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Theses/Dissertations

2010

The University of Southern Mississippi

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Older Adults And A Writing Workshop: A Phenomenological Study, Jennifer Lynn Alex Dec 2010

Older Adults And A Writing Workshop: A Phenomenological Study, Jennifer Lynn Alex

Dissertations

This study examines how older adults experience the phenomenon of participating in a writing workshop and how older adults interpret their experiences, understandings, and realities of writing. Ten older adults, ranging in age from 62 to 83 with varying degrees of experiences in writing, participated in this study. Through a semi-structured interview, each participant related his or her experience first as a writer and then as a member of a writing workshop offered through a Community Literacy Center in a mid-sized Appalachian city.

A phenomenological analysis method was used to identify and analyze themes of meaning that emerged in the …


The Effect Of A Math Emporium Course Redesign In Developmental And Introductory Mathematics Courses On Student Achievement And Students' Attitudes Toward Mathematics At A Two-Year College, Amy Renée Bishop Dec 2010

The Effect Of A Math Emporium Course Redesign In Developmental And Introductory Mathematics Courses On Student Achievement And Students' Attitudes Toward Mathematics At A Two-Year College, Amy Renée Bishop

Dissertations

The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of computer-based instruction on student mathematics achievement and students' attitudes toward mathematics in developmental and introductory mathematics courses, namely Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and College Algebra, at a community college. The researcher also examined the relationship between attitudes and achievement. The sample consisted of 112 students, and the study was conducted during the Spring 2010 semester at a community college in south Mississippi. The participants were enrolled in one of six classes taught by the researcher. The control group consisted of three classes (one Intermediate and two College Algebra sections) …


Student Persistence In Associate Degree Nursing Programs At Mississippi Community Colleges, Kathryn Lee Fleming Dec 2010

Student Persistence In Associate Degree Nursing Programs At Mississippi Community Colleges, Kathryn Lee Fleming

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to examine factors of student persistence and attrition in addition to strategies that may help students persist in associate degree nursing programs at community colleges. Data were collected from nursing students enrolled in first-year associate degree nursing programs at participating Mississippi community colleges and analyzed using multiple regression and repeated measures ANOVAs. Tinto’s Classic Model and Bean & Metzner’s Nontraditional Model of Student Attrition were utilized in this study. This mixed methods convenience sample yielded 564 participants, and the results were as follows: environmental factors and demographic factors of student persistence were found to …


The Impact Of Self-Efficacy And Motivation Characteristics On The Academic Achievement Of Upward Bound Participants, Brenda Leigh Brown Dec 2010

The Impact Of Self-Efficacy And Motivation Characteristics On The Academic Achievement Of Upward Bound Participants, Brenda Leigh Brown

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of self-efficacy and motivation characteristics on the achievement of at-risk students. Seventy-nine Upward Bound program participants completed self-efficacy, motivation, and demographic questionnaires. The relationship between GPA and self-efficacy was significant, negative, and low in strength. High GPA was associated with high self-efficacy (as shown by lower numbers on the survey). Gender, length of time in the Upward Bound (UB) program, length of participation in the UB summer program, college sponsor (community or four-year college), self-efficacy characteristics, and motivation characteristics significantly predicted academic achievement as measured by GPA. The relationship between …


Administrators' And Teachers' Perceptions Of In-School Suspension, Amelia Shondra Jackson Dec 2010

Administrators' And Teachers' Perceptions Of In-School Suspension, Amelia Shondra Jackson

Dissertations

Providing a safe and orderly school environment for students to learn is of paramount importance to school administrators, teachers, students, and the general public; however, the learning process should not be compromised while trying to maintain such an environment. There are many alternative approaches that can be utilized that would rectify the problem we as educators face in providing a safe and orderly environment. At-risk students are usually the ones who have the most serious infractions. These students exhibit a cyclical pattern of recalcitrant behavior. It is imperative that these at-risk students be identified as early as possible, and intervention …


The Relationship Among Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematical Self-Efficacy, Mathematical Teaching Self-Efficacy, And The Instructional Practices Of Elementary School Teachers, Lydia Joan Smith Dec 2010

The Relationship Among Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematical Self-Efficacy, Mathematical Teaching Self-Efficacy, And The Instructional Practices Of Elementary School Teachers, Lydia Joan Smith

