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University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Doctoral Dissertations

2016

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Full-Text Articles in Education

College Student Engagement Patterns In Small Group Learning Activities Conducted In Courses Organized Using A Flipped Learning Instructional Pedagogy, John Creighton Cummins May 2016

College Student Engagement Patterns In Small Group Learning Activities Conducted In Courses Organized Using A Flipped Learning Instructional Pedagogy, John Creighton Cummins

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine student engagement patterns in smallgroup learning activities conducted in courses organized using a Flipped Learning Instructional Pedagogy (FLIP) at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK). A literature search on FLIP revealed no papers that examined student engagement at a fine-grained level. Classrooms were examined using an observational tool developed specifically for the examination of fine-grained student engagement. In order to observe overt engagement patterns of students during active learning in small groups, an observation tool was designed by combining an engagement framework with an in-class activity inventory.The Complex Level of ...


Can Curriculum-Based Measures And Teacher Ranking Predict End-Of-Year Achievement For Students Who Are Gifted Or High-Achieving?, Bruce Alan Ewing May 2016

Can Curriculum-Based Measures And Teacher Ranking Predict End-Of-Year Achievement For Students Who Are Gifted Or High-Achieving?, Bruce Alan Ewing

Doctoral Dissertations

The lack of cohesion and oversight in federal and state laws that outline identifying and serving gifted/high ability students have been cited by researchers and practitioners as a hindrance in the development of programming designed to serve these populations (National Association for Gifted Children, 2014). Controversy over definitions of giftedness and the role of schools in identifying and serving gifted students indicate that policy and practice in gifted education are highly inconsistent. In partial response, researchers in gifted education have begun to call for the extension of the response-to-intervention (RTI) model to identify and serve gifted students, leading to ...


Stress, Coping, And Well Being Of African American College Women: A Grounded Theory Study, Christine R. Hannon May 2016

Stress, Coping, And Well Being Of African American College Women: A Grounded Theory Study, Christine R. Hannon

Doctoral Dissertations

African American women are a rapidly growing population on college campuses. Though enrollment trends suggest an increase in African American women’s pursuit of educational attainment, they face unique challenges and obstacles (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). Researchers have noted that stressful life events have detrimental effects on the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of college students (Greer & Brown, 2011; Reynolds, Sneva, & Beehler, 2010; Hall et al., 2006; Larson, 2006; Andrews & Wilding, 2004; Nonis et al., 1998; Shapiro et al., 1998; Cohen & Herbert, 1996; Van Eck et al., 1996). Research focused on the unique challenges of African American college women face at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) is ...


Administrative Support In An East Tennessee Rural School District During The Change To Common Core State Standards, Victoria Lyn Henley May 2016

Administrative Support In An East Tennessee Rural School District During The Change To Common Core State Standards, Victoria Lyn Henley

Doctoral Dissertations

Common Core State Standards (CCSS), an initiative for standardizing learning in a more in-depth, analytical way, have been adopted by 45 states, Washington, D.C., and four United States Territories. When implementing such changes, rural schools face their own unique challenges, where principals and administrators play an important role in the successful culture of change. The purpose of this study was to examine how the principals and district-level administrators in Mountain View School District, an East Tennessee rural school district, supported teachers during the transition to CCSS. In this qualitative study, three principals, two assistant principals, and three district-level administrators ...


Solving The Migrant Children Public School Enrollment Issue In Urban China: A Policy Study Perspective, Hui Huang May 2016

Solving The Migrant Children Public School Enrollment Issue In Urban China: A Policy Study Perspective, Hui Huang

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation is designed to learn lessons from China’s experiences of seeking to solve the migrant children’s education issue, specifically, the city public school enrollment issue. In China, access to public schools is the main channel for migrant children to be well educated. With the hope to inspire education policy makers and researchers on solving this issue, it is important to find out how the central and local governments work out proper policies to ensure equal compulsory education for migrant children. Qualitative research methods including content analysis and historical analysis are deployed in this dissertation to review related ...


