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Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Supporting Student Connectedness And Social Satisfaction During Recess, Elizabeth Teasdale Wells Dec 2018

Supporting Student Connectedness And Social Satisfaction During Recess, Elizabeth Teasdale Wells

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

This project examines the effects of how recess preparation and reflection can be focused on providing students an opportunity to connect socially and strengthen overall happiness. By investigating the role social satisfaction plays in a child’s life during recess, educators may gain knowledge about how to foster social connectedness for every child. While most studies about recess focus on a child’s level of physical activity or negative behaviors, researchers have yet to investigate recess as a place to improve a child’s well-being and social satisfaction. This study was conducted at a public elementary school through qualitative interviews ...


Understanding The Learning & Advocacy Needs Of A Twice-Exceptional Student Through A Strengths-Based Lens: A Case Study In California, Lisa Krausz Jun 2018

Understanding The Learning & Advocacy Needs Of A Twice-Exceptional Student Through A Strengths-Based Lens: A Case Study In California, Lisa Krausz

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Twice-exceptional students possess both high ability and learning disabilities. The complex interaction of their gifts and disabilities perplexes both educators and parents. Educators often use a deficit approach when working with these learners; new research calls for multi-dimensional, strengths-based approaches to engage these students. Strengths-based approaches draw upon student strengths, interests, and talents to help address their disabilities. In this study, information was gathered from a mixed-methods, strengths-based approach to gauge a student’s strengths, interests, talents and disabilities to add to the research on traditional assessment and intervention approaches. The researcher also explored how parents’ understanding of their child ...


Collaborative Practices In Special Education: An Exploratory Study, Blanka Pentek, Katherine Sadoff, Evelyn Tang May 2018

Collaborative Practices In Special Education: An Exploratory Study, Blanka Pentek, Katherine Sadoff, Evelyn Tang

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Objective: This exploratory survey study examined collaborative practices of professionals working in special education. The basis for the survey was the Conceptual Model of Collaboration (CMC), created by Hess and colleagues (2017).

Methods: 27 professionals who work in special education participated. Cross tabulation tests and Pearson's correlation tests were run to determine relationships between the variables.

Results: The findings indicated that the majority of participants value collaboration for student outcomes and professional development. Most participants agreed on common facilitators and barriers to collaboration. Collaboration primarily takes place in IEP meetings, through email and text messaging and is frequent in ...


The Impact Of Rigorous Curriculum In Transitional Kindergarten And Kindergarten Classrooms, Lauren Clough May 2018

The Impact Of Rigorous Curriculum In Transitional Kindergarten And Kindergarten Classrooms, Lauren Clough

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Educators across the world are being asked to teach academic skills to increasingly younger students. The purpose of this research project was to examine the impact that using rigorous curriculum had on transitional kindergarten and kindergarten educators as well as how rigorous curriculum affected the self-esteem of students. A particular shortcoming in the available literature is the lack of research discussing rigorous curriculum used in early elementary classrooms that contain mostly English language learners and how that affects the teachers and students. This project used a mixed methods approach in order to collect qualitative data from detailed interviews using open-ended ...


The Student-Leader Voice In Restorative Justice Practices, Amanda Wagner May 2018

The Student-Leader Voice In Restorative Justice Practices, Amanda Wagner

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

As more and more schools work to develop equitable and effective discipline strategies many are turning to restorative practices. However, there is no one correct way to implement a successful restorative justice program so schools are left to experiment with different practices and procedures to determine what works best for their school community. Research suggests that there are numerous benefits to developing a restorative program at a school but studies largely exclude the student perspective. Since students are a central part of a meaningful restorative justice program, it is important to hear their voices and experiences. The purpose of this ...


Trauma Informed Teaching To Support Student Social And Emotional Needs, Tara Williams May 2018

Trauma Informed Teaching To Support Student Social And Emotional Needs, Tara Williams

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine how a trauma informed approach to behavior that supports the emotional growth of students and meets their needs for discipline and structure within a school environment affects teachers’ negative perspectives of student behavior. This study examined the impact Rainbowdance had on teacher perception of student behavior before teacher training and after training. The participants are three lower elementary teachers at Country Charter School and additional information is provided by the International Trauma Center (ITC) staff members who are implementing Rainbowdance. The data collection was done through narrative interviews, field notes and ...