Dissertations

The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to explore the relationships among the variables of mathematics anxiety, mathematical self-efficacy, mathematical teaching self-efficacy, and the instructional practice of elementary school teachers. The study included 320 practicing elementary teachers who teach mathematics to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. These teachers completed the Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Scale, the Mathematics Teaching and Mathematics Self-Efficacy survey, and the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey. Quantitative data analysis methods included descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. Results indicated a statistically significant relationship between mathematical teaching self-efficacy (efficacy) and mastery approaches to instruction, as well as …


Emotional Maturity Of Adolescents And Adults In Ged Programs, Billy Joe Riffle Dec 2010

Emotional Maturity Of Adolescents And Adults In Ged Programs, Billy Joe Riffle

Dissertations

When discussing issues relating to students in General Educational Development (GED) Option and pre-GED programs with educators, the contention exists that it is possible to make reasonably accurate predictions on the success or failure of a student by observing a number of items. Looking at their cumulative records shows their academic and attendance history. Insight is gained by looking at their family dynamics and how they relate to adults. Much can be learned about them from their discipline reports and the nature of any infractions. One of the most intriguing aspects gained through experience and observation is the perception of …


The Effects Of Higher Education Endowment Management Practices On Endowment Performance, Robert Louie Stanton Mcelhaney Dec 2010

The Effects Of Higher Education Endowment Management Practices On Endowment Performance, Robert Louie Stanton Mcelhaney

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to identify college and university endowments valued from $100 million to $1 billion and to determine the relationship between the five-year investment performance and selected endowment management practices. Data on the five-year investment performance and endowment management practices were obtained by the use of a survey instrument. The survey instrument was sent to 293 colleges and universities. Usable responses were received from 56 institutions. The 56 participants provided data on endowment performance, endowment governance, investment policies, investment managers, and investment manager selection practices.

To determine the endowment management practices that would best explain the …


The Relationship Between Leader Decision Making And Student Achievement At K-3 Title I And Reading First Elementary Schools, Emily Kathleen Richmond Dec 2010

The Relationship Between Leader Decision Making And Student Achievement At K-3 Title I And Reading First Elementary Schools, Emily Kathleen Richmond

Dissertations

This mixed methodology study investigated the relationship between administrator and teacher perceptions of leader decision making regarding five variables (reading training, reading curriculum, program evaluation, financial support, and student assessment) and student achievement (in the single content area, reading, at the 3rd grade level) in Title I K-3 schools receiving Reading First Grants (RFGs) and Title I K-3 schools not receiving RFGs, in four states (Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, and Oklahoma). Respondent data and district data regarding percentages of students achieving proficient and above on state third grade reading assessments were analyzed via Pearson Correlations, Multiple Regression Analysis, and a MANOVA. …


Assessing The Need For Community College Baccalaureate Degree Programs In Mississippi, Johannah Bell Williams Aug 2010

Assessing The Need For Community College Baccalaureate Degree Programs In Mississippi, Johannah Bell Williams

Dissertations

This study involved assessing the professional and personal opinions of Mississippi community college students, faculty and administrators regarding the need for community college baccalaureate degree programs in Mississippi. The goal of this study was to determine if students, faculty and administrators at Mississippi community colleges believed that the implementation of baccalaureate degree programs at their respective colleges would be beneficial to the college and to the students. Furthermore, this study sought to determine if the opinions of said participants regarding the implementation of baccalaureate degree programs were affected by certain factors. Students, faculty and administrators from each of the 15 …


Bullying And Gender: The Social/Emotional, Psychological, And Physical Effects On Middle School Students In South Mississippi, Cassundra Peyton-Brown Aug 2010

Bullying And Gender: The Social/Emotional, Psychological, And Physical Effects On Middle School Students In South Mississippi, Cassundra Peyton-Brown

Dissertations

Bullying is a great concern in schools today. When bullying occurs, it hinders school success and academic performance. During the late 1980s and 1990s, school violence was prevalent in middle school characterized by events such as the Columbine shooting. This forced both students and school personnel to deal with school shootings, gang activities and other violent acts. According to subsequent investigations, some of these incidents occurred because students were bullied and teased. This supports the maxim that students can only be successful academically in a safe and orderly environment.