Herstory: Dr. Ruth Simmons’ Journey To The Presidency, Patricia Yvette Jones May 2016

Herstory: Dr. Ruth Simmons’ Journey To The Presidency, Patricia Yvette Jones

Doctoral Dissertations

This study’s goal is to give voice to the experiences of one individual: Dr. Ruth Simmons, the first woman president of Brown University and the first African American president of an Ivy League institution. Simmons’ HerStory is a narrative of her becoming rather than being. It is a story of her moving forward. In this study Simmons is permitted to take back her narrative by telling HerStory, in her own words and along with sharing her ethos. HerStory provides insight into and a deep understanding of how Simmons became the president and what shaped her development spanning from her ...


Principals' Perceptions Of The Tennessee Teacher Tenure Law: A Concurrent Mixed Methods Study, David John Lomascolo May 2016

Principals' Perceptions Of The Tennessee Teacher Tenure Law: A Concurrent Mixed Methods Study, David John Lomascolo

Doctoral Dissertations

This concurrent mixed methods study examined principal perceptions of the teacher tenure law in Tennessee. The study examined the perceptions of K-12 public school principals toward the Tennessee teacher tenure law under Senate Bill 1528 and how principals perceived that the law has affected their ability to evaluate and retain effective teachers. The investigation followed a concurrent mixed methods design (QUAN + QUAL). The Tennessee Teacher Tenure Principal Perception Survey was adopted and slightly modified from Davidson’s (1998) study of principal perceptions of teacher tenure in Tennessee. At the conclusion of data analysis, findings were integrated and triangulated through Hess ...


Out Of School Time Science Programs: Examining A Program’S Impacts On The Science Identities Of Middle School Female Participants, Elizabeth Ripley Mactavish May 2016

Out Of School Time Science Programs: Examining A Program’S Impacts On The Science Identities Of Middle School Female Participants, Elizabeth Ripley Mactavish

Doctoral Dissertations

Science education reform efforts emphasize teaching science for all Americans, and identify scientific literacy as the principle goal of science education (American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1993; National Research Council [NRC], 1996). Despite the goal of scientific literacy, some students, especially females and minorities, consider science irrelevant to their personal interests or career goals. Additionally, research pinpoints middle school as a period when female students begin to lose interest in science (Farenga, 1999; Hill et al., 2010).

Decades of research have documented the gender achievement gap, yet little research has been focused on the science identity gap ...


Examining The Writing Motivation And Achievement Of At-Risk Elementary-Aged Students, Melissa Sue Martin May 2016

Examining The Writing Motivation And Achievement Of At-Risk Elementary-Aged Students, Melissa Sue Martin

Doctoral Dissertations

Writing achievement of students in the United States is weak. Approximately 75% of 12th graders are not proficient writers (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2012) and performance of students in poverty lags behind that of more affluent peers. Because writing is complex (Torrance & Galbraith, 2006) and often viewed as aversive to students (Boscolo & Gelati, 2013), motivation is an important consideration for teachers. However, little research exists examining writing motivation.

A correlational research design was employed to examine writing achievement and motivation (i.e., self-efficacy and attributions) of at-risk elementary-aged students (N = 61). Participants, who attended Title 1 schools (in grades ...


The Learning Projects Of Municipal Elected Officials, Rebecca Campbell Smeltzer May 2016

The Learning Projects Of Municipal Elected Officials, Rebecca Campbell Smeltzer

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this exploratory study was to describe the learning projects related to the governmental role of a selected sample of elected municipal officials in a geographic region of a Southeastern state. The study includes the revision of Tough’s (1975) learning projects interview schedule and the addition of eight demographic items.

Participants were selected by using a random number generator to choose 12 cities from seven population groups, creating a stratified sample of 68 elected officials, 41 of whom agreed to be interviewed. Demographic information revealed that the participants were a mix of mayors (26.8%), vice-mayors (19 ...


Successful Graduate Students’ Perceptions Of Characteristics Of Online Learning Environments, Jian Su May 2016

Successful Graduate Students’ Perceptions Of Characteristics Of Online Learning Environments, Jian Su

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine issues related to online graduate course effectiveness, and graduate student perceptions of characteristics of online learning environments and their effectiveness, and to explore the relationship between graduate student perceptions and student success in online courses. The research methodology employed was that of survey research, using the Graduate Student Online Learning Environment Survey instrument, targeted at graduate students enrolled in online courses at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. A total of 238 graduate students participated in this study. Findings revealed that approximately 87.4% of graduate students reported positive online learning experiences ...


