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Theses/Dissertations

2009

University of Denver

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Articles 1 - 30 of 36

Full-Text Articles in Education

Effects Of Participation In Inquiry Science Workshops And Follow-Up Activities On Middle School Science Teachers' Content Knowledge, Teacher-Held Misconceptions, And Classroom Practices, Linda F. Cepeda Nov 2009

Effects Of Participation In Inquiry Science Workshops And Follow-Up Activities On Middle School Science Teachers' Content Knowledge, Teacher-Held Misconceptions, And Classroom Practices, Linda F. Cepeda

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

An important aspect of developing science literacy for all students is developing science-literate teachers. With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, many middle school teachers found themselves in a position where they were no longer qualified to teach middle school science. This study was designed to help science teachers increase their science content knowledge, identify and resolve misconceptions/errors they may have, and assist them in their teaching by providing strategies for inquiry-based teaching, science laboratory exercises, and science equipment.

Teachers enrolled in biology courses offered by the Rocky Mountain Middle School Math and Science Partnership participated ...


Exploring The First Year Of Teaching Through Focus Group Discussions, Ethno-Mimesis, A/R/Tography, And Performance Ethnography, Marilyn F. Cullen-Reavill Nov 2009

Exploring The First Year Of Teaching Through Focus Group Discussions, Ethno-Mimesis, A/R/Tography, And Performance Ethnography, Marilyn F. Cullen-Reavill

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The United States is focusing on the important and worthy goal of no child being left behind and in order to accomplish this goal, we must ensure that no teacher, including the first-year teacher, is left behind. This study explores the experiences of three first-year teachers on a monthly basis and uncovers the successes, challenges, supports, and needs that they encounter.

Five research questions guided this study: 1. What are the experiences of a group of first-year teachers and in what ways were these experiences challenging, supportive, or detrimental? 2. What are the benefits for the first-year teachers in meeting ...


The Longitudinal Factor Structure Of Parent Involvement And Its Impact On Academic Achievement: Findings From The Ecls-K Dataset, Hui-Fang Chen Aug 2009

The Longitudinal Factor Structure Of Parent Involvement And Its Impact On Academic Achievement: Findings From The Ecls-K Dataset, Hui-Fang Chen

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The critical role of parent involvement has been endorsed by educators and educational policy in the United States. However, various definitions and approaches to assess parent involvement have yielded inconsistent conclusions regarding the impact of parent involvement on child development and failed to provide foundations for practitioners. These contradictory findings, at least in part, reflected that parent involvement is a multidimensional construct which should be captured by many behaviors and activities as well as the limitations of using classical test theory to develop/identify items to assess parent involvement.

This study conducted both CTT and IRT to identify optimal items ...


A Phenomenological Study Of Balanced Leadership, Ann K. Christy Aug 2009

A Phenomenological Study Of Balanced Leadership, Ann K. Christy

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to describe, interpret and analyze the experiences of six elementary principals in the Stewart district who have effectively balanced the instructional and managerial roles of the principalship. The research question for this study is: How do effective principals balance managerial tasks and instructional leadership responsibilities?

By analyzing these experiences, principals would be able to provide valuable insights into principal's needs and feelings about instructional leadership. This study centers around six elementary principals that provided information regarding the skills needed to become an instructional leader and their interpretation of experiences that contributed to their ...


Concurrent Validity Of The Transdisciplinary Play Based Assessment-2, Keri E. Linas Aug 2009

Concurrent Validity Of The Transdisciplinary Play Based Assessment-2, Keri E. Linas

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Standardized assessment tools have been criticized for use with young children; however, there is limited empirical research supporting developmentally appropriate, play-based assessments. Forty children, with and without developmental disabilities, ages 10-73 months referred from the community of a large city received a transdisciplinary play based assessment (TPBA-2) and standardized assessment. Caretakers also completed the Vineland Scales of Adaptive Behavior. Concurrent validity between the TPBA-2 and standardized assessment tools (Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III and the Mullen Scales of Early Learning) was demonstrated (p


