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2016

Doctoral Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Impact Of Stability Ball Seating On Behavior And Academic Achievement Among Elementary School Students In Grades 1 Through 4., Sheila R. Borders Dec 2016

The Impact Of Stability Ball Seating On Behavior And Academic Achievement Among Elementary School Students In Grades 1 Through 4., Sheila R. Borders

Doctoral Dissertations

This study was designed to answer three questions: 1) What is the impact of stability ball seating on the behavior of students in grades 1 through 4? 2) What is the impact of stability ball seating on the mathematics scores of students in grades 1 through 4? and 3) What is the impact of stability ball seating on the reading scores of students in grades 1 through 4? Research has shown that stability ball seating is linked to behavior and academic achievement among students diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examines ...


Academic Library Resources And Services For Online Distance Learners: An Exploratory Study, Roseanne Michele Sasso Dec 2016

Academic Library Resources And Services For Online Distance Learners: An Exploratory Study, Roseanne Michele Sasso

Doctoral Dissertations

In this study distance learning library resources and services as provided by member institutions belonging to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) were examined. The goals of this study were (a) to identify the types of distance learning library resources and services being provided, and (b) to gain insight into the experiences and perspectives of Association of Research Libraries’ library personnel in delivering library resources and services to their distance learning library patrons. This exploratory study consisted of two phases, where both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Phase one involved a content analysis of member institution’s distance learning ...


Stories Of Success: A Phenomenological Study Of Positive Transformative Learning Experiences Of Low-Socioeconomic Status Community College Mathematics Students, John Thomas Smith Dec 2016

Stories Of Success: A Phenomenological Study Of Positive Transformative Learning Experiences Of Low-Socioeconomic Status Community College Mathematics Students, John Thomas Smith

Doctoral Dissertations

All too often education research focuses on academic disparities with under-served student populations. Frequently, both remedial and introductory college-level mathematics courses are cited as gatekeepers or insurmountable barriers for adult low-socioeconomic status (LSES) students. There has been a call from within the mathematics education community for less gap-gazing at disparities and more studies of success within marginalized groups. Many previously unsuccessful, under-prepared, under-served, and under-supported students persist and eventually succeed. In addition, there is a lack of research through the lens of the community college as a unique educational context, distinct from both K-12 and the four year colleges and ...


Student And Instructor Experiences With Types Of Teaching And Learning In A Computer Course, Emily Carter Gray Dec 2016

Student And Instructor Experiences With Types Of Teaching And Learning In A Computer Course, Emily Carter Gray

Doctoral Dissertations

Research has shown that active classroom engagement increases the learning performance of students in higher education (Cross, 2000; Reese, 2013). This study sought to examine the experiences of students and instructor in a computer applications course in which the pedagogy was changed to encourage additional interaction among students and between students and the instructor. The goal of the study was to generate useful, practical knowledge (Reason & Bradbury, 2001) to help the instructor better understand her pedagogy with the intention of improving both her teaching practice and student learning outcomes, as well as to contribute to related literature in adult education ...


Viewing Power, Politics, And Loss: A Critical Discourse Analysis Of The Mass Media’S Representations Of Teacher Unions In The United States And The Consequences Concerning Policy, Melissa Ann Harness Dec 2016

Viewing Power, Politics, And Loss: A Critical Discourse Analysis Of The Mass Media’S Representations Of Teacher Unions In The United States And The Consequences Concerning Policy, Melissa Ann Harness

Doctoral Dissertations

From 2011 to 2012, in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker and legislative republicans passed ACT- 10, a law severely limiting public sector/teachers union’s collective bargaining rights. This legislative effort shocked the nation with the bold move toward stricter regulations concerning the public sector, as Wisconsin is historically one of the most progressive states concerning labor within the United States. Teachers unions within the state took ACT-10 as an assault on their very profession. Shortly before the passing of the act, sit-ins and protests abounded within the capital of Madison that caught attention from both the local and national media ...


Learning To Teach Online: An Investigation Of The Impacts Of Faculty Development Training On Teaching Effectiveness And Attitudes Toward Online Instruction, Karen Elizabeth Brinkley Dec 2016

Learning To Teach Online: An Investigation Of The Impacts Of Faculty Development Training On Teaching Effectiveness And Attitudes Toward Online Instruction, Karen Elizabeth Brinkley

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between one approach to training for online faculty and the ways in which the program influenced the participants’ teaching effectiveness and attitudes toward online instruction. Two research questions guided this study: (1) how did participating in an intensive course redesign intervention influence instructors’ teaching effectiveness in the online environment? and (2) how did participating in the training influence instructors’ beliefs or attitudes about online teaching? The theoretical framework guiding this study was the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model, developed by Mishra and Koehler (2005). Using a concurrent, mixed-methods design ...