The first interest of this study was to assess the effects …


Postsecondary Education Of Students With Disabilities: Review Of Faculty And Of Students With Disabilities Perceptions For Training, Jerry René Alliston Aug 2010

Postsecondary Education Of Students With Disabilities: Review Of Faculty And Of Students With Disabilities Perceptions For Training, Jerry René Alliston

Dissertations

The percentage of students with disabilities who are pursuing post-secondary education has consistently increased over the past few decades. To meet all legal requirements, postsecondary institutions have established disability support services for students with disabilities. One notable responsibility given to postsecondary disability support service staff was the training of faculty on various issues related to disability in general. The focus of this study was to determine the perceived issues of faculty to students and students to faculty, in a two-campus university system in the southeastern United States, in working with students with disabilities in postsecondary education on the six theme …


Implications Of Napping Into And Beyond Kindergarten On Sleep, Diet, And The Awakening Cortisol Response, Alyssa Anne Cairns Aug 2010

Implications Of Napping Into And Beyond Kindergarten On Sleep, Diet, And The Awakening Cortisol Response, Alyssa Anne Cairns

Dissertations

This study is an examination of sleep distribution, dietary intake, and endocrine function of caregiver-reported Nap and Non-Nap Groups of children before and after they transition to an all-day kindergarten where napping is reduced or eliminated. Measures were assessed the summer prior to kindergarten, within two weeks, and after a month of the transition to kindergarten. The study revealed that the transition to kindergarten was associated with changes in sleep and dietary intake. Endocrine function remained stable as children transitioned to kindergarten. On average, Nap and Non-Nap Groups equally lost total sleep time as they transitioned to kindergarten. However, the …


The Relationship Between Principal Effectiveness And The Use Of Counseling Skills, Valerie Suzanne Hodge Cleckler Aug 2010

The Relationship Between Principal Effectiveness And The Use Of Counseling Skills, Valerie Suzanne Hodge Cleckler

Dissertations

In most educational leadership programs, the working relationship of the principal with teachers, parents, and the community is discussed, but the relationship of the principal and counselor is typically not given much, if any, attention. Principals are not trained in the use of counseling skills in educational leadership programs at Mississippi universities (Delta State University, 2008; Jackson State University, 2007; Mississippi State University, 2008; Mississippi University for Women, 2008, 2009; The University Southern Mississippi, 2009; University of Mississippi, 2007). The leadership training provided to school administrators is very important because of the role they play in the success of the …


If And To What Extent Spirituality Impacts The Leadership Practices Of Four African American Superintendents, Christopher James Williams Sr. Aug 2010

If And To What Extent Spirituality Impacts The Leadership Practices Of Four African American Superintendents, Christopher James Williams Sr.

Dissertations

Public school superintendents have one of the most challenging, demanding, and visible positions in American society. They provide educational leadership in approximately 15,499 school districts across the United States. Their visibility is marked by the fact that the majority of leadership positions are held by non-minority individuals (American Association of School Administrators, 1992). The underrepresentation of minorities in public school leadership positions on a national level has been thoroughly documented over the years, and the limited representation of African Americans in top positions of public school administration is glaring (AASA, 1992, 1983; Jones & Montenegro, 1988, 1985; Montenegro, 1993). The …


Criterion-Referenced Assessment Literacy Of Educators, James David King Aug 2010

Criterion-Referenced Assessment Literacy Of Educators, James David King

Dissertations

This study investigated the assessment literacy of educators in regard to criterion-referenced tests. For the purpose of this study, administrators included principals and assistant principals within a school. First, the study determined the degree of training in measurement, assessment, and statistics that educators have received. Second, the study investigated the assessment knowledge of educators based on their performance on the Criterion-Referenced Questionnaire. Third, the study investigated if years experience, type of certification, or highest degree held had a significant difference on their performance on the Criterion-Referenced Questionnaire. Fourth, the study investigated educators’ attitudes toward the use of measurement, assessment, and …


High-Stakes Testing And Its Relationship To Stress Levels Of Secondary Teachers, Sonya Colman Christian May 2010

High-Stakes Testing And Its Relationship To Stress Levels Of Secondary Teachers, Sonya Colman Christian

Dissertations

This study investigated the relationship between high-stakes testing and the stress levels of secondary teachers in Jackson’s Jackson Public School District. The independent variables of age, gender, subject taught, teaching experience, degree and school level were used to determine the differences of the various groups. A survey was piloted and used to determine teachers’ levels of stress. There was not a statistically significant difference between the stress levels of teachers who teach subjects that are measured by high-stakes testing and those who do not. There also was not a statistically significant difference between the stress levels of veteran teachers and …


Student's Attitudes Toward High-Stakes Testing And Its Effect On Educational Decisions, Aldo Alfredo Moran May 2010

Student's Attitudes Toward High-Stakes Testing And Its Effect On Educational Decisions, Aldo Alfredo Moran

Dissertations

With the recent increase in accountability due to No Child Left Behind, graduation rates and drop-out rates are important indicators of how well a school district is performing. High-stakes testing scores are at the forefront of a school's success and recognition as a school that is preparing and graduating students to meet society's challenging demands.

