Matching Items (10)

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The effect of change facilitation coaching using the concerns-based adoption model with an urban elementary school teacher-leadership team

Description

Public demands for accountability and educational change are at an all-time high. No Child Left Behind set the stage for public accountability of educators and the recently created Race to

Public demands for accountability and educational change are at an all-time high. No Child Left Behind set the stage for public accountability of educators and the recently created Race to the Top grant raised the stakes of public school accountability even more with the creation of national standards and assessments as well as public accountability of individual teacher performance based on student test scores. This high-stakes context has placed pressure on local schools to change their instructional practices rapidly to ensure students are learning what they need to in order to perform well on looming Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. The purpose of this mixed methods action research study was to explore a shared leadership model and discover the impact of a change facilitation team using the Concerns Based Adoption Model tools on the speed and quality of innovation diffusion at a Title One elementary school. The nine-member change facilitation team received support for 20 weeks in the form of professional development and ongoing team coaching as a means to empower teacher-leaders to more effectively take on the challenges of change. Eight of those members participated in this research. This approach draws on the research on change, learning organizations, and coaching. Quantitative results from the Change Facilitator Stages of Concern Questionnaire were triangulated with qualitative data from interviews, field notes, and Innovation Configuration Maps. Results show the impact on instructional innovation when teacher-leadership is leveraged to support change. Further, there is an important role for change coaches when leading change initiatives. Implications from this study can be used to support other site leaders grappling with instructional innovation and calls for additional research.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Searching for the Third R: An Exploration of the Mathematics Experiences of African Americans Born in, and Before 1933

Description

ABSTRACT

The early desire for and the pursuit of literacy are often mentioned in the teeming volumes devoted to African-American history. However, stories, facts, and figures about the acquisition of numeracy

ABSTRACT

The early desire for and the pursuit of literacy are often mentioned in the teeming volumes devoted to African-American history. However, stories, facts, and figures about the acquisition of numeracy by African Americans have not been equally documented.

The focus of this study was to search for the third R, this is the numeracy and mathematics experiences of African Americans who were born in, and before, 1933. The investigation of this generational cadre was pursued in order to develop oral histories and narratives going back to the early 1900s. This study examined formal and informal education and other relevant mathematics-related, lived experiences of unacknowledged and unheralded African Americans, as opposed to the American anomalies of African descent who are most often acknowledged, such as the Benjamin Bannekers, the George Washington Carvers, and other notables.

Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through the use of a survey and interviews. Quantitative results and qualitative findings were blended to present a nuanced perspective of African Americans learning mathematics during a period of Jim Crow, segregation, and discrimination. Their hopes, their fears, their challenges, their aspirations, their successes, and their failures are all tangential to their overall goal of seeking education, including mathematics education, in the early twentieth century. Both formal and informal experiences revealed a picture of life during those times to further enhance the literature regarding the mathematics experiences of African Americans.

Key words: Black students, historical, senior citizens, mathematics education, oral history, narrative, narrative inquiry, socio-cultural theory, Jim Crow

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Moving beyond concepts: getting urban high school students engaged in science through cognitive processes

Description

In order to maintain its global position, the United States needs to increase the number of students opting for science careers. Science teachers face a formidable challenge. Students are not

In order to maintain its global position, the United States needs to increase the number of students opting for science careers. Science teachers face a formidable challenge. Students are not choosing science because they do not think coursework is interesting or applies to their lives. These problems often compound for adolescents in urban areas. This action research investigated an innovation aimed at engaging a group of adolescents in the science learning process through cognitive processes and conceptual understanding. It was hoped that this combination would increase students' engagement in the classroom and proficiency in science. The study was conducted with 28 juniors and sophomores in an Environmental Science class in an urban high school with a student body of 97% minority students and 86% students receiving free and reduced lunch. The study used a mixed-methods design. Instruments included a pre- and post-test, Thinking Maps, transcripts of student discourse, and a two-part Engagement Observation Instrument. Data analysis included basic descriptives and a grounded theory approach. Findings show students became engaged in activities when cognitive processes were taught prior to content. Furthermore it was discovered that Thinking Maps were perceived to be an easy tool to use to organize students' thinking and processing. Finally there was a significant increase in student achievement. From these findings implications for future practice and research are offered.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Implementing a standards-based teacher evaluation system: learning experiences for administrators in an urban school district