Development And Validation Of The Statistics Assessment Of Graduate Students, Dammika Lakmal Walpitage Dec 2016

Development And Validation Of The Statistics Assessment Of Graduate Students, Dammika Lakmal Walpitage

Doctoral Dissertations

This study developed the Statistics Assessment of Graduate Students (SAGS) instrument, and established its preliminary item characteristics, reliability, and validity evidence. Even though there are limited number of assessments available for measuring different aspects of statistical cognition, these previously available assessments have numerous limitations. The SAGS instrument was developed using Rasch modeling approach to create a new measure of statistical research methodology knowledge of graduate students in education and other behavioral and social sciences. Thirty-five multiple-choice questions were written with stems representing applied research situations and response options distinguishing between appropriate use of various statistical tests or procedures. A focus ...


Siwi In An Itinerant Teaching Setting: Contextual Factors Impacting Instruction, Rachel Machelle Saulsburry Dec 2016

Siwi In An Itinerant Teaching Setting: Contextual Factors Impacting Instruction, Rachel Machelle Saulsburry

Doctoral Dissertations

In the last 40 years, there has been a shift in where deaf and hard-of-hearing (d/hh) students have been educated (Foster & Cue, 2009), with a majority of d/hh students now spending at least part of their school day in the general education classroom instead of residential or day-schools for the deaf. Many of these students receive specialized support from an itinerant teacher. D/hh children have unique language needs due to their access (or lack thereof) to natural language for acquisition purposes. Insufficient access to language, ASL or English, may be due to: delays in identification and/or ...


Post-Concussion Experiences Of Collegiate Student-Athletes, Kaitlin Iris Singer Dec 2016

Post-Concussion Experiences Of Collegiate Student-Athletes, Kaitlin Iris Singer

Doctoral Dissertations

Sports-related concussions are a major public health concern affecting a significant number of collegiate student-athletes. Medical and public health research has addressed every aspect of concussion management processes including concussion education, medical diagnosis, recovery, and returning to sport and classroom. This research has led to several best-practices for concussion management. Since 2010, the NCAA has mandated that its member institutions maintain concussion management policies and procedures. However, the current recommendations, based primarily on medical research, have been found in quantitative studies of the behaviors and practices of athletic trainers, coaches, and student-athletes to be ineffective. To date, no studies have ...


Family Experiences With Standardized Assessments Leading To Participation In The Opt Out Movement, Christy Lee Evans Dec 2016

Family Experiences With Standardized Assessments Leading To Participation In The Opt Out Movement, Christy Lee Evans

Doctoral Dissertations

With the hope of giving voice to individuals who are usually left out of conversations regarding standardized assessments—the families who live with the effects of those tests on their children—this study was designed to answer the following research questions:

1) Who are some of the individuals who are participating in the opt out movement?

2) How are some individuals making the decision to participate in the opt out movement?

a) What knowledge do these individuals who are participating in the opt out movement have regarding the standardized assessments that their children are being given in public schools?

b ...


Neighborhood Characteristics Of Food Insecurity Impacting Mental Health In East Tennessee Communities, Rochelle Alyssa Butler Dec 2016

Neighborhood Characteristics Of Food Insecurity Impacting Mental Health In East Tennessee Communities, Rochelle Alyssa Butler

Doctoral Dissertations

This study contributes to a growing body of research in counseling, public health, and psychology that examines how features within neighborhoods affect mental health. The environment in which their clients live directly affects services that counselors provide. Mental health discussions often center at the individual level, but mental health significantly impacts communities a whole. Therefore, the presence of mental health problems in individuals will affect the wider community at varying societal levels. Geographic information Systems, (GIS) will be used to determine which features of built environment associated food insecurity impact mental health and where the correlations between mental health and ...


Development And Initial Validation Of A Flipped Classroom Adoption Inventory In Higher Education, Taotao Long Aug 2016

Development And Initial Validation Of A Flipped Classroom Adoption Inventory In Higher Education, Taotao Long

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this study is to develop and initially validate an inventory to learn about the critical variables involved in a higher education instructor’s decision to adopt a flipped classroom instructional model. A flipped classroom is an instructional model in which students’ learning is divided into two phases, the self-directed pre-class learning phase and the in-class student-centered active learning phase. Both phases are typically technology-enhanced. This study addresses a gap in the recent research regarding the identification and assessment of the critical variables that are related to a higher education instructor’s decision to adopt a flipped classroom ...