*please download the dissertation to see the full Abstract.


Superintendent Perceptions Of The Accreditation Process In The State Of Mississippi, Betty Mae Merhundrew May 2010

Superintendent Perceptions Of The Accreditation Process In The State Of Mississippi, Betty Mae Merhundrew

Dissertations

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 provides guidelines that all public schools in the United States must follow. Provisions of this law require that specific assessments be given to all students in schools across the United States and that individual states establish one system of accountability for all schools. Although much is being done, public schools are still lacking in the area of accountability reform. Many states set their own achievement goals and standards for which schools within their states are measured and then held accountable for students’ performance. This study examined the perceptions of all Mississippi school …


Assessing The Impact Of A Computer-Based College Algebra Course, Ningjun Ye May 2010

Assessing The Impact Of A Computer-Based College Algebra Course, Ningjun Ye

Dissertations

USM piloted the Math Zone in Spring 2007, a computer-based program in teaching MAT 101and MAT 099 in order to improve student performance. This research determined the effect of the re-design of MAT 101 on student achievements in comparison to a traditional approach to the same course. Meanwhile, the study investigated possible effects of the Math Zone program on students’ attitude toward studying mathematics.

This study shows that there was no statistically significant difference on MAT101 final exam scores between the Math Zone students and the Classroom students in Fall 2007, Spring 2008 and Fall 2008. At the same time, …


Cooperative Learning: Attitudes, Perceptions, And Achievement In A Traditional, Online, And Hybrid Instructional Setting, Allison Hardin Duckworth May 2010

Cooperative Learning: Attitudes, Perceptions, And Achievement In A Traditional, Online, And Hybrid Instructional Setting, Allison Hardin Duckworth

Dissertations

Cooperative learning has been sufficiently studied to be accepted as an effective method of education. Student reception of cooperative learning, and therefore the degree of its success in a given situation, will depend on the mode of delivery. New technology for delivering courses totally online challenges many aspects of traditional education, and is particularly difficult for cooperative learning that relies heavily on intense face-to-face communication among students. This study was conducted to compare cooperative learning in a traditional setting to that in hybrid and online settings. A model for delivering a cooperative learning experience has been developed utilizing concept maps …


Impact Of Golf Video Games On Teaching Golf In Physical Education, Ann Pohira-Vieth May 2010

Impact Of Golf Video Games On Teaching Golf In Physical Education, Ann Pohira-Vieth

Dissertations

Although technology has become an integral part of many classrooms across the country, the incorporation of technology through the use of video games in physical education is also becoming a mainstay in multiple school districts. In West Virginia public schools, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) has entered the physical education classrooms as a way to help curb obesity (“Study Shows Video,” 2008). Schools in Arkansas, Missouri and Hawaii have also followed suit by adding DDR to the physical education curriculum (Gallaway & Lauson, 2006). Even though the incorporation of video games into educational programs is becoming more prevalent, there is a …


Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes, Familiarity, Use, And Perceived Applicability Of Content Area Reading Strategies, Bridgette Ladonna Davis May 2010

Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes, Familiarity, Use, And Perceived Applicability Of Content Area Reading Strategies, Bridgette Ladonna Davis

Dissertations

The influence of field based-experiences in K-12 classroom and grade level licensure area on preservice teachers’ attitudes, familiarity, use, and perceived applicability of content area reading instruction was examined for 597 participants from three state-supported universities in a southeastern state in the United States. These participants who were seeking either K-6 or 7-12 licensures represented three levels of field-based classroom experience: (a) no field-based experience, (b) some non-sustained field-based experience, and (c) a full-semester of field-based experience. Data were collected using a demographic questionnaire and two instruments, the Attitudes toward Content Area Reading (ATCAR) questionnaire and the Content Area Reading …


Kindergarten Assessments As A Predictor For A Student’S Need For Intervention, Victoria Ellen Weinketz Hoover May 2010

Kindergarten Assessments As A Predictor For A Student’S Need For Intervention, Victoria Ellen Weinketz Hoover

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to determine if the kindergarten assessment results from the three windows in reading, written communication, and mathematics were a valid predictor of a student’s need for intervention up until the conclusion of second grade. Reynolds (1992) suggested that a student’s overall school success is reflective of the approach taken early in kindergarten. With the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), districts have set in place strategies to meet the standard of all students reading on grade level at the conclusion of the third grade. If districts are to rise to the …


Emotional Antecedents Of Preprimary Teacher Learning, Elizabeth Anne Beavers May 2010

