Matching Items (21)

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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 in lower achievement. There are four main factors that influence

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.

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Date Created
2011

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Bridging divides through technology use: transnationalism and digital literacy socialization

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In this study, I investigate the digital literacy practices of adult immigrants, and their relationship with transnational processes and practices. Specifically, I focus on their conditions of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their life trajectories, their

In this study, I investigate the digital literacy practices of adult immigrants, and their relationship with transnational processes and practices. Specifically, I focus on their conditions of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their life trajectories, their conditions of learning in a community center, and their appropriation of digital literacy practices for transnational purposes. By studying the culturally situated nature of digital literacies of adult learners with transnational affiliations, I build on recent empirical work in the fields of New Literacy Studies, sociocultural approaches to learning, and transnational studies. In this qualitative study, I utilized ethnographic techniques for data collection, including participant observation, interviewing, and collection of material and electronic artifacts. I drew from case study approaches to analyze and present the experiences of five adult first-generation immigrant participants. I also negotiated multiple positionalities during the two phases of the study: as a participant observer and instructor's aide during the Basic Computer Skills course participants attended, and as a researcher-practitioner in the Web Design course that followed. From these multiple vantage points, my analysis demonstrates that participants' access to ICTs is shaped by structural factors, family dynamics, and individuals' constructions of the value of digital literacies. These factors influence participants' conditions of access to material resources, such as computer equipment, and access to mentoring opportunities with members of their social networks. In addition, my analysis of the instructional practices in the classroom shows that instructors used multiple modalities, multiple languages and specialized discourses to scaffold participants' understandings of digital spaces and interfaces. Lastly, in my analysis of participants' repertoires of digital literacy practices, I found that their engagement in technology use for purposes of communication, learning, political participation and online publishing supported their maintenance of transnational affiliations. Conversely, participants' transnational ties and resources supported their appropriation of digital literacies in everyday practice. This study concludes with a discussion on the relationship among learning, digital literacies and transnationalism, and the contributions of critical and ethnographic perspectives to the study of programs that can bridge digital inequality for minority groups.

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Date Created
2011

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Interpreting critical literacy in a natural history museum

Description

The purpose of this study was to investigate critical literacy practices in two prehistoric exhibits in a natural history museum. Bourdieu's habitus and Bakhtin's dialogism served as theoretical frames to collect and analyze data. Data were collected and triangulated using

The purpose of this study was to investigate critical literacy practices in two prehistoric exhibits in a natural history museum. Bourdieu's habitus and Bakhtin's dialogism served as theoretical frames to collect and analyze data. Data were collected and triangulated using field notes, interview transcriptions, archives, and other data sources to critically scrutinize textual meaning and participant responses. Spradley's (1979) domain analysis was used to sort and categorize data in the early stage. Glaser and Strauss's (1967) constant comparative method was used to code data. My major findings were that museum texts within this context represent embedded beliefs and values that were interwoven with curators` habitus, tastes and capital, as well as institutional policies. The texts in the two Hohokam exhibits endorse a certain viewpoint of learning. Teachers and the public were not aware of the communicative role that the museum played in the society. In addition, museum literacy/ies were still practiced in a fundamental way as current practices in the classroom, which may not support the development of critical literacy. In conclusion, the very goal for critical museum literacy is to help students and teachers develop intellectual strategies to read the word and the world in informal learning environments.

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2013

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An ethnographic case study of a school's engagement in a school-wide reform initiative

Description

Since the introduction of the common school in the United States (US), education has constantly been in a state of reform. Given the importance of student learning to the future state of our nation, it is important to understand how

Since the introduction of the common school in the United States (US), education has constantly been in a state of reform. Given the importance of student learning to the future state of our nation, it is important to understand how positive educational reform can be achieved. This ethnographic case study aims to try to understand how a reform effort works as an educational and a sociocultural process, and what the important contributing factors to actualizing school reform are, as well as the challenges of effective implementation. Specifically, this study focuses on a school-wide reform effort based upon Stephen Covey's Seven Habits (1989). Qualitative research methods were used to address the research questions in this study. The researcher drew upon interviews, observations, and artifact and field note collection to tell the story of an elementary school engaged in year three of a school-wide reform initiative from the viewpoint of 10 teachers involved. Three recurring themes emerged from the data. First, data indicate that school reform is most effective when a school culture is created that supports the activation of teacher voice, efficacy, and coparticipation. Second, time and support are factors impacting implementation. Third, teachers reported that the common language from the reform has impacted the culture of the school. The evolution of a school culture is not simple and is demonstrated in the different ways the teachers experience the reform. Questions of authenticity arise when the reform effort changes from a grassroots, bottom-up initiative to a more top-down, bureaucratized business model.