Description

Policymakers at the national level have recently initiated K-12 education reforms focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. Far-reaching legislation was subsequently enacted in the state of Arizona requiring schools

Policymakers at the national level have recently initiated K-12 education reforms focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. Far-reaching legislation was subsequently enacted in the state of Arizona requiring schools to adopt standards-based teacher evaluation systems and link them to student outcomes. The end product is to result in annual summative measures of teacher effectiveness. Because of this, Arizona school administrators have become concerned about rapidly becoming experts in high-stakes teacher evaluation. Principals rarely have time to come together to talk about teacher evaluation, and consider the reliability of their evaluations and how to use teacher evaluation to help teachers improve their practice. This action research study focused on a group of nine administrators in a small urban district grappling with a more complex and high-stakes teacher evaluation system. An existing community of practice was engaged to help administrators become more effective, fair, and consistent evaluators. Activities were designed to engage the group in dynamic, contextualized learning. Participants interacted in small groups to interpret the meaning of newly adopted evaluation instruments and professional teaching standards, share practical knowledge, and compare teacher evaluation experiences in classrooms. Data were gathered with mixed methods. Prior to, and immediately after engaging in this 20-week innovation, principals and district administrators were given two surveys and interviewed about teacher evaluation. Additionally, a detailed record of this project was kept in the form of meeting records and a research journal. Quantitative and qualitative data were triangulated to validate findings. Results identified concerns and understandings of administrators as they attempted to come to a shared consensus regarding teacher evaluation, increase inter-rater reliability, and use teacher evaluation to improve professional practice. As a result of working and learning together administrators lowered their concerns about inter-rater reliability. Other concerns, however, remained and grew. Administrators found the process of gaining a common understanding of teacher evaluation to be complex and far more time-consuming than anticipated. Intense concerns about alignment of the evaluation system with other reforms led these administrators to consider modifications in their evaluation system. Implications from this study can be used to help other administrators grappling with common concerns.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Discerning ways to better support Hispanic students from low SES backgrounds at Brophy College Preparatory

Description

ABSTRACT

As a ninth-grade English teacher at Brophy College Preparatory Academy, I always looked toward the end of the school year with a certain amount of anticipation and trepidation. The

ABSTRACT

As a ninth-grade English teacher at Brophy College Preparatory Academy, I always looked toward the end of the school year with a certain amount of anticipation and trepidation. The anticipation celebrated students who had successfully completed their freshman year; whereas the trepidation resulted from the end-of-year memo indicating which students had chosen not to return to Brophy next year. Unfortunately, the latter group included a disproportionate number of Hispanic students from low-SES backgrounds. Given Brophy valued diversity and the terrific abilities of these students, an innovation was devised to foster development of ‘school-navigation’ skills to assist students in adapting to the social and academic demands of the school.

The intervention was rooted in several theoretical frameworks including Bourdieu’s (1977) Cultural Capital Perspective, McMillan and Chavis’ (1986) Sense of Community Theory, and Duckworth’s (2007) Grit Framework. Sixteen freshmen and four 12th-grade mentors participated in the study. The 12-week innovation incorporated four topics—transitioning to high school, learning about strategies for academic success, becoming involved in school culture and community, and working more effectively with teachers. Each topic was considered in a 3-week cycle. During week 1, students participated in a large group discussion about the topic led by the researcher. Subsequently, they wrote in journals to reflect on the topic. During week 2, four small groups of four freshmen and one senior, mentor met to consider the topics. Mentors led discussions and also shared how they had coped with the topic. Again, freshmen wrote in journals. In week 3, freshmen met in a large group with the researcher and shared their reflections and their experiences. In this context, the freshmen learned from each other and realized they were all experiencing similar challenges that could be overcome with grit and a community to support them.

