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Theses/Dissertations

Teacher Education and Professional Development

2010

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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Impact Of Job-Embedded Professional Development Coaches On Teacher Practice., Donna T. Hamblin Morgan Dec 2010

The Impact Of Job-Embedded Professional Development Coaches On Teacher Practice., Donna T. Hamblin Morgan

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The intent of this qualitative study was to understand the impact of job-embedded professional development coaches on teacher practice. Coaches in this study worked with teachers to plan lessons, model lessons with feedback, and disaggregate data. This qualitative study was conducted using interviews of coaches to gain their perceptions of the work they did with teachers and how this work influenced teacher practice. Teachers were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the impact coaches' work had on their classroom practices. Analysis of the coaches and teachers' reflective journals was also conducted to establish the participants' perceptions of their work together ...


Enhancing Teacher-Child Interactions: A Pilot Study Using Focal Child Data, Kaitlin Noel Bargreen Dec 2010

Enhancing Teacher-Child Interactions: A Pilot Study Using Focal Child Data, Kaitlin Noel Bargreen

Doctoral Dissertations

Research suggests that teacher-child interactions in early childhood classrooms are an essential element to high quality programs and child outcomes. With the increase in state funded pre-kindergarten classrooms across the nation and the growing concentration on academic content for young children, careful attention is needed to children’s social-emotional development. Research suggests that it is a strong social emotional foundation that contributes to children’s successful transition into their elementary school years. Therefore, the purpose of this mixed method study was to pilot the use of focal child data as a professional development tool for pre-kindergarten teachers to examine teacher-child ...


Professionalism: What Is It And Are We Teaching For It?, Brian K Tate Dec 2010

Professionalism: What Is It And Are We Teaching For It?, Brian K Tate

Doctoral Dissertations

With rising accountability standards and the need for content specialists within education, the qualifications of mathematics teachers have become increasingly scrutinized. For over three decades, within the parameters of educational reform, the need for the professionalization of teaching has reoccurred (Carnegie Task Force, 1986). When examining the nature of teacher professionalism, no concise definition within the educational community exists (Noddings, 1992). The purpose of this study was to take characteristics defined by the medical and law fields and use them to develop a definition of professionalism within mathematics education. Once a clear set of characteristics was identified, the study then ...


The Effects Of Task Fluency And Concurrent Reinforcement Schedules On Student Choice Allocation Between Math Tasks, Maliha Zaman Dec 2010

The Effects Of Task Fluency And Concurrent Reinforcement Schedules On Student Choice Allocation Between Math Tasks, Maliha Zaman

Theses and Dissertations

Students may avoid working on difficult tasks because it takes them longer to complete those tasks, which results in a delay to reinforcement. Research studies show that reinforcer and response dimensions can be manipulated within a concurrent operants framework to bias choice allocation toward more difficult tasks. The current study extends previous literature on concurrent choice assessments by examining the effects of reinforcement schedules and fluency interventions on the choice allocation between low and high effort math tasks. The study was conducted with 4 second graders in an elementary school. The choice assessment conducted prior to fluency training (Phase 1 ...


Centering The Voices Of South Carolina's Early Care And Education Teachers: A Multi-Case Study Examining How They Select And Are Informed By Professional Development, Lenna Young Dec 2010

Centering The Voices Of South Carolina's Early Care And Education Teachers: A Multi-Case Study Examining How They Select And Are Informed By Professional Development, Lenna Young

All Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the existing literature focused on quality early care and education (ECE). Specifically, this study examines two main research questions: (1) How do teachers in South Carolina licensed, privately-funded ECE programs select professional development opportunities and (2) How does participating in professional development inform their practices? These questions are particularly significant in light of the minimal requirements for teachers to enter the ECE field in South Carolina. Due to the low entry requirements for ECE teachers, professional development can play a key role in transforming minimally qualified individuals into teachers who care ...


Facilitator Assessment Following A Stepfamily Education Course, Heather Sparks Dec 2010

Facilitator Assessment Following A Stepfamily Education Course, Heather Sparks

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of the facilitators of a stepfamily education course, based upon facilitator self-report as well as participant report. Agencies in northern Utah that provide services to low-income minority families were used to recruit a sample of 152 facilitators and 1,134 participants of which 519 of the participants were male and 613 of the participants were females. Additionally, 21 of the facilitators were male and 131 of the facilitators were female. Requirements for participants included having been previously married with no children or having children from a previous relationship that formed a ...