A Sense Of Trust Through The Eyes Of African American Doctoral Students: An Examination Of How A Predominantly White Institution Of Higher Education Can Create An Environment Of Inclusiveness, Zelda M. Deboyes Aug 2009

A Sense Of Trust Through The Eyes Of African American Doctoral Students: An Examination Of How A Predominantly White Institution Of Higher Education Can Create An Environment Of Inclusiveness, Zelda M. Deboyes

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This phenomenological research study explores whether trust influences the experiences of African American students, particularly those in doctoral programs at predominantly White institutions. Recent studies suggest that colleges and universities can benefit in several ways by building and maintaining student trust. However, the body of research typically provides a general understanding of the role and benefits of student trust in the academic arena through the eyes of White students only. Very few studies examine the benefits of student trust for a diverse population, and even fewer address African American students enrolled in predominantly White doctoral programs.

This research provides an ...


(De)Composing A Garden For Children's Play, Debra Jean Deverell Aug 2009

(De)Composing A Garden For Children's Play, Debra Jean Deverell

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Kindergarten has been a part of the educational landscape of the United States since 1856, when the first kindergarten opened in Watertown, Wisconsin. If we fast-forward more than a century and a half to the present, it is clear that the landscape composition of the garden-ideologically, culturally, socially, and politically for children's play has drastically changed.

The purpose of this study, (De)Composing a Garden for Children's Play, is to examine kindergartners' play set against changing school polices and practices of recent years in one Colorado school district. Four research questions guided this inquiry:

1. What does kindergarten ...


A Case Study Of Culturally Responsive Teaching In Middle School Mathematics, Rosanne Fulton Aug 2009

A Case Study Of Culturally Responsive Teaching In Middle School Mathematics, Rosanne Fulton

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation is a case study of culturally responsive teaching in middle school mathematics. The study contributes to the emerging definition of learning experiences in mathematics that support all middle school students through the use of culturally responsive teaching strategies. These experiences are organized to actualize the balance between accommodating the individual student’s culture, needs and interests and supporting the attainment of appropriate mathematics learning goals.

The research site was chosen because of its diverse and changing student demographics, and because of the achievement and growth rates of these students. Data collected from classroom observations of three middle school ...


What Matters Most? Measuring Service Quality To Improve Schools, Shannon L. Hagerman Aug 2009

What Matters Most? Measuring Service Quality To Improve Schools, Shannon L. Hagerman

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Over the recent years an observable trend has emerged in the field of education. Parents are empowered and encouraged to make school choice decisions for their children and have become consumers of the educational delivery system. They are inundated information regarding the “product” of the school - student achievement scores and overall performance rankings. Do parents value other things beyond academic performance rankings and student achievement ratings? How do parents perceive the importance of the quality of the delivery of educational services? In a competitive educational marketplace, attracting and retaining families is essential to a school’s ability to survive and ...


Peer Victimization, Student Engagement, And School Attendance: Structural Equation Models, Jason Benjamin Dunkle Jun 2009

Peer Victimization, Student Engagement, And School Attendance: Structural Equation Models, Jason Benjamin Dunkle

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Survey data from a study of 6th grade students in Colorado (n=860) were used to estimate structural equation models in which peer victimization types were hypothesized to have significant relationships with both student engagement and attendance. Then, student engagement and attendance variables were hypothesized to have significant effects on achievement (measured as grade point average). Student engagement was viewed as a multi-faceted construct, composed of behavioral, cognitive, and emotional aspects. Four different types of peer victimization variables (verbal, physical, exclusion, and intensity) were combined to form a latent measure for peer victimization that was expected to predict absenteeism ...


Development Of Test Of Academic Readiness, Tanachit Kasintorn Jun 2009

Development Of Test Of Academic Readiness, Tanachit Kasintorn

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to develop a test of academic readiness for first grade instruction in Thailand. Test of Academic Readiness (TAR) consists of six domains: verbal, visual, memory, math, logical, and general knowledge. Two pilot studies were carried out and a main study tested items in those domains. Rasch model was used to assess the scale’s level of reliability and item discrimination. Content validity was claimed through extensive review of literature and similar readiness tests both in the U.S. and Thailand.