High School Visual Arts And Student Civic Engagement, Benjamin Rupers May 2018

High School Visual Arts And Student Civic Engagement, Benjamin Rupers

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

A democracy is healthiest when civic engagement is valued and demonstrated by its citizens. Although many have studied ways to increase civic engagement, the relationship between civic engagement and fine art education has not been included. The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between art education and civic engagement in a select sample of eight AP visual art students from a high school art program in Northern California, as well as identify the level of civic engagement demonstrated by the students. The students will be interviewed and evaluated according to Hauptmann (2005)’s seven elements of civic ...


"Or I May Live...": Meaning-Making And Mortality, Hannah Bright May 2018

"Or I May Live...": Meaning-Making And Mortality, Hannah Bright

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

This project examined the ways in which dialogical processing of the fact of one’s own impending death impacts meaning-making in day-to-day life. Taking a qualitative approach, the thesis builds from five in-depth interviews and follow-up surveys with students in higher education. In reviewing the role of death education in public school settings, the study concludes that an enhanced emphasis on love of learning, creative thinking and community engagement in public education is the most effective way for educators to support students in building appropriate skillsets to create meaning in their lives, as well as in the face of their ...


Stronger Together: A Case For Team Teaching In The Elementary School Setting, Jenna Christine Degan May 2018

Stronger Together: A Case For Team Teaching In The Elementary School Setting, Jenna Christine Degan

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

The focus of this study was to determine the impact of team teaching on teacher efficacy, burnout, and student engagement in an elementary school setting. Few if any studies have examined the relationship between team teaching and feelings of efficacy and burnout with elementary school teachers. The purpose of this study was to determine if team teaching was a viable and workable approach for teachers in the elementary school settings to develop teacher efficacy, avoid burnout, and increase student engagement. This study utilized a qualitative methodology to collect data from three participants who were team teaching at the same elementary ...


How To Best Support Individuals Growing Up With A Special Needs Sibling, Lauren Mcdonell May 2018

How To Best Support Individuals Growing Up With A Special Needs Sibling, Lauren Mcdonell

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

The purpose of this study was to understand the emotions of a neurotypically developing sibling. This study also attempted to understand how caregivers can best support the neurotypical sibling in the areas of self-concept and overall well-being. The gap is knowledge is how to better support neurotypical developing siblings specifically in the areas of self-concept and overall well-being. Three participants were interviewed to gain insight about their experiences with their special needs sibling. Participants who participated in a support group for neurotypical developing children with a SNS were surveyed to gain insight about their experiences with the support group. Through ...


Eliciting Student Voice To Explore The Need For Culturally Responsive Teaching In Secondary Schools, Henna Lopez Rahimi May 2018

Eliciting Student Voice To Explore The Need For Culturally Responsive Teaching In Secondary Schools, Henna Lopez Rahimi

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

The aim of this research was to elicit student voice in regard to school climate, belonging, racial identity, and culturally responsive teaching. The study focused on gleaning a greater understanding of important factors that influence the academic achievement gap in a secondary school with predominantly White students and a minority group of students of color. Current studies are limited when it comes student perspective on the effects of culturally responsive teaching, identity formation, belonging, and school climate in this specific demographic. Methodology included an anonymous online survey with 52 participants and three distinct focus groups with 13 total participants. Findings ...


Natural Learning Environments And The Social-Emotional Development Of Students With Sensory Processing Challenges, Denise Elizabeth West May 2018

Natural Learning Environments And The Social-Emotional Development Of Students With Sensory Processing Challenges, Denise Elizabeth West

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

This study examined the impact of a natural learning environment on the social-emotional development of students with Autism and/or Sensory Processing Disorder. For this research, social-emotional development consisted of social behavior, communication, and participation. The elements of a traditional classroom are characterized by confinement, harsh lighting/acoustics, and other habitual triggers for sensory discomfort. A natural learning environment can provide students with natural stimuli, fresh air, natural acoustics, natural lighting, etc. Additionally, the natural learning environment fosters a connection with nature, which research shows is important for the self-discovery, self-advocacy, and self-efficacy of all humans. Considering the artificial nature ...


