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Graduate Theses and Dissertations

University of Portland

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Full-Text Articles in Education

“Is It His Language?” A Neuroeducation Approach To Exploring The Connection Between Levels Of Language Function And Prosocial Concepts For Elementary Students Identified With Emotional And Behavioral Disorders, Emily Jaskowiak Jan 2018

“Is It His Language?” A Neuroeducation Approach To Exploring The Connection Between Levels Of Language Function And Prosocial Concepts For Elementary Students Identified With Emotional And Behavioral Disorders, Emily Jaskowiak

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Preparing students to acquire prosocial behaviors is of growing concern for educators. Although a connection between language structures and students struggling to acquire prosocial behaviors has been established, students identified with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are not being consistently identified with language impairment (LI). Viewing language differently, the acquisition of language functions is theorized to play a role in the attainment of prosocial concepts resulting in prosocial behaviors. Currently, limited research exists that explores the connection between language functions and students struggling to acquire prosocial behaviors. The purpose of this study was to: (a) triangulate literature in the areas ...


Culturally Responsive Education And Disproportionality Of Latino Males In Special Education, Abigail Dudley Jan 2018

Culturally Responsive Education And Disproportionality Of Latino Males In Special Education, Abigail Dudley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Latino male students are disproportionately represented in special education programs at a local level in Oregon. Culturally responsive education (CRE) can be used to address disproportionate rates of placement in special education programs for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. This research filled a research gap by utilizing the voices of Latino male students in special education at the middle school level. In combination with phenomenological inquiry, this study used testimonio, as a means of gaining insight into disproportionate placement rates of Latino males in special education while relying on the voice of participants as empirical data. Seven Latino male ...


Shared Leadership Perceptions In A Turnaround Elementary School, Kimberly Miles Jan 2018

Shared Leadership Perceptions In A Turnaround Elementary School, Kimberly Miles

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this case study was to investigate staff perceptions of a shared leadership framework embedded in a school’s turnaround improvement intervention model and the factors of that model perceived to contribute to growth in student achievement. Thirty-one staff members participated in this mixed method study by responding to the Distributed Leadership Readiness Scale (DLRS) survey instrument and open-ended written response questions. Focus group interviews were then conducted with randomly selected participants to triangulate evidence around factors of a shared leadership framework perceived to have affected student achievement. Of the 31 responders, 22 or 71% were teachers, and ...


The Effects Of Digital Game-Based Learning On Algebraic Procedural And Conceptual Understanding And Motivation Towards Mathematics, Heidi Meister Jan 2018

The Effects Of Digital Game-Based Learning On Algebraic Procedural And Conceptual Understanding And Motivation Towards Mathematics, Heidi Meister

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study examined the impact of digital game-based learning (DGBL) on procedural and conceptual understanding of algebraic expressions and equations and the motivation of students towards classroom mathematics. The mixed-methods sequential explanatory design was used in this study to collect data to determine the effectiveness of DGBL in a 7th grade STEM class. Following a pre-test and pre-motivation survey, students were assigned to either the DGBL group or the non-gaming computer applications as supplemental to mathematics instruction. In order to address both procedural targets and conceptual targets students would be using the technology interventions in addition to traditional math instruction ...


A Neuroeducation Approach To Writing Instruction With Kindergarteners: A Case Study, Erin Kelley Hortsch Jan 2018

A Neuroeducation Approach To Writing Instruction With Kindergarteners: A Case Study, Erin Kelley Hortsch

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

American elementary schools are seeing the lowest literacy rates to date across grade-levels. As this literacy rate has dropped across our nation, reading and writing standards have simultaneously increased in difficulty through Common Core State Standards. Kindergarten writing standards have drastically changed in the last decade in our American schools, yet many of our youngest learners are not reaching the new standards. Most commonly seen in our nation’s schools is a psycholinguistic approach to reading and writing instruction. Through this instruction, students are being left behind. The purpose of this case study was to explore an alternation method to ...


Identifying Moral Distress Within Student Affairs Administration In Higher Education: Its Sources And Lived Experiences Among Student Conduct Administrators, Christopher T. Haug Jan 2018

Identifying Moral Distress Within Student Affairs Administration In Higher Education: Its Sources And Lived Experiences Among Student Conduct Administrators, Christopher T. Haug

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to discover to what extent student affairs professionals in higher education identify moral distress and associated factors in their roles as college or university student conduct administrators and to identify the sources of this distress according to the lived experiences of these professionals. The application of moral distress from the field of nursing and bioethics was utilized as the framework for exploring this research problem. Through a descriptive cross-sectional survey design that utilized convenience sampling among student conduct administrators in the United States, this study incorporated the previously tested Moral Distress Thermometer. The ...


