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Examining the effects of blended learning for ninth grade students who struggle with math

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Many students in the United States are graduating from high school without the math skills they need to be considered college ready. For many of these graduates, who find themselves

Many students in the United States are graduating from high school without the math skills they need to be considered college ready. For many of these graduates, who find themselves starting their higher education at a community college, remedial math can become an insurmountable barrier that ends their aspirations for a degree or certificate. Some students must take as many as four remedial courses before they are considered college ready. Studies report that between 60% and 70% of students placed into remedial math classes either do not successfully complete the sequence of required courses or avoid taking math altogether and therefore never graduate (Bailey, Jeong, & Cho, 2010). This study compared three low-level freshman math classes in one Arizona high school. The purpose of this study was to implement an innovative learning intervention to find out if there was a causal relationship between the addition of technology with instruction in a blended learning environment and performance in math. The intervention measured growth (pre- and posttest) and grade-level achievement (district-provided benchmark test) in three Foundations of Algebra classes. The three classes ranged on a continuum with the use of technology and personalized instruction. Additionally, focus groups were conducted to better understand the challenges this population of students face when learning math. The changes in classroom practices showed no statistical significance on the student outcomes achieved. Students in a blended online environment learned the Foundations of Algebra concepts similarly to their counterparts in a traditional, face-to-face learning environment.

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  • 2013

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

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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

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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  • 2013

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Accomplishments and challenges of the round three federal empowerment zone program

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The Empowerment Zones were created in 1993 under Clinton's administration, demonstrating a commitment to solving tough socio-economic problems in distressed communities. The main objective associated with this program was economic

The Empowerment Zones were created in 1993 under Clinton's administration, demonstrating a commitment to solving tough socio-economic problems in distressed communities. The main objective associated with this program was economic recovery of distressed communities by creating jobs and providing various services to the indigenous populations. The designation of the Empowerment Zones went in three rounds (1994, 1998, and 2001), and although the types and amounts of federal incentives varied across rounds, the four principles around which the program originated remain unchanged: strategic vision for change, community based partnerships, economic opportunity, and sustainable community development. Since its inception, the Empowerment Zones program has been implemented in 30 urban and 10 rural communities in 27 states across the U.S. Two central questions lead the research of this dissertation project: 1) What have been the main accomplishments of the round three federal Empowerment Zones program in Tucson? 2) What have been the main challenges of the round three federal Empowerment Zones program in Tucson? By using a case study research design and various techniques for data collection and analysis (including the program package Atlas.ti), this study examined the accomplishments and the challenges associated with the round three designated Empowerment Zone in Tucson. Evidence was collected from multiple sources, including 24 interviews, over 60 local newspaper articles, relevant documentation, annual performance reports, and other sources. The analysis reveals that the program's implementation in Tucson was strong in the beginning, but after two years, the earlier success started to fade quickly. The shortcomings of program design became evident during the implementation phase and further in the inability of the administration to collect relevant data to demonstrate the program's success. The consequences of the inability to provide data for program evaluation influenced the enthusiasm of the administrators and program partners, and weakened the political support. The reduction in the grant component contributed to overemphasis of the business development component thereby ignoring most community development aspects essential for the success of the program in Tucson. This study did not find evidence for the claim that round three of the empowerment zones program based on federal tax incentives contributes to the creation of new jobs and the attraction of new business in economically deprived communities in Tucson.

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  • 2013

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Developing and testing transition strategies for urban sustainability: case studies in transition research in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

Sustainability challenges with severe local to global impacts require fundamental shifts in what industrial societies aspire to, generate, consume, and represent, as well as how they function. Transition governance is