Responsive Classroom Approach: Teachers’ Experience With Implementation, Rachael Olmanson May 2018

Responsive Classroom Approach: Teachers’ Experience With Implementation, Rachael Olmanson

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

The research in this study aims to understand the experiences of teachers as they implement a social emotional learning curriculum called, The Responsive Classroom (RC) Approach, for the first time. Further, this research inquires about the ways in which schools can best support teachers during the initial implementation phase. This qualitative study used focused interviews, surveys, and field observations to gain the perspectives of various RC teachers. Using a humanistic research approach, each focused interview was designed to encourage a safe sharing of emotions and knowledge through the use of open-ended questions. Data collected from the interviews, in conjunction with ...


What Makes A House A Home? Supported Living Environments For Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Rose Meadows May 2018

What Makes A House A Home? Supported Living Environments For Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Rose Meadows

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

My research aims to address how supported living environments for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) can best support their stakeholders. This is an inherently human and personal problem, but existing research tackling this problem utilizing a person-centric and/or resiliency theory lens or framework is lacking. My research will use the perspective of parents/guardians and staff/caregivers in combination with existing knowledge and research to create ideas for how to maximize support in supported living environments for adults with ASD and their families. This is a qualitative study that uses a humanized approach and in-person interviews with stake-holders ...


Expectations And Participation Among Drama Students, Alexander Pryor May 2018

Expectations And Participation Among Drama Students, Alexander Pryor

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Not all students are willing to participate actively in a drama class. Most studies about drama and participation focus on the use of drama in other academic disciplines, and there is a lack of information about students’ participation within the drama classroom. This study examines the role that students’ experiences and expectations play in their educational outcomes in drama class. Students from two beginning drama classes at a public high school participated in this study. They were introduced to a short unit on social theater and on Augusto Boal’s Forum Theater. Throughout this unit students responded to journal prompts ...


Expanding The Walls Of The Classroom: Difficulties And Successes In Expedition Based, Experiential Education, Jaime Evans May 2018

Expanding The Walls Of The Classroom: Difficulties And Successes In Expedition Based, Experiential Education, Jaime Evans

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

When planned and executed with purpose and precision, expedition based, experiential education can deepen student learning, increase engagement, and help close the achievement gap. Yet, this approach to education remains the exception, rather than the norm in a standard public high school setting. The purpose of this research project is to better understand the experiences that teachers and administrators have when planning and executing expeditions, and to explore the obstacles that prevent and/or inhibit teachers from teaching outside the classroom.

This is a qualitative research project that was conducted at three schools in the Northern California Bay Area. Teachers ...


Effects Of Social-Emotional Instruction On The Behavior Of Students With Learning Disabilities, Kelsey Olson May 2018

Effects Of Social-Emotional Instruction On The Behavior Of Students With Learning Disabilities, Kelsey Olson

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Students with learning disabilities who spend the majority of the school day in a general education classroom often struggle to appropriately deal with feelings of frustration and anxiety. There is currently a gap in understanding how special education teachers can support the social and emotional inclusion of students with learning disabilities when they are in the general education classroom. The purpose of this study is to explore the results of implementing a social-emotional curriculum both in a pullout setting and in the general education setting and examine the effect of the program on the behavior of students with learning disabilities ...


Understanding Student Perception Of Failure To Promote Self Worth, Stephanie Grubaugh May 2018

Understanding Student Perception Of Failure To Promote Self Worth, Stephanie Grubaugh

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Teachers strive to create a safe learning environment where students can learn from their mistakes and/or failures. Even though teachers are creating safe spaces for learning, many students will not engage in activities that might be challenging to the point of that students experiencing failure. The purpose of this qualitative action research study is to examine what perceptions students have about failure in order to help teachers find non-material incentives or reward structures to help give students self-worth. The research method involved the collection of data through surveys, a guided research project about the failures of famous people and ...