Creating A Strong School Culture To Prevent High School Dropouts, Anne Sistrom Erwin Jan 2018

Creating A Strong School Culture To Prevent High School Dropouts, Anne Sistrom Erwin

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify factors within a high school culture that may reduce dropout rates by encouraging students to return each year and follow a path to graduation. The study also sought to identify ways a school culture may foster or draw on student resilience, to support their successful completion of high school. The study was conducted in a comprehensive high school (grades 9- 12) situated in a large suburban school district in the Pacific Northwest. To quantitatively assess the school’s culture, a 48-question survey was completed by 194 members of the senior ...


The Effects Of Simulation-Based Training On Critical Thinking, Raiza Lee Dottin Jan 2018

The Effects Of Simulation-Based Training On Critical Thinking, Raiza Lee Dottin

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a simulation-based training on the critical thinking skills of 10 graduate medical education trainees to understand the potential of simulation-based training as an innovative tool to improve medical competencies among trainees in a graduate medical training program. The theoretical framework incorporated in this study focused on the Five-Stage Model of Adult Skill Acquisition by Dreyfus and Dreyfus and the Theory of Andragogy by Malcolm Knowles to examine how adults learn in a medical simulation-based training setting. This study utilized a pre-and posttest, the AAC&U VALUE Critical Thinking Rubric ...


A Classroom Based Assessment In A High School Social Studies Classroom, Sam Busick Jan 2018

A Classroom Based Assessment In A High School Social Studies Classroom, Sam Busick

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the use of brain-based pre-writing strategies will improve students’ abilities to support claims, with evidence, on a state-mandated, classroom-based, assessment. Specifically, the research evaluated the working hypothesis that using brain-based, pre-writing activity in the non-fiction, expository writing process will assist students in their performances, as assessed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state-approved You and the Economy CBA CBA Rubric. By using brain-based strategies as a pre-writing activity in the non-fiction, explanatory, secondary social studies writing process, I hypothesized that those students would demonstrate logical use ...


The Politics Of Strange Fruit: Examining The Intersectionality Of Race, Microaggressions, And Resiliency For African American Male Students In A Public High School Setting, Irvin M. Brown Jan 2018

The Politics Of Strange Fruit: Examining The Intersectionality Of Race, Microaggressions, And Resiliency For African American Male Students In A Public High School Setting, Irvin M. Brown

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Examining the intersectionality of race, microaggressions, and resiliency among African American male students and how these experiences impact their lives in a high school setting can produce understandings that could lead to interventions for greater academic success. Research is clear there is a consistent decline in the academic achievement for African American males. Additionally, there has been an increase of African American males dropping out of high schools and entering the perils of a justice system that swings towards an imbalance of hopelessness and the predictability of a shortened lifespan. Analyzing structures and practices through a multi-lens approach of Critical ...


Teacher Ethics Code Violations That Result In Licensure Or Certification Sanctions, Karen Pearse Apgar Jan 2018

Teacher Ethics Code Violations That Result In Licensure Or Certification Sanctions, Karen Pearse Apgar

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Given the societal expectation of high ethical standards for teachers, best practice suggests that teacher preparation programs employ real-world case scenarios in their ethics education. However, at present, the field lacks a thorough account of modern ethics code violations in the teaching profession from which preparation programs might draw case studies. The purpose of this study was to examine teacher licensure sanctions across multiple states in order to gain a clearer picture of ethics code violations in the modern teaching profession. Focusing on eight U.S. states, ten years of final orders of licensure sanction were examined (n = 8,765 ...


Reforming School Finance Systems To Achieve Equity In Funding Education, Yousef Awwad Jan 2018

Reforming School Finance Systems To Achieve Equity In Funding Education, Yousef Awwad

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Taxpayers in Oregon provoked change in school finance policy by passing Measure 5, which cemented the ground for legislators to reform school finance. Measure 5 was aimed at restricting increases in local taxes while shifting most of the burden of schools’ funding to the State. The purpose of this quantitative study of a 20-year time period of school funding was to determine the impact and effectiveness of passing Measure 5 and school finance reforms on the equity of funding. All 197 school districts’ financial relevant data for 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 were collected and adjusted for the consolidation ...


