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2020

University of South Carolina

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Full-Text Articles in Education

African American Teachers’ Perspectives On Principals’ Leadership Styles And The Influence On Teacher Morale, Ernestine Young Oct 2020

African American Teachers’ Perspectives On Principals’ Leadership Styles And The Influence On Teacher Morale, Ernestine Young

Theses and Dissertations

Morale is a concept that denotes how workers feel about their work and the environment in which they work (Robbins, 2003). Low teacher morale is not a new problem; however, with increasing frequency of low morale, teachers are affected all over the nation because of the financial and academic toll it has on education. Low morale typically impedes the achievement of the organization’s desired outcome and corresponds with unresolved grievances, attrition, and high absenteeism. Low morale is associated with billions of dollars spent per year. Low morale is due to effects such as stress, teacher burnout, absenteeism, attrition, and small …


The Impact Of Blended Learning Upon Mathematics Attitudes And Academic Achievement: An Action Research Study, Aronda Yvette Frazier Oct 2020

The Impact Of Blended Learning Upon Mathematics Attitudes And Academic Achievement: An Action Research Study, Aronda Yvette Frazier

Theses and Dissertations

Negative attitudes toward mathematics can adversely impact student achievement in the subject area. Successful development and implementation of blended learning in high school mathematics has the potential to positively impact student attitudes towards mathematics and towards their ability to do mathematics and their mathematics achievement. Developed out of my concern for the mathematical challenges that my students face, this convergent mix-methods action research study was conducted to determine if blended learning would positively affect my students’ attitudes toward mathematics and their mathematics achievement. Guided by the research questions, ‘What impact does learning have on students’ attitudes towards geometry, specifically two …


Lost In Transmission: The Use Of Communicative Technologies To Affect Perception, Relationships, And Motivation In Adult Education, Rebekah Leigh Hannon Oct 2020

Lost In Transmission: The Use Of Communicative Technologies To Affect Perception, Relationships, And Motivation In Adult Education, Rebekah Leigh Hannon

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research was to determine if motivation and perception of adult learners enrolled in a GED program at the Small Town Adult Education Center in South Carolina were affected by the use of communicative technologies and improved student-teacher relationships. This study focused on three overarching research questions. The first question sought to explore how the use of communicative technologies affect adult learners’ perceptions of the educational environment for a GED program. The second question explored how and to what extent the use of communicative technology affects the quality of student-teacher relationships for a GED program. The …


Exploring The Needs, Practices, And Attitudes Toward Technology Integration Of Community College Esol Instructors: Recommendations For Professional Development Through Action Research, Courtney Cunningham Oct 2020

Exploring The Needs, Practices, And Attitudes Toward Technology Integration Of Community College Esol Instructors: Recommendations For Professional Development Through Action Research, Courtney Cunningham

Theses and Dissertations

Research has established both the importance of integrating technology in English language learning and of properly training teachers in order to integrate technology effectively. Inadequate teacher and learner training prevent technology from being utilized to its fullest potential in the English language classroom. A portion of the problem is due to lack of training for practicing teachers. While this is true for English as a second language teachers in all contexts, there is a strong need for instructors working with adult learners to utilize technology and be properly trained in technology integration. Professional development is a way to overcome barriers …


The Future Is Female: Steam Education Analysis, Diana Krajewski Lockwood Oct 2020

The Future Is Female: Steam Education Analysis, Diana Krajewski Lockwood

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this mixed-methods action research study was to explore the impact of an online STEAM Program for young girls ages 7-10. The researcher sought to understand how girls this age internalize the stereotype “boys are better than girls.” Especially this idea that boys are better in school when it comes to subjects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). This study aimed to understand if increasing girls’ access to STEAM education made an impact on gender stereotypes and mindsets.

This study could be used as a resource for schools using virtual learning methodologies to deliver instructional content. The …


Measuring The Ability Of A Readiness Course To Improve Online Student Success At A Two-Year Technical College, James Devin Henson Oct 2020

Measuring The Ability Of A Readiness Course To Improve Online Student Success At A Two-Year Technical College, James Devin Henson

Theses and Dissertations

Despite the continued growth of online enrollments nationwide, students consistently are not as successful in online courses as traditional face-to-face courses. The challenges are magnified in the two-year college environment, which has a disproportionately high percentage of low-income or minority students compared to four-year universities. This action research study uses a convergent parallel mixed methods design to study the effectiveness of a mandatory readiness course for online students at a two-year college in South Carolina to increase student success. Specifically, this study examined how and to what extent taking an online readiness course impacted online student success, students’ perceptions of …