Mother-Child Attachment And Preschool Behavior Problems In Children With Developmental Delays, Mary S. Lamont Dec 2010

Mother-Child Attachment And Preschool Behavior Problems In Children With Developmental Delays, Mary S. Lamont

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Secure attachment in the mother-child relationship has been shown to be predictor of positive mental health and pro-social behaviors in children who are typically developing. This study uses a sample of young children (18 mo. to 2 yrs) who had been identified as having a delay in some area of development. Mothers of these children completed two paper-pencil measures of attachment, along with measures of child temperament, maternal psychological problems, parenting stress, and child behavior problems. A second set of measures was completed one year later. Results showed that increased parenting stress and difficulty of child temperament contributed to less ...


Effects Of Comprehensive Education On Elementary School Student Performance On Standardized Exams, Kenneth Vaughn Higbee Dec 2010

Effects Of Comprehensive Education On Elementary School Student Performance On Standardized Exams, Kenneth Vaughn Higbee

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The purpose if this study was to compare math and reading Criterion Reference Test (CRT) scores of 3rd and 5th grade students using two distinct educational models: a comprehensive educational curriculum (CEC) model and a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) curricular model. While the CEC curricular model focuses on a combination of core and non-core curriculum, the NCLB curricular model focused on a combination of intense core remediation and the reduction of some non-core curriculum. Students were from two demographically similar frontier Nevada elementary schools. Test scores were compared in 2004 when both schools used identical curricular approaches, and then ...


Evaluating And Improving The Quality Of Teacher’S Language Modeling In Early Childhood Classrooms, Lillian White Englund Dec 2010

Evaluating And Improving The Quality Of Teacher’S Language Modeling In Early Childhood Classrooms, Lillian White Englund

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The relationship between pre-school teachers and the children in their classrooms directly influences the degree of success the children experience in school and in life. The emphasis on quality pre-K education in the U.S. has resulted in an increased need for highly qualified teachers who are capable of engaging in meaningful interactions with young children. An important component of high-level teacher-child interactions is the teacher's ability to model language for children as they acquire vocabulary and language context.

This mixed-methods study was designed to examine the effectiveness of a professional development intervention designed to improve the quality of ...


“You Can Pick Really Good Literature That Will Lead Them There”: Investigating The Instructional Roles Teachers Utilize When Conducting Literature Discussions, Sophie M. Ladd Dec 2010

“You Can Pick Really Good Literature That Will Lead Them There”: Investigating The Instructional Roles Teachers Utilize When Conducting Literature Discussions, Sophie M. Ladd

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The purpose of this multi-case study was to investigate the instructional roles teachers utilize in whole group and small group discussion. This study highlights the questioning and response strategies two elementary teachers used during read alouds and literature discussions. Data sources included whole group and small group discussions, interviews, teachers' reflection journals, classroom observations, researcher field notes, and Informal correspondence. Data were analyzed using Merriam's (1998) analytic framework for case study. A within-case analysis was conducted for each case, followed by a cross-case analysis. Through with-in case analysis questioning and response categories were developed. These categories included: appealing, prompting ...


Utah Kindergarten Teachers' Challenges And Concerns About Teaching Kindergarten, Ruth Jane Liebschutz Moore Dec 2010

Utah Kindergarten Teachers' Challenges And Concerns About Teaching Kindergarten, Ruth Jane Liebschutz Moore

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This qualitative study was an exploration of 55 Utah kindergarten teachers' perceptions of challenges in teaching. It investigated written concerns teachers expressed in a statewide survey of kindergarten teachers. Study findings indicated that two main issues were communicated by teachers: a disparity between their developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices in the classroom, and concerns about children's kindergarten readiness and transition to school. About 56% of teachers felt a struggle in implementing their developmentally appropriate beliefs about education, for a variety of reasons: large class sizes, district and state mandates, and lack of resources, particularly time. Furthermore, 53% of educators ...


Environmental And Developmental Indicators In Early Childhood: Relations To Second-Grade Reading Comprehension, Gina A. Cook Dec 2010

Environmental And Developmental Indicators In Early Childhood: Relations To Second-Grade Reading Comprehension, Gina A. Cook

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Reading success has been linked to high school completion, future job success, and future generations of children who can read. Unfortunately, children who are unable to read on grade level by the end of first grade are at a great disadvantage and unlikely to catch up later. Without the ability to read and comprehend text, all aspects of schooling become progressively more difficult and the challenge of poor reading ability can be so difficult to overcome that many poor readers will not complete high school. For these reasons, it is important to identify early experiences in a child's family ...


