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Educational Methods

Portland State University

Dissertations and Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Middle School Teacher Beliefs About Classroom Diversity And Their Influence On Differentiated Instructional Practices, Marcus Fredrick-Lynn Wenzel Jun 2017

Middle School Teacher Beliefs About Classroom Diversity And Their Influence On Differentiated Instructional Practices, Marcus Fredrick-Lynn Wenzel

Dissertations and Theses

Diversity across U.S. classrooms is on the rise which is leading to renewed calls for teachers to meet individual learning needs. Studies indicate the failure to address individual learning needs can lead to higher rates of student disengagement, off-task behaviors, and diminished learning outcomes. Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching that meets the growing diversity of individual learning needs by considering students' readiness, interest, and learning styles. Differentiated instructional approaches help teachers meet individual learning needs by allowing them to modify instruction as needed. However, despite the apparent benefits of differentiated instruction, teachers are hesitant to abandon other ...


Creating A Learning Continuum: A Critical Look At The Intersection Of Prior Knowledge, Outdoor Education, And Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas And Practices, Trisha Leigh Schlobohm Mar 2016

Creating A Learning Continuum: A Critical Look At The Intersection Of Prior Knowledge, Outdoor Education, And Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas And Practices, Trisha Leigh Schlobohm

Dissertations and Theses

Outdoor School is a cherished educational tradition in the Portland, OR region. This program's success is attributed to its presumed ability to positively impact affective and cognitive student outcomes. Residential programs such as Outdoor School are considered to be an important supplement to the classroom model of learning because they offer an authentic, contextually rich learning environment. References to relevant literature support the idea that student gains in affective and cognitive domains occur as a result of the multi-sensory, enjoyable, hands-on nature of outdoor learning. The sample population for this study was 115 sixth graders from a demographically diverse ...


Tryon Trekkers: An Evaluation Of A Stem Based Afterschool Program For At-Risk Youth, Chessa Eckels Anderson Mar 2016

Tryon Trekkers: An Evaluation Of A Stem Based Afterschool Program For At-Risk Youth, Chessa Eckels Anderson

Dissertations and Theses

This study contributed to the body of research that supports a holistic model of afterschool learning through the design of an afterschool intervention that benefits elementary school students of low socioeconomic status. This qualitative study evaluated a science focused afterschool curriculum that was designed using principles from Risk and Resiliency Theory, academic motivation theories, science core ideas from the Next Generation Science Standards, and used environmental education philosophy. The research question of this study is: how does an outdoor and STEM based afterschool program impact at-risk students' self-efficacy, belonging and engagement and ability to apply conceptual knowledge of environmental science ...


Growing Stem Education On The Playground: A Case Study Of The Factors That Influence Teachers’ Use Of School Gardens, Megan Poole Mar 2016

Growing Stem Education On The Playground: A Case Study Of The Factors That Influence Teachers’ Use Of School Gardens, Megan Poole

Dissertations and Theses

School gardens can have a profound, positive influence on a student's academic achievement, social skills, and attitudinal orientation. Despite these clear benefits, the use of school gardens as an instructional medium is not as prevalent as would be expected. There are several types of obstacles that can prevent teachers from using school gardens, including facets of time, support, and knowledge-based challenges. This multiple case study employs a mixed methods design to uncover factors that influence primary school teachers' decisions to utilize a school garden in their STEM curriculum. The goals of this study were to determine the types of ...


Learning Through Nature: A Study Of A Next Generation Science Standards Based Teacher Workshop That Blends Outdoor Learning Experiences With Formal Science, Ashley Fanning Mar 2016

Learning Through Nature: A Study Of A Next Generation Science Standards Based Teacher Workshop That Blends Outdoor Learning Experiences With Formal Science, Ashley Fanning

Dissertations and Theses

Many teachers lack the confidence and knowledge to transition their classroom science lessons to an outdoor setting. Very few teacher professional development (PD) programs focus on improving teachers' self-efficacy and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) that is needed to enhance their science curriculum with outdoor lessons. This study examined an exception: The Connect2Science workshops, which provided elementary teachers the opportunity to experience nature-based science lessons. My research question for this study is: In what ways does a professional development workshop focused around the Next Generation Science Standards influence teachers': a) self-efficacy in teaching science outdoors and b) science pedagogical content knowledge ...


