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Beliefs About Effective Instructional Practices Among Middle Grades Teachers Of Mathematics, Lauren A. Dale Aug 2020

Beliefs About Effective Instructional Practices Among Middle Grades Teachers Of Mathematics, Lauren A. Dale

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This study explores beliefs about effective mathematics instruction among middle grades teachers of mathematics. Using prior syntheses of research on instructional practices linked to students’ mathematics achievement, the conceptual framework draws on features and strategies associated with Explicit Attention to Concepts (EAC) and Student Opportunities to Struggle (SOS). Data sources include mathematics teachers’ self-reported priorities, comfort, and frequency of implementing EAC and SOS strategies, as well as the participants’ teaching context and school demographics. Participants include 98 full-time Grades 6-8 mathematics teachers from 22 districts, and 34 schools in southwest and central Idaho. Findings include positive correlations among EAC and ...


Designing Stem Experiences For The Family In Order To Develop Stem Family Habitus And Capital, Soñia Galaviz May 2020

Designing Stem Experiences For The Family In Order To Develop Stem Family Habitus And Capital, Soñia Galaviz

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Ethnic minority students and low-income students are grossly underrepresented in demonstrating interest and aspirations in science, evidence of science participation, and subsequent capital. Members of these populations do not often embrace a STEM identity or recognize that science, technology, engineering, and math are for them. While schools struggle to innovate in terms of how best to engage and increase aspirations and opportunities in STEM for these underrepresented populations, the family continues to be the most ignored contributor to a student’s STEM identity. Families play an important role in influencing their students’ attitudes, interests, aspirations, and achievements in STEM. While ...


Service-Learning In An Introductory Environmental Science Course: How Participation Impacts Course Content Knowledge And Agency, Mari Rice May 2019

Service-Learning In An Introductory Environmental Science Course: How Participation Impacts Course Content Knowledge And Agency, Mari Rice

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Service-learning (SL) is a high-impact pedagogical strategy that has been shown to have both cognitive and affective benefits for students and has the potential to engage and involve a more demographically diverse spectrum of students into the field of STEM. However, research on the impacts of SL in STEM courses is limited, and therefore there is a great need to identify the specific outcomes linked to participation. In addition, faculty from STEM fields have been hesitant to incorporate SL into their curriculum due to perceptions that it lacks academic rigor. This purpose of this mixed-methods case study was to examine ...


Online Laboratory Introductions To Promote Student Interactions With Two Science And Engineering Practices Of The Next Generation Science Standards, Catherine K. Howlett Aug 2018

Online Laboratory Introductions To Promote Student Interactions With Two Science And Engineering Practices Of The Next Generation Science Standards, Catherine K. Howlett

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Online science courses are becoming increasingly available to K-12 students in the United States. With the utilization of these courses, it is important to facilitate student completion of laboratories as well as student interest in and use of the science and engineering practices (SEPs) of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This exploratory research provided online laboratory introductions to help students interact with the content and the instructor. The research studied if the laboratory introductions led students to ask questions about laboratories, complete laboratories, and think about and use two NGSS SEPs, specifically analyzing and interpreting data and constructing explanations ...


Mathematics Student Achievement In The Context Of Idaho’S Advanced Opportunities Initiative, Nichole K. Hall May 2018

Mathematics Student Achievement In The Context Of Idaho’S Advanced Opportunities Initiative, Nichole K. Hall

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Mathematics coursework a student completes in high school often directly affects their subsequent post-secondary education and career opportunities. In recent years, in a push to prepare a larger number of students for post-secondary education and career opportunities in Idaho, state initiatives have focused on addressing mathematics preparation in the middle grade years to increase the number of students completing an advanced mathematics pathway in high school, including the Advanced Opportunities Initiative to support financial costs of advanced coursework. Starting 2011, each year of the initiative has seen annual increases in students participating in dual credit and Advanced Placement (AP) coursework ...


Instructional Strategies For High School Ell Refugee Students In Mathematics, Seoyeon Lee Aug 2017

Instructional Strategies For High School Ell Refugee Students In Mathematics, Seoyeon Lee

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This study investigates instructional strategies used in high school mathematics classrooms to learn the way teachers modify their lessons to teach late-entry ELL students, including refugees with little or no formal education. Two separate ELL classes, two mainstream classes with mixed groups of ELL students and monolinguistic students, and one mainstream class without late-entry ELL students are observed for this study. Both qualitative analysis regarding teaching English language while using mathematics content, specifically vocabulary acquisition, and quantitative analysis as to how teachers spend their instructional time are used to present the findings of this study. The findings provide a forum ...