Developing And Implementing A Lgbt Family Studies Course: A Pre-Post Evaluation, Kathryn Alexandra Conrad Aug 2016

Developing And Implementing A Lgbt Family Studies Course: A Pre-Post Evaluation, Kathryn Alexandra Conrad

Doctoral Dissertations

This study explores the pre- and post-course knowledge and attitudes regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families. An upper-level, Child and Family Studies undergraduate course, Modern Families, was constructed and piloted during the Spring 2016 semester to provide students with empirically-based information on contemporary families with a heavy emphasis on LGBT individuals and families. Participants (N = 19), who were enrolled in the course, participated in a series of open- and close-ended surveys at the beginning (Time 1 [T1]) and end (Time 2 [T2]) of the semester that assessed their knowledge and attitudes towards diverse family constellations (most ...


What They Say: Student Voices In Nursing Simulation, Andrea Mcmahan Damewood Aug 2016

What They Say: Student Voices In Nursing Simulation, Andrea Mcmahan Damewood

Doctoral Dissertations

Simulation, the use of artificial systems to represent real systems, is a growing practice in the education and training of adults. In the health care field, simulation environments allow for mistakes and provide an environment where medical professionals can practice skills and procedures without harm to actual patients. In recent years, nursing schools around the world have created simulation environments and built simulation events into their curricula. As the use of simulation has increased, the research on simulation effectiveness, best practices and outcomes has grown.

The problem this study addresses is the lack of research describing the safety of the ...


"Our Village Approach": The Story Of How One African American Family Educates Their Children, Sherrie Lynn Fairchild-Keyes Aug 2016

"Our Village Approach": The Story Of How One African American Family Educates Their Children, Sherrie Lynn Fairchild-Keyes

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this ethnographic case study is to tell the story of how one African American family educates their children. At the center of this study are two sisters. Together, they are raising four children with the help of their father, siblings, and several extended and fictive kin. The family functions collectively; they call it their “village approach”. As a cultural studies project, their story represents a counter-narrative to many stories that support deficit thinking. Education is highly valued by members of this family. The children are expected to perform at high levels academically as well as give their ...


Exploring The Ways New Faculty Form Beliefs About Teaching: A Basic Interpretive Study, Beth Ann White Aug 2016

Exploring The Ways New Faculty Form Beliefs About Teaching: A Basic Interpretive Study, Beth Ann White

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine the formation of beliefs about teaching held by faculty in their first three years of teaching in higher education classrooms and their perceptions of the ways those views may or may not have changed as they gain experience. This study followed a basic, interpretive approach with a sample of new faculty who explored the formation and enactment of their beliefs about teaching in higher education. Based on a thematic analysis of the interview data, three themes were identified as influencers of belief formation: modeling, teaching experience, and formal instruction. Changes in belief ...


“It’S Like A Mountain”: The Lived Experience Of Homeless College Students, Valerie Karen Ambrose Aug 2016

“It’S Like A Mountain”: The Lived Experience Of Homeless College Students, Valerie Karen Ambrose

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of college for homeless students. Using a phenomenological approach, the researcher completed interviews in which participants were asked to describe what college was like for them. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a hermeneutic approach. All interviews were analyzed within the contexts of each other to identify themes. The participants all lived in a world of homelessness that they could never fully ignore. The world of homelessness was grounded in the contexts of the body and other people. An encompassing central theme of “Escaping the Homeless World through ...


A Comparison Of Comprehension Accuracy And Rate: Repeated Readings And Listening While Reading, Megan Amber Schall Aug 2016

A Comparison Of Comprehension Accuracy And Rate: Repeated Readings And Listening While Reading, Megan Amber Schall

Doctoral Dissertations

There is a need for effective and efficient reading interventions in American schools. Two empirically supported reading interventions are Repeated Readings and Listening While Reading. Previous researchers have evaluated the effects of these interventions individually on reading fluency and comprehension, and in comparison on students’ reading fluency. This is the first study to compare the relative effectiveness of each intervention on students’ comprehension, which is the typical purpose of reading. The current study extends previous research by considering the instructional time required to complete each intervention, and converting students’ comprehension accuracy scores into a comprehension rate measure. Additionally, students read ...