An Investigation Into Intermediate Grades Teachers' Noticing Of The Mathematical Quality Of Instruction, Krista Lynn Strand Mar 2016

An Investigation Into Intermediate Grades Teachers' Noticing Of The Mathematical Quality Of Instruction, Krista Lynn Strand

Dissertations and Theses

The Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) is an important feature of a classroom mathematics lesson. Before teachers can strengthen the MQI of their own lessons, however, teachers must first be able to notice MQI-related features of instruction. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate intermediate grades teachers’ MQI-related noticing as they go through a ten-week research-based MQI professional development (PD) program. Specifically, this dissertation is guided by two research questions: (1) How do individual teachers’ noticing of MQI-related features of instruction shift as they go through an MQI-focused professional development program? and (2) How do teachers approach the task ...


Assessing Sense Of Place And Geo-Literacy Indicators As Learning Outcomes Of An International Teacher Professional Development Program, Nancee Hunter Mar 2016

Assessing Sense Of Place And Geo-Literacy Indicators As Learning Outcomes Of An International Teacher Professional Development Program, Nancee Hunter

Dissertations and Theses

This research explores the multifaceted benefits that accrue from learning within an international, experiential context. It uses a qualitative, case study approach employing pre and post surveys, in-situ observations, and semi-structured photo-elicitation interviews to analyze the Center for Geography Education in Oregon’s (C-GEO) 2013 Overseas Teacher Institute--a professional development program that took 11 teachers to Russia, Mongolia, and China for a total of 17 days (plus two additional travel days) to learn about the cultural and physical geography of each place. The focus of the research is two-fold and examines processes involved in gaining, synthesizing and applying 1) a ...


An Investigation Of School-Based Specific Learning Disability Identification, Bonnie Heather Bartos Mar 2016

An Investigation Of School-Based Specific Learning Disability Identification, Bonnie Heather Bartos

Dissertations and Theses

Researchers have described the special education identification process for students with specific learning disabilities (SLD) as "muddled and confused" (Bocian, Beebe, MacMillan, & Gresham, 1999) and "haphazard" and "capricious" (Shinn, 2007, p. 603). Bocian, Beebe, MacMillan, and Gresham (1999) proposed the theory of competing paradigms as a way to explain why researchers and school-based eligibility teams identify different groups of students as SLD. This qualitative study had two research questions: a) To what extent did interviews of secondary resource teachers reveal the concepts of relativity, acceptability, and profitability as they reflect on the SLD process? and b) What other themes regarding ...


Perspectives On The College Readiness And Outcome Achievement Of Former Intensive English Language Program (Ielp) Students, Meghan Oswalt Sep 2015

Perspectives On The College Readiness And Outcome Achievement Of Former Intensive English Language Program (Ielp) Students, Meghan Oswalt

Dissertations and Theses

Program evaluation (PE) is important for ESL programs but also difficult. As the scope of PE has grown, student voices have increasingly been included. Alumni provide unique perspectives, but Portland State University's (PSU) Intensive English Language Program (IELP) currently has no exit survey. Furthermore, little research uses alumni data, so this constructivist, mixed-methods study used data triangulation to compare the perceptions of former IELP students with those of three other stakeholder groups -- the topic: IELP student preparedness for PSU. Both online surveys and interviews were conducted, and participants included 63 former and 33 current IELP students, 27 IELP faculty ...


School Reform And Coaching: Identifying Structures For Successful Implementation Of A Data Informed Decision-Making Program, Kristan D. Parman Aug 2015

School Reform And Coaching: Identifying Structures For Successful Implementation Of A Data Informed Decision-Making Program, Kristan D. Parman

Dissertations and Theses

During the past 50 years, the landscape of education shifted from a rank order model to a system where all students are expected to achieve at a minimum level. This led to reforms in the way schools operate and teachers teach. One change to teaching is the use of data to inform instructional practices and student groupings. The need for teachers to increase their data use and change their instruction has prompted the need for professional development practices to be more effective. Coaching has been shown to be an effective professional development strategy to help teachers transfer new skills into ...


