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University of South Carolina

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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Person Dimension Of Alternate Assessment Examined Using Achievement Results And Student Characteristics, Nicole Adams Jul 2019

The Person Dimension Of Alternate Assessment Examined Using Achievement Results And Student Characteristics, Nicole Adams

Theses and Dissertations

This study explored the Person Dimension of validity by expanding on previous work (Kearns, Kleinert, Kleinert, & Towles-Reeves, 2006, Kopriva, Thurlow, Perie, & Lazarus, 2016; Thurlow, Wu, Quenemon, Towels, 2016; and Towles-Reeves, Kearns, Kleinert, & Kleinert, 2009) using data from the Learning Characteristics Inventory, which includes data on different aspects of students’ disabilities, and comparing those characteristics to level scores on state standardized assessments. There are aspects of students’ disabilities that have the potential to impact the validity of an assessment. The sample under analysis includes students in grades 4-8 (ages 9-13), eligible to take alternate assessment. Students with three years of data are used (N=989), in three cohorts ...


Developing Specialized Content Knowledge For Equitable Practice In Mathematics: Exploring A Constructivist Approach To Preservice Teacher Education, Jane Rector Wilkes Jul 2019

Developing Specialized Content Knowledge For Equitable Practice In Mathematics: Exploring A Constructivist Approach To Preservice Teacher Education, Jane Rector Wilkes

Theses and Dissertations

A successful teacher education program prepares preservice teachers to provide high quality mathematics education for all students. In order to effectively address the needs of diverse and historically underserved groups of students, future teachers need to have a deep understanding of both basic content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. The purpose of this study was to examine ways to support preservice teachers in improving procedural and conceptual content mastery, as well as the specialized content knowledge that they will need in order to feel empowered to teach their future students.

Based on the theoretical frameworks of two components of mathematical ...


The Impact Of Mindfulness Practices On The Dispositions Of Eight Third-Grade Elementary Students At An Elementary School In The Southeast Region Of The United States, Jakob Lauffer Jul 2019

The Impact Of Mindfulness Practices On The Dispositions Of Eight Third-Grade Elementary Students At An Elementary School In The Southeast Region Of The United States, Jakob Lauffer

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of the study was to examine the impact mindfulness sessions had on the dispositions of eight third-grade students. In the Spring of 2019, mindfulness practices were presented to third-graders in their regular classroom setting every Monday and Thursday over the six-week qualitative action research study. During this time, the teacher-researcher administered 15-minute mindful lessons that aimed to help increase coping strategies in the student population. The instruments used for data collection in this qualitative action research study were: a pre/post-intervention questionnaire, weekly exit slips utilizing multiple choice and open-ended questions, field notes, and digital video recordings. Students ...


The Effect Of Collaboration On Online Student Motivation In A College Biology Course, Christina Fieber Jul 2019

The Effect Of Collaboration On Online Student Motivation In A College Biology Course, Christina Fieber

Theses and Dissertations

Online coursework in higher education is an accessible, cost-effective alternative for students and institutions. As demand for online courses grows, the need to address discrepancies in online student success and elevated attrition rates is a pressing issue in higher education. Instructional methods in online classrooms are a potential lever for minimizing these gaps. Research indicates motivation is a key indicator of student success and can have a positive impact on student achievement and persistence, whether online or in a traditional classroom setting. Collaboration, including social interaction, has also been shown to have a positive impact on student outcomes, and can ...


Training Teachers Of Children With Moderate To Severe Disabilities To Contingently Respond To Child-Initiated Socially-Desirable Behaviors During Centers, Ashley King Holt Jul 2019

Training Teachers Of Children With Moderate To Severe Disabilities To Contingently Respond To Child-Initiated Socially-Desirable Behaviors During Centers, Ashley King Holt

Theses and Dissertations

Teachers of young children with moderate to severe disabilities may have insufficient training in implementing naturalistic instructional practices based in evidence. Behavior Specific Praise (BSP) and Incidental Teaching are well researched, but limited studies exist on the use of teacher contingent responses to children with moderate to severe disabilities’ self-initiated socially-desirable behaviors during centers. I used a multiple baseline design across four special education teachers to measure the effects of a training package incorporating Behavior Skills Training (BST) and Emailed Performance Feedback (EPF) on teachers’ contingent responses to their target children with a few self-initiated socially-desirable behaviors during centers. Results ...