Emotional Antecedents Of Preprimary Teacher Learning, Elizabeth Anne Beavers

Dissertations

A study of the relationships between emotional understanding, the dispositional attributes to think critically, receptiveness to new learning and willingness to change using structural equation modeling was conducted. Data from 186 preprimary teachers were analyzed to confirm the relationships between the constructs yielding four key findings addressing the individual and collective relationships between the variables expressed. Specifically, the findings and interpretations of this study produced the following conclusions: 1) one’s willingness to change may stem directly from the individual’s emotional understandings; 2) there is a strong relationship between emotional understanding and critical thinking dispositions; 3) receptiveness to new learning precedes …


Elementary Teachers’ Perceptions Of Grade Retention, Latrice Shontae Richardson May 2010

Elementary Teachers’ Perceptions Of Grade Retention, Latrice Shontae Richardson

Dissertations

The purpose of this research study was to examine elementary teachers’ perceptions of grade retention. Additionally, the study observed demographic data that explored the differences in elementary teachers’ perceptions by (a) geographical location, (b) years of experience, (c) grade level assignments, (d) age, (e) level of education, (f) ethnicity, and (g) influences on perceptions.

The participants included 164 elementary teachers from five rural (northern) and five suburban (southern) regions of Mississippi. Since teachers play such a huge role in the classroom, they also play a vital role in grade retention. Teacher decisions can create a successful educational experience for a …


Identifying Practices That Facilitate Effective Implementation And Sustainability Of Research-Based Professional Development Strategies, Emily Victoria Bryan Kibodeaux May 2010

Identifying Practices That Facilitate Effective Implementation And Sustainability Of Research-Based Professional Development Strategies, Emily Victoria Bryan Kibodeaux

Dissertations

This study was designed to determine whether significant differences existed in the level of implementation of a professional development strategy, the attitude of teachers toward this professional development strategy, and the knowledge of teachers regarding this professional development strategy. After teachers were trained on the professional development strategy, three treatments were utilized in the project: administrative observations and feedback, participation in a professional learning community (PLC), or training follow-up. Twenty-four teachers from four different schools in a school district in South Mississippi participated in the project over an 8 week time period. This quasi-experimental study collected pre- and post-treatment data …


Technical Writing Redesign And Assessment: A Pilot Study, Gaye Bush Winter May 2010

Technical Writing Redesign And Assessment: A Pilot Study, Gaye Bush Winter

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to compare scores on writing assignments from traditional, fully online courses in technical writing to pilot, hybrid courses at a southern university. A total of 232 students’ assignments were compared in this study. All writing assignments were scored by six trained instructors of English using the same five point rubric.

The pilot, hybrid classes had a total of 97 writing assignments. The students were divided into three disciplines including business, humanities, and sciences. In the pilot, hybrid classes, there were 18 students (or 19%) enrolled in a business major. Five students were enrolled in …


Third Grade Reading Performance And Teacher Perceptions Of The Scott Foresman Reading Street Program In Title I Schools In South Mobile County, Jamie Ladnier Hicks May 2010

Third Grade Reading Performance And Teacher Perceptions Of The Scott Foresman Reading Street Program In Title I Schools In South Mobile County, Jamie Ladnier Hicks

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to determine if third grade reading performance of students enrolled in south Mobile County Title I schools improved as a result of the first year implementation of the Scott Foresman Reading Street program. Attempts were also made to identify predictors that may improve future reading performance and data were obtained regarding the perceptions and overall satisfaction of the certified instructional personnel in grades K-5 employed in the Mobile County Public School System during the 2009-2010 school year, the first school year following the initial full year of program implementation. Reading performance was measured using …


Perceived Reliable Sources Of Reading Instruction Information Selected By Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, And Fifth Grade Teacher-Practitioners, Janet Kimberly Biglane-Hodges May 2010

Perceived Reliable Sources Of Reading Instruction Information Selected By Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, And Fifth Grade Teacher-Practitioners, Janet Kimberly Biglane-Hodges

Dissertations

The teacher is considered the most important factor in student success. With increased emphasis on research-based information through federal legislation, teachers struggle selecting credible methods and procedures among available reading instruction sources confounding the possibility of student achievement. Teacher self-knowledge, peer teachers, administrators, professional development, and the Internet are accessible sources for educators in regard to obtaining reading instruction information. Research in the field of education suggests teacher-practitioners procure and implement retrieved reading instruction information based on two factors: existing teacher beliefs regarding reading instruction and support of implementation of the method or practice within the school climate. This study …