the transition process. Moreover, findings offer thick descriptions of how children learn about kindergarten, make meaning of school rules and routines, and form membership within classroom communities of practice. Moreover, interpretations of children's viewpoints contribute nuanced understandings of situations that promote or hinder children's participation in transition activities, and subsequent engagement in kindergarten classrooms. This study contributes to the ongoing discourse on kindergarten readiness. The viewpoints of children and parents on getting ready for and being in kindergarten provide alternative perspectives, contributing to a more holistic understanding of the transition experience. Further, a key implication of this study is that children's perspectives be given due weight in practical, programmatic, and policy initiatives aimed at promoting positive and successful transitions to kindergarten.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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What motivates science teachers to teach in urban settings: a mixed method approach

Description

The high rate of teacher turnover in the United States has prompted a number of studies into why teachers leave as well as why they stay. The present study aims

The high rate of teacher turnover in the United States has prompted a number of studies into why teachers leave as well as why they stay. The present study aims to add to that knowledge specifically regarding why teachers choose to stay at urban schools. Several reasons teachers in general choose to stay have been identified in previous studies including faith in their students, continuing hope and sense of responsibility, and love among others. The importance of such a study is the possibility of designing programs that reinforce teacher success through understanding the personal and professional reasons teachers choose to stay. Getting teachers to stay is important to the nation's goal of providing equity in science education to all children. Important to this research is an understanding of motivational theories. Already a challenge in the over-busy modern world, the ability to self-motivate and motivate others is of particular importance to teachers in urban schools as well as teachers struggling against restrictive budgets. Studies have shown teachers extrinsically motivated will need external rewards to encourage them while teachers who are intrinsically motivated will have their own internal reasons such as satisfaction in contributing to the future, self-actualization, or the joy of accomplishment. Some studies have suggested that teachers who decide to remain teaching tend to be intrinsic motivators. Unfortunately, the environment in most Western country educational systems presents a challenge to achieving these intrinsic goals. As a result, self-determination theory should play a significant role in shaping educational programs. The following study examined the perspectives of secondary school science teachers, specifically regarding why they opted to remain within the classroom in urban districts. It was conducted utilizing interviews and surveys of teachers working within urban school districts in Arizona and California. The sample consisted of 94 science teachers. More than half of the participants were White females and 36 percent of them had been teaching for more than 15 years. Participation in the study was based on self-selected volunteerism. Survey questions were based on self-determination theory and used Likert scale responses. Follow-up audiotaped interview requested information regarding identity and their social interaction within the urban settings. The survey responses were analyzed using SPSS for descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, and linear regression. The results of this study provide insight on what works to motivate science teachers to continue teaching in less than ideal school settings and with such high bureaucratic impediments as standardized testing and school rating systems. It demonstrates that science teachers do seem to be intrinsically motivated and suggests some areas in which this motivation can be fostered. Such results could help in the development of teacher support groups, professional development programs, or other programs designed to assist teachers struggling to deal with the specific problems and needs of inner city school students.

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Date Created
  • 2012