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Examining Group Dynamics Of High School Adminstrative Teams: How Individual And Group Leadership Traits Foster Intergration Of Ideas And Actions In Learning Organizations, Steven Brady Oct 2018

Examining Group Dynamics Of High School Adminstrative Teams: How Individual And Group Leadership Traits Foster Intergration Of Ideas And Actions In Learning Organizations, Steven Brady

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation examines the complexity of leadership teamwork and focuses on high school administration teams. These teams are complex and support multiple stakeholders throughout their educational institutions. The primary purpose of this study is to understand how high school administration teams construct strong group dynamics that foster integration of ideas and actions across a learning organization. The secondary focus is understanding leadership traits that teams and individual leaders of high school administration teams possess and how teams utilize communication to support effective leadership teams. The study analyzed high school administration teams, of three or more members, looking at the team ...


Why Is Invasive Species Education Important, Alexandra Crofts Oct 2018

Why Is Invasive Species Education Important, Alexandra Crofts

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This research question addressed the importance of invasive species education in the Midwest Great Lakes Regions. Invasive species threaten most ecosystems around the world and can lead to decreasing biodiversity and even the extinction of native species. Humans are one of the largest vectors responsible for the transportation of invasive species. This research focused on providing evidence of the negative impact aquatic invasive species can have on native fish populations. Fish population data was collected using gill nets in the East Metro Area of the Twin Cities in Minnesota in the 2018 field season. This data was compared to Minnesota ...


Getting More Young Children Outdoors By Supporting And Encouraging Their Teachers, April Greibrok Oct 2018

Getting More Young Children Outdoors By Supporting And Encouraging Their Teachers, April Greibrok

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This capstone thesis used an Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods (ESMM) research design to answer the question, How do we support and encourage teachers to take their early childhood classes outdoors? While anecdotally, and through literature review, there appear to be barriers to outdoor activities, e.g., policies and regulations, or lack of safe clothing or equipment, there also is an abundance of research on the benefits of having children spend time in nature, or with natural elements. In the early childhood setting the mixed method survey research identified actual-stated common barriers to spending time outside with a class. An initial ...


Decoding A New Age Of Informal Learning: Describing Public Pedagogy For The Web, Alison Holland Oct 2018

Decoding A New Age Of Informal Learning: Describing Public Pedagogy For The Web, Alison Holland

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The everyday, informal, out-of-school learning adults participate in has drastically changed in the past two decades as information and interaction online has grown and evolved (Blaschke, 2012; Skyrme, 2001). Instead of attending in-person workshops and noncredit courses, sending away for fact sheets and the like, much informal learning today occurs online, often beginning with a search engine or social network. However, long-standing, nonprofit, and governmental institutions have largely failed to understand and capitalize on the new information and education ecosystem, while nimble start-ups (e.g., Wikipedia) have thrived (Fuad-Luke, 2009; Skyrme, 2001). This dissertation aims to provide a model for ...


"Recycling Influences: Exposure To Childhood Environmental Education", Janet Hollinger Oct 2018

"Recycling Influences: Exposure To Childhood Environmental Education", Janet Hollinger

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed was what do people who participate or do not participate in a neighborhood recycling program report regarding their exposure to childhood environmental education? It focuses on 2 communities in the southwestern United States. The author documents details of a qualitative survey as well as presents data from 2 seven-week-long observations. While the survey was minimal, the observation results show that only a small change can markedly affect the participation in recycling programs.


"A Hmong American Esl Teacher’S Struggles With Quietness And Its Effect On Oral Acquisition Of English: An Autoethnography ", Nou Ly Oct 2018

"A Hmong American Esl Teacher’S Struggles With Quietness And Its Effect On Oral Acquisition Of English: An Autoethnography ", Nou Ly

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this project was: What factors, whether internally or externally, contributed to my quiet behavior as an English learner (EL) and did these factors affect my own English language acquisition, and if so, to what extent? The purpose of this autoethnography was to reflect on my personal experience as an English learner (EL) in order to explore and make an attempt to identify some of the factors that may have caused me to be a quiet learner. Understanding what these factors are can help me and other educators understand why the majority of our Hmong English ...