TAR achieved a range of reliability between 0.73-0.93 with the exception of ...


Self-Advocacy Experiences Of College Students With Learning Disabilities And/Or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Jennifer Cano-Smith Mar 2009

Self-Advocacy Experiences Of College Students With Learning Disabilities And/Or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Jennifer Cano-Smith

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Self-advocacy is identified as a factor important to the success of college students with Learning Disabilities (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, educators do not yet know enough about the experience of self-advocacy in the post-secondary learning environment to effectively guide students in the development of this complex set of skills. This study was designed to describe the experience of college students with LD and/or ADHD as they advocate for themselves in the college or university environment and to compare the students' experiences as self-advocates to what educators believe to be true about self-advocacy based on ...


Bridging Policy And Education: How Elementary Students Are Impacted By Reform Efforts, Kristen E. Bunn Mar 2009

Bridging Policy And Education: How Elementary Students Are Impacted By Reform Efforts, Kristen E. Bunn

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study focuses on how state policies that encourage school reform impact student experience. The paper demonstrates what students in these reformed schools experience and what lessons we can learn from their experiences. In particular, the research focuses on engagement levels and the matching of intentions to student propensities. A goal of the paper is to help bridge the policy and educational worlds by shedding light on what is happening in four school-of-choice classrooms.

A mixed methodology is used; data from an Educational Connoisseurship and Criticism, an engagement measure, and interviews are triangulated. The research was conducted at two school-of-choice ...


Effective Teaching, Karen Pickles Taylor Jan 2009

Effective Teaching, Karen Pickles Taylor

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study examined the characteristics of nine teachers considered effective by their school administrators. Qualitative methodology was used to examine characteristics of effective teachers in three Colorado public high schools. Data was collected through observations and interviews and examined through the lens of Elliot Eisner's educational criticism and connoisseurship. Through in-depth interviews, these effective teachers identified and interpreted experiences that have contributed to them being considered "effective" teachers: Personal Experiences, Motivational Techniques, Obstacles They Overcame, and Skills They Now Posesss as "Effective Teachers". Conclusions were as follows: The common characteristics the teachers shared were preparedness, caring, collaboration, and reflection.


School Engagement And The Achievement Gap, Nicole R. Skalsky Jan 2009

School Engagement And The Achievement Gap, Nicole R. Skalsky

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Evidence of the influence of engagement on learning and achievement is well established. There is also indication of a test-score gap between poor students and middle class students as well as among racial and ethnic groups.

This gap continues to be a top priority in educational reform. Since the achievement gap continues to widen for many school districts and states, investigating the possible connection between the engagement gap and the achievement gap deserves needed attention.

This study sought to determine the differences in school engagement and achievement levels between students from low and high-SES backgrounds, as measured by free and ...


A Case Study Of Reform At One Urban High School, Linda Nadene Sorenson Jan 2009

A Case Study Of Reform At One Urban High School, Linda Nadene Sorenson

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Our schools in America are in crisis. At particular risk are poor and minority students who attend high schools in urban areas. With so many urban high schools failing, reformers have sought ways to improve schools and increase student achievement. Effort toward urban high school reform is occurring across the United States. What happens to a school during the process of reform?

The purpose of this case study was to describe the significant events and changes that characterize one urban high school's reform efforts and analyze stakeholders' perceptions about the reform themes found in the researcher literature on high ...


Freshman Academy: Making The High School Transition, Tracy L. Srofe Jan 2009

Freshman Academy: Making The High School Transition, Tracy L. Srofe

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Numerous freshman transition programs are conducted throughout the nation to address the middle school to high school transition issue. The current study focuses on a high school transition model, the Freshman Academy, to improve ninth-grade attendance, academic achievement, and school engagement for at-risk students. School engagement encompasses three interrelated components: emotion, behavior, and cognition.