Ninth Grade Student Responses To Authentic Science Instruction, Michael Steven Ellison Jul 2015

Ninth Grade Student Responses To Authentic Science Instruction, Michael Steven Ellison

Dissertations and Theses

This mixed methods case study documents an effort to implement authentic science and engineering instruction in one teacher's ninth grade science classrooms in a science-focused public school. The research framework and methodology is a derivative of work developed and reported by Newmann and others (Newmann & Associates, 1996). Based on a working definition of authenticity, data were collected for eight months on the authenticity in the experienced teacher's pedagogy and in student performance. Authenticity was defined as the degree to which a classroom lesson, an assessment task, or an example of student performance demonstrates construction of knowledge through use ...


An Investigation Of The Role Of Alternate Numeration Systems In Preservice Teacher Mathematics Content Courses, Jodi I. Fasteen Jun 2015

An Investigation Of The Role Of Alternate Numeration Systems In Preservice Teacher Mathematics Content Courses, Jodi I. Fasteen

Dissertations and Theses

Alternate numeration systems are common in preservice teacher (PST) mathematics curricula, but there is limited research on how to leverage alternate systems to promote the development of mathematical knowledge for teaching. I analyzed the role of alternate numeration systems in three ways. I conducted a thematic analysis of current PST textbooks to consider the role of alternate numeration systems in written curricula. I conducted a teaching experiment to analyze PSTs' mathematical activity as they engaged with a base five task sequence to reinvent an algorithm for multiplication. And I introduced problematizing mathematical contexts as a design heuristic, situating this within ...


Using Socratic Questioning As An Instructional Tool To Help High School Students At Grade Twelve Improve Their Perceptions Of The Writing Process, Rana Houshmand May 2015

Using Socratic Questioning As An Instructional Tool To Help High School Students At Grade Twelve Improve Their Perceptions Of The Writing Process, Rana Houshmand

Dissertations and Theses

The purpose of this study was to determine whether Socratic questioning, an approach that builds critical thinking skills and fosters learning by constructing new knowledge, was an effective tool for improving student perceptions of the writing process. The main research question that was examined in this study was: How can Socratic questioning improve students' perceptions of writing and the writing process? Qualitative research methods were used as a framework for the design of this study as well as purposeful student sampling, triangulation of three data sources, and an extensive coding process. Findings from the study support that Socratic questioning can ...


School Culture And The Affective Learning Needs Of Latino Long-Term English Learners, Maureen Ray Feb 2015

School Culture And The Affective Learning Needs Of Latino Long-Term English Learners, Maureen Ray

Dissertations and Theses

The US Department of Education projects that by the year 2030 the total English Learner (EL) population in US schools will exceed 40 percent. Currently, by the time ELs make it to high school, after 6 or more years in English Language Development (ELD) programs, the majority (59 percent), are Long Term English Learners (LTEL). LTEL students represent a variety of ethnicities and language groups, but the focus of this qualitative study is LTEL students who identify as Latino LTEL. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe and explain recently graduated Latino LTEL's perceptions of the impact ...


The Power Of Reflective Professional Development In Changing Elementary School Teachers' Instructional Practices, Carolina Christmann Cavedon Dec 2014

The Power Of Reflective Professional Development In Changing Elementary School Teachers' Instructional Practices, Carolina Christmann Cavedon

Dissertations and Theses

With the new goal of K-12 education being to prepare students to be college and career ready at the end of high school, education needs to start changing at the elementary school level. The literature suggests that teachers need reflective professional development (PD) to effectively teach to the new standards and to demonstrate change to their current instructional practices. This mixed-method multiple-case study investigated the impacts of a reflective professional development (PD) in changing elementary school teachers' instructional practices.

Teachers Instructional Portfolios (TIPs) were scored with a TIP rubric based on best practices in teaching mathematics problem-solving and science inquiry ...