Recognizing Art As A Semiotic Mode: Revelations Of An Adolescent Mind, Catherine Elizabeth Deaton Oct 2020

Recognizing Art As A Semiotic Mode: Revelations Of An Adolescent Mind, Catherine Elizabeth Deaton

Theses and Dissertations

The following gallery is predicated on the belief that a complete high school curriculum must be responsive to the needs of students as they navigate the stresses of living in isolation during a pandemic and always. High school students with minimal directions or guidance were charged with submitting a photo of a piece of art they had constructed to capture their perceptions of living through the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The results give a candid view of how these students give purpose to the process of creating art as they construct and convey a sense of “being in the world.” …


Designing Vocabulary Instruction For English Language Learners In A Kindergarten Classroom, Loretta C. Ayers Oct 2020

Designing Vocabulary Instruction For English Language Learners In A Kindergarten Classroom, Loretta C. Ayers

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research study was to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional practices used to teach vocabulary to English Language Learners in a kindergarten classroom. The central question of the study was: what instructional practices in a classroom support vocabulary acquisition of ELLs? The purpose was to determine the impact of an intervention on vocabulary acquisition with a focus on directional prepositions and rhyming word vocabulary. Students were given whole group direct instruction, small group targeted instruction, and integrated peer play opportunities over the course of the study as vocabulary interventions. Data for this study included pre- and …


Integrated Techniques To Increase Systems Thinking For Sustainability Education Of High School Science Students Using Educational Design Research, Nora Kathryn Weatherhead Oct 2020

Integrated Techniques To Increase Systems Thinking For Sustainability Education Of High School Science Students Using Educational Design Research, Nora Kathryn Weatherhead

Theses and Dissertations

This study used a design research framework to teach secondary high school science students about environmental sustainability. A high school teacher and researcher collaborated to design a two week environmental science unit to help students make sense of complex environmental sustainability issues. This dissertation study sought to answer the following research questions: Using Design Research and various instructional tools, how do students develop an understanding of systems thinking and relate it to environmental sustainability; How does analyzing personal and classroom data on paper or plastic usage and recycling influence high school science students’ understanding of global environmental sustainability issues through …


“Virtually A Sisterhood” Virtual Collaboration And Its Impact On Social Connectedness Among A Group Of Culturally Diverse Women, George Banks-Weston Oct 2020

“Virtually A Sisterhood” Virtual Collaboration And Its Impact On Social Connectedness Among A Group Of Culturally Diverse Women, George Banks-Weston

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research study was to evaluate the impact of virtual collaboration on social connectedness among a group of culturally diverse women participating in an online business strategy course. This study was guided by three research questions (1) How and to what extent does virtual collaboration impact social connectedness among a group of culturally diverse women participating in an online business strategy course? (2) How and to what extent does a group of culturally diverse women use virtual collaboration tools for activities in an online business strategy course? (3) What are the experiences of culturally diverse women …


Online Technology Integration Professional Development: Action Research Evaluating Impact On Faculty Perceptions And Practices, Anna Loftus Oct 2020

Online Technology Integration Professional Development: Action Research Evaluating Impact On Faculty Perceptions And Practices, Anna Loftus

Theses and Dissertations

Many faculty teaching online lack the skills and knowledge in technology to effectively integrate technology into their course design. Faculty feel they are not provided enough professional development opportunities to improve their technology integration skills. Therefore, online professional development specifically designed for online faculty interested in integrating technology into their course design can assist in preparing faculty for the online classroom. The purpose of this action research was to implement and evaluate the impact of online technology integration professional development for faculty teaching at a distance at an institution of higher education. This study focused on three research questions. The …


Evaluating The Use Of Writing Prompts & Graphic Organizers In Middle School Mathematics: Action Research To Improve Mathematical Achievement And Students’ Attitudes With Authentic Assessments, Kyla Candee Steppler Oct 2020

Evaluating The Use Of Writing Prompts & Graphic Organizers In Middle School Mathematics: Action Research To Improve Mathematical Achievement And Students’ Attitudes With Authentic Assessments, Kyla Candee Steppler

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research was to evaluate the impact of writing prompts and graphic organizers on Mona school’s 7th and 8th grade students’ mathematical academic achievement and their attitudes towards the authentic application of mathematics. Two research questions guided the study: (1) How and to what extent, do writing prompts and graphic organizers impact 7th and 8th grade students’ mathematical achievement and attitudes towards mathematics? (2) What were the 7th and 8th grade students’ perceptions about the implementation of authentic writing prompts and graphic organizers in a mathematics course at Mona school? This action research followed a convergent …