The current study used a quasi-experimental pre- and posttest comparison design with no random assignment to measure the impact of the Freshman Academy on attendance, academic achievement, and school engagement. Student interviews were conducted to see what aspects of the Freshman Academy promote school engagement and ...


Common Strategies Used By Kindergarten Teachers To Instruct Reading To English-As-A-Second-Language Students, Emma Kaye Penn Jan 2009

Common Strategies Used By Kindergarten Teachers To Instruct Reading To English-As-A-Second-Language Students, Emma Kaye Penn

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This research was designed to describe, analyze, and interpret what reading strategies experienced kindergarten teachers believe are essential to instruct English-as-a-Second-Language learners how to read. Through in-depth interviews, experienced kindergarten teachers were given a voice to describe what they consider essential reading strategies to instruct English-as-a-Second-Language learners to learn how to read.

The participants were four licensed, non-probationary kindergarten teachers instructing reading in English to a minimum of 51% English-as-a-Second-Language population. Selected kindergarten programs were consistent in program design. Processes were influenced by the gateway approach. The stories teachers told about their experiences in teaching ELLs how to read was ...


An Exploration Of Identification Of Leadership For Gifted Students, Christine Estelle Phillips Jan 2009

An Exploration Of Identification Of Leadership For Gifted Students, Christine Estelle Phillips

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Leadership has been designated a talent area in federal and state definitions of gifted students who require differentiated programs since the Marland Report came out in 1972, yet it remains the least discussed of the curricular areas for gifted students. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions and attitudes of administrators of gifted programs in Colorado and Idaho concerning identifying students gifted in leadership. Public K-12 school districts in Colorado and Idaho were surveyed using a researcher-created survey including questions targeting attitudes and twelve questions specific to leadership traits. Response rate was 51%. In general, respondents indicated ...


Occupational Stress And Coping Resources Of K-12 Probationary Teachers, Lori Ann Wagner Jan 2009

Occupational Stress And Coping Resources Of K-12 Probationary Teachers, Lori Ann Wagner

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of the study was to measure what factors impact the stress levels of probationary teachers who may or may not be new to the field of education, to determine what demographic characteristics are related to higher levels of stress, to determine what coping resources were successful in reducing stress, and to compare the stress levels and coping resources of probationary teachers to other professionals.

The study used the OSI-R to determine the stress levels of k-12 probationary teachers as related to role overload, role insufficiency, role ambiguity, role boundary, responsibility, and physical environment as measured by the Occupational ...


Teacher Artistry And The Not-So-Still Life Of Arts-Centered School Reform, Cassandra Andres Trousas Jan 2009

Teacher Artistry And The Not-So-Still Life Of Arts-Centered School Reform, Cassandra Andres Trousas

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Despite a current climate that often undervalues the arts in education, arts-centered schools and school reform continue to proliferate. This study describes, interprets and evaluates arts-centered school reform which is defined within this study as the comprehensive and intentional restructuring and re-culturing of schools using the theories and practices of the arts and arts-learning as the primary basis for educational change decisions to uncover its aims, practices and significance.

Four research questions guided this study: 1) What are the aims of arts-centered school reformers in the two schools studied? 2) What does arts-centered school reform look like in practice? 3 ...


Social And Emotional Factors And Achievement Patterns Amongst High Ability Learners, Jacquelynn Anne Truckey Jan 2009

Social And Emotional Factors And Achievement Patterns Amongst High Ability Learners, Jacquelynn Anne Truckey

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Research indicates that social and emotional factors play a very important role in the achievement levels of all learners and especially so for gifted populations. This qualitative multi-case study was designed to explore, with a sample of secondary level gifted students, their lived experiences and the influences that contribute to their learning success. The rationale for this study stems from the researcher's desire to discover ways to better support secondary gifted students and to help them find more engagement and passion in school.