The Impact Of A Problem-Posing Approach On Student Engagement In An Esl Classroom In A Mid-Atlantic State, Beverly Anne Richardson Jewett Jul 2019

The Impact Of A Problem-Posing Approach On Student Engagement In An Esl Classroom In A Mid-Atlantic State, Beverly Anne Richardson Jewett

Theses and Dissertations

This study examined the impact of a problem-posing approach on student engagement in an ESL classroom at a community college in a Mid-Atlantic state. This study took place during the Spring 2019 semester with seven participants, two males and five females. Data were collected through pre- and post-surveys, pre- and post-interviews, student work artifacts, informal interviews, and field observations. The results of the study revealed that the students perceived an increase in their own engagement through a problem-posing instructional approach. Furthermore, the results revealed increased students’ value of collaboration, an environment that disarmed the fear of speaking, and connections to ...


Work Ethic Skills And A Liberal Arts Education: Using Work-Integrated Learning In A Liberal Arts Course To Enhance Students' Work Ethic Skills And Demonstrate The Practicality Of A Liberal Arts Education., Jennifer M. Lopes Jul 2019

Work Ethic Skills And A Liberal Arts Education: Using Work-Integrated Learning In A Liberal Arts Course To Enhance Students' Work Ethic Skills And Demonstrate The Practicality Of A Liberal Arts Education., Jennifer M. Lopes

Theses and Dissertations

To address the gap in employability skills among recent college graduates, the proposed intervention seeks to integrate work ethic skills (WES) into the general education curriculum in a practical, efficient, and effective way to develop and enhance students’ professional skills. Work-integrated learning (WIL), if done properly, is the most effective method for students to learn, practice, and apply professional and academic skills. Problematic is the fact that general education courses have tenuous WIL connections because they are not “job specific. Hence, Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory is applied as the theoretical framework for creating effective an meaningful learning experiences ...


Feminist-Infused Participatory Action Research To Promote Female Students’ Self- Efficacy In Mathematics, Nicole Hreno Jul 2019

Feminist-Infused Participatory Action Research To Promote Female Students’ Self- Efficacy In Mathematics, Nicole Hreno

Theses and Dissertations

Prompted by the manifestations of decreased levels of mathematical self-efficacy among the female students in my district, the purpose of this study was to investigate the source of self-efficacy development that was most influential among our female students and engage in praxis to combat these gender inequities. Grounded in critical feminist theory, I engaged six teacher-researchers in participatory action research through qualitative methodologies. Using questionnaires to examine the worldviews of our female students, the emergent study was guided by these voices which were previously silenced. The interventions employed were a direct result of the females’ expressed mathematical experiences, leading us ...


The Effects Of Synchronous Online Course Orientation On Student Attrition, Rachel C. Fowler Jul 2019

The Effects Of Synchronous Online Course Orientation On Student Attrition, Rachel C. Fowler

Theses and Dissertations

Online course offerings are becoming more abundant in post-secondary education; such is the case with science courses at Tidal Wave Technical College. Online courses bring many benefits to students including flexibility, convenience, and the ability to learn anywhere, anytime. However, despite these benefits many challenges are also associated with online course offerings including student attrition. Using a non-major biology course as the test model this research sought to trial one possible way to alleviate the problems associated with online learning by incorporating a synchronous online orientation. Data on student attrition, success, and perception was gathered to gain insight into the ...


How Exemplary Elementary School Principals Sustain High Achievement In High-Poverty Contexts Of The Rural South, Sharon Jefferies Jul 2019

How Exemplary Elementary School Principals Sustain High Achievement In High-Poverty Contexts Of The Rural South, Sharon Jefferies

Theses and Dissertations

One of the greatest challenges in America’s public education is overcoming the economic and demographic disparities facing high-poverty schools, particularly in rural areas. Despite the obstacles, some high-performing, high-poverty schools are beating the odds. Research on successful leadership practices in high-poverty, high-performing elementary schools has been focused primarily in urban settings. There is limited research on the leadership practices of principals in high-performing, high-poverty elementary schools in rural contexts, particularly in the South. This study examines the lived experiences, beliefs and daily practices of two elementary exemplary principals who lead rural, high-performing, high-poverty schools in South Carolina. Particularly, the ...