How Does The Language Used In Literacy Coaching Conversations Impact Teacher Self-Efficacy?, Nicole Cahill Oct 2018

How Does The Language Used In Literacy Coaching Conversations Impact Teacher Self-Efficacy?, Nicole Cahill

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This action research study explored the language used by the researcher during literacy coaching sessions with six elementary school teachers. The research question addressed in this capstone is, how does the language used in literacy coaching conversations impact teacher self-efficacy? The author reviewed relevant research regarding self-efficacy, the components of effective coaching conversations, and a social constructivist view of language. Key findings from the literature review were used to develop a list of language prompts in order to increase teacher self-efficacy during coaching dialogues. Each research participant engaged in an individual coaching cycle that included a modeling session, two sessions ...


Perceptions Of Adult-Child Collaboration In Toddler Environments In A Midwestern Montessori School, Anne Estes Oct 2018

Perceptions Of Adult-Child Collaboration In Toddler Environments In A Midwestern Montessori School, Anne Estes

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to investigate adult perceptions of adult-child collaboration in two Montessori toddler environments and how it affects language, independence, and social interaction development. The study took place in one Midwestern Montessori school. The study was conducted on perceptions of adult-child collaboration through an electronic survey and intensive interviews. Five Montessori toddler assistants took the survey and two Montessori toddler guides completed intensive interviews. Once data were collected, qualitative theory methods were utilized to code, evaluate, and analyze all data. After data were re-analyzed, new theories and insights emerged surrounding how adult-child collaboration in a Montessori ...


A Study On The Use Of Rubrics To Guide Writing And Self-Assessment In The L2 Elementary Classroom, Matthew Hoerr Oct 2018

A Study On The Use Of Rubrics To Guide Writing And Self-Assessment In The L2 Elementary Classroom, Matthew Hoerr

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The use of rubrics in the classroom to guide writing or as a means of self-assessment are not new concepts but ones that have received little study at the primary level. This study took the

form of a classroom-based action research project, over a seven-week period, in a fourth- grade elementary school classroom, at an international school in Ecuador. Data was collected

through responses to narrative writing prompts scored by the teacher and self-assessed by the students using the 6-Traits Writing Rubric. The students received direct instruction on writing traits as well as training on how to use the rubric ...


A Culturally Relevant Opening Weeks Curriculum: Seeking To Engage All Students To Succeed In The Middle School Science Classroom, Altringer Nicholas Oct 2018

A Culturally Relevant Opening Weeks Curriculum: Seeking To Engage All Students To Succeed In The Middle School Science Classroom, Altringer Nicholas

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this project was How can a culturally relevant opening weeks unit help all students to succeed in the middle school science classroom? Topics explored in the literature review include challenges, themes, engagement of all students, gaps between students of color and their white peers, students of color and disproportionality trends in discipline, youth positions as hip-hop or survival mode, social construction of black inferiority, curriculum as windows and mirror, culturally responsive classroom management, using citizen science and student-driven investigation, restorative practices and restorative circles in the science classroom, shared responsibility for the classroom community, and ...


Memorization And Mastery: Teaching Disciplinary Vocabulary In The Secondary Classroom, Matthew Granoff Oct 2018

Memorization And Mastery: Teaching Disciplinary Vocabulary In The Secondary Classroom, Matthew Granoff

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This capstone posed the question, how can disciplinary vocabulary best be taught in a secondary classroom? As little direct research had previously been conducted on that topic, this curriculum design project drew from work in a variety of connected fields, such as the science of memory, second language acquisition and effective assessment practices and study habits, to create an original structure for instruction. Designed to complement rather than replace existing units, this capstone offers not a set of specific lessons but a set of detailed guidelines (grounded in theories such as depth of processing and the "testing effect") which can ...


Effects Of Evaluative Praise Versus Behavior Descriptive Praise On Intrinsic Motivation And Behavior, Stacie Mccormack Jul 2018

Effects Of Evaluative Praise Versus Behavior Descriptive Praise On Intrinsic Motivation And Behavior, Stacie Mccormack

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The author’s research inquiry was: what is the impact of behavior descriptive praise and evaluative praise on intrinsic student motivation and behavior? The literature states that using evaluative praise can cause a ‘fixed mindset’ where a child is fearful of trying new tasks, and confused on the desired behavior of the educator. Moreover using behavior descriptive praise allows children to view effort and working hard a positive aspect of learning, while the educator is able to easily establish clear expectations for the students. This study took place over a four month period with two different third grade art classes ...