The Cost Of Going Big: Class Size In Middle School Physical Education, Jason Gatti May 2018

The Cost Of Going Big: Class Size In Middle School Physical Education, Jason Gatti

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Class size is a perennial issue that has been debated and researched for years. While there has been a significant amount of research conducted on the impact that class size plays on the teaching process, much of this research has focused on core academic subjects. California education code exempts Physical Education (PE) from student cap limits, which has resulted in a disparity in class size between academic core subjects and PE. Despite this, there is a distinct lack of scholarship concerning class size and its impact on the teaching process in middle school PE. This research attempts to fill this ...


Repairing Wounds And Promoting Belonging And Resiliency In A Tracked English Classroom, Emily Wolper May 2018

Repairing Wounds And Promoting Belonging And Resiliency In A Tracked English Classroom, Emily Wolper

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

A large body of research shows that academic tracking has the potential to negatively impact a student’s feeling of belonging on campus. However, students express a greater sense of belonging when they take classes with students who mirror some aspect of their identity. The purpose of this study was to understand the complex ways in which students in tracked or low-level classes develop their identity as learners and experience belonging at school with a predominantly white students and staff. Participants included students who were enrolled in Academic English and Support English classes during the 2017-2018 school year. Support students ...


How Morning Meetings Impact Classwork Productivity, Lisa Parelius May 2018

How Morning Meetings Impact Classwork Productivity, Lisa Parelius

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Research has shown that students who are given social and emotional tools to work with in their school day are better able to learn in all subject areas (Kriete & Davis, 2014). Responsive Classroom offers a program which includes Morning Meeting as an opportunity to teach social and emotional tools. This is a qualitative research project that utilized case study with action based research. This research revealed that Morning Meetings impacted classwork productivity because they helped to identify and meet students’ social and emotional needs, which created a sense of belonging and connection. This provided teachers with vital information for targeted ...


21st Century Stewardship: The Role Of Educational Equity In School Sustainability Programs, Marissa Page May 2018

21st Century Stewardship: The Role Of Educational Equity In School Sustainability Programs, Marissa Page

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

In light of the increasingly devastating consequences of climate change and the generational inequity involved, there is an urgent need to educate our youth on environmental issues and empower them with opportunities to effect positive change. This research focuses on the problem of inconsistent sustainability programs on school campuses, investigates causal factors and identifies areas for transformation. While many prior studies address the significance of sustainability and the key components of successful school waste reduction, energy conservation and environmental education, this study builds on prior research by considering school sustainability programs through a lens of equity and organizational systems. This ...


Improving Reading Through Fine Motor Skill Development In First Grade, Tyler West-Higgins Dec 2017

Improving Reading Through Fine Motor Skill Development In First Grade, Tyler West-Higgins

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Children who struggle with learning to read in first grade, fall behind, and have difficulty catching up with their peers. Research has shown students who struggle to read in first grade, also struggle to read in later years. The purpose of this study was to determine if an intervention to enhance fine motor skills to a select group of students in one class room increased their reading abilities. This was a mixed methods research study which assessed the quantitative data from the running record assessments, and the qualitative data taken by teacher-aide during assessment process post fine motor intervention. This ...


Effects Of Dialogic Reading In A Special Day Class, Donna Senn Dec 2017

Effects Of Dialogic Reading In A Special Day Class, Donna Senn

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Early Childhood Special Education provides services to children aged three to five years. A predominant identifier is very low communication skills (Shevell, et al, 2003; Kaiser & Roberts, 2011; Robertson & Ohi, 2016). Dialogic Reading techniques have demonstrated successes in various settings (Hargrave & Senechal, 2000; Whitehurst et al., 1988; Trivette & Dunst, 2009). The rationale for this study was grounded in Rogoff’s, “apprenticeship in thinking” (1990, p. 7) theory. The research literature reviewed centered on three primary lines of inquiry namely, 1) The social aspect of language learning; 2) Speech and language interventions; and 3) Dialogic reading strategies. This study utilized the qualitative case method approach. Data for the study was collected during a four week period of in-class intervention. Data analysis from the study revealed that the intervention using a dialogic reading strategy enabled the participants to increase their learning, use of expressive vocabulary, and the complexity, use of multiword phrases.