Evaluation Of A High School Science Fair Program For Promoting Successful Inquiry-Based Learning, Julia Nykeah Betts Sep 2014

Evaluation Of A High School Science Fair Program For Promoting Successful Inquiry-Based Learning, Julia Nykeah Betts

Dissertations and Theses

The success of inquiry-based learning (IBL) in supporting science literacy can be challenged when students encounter obstacles in the absence of proper support. This research is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of an Oregon public school district's regional science fair coaching program in promoting inquiry skills and positive attitudes toward science in participating high school students. The purpose of this study was to better understand students' perception of program support, obstacles or barriers faced by students, and potential benefits of IBL facilitated by the science fair program. Data included responses to informal and semi-structured interviews, an anonymous survey, a ...


Using Music-Related Concepts To Teach High School Math, Vytas Nagisetty Aug 2014

Using Music-Related Concepts To Teach High School Math, Vytas Nagisetty

Dissertations and Theses

The purpose of this research was to test a strategy which uses music-related concepts to teach math. A quasi-experimental study of two high school remedial geometry sections was conducted during a review lesson of ratio, proportion, and cross multiplication. A pretest was given to both groups. Then, Group A received normal textbook instruction while Group B received the treatment, Get the Math in Music, which is an online activity involving proportional reasoning in a music-related context. Afterwards, a posttest was given to both groups. Pretest and posttest scores were used to compare gains in subject knowledge between the groups. Then ...


How Do Youth And Adults At A Rural High School Conceptualize The Role Of Student? An Investigation Of The Student Role Identity Standard At The Intersection Of Student And Teacher Perspectives, Joseph M. Zenisek Jun 2014

How Do Youth And Adults At A Rural High School Conceptualize The Role Of Student? An Investigation Of The Student Role Identity Standard At The Intersection Of Student And Teacher Perspectives, Joseph M. Zenisek

Dissertations and Theses

Over the past decade, engaging student voice has emerged as an approach to increasing meaningful student involvement in schools towards meeting adolescents' developmental needs for agency, efficacy, and sense of belonging. Central to student voice work is the re-creation of student-teacher and student-organization relationships, generating student identity roles that are fundamentally different from the roles traditionally allocated to students. Conventional concepts of student roles by both adults and youth can act as barriers to increasing student voice. The goal of this study was to develop a better understanding of student role identity. Applying a critical ethnography approach in the context ...


Does Voluntary Reading Matter? The Influences Of Voluntary Reading On Student Achievement, Maika J. Yeigh Jun 2014

Does Voluntary Reading Matter? The Influences Of Voluntary Reading On Student Achievement, Maika J. Yeigh

Dissertations and Theses

Does voluntary reading matter? While there is much known about the benefits to children who engage in sustained silent reading, commercial reading programs implemented as a result of No Child Left Behind often displace time for children to silently read (NCLB, 2002). An increase in the amount of time children spend with a commercial reading program has meant a decrease in time provided for in-school voluntary reading during the elementary literacy block (Brenner & Hiebert, 2010). This quantitative study used the 2011 restricted-use National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data to determine whether opportunities provided to children for in-school voluntary reading impacted fourth-grade students' achievement levels. The study also considered whether there were differences in the amount of time provided for in-school voluntary reading and choice in reading material to children of differing income levels and ethnic backgrounds. Contingency tables and a multiple linear regression model were used to find associations between achievement data and questionnaire responses. Findings concluded that children who qualified to participate in the National School Lunch Program, as well as Black, Hispanic, and Native American children, have fewer opportunities to silently read, and choose their own books during the school day. For most children, there was a positive relationship between time and choice in reading at school with achievement scores. Black, Hispanic, and Native American children experienced a commercial reading program at a higher rate than their white and Asian peers; there were no detected differences in reading program structure based on economic affluence. The discussion includes consideration of time to silent read at school and choice in ...


Keeping Equity In Mind: Strategies For Continuing Equity Work Once Formal Training Has Ended, Teri Lynn Tilley May 2014

Keeping Equity In Mind: Strategies For Continuing Equity Work Once Formal Training Has Ended, Teri Lynn Tilley

Dissertations and Theses

Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, there remain large gaps in academic achievement between children of color and White students (Darling-Hammond, 2007). It is estimated that by 2050, the population of the United States will increase by 50%; 90% of which will be accounted for by minorities (Vanneman, Hamilton, Anderson, & Rahman, 2009). In less than 50 years, our citizenry will be comprised of "groups that are over represented among low achievers, and under represented among high achievers" (Ferguson, 2005, p. 4). Nationwide, districts are addressing the issue of the achievement gap through implementing formal equity professional development opportunities ...