The Impact Of A Reading Workshop Approach In A Seventh Grade Supplemental Reading Class, Diana Koscik Oct 2020

The Impact Of A Reading Workshop Approach In A Seventh Grade Supplemental Reading Class, Diana Koscik

Theses and Dissertations

This paper describes a problem of practice that developed due to a downward trend in reading achievement scores in an independent middle school in the Southeast. To address this problem, the researcher conducted an action research, mixed methods study to examine the impact of a reading workshop approach in a seventh-grade supplemental reading class. The mixed methods study was guided by one research question designed to collect quantitative data: What is the impact of a reading workshop approach on seventh-grade students’ reading achievement as measured by the STAR reading assessment? It was also guided by two qualitative research questions that …


Collegiate And Post-Undergraduate Experiences Among African American Stem Alumni At The University Of South Carolina, Baindu Nallo Oct 2020

Collegiate And Post-Undergraduate Experiences Among African American Stem Alumni At The University Of South Carolina, Baindu Nallo

Theses and Dissertations

This study was designed to explore the undergraduate and post-undergraduate experiences of African American STEM alumni from the University of South Carolina from a strengths-perspective. The method utilized for this qualitative study was phenomenological analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 African American alumni who graduated between 2010 and 2020 and majored in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). Critical Race Theory and community cultural wealth served as theoretical frameworks for this research. The findings indicate that African American students: 1) want to smoothly transition from high school to college curriculum being equally exposed to collegiate materials at the high …


Evaluating Impact And Perception Of A Structured Online Peer Evaluation System Among Graduate Communication Capstone Students Through Action Research, Karen Larimore Wilkinson Oct 2020

Evaluating Impact And Perception Of A Structured Online Peer Evaluation System Among Graduate Communication Capstone Students Through Action Research, Karen Larimore Wilkinson

Theses and Dissertations

Although enrollment in online courses continues to accelerate, challenges exist in online learning. A failure to experience collaboration and interaction can impact student retention and success. While peer review activity provides student interaction and the development of a collaborative community of learners, higher education environments have failed to equip students with the knowledge and tools to ensure adept participation. As students offer limited participation and low-quality engagement in routine online peer review activities, the purpose of this action research was to implement and evaluate the impact of a structured online peer evaluation system for Graduate Communication Capstone students at the …


Investigating The Flipped Classroom Model In A High School Writing Course: Action Research To Impact Student Writing Skills And Engagement, Elizabeth Ann Florence Oct 2020

Investigating The Flipped Classroom Model In A High School Writing Course: Action Research To Impact Student Writing Skills And Engagement, Elizabeth Ann Florence

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research was to evaluate the implementation of the flipped classroom model in a high school English classroom. Students are entering college and the workforce lacking the minimum writing skills needed, which may be the result of a lack of engagement throughout school. The flipped classroom model is one teaching and learning strategy that has been shown to increase student achievement, close the achievement gap, and increase student engagement and critical thinking. This study focused on three research questions: (1) How and in what ways does implementing a flipped classroom model in a high school writing …


Exploring The Impact Of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy On African American Students’ Attitudes Toward Reading In A Pre-Kindergarten Classroom: An Action Research Study, Janet Brantley Oct 2020

Exploring The Impact Of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy On African American Students’ Attitudes Toward Reading In A Pre-Kindergarten Classroom: An Action Research Study, Janet Brantley

Theses and Dissertations

In U.S. schools, the academic needs of many African American students are not being adequately met. This alarming trend has prompted many educators to recognize the need to make changes in their knowledge base and instructional practices in order to better serve African American students. Culturally relevant pedagogy--a multifaceted approach to teaching that utilizes students’ cultural experiences to facilitate cultural competence, social justice, and student learning-has been identified as a method that may create more positive learning outcomes among African American students and diverse learners.

This study investigated the impact of culturally relevant pedagogy on African American students’ attitudes towards …


Finding Their Strengths, Dreams And Struggles: A Narrative Inquiry Of High School Students Independent Reading Habits, Tori T. Simmons Oct 2020

Finding Their Strengths, Dreams And Struggles: A Narrative Inquiry Of High School Students Independent Reading Habits, Tori T. Simmons

Theses and Dissertations

The ability to read and understand texts are important to student’s success in school and life. However, many secondary students enter without the skills needed to handle the rigor and amount of reading they will meet as they matriculate high school. Yet, this is not the case for those who struggle to read most. Allington (2013) found that students who struggle the most to read are also those who given the least amount of time to reading and the most to worksheets (p. 526). Therefore, this study hopes to better understand the reading histories of three high school students and …