A Pilot Study Examining High School Physical Education Teachers' Understanding And Use Of Mosston's Style (S) Of Teaching, Greg L. Pierce Dec 2010

A Pilot Study Examining High School Physical Education Teachers' Understanding And Use Of Mosston's Style (S) Of Teaching, Greg L. Pierce

Master's Theses

The purpose of this project was to develop a questionnaire that could lend insight to physical educations teachers’ perceptions and use of Mosston's Teaching Styles. The researcher designed a pilot study in which he distributed the questionnaire to six teachers from three Santa Barbara District High Schools. Results show that the six teachers were familiar with all Mosston’s Styles. However, citing circumstances such as class time and class sizes, the participants in this study did not use all of Mosston’s Styles. These results may be useful for physical education teacher educators to help them understand teachers’ knowledge ...


The Impact Of Mentoring Pre-Service Teachers On The Mentor Teacher, Patti Andrea Dec 2010

The Impact Of Mentoring Pre-Service Teachers On The Mentor Teacher, Patti Andrea

Dissertations

Since the early 1980s, policy makers and educational leaders have pinned high hopes on mentoring as a vehicle for reforming teaching and teacher education (Feiman- Nemser, 1996). A review of literature written throughout the evolution of mentoring illustrated that researchers focused most of their attention on a relatively narrow aspect of mentoring relationships and relatively little attention has been paid to mentor benefits (Ragins & Kram, 2007). This study examined the patterns, similarities, and differences of the mentor teacher’s perspectives of potential mentor benefits of mentoring university pre-service teachers.

A phenomenological study was conducted to explore whether mentors attained leadership ...


A Study Of The Impact Of A K-12 School District–University Doctoral Cohort On District Leadership Capacity, Sharon Davis Dec 2010

A Study Of The Impact Of A K-12 School District–University Doctoral Cohort On District Leadership Capacity, Sharon Davis

Dissertations

The phenomenological study examined how a K-12 school district–university partnership impacted a school district’s leadership from the perspectives of cohort members and non-cohort members. The doctoral cohort consisted of 22 candidates. The intent of the program was to merge theory with best practice and to focus on increasing the district’s leadership capacity. The study involved a purposeful sample of 10 participants that included 5 teachers who participated in the doctoral educational cohort and 5 teachers who were not members of the cohort. Data were collected through interviews.

This doctoral cohort was modeled on learning theory that addressed ...


An Examination Of The Leadership Practices Of Effective Rural Superintendents: A Multiple Case Study, Mark Forner Dec 2010

An Examination Of The Leadership Practices Of Effective Rural Superintendents: A Multiple Case Study, Mark Forner

Dissertations

This research examined the leadership practices of rural superintendents who have led their districts to significant improvement in student academic achievement. The overall research goal was to examine how Waters' and Marzano's six correlates of effective superintendent leadership practice have been applied by school leaders who have successfully pursued academic reform in their rural school districts. A multiple case study approach was used to examine the work practices of seven superintendents leading rural school districts in Michigan where student academic performance was on the rise.

A criterion-based selection methodology was used to identify the superintendent subjects and their districts ...


The Knowing-Doing Gap: The Influence Of Teacher Feedback In Changing Principal Behavior - A Mixed Methods Study, Kimberly St. Martin Dec 2010

The Knowing-Doing Gap: The Influence Of Teacher Feedback In Changing Principal Behavior - A Mixed Methods Study, Kimberly St. Martin

Dissertations

This mixed methods study attempted to determine how a system of regular feedback from teachers on principal's work influenced the way in which two principals incorporated the 21 Leadership Responsibilities into their daily practice. Since Principals are the front line of school reform, even when a school commits to an improvement effort that is well grounded in research such as Response to Intervention (Rtl), the principal plays a key role in leading the change of adapting the school processes, culture, roles and responsibilities, norms, and systems to support implementation. To play this role effectively, the principal often finds it ...


Magic, Monsters, And Merlin: An Exploration Of The Fantasy Genre In A Fifth Grade Setting, Traci Bowles Oct 2010

Magic, Monsters, And Merlin: An Exploration Of The Fantasy Genre In A Fifth Grade Setting, Traci Bowles

Theses and Dissertations

The purposes of this exploratory investigation were to determine how fantasy literature helps children explore, process, and discuss real world issues and topics and what other applications the genre had in the classroom. This study was conducted by implementing a genre study in a fifth grade classroom. Seventeen students participated in the research model. Data collected included audiotaped discussions, student projects and artifacts, and my personal teacher research journal. The data was analyzed recursively across all data sets to determine patterns and themes. Data was coded according to the four main patterns and counted across data sets. If the pattern ...


