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Theses/Dissertations

2009

Teacher Education and Professional Development

Walden University

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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Effect Of Faculty Performance Measurement Systems On Student Retention, Timothy Woods Jan 2009

The Effect Of Faculty Performance Measurement Systems On Student Retention, Timothy Woods

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Institutions of higher learning have been tracking student course-drop rates as a measure of student success along with faculty performance data. However, there is a lack of understanding as to how faculty performance data influences drop rates. The purpose of this study was to determine whether faculty knowledge of performance data creates a difference in drop rates. This study combined theories of performance measurement, decision support, self-determination theory (SDT), and personal decision making (PDM) as a conceptual foundation that linked faculty knowledge to student success. The specific research question addressed if data can be used to assist faculty efforts in ...


Comparing Rural Parent And Teacher Perspectives Of Parental Involvement: A Mixed Methods Study, Ann C. Stout Jan 2009

Comparing Rural Parent And Teacher Perspectives Of Parental Involvement: A Mixed Methods Study, Ann C. Stout

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Parents and teachers have differing perspectives of parental involvement which presents a barrier to the development of effective parental involvement. This mixed-method, sequential, exploratory study of parents and teachers in rural school districts sought to identify, compare, and analyze these divergent parental involvement perspectives. A sample of 122 parents and 21 certified teachers from 3 rural elementary schools were first surveyed using parallel questions from Epstein's School and family partnerships parent (or teacher) questionnaire (SFP). Independent-sample t-tests of SFP scales confirmed parental involvement perspectives of parents and teachers differed significantly. Survey data was analyzed descriptively and identified 5 specific ...


New Teacher Isolation And Its Relationship To Teacher Attrition, David S. Sleppin Jan 2009

New Teacher Isolation And Its Relationship To Teacher Attrition, David S. Sleppin

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Studies suggest that many promising new teachers who experience isolation do not reach their full potential and may leave the teaching profession prematurely. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the experience of isolation among new teachers and the potential for teacher attrition in an urban school district in the northeastern U.S. Grounded in constructivist theory, the phenomenological research design examined in-depth interview data collected from 8 new public elementary school teachers with three or less years experience. A coding procedure began by extracting key phrases and statements from the raw data and reduced ...


Exploring The Factors That Influence Attitudes And Achievement When Students Take Computerized Tests, Jessie E. Kilgore Jr. Jan 2009

Exploring The Factors That Influence Attitudes And Achievement When Students Take Computerized Tests, Jessie E. Kilgore Jr.

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Currently, a problem exists in K-12 education related to the use of technology for the assessment of student learning. Specifically, due to the lack of access to and infrequent use of computers for middle school students, the rise in the use of high stakes computer-based tests may negatively impact student test scores in poor, urban schools. The conceptual framework of this study was informed by Albert Bandura's theory of self-efficacy, the work of The National Center for Fair and Open Testing regarding ending the misuses and flaws of standardized testing, and James Popham's research on quality assessment. The ...


Perceived Effects Of Teachers' Unions On Administrators' And Teachers' Roles And Morale, Eileen E. Berg Jan 2009

Perceived Effects Of Teachers' Unions On Administrators' And Teachers' Roles And Morale, Eileen E. Berg

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Bill 160 in Ontario removed administrators from teachers' federations creating an unhealthy gap between groups and a lowering of morale for both. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between perceived effects of teachers' union actions on administrators' and teachers' roles and morale. Learning and organizational theories provided a theoretical framework for this quantitative study. Voluntary participants included teachers and administrators from Canadian Education Association and administrators from Ontario Principals' Council. Questionnaires addressed three hypotheses, which dealt with level of morale between participants, correlation between the morale score and the learning environment score, and ...


Personality Traits, Self -Efficacy Of Job Performance, And Susceptibility To Stress As Predictors Of Academic Performance Of Nurse Education Programs, Nancy Wilson-Soga Jan 2009

Personality Traits, Self -Efficacy Of Job Performance, And Susceptibility To Stress As Predictors Of Academic Performance Of Nurse Education Programs, Nancy Wilson-Soga

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

The United States is experiencing a shortage of registered nurses, and institutions of higher education are unable to graduate enough prepared nurses to reduce this employment shortage. A significant relationship between personality traits and academic performance has been found; however, how personality traits combine with students' self-efficacy of job performance and stress susceptibility to impact nursing students' academic performance has yet to be demonstrated. This study, grounded in the five-factor model (FFM) of personality traits, self-efficacy, and stress theories, sought to determine whether self-assessments of the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, the Nursing Practice Self-Efficacy survey, and the Susceptibility Under Stress Survey ...