Addressing Unconscious Bias, Power, And Privilege To Increase Cultural Competence Skills In Healthcare Faculty: Intersecting Critical Race Theory And The Pyramid Model For Intercultural Competence, Christina B. Gunther Oct 2020

Addressing Unconscious Bias, Power, And Privilege To Increase Cultural Competence Skills In Healthcare Faculty: Intersecting Critical Race Theory And The Pyramid Model For Intercultural Competence, Christina B. Gunther

Theses and Dissertations

Inequity in healthcare has long been understood to be caused by individual and structural racism in the health system. Little progress has been made in diminishing the disparities that exist between Black and African American minoritized populations and the White majority. Cultural competence training in healthcare has focused on surface level differences in ethnicities, including language and religious practices, while ignoring difficult to address topics such as race and racism. This action research study, using a convergent mixed-methods design, attempted to address the gap in knowledge of race and racial structures in healthcare for the faculty in the college of …


Searching For Sputnik: Revealing Hidden Curriculum As Motivation For Teacher Growth, Jeffrey Allan Schneider Oct 2020

Searching For Sputnik: Revealing Hidden Curriculum As Motivation For Teacher Growth, Jeffrey Allan Schneider

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research study is to understand the impact of revealing the hidden curriculum on veteran teachers. It utilized the theoretical frameworks of hidden curriculum, cognitive dissonance, and transformative learning in an effort to develop a tool that could be used to motivate teachers to reflect upon and ultimately improve their core curricular and pedagogical beliefs and practices. I studied three veteran social studies teachers as they reflected upon one aspect of their hidden curriculum obtained through a survey of their students. The intent was to create a disorienting dilemma with enough power to spark cognitive dissonance, …


On Matters Of Feedback: Supporting The Online Grading Feedback Process With Web-Based, Collaborative Comment Banks, Jennifer Schneider Oct 2020

On Matters Of Feedback: Supporting The Online Grading Feedback Process With Web-Based, Collaborative Comment Banks, Jennifer Schneider

Theses and Dissertations

This action research study describes how a web-based, feedback comment bank impacts online instructor efficacy as well as attitudes and perceptions associated with the online grading feedback process. Bandura’s work on individual self-efficacy, Tschannen-Moran and Hoy’s work on instructor efficacy, and Hattie’s work on collective efficacy, along with Wiggins and Hattie and Clarke’s work on grading feedback represent the core of the study’s theoretical framework. The study adopted a mixed-methods action research design to examine three research questions: “How does the use of a web-based grading feedback comment bank impact online instructor’s teaching efficacy?,” “How does the use of a …


African American Teachers’ Perspectives On Principals’ Leadership Styles And The Influence On Teacher Morale, Ernestine Young Oct 2020

African American Teachers’ Perspectives On Principals’ Leadership Styles And The Influence On Teacher Morale, Ernestine Young

Theses and Dissertations

Morale is a concept that denotes how workers feel about their work and the environment in which they work (Robbins, 2003). Low teacher morale is not a new problem; however, with increasing frequency of low morale, teachers are affected all over the nation because of the financial and academic toll it has on education. Low morale typically impedes the achievement of the organization’s desired outcome and corresponds with unresolved grievances, attrition, and high absenteeism. Low morale is associated with billions of dollars spent per year. Low morale is due to effects such as stress, teacher burnout, absenteeism, attrition, and small …


Functional Motor Competence And Physical Military Readiness, Kyle Silvey Oct 2020

Functional Motor Competence And Physical Military Readiness, Kyle Silvey

Theses and Dissertations

Decreased physical fitness in military age recruiting populations is problematic for the development of physical military readiness (PMR) in soldiers and presents a threat to national security. Low fitness levels, demonstrated by increased Army fitness test failures, and national data of children and adolescents, may be an indicator of a foundational problem in the physical development of potential military recruits. An adequate foundation in FMC will serve as a barrier for achieving sufficient and sustained PMR in the U.S. Military. Associations between individual, raw APFT and ACFT tests demonstrated weak ( r = .26) to strong ( r = .87) …


Identifying The Unique Characteristics Of First-Generation College Students Whose Parents Never Attended College, Reena Patel Oct 2020

Identifying The Unique Characteristics Of First-Generation College Students Whose Parents Never Attended College, Reena Patel

Theses and Dissertations

In this descriptive study, I examined data from the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennial Scholars Cohort 3 Longitudinal Survey which comprised of high- achieving, low-income and historically marginalized college students, to compare students whose parents never attended college (“True” FCGS) to students whose parents attended but did not graduate along five variables: academic preparation, academic transition, academic and social integration, and academic outcome patterns. This study addressed a significant void in prior research with respect to the need for a clearly established FGCS definition. Bourdieu’s social and cultural capital framework is the theoretical foundation for this study because his theory …