Qualitative results indicated freshmen developed a sense of community, learned to respond in positive ways to failure, and developed academic and social school-navigation skills. Freshmen and mentors became tightly knit communities, texting each other with questions coming from freshmen and responses from mentors. The discussion focused on how the theoretical frameworks were useful in understanding the results.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Using literature to help 4th and 5th grade students with disabilities living In poverty develop the problem-solving skills they need to be successful in their world

Description

The critical-thinking skill of problem solving needs to be part of the curriculum for all students, including those with learning disabilities living in poverty; yet, too often this is not

The critical-thinking skill of problem solving needs to be part of the curriculum for all students, including those with learning disabilities living in poverty; yet, too often this is not the case. Too often students in poverty and students with learning disabilities are provided a curriculum that is watered down, focused on the basics, and aimed at managing their behaviors instead of helping them learn to think critically about their world. Despite their challenges, these students can learn to problem solve. Educators need to help students make connections between the critical-thinking skills learned in school and the problem-solving skills needed for life. One solution might be to use literature with characters facing similar problems, hold grand conversations, and teach them a problem solving method. Together, these three parts have the potential to motivate and lead students to better thinking. This action research study explored whether literature with characters facing similar problems to the study's participants, grand conversations, and the I SOLVE problem solving method would help students with disabilities living in poverty in the Southwestern United States develop the problem-solving skills they need to understand and successfully navigate their world. Data were collected using a mixed methods approach. The Motivation to Read Profile, I SOLVE problem-solving survey, thought bubbles, student journals, transcripts from grand conversations, and researcher's journal were tools used. To understand fully how and to what extent literature and grand conversations helped students gain the critical thinking skill of problem solving, data were mixed in a convergence model. Results show the I SOLVE problem-solving method was an effective way to teach problem-solving steps. Scores on the problem-solving survey rose pre- to post-test. Grand conversations focused on literature with character's facing problems led to an increase in students' motivation to read, and this population of students were able to make aesthetic connections and interpretations to the texts read. From these findings implications for teachers are provided.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The impact of lesson study on intermediate teachers' abilities to teach critical thinking, develop professionally, and gain efficacy

Description

Federal mandates, such as, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) set high standards, but in reality did little to promote critical thinking instruction and learning in our nation's schools. Race to

Federal mandates, such as, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) set high standards, but in reality did little to promote critical thinking instruction and learning in our nation's schools. Race to the Top is our nation's current attempt to improve education and thanks to this legislation there is now a set of common core standards aimed at infusing critical thinking into the curriculum. Districts in Arizona are struggling to provide common core training to prepare teachers to teach these new, rigorous standards. This is a problem because teaching critical thinking is challenging. While grade level teams often get together, little time is devoted to create lessons that are focused on deep learning and little time is set aside to observe lessons and reflect on student engagement. One potential solution to this may be lesson study. Lesson study is a method of professional development that encourages teachers to reflect on their teaching through a cycle of collaborative lesson planning and observation. The lesson study cycle connects with the constructed nature of learning provided by Vygotsky Space. This action research was designed to explore how 10 fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teachers at a K-8 school in Arizona learned how to infuse critical thinking into their lessons. This study took place from July to November of 2011. A mixed methods approach was used to collect data. Quantitative measures included Likert-items on a survey and lesson plans scored with the district rubric. Qualitative measures included open-ended survey items, transcriptions of lesson debriefs, reflective learning logs, and the researcher's personal field notes. Data were analyzed separately and then triangulated to reduce bias. Findings from this study indicate that although it was challenging for the teachers, lesson study enabled them to successfully integrate critical thinking into their lesson plans. The process of lesson study increased the teachers' efficacy to create lessons, and it helped them understand how important critical thinking was for their students. The teachers also came to value the lesson study process as a positive approach to professional development. Based on these findings, implications are made, and further action research cycles suggested.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Using lesson study to help teachers design lessons with purposeful planned movement and build efficacy

Description

Due to the push down of academics, today's elementary students are being asked to learn more concepts and sit for longer periods of time. Sitting slows thinking, whereas movement wakes