Evaluating Context-Aware Applications Accessed Through Wearable Devices As Assistive Technology For Students With Disabilities, Rachel Elizabeth Wright May 2016

Evaluating Context-Aware Applications Accessed Through Wearable Devices As Assistive Technology For Students With Disabilities, Rachel Elizabeth Wright

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of these two single subject design studies was to evaluate the use of the wearable and context-aware technologies for college students with intellectual disability and autism as tools to increase independence and vocational skills. There is a compelling need for the development of tools and strategies that will facilitate independence, self-sufficiency, and address poor outcomes in adulthood for students with disabilities. Technology is considered to be a great equalizer for people with disabilities. The proliferation of new technologies allows access to real-time, contextually-based information as a means to compensate for limitations in cognitive functioning and decrease the complexity ...


The Use Of Outdoor Teaching Resources By Multidisciplinary University Faculty And Instructors At The University Of Tennessee: A Model For Establishing And Maintaining The Campus Landscape As A Significant And Dynamic Outdoor Classroom, Laboratory, And Therapy Center, Andrew J. Pulte May 2016

The Use Of Outdoor Teaching Resources By Multidisciplinary University Faculty And Instructors At The University Of Tennessee: A Model For Establishing And Maintaining The Campus Landscape As A Significant And Dynamic Outdoor Classroom, Laboratory, And Therapy Center, Andrew J. Pulte

Doctoral Dissertations

Research has shown that plants and the landscapes around us impact our lives. Plants have been shown to reduce anxiety and blood pressure, and to have mentally restorative and psychological benefits. These benefits can include but are not limited to improving our ability to cope with stress and improving our ability to focus and concentrate. During the formative years of higher education, the physical grounds of our campuses have the potential to provide these restorative benefits. Understanding how these landscapes are maintained can provide useful information for their improvement. In regards to campus grounds maintenance, select peer institutions of the ...


The Impacts Of Curriculum Reform For An Introductory Undergraduate Biology Course Sequence, Anna Jo Juanita Auerbach May 2016

The Impacts Of Curriculum Reform For An Introductory Undergraduate Biology Course Sequence, Anna Jo Juanita Auerbach

Doctoral Dissertations

For decades, educators and policy makers have called for reform in undergraduate biology education to produce a workforce capable of navigating the challenges of society today (NSB, 1986). The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) outlined recommendations to enact these changes in the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education final report (AAAS, 2011). These recommendations included restructuring curricula to focus on core biological concepts and competencies, implemented via student-centered practices, with a campus-wide commitment to change, and involving the entire biology community in the reform. The University of Tennessee, Division of Biology, implemented curriculum changes to their ...


Pre-College Characteristics And Online Homework Learning: Factors Associated With First Year Engineering Students’ Academic Success, Wenshu Li May 2016

Pre-College Characteristics And Online Homework Learning: Factors Associated With First Year Engineering Students’ Academic Success, Wenshu Li

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of the study was to develop a working model to predict at risk students in an Introduction to Engineering course. The model considers both students’ pre-college characteristics, psychological traits, and online homework learning behavior. The study assisted the course instructor in the creation of an early warning system and the development of targeted interventions for students at risk. A reliable and valid instrument to measure engineering students’ pre-college characteristics was initially developed. The study also applied data mining to analyze the student online homework logs in order to observe engineering students’ homework learning process. A decision tree model ...


A Criteria-Based Evaluation Of Environmental Literacy Plans In The United States, Karena Ruggiero May 2016

A Criteria-Based Evaluation Of Environmental Literacy Plans In The United States, Karena Ruggiero

Doctoral Dissertations

In response to the lack of formalized environmental education in the United States, 48 states are in the process of developing Environmental Literacy Plans (ELP) through their state environmental education organization (SEEO). The North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) produced guidelines intended to inform the states writing and development of their ELP. These guidelines provide a framework for the integration of environmental education into current state curricula, propose graduation requirements for environmental literacy, suggest steps for teacher professional development, detail assessment strategies and propose funding sources and policy action steps. Due to large variations in educational systems, policies, and ...