Exploring Reggio-Inspired Documentation: Lived Experiences Of Elementary Teachers And Children, Jenifer Marie Millan May 2014

Exploring Reggio-Inspired Documentation: Lived Experiences Of Elementary Teachers And Children, Jenifer Marie Millan

Dissertations and Theses

In this interpretive phenomenological research study, making meaning of teachers and children's experiences of Reggio-inspired documentation takes center stage. Reggio-inspired documentation is a way of visually stabilizing and bringing meaning to experiences, ideas, thoughts and the daily interactions of children and adults (Bonilauri & Rubizzi, 2010; Filippini, Trancossi & Vecchi, 2009; Guidici et al, 2001; Rinaldi, 2006). Collecting research in The School of Inspiration elementary program brings to light the many experiences and possible meanings of Reggio-inspired documentation. The study's participants consist of 2 teachers, 45 children, and me, as a participant researcher, all developing the meaning over time.

Utilizing observations, photographs, field notes ...


Leveraging Digital Technology In Social Studies Education, Sarah Elizabeth Lundy May 2014

Leveraging Digital Technology In Social Studies Education, Sarah Elizabeth Lundy

Dissertations and Theses

Today's K-12 classrooms are increasingly comprised of students who accomplish much of their informal learning through digital media and technology. In response, a growing number of educators are considering how they might draw upon these informal learning experiences to support student engagement and learning in the classroom through technology. The purpose of this study is for social studies educators, school administrators, teacher educators and curriculum developers to understand more about the potentials and limitations of integrating technology such as a digital text. This research focuses on the differences in experiences using a digital text and a printed text from ...


Teaching And Learning For Intercultural Sensitivity: A Cross-Cultural Examination Of American Domestic Students And Japanese Exchange Students, Yoko Hwang Sakurauchi Mar 2014

Teaching And Learning For Intercultural Sensitivity: A Cross-Cultural Examination Of American Domestic Students And Japanese Exchange Students, Yoko Hwang Sakurauchi

Dissertations and Theses

Global student mobility has become a dynamic force in American higher education. Integrating international students into diverse campus environments provides domestic as well as foreign students with enriched learning opportunities. However, a diverse campus climate itself will not make college students interculturally competent. Intentional curricular design is critical for overcoming issues such as resistance and reinforcement of stereotypes, but the research literature is extremely limited on effective pedagogical strategies for cultivating college students' intercultural sensitivity.

This paper explicates a research study to investigate college students' development of intercultural sensitivity through an intentional course design utilizing Kolb's (1984) learning styles ...


Project Nano: Will Allowing High School Students To Use Research Grade Scanning Electron Microscopes Increase Their Interest In Science?, Leslie Teneyck Smith Jan 2014

Project Nano: Will Allowing High School Students To Use Research Grade Scanning Electron Microscopes Increase Their Interest In Science?, Leslie Teneyck Smith

Dissertations and Theses

In this study, one AP Biology curriculum unit and one general Biology curriculum unit that included tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) technology provided by Project NANO, a grant-funded, collaborative initiative designed to integrate cutting-edge nanotechnology into high school classrooms were implemented at a public high school in rural Oregon. Nine students participated in the AP unit and 52 students participated in the general Biology unit. Each student completed an opinion-based pre and post survey to determine if using the SEM as a part of the curriculum unit had an impact on his or her interest in science or in nanoscience ...


"What Does This Graph Mean?" Formative Assessment With Science Inquiry To Improve Data Analysis, Andrea Dawn Leech Jan 2014

"What Does This Graph Mean?" Formative Assessment With Science Inquiry To Improve Data Analysis, Andrea Dawn Leech

Dissertations and Theses

This study investigated the use of formative assessment to improve three specific data analysis skills within the context of a high school chemistry class: graph interpretation, pattern recognition, and making conclusions based on data. Students need to be able to collect data, analyze that data, and produce accurate scientific explanations (NRC, 2011) if they want to be ready for college and careers after high school. This mixed methods study, performed in a high school chemistry classroom, investigated the impact of the formative assessment process on data analysis skills that require higher order thinking. We hypothesized that the use of evaluative ...