High-Stakes Testing And Teacher Burnout In Public High School Teachers, Gail Tucker Jan 2009

High-Stakes Testing And Teacher Burnout In Public High School Teachers, Gail Tucker

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Demands associated with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 contribute to the risk of teacher burnout; however, the relationship between teacher burnout and specific teaching assignments is unclear. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to investigate if burnout is greater for high-stakes subject area public high school teachers than for low-stakes subject area public high school teachers and to ascertain teachers' perceptions about difficulties associated with teaching a high-stakes subject area. The job demands-resources model and the multidimensional model of burnout provided the theoretical framework. The concurrent mixed methods design included quantitative tests of differences in burnout ...


The Relationship Between Flexible Reading Groups And Reading Achievement In Elementary School Students, Gretchen E. H. Schlag Jan 2009

The Relationship Between Flexible Reading Groups And Reading Achievement In Elementary School Students, Gretchen E. H. Schlag

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Despite the current emphasis on differentiating instruction to accommodate individual student learning needs, most reading instruction is taught primarily in static small groups or whole group settings. However, the use of flexible reading groups for reading instruction allows students to be appropriately challenged and avoids labeling a student's reading readiness as stagnant. This study examines the relationship between flexible reading groups and reading achievement of 130 fifth grade students in one elementary school. The theoretical base for the research is grounded in the constructivist theory as supported by Vygotsky and Bruner. In this quasi-experimental quantitative research study, the effect ...


Survey Study Of The Relationship Between Parents' And Teachers' Perceptions Of What Constitutes Effective School -To -Home Communications, Jill L. Murphy Jan 2009

Survey Study Of The Relationship Between Parents' And Teachers' Perceptions Of What Constitutes Effective School -To -Home Communications, Jill L. Murphy

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Even though guidelines at a suburban elementary school in Georgia were in place for teachers regarding frequency and methods of parent communication, it was unclear if these methods were being used consistently and effectively. Research has shown that effective communication increases student achievement, but there is a lack of research examining communication preferences of teachers and parents. Therefore, this study evaluated current practices by comparing parents' and teachers' perceptions of what constitutes effective school-to-home communications. The researcher administered questionnaires to a random sample of teachers and parents of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to compare their perceptions of the ...


The Impact Of Collaborative Analysis Of Student Work On Student Achievement Among Third Graders In The Area Of Writing: An Action Research Study, Jami A. Lee Jan 2009

The Impact Of Collaborative Analysis Of Student Work On Student Achievement Among Third Graders In The Area Of Writing: An Action Research Study, Jami A. Lee

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Georgia Writing Assessment scores revealed that there were third grade students at an elementary school in rural Southeast Georgia struggling to meet the state standards. This pre-experimental, action research study examined the impact of collaborative analysis of student work on student achievement among third graders in the area of writing through a one-group pretest-posttest design. The pretest phase of this quantitative study was comprised of the collection of scored student writing samples followed by professional development training for teacher participants on collaborative analysis of student work. The posttest phase of the study included the collection of scored student writing samples ...


Social Interest And Self -Efficacy Levels Among High School Volunteer Mentors And Their Non -Mentor Peers: A Comparison Study, Courtney Brewer Jan 2009

Social Interest And Self -Efficacy Levels Among High School Volunteer Mentors And Their Non -Mentor Peers: A Comparison Study, Courtney Brewer

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

This study examined social interest, social self-efficacy, and general self-efficacy levels of high school volunteer mentors and their nonmentor peers. School-based peer mentoring has become a popular method for providing support services to students. While several studies examining mentee outcomes appeared in the past decade, less research has examined characteristics of the high school mentors involved. The choice of variables was grounded in Bandura's Social Learning Theory and Adler's Individual Psychology. Thirty-seven mentors and 32 nonmentors from a suburban New York high school completed the Social Interest Scale and the Self-efficacy Scale. Mentor volunteers scored significantly higher in ...


Those Who Dare To Lead Must Seek To Serve First: Leadership Styles Of New Jersey School Superintendents, John Alfieri Jan 2009

Those Who Dare To Lead Must Seek To Serve First: Leadership Styles Of New Jersey School Superintendents, John Alfieri

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Greenleaf's servant leadership model has been described as an innovative vision in which the leader performs duties of service as the focal point of a mission for social change. Although the servant leadership model has been widely implemented in business and religious organizations, its effectiveness in educational settings has not yet been widely explored. Therefore, the purpose of this explanatory correlational study was to examine the prevalence and effectiveness of servant leadership among a random sample of 156 of New Jersey's school superintendents. Subjects completed the Self-Assessment of Servant Leadership (SASL) and the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) that ...