Soldier To Student: Understanding The Transition Experiences Of Veterans From The Military To Community College, Alexander T. Jordan Jul 2019

Soldier To Student: Understanding The Transition Experiences Of Veterans From The Military To Community College, Alexander T. Jordan

Theses and Dissertations

The relationship between the U.S. military and higher education is one that is unlike any other. As the United States’ economy continues to transition more towards a knowledge-based economy every year, students, especially veterans, are continually faced with the realization that a degree of higher education of some sort is arguably a necessity in order to survive. Data shows that community colleges attract the largest number of veterans compared to other types of institutions including four-year and for-profit colleges and universities (Wheeler, 2012). At 43%, community colleges are the preferred option for veterans across the United States (Wheeler, 2012 ...


United States Principals’ Involvement In Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: A Social-Ecological Perspective, Karie Lee Orendorff Jul 2019

United States Principals’ Involvement In Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: A Social-Ecological Perspective, Karie Lee Orendorff

Theses and Dissertations

Principal involvement is essential to the successful uptake of new school programs and initiatives. Recommendations and research underscore the key role of principals in supporting a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP), which is a coordinated and synergistic approach to ensuring school-age accumulate the nationally recommended amounts of daily physical activity (PA), as well as develop the knowledge, skills and confidence for lifetime participation in PA. Little is known about the extent to which principals in the United States are involved in CSPAPs or about the factors that are associated with such involvement. The purpose of this dissertation was to ...


Student Engagement With Video Instruction—How To Engage 7th-Grade Social Studies Students And Diverse Academic Abilities With Video In The Classroom, Andrew Miller Jul 2019

Student Engagement With Video Instruction—How To Engage 7th-Grade Social Studies Students And Diverse Academic Abilities With Video In The Classroom, Andrew Miller

Theses and Dissertations

This mixed methods action research study explored the use of video-enhanced instruction in a seventh-grade social studies classroom in a small, rural middle school in the southeast United States. The primary research questions for this study was, How do different strategies for video-enhanced instruction support or challenge engagement in learning for students with diverse academic abilities? This dissertation will describe how I used the SAMR model of technology integration (Puentedura, 2012), and David Havens’ (2014) framework for engagement with technology to enact and study the impact of three different ways that video-enhanced instruction could be used to support students identified ...


A Phenomenological Look At What Motivates And Challenges Teachers To Use Outdoor Learning Activities, Kristin Elizabeth Peney Jul 2019

A Phenomenological Look At What Motivates And Challenges Teachers To Use Outdoor Learning Activities, Kristin Elizabeth Peney

Theses and Dissertations

The specific problem of practice on which this study is focused is the lack of opportunities for students to engage in outdoor learning experiences (OLEs) and one contributing factor to this problem, the hesitance teachers demonstrate towards engaging their students and themselves in OLEs (Rickinson et al., 2004). The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper and more thorough understanding of the beliefs about outdoor learning experiences (OLEs) held by teachers in my context. An investigative action research design using the phenomenological approach was selected for this study as teacher beliefs are complex, and are best understood when ...


Focusing On Social Presence In An Electronics Course At A Two-Year College: An Action Research Study, Sherisse G. Jackson Jul 2019

Focusing On Social Presence In An Electronics Course At A Two-Year College: An Action Research Study, Sherisse G. Jackson

Theses and Dissertations

Using a phenomenological approach, this action research study explored the influence of social presence (Garrison et al., 2000) on the achievement of students who were enrolled in Electronics, a two-year college course. Social presence was facilitated through the use and study of reciprocal teaching (Green, 2000), a collaborative learning strategy that has the potential to foster the development of social presence and is inherently culturally responsive (Gay, 2010). Qualitative data were generated through interviews with students, practitioner reflective notes, and classroom observations during the intervention. Analysis and interpretation of the data indicated student-participants had positive experiences during the intervention and ...