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Date Created
2013

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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 the state of Arizona. The federal accountability policy, No Child

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.

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2011

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Girls should come up: gender and schooling in contemporary Bhutan

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The dissertation is based on 15 months of ethnographically-informed qualitative research at a liberal arts college in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan. It seeks to provide a sense of daily life and experience of schooling in general and for female

The dissertation is based on 15 months of ethnographically-informed qualitative research at a liberal arts college in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan. It seeks to provide a sense of daily life and experience of schooling in general and for female students in particular. Access to literacy and the opportunities that formal education can provide are comparatively recent for most Bhutanese women. This dissertation will look at how state-sponsored schooling has shaped gender relations and experiences in Bhutan where non-monastic, co-educational institutions were unknown before the 1960s. While Bhutanese women continue to be under-represented in politics, upper level government positions and public life in general, it is frequently claimed at a variety of different levels (for instance in local media and government reports), that Bhutan, unlike it South Asian neighbors, has a high degree of gender equity. It is argued that any under-representation does not reflect access or opportunity but is instead the result of women's decision not to "come up" and participate. However this dissertation will dispute the claim that female students could choose to be more visible, vocal and mobile in classrooms and on campus without being challenged or discouraged. I will show that school is a gendered context, in which female students are consistently reminded of their "limitations" and their "appropriate place" through the use of familiar social practices such as teasing, gossip, and harassment. Schooling, particularly in developing nations like Bhutan, is usually implicitly and uncritically understood to be a neutral resource, often evaluated in relation to development aims such as creating a more educated and skilled workforce. While Bhutanese schools do seem to promote new kind of opportunity and new understandings of success, they also continue to recognize, maintain and reproduce conventional values around hierarchy, knowledge transmission, cooperation (or group identity) and gender norms. This dissertation will also show how emergent disparities in wealth and opportunity in the nation at large are beginning to be reflected and reproduced in both the experience of schooling and the job market in ways that Bhutanese development policy is not yet able to adequately address.

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Date Created
2012

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Language in Filipino America

Description

The following dissertation provides perspectives on the social, political, economic, and academic influences on language use, and particularly heritage language use, within the Filipino American community. What is the nature of language in this community? In what ways does language

The following dissertation provides perspectives on the social, political, economic, and academic influences on language use, and particularly heritage language use, within the Filipino American community. What is the nature of language in this community? In what ways does language exist or co-exist? The hypothesis that autochthonous Filipino languages in the United States cease to be spoken in favor of English by Filipino Americans was tested through mixed methods of research. Literature and databases were reviewed which provided information concerning statistics, issues, and policies relating to language in Filipino America. Field research and interviews were conducted in which language use was of key interest. Results varied individually and contextually. Language seems to exist within the Filipino American community on a dynamic continuum. Immigrant Filipino Americans appear to be bilingual and multilingual. Second generation Filipino Americans tend to be English dominant with a range of bilingualism. The California Department of Education (CDOE) appears to foster bilingualism / multilingualism through its World Languages Departments (secondary education level), by offering language courses, such as Tagalog-based Filipino. Efforts to maintain non-English, Filipino languages in Arizona are less conspicuous, but they do exist primarily in familial and entrepreneurial ways.

