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Theses/Dissertations

Dissertations and Theses

Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching

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Full-Text Articles in Education

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

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

Dissertations and Theses

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


Teacher Mindfulness In The Middle School Classroom: Reliability And Validity Of A New Scale, Nicolette Paige Rickert Jul 2016

Teacher Mindfulness In The Middle School Classroom: Reliability And Validity Of A New Scale, Nicolette Paige Rickert

Dissertations and Theses

Despite significant growth in research examining the effects of mindfulness interventions on teachers (Roeser, 2014), studies have mainly relied on self-reports of teacher mindfulness and have not examined observable behavioral manifestations of teacher mindfulness in the classroom. Due to possible biases in self-report measures (Dotterer & Lowe, 2011), as well as the need for a greater range of assessments of the effects of mindfulness trainings on teachers, the current study sought to create a new measure of teacher mindfulness in the classroom from three sources of information: teacher self-reports of their own behavior in the classroom, student perceptions of their teachers' behavior, and third-person observations of teacher behavior in the classroom. Another aim of this study was to demonstrate the concurrent validity of these new measures with teacher dispositional mindfulness and job stress. It was hypothesized that the newly created measures of teacher mindfulness in the classroom would be internally reliable, share modest inter-correlations across data sources, and would significantly correlate with hypothesized antecedents such as teachers' dispositional mindfulness and ratings of job stress. CFA, correlation, and regression analyses found good internal consistencies for each informant source of teacher calmness, clarity, and kindness; partial support for the convergent validity of each informant source; and partial concurrent validity only for teacher reports of mindfulness in the classroom with teachers' dispositional mindfulness and job stress. Evidence of method effects was suggested from these analyses. The future use, re-configuration, and implications of this suite of measures are discussed.


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

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

Dissertations and Theses

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


The Effects Of An Overnight Environmental Science Education Program On Students' Attendance Rate Change For Middle School Years, Jennifer Elizabeth Basham Dec 2015

The Effects Of An Overnight Environmental Science Education Program On Students' Attendance Rate Change For Middle School Years, Jennifer Elizabeth Basham

Dissertations and Theses

Programs that engage middle students in participatory, real-world, and hands-on field based instruction can be a powerful asset to the educational experiences for students; motivating and inspiring some to appreciate and value school in a different way. Overnight environmental science programs have a unique opportunity to support students by creating experiences where students can participate in learning in vastly different ways from what they may engage with in the traditional 4-walled classroom, while concurrently developing a relationship with the natural world. Decreasing educational budgets and increased need to substantiate educational programs in terms of their impact on students has added ...


Reciprocal Effects Of Student Engagement And Disaffection On Changes In Teacher Support Over The School Year, Cailin Tricia Currie Apr 2014

Reciprocal Effects Of Student Engagement And Disaffection On Changes In Teacher Support Over The School Year, Cailin Tricia Currie

Dissertations and Theses

Building upon previous research on the importance of students' motivation for their learning and academic success, this study sought to examine how students' motivation in the classroom may impact the way their teachers' treat them. Specifically, data from 423 middle school students and their 21 teachers were used to examine the extent to which student engagement and disaffection (individually and in combination) in the fall predicted changes in teachers' provision of motivational support from fall to spring of the same school year. The study also examined whether these relationships might differ by student grade or gender, and whether the effects ...


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

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

Dissertations and Theses

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


Impact Of Teachers' Planned Questions On Opportunities For Students To Reason Mathematically In Whole-Class Discussions Around Mathematical Problem-Solving Tasks, Sarah Elizabeth Enoch Aug 2013

Impact Of Teachers' Planned Questions On Opportunities For Students To Reason Mathematically In Whole-Class Discussions Around Mathematical Problem-Solving Tasks, Sarah Elizabeth Enoch

Dissertations and Theses

While professional developers have been encouraging teachers to plan for discourse around problem solving tasks as a way to orchestrate mathematically productive discourse (Stein, Engle, Smith, & Hughes, 2008; Stein, Smith, Henningsen, & Silver, 2009) no research has been conducted explicitly examining the relationship between the plans that teachers make for orchestrating discourse around problem solving tasks and the outcomes of implementation of those plans. This research study is intended to open the door to research on planning for discourse around problem solving tasks.

This research study analyzes how 12 middle school mathematics teachers participating in the Mathematics Problem Solving Model professional development research ...


Why Ask Why: An Exploration Of The Role Of Proof In The Mathematics Classroom, Joanna Rachel Bartlo May 2013

Why Ask Why: An Exploration Of The Role Of Proof In The Mathematics Classroom, Joanna Rachel Bartlo

Dissertations and Theses

Although proof has long been viewed as a cornerstone of mathematical activity, incorporating the mathematical practice of proving into classrooms is not a simple matter. In this dissertation I aim to advance research on proof by addressing this issue. In particular, I explore the role proof might play in promoting the learning of mathematics in the classroom. I do this in a series of three articles (organized as three chapters), which are preceded by an introductory chapter. The introductory chapter situates the remaining chapters in the context of mathematics education research. In the second chapter I explore what the literature ...


A Study Of Special Preparation And Training Needs Of Middle School Teachers, Marilyn Seger Jan 1995

A Study Of Special Preparation And Training Needs Of Middle School Teachers, Marilyn Seger

Dissertations and Theses

The concept of middle level schooling has existed in the United States since the early 1900s. During the early 1960s, middle level schools were organized to meet the unique developmental needs of early adolescents. Yet, special training, preparation and/or certification for aspiring teachers who wish to work at this level are not available in the majority of states. Many state licensing agencies provide either elementary or secondary certification, which historically was believed to be adequate for middle level teaching. This study investigates the special preparation and training needs of middle level teachers as perceived by teachers and administrators in ...


Teacher Perceptions Of Evaluation As An Agent For Teacher Growth And Improvement Of Instruction, Beverly Ann Hobson Jan 1989

Teacher Perceptions Of Evaluation As An Agent For Teacher Growth And Improvement Of Instruction, Beverly Ann Hobson

Dissertations and Theses

The purpose of this study was to measure the perceptions of teachers regarding their most recent evaluation experience and to determine whether teachers perceive any significant relationships between attributes of teacher evaluation and its quality and impact on teacher growth. The study also considered whether there are significant differences between elementary and secondary teachers, as well as between classroom and nonclassroom teachers, in their perceptions of evaluation.

The suburban school district in this study serves approximately 22,000 students. The subjects included 402 elementary and secondary teachers who were randomly selected from 1,081 permanent teachers.

The Teacher Evaluation Profile ...