Minnesota Female Principals From Historically Dominated Cultures In The United States: What Are Their Perceptions Of How Ethnicity, Gender, And Race Have Impacted Their Leadership Identity?, Alejandra Estrada-Burt Jul 2018

Minnesota Female Principals From Historically Dominated Cultures In The United States: What Are Their Perceptions Of How Ethnicity, Gender, And Race Have Impacted Their Leadership Identity?, Alejandra Estrada-Burt

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to investigate the ways in which ethnicity, gender and race impact the leadership identity of women of color who self-identify as belonging to the one of the four largest racial groups in the United States. A study was conducted on leadership identity survey and intensive interviews to answer the following: “Minnesota female principals from United States historically dominated cultures: What are their perceptions of how ethnicity, gender and race have impacted their leadership identity?” Fifteen participants completed a leadership identity survey and 13 of the 15 participants completed an intensive interview. Once data was ...


The Aspect Hypothesis And Its Application In The Comprehension Of Perfective Telic And Imperfective Atelic Situations In Leveled English Language Learners: Insights Into The Link Between Comprehension And Production, Collin Klagmann Jul 2018

The Aspect Hypothesis And Its Application In The Comprehension Of Perfective Telic And Imperfective Atelic Situations In Leveled English Language Learners: Insights Into The Link Between Comprehension And Production, Collin Klagmann

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The motivating factor for this research was to determine if predictive meaning-based tenets of the Aspect Hypothesis can be applied to the comprehension of perfective telic and imperfective atelic situations, and to assess the role lexical aspect plays in the attribution of perfective –ed to telic and imperfective –ing to atelic predicates for English language learners in WIDA proficiency Levels 2, 3, 4 and Exited. Student’s preference for aspectual attribution, and ability to notice completedness were measured. Results suggest that the perfective is more salient in a telic context, and is therefore acquired first. However, the salience of the ...


Feeding Inequity, Erin Lange Jul 2018

Feeding Inequity, Erin Lange

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

Currently, there is no law that requires Minnesota public schools serve meals during the school day. For some students, particularly those who qualify for free or reduced meals, attending a school that does not offer food service risks negatively impacting both their health and learning. This study surveyed 127 participants to find out what legislators, educators, and community members know about Minnesota’s laws related to school meals and what those respondents believe regarding whether legislation should be created to ensure public schools serve meals to students. Survey results found that many Minnesotans were not aware of the current school ...


School Uniform Requirements: Effects On Student Academic Performance, Elizabeth Brobeck Jul 2018

School Uniform Requirements: Effects On Student Academic Performance, Elizabeth Brobeck

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this capstone and subsequent case study were: Do school uniform requirements have an effect on overall student academic performance at one area charter school? In order to gain insight into the complex topic of uniforms, a literature review was conducted. Topics explored included worldwide perspectives on school uniforms, school uniforms in American public schools, the various reasons for and against uniform implementation, and the factors that comprise academic achievement. Upon completing a literature review, a case study was conducted at an area K-8 charter school. The author used a mainly qualitative approach to the case ...


Timing Is Everything: Adapting Rewards Intermediate For 4th And 5th Grade Striving Readers, Ruth Kerl Jul 2018

Timing Is Everything: Adapting Rewards Intermediate For 4th And 5th Grade Striving Readers, Ruth Kerl

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this study was “Does REWARDS Intermediate remain an effective intervention for striving readers when adapted for a 30-minute time frame?” This research emerged from a concern for upper elementary aged students who are striving to catch up with their peers when it comes to phonics and decoding skills. The study explored students’ and teachers’ mindsets, as well as the effectiveness of the REWARDS curriculum when adapted for 30-minute rather than 50-minute lessons. Effectiveness was measured in terms of: 1) multisyllabic word part and whole word fluency growth, 2) mindset and attitude changes, and 3) connected ...


Children’S Connectedness To Nature And Parental Influence: A Mixed Methods Survey, Meredith Yue Jul 2018

Children’S Connectedness To Nature And Parental Influence: A Mixed Methods Survey, Meredith Yue

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

I conducted a mixed method survey to focus on the question, “What are the ways parents positively shape their children’s connectedness to nature?” There is a national phenomenon on the disconnect between children and the natural world, coined as the “nature deficit disorder.” This disorder has been linked to an increase in obesity, mental health, attention disorders and the overall well-being of children. I administered a quantitative survey for children to measure their connectedness to nature as well as a qualitative survey of parents to gather in-depth information to capture the richness of the nature experience that happens at ...