Sustainability challenges with severe local to global impacts require fundamental shifts in what industrial societies aspire to, generate, consume, and represent, as well as how they function. Transition governance is a promising framework to support these transformational efforts. A key component of transition governance is the construction of transition strategies, i.e., action schemes for how to transition from the current state to a sustainable one. Despite accomplishments in building theory and methodology for transition governance, the concepts of what transition strategies entail and how they relate to specific interventions are still underdeveloped. This dissertation further develops the concept of transition strategies, and explores how different stakeholder groups and allies can develop and test transition strategies across different scales, in the specific context of urban sustainability challenges. The overarching research question is: How can cities build and implement comprehensive transition strategies across different urban scales, from the city to the organizational level? The dissertation comprises four studies that explore the dynamic between transition strategies and experiments at the city, neighborhood, and organizational levels with empirical examples from Phoenix, Arizona. The first study reviews and compares paradigms of intentional change, namely transition governance, backcasting, intervention research, change management, integrated planning, and adaptive management in order to offer a rich set of converging ideas on what strategies for intentional change towards sustainability entail. The second study proposes a comprehensive concept of transition strategies and illustrates the concept with the example of sustainability strategies created through a research partnership with the City of Phoenix. The third study explores the role of experiments in transition processes through the lens of the neighborhood-level initiative of The Valley of the Sunflowers. The fourth study examines the role organizations can play in initiating urban sustainability transitions using exemplary strategies and experiments implemented at a local high school. The studies combined contribute to the further development of transition theory and sustainable urban development concepts. While this research field is at a nascent stage, the thesis provides a framework and empirical examples for how to build evidence-based transition strategies in support of urban sustainability.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Nutrition information in a high school cafeteria: the effect of point-of-purchase nutrition information during lunch in grades 9-12

Description

Providing nutrition information at point of sale at restaurants has gained in popularity in recent years and will soon become a legal requirement. Consumers are using this opportunity to become

Providing nutrition information at point of sale at restaurants has gained in popularity in recent years and will soon become a legal requirement. Consumers are using this opportunity to become more informed on the nutritional quality of the foods they consume in an effort to maintain healthfulness. Prior research has confirmed the utility of this information in adult populations. However, research on adolescents in school environments has resulted in mixed findings. This study investigated the effect of exposure to calorie and fat information on student purchases at lunchtime in a high school cafeteria. Additionally, it explored other factors that may contribute to students' food selections during school lunches. The research methods included analysis of changes in cafeteria food sales in one school, surveys, and focus groups. Analysis of cafeteria food sales during lunch did not show any significant change in the average number of calories and fat purchased per student between pre and post intervention. However, information gathered from focus group questioning demonstrated how students used the nutrition information to change their behavior after they have purchased their food.

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  • 2013

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Public participation and the impact of third-party facilitators

Description

Research suggests that a particularly important variable in determining success in public participation is the presence of a facilitator. Data from a study of 239 public participation case studies is

Research suggests that a particularly important variable in determining success in public participation is the presence of a facilitator. Data from a study of 239 public participation case studies is analyzed using descriptive and statistical analysis to determine the impact on success of the participation efforts if a facilitator is present and whether or not internal versus external facilitators have a significant impact on success. The data suggest that facilitators have a positive impact on the success of public participation efforts and, in particular, that public participation efforts that use facilitators are more successful when the facilitator is a third-party intermediary (external) versus a member of the lead agency's staff (internal).

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  • 2013

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Open innovation implementation in a public university: administrator design, management, and evaluation of participatory platforms and programs

Description

Public organizations have been interested in tapping into the creativity and passion of the public through the use of open innovation, which emphasizes bottom-up ideation and collaboration. A challenge for

Public organizations have been interested in tapping into the creativity and passion of the public through the use of open innovation, which emphasizes bottom-up ideation and collaboration. A challenge for organizational adoption of open innovation is that the quick-start, bottom-up, iterative nature of open innovation does not integrate easily into the hierarchical, stability-oriented structure of most organizations. In order to realize the potential of open innovation, organizations must be willing to change the way they operate. This dissertation is a case study of how Arizona State University (ASU), has adapted its organizational structure and created unique programming to incorporate open innovation. ASU has made innovation, inclusion, access, and real world impact organizational priorities in its mission to be the New American University. The primarily focus of the case study is the experiential knowledge of administrative leaders and administrative intermediaries who have managed open innovation programming at the university over the past five years. Using theoretical pattern matching, administrator insights on open innovation adoption are illustrated in terms of design stages, teamwork, and ASU's culture of innovation. It is found that administrators view iterative experimentation with goals of impact as organizational priorities. Institutional support for iterative, experimental programming, along with the assumption that not every effort will be successful, empowers administrators to push to be bolder in their implementation of open innovation. Theoretical pattern matching also enabled a detailed study of administrator alignment regarding one particular open innovation program, the hybrid participatory platform 10,000 Solutions. Creating a successful and meaningful hybrid platform is much more complex than administrators anticipated at the outset. This chapter provides administrator insights in the design, management, and evaluation of participatory platforms. Next, demographic assessment of student participation in open innovation programming is presented. Demographics are found to be reflective of the university population and provide indicators for how to improve existing programming. This dissertation expands understanding of the task facing administrators in an organization seeking to integrate open innovation into their work.