Regression Mixture Models: An Investigation Of The Effects Of Mixing Weights And Predictor Distributions, Phillip Sherlock Jul 2019

Regression Mixture Models: An Investigation Of The Effects Of Mixing Weights And Predictor Distributions, Phillip Sherlock

Theses and Dissertations

This study focused on understanding how several data characteristics associated with the investigation of effect heterogeneity (i.e., mixing weights, predictor distributions, and the inclusion of covariates) affected enumeration and parameter recovery with regression mixture models. The inclusion of C on X paths, where the latent class, C, is regressed on the predictor, X, allows predictor means to vary across classes, at two points in the model building process—during and after enumeration—was of interest. This main aim was accomplished by comparing the correct enumeration rates and parameter coverage rates with and without freely estimated predictor means across classes ...


“More Luggage”: The Heavy But Invisible Social Burden Carried By African American Advanced Placement Students, Leslie C. Richard Jul 2019

“More Luggage”: The Heavy But Invisible Social Burden Carried By African American Advanced Placement Students, Leslie C. Richard

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this investigative action research study was to find new ways to disrupt the inequitable recruitment and enrollment practices in the sequence of AP English courses at a small, urban high school in the southeast United States. Through engagement in practitioner inquiry and guided by Critical Race Theory (CRT), this study sought to gather knowledge from the stories told by African American students about their choice to enroll in AP English and their experiences with their classmates, teachers, and the social environment in the course. Their counternarratives are juxtaposed against the limited perspectives of four White, female AP ...


Supporting Teacher Collaboration Aimed At Developing High School Students’ Digital Media Literacy: A Participatory Action Research Study, Rachel A. Riendeau Jul 2019

Supporting Teacher Collaboration Aimed At Developing High School Students’ Digital Media Literacy: A Participatory Action Research Study, Rachel A. Riendeau

Theses and Dissertations

The growing use of social media as a source of information about important current events among high school students requires the development of new instructional strategies that promote digital media literacy. Recognizing that the use of social media varies extensively among high school students, the nature of this problem is highly context dependent. As such, the most likely approach to be successful in a given classroom is one led and enacted by teachers in their own classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation in practice was twofold. The first purpose was to develop effective curricular materials that support digital media ...


Decisions Based On Perception: Perceptions Of Stem Teacher Leader Job Satisfaction In Rural, High Poverty Schools, Jodi G. Zeis Jul 2019

Decisions Based On Perception: Perceptions Of Stem Teacher Leader Job Satisfaction In Rural, High Poverty Schools, Jodi G. Zeis

Theses and Dissertations

High poverty rural schools face teacher turnover at a rate higher than average schools. Perceptions drive decisions. Workplace circumstance affect what drives the leadership of STEM teacher leaders in high poverty rural schools. Therefore, when STEM teacher leaders leave, they take their unique skill sets with them. Research shows that engagement and self-efficacy, along with professional appreciation lead to a higher retention rate of teachers. Often that is achieved through distributed leadership. This study aimed to determine how leadership experiences shape the professional perceptions of STEM teacher leaders in high poverty, rural schools. Building on previous research this study asked ...


The Impact Of Poetry Annotations On The Critical Thinking Skills Of High School Juniors And Seniors At A School In A Southeastern State, Stefanie J. Fowler Jul 2019

The Impact Of Poetry Annotations On The Critical Thinking Skills Of High School Juniors And Seniors At A School In A Southeastern State, Stefanie J. Fowler

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of poetry annotations on students’ critical thinking skills. This action research study took place in the spring of 2019 with eight high school participants. Participants were enrolled in an English IV-Honors class that was a combination of juniors and seniors. The setting was a public high school in a southeastern state. A mixed methods design was used; however, the study was more dominantly a qualitative study, and data was collected from participant pre and post-surveys and interviews, student-participant work, teacher-researcher observation notes, journal entries, and rubrics for annotations and responses ...