Flexible Reading Groups And Social Emotional Needs In A First Grade Classroom, Miranda Pogulis Jul 2018

Flexible Reading Groups And Social Emotional Needs In A First Grade Classroom, Miranda Pogulis

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this curriculum design project is to design and integrate new lessons in my current first grade reading program that will enable students the opportunity to grow as a reader at the same time they are also strengthening their social emotional skills. Research from Michael Optiz and others demonstrates that students benefit from working with peers of varying ability levels through flexible groups. Joseph Zins, Roger Weissberg, Margaret Wang, and Herbert Walberg also have research that explains how integrating social emotional learning into the curriculum can be an important factor contributing to students success. Using this research as ...


Building Background Knowledge To Fill The Gaps, Jaclyn Semlak Jul 2018

Building Background Knowledge To Fill The Gaps, Jaclyn Semlak

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this study was: How does curriculum support early intervention strategies of at risk preschoolers? Topics explored in the review of the literature include early intervention, literacy and language, oral language and vocabulary, school readiness and vocabulary instruction. Curriculum was designed for teachers instructing 4 year olds to specifically target language instruction through a tiered approach. The Understanding by Design model was used in order to create desired results, how progress will be measured, and specific lessons falling into categories of read aloud, guided group and active learning. Limitations, implications, and recommendations for future research are ...


Will An Environmental Focused Genius Hour Affect Students’ Attitudes Toward The Environment?, Claire Opsahl Jul 2018

Will An Environmental Focused Genius Hour Affect Students’ Attitudes Toward The Environment?, Claire Opsahl

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine if an environmental focused Genius Hour will affect students’ attitudes toward the environment. Over an eight week period ninth grade students in an Honors Civics class self-selected an environmental topic to research, write a research paper and present their findings. The study was completed in a suburban high school setting. The study Quantitative and qualitative data was gathered using student interest surveys and the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) Likert Scale Survey. The participants were surveyed before completing their Genius Hour project and after completion. The results of the survey show that an ...


Using L1 In Support Of Learning English: Code-Switching Behaviors Across Wida Levels, Laura Lucarelli Jul 2018

Using L1 In Support Of Learning English: Code-Switching Behaviors Across Wida Levels, Laura Lucarelli

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

Many researchers agree that code-switching, or the complex behavior of switching between two languages or dialects, is an effective learning tool for ELs. This case study examines code-switching among Somali students in the context of three high school English-medium classrooms. Although there exists much research on the topic of how

and why students code-switch, little evidence has been collected to determine how code- switching behaviors vary between students at different levels of English development.

Therefore, the following research questions are investigated: How do multilingual Somali high school students code-switch in English-medium classes? How do the CS behaviors of these students ...


Can Engagement In The Natural Environment Reduce Stress In Gifted Students, Elizabeth Gluck Jul 2018

Can Engagement In The Natural Environment Reduce Stress In Gifted Students, Elizabeth Gluck

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed what defines a gifted student, how gifted students process the senses, definitions of the natural world and engagement, and the intricacies of gifted emotions. Dabrowski identified that gifted students may have overexcitabilities which indicate heightened ability to respond to sensory stimuli. Influential studies included Keniger’s research on stress reduction through intentional interaction with the natural world, and Han’s research on impact of emotions through interaction with the natural world. The author used a Convergent Parallel Mixed Method Design and designed tools to capture qualitative and quantitative data through three different experiences. The author’s ...


Culturally Relevant Pedagogy And Student Motivation: An Applied Study Of Their Relationship In Fourth Grade English Learners, Joy Mcclain Jul 2018

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy And Student Motivation: An Applied Study Of Their Relationship In Fourth Grade English Learners, Joy Mcclain

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this paper is: How are feelings of motivation observed in and

reported by English learners when they are educated in culturally relevant ways? Using Ladson- Billings’ definition of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory

of motivation, and Gonzalez’ definition of culture as lived experience, the author conducts classroom research with fourth grade English learners in an urban setting in the American Midwest. Student surveys, teacher observations, and field notes are used for the duration of two co-taught lessons that can be classified as being culturally relevant. One lesson introduces the metaphor to ...