Investigating College Instructors’ Methods Of Differentiation And Derivatives In Calculus Classes, Wedad Mubaraki Mar 2017

Investigating College Instructors’ Methods Of Differentiation And Derivatives In Calculus Classes, Wedad Mubaraki

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This case study investigates three college instructors’ instructional approaches and their mathematical discourses in the context of calculus (e.g., concepts of limit and derivatives). The analyses focus on ways in which instructors communicate limit and derivative concepts that are observed in the classrooms, using Sfard’s discursive framework (a communicational approach). In particular, instructors’ use of mathematical words while introducing derivative and limit concepts are analyzed, as well as instructors’ ways of using visual mediators such as symbols, numbers, expressions, and graphs are investigated. The findings of the study indicate instructors’ different instructional approaches and differences in their mathematics ...


Examining The Influence Of Number Line Fraction Task Characteristics On Student Work, Sharlee Hatch Dec 2016

Examining The Influence Of Number Line Fraction Task Characteristics On Student Work, Sharlee Hatch

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Research supports the claim that classrooms with teachers who respond to student thinking in the mathematics classroom will see greater student gains and student success (Lamon, 1996; Sleep & Boerst, 2012). The topic of fractions is both difficult to teach and learn, but has important implications on future success in mathematics and in life. This study set out to explore the ways in which student work is influenced by characteristics of number line fraction tasks. By examining task type, number line structure, and number choice this study shares the way these task characteristics influenced student strategies. The relationship between task characteristic and student work is examined qualitatively; in addition to how well each task characteristic uncovers three key conceptual understanding fraction ideas: partitioning, iterating, and unitizing. Additionally, this study looks at which task characteristics better highlight informal or intuitive understanding of these key ideas and in what ways. The findings can be used to inform the selection of fraction tasks for the classroom.


Using Mobile Technology To Engage Middle School Students In The Scientific Practice Of Argumentation Via Screencasting, Patricia Anne Mcginnis May 2016

Using Mobile Technology To Engage Middle School Students In The Scientific Practice Of Argumentation Via Screencasting, Patricia Anne Mcginnis

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This case study examined the use of mobile devices in supporting data collection and argumentation in the sixth grade science classroom. Mobile devices were used for data collection during laboratory activities and for constructing screencasts of science arguments. Findings revealed that students exhibit little planning when collecting digital data. Students used the digital data to add visual interest to their screencasts, support observations, and support inferences. Students who used the screencasting application’s narration and annotating tools were more likely to create appropriate and sufficient science arguments than their peers. One of the low achieving students in this study was ...


Finding Success In Elementary Science Across Socioeconomic Boundaries, Jill K. Hettinger Dec 2014

Finding Success In Elementary Science Across Socioeconomic Boundaries, Jill K. Hettinger

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Elementary science education provides a platform for intellectual development, building a foundation of scientific literacy and a first entry point into interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. A significant body of research on elementary science education clearly defines what high-quality science education should look like at the elementary level. However, there is little understood about how to implement high-quality science instruction effectively within a school system. Prior research indicates that this problem is further compounded in low socioeconomic elementary schools by a lack of resources, time, and high teacher mobility. I used descriptive research to identify the ...


Gravity & Einstein: Assessing The Rubber Sheet Analogy In Undergraduate Conceptual Physics, Tiffany Rae Watkins Aug 2014

Gravity & Einstein: Assessing The Rubber Sheet Analogy In Undergraduate Conceptual Physics, Tiffany Rae Watkins

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

The rubber sheet analogy for Einstein’s General Relativity model of gravity is a popular way to visualize the effect mass has on the curvature of spacetime. My single group, quasi-experimental study with repeated measures was designed to assess the effectiveness of the rubber sheet analogy in teaching gravitational fields. I developed instructional materials, including a hands-on lab, to engage university students in thinking about gravity using the rubber sheet analogy. Previous research on students’ ideas about gravity informed the development of the pre/post-test. My work is an important first step in establishing a standard assessment on gravity.

Approximately ...


Effects Of Peer Labeling On Middle School Student Engagement In Stem Subjects, Stacey Kristine Stanton May 2014

Effects Of Peer Labeling On Middle School Student Engagement In Stem Subjects, Stacey Kristine Stanton

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Much attention has been given to the shortage of STEM professionals entering the workforce in the United States. Reasons for the disinterest in pursuing STEM degrees are many. Some argue students are disinterested with STEM content during early adolescence as a result of negative peer labeling, such as “brain” or “nerd,” towards individuals who demonstrate aptitude in STEM content. The purpose of my study was to investigate whether peer labeling in middle school is directed towards students who show an aptitude for STEM content, and further, to determine whether peer labeling impacts motivation and engagement in STEM content. There are ...