Using An Argument Driven Inquiry Model To Develop Scientific Proficiency In The Middle School Classroom, Lorelei Ross Jul 2019

Using An Argument Driven Inquiry Model To Develop Scientific Proficiency In The Middle School Classroom, Lorelei Ross

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of argument driven inquiry (ADI) on the development of evidence-based arguments for eight eighth-grade students. This study took place in the third quarter of the 2018-2019 school year. The setting was a public middle school in a suburban county in the Southeast. Through the use of an action research design, qualitative and quantitative data was collected over a six-week period using various instruments. Instruments included a content pretest and post-test, generating an evidence-based argument pre-test and post-test, pre- and post-formal interviews, pre and post science questionnaire Likert attitudinal scale, collection ...


Elaborative Rehearsal: An Examination Of Usage, Perceptions Of Utility, And Differences In Metacognition And Test Performance, Tori Kim Norris Jul 2019

Elaborative Rehearsal: An Examination Of Usage, Perceptions Of Utility, And Differences In Metacognition And Test Performance, Tori Kim Norris

Theses and Dissertations

This action research study explored the use of elaborative rehearsal as an intervention and examined differences in metacognition and test performance among college students in a general psychology course. Metacognitive processes are crucial for adequate comprehension. Students often come into college having very little metacognition, knowledge about different strategies, different cognitive tasks, and sometimes even accurate knowledge about how they learn (Pintrich, 2002). Common metacognition strategies are note-taking, summarizing, finding main ideas, writing to learn, self-questioning, outlining, previewing, reflecting, reciting and reviewing (Kisac & Budak, 2014). Elaborative rehearsal is a metacognitive learning strategy that encompasses many of these components. Unfortunately, at ...


Education For Sustainability: The Effectiveness Of A Place Based Environmental Education Unit In Food Waste Reduction On The Environmental Awareness Of Fourth Grade Students, Bree Lauffer Jul 2019

Education For Sustainability: The Effectiveness Of A Place Based Environmental Education Unit In Food Waste Reduction On The Environmental Awareness Of Fourth Grade Students, Bree Lauffer

Theses and Dissertations

Implementation of a place-based composting unit for food reduction in the Spring of 2019 with 10 fourth-grade students utilized qualitative methodologies in order to measure its effects on environmental awareness in the individuals. Guided by Capra’s (1997) notion of sustainability in an ecoliterate society and Sobel’s (2008) place-based pedagogy, the curriculum and instructional decisions during the construction of the unit utilized read alouds and outdoor activities that aimed to increase the students’ connectedness to their local setting in order to motivate students for engagement in ecoliterate behaviors. Pre- and post-intervention surveys, artifacts and exit slips in student nature ...


Fostering Agency In Single-Gender, Middle Level Ela Classrooms: A Descriptive Multiple-Case Study, Jennifer V. Stowe Jul 2019

Fostering Agency In Single-Gender, Middle Level Ela Classrooms: A Descriptive Multiple-Case Study, Jennifer V. Stowe

Theses and Dissertations

Students’ sense of agency or self-efficacy has been linked to student achievement levels (Goodman & Eren, 2013; Johnston, 2004; Skinner, Wellborne, & Connell, 1990). Research has also established that teachers position their students as having agency in the context of the classroom, frequently by the ways that they use language (Johnston, 2004; Paulson & Theado, 2014). However, little, if any, extant research describes teacher language as it relates to agency within the middle level English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. Additionally, studies concerning agency rarely address the ways in which gender may influence the ways in which teachers position their students for agency. This case study provides educators with concrete examples of the language that middle level ELA teachers use to promote agency in their classrooms.

The researcher observed two middle level ELA teachers working in ...


Curricular Assessments In South Carolina By Teachers Of Students With Severe Disabilities, Martha Jill Bardin Christmus Jul 2019

Curricular Assessments In South Carolina By Teachers Of Students With Severe Disabilities, Martha Jill Bardin Christmus

Theses and Dissertations

Students with severe disabilities are often taught the same academic curriculum that is not differentiated to meet his or her unique needs in self-contained classrooms with little or no opportunity to participate in the school and other community environments where non-disabled individuals live, work, learn, and play. It is important that their curriculum prepare them to participate in the school and community environment like their same age peers. The assessment of a students’ unique needs and the environment should guide his or her curriculum development and not a curriculum sequence. Students with severe disabilities should be taught the skills necessary ...