How Can Fluency Instruction Using Readers' Theater And Paired Reading Impact Reading Comprehension In The Third Grade Classroom?, Angela Koski Apr 2018

How Can Fluency Instruction Using Readers' Theater And Paired Reading Impact Reading Comprehension In The Third Grade Classroom?, Angela Koski

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this capstone was, how can fluency instruction using readers’ theater and paired reading impact reading comprehension in the third grade classroom? It documents one teacher’s experience of implementing Readers’ Theater and Paired Reading in an attempt to increase fluency which can impact comprehension. The project integrates whole group, small group, and partner activities with a third grade class. The author details her review of best practices in reading instruction, implementation of Readers’ Theater and Paired Reading for fluency instruction, and the results seen from adding explicit fluency instruction. She describes the successes seen in ...


Designing A Place-Based Education Water Cycle Curriculum In Order To Impact Middle School Science Students’ Depth Of Understanding And Attitude Toward Science, Sara Dusbabek Apr 2018

Designing A Place-Based Education Water Cycle Curriculum In Order To Impact Middle School Science Students’ Depth Of Understanding And Attitude Toward Science, Sara Dusbabek

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This capstone thesis used curriculum design to impact students’ understanding and attitude towards science. The capstone researcher designed a student-centered curriculum that used place-based education to teach the water cycle. The main goals of the curriculum were to increase depth of understanding and improve students attitude toward science. Using the designed place-based curriculum students would build a connection to the pond on school grounds through multiple visits to the area, using their knowledge of the pond to apply it to the water cycle and by connecting with water resource agencies in their community. The principles used to design the curriculum ...


The Most Effective Methods Of Small Group Reading Instruction In Upper Elementary Grades, Nicole Snoberger Apr 2018

The Most Effective Methods Of Small Group Reading Instruction In Upper Elementary Grades, Nicole Snoberger

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

The research question addressed in this thesis was, what is the most effective way to group students for reading instruction in the upper elementary classroom? This work documents one teacher's experience of grouping students in two main ways, trying to determine if one way is more effective than another. Students were grouped based on reading level using a common text during part of the research. Students were also grouped based on their reading strategy need, using self-selected books during the remaining research time. The goal was to determine if one grouping method was more effective. While the research and ...


Leveraging Writing Routines To Increase Achievement Of English Learners In Science, Monica Grubb Apr 2018

Leveraging Writing Routines To Increase Achievement Of English Learners In Science, Monica Grubb

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

Two research questions were investigated in this case study: How are 5th grade ELs’ performances on an objective portion of a science quiz on erosion and deposition affected after discussing concepts with a teacher and writing about these concepts? How are 5th grade ELs’ written explanations of erosion and deposition and use of genre-specific language structures affected after conferencing with a teacher about these concepts? Science literacy is for all, but many ELs struggle to learn science content. The literature points to academic language of science and its hierarchical knowledge structures as barriers to learning. Best practices to support ELs ...


Examining The Effectiveness Of An Esl Teacher Observation Tool, Hetal Ascher Apr 2018

Examining The Effectiveness Of An Esl Teacher Observation Tool, Hetal Ascher

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This research investigates the effectiveness of a teacher created ESL teacher observation tool. This paper argues that although commonly used tools such as the Charlotte Danielson Framework (2013) exist, they do not fully meet the needs of ESL teachers. A mixed methods study was conducted in order to compare the Charlotte Danielson (2013) rubric to the ESL Teacher Observation Tool in terms of language related feedback. Principals from a Midwestern school district conducted evaluations based on a video clip using both tools, and subsequently, principals were interviewed. The ESL Teacher Observation Tool appeared to yield more language-instruction related feedback in ...


Invading Minnesota: A Middle School Invasive Species Curriculum, Ashley Schultz Apr 2018

Invading Minnesota: A Middle School Invasive Species Curriculum, Ashley Schultz

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

This capstone is a sampling of middle school science lessons that were designed to address the question: How might a curricular unit about invasive species be designed to enhance the environmental literacy of middle school students? It documents one teacher’s research and development of a unit about invasives species, while promoting environmental literacy. The curriculum is a series of three lessons that provide students the opportunity to learn about invasive species by developing a connection, or sense of place to their surroundings. Once students understand the impacts of invasives species they take part in a project-based service learning opportunity ...