Relationships Between F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Participants’ Roles And Their Educational And Degree Choices, Christine T. Chang Aug 2013

Relationships Between F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Participants’ Roles And Their Educational And Degree Choices, Christine T. Chang

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

The annual robotics competition that is held by the non-profit organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (better known as FIRST) implicitly requires that the multifaceted teams subdivide in order to ensure that sufficient team resources are committed to all areas of the competition. The self-stated goal of FIRST is to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This study examines the relationship between FIRST participants’ specific roles on their teams and their subsequent academic and career pursuits. Study participants (N = 174) consisting of FIRST Robotics Competition alumni responded to an online ...


Using Learner-Generated Examples To Support Student Understanding Of Functions, Martha Ottelia Dinkelman May 2013

Using Learner-Generated Examples To Support Student Understanding Of Functions, Martha Ottelia Dinkelman

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

The introduction of Common Core State Standards motivated K-12 teachers to look for ways to engage students in thinking differently about mathematics. Asking students to generate their own examples is one strategy that has proven to be beneficial to student learning for students in advanced math courses. This study was designed to determine if asking students to generate their own examples would be beneficial to student learning for high school students in a slower paced second year Algebra course.

This study occurred during a two week unit of instruction focused on the concept of function. The participants were Juniors and ...


The Assignment Packet Grading System, Sarah Nichole Bruce Mar 2013

The Assignment Packet Grading System, Sarah Nichole Bruce

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

The Assignment Packet Grading System is a form of choice-based learning that may be a valuable strategy to increase both motivation in students and their self-efficacy, which in return could result in higher levels of student achievement. The study was of an experimental design, carried out in Geometry classes at the high school level. Data were gathered regarding students’ mathematics self-efficacy and their academic achievement for two groups: one using the Assignment Packet Grading System and the other using a traditional classroom grading system.

The analysis of the data gathered in the study did not show a statistically significant difference ...


An Instructional Framework For Tier 2 Intervention In Mathematics, Catherine Didio Beals Dec 2012

An Instructional Framework For Tier 2 Intervention In Mathematics, Catherine Didio Beals

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This study investigated the effectiveness of an instructional framework for Tier 2 intervention in mathematics. The framework suggests intervention teachers utilize instructional practices shown to be effective for students with disabilities while assessing students strengths and weaknesses in skills that are strong indicators of an MLD. This study used a mixed methods design to determine whether tutoring based on this framework led to changes in understanding of multiplication and division for four low achieving fourth graders. It also evaluated the usefulness of the instructional framework in determining whether a student had patterns of deficit related to a mathematics learning disability ...


Measurement Of Life Skill Acquisition Of The Idaho First Lego® League State Tournament Participants Ages 9-14, Kristina Lee Luckey May 2011

Measurement Of Life Skill Acquisition Of The Idaho First Lego® League State Tournament Participants Ages 9-14, Kristina Lee Luckey

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Youth development programs provide opportunities for children to learn and apply the life skills they are likely to utilize later in life. Therefore, it is critical that steps are taken to evaluate their effectiveness. The direct purpose of this study was to measure life skill outcomes of participants ages 9-14 of the Idaho FIRST LEGO® League program state tournament participants. This mixed method pre-experimental design study incorporated quantitative measurements using a paired samples test and qualitative measures utilizing a single-category design focus group methodology for triangulation purposes. This study contributes to the literature by providing empirical evidence of the formation ...


The Inquiry Learning Model As An Approach To Mathematics Instruction, Michael C. Brune Dec 2010

The Inquiry Learning Model As An Approach To Mathematics Instruction, Michael C. Brune

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Since current approaches to mathematical instruction fall short of the goals of NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) research was conducted in a small rural school district in the northwest United States evaluating inquiry based instruction. To complete the study two high school geometry classes were taught area formulation using a traditional lecture based approach to instruction. A third geometry class was taught area formulation utilizing inquiry-based instructional methods. Students in both groups took both a pre-test and post-test, filled out a questionnaire, and participated in a project designed to test their applications of mathematical understanding. Results indicated that ...


Concept Booklets: Examining The Performance Effects Of Journaling Of Mathematics Course Concepts, Todd Stephen Fogdall Aug 2009

Concept Booklets: Examining The Performance Effects Of Journaling Of Mathematics Course Concepts, Todd Stephen Fogdall

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Journaling is an effective tool for writing about mathematics, but research is mixed about the extent to its effectiveness in writing to learn mathematics. This study examined the performance effects of concept booklets on curriculum assessments. Concept booklets are a hybrid style of journal-writing that include responses to journal prompts, diagramming, and traditional note-taking. Prompts were designed to sometimes investigate new concepts and, at other times, to reflect on components of previously learned concepts.

The study, of an experimental design, was carried out at the high school level in honors-level mathematics classes with the independent variable being exposure to the ...