Student Motivation: The Impact Intrinsic Motivation And Extrinsic Rewards Have On Elementary Students, Renee Tybus Sep 2010

Student Motivation: The Impact Intrinsic Motivation And Extrinsic Rewards Have On Elementary Students, Renee Tybus

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this research study was to determine what happens when intrinsically motivating strategies and an extrinsic reward program are implemented in a fifth-grade inclusion classroom. The intrinsic strategies of enthusiasm, incorporating student choice into the lessons, and cooperative learning groups were used to help teach students during their literacy block. Additionally, an extrinsic reward program was put into effect once the three strategies had already been conducted. Qualitative inquiry strategies such as student motivation surveys, teacher observation checklists, focus group discussions, student written feedback, and observations recorded in my own teacher research journal, were all used to facilitate ...


How Do First Graders Define A Family?, Kelly Ann Mcgrail Sep 2010

How Do First Graders Define A Family?, Kelly Ann Mcgrail

Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this study was to determine how first grade students define a family. Qualitative research was used as the methodology for this inquiry. The participants were thirteen first grade inclusion students in a school that is located in Southern New Jersey. An instructional unit depicting various family constellations was implemented along with authentic discussions, a student survey, an interactive bulletin board, a classroom library containing family books, and writing prompts contained in My Family Journal. The data collected and analyzed was from student discussion, the subjects' work, direct observation of pupils, the instructional unit, and a teacher research ...


Early Intervention In Conflict Resolution For Lower Elementary Students In A Self-Contained Classroom, Colleen Roughgarden Aug 2010

Early Intervention In Conflict Resolution For Lower Elementary Students In A Self-Contained Classroom, Colleen Roughgarden

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this qualitative research study was to investigate the effects of teaching conflict-resolution strategies to lower elementary students in a self-contained classroom. The students received conflict-resolution strategies and social skill development through an instructional unit involving children's literature along with student self-evaluations, appropriate outlets for tattletales, and the formation of a classroom club against bullying. This qualitative research study was conducted in a kindergarten and first grade self-contained classroom located in southern New Jersey. In order to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the students, all names have been altered. There were seven students in the class ...


What Happens When Writing Notebooks Are Used In A First Grade Classroom?, Shelley Kole Aug 2010

What Happens When Writing Notebooks Are Used In A First Grade Classroom?, Shelley Kole

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this research study was to investigate what happened when writing notebooks are implemented in a first-grade regular education classroom. Writing notebooks were used along with the Writer's Workshop curriculum in which students learned how to revise, edit, and use professional literature as examples for writing techniques. Qualitative inquiry strategies such as student surveys, student written work, and observations were used to collect data. The data revealed that the students gained an ownership of their writing notebooks which enabled students to take risks in their writing and led to an increased motivation and interest among students to ...


Professional Growth Of Special Education Personnel Through The Use Of A Collaborative Process., Stephanie Smith Walker Aug 2010

Professional Growth Of Special Education Personnel Through The Use Of A Collaborative Process., Stephanie Smith Walker

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This qualitative case study examined how special educators perceived their professional growth as a result of engagement in a collaborative process. Sixteen special educators participated in the research. Triangulation was attained through the use of document review, a focus group, and personal interviews. The 15 themes and patterns that emerged from data collection were: (a) increased expertise and use of technology, (b) exhibited collaborative skills and improved interpersonal relationships, (c) developed increased understanding of curriculum, (d) presented evidence of increased job satisfaction, (e) demonstrated analytical abilities, (f) illustrated enhancement in professional and creative expression, (g) understood the special education supervisorâ ...


Comparing The Pedagogical Thinking Of More Successful And Less Successful Adult Esl Instructors Using Stimulated Recall, Jason Paul Roberts Aug 2010

Comparing The Pedagogical Thinking Of More Successful And Less Successful Adult Esl Instructors Using Stimulated Recall, Jason Paul Roberts

Theses and Dissertations

This paper reports a study that examined the pedagogical knowledge (knowledge and beliefs related to the act of teaching) of two more successful and two less successful adult ESL instructors during planning teaching and post teaching reflection. The verbal reports of their teaching were compared to previous studies (Gatbonton, 2000, 2008; Mullock, 2006) that used stimulated recall to categorize adult ESL instructors' pedagogical thoughts during their instruction. The comparison showed that the previous categories were inadequate to cover the data. Additional codes were added in order to codify all the data after which patterns and themes emerged that overarched the ...