The purposefully selected sample was composed of five students at the middle and high school levels ...


Motivation And Perceptions Of Learner-Centered Practices At A Military Service Academy, Joel Leonard Witzel Jan 2009

Motivation And Perceptions Of Learner-Centered Practices At A Military Service Academy, Joel Leonard Witzel

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Considering today's expeditionary warfare, it is essential the United States military service academies produce cadets and midshipmen who are intrinsically academically motivated, intellectually curious, and ready to meet the diversity of "publics and parliaments" they may influence during worldwide deployments (Scheffer, 2007). Research shows teachers' learner-centered practices that focus on students' needs positively influence college students' academic motivation. The purpose of this study was to measure cadets' levels of academic motivation and perceptions of learner-centered practices at the United States Air Force Academy.

This was a quantitative correlational study examining the relationship between cadets' perceptions of five learner-centered domains ...


Media Literacy Education, Elizabeth Etherington Wood Jan 2009

Media Literacy Education, Elizabeth Etherington Wood

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study offers an analysis of media literacy practices and techniques used at local public middle and high schools in Colorado. Media literacy is an emerging field in education that blends literacy skills such as critical analysis and evaluation with an inquiry-based questioning process that encourages students to process information using cognitive, moral, aesthetic and emotional dimensions. This inquiry-based process is not a new educational approach; it has been used to critically evaluate literature for centuries. However, media literacy scholars argue that applying inquiry-based approaches can enhance learning across all grades and content levels by applying new methodologies.

The literature ...


Cortisol Reactivity Across The Day At Child Care: Examining The Contributions Of Child Temperament And Attachment To Mother And Lead Teacher, Lisa S. Badanes Jan 2009

Cortisol Reactivity Across The Day At Child Care: Examining The Contributions Of Child Temperament And Attachment To Mother And Lead Teacher, Lisa S. Badanes

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Previous work has shown that full-day center-based child care is associated with increased physiologic stress for many young children (e.g., Tout, de Haan, Campbell, & Gunnar, 1998; Watamura, Sebanc, & Gunnar, 2002). Specifically, increasing cortisol from morning to afternoon at full-day child care in contrast to decreasing cortisol across the day for these same children at home has been repeatedly demonstrated for toddlers and preschoolers. Factors that have been related to rising cortisol across the day at child care include the child's age (rising cortisol at child care between 2 and 5 years, but not for infants or older children, Dettling, Parker, Lane, Sebanc, & Gunnar, 2000; Watamura, Donzella, Alwin, & Gunnar, 2003), and global classroom quality (higher quality classrooms having fewer children showing rising cortisol across the day, e.g., Sims, Guilfoyle, & Parry, 2006). Some studies have also identified relations with particular temperaments (e.g., Watamura, et al., 2002). Furthermore, recent work suggests that rising cortisol at child care may be associated with health risk in the form of lower antibody levels (Watamura, Coe, Laudenslager, & Robertson, 2009) and that early child care may be associated with attenuated cortisol in adolescence (Roisman, et al., 2009).

This study extended the previous work on stress reactivity at child care by addressing: 1) whether children's attachment to their primary caregiver was associated with how they respond to the challenge of child care; 2) whether negative child temperament alone or in combination with insecure attachment was associated with how they respond to the challenge of child care; and 3) whether the nature of children's attachment to their teacher explained how they respond to the challenge of child care. Saliva samples were collected on three child care days at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Temperament was assessed by both parents (CBQ; Putnam & Rothbart, 2006) and teachers (T-CBQ; Gunnar, Tout, de ...


Even In The Face Of History: The Experiences Of Gifted African-American Students, Rivian Segal Bass Jan 2009

Even In The Face Of History: The Experiences Of Gifted African-American Students, Rivian Segal Bass

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

While schools are experiencing unparalleled racial, linguistic, and ethnic diversity, gifted programs do not reflect these changing demographics. In fact, African-American students are less than half as likely to be in gifted classes and programs than are their European-American counterparts. In addition, little is known about the impact of gifted programs on students.