101up: Implementation Of A Gamified Curriculum To Increase Self-Regulated Learning Skills And Motivation For At-Risk Students In A First-Year Experience Course— An Action Research Study, Candace Lisek Bruder Oct 2020

101up: Implementation Of A Gamified Curriculum To Increase Self-Regulated Learning Skills And Motivation For At-Risk Students In A First-Year Experience Course— An Action Research Study, Candace Lisek Bruder

Theses and Dissertations

The transition to college from high school is significant for at-risk students, especially as they tend to struggle with self-regulated learning skills when trying to adapt to the university environment. In an attempt to mitigate this challenge and assist students with this transition, many universities offer first-year experience courses. Nationally, however, a quarter of freshmen students still drop out before their sophomore year. The purpose of this action-based research study was to evaluate the implementation of a gamified curriculum for at-risk students enrolled in a university first-year experience course. The first research question in this study explored how and in …


A Mixed Methods Study Of Student Learning Objectives (Slos) In Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness, Xumei Fan Oct 2020

A Mixed Methods Study Of Student Learning Objectives (Slos) In Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness, Xumei Fan

Theses and Dissertations

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), as a measure of students’ academic growth, have been broadly used in the evaluation of teacher effectiveness. In this research I employed a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design and incorporated four studies to investigate using SLOs in teacher evaluation in South Carolina (SC). For Study 1 and Study 2, I used surveys to explore educators’ perspectives of SLOs before and after the full implementation of the teacher evaluation system in SC. For Study 3, I used interviews with teachers to explore in-depth the impact and implementation of SLOs. In Study 4, I investigated the relationship between teachers’ …


Implementation And Evaluation Of Computer-Assisted Science Vocabulary Modules With Students With An Intellectual Disability And Autism: An Action Research Study, Jamie Lee Taber Oct 2020

Implementation And Evaluation Of Computer-Assisted Science Vocabulary Modules With Students With An Intellectual Disability And Autism: An Action Research Study, Jamie Lee Taber

Theses and Dissertations

Students with disabilities are struggling to meet expectations in science at the national and local level. Many studies have linked difficulties with science content to difficult and technical vocabulary, and this has been evident at the local level, too. To try to improve science instruction for students with disabilities, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation of computer-assisted science vocabulary modules with students with an intellectual disability and autism in an adapted environmental science class. This study aimed to answer how the implementation of computer-assisted vocabulary modules, which adhere to evidence-based practices of special education vocabulary instruction, …


The Effects Of Project-Based Learning In The Intermediate World Language Classroom, Steven Tanner Tucker Oct 2020

The Effects Of Project-Based Learning In The Intermediate World Language Classroom, Steven Tanner Tucker

Theses and Dissertations

The primary purpose of this action research study was to further examine the reluctance of intermediate language learners in speaking production in their second language. Additionally, with emerging strategies such as project-based learning, the study explored the efficacy of this strategy, specifically in terms of the students’ volition and motivation to produce the spoken language during classroom activities. The goal was to assist educators in discovering new social and constructivist techniques that could potentially foster student engagement and language acquisition, especially in regard to speaking competencies in the foreign language. Undoubtedly, action research was the appropriate method for the current …


Learning Programming Through Robots: A Mixed-Methods Study On The Effects Of Educational Robotics On Programming Comprehension And Motivation Of Preservice Teachers, Alex Geoffrey Fegely Oct 2020

Learning Programming Through Robots: A Mixed-Methods Study On The Effects Of Educational Robotics On Programming Comprehension And Motivation Of Preservice Teachers, Alex Geoffrey Fegely

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research was to evaluate the effect educational robotics have on the programming comprehension and motivation of preservice teachers. Computer science is increasingly being integrated into K-8 curricula across the country. However, there are few teachers trained to teach basic computer science concepts. Core subject teachers are being asked to shoulder the load of integrating computer science concepts into their instruction. Educational robotics have gained attention for their potential to aid users with comprehension and motivation while learning to program. This convergent parallel mixed methods research thus investigated (1) the effect of educational robotics on preservice …


Elementary Classroom Teachers’ Self-Reported Use Of Movement Integration Products And Perceived Facilitators And Barriers Related To Product Use, Roddrick Dugger, Aaron Rafferty, Ethan Hunt, Michael W. Beets, Collin Andrew Webster, Brian Chen