Due to the push down of academics, today's elementary students are being asked to learn more concepts and sit for longer periods of time. Sitting slows thinking, whereas movement wakes up the brain. Using movement to learn is embodied cognition, or learning through both the body and the brain. Movement should be part of instruction for young students; however teachers are often not sure how to incorporate movement in their lesson plans. The Japanese practice of lesson study may help because it embeds teachers' new learning in their classrooms while intimately connecting it to the learning of their students, and it links with the cyclical, constructed theory of learning provided by Vygotsky Space. If teachers incorporate movement in their lessons, children have the potential to become more engaged and learn. This action research study was designed to understand if two first grade, two second grade, and one third grade teacher at a Title One elementary school in the Southwestern United States could learn how to use movement more during instruction through lesson study. This innovation took place for 14-weeks during which 12 lessons using movement were developed and taught. Data were collected prior to the study and during each portion of the cyclical process including, while teachers learned, during lessons using movement, and when lessons were discussed and changed. The data sources were pre and post teacher surveys, student surveys, observation protocols, lesson plans, transcripts of lesson study meetings, and researcher notes. To reduce bias a triangulated mixed methods design was used. Results indicate that through lesson study teachers were able to learn about movement, try it, observe the results, and adjust it to fit their teaching style and their students' needs. Data showed increased student engagement in lessons that incorporated movement as evidenced in the students' words, bodies, and learning. After participating in the study, the teachers realized they personally use movement to learn, and teachers' efficacy regarding their ability to plan movement in their lessons increased. Additionally, they started purposefully planning movement across their curriculum. Based on the results, further cycles

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Using funds of knowledge to build trust between a teacher and parents of language-delayed preschoolers

Description

Preschool children with language delays often struggle to learn new concepts. Proven strategies such as modeling, prompting, reinforcing responses, direct teaching, and hands-on experience matter to young children with language

Preschool children with language delays often struggle to learn new concepts. Proven strategies such as modeling, prompting, reinforcing responses, direct teaching, and hands-on experience matter to young children with language delays. Also important are social interactions and shared experiences with more knowledgeable persons. Within a cultural context Funds of Knowledge, that is the talents, traditions, and abilities families possess and pass down to their children may be a context for these. However, despite their importance the value Funds of Knowledge have has not been explored with parents of children with special needs. This action research study used a mixed-methods design to understand if Funds of Knowledge could be used as context to improve communication between parents and their children and build trust between parents and a teacher. Seven families participated in the study. Quantitative data were gathered with surveys and were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Qualitative data consisted of transcripts from home-visit interviews, parent presentations, and a focus group, and were analyzed with a grounded theory approach. Results indicate parents entered the study with trust in the teacher especially in terms of having competence in her abilities. Data also show that parents used the language strategies provided to improve communication with their children. Data also indicate that the use of a Funds of Knowledge activity allowed parents to share their knowledge and interests with their children and children in the classroom, feel empowered, and express emotions. From these findings, implication for practice and further research are provided.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Preservice teachers as writers: finding a writing identity through visual imagery, discourse, and reflective journaling

Description

Past experiences influence how teachers identify as teachers, writers, and teachers of writing and impacts what they do in their classrooms, including their motivation and effectiveness in teaching writing. When

Past experiences influence how teachers identify as teachers, writers, and teachers of writing and impacts what they do in their classrooms, including their motivation and effectiveness in teaching writing. When teachers fail to identify as writers, they tend to spend less time teaching writing and may find it difficult to model a genuine passion and love for writing. Because of this, it is important to address the writing identities of preservice teachers before they enter their own classrooms. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to investigate and address preservice teachers' identities as teachers, writers, and teachers of writing using an adaptation of a visual literacy strategy known as full circling. Quantitative data were collected through a pre- and post Teacher/Writer Identity Survey and qualitative data were collected through classroom discourse transcripts, student reflective journals, field notes, and the researcher's reflective journal. Data analysis included a t-test comparison of pre- and post survey results and open and axial coding of qualitative data to establish major themes from emerging codes. The following conclusions were derived from the data: a) past experiences in writing affected the writing identities of the preservice teachers in the study; b) the full circling process provided a means for the preservice teachers to build knowledge on the traits and skills of effective teachers, writers, and teachers of writing; and, c) through full circling the preservice teachers demonstrated shifts in their identities as teachers, writers, and teachers of writing. Findings provided evidence that using a full circling strategy assisted preservice teachers in uncovering their identities as teachers, writers, and teachers of writing.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014