A Nonverbal Signal System: Minimizing The Effects Of Student Interruptions, Maximizing Instructional Time, And Sustaining Momentum While Teaching, Mallory Heimlich Aug 2010

A Nonverbal Signal System: Minimizing The Effects Of Student Interruptions, Maximizing Instructional Time, And Sustaining Momentum While Teaching, Mallory Heimlich

Theses and Dissertations

With instructional time being interrupted by both in and out-of-class disturbances, research shows that approximately 30% of instructional day is wasted. Students are more likely to be unengaged and off-task when the teacher is interrupted than at other times and most classroom interruptions are initiated by the students themselves. The goal of this study was to decrease student interruptions and transition time by implementing a nonverbal signal system as a component of the classroom management plan. Student interruptions were tallied and student transitions were timed during social studies and science in a fourth grade classroom. Reflections of the study were ...


An Exploratory Investigation On How Authentic Writing Affects Students' Attitudes Towards Writing, Kerri Colletto Aug 2010

An Exploratory Investigation On How Authentic Writing Affects Students' Attitudes Towards Writing, Kerri Colletto

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this research study was to determine how students' attitudes towards writing are affected when authentic writing activities are implemented into the traditional writing curriculum. The students kept Lifebooks for a period of three weeks and there was an emphasis placed on writing that was personal and meaningful. Qualitative inquiry strategies such as my teacher research journal, student surveys, individual interviews, discussion groups and student work were used to collect data. Sorting and categorizing data within and between data sources revealed that the freedom to choose a topic affects what is written, that having a personal connection affects ...


A Challenging And Rewarding Process: Implementing Critical Literacy Instruction In A Middle School Classroom, Amy Michelle Geilman Aug 2010

A Challenging And Rewarding Process: Implementing Critical Literacy Instruction In A Middle School Classroom, Amy Michelle Geilman

Theses and Dissertations

This action research study focuses on a teacher's experiences while implementing critical literacy instruction in a seventh grade language arts class. Throughout the unit, a tension between teacher control and student autonomy emerged in three areas: discussion (teacher-directed and student-directed), curriculum (teacher choices and student choices), and student text comprehension (surface and critical). Finding the balance between teacher control and student autonomy was difficult. When these two elements were not balanced, the classroom experience for everyone was mediocre. When they were balanced correctly the entire classroom community had positive experiences that advanced student learning. Critical literacy instruction, though difficult ...


Adolescent Literate Identity Online: Individuals And The Discourse Of A Class Wiki, Amanda J. Mccollum Aug 2010

Adolescent Literate Identity Online: Individuals And The Discourse Of A Class Wiki, Amanda J. Mccollum

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine students' representations of their literate identities in what Gee (2008) calls Discourse that developed among 105 high school students— 103 10th-grade and two 11th-grade students—using a wiki for class work, collaboration, and social interaction. The theoretical frame for the present study was drawn from of four bodies of literature. Through a reciprocal process of positioning self and others (van Langenhove & Harré, 1999), individuals come to form and display their literate identity (Heath, 1991) within a community of practice (Wenger, 1998). Their interactions reflect norms, values, and accepted ways of being within ...


The Professional Development Of Pre-K Mentor Teachers: Insights From A Face-To-Face And Online Community Of Practice, Lori Allison Caudle Aug 2010

The Professional Development Of Pre-K Mentor Teachers: Insights From A Face-To-Face And Online Community Of Practice, Lori Allison Caudle

Doctoral Dissertations

Early childhood classroom mentor teachers are often left with little support and guidance as they assume the role of teacher educators. The purpose of this collective case study was to explore how a community of practice comprised of pre-K mentors and a university program coordinator supported the development of shared and individual understandings about how to effectively supervise preservice teachers. Utilizing key tenets of sociocultural theory, four pre-K mentor teachers from two public schools in the Southeast participated in an online and face-to-face community of practice facilitated by a university program coordinator. The pre-K preservice teachers (n=6) were secondary ...


Criterion-Referenced Assessment Literacy Of Educators, James David King Aug 2010

Criterion-Referenced Assessment Literacy Of Educators, James David King

Dissertations

This study investigated the assessment literacy of educators in regard to criterion-referenced tests. For the purpose of this study, administrators included principals and assistant principals within a school. First, the study determined the degree of training in measurement, assessment, and statistics that educators have received. Second, the study investigated the assessment knowledge of educators based on their performance on the Criterion-Referenced Questionnaire. Third, the study investigated if years experience, type of certification, or highest degree held had a significant difference on their performance on the Criterion-Referenced Questionnaire. Fourth, the study investigated educators’ attitudes toward the use of measurement, assessment, and ...