This qualitative study incorporated oral history interviews to examine the experiences of four gifted African-American students who attended full time programs or schools designed for gifted students. In telling their stories through narratives, participants constructed past events with a focus on the personal meanings ascribed to their ...


Examination Of Universal Screening In Response To Intervention At The Secondary Level, Debra Allison Layland Jan 2009

Examination Of Universal Screening In Response To Intervention At The Secondary Level, Debra Allison Layland

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine three means of universal screening to identify students in need of reading interventions at the secondary school level. Specifically the results of the Colorado State Assessment Program (CSAP), the Test of Silent Contextual Reading Fluency (TOSCRF) (Hammill, Wiederholt, & Allen, 2006) and the Test of Silent Word Reading Fluency (TOSWRF) (Mather, Hammill, Allen, & Roberts, 2004) were used to group students in a Response to Intervention Framework of Tier 1 (needing no intervention), Tier 2 (needing intervention) and Tier 3 (needing intensive intervention). Categorization results were compared to determine the accuracy of identification by these screening tools. Analysis of the results indicated a significant difference between the CSAP and each of the other screening tools. Use of state assessment results alone resulted in under identification of students in need of interventions as compared to use of the TOSCRF or TOSWRF. No significant differences by gender across the three tests were seen. A significant difference was seen between the performance of Hispanic students and White students; this, however, could be attributed to the sample size. In addition, no significant interaction effects of gender by Hispanic/White ethnicity were noted for each of the three tests. Finally, no significance was seen within each screening tool by grade; there was, however, significance across the three screening tools by grade. Implications for practice ...


Perceived Closeness To The Deceased And Its Predictive Effect On The Development Of Prolonged Grief Disorder And Suicidality Among Bereaved College Students, Jeffrey Alan Rings Jan 2009

Perceived Closeness To The Deceased And Its Predictive Effect On The Development Of Prolonged Grief Disorder And Suicidality Among Bereaved College Students, Jeffrey Alan Rings

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

A growing percentage of college students are experiencing severe and debilitating psychological problems (Caulfield, 2000; Douce, 2004; Kitzrow, 2003). Despite being a commonly-encountered stressor among undergraduates (Currier et al., 2006), the occurrence of bereavement is addressed rarely among the college mental health literature. However, bereavement has been shown to lead to increased suicidality and other problematic mental health symptoms (Prigerson, Bridge et al., 1999). Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD), a newly-defined mental health diagnosis, has been found to be a more accurate indicator of poorer mental health functioning among bereaved individuals than other mental health conditions (Silverman et al., 2000). Some ...


An Historical Inquiry Into Thomas Jefferson's Influence On The American Educational System, Tory Lynn Richey Jan 2009

An Historical Inquiry Into Thomas Jefferson's Influence On The American Educational System, Tory Lynn Richey

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to take a deeper look at the influence of an important American historical figure, Thomas Jefferson, on the institution of the American Educational System. Thomas Jefferson was involved in many decisions involving the traditions, practices and institutions of many educational establishments of his time period. His writings have had a lasting influence on our society and the world. His words have been incorporated into many different countries' constitutions across the world. It was important to study decisions of the past in order to understand how to make well-educated decisions in the future. Thomas Jefferson ...


English Teachers And English Language Learners In Middle School Classrooms: Perspectives And Practices, Elmer Celso Manzanares Jan 2009

English Teachers And English Language Learners In Middle School Classrooms: Perspectives And Practices, Elmer Celso Manzanares

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Public school classrooms in the United States are composed of an increasingly diverse population of learners. The number of students with limited proficiency in English has grown exponentially across the United States, yet their level of academic achievement lags significantly behind that of their language-majority peers.

The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes, opinions and practices of middle school language arts/reading teachers regarding the inclusion of ELL students and the support they receive in their classrooms. The researcher administered a survey to 171 language arts/reading middle school teachers and interviewed six teachers from fourteen schools ...