Assessing The Impact Of Picture Books In Primary Grades Mathematics Instruction, Jessica Stone Aug 2016

Assessing The Impact Of Picture Books In Primary Grades Mathematics Instruction, Jessica Stone

Doctoral Dissertations

This study documents an educational field experiment evaluating the effects of picture books on primary students’ mathematical achievement and their dispositions towards mathematics. The study involved 136 primary grade students from one elementary school in the southeastern region of the United States. The student population had an overrepresentation of students from minority backgrounds (91%), low socioeconomic status (93%) and English Language Learners (47%). During the 18-week treatment period, teacher participants from the treatment group received bi-weekly collaborative professional development regarding the use of picture books in mathematics instruction. The teachers in the control group followed their district’s mathematics curriculum ...


Academic Outcomes In Higher Education For Students Screened As Twice-Exceptional: Gifted With A Learning Disability In Math Or Reading, Elizabeth Ann Hays Aug 2016

Academic Outcomes In Higher Education For Students Screened As Twice-Exceptional: Gifted With A Learning Disability In Math Or Reading, Elizabeth Ann Hays

Doctoral Dissertations

To investigate academic outcomes for twice-exceptional (2e) students who pursue higher education, a pool of 20,761 undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee were screened and 244 were selected as potentially 2e because they matched certain criteria traditionally used for the determination of giftedness and a specific learning disability (SLD) in math or reading. First-year retention rate and final college GPA were significantly lower for students screened as gifted with a SLD in math or reading than for students screened as gifted without a SLD (p< .05), but were not significantly different from other students in the general population. Students screened as 2e were more likely to be undecided in their choice of major than students screened as gifted (pp<.001).


Institutional Expenditures And State Economic Factors Influencing 2012-2014 Public University Graduation Rates, Brian Todd Hester Aug 2016

Institutional Expenditures And State Economic Factors Influencing 2012-2014 Public University Graduation Rates, Brian Todd Hester

Doctoral Dissertations

American higher education has seen public postsecondary funding sharply decline over the past couple of decades and has now fallen behind other countries in being the world leader in college degree production. Many U.S. states have begun to place more accountability on their public institutions to prove they are using appropriations as effectively and efficiently as possible. State financial support is increasingly being appropriated on the basis of performance – i.e. student outcomes, primarily measured by student graduation rates. The better an institution can use its financial resources to increase its graduation rates, the more state financial support it ...


Hope Scholarship Status Of Students In A Large Entry-Level Course In Teacher Education, Eleanore Claire Trant Aug 2016

Hope Scholarship Status Of Students In A Large Entry-Level Course In Teacher Education, Eleanore Claire Trant

Doctoral Dissertations

The current study examined the extent to which socioeconomic variables (SES), pre-college academic variables, pre-course collegiate variables, and in-course achievement variables predicted students' probability of receiving and/or retaining the Helping Outstanding Students Educationally (HOPE) scholarship. The study was conducted in the Ed Psych 210 course (N = 181). Much of the data came from the University’s Registrar’s Office. Bivariate Logistic Regression was used in all phases of the analysis. The predictive potential of each subset of variables was first done for variables in combination and then for variables separately.

Socioeconomic status (SES) measures and pre-college academic variable were ...


“Do I Want To Die On That Hill?”: Perceptions Of Rural Appalachian English Teachers About Using Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, And Queer/Questioning Young Adult Literature In The Secondary English Classroom, Stacey Rochelle Reece Aug 2016

“Do I Want To Die On That Hill?”: Perceptions Of Rural Appalachian English Teachers About Using Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, And Queer/Questioning Young Adult Literature In The Secondary English Classroom, Stacey Rochelle Reece

Doctoral Dissertations

Research from GLSEN has shown that rural, Southern schools are some of the most dangerous places to be for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning students. These students hear more disparaging language, face more bullying, have less resources for information, and are less likely to see positive representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people in their school’s curriculum. Based on this research, I wanted to understand the perceptions of secondary English teachers in a small, Southern rural school district of using LGBTQ young adult literature (YAL) in the classroom.

Drawing on parts of Paulo ...


Stress, Coping, And Well Being Of African American College Women: A Grounded Theory Study, Christine R. Hannon May 2016

Stress, Coping, And Well Being Of African American College Women: A Grounded Theory Study, Christine R. Hannon

Doctoral Dissertations

African American women are a rapidly growing population on college campuses. Though enrollment trends suggest an increase in African American women’s pursuit of educational attainment, they face unique challenges and obstacles (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). Researchers have noted that stressful life events have detrimental effects on the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of college students (Greer & Brown, 2011; Reynolds, Sneva, & Beehler, 2010; Hall et al., 2006; Larson, 2006; Andrews & Wilding, 2004; Nonis et al., 1998; Shapiro et al., 1998; Cohen & Herbert, 1996; Van Eck et al., 1996). Research focused on the unique challenges of African American college women face at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) is ...