Understanding Middle School Students' Perspectives Regarding Physical Activity And Fitness, Susan Yesalonia Jan 2009

Understanding Middle School Students' Perspectives Regarding Physical Activity And Fitness, Susan Yesalonia

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Research confirms inactivity increases in adolescence and that unfit youth are at risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, or other significant physical disorders later in life. Thus, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experience of chronically inactive children who were exposed to an exercise intervention program. The specific focus of the research was to better understand the essential educational needs of the participants and the effective elements of the program, Moving for Fun (MFF), a 7-week after-school fitness intervention program designed to modify chronic inactivity. Open-ended interviews and 3 observations were conducted with 8 middle ...


Social Construction Of Knowledge In A Semiformal, Long -Term Learning Environment: A Qualitative Study, Alycia Harris Jan 2009

Social Construction Of Knowledge In A Semiformal, Long -Term Learning Environment: A Qualitative Study, Alycia Harris

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Social learning plays a critical role in cognitive apprenticeship, community of practice, and knowledge production theories. Gunawardena's interaction analysis model, which provides a means of evaluating discourse for social construction of knowledge, is comprised of five phases: (a) sharing and comparing, (b) disagreement, (c) negotiation and co-construction of new knowledge, (d) testing of knew knowledge, and (e) use or phrasing of new knowledge. There is a paucity of research that has empirically explored social construction of knowledge, especially in an extended semiformal asynchronous graduate learning experience. This study explored two research questions: whether social construction of knowledge took place ...


The Impact Of A First -Year Learning Community On Student Persistence: Perceptions Of Community College Students, David Gerkin Jan 2009

The Impact Of A First -Year Learning Community On Student Persistence: Perceptions Of Community College Students, David Gerkin

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

This descriptive case study explored the perceptions of former community college first year learning community participants on aspects of their learning community experience that affected their persistence in college using Astin's student involvement theory and Tinto's student persistence model as a conceptual framework. Learning communities have been shown to increase student persistence, but little is known about how they do so. A better understanding of how learning communities contribute to increased student persistence would improve learning community practice and gain administrative support for learning communities. This study used a mixed methods research design utilizing both qualitative and quantitative ...


Effect Of Cooperative Learning And Traditional Strategies On Academic Performance In Middle School Language Arts, Susan Queen Jan 2009

Effect Of Cooperative Learning And Traditional Strategies On Academic Performance In Middle School Language Arts, Susan Queen

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Research indicates that the use of cooperative learning techniques fosters higher order thinking and problem solving skills in students. However additional information is needed to determine how cooperative learning affects various groups of learners. Based in constructivist theory, this quasi-experimental study examined the effects of cooperative learning verses traditional teaching strategies on the academic performance of 216 6th grade language arts students in north central Georgia. The single stage convenience sample was divided into a control group that was instructed using traditional strategies; and a treatment group that was instructed using cooperative learning strategies. Pre and posttest scores from a ...


A Phenomenological Study Of Assessment Methods In The Inquiry -Based Science Classroom: How Do Educators Decide?, Gina G. Tash Jan 2009

A Phenomenological Study Of Assessment Methods In The Inquiry -Based Science Classroom: How Do Educators Decide?, Gina G. Tash

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of science educators as they select and develop assessment methods for inquiry learning. Balancing preparations for standardized tests and authentic inquiry assessment experiences can be challenging for science educators. The review of literature revealed that current research focused on instructional methods and assessment, students' assessment experiences, and teachers' instructional methods experiences. There remains a gap in current literature regarding the experiences of science educators as they select and develop assessment methods for inquiry learning. This study filled the gap by providing a description of the experiences of science educators ...


A Survey Of Community College Faculty, Their Teaching Methodologies, And Congruence With Student Learning Needs, Susan J. Campbell Jan 2009

A Survey Of Community College Faculty, Their Teaching Methodologies, And Congruence With Student Learning Needs, Susan J. Campbell

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

National movements for greater quality in education have increased concerns about student learning and the effectiveness of teaching for the community college. Faculty are responsible for student learning, yet criticized for using ineffective teaching methods despite limited data on community college teaching practices. The purpose of this study was to gain a descriptive understanding of current teaching practices in three community colleges. This single-phase study used a concurrent mixed-method exploratory research design. A purposeful sample of 185 community college faculty across three colleges in the southwestern United States were surveyed about what methods they use, how they perceive their teaching ...