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  • 2016

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A Comparative Analysis of the Health Status of Hispanic Children: The Cases of Washington State and Arizona

Description

ABSTRACT

For the last quarter century, Washington State has been ranked in the top third of the United States in health status while Arizona has been consistently around the bottom third.

ABSTRACT

For the last quarter century, Washington State has been ranked in the top third of the United States in health status while Arizona has been consistently around the bottom third. This gap can be partly explained by data related to traditional determinants of health like education, income, insurance rates and income. Moreover, Washington State invests three times more resources in the public health sector than Arizona. Surprisingly, however, Hispanic children in Washington State have poorer health status than Hispanic children in Arizona. This dissertation explores possible explanations for this unexpected situation, using as a conceptual framework the cultural competency continuum developed by Cross.

The study consisted of analysis of health-related data from Washington State and Arizona, and interviews with state health administrators, local health departments, community-based organizations and university administrators in both states. This research makes a modest contribution to the role that cultural competence plays in the development and implementation of health policy and programs, and the potential impact of this approach on health status. The dissertation ends with recommendations for health policy-makers and program planners, particularly in states with a significant proportion of minority groups.

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  • 2016

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The Meaning of Public Space Ownership: A Historical Study of Patriots Park from 1976 to 2007

Description

In the studies of public space redevelopment, property ownership has been a central field that attracts scholars’ attention. However, the term “privatization” is usually used as a stand-in for a

In the studies of public space redevelopment, property ownership has been a central field that attracts scholars’ attention. However, the term “privatization” is usually used as a stand-in for a more general process of exclusion without an examination of the nature of property itself. While taking the universality of law for granted, few studies show how that universality is built out of particular spaces and particular times, and thus hardly explain the existence of counterexamples.

This dissertation argues that the counterexamples and theoretical inconsistencies are a theoretical gap in current public space privatization studies; this gap is created by the metaphorical understanding of public space ownership. This dissertation comprehensively answers how property transfer shapes the production of public space. It emphasizes the significance of social and historical contexts in understanding the meaning of property ownership. It follows the theoretical framework of Lefebvre and Pierson as well as Lefebvre’s methodology of spatial dialectic.

The case in this dissertation is the history of Patriots Park, Phoenix, Arizona from 1976 to 2007. Public records, archives and governmental plans, historical newspapers and online essays, second-hand interviews, speech transcripts and transcripts of interviews are four main sources of this dissertation. This dissertation develops a new framework to understand the meaning of public space ownership through both the initial construction of planning ideology and the spatial evolution through practice and perception, which can more comprehensively and consistently interpret the different outcomes of different public space property transfer.

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  • 2017

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Genealogy of play at free schools

Description

This is a genealogical study of the taken-for-granted ‘free’ or ‘self-governed’ play practice at the free schools. The study places play practice within a historical trajectory. The study compares and

This is a genealogical study of the taken-for-granted ‘free’ or ‘self-governed’ play practice at the free schools. The study places play practice within a historical trajectory. The study compares and analyzes the current (1960s to present) discursive formations of play practice as they emerge in various archival texts such as on free schools, and juvenile delinquency and youth crime, to the discursive formations of the 1890s to 1929s as they emerge in various archival texts such as on physical education, public bath, city problems, playground, outdoor recreation legislation, and recreation areas and juvenile delinquency. The study demonstrates how various “subjugated knowledges” appeared during these time periods around play practice. Foucauldian genealogy is crafted for the study through Foucault’s lectures, interviews, essays, and how other scholars wrote about Foucauldian genealogy and conducted genealogical work themselves. The study is to challenge what it seems to be the grand narrative of this play practice in free schools. Instead of being the form of learning that allows students to seek their truest capacity and interest, learning, and eventually growth and happiness, this practice does so at a great cost, and therefore it is a dangerous practice, opens up various power/knowledge such as play is used as a systematic and accurate technology to shape, mold, and organize the schooled children body, a means to interrupt and intervene with the children growth, as the technology of school hygiene, and as a governing tool to help the state, nation, family, and school, produce ‘good’ citizens, who will not commit to idleness, delinquency, gang-spirit, and similar others.

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  • 2017