Measuring Adaptive Behaviors In Individuals With Autism Enrolled In Project-Based Therapy, Sarah Yoder, Nghi Tran, Jason Ichimaru, Emily Lu May 2017

Measuring Adaptive Behaviors In Individuals With Autism Enrolled In Project-Based Therapy, Sarah Yoder, Nghi Tran, Jason Ichimaru, Emily Lu

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

As the number of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) entering adulthood increases, this population faces limited resources to foster independent living. Therefore, it is crucial to explore innovative interventions that help this population develop the skills necessary to live more independently. This exploratory prospective cohort study evaluated the effectiveness of Autistry Studios, which focuses on improving adaptive behavior skills for adults and adolescents with ASD using project-based therapy. The study used the Brief Adaptive Behavior Scale (BABS), a novel quantitative assessment, to track the development of adaptive behaviors in individuals with ASD within the domains of Executive Functioning (EF ...


Literacy Revolution: How The New Tools Of Communication Change The Stories We Tell, Molly Gamble May 2017

Literacy Revolution: How The New Tools Of Communication Change The Stories We Tell, Molly Gamble

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

The transmission of culture depends upon every generation reconsidering what it means to be literate. The way we consider ourselves to be a literate species is changing, which puts us at a unique turning point in human history. Verbal literacy, or the ability to read and write, is slowly being replaced by visual literacy as a primary tool for human communication. As a culture, we tend to underestimate the creative ferment of our increasingly visual world. The linear, structured pathways of traditional literacy are shifting towards a creative and participatory pursuit of unstructured information that emphasize dimensional thinking. The acceleration ...


Gaining Proficiency In French Through Service Learning: An Action Research Project With Secondary French Students In California And Secondary Students In A French School In France, Stephanie R. Richards May 2017

Gaining Proficiency In French Through Service Learning: An Action Research Project With Secondary French Students In California And Secondary Students In A French School In France, Stephanie R. Richards

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Engaging in service learning at the high school level in a world language classroom is integral to gaining oral proficiency in the target language. Service learning helps students to see the practical application of the language and it increases student motivation. In many high schools, students have limited opportunities to engage in authentic experiences, use the target language outside of the classroom or with native speakers and they cannot envision practical application for the language. Through the implementation and evaluation of this service-learning project this study aims to increase the opportunity to use French in authentic situations and therefore increase ...


The Benefits Of Music Education On Academic, Behavioral, And Communicative Skills With Middle School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah V. Foley May 2017

The Benefits Of Music Education On Academic, Behavioral, And Communicative Skills With Middle School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah V. Foley

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Music education has an important place for students with special needs. Through community based arts education programs, student benefits range from social to academic. The problem is that too often music education, among arts programs, is not taught in special education classrooms. The purpose of this study was to identify benefits that music education has on students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), focusing specifically on academic, behavioral, and communicative skills.

A review of the literature revealed that music is beneficial to students in a variety of ways, when they are provided the opportunity to engage in music education. Through this ...


Dance Education In An Urban Kindergarten Classroom, Anna M. Veelman May 2017

Dance Education In An Urban Kindergarten Classroom, Anna M. Veelman

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Incorporating arts education can be a valuable intervention for students in an urban setting. Teaching through the arts can act as an initial, Tier One intervention, for students who exhibit disruptive behaviors in the classroom, due to trauma, as well as benefit the overall classroom culture. The arts curriculum has a restorative power that allows students to learn social-emotional regulation skills, bodily-awareness, and expression.

This study examines dance as an art form. Dance is a form of art that allows students to express their emotions and release energy to support positive behavior in the classroom. Data were collected on 25 ...


High School Student Concussion Recovery Program: Teacher Involvement In Student Academic Transitions To Classroom And To Sports, Brittany Diego May 2017

High School Student Concussion Recovery Program: Teacher Involvement In Student Academic Transitions To Classroom And To Sports, Brittany Diego

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Many symptoms of concussions can substantially interfere with the cognitive abilities, and skills students use in school. Although students may have similar symptoms, they experience concussions differently. Students returning to the classroom from a concussion often have different needs and abilities.

Research shows that a formal, individualized protocol to treat suspected concussions, both academically and physically, is vital to the successful recovery of each student. Much research is available on concussions for professional athletes, specifically related to recovery and returning to their sport. However, there is little research about high school students regarding concussions. Concussion recovery programs for high school ...