Computer-Assisted Instruction In Elementary Classrooms: Student-Teacher Relationships And Teacher Role Through The Implementation Of Computer-Adaptive Instruction Programs, Brian R. Rathmell Jan 2018

Computer-Assisted Instruction In Elementary Classrooms: Student-Teacher Relationships And Teacher Role Through The Implementation Of Computer-Adaptive Instruction Programs, Brian R. Rathmell

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Classroom computer integration and the proliferation of computer-adaptive learning programs in K -12 schools continue to advance. Academic success, as well as the social and emotional well-being of students, is critical in American schools and the role of the teacher and student-teacher relationships impact these academic, social, and emotional factors. The integration of computer-adaptive learning programs into America’s elementary classrooms impacts the role of the teacher and relationships between teachers and students, placing a priority on the study of these programs and their effects. The purpose of this research was to examine how teachers perceive their role and relationships ...


Discerning Disciples: A Mixed Methods Study On Attitudes Toward And Practices Of Evaluation Among Lay Catechetical Leaders, Anthony Dallas Paz Jan 2018

Discerning Disciples: A Mixed Methods Study On Attitudes Toward And Practices Of Evaluation Among Lay Catechetical Leaders, Anthony Dallas Paz

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Despite the work of catechetical leaders to help fellow Catholics deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church in the US continues to lose members at an alarming rate. In other educational and professional settings, practices of assessment and evaluation have been employed to determine whether and how their missions are achieved. The literature reveals that there is very little research on evaluative practices and attitudes among professional catechetical leaders and suggests that there is a great lack of evaluation in the field of catechesis and religious education in the US. This study utilized an explanatory sequential mixed methods ...


Universal Implications For The Effects Of Strong Kids Social And Emotional Learning Curriculum On Students’ Social-Emotional Competency: A Quantitative Analysis, Michele R. Hetrick Jan 2018

Universal Implications For The Effects Of Strong Kids Social And Emotional Learning Curriculum On Students’ Social-Emotional Competency: A Quantitative Analysis, Michele R. Hetrick

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this study was to determine if the Strong Kids social and emotional learning curriculum (2nd ed.) could serve as a universal tool for developing social-emotional competency with students in grades K to 6. This was the first study to investigate the second edition of the program and only the second to include a school-wide population. The study followed a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group design. Knowledge test scores and SEL competency ratings were incorporated into the pretest-posttest design in order to measure student growth between schools (Treatment, N = 399; Control, N = 492). There were no significant differences ...


Change Readiness In Teacher Education: A Multiple Case Study Of Educator Preparation Programs (Epps) And How They Address The Demands Of Mandated National Accreditation, Susan Mackin Boe Jan 2018

Change Readiness In Teacher Education: A Multiple Case Study Of Educator Preparation Programs (Epps) And How They Address The Demands Of Mandated National Accreditation, Susan Mackin Boe

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The nationwide attention to education accountability continues to grow, with educator preparation programs (EPPs) facing growing scrutiny through state-mandated accountability systems. The accreditation process for Oregon EPPs shifted significantly in 2015 with the passing of Senate Bill 78, a state-mandated policy requiring all EPPs to become nationally accredited. As a result, university-based EPPs, who are not yet nationally accredited, are faced with implementing change at the institution and EPP levels which may result in challenges and constraints that could threaten program continuance.

Utilizing the conceptual framework of education policy and organizational change with a focus on Lewin’s force field ...


Achieving A Vision Of Success For English Language Learners, Van H. Truong Jan 2017

Achieving A Vision Of Success For English Language Learners, Van H. Truong

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This qualitative research study explored participant perceptions of a district-sponsored leadership program for Language Learners, the International Youth Leadership Council, specifically as it applies to student advocacy, leadership, empowerment, and voice. This study utilized Critical Race Theory and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to examine a comparison of participant perceptions of personal and institutional barriers to leadership opportunities for Emergent Bilingual students in American educational systems and their experience participating in the district’s leadership program specifically designed for Emergent Bilingual students. Results showed that participants in the district’s Emergent Bilingual leadership program experienced high cultural alignment, racially, culturally, and linguistically ...


Developing Teacher Capacity With Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Practices, Sarah Phillips Jan 2017

Developing Teacher Capacity With Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Practices, Sarah Phillips

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

As elementary classrooms are becoming more diverse, school staffs remain predominantly White, with a perspective of mainstream sociocultural norms. Additionally, research has shown a disproportionate number of minority students receiving behavioral referrals. The cultural mismatch between teachers and students combined with the disproportionality seen in discipline data indicate that change is needed. The purpose of this quantitative study is to investigate the development of educators’ capacity to foster their own identity development and use culturally responsive classroom management practices that meet the needs of diverse students through a series of professional learning experiences. Additionally, this study will examine the relationship ...