Examining The Writing Motivation And Achievement Of At-Risk Elementary-Aged Students, Melissa Sue Martin May 2016

Examining The Writing Motivation And Achievement Of At-Risk Elementary-Aged Students, Melissa Sue Martin

Doctoral Dissertations

Writing achievement of students in the United States is weak. Approximately 75% of 12th graders are not proficient writers (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2012) and performance of students in poverty lags behind that of more affluent peers. Because writing is complex (Torrance & Galbraith, 2006) and often viewed as aversive to students (Boscolo & Gelati, 2013), motivation is an important consideration for teachers. However, little research exists examining writing motivation.

A correlational research design was employed to examine writing achievement and motivation (i.e., self-efficacy and attributions) of at-risk elementary-aged students (N = 61). Participants, who attended Title 1 schools (in grades ...


The Learning Projects Of Municipal Elected Officials, Rebecca Campbell Smeltzer May 2016

The Learning Projects Of Municipal Elected Officials, Rebecca Campbell Smeltzer

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this exploratory study was to describe the learning projects related to the governmental role of a selected sample of elected municipal officials in a geographic region of a Southeastern state. The study includes the revision of Tough’s (1975) learning projects interview schedule and the addition of eight demographic items.

Participants were selected by using a random number generator to choose 12 cities from seven population groups, creating a stratified sample of 68 elected officials, 41 of whom agreed to be interviewed. Demographic information revealed that the participants were a mix of mayors (26.8%), vice-mayors (19 ...


The Student Experience Of Other Students, Brian Kelleher Sohn May 2016

The Student Experience Of Other Students, Brian Kelleher Sohn

Doctoral Dissertations

The literature on higher education classroom climate and its relationship to teaching and learning is dominated by studies and theorizing regarding the role of the instructor. But when instructors use learner-centered approaches and diffuse the role and authority of the teacher, students gain a higher level of influence in the learning experience of their peers. In this phenomenological case study of a unique graduate seminar, I interpreted the thematic structure of the student experience of other students (SEOS). Data sources included field notes, audio recordings of class sessions, weekly student post-class reflections, and individual and focus group interviews with students ...


Living Alongside: A Narrative Inquiry Into The Impact Of Reflective Practice Training In Real Life, Patricia Randall Long May 2016

Living Alongside: A Narrative Inquiry Into The Impact Of Reflective Practice Training In Real Life, Patricia Randall Long

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this narrative inquiry (NI) was to explore, through personal narratives, the experience of the impact of Reflective Practice (RP) training (offered through an institute for collaborative communication housed within a large southeastern regional research one university) and subsequent practice on the day-to-day lives of two participants. While most published studies focus on RP impact during or immediately after training, this inquiry spanned seven months post training.

Field texts were generated from five open, non-structured interviews, journals, and field notes. The findings were framed within the NI commonplaces of temporality, sociality, and place, as well as seminal theories ...


Out Of School Time Science Programs: Examining A Program’S Impacts On The Science Identities Of Middle School Female Participants, Elizabeth Ripley Mactavish May 2016

Out Of School Time Science Programs: Examining A Program’S Impacts On The Science Identities Of Middle School Female Participants, Elizabeth Ripley Mactavish

Doctoral Dissertations

Science education reform efforts emphasize teaching science for all Americans, and identify scientific literacy as the principle goal of science education (American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1993; National Research Council [NRC], 1996). Despite the goal of scientific literacy, some students, especially females and minorities, consider science irrelevant to their personal interests or career goals. Additionally, research pinpoints middle school as a period when female students begin to lose interest in science (Farenga, 1999; Hill et al., 2010).

Decades of research have documented the gender achievement gap, yet little research has been focused on the science identity gap ...


Successful Graduate Students’ Perceptions Of Characteristics Of Online Learning Environments, Jian Su May 2016

Successful Graduate Students’ Perceptions Of Characteristics Of Online Learning Environments, Jian Su

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine issues related to online graduate course effectiveness, and graduate student perceptions of characteristics of online learning environments and their effectiveness, and to explore the relationship between graduate student perceptions and student success in online courses. The research methodology employed was that of survey research, using the Graduate Student Online Learning Environment Survey instrument, targeted at graduate students enrolled in online courses at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. A total of 238 graduate students participated in this study. Findings revealed that approximately 87.4% of graduate students reported positive online learning experiences ...