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Date Created
2011

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Children with dis/abilities in Namibia, Africa: uncovering the complexities of exclusion

Description

Children with dis/abilities the world over are widely required to sacrifice their human rights to education, equity, community, and inclusion. Fewer than 10% of children with dis/abilities in developing countries attend school. Namibia, Africa, where this study took place, is

Children with dis/abilities the world over are widely required to sacrifice their human rights to education, equity, community, and inclusion. Fewer than 10% of children with dis/abilities in developing countries attend school. Namibia, Africa, where this study took place, is no different. Despite Namibia's adoption of international covenants and educational policy initiatives, children with dis/abilities continue to be overwhelmingly excluded from school. The body of literature on exclusion in sub-Saharan Africa is laden with the voices of teachers, principals, government education officials, development organizations, and scholars. This study attempted to foreground the voices of rural Namibian families of children with dis/abilities as they described their lived experiences via phenomenological interviews. Their stories uncovered deeply held assumptions, or cultural models, about dis/abilities. Furthermore, the study examined how policy was appropriated by local actors as mediated by their shared cultural models. Ideas that had been so deeply internalized about dis/abilities emerged from the data that served to illustrate how othering, familial obligation, child protection, supernatural forces, and notions of dis/ability intersect to continue to deny children with dis/abilities full access to educational opportunities. Additionally, the study describes how these cultural models influenced cognition and actions of parents as they appropriated local educational policy vis-à-vis creation and implementation; thereby, leaving authorized education policy for children with dis/abilities essentially obsolete. The top down ways of researching by international organizations and local agencies plus the authorized policy implementation continued to contribute to the perpetuation of exclusion. This study uncovered a need to apply bottom up methods of understanding what parents and children with dis/abilities desire and find reasonable for education, as well as understanding the power parents wield in local policy appropriation.

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Date Created
2010

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Diné education from a Hózhó perspective

Description

ABSTRACT Diné Education is equal and is as valid as this nation's mainstream education, yet it does not share the same ideas, processes or goals as its counterpart. It is more complicated because it is based on oral traditions and

ABSTRACT Diné Education is equal and is as valid as this nation's mainstream education, yet it does not share the same ideas, processes or goals as its counterpart. It is more complicated because it is based on oral traditions and the philosophies of Hózhó, a construct that requires a learner to embrace one's surroundings, actions, interactions, and being. A central part of Diné education focuses on spirituality and self awareness which are intertwined with every dimension of this universe. In order to become educated in the Diné world a learner must first learn to "walk in beauty" and have a positive self image. Being Diné, this researcher sought to capture his own childhood memories, including the special teachings and teachers that have guided his learning, as a way to document the process of acquiring a Diné education. The methods of inquiry for this research included self-reflection documented in a journal and an extensive literature review. The literature review was guided by three research questions: 1. What is Diné Education? 2. How important is it to today's Diné people? 3. What are the future prospects for the existence of Diné education?

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Date Created
2010

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Interpretive policy analysis on enhancing education equity and empowerment for girls in rural India

Description

The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) policy scheme launched in 2004 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Government of India, aims to provide secondary level education (grade 6-8) for girls residing predominantly in minority communities, the Scheduled Caste

The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) policy scheme launched in 2004 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Government of India, aims to provide secondary level education (grade 6-8) for girls residing predominantly in minority communities, the Scheduled Caste (SC), the Scheduled Tribe (ST), and the Other Backward Caste (OBC). Since its launch, the Government of India established 2,578 KGBV schools in 27 states and union territories (UTs). The present study examines the new policy and its implementation at three KGBV schools located in rural villages of Uttar Pradesh (UP), India. The purpose was to analyze the Government of India's approach to increasing education opportunity and participation for educationally disadvantaged girls using the empowerment framework developed by Deepa Narayan. Observations at three schools, interviews with teachers and staff members of the implementation agency (i.e., Mahila Samakhya (MS)), and surveys administered to 139 teachers were conducted over a four month period in 2009. Adopting creative teaching approaches and learning activities, MS creates safe learning community which is appropriate for the rural girls. MS gives special attention to nurturing the girls' potential and empowering them inside and outside the school environment through social discussion, parental involvement, rigid discipline and structure, health and hygiene education, and physical and mental training. Interviews with the state program director and coordinators identified some conflicts within government policy schemes such as the Teacher-pupil ratios guidelines as a part of the programs for the universalization of elementary education. Major challenges include a high turnover rate of teachers, a lack of female teachers, a lack of provision after Class 8, and inadequate budget for medical treatment. Recommendations include promoting active involvement of male members in the process of girls' empowerment, making MS approaches of girls' education in rural settings standardized for wider dissemination, and developing flexible and strong partnership among local agencies and government organizations for effective service delivery.

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Date Created
2011