Walk To Language: Creating Language Development Opportunities For Ell And Non-Ell Kindergarten Students, Tracy Klinger Jan 2017

Walk To Language: Creating Language Development Opportunities For Ell And Non-Ell Kindergarten Students, Tracy Klinger

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

A staggering number of students begin school with lagging English language skills, which may impact a child’s future achievement in reading and writing. This challenge is disproportionately high for students living in poverty and/or students that are learning English as a second language. The purpose of this research is to measure the impact of an instructional model utilized for kindergarten students, Walk to Language, on English language development and on English language arts skills. This model is unique in that it simultaneously addresses the language development needs of English language learners (ELL) and non-ELL, many of which are ...


Avid Elementary: A Case Study Of Program Effectiveness, Janelle Danskey Jan 2017

Avid Elementary: A Case Study Of Program Effectiveness, Janelle Danskey

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

AVID is a college-readiness program that supports students in the academic middle to be successful in rigorous academic coursework needed to be prepared for college. At the elementary level, school-wide instructional strategies, organizational tools, and college-going school culture support students’ socio-emotional and academic development. Focused on building students’ growth mindset, mastery goal orientation, and academic self-efficacy, AVID aims to prepare students for the next level. The purpose of this study is two-fold: to evaluate the impacts of the AVID program at the elementary school level on students’ growth mindset, self-efficacy, and goal orientation and to determine principals’ and teachers’ perceptions ...


Mathematical Discourse In Elementary Classrooms, Mary M. Shortino-Buck Jan 2017

Mathematical Discourse In Elementary Classrooms, Mary M. Shortino-Buck

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Mathematic reasoning of elementary aged students in the United States is low compared to other like nations. For students living in poverty the disparity is even greater. Previous research has linked mathematical discourse with the improvement of mathematic conceptual understanding and reasoning. This research, which employed a qualitative case study methodology, examined six elementary classrooms, to investigate the complex nature of including mathematical discourse in instruction. The purpose of examining mathematical discourse in elementary classrooms was to provide contextual insight into teacher beliefs about mathematical discourse, how instruction was prepared and facilitated by the teacher, and how students responded through ...


When Trauma Disrupts Learning: A Neuroeducation-Informed Professional Learning Experience, Cara Megan Wright Jan 2017

When Trauma Disrupts Learning: A Neuroeducation-Informed Professional Learning Experience, Cara Megan Wright

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This action research study analyzed the creation and implementation of a professional development about trauma, informed by Arwood’s Neuro-semantic Language Learning Theory and Noddings’ ethic of care. The purpose of this study was two-fold. The first was to create a professional learning experience for teachers on trauma to include perspectives from neuroscience, psychology, and language research. The second purpose was to determine if participation in that professional learning experience shifted educators’ beliefs about trauma and learning.

I completed two cycles of action research to address each purpose. In the first cycle, I collected qualitative data from five expert panelists ...


The Promise And Pitfalls Of Neuroeducation As A Grounding For Instructional Practices: An Exploration Of K-12 Application And Assessment, Stephanie C. Murphy Jan 2017

The Promise And Pitfalls Of Neuroeducation As A Grounding For Instructional Practices: An Exploration Of K-12 Application And Assessment, Stephanie C. Murphy

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this narrative inquiry study was to explore how educators from a language-based neuroeducation program apply and assess neuroeducation-grounded approaches in the classroom, and to investigate their perceptions of the challenges and merits of neuroeducation implementation. In order to understand the promise and pitfalls of neuroeducation as a grounding for instructional practices, this study sought to share the stories of educators on the frontlines of this nascent endeavor. It synthesized research from the domains of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and language theory, and applied Neuro-Semantic Language Learning Theory (NLLT) as its underpinning. The research involved five educators, all of ...


Redefining Professional Development: Investigating The Professional Learning Experiences Of Catholic School Educators, Rebecca Smith Jan 2017

Redefining Professional Development: Investigating The Professional Learning Experiences Of Catholic School Educators, Rebecca Smith

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to investigate the professional learning experiences of Catholic school educators and compare these experiences to national learning standards. This study aimed to better understand how professional learning could be meaningful and relevant for educators. Participants in this research included 223 educators from four Catholic high schools who took the 50-item Standards Assessment Inventory (SAI) survey (Learning Forward, 2011), which was grouped into seven Professional Learning Standards: learning communities, leadership, resources, data, learning designs, implementation, and outcomes. Additionally, nine educators participated in focus group interviews at three of the participating schools. The majority ...