An Investigation Into Instructional Support For Data Analysis In High School Science Inquiry, Anika Rae Baker-Lawrence Dec 2013

An Investigation Into Instructional Support For Data Analysis In High School Science Inquiry, Anika Rae Baker-Lawrence

Dissertations and Theses

The implementation of scientific inquiry in the high school classroom has proven to be not only relevant and exploratory, but challenging and engaging as well. This style of curriculum design has been recognized as a primary means of achieving the goals and objectives set by the National Resource Council (NRC, 1996). While much research has shown that science inquiry helps students to gain understanding of content knowledge, little research has been conducted to assess gains in higher order thinking skills, specifically those related to data analysis (Anderson, 2002; Germann and Aram, 1996; Hofstein, Navon, Kipnis, and Mamlok-Naaman, 2005; Miner, Levy ...


How Does Student Understanding Of A Concept Change Throughout A Unit Of Instruction? Support Toward The Theory Of Learning Progressions, Brian Jay Dyer Dec 2013

How Does Student Understanding Of A Concept Change Throughout A Unit Of Instruction? Support Toward The Theory Of Learning Progressions, Brian Jay Dyer

Dissertations and Theses

This study documented the changes in understanding a class of eighth grade high school-level biology students experienced through a biology unit introducing genetics. Learning profiles for 55 students were created using concept maps and interviews as qualitative and quantitative instruments. The study provides additional support to the theory of learning progressions called for by experts in the field. The students' learning profiles were assessed to determine the alignment with a researcher-developed learning profile. The researcher-developed learning profile incorporated the learning progressions published in the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as current research in learning progressions for 5-10th grade students ...


Science Journals In The Garden: Developing The Skill Of Observation In Elementary Age Students, Karinsa Michelle Kelly Nov 2013

Science Journals In The Garden: Developing The Skill Of Observation In Elementary Age Students, Karinsa Michelle Kelly

Dissertations and Theses

The ability to make and record scientific observations is critical in order for students to engage in successful inquiry, and provides a sturdy foundation for children to develop higher order cognitive processes. Nevertheless, observation is taken for granted in the elementary classroom. This study explores how linking school garden experience with the use of science journals can support this skill. Students participated in a month-long unit in which they practiced their observation skills in the garden and recorded those observations in a science journal. Students' observational skills were assessed using pre- and post-assessments, student journals, and student interviews using three ...


Increasing Evidence Based Reasoning In An 8th Grade Classroom Through Explicit Instruction, Erol Chandler Sep 2013

Increasing Evidence Based Reasoning In An 8th Grade Classroom Through Explicit Instruction, Erol Chandler

Dissertations and Theses

This study investigates the effectiveness of an instructional strategy that uses students' prior understanding of informal evidence based reasoning (EBR) to build an understanding of scientific EBR. A pre and post instructional strategy survey revealed that students' understanding of EBR increased over the length of the study. Data collected from pre and post instructional discussions also showed increases in the amount of EBR students used.


Grouped To Achieve: Are There Benefits To Assigning Students To Heterogeneous Cooperative Learning Groups Based On Pre-Test Scores?, Arman Karl Werth Sep 2013

Grouped To Achieve: Are There Benefits To Assigning Students To Heterogeneous Cooperative Learning Groups Based On Pre-Test Scores?, Arman Karl Werth

Dissertations and Theses

Cooperative learning has been one of the most widely used instructional practices around the world since the early 1980's. Small learning groups have been in existence since the beginning of the human race. These groups have grown in their variance and complexity overtime. Classrooms are getting more diverse every year and instructors need a way to take advantage of this diversity to improve learning. The purpose of this study was to see if heterogeneous cooperative learning groups based on student achievement can be used as a differentiated instructional strategy to increase students' ability to demonstrate knowledge of science concepts ...