The Impact Of Self-Regulated Learning Tutoring And Mentoring Program On Black Males In Eighth-Grade Science, Julie Liddle Lott Jul 2019

The Impact Of Self-Regulated Learning Tutoring And Mentoring Program On Black Males In Eighth-Grade Science, Julie Liddle Lott

Theses and Dissertations

The problem of practice described in this paper was identified by the state testing gaps between White and Black male students at a middle school in central South Carolina. This identified problem of practice led to the development of the research question: What is the impact of a tutoring and mentoring program using self-regulated learning strategies on my Black male students and their academic achievement in eighth grade science? The purpose of this study is to determine if a tutoring and mentoring program will affect the academic achievement of my Black male students in science.

The action research model being ...


Enhancing Writer's Voice In Argumentative And Expository Essay Writing Using The Embedded Voice Technique, Jonathan K. Fowler Jul 2019

Enhancing Writer's Voice In Argumentative And Expository Essay Writing Using The Embedded Voice Technique, Jonathan K. Fowler

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research study was to examine the impact that the Embedded Voice Technique of writing instruction had on one’s writer’s voice. The teacher-researcher posits that voice is not an individual component of writing, but rather a culmination of multiple components of writing; it is the sum of parts rather than a part in and of itself. The study took place in an English 3-Honors class with nine randomly chosen participants over an eight-week period. Data were collected using a variety of data collection instruments. Pre and post-treatment Likert scale surveys determinee participants’ dispositions regarding ...


A Litigation Analysis Of The Extraterritoriality Of U.S. Federal Laws In International Education, Sara M. Easler Apr 2019

A Litigation Analysis Of The Extraterritoriality Of U.S. Federal Laws In International Education, Sara M. Easler

Theses and Dissertations

U.S. higher education institutions and international educators have sought to improve the level of engagement and participation in education abroad among undergraduate college students as well as to diversify the types of available experiences and the students that benefit from them. Yet, this programmatic investment in international education and study abroad has occurred without fully understanding the discrimination and litigation risks of such endeavors. This study examines the relevant federal statutes and their interpretation as defined by trial outcomes and Office of Civil Rights (OCR) opinions in an effort to inform the field of international education and its practitioners ...


The Impact Of Project-Based Learning Assignments On The Writing, Communication And Interpersonal Skills Of Students In A College Skills Course, Aungeto Ditze Lockhart Sigman Apr 2019

The Impact Of Project-Based Learning Assignments On The Writing, Communication And Interpersonal Skills Of Students In A College Skills Course, Aungeto Ditze Lockhart Sigman

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research study was to determine the impact of project- based learning on the writing, communication and interpersonal skills of students in a college skills course. This course was required for students who were enrolled in at least one or more developmental courses. The purpose of this course was to equip the students with skills necessary for success during college and beyond. However, the syllabus for the course did not include any activities or assignments to improve the students’ writing, communication or interpersonal skills. As a result, the students were not successful in completing the final ...


Beyond Standardized Test Scores: The Use Of Culturally And Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy To Improve Access To Gifted Programming For Hispanic Students, Virginia G. Pratt Apr 2019

Beyond Standardized Test Scores: The Use Of Culturally And Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy To Improve Access To Gifted Programming For Hispanic Students, Virginia G. Pratt

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this mixed-methods action research study was to explore how expanding curriculum in a gifted and talented English/ Language Arts (ELA) class to include a culturally and linguistically responsive strategy might broaden access to gifted programming for high-achieving children of Hispanic descent. The identified problem of practice is that the population of students from Hispanic families at Little Tree Elementary School (a pseudonym) continues to rise, yet Hispanic students are largely underrepresented in the school’s gifted program. This action research was carried out with a fourth-grade gifted ELA class in a Title I South Carolina elementary school ...