Student And Teacher Perceptions Of The Impact Ethnic Studies Courses Have On Students Of Color: A Collective Case Study, Zulema Naegele Jan 2017

Student And Teacher Perceptions Of The Impact Ethnic Studies Courses Have On Students Of Color: A Collective Case Study, Zulema Naegele

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This qualitative research study explored student and teacher perceptions of the impact ethnic studies courses have on students of color. This study utilized conscientização or critical consciousness, authentic caring, and Critical Race Theory to understand teacher methods and strategies and the nature of instruction of ethnic studies curriculum in two urban public high schools in the Pacific Northwest. This research also examined how students perceived the curriculum and teaching strategies impacted their learning and engagement in the courses.

Data collection included classroom observations, open-ended student survey, teacher and student interviews, and student work products. Data analysis included both inductive and ...


The Historical Thinking Gap: High School History Teachers’ Self-Reported Practices, Beliefs, And Identities, Marla Doughty Jan 2017

The Historical Thinking Gap: High School History Teachers’ Self-Reported Practices, Beliefs, And Identities, Marla Doughty

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This quantitative study explored the practices, beliefs, and identities of history teachers in Oregon high schools. In recent decades, research from the field of history education has advocated for a shift in the way history should be taught in high school—away from a content-based curriculum to one that emphasizes “historical thinking” skills, i.e., “thinking like a historian.” But scholars have expressed concern as to what extent these skills are indeed being taught in high school classrooms. Very few research studies regarding actual high school history teacher practices exist, and those that do are primarily qualitative case studies. We ...


Student Perspectives In Advanced Placement For First-Year And Traditionally Underrepresented Students: Successes, Challenges, And Shifts In Their Academic Identity, Teresa Ketelsen Jan 2017

Student Perspectives In Advanced Placement For First-Year And Traditionally Underrepresented Students: Successes, Challenges, And Shifts In Their Academic Identity, Teresa Ketelsen

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study examined the perceptions of first-year Advanced Placement (AP) students; specifically traditionally underrepresented AP students from a high school that attempted to align its AP enrollment to the demographics of its school. This research contributed to the body of knowledge around first-year and traditionally underrepresented students participating in AP courses by identifying their perceived supports and challenges in their AP courses through a pre- and post-survey (n = 81) as well as selected student interviews (n = 5). The importance of this study is the student perspectives about the supports, the challenges, and their perceived changes that occurred in their academic ...


Factors Influencing Leadership Efficacy For Traditional-Aged Sophomore Male College Students, Jeromy A. Koffler Jan 2017

Factors Influencing Leadership Efficacy For Traditional-Aged Sophomore Male College Students, Jeromy A. Koffler

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

College student retention remains a prevalent topic in higher education as demographics change and the need to manage enrollment increases. Evidence suggests that women are outperforming men in college environments, and there are enrollment pipeline leaks in the sophomore year when many sophomores experience a slump in satisfaction and performance. This study examined experiential and environmental factors that predict leadership efficacy in traditional-aged sophomore male college students using data from the 2015 Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership. Descriptive statistics revealed percentages of sophomore male participation in a number of MSL-identified campus experiences, clubs and organizations, and leadership development activities. Sophomore males ...


Restorative Practices In One Pacific Northwest Middle School: A Case Study Of Multiple Stakeholders’ Perspectives And Experiences, Erin B. Shepherd Jan 2017

Restorative Practices In One Pacific Northwest Middle School: A Case Study Of Multiple Stakeholders’ Perspectives And Experiences, Erin B. Shepherd

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore restorative justice practices in one Pacific Northwest Middle School. The specific restorative practices used as well as staff and student experiences and perceptions explored. Data were collected from teacher surveys (n=22), staff interviews (n=6), student interviews (n=3), restorative circle observations (3 sessions) and a document analysis. Results included descriptions of seven distinct restorative practices as well as an in-depth account of a whole-class dialogue circle. Staff perspectives indicated the challenges, benefits, and recommendations for RJ implementation as well as key student viewpoints and experiences on the transformative ...


Implications Of Gender And Racial Intersectionality In The K-8 Classroom, Kate Hanigan Jan 2017

Implications Of Gender And Racial Intersectionality In The K-8 Classroom, Kate Hanigan

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to seek a better understanding of the phenomenon of intersectionality of gender and race/ethnicity as is it is experienced by White female K-8 teachers. The study explored the possibility that a positive relationship might exist between teachers' intersectionality awareness and their dispositions as culturally responsive educators and social justice activists. Twenty-one K-8 classroom teachers from a Pacific Northwest metropolitan school district completed the web-based Identity and Equity Awareness Survey which included items related to participants' equity training experience and perceived benefits. Additionally, thirteen items borrowed from social psychology and Women's ...