A Mixed Methods Study Of Secondary Distance-Learning Students: Exploring Learning Styles, Jennifer M. Roberts Jan 2009

A Mixed Methods Study Of Secondary Distance-Learning Students: Exploring Learning Styles, Jennifer M. Roberts

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Public education in the United States has experienced an increase in distance-learning (DL) opportunities. Because research has focused on student achievement in post-secondary DL programs, little is known about secondary students' experiences. The purpose of the current study was to explore DL applicability within secondary education. Specific research questions addressed by the concurrent mixed methods nested study included examining students' opinions and experiences in a secondary DL course and determining whether individual learning styles were addressed. Structured interviews, group discussions, and a survey were used to gather data over 2 months from 14 students in grades 9 through 12 participating ...


Mandated Differentiated Instruction Effectiveness Examined, Kathlyn Joan Graham Jan 2009

Mandated Differentiated Instruction Effectiveness Examined, Kathlyn Joan Graham

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Educational institutions are implementing curriculum mandates without data to support the benefits of the mandates to students. The purpose of this concurrent, mixed-method study, which utilizes quasi-experimental and case study approaches, was to address the effectiveness of mandated differentiated instruction in a suburban high school. This study investigated the significant differences in achievement before and after the implementation of differentiation as well as differences in achievement between a school that mandated the use of differentiation and one that did not. The study also investigated strategies used to implement differentiation and student and teacher attitudes toward it. For ninth grade literature ...


The Relationship Between Instructional Delivery And Academic Motivation Of Included Elementary School Students With Special Needs, Daniele L. Kass Jan 2009

The Relationship Between Instructional Delivery And Academic Motivation Of Included Elementary School Students With Special Needs, Daniele L. Kass

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Federal and local school system reports demonstrate an academic achievement gap in inclusive classrooms between students with and without disabilities, prompting attention to alternative instructional practices that support motivation and performance of included students. The purpose of this concurrent nested mixed method study was to fill a void in the literature and explore the impact of interdisciplinary thematic instruction on the motivation levels and performance outcomes of 6 included 5th-grade elementary students with special needs. A multiple case study design guided observations and interviews of 3 participants receiving interdisciplinary, theme-based instruction and 3 participants who continued to receive the traditional ...


An Examination Of Cooperative Learning Models And Achievement In Middle And Secondary Level Social Studies, Jeffrey R. Niemi Jan 2009

An Examination Of Cooperative Learning Models And Achievement In Middle And Secondary Level Social Studies, Jeffrey R. Niemi

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

There is a lack of understanding of different cooperative learning methods and their effects on student achievement in middle and secondary level social studies education. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to compare two different cooperative learning models in terms of their effects on student achievement in middle level social studies classes. The research question addressed in this study involved understanding the nature of the relationships between different cooperative learning models, gender, ability level and achievement in social studies students. The two cooperative learning models compared were the structured dyad model, which was effective in studies on reading achievement ...


Cognitive Preference And Ethnic Identity Among Anglo And Native American High School Students, Chad Martin Novak Jan 2009

Cognitive Preference And Ethnic Identity Among Anglo And Native American High School Students, Chad Martin Novak

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

According to the Office of Educational Research and Improvement: A Project of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, graduation rates for Native Americans from both secondary and post secondary institutions are dismally low at 58% and 7%, respectively. Some research addresses cognitive preference and other ethnic identity, but research animating the cognitive preference---ethnic identity interplay for high school students is absent. These limitations in access to educational opportunities lead to abbreviated quality life experiences and a restriction in individual efficacy and collective agency. The following project assessed ethnic identity using Phinney's Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and cognitive preference ...


Andragogy: Does One Size Fit All? A Study To Determine The Applicability Of Andragogical Principles To Adult Learners Of All Ages, Wendy Conaway Jan 2009

Andragogy: Does One Size Fit All? A Study To Determine The Applicability Of Andragogical Principles To Adult Learners Of All Ages, Wendy Conaway

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

According to Knowles's theory of andragogy, the principles of adult learning are the need to know, self-directedness, the role of experience, intrinsic motivation, and readiness to learn. Whereas references in the andragogical literature have assumed that the principles uniformly apply to adults of all ages, differences between adult age groups may influence the effectiveness of the principles on adult learning. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate which adult age group was most accepting of the principles so that more effective teaching may occur. Three adult age groups, emerging adults (18-25), young adults (26-39), and mature adults ...


Effects Of Mentoring Preservice Teachers On Inservice Teachers In Professional Development School Environments, Marianne Pratschler Jan 2009

Effects Of Mentoring Preservice Teachers On Inservice Teachers In Professional Development School Environments, Marianne Pratschler

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Colleges and universities collaborte with P-12 public schools in professional development school (PDS) partnerships to improve teacher training, provide professional development for inservice teachers, improve student achievement, and promote action research. Most research has been done on advantages for preservice teachers and for students in classrooms. The purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand inservice teachers' mentoring experiences in order for a local college to support and enrich the professional lives of inservice teachers. Research questions addressed inservice teachers' perceptions regarding mentoring interactions, effects on their own classroom practices, and professional growth. The purposeful sample was comprised of ...


The Impact Of Looping On Academic And Social Experiences Of Middle School Students, Brad S. Gregory Jan 2009

The Impact Of Looping On Academic And Social Experiences Of Middle School Students, Brad S. Gregory

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Georgia school districts have been concerned with the social and academic outcomes of looping middle school students. School district administrators need research-based findings to determine the effectiveness of middle school looping programs which place middle school students and teacher(s) together for 2 or more consecutive years. The purpose of this quantitative study was to analyze standardized testing data and perceptions of 240 middle school students. This study was grounded in the social development theory as it pertains to the academic and social outcomes of adolescent middle school students. The research questions for this study focused on social experiences, conduct ...


Perceptions Of Recess And The Effects Of A Morning Recess Break On The Oral Reading Fluency Of Second Grade Students, Joy M. Walker Jan 2009

Perceptions Of Recess And The Effects Of A Morning Recess Break On The Oral Reading Fluency Of Second Grade Students, Joy M. Walker

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

A recent trend in schools has been to reduce or eliminate recess. The assumption behind this elimination is that less recess time provides more opportunities for learning and hence, better learning outcomes. However, little research has examined the effects of this assumption, and little is known about the relationship between recess and learning. The purpose of this mixed method quasi-experimental study was to test the massed versus distributed practice theory and the cognitive immaturity theory, and to gain a better understanding of recess and its implications for learning. The quantitative question was designed to determine whether segmenting instructional time with ...


The Relationship Between Vocabulary Development, Low Socioeconomic Status, And Teacher Discourse, Amy M. Pritts Jan 2009

The Relationship Between Vocabulary Development, Low Socioeconomic Status, And Teacher Discourse, Amy M. Pritts

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Elementary students from low socioeconomic households often begin and remain behind other socioeconomic groups in vocabulary knowledge. Many reasons for this gap, including cognitive, environmental, and educational, have been researched. The current study examined the relationship between vocabulary knowledge, socioeconomic status, and type of teacher discourse within an early elementary setting not yet explored within the research. This concurrent mixed-method research study investigated this relationship using study groups, taped classroom lessons, and the DIBELS word use fluency assessment measure. Interpretative analysis was used for the qualitative data, and correlational analysis was used to determine relationships between the discourse types and ...


The Effects Of Art Education On Self -Efficacy In Middle School Students, Ellen P. Mitchell Jan 2009

The Effects Of Art Education On Self -Efficacy In Middle School Students, Ellen P. Mitchell

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Researchers have theorized that student achievement and its contingent effects on self-efficacy are important factors in art education. There is, however, a paucity of research addressing this relationship, which in turn affects students' and educators' levels of success. Accordingly, this study was an investigation of the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students and tested the constructivist theory, as embodied in Bandera's theories on the foundations of self-efficacy beliefs. This pretest-posttest control-group true experimental design tested the relationship between the independent variable, art education and the dependent variable, self-efficacy in middle school students. The instrument, Patterns ...


Facilitating High School Student Success Through Read 180: Analysis Of Program Impact Using Measures Of Academic Progress (Map), Holly Mcwhorter Jan 2009

Facilitating High School Student Success Through Read 180: Analysis Of Program Impact Using Measures Of Academic Progress (Map), Holly Mcwhorter

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

In response to its failure to meet state mandated proficiency standards in reading and mathematics over the past three years, a rural, Title I high school (LS) in South Carolina purchased and implemented the commercially available literacy program READ 180 (R180) for the 2008-2009 academic year. While previous research reported by Scholastic, Incorporated (R180) had provided support for the use of R180 in improving literacy, these studies have been criticized recently for their lack of comparable control groups, experimenter bias and lack of data from other content areas such as mathematics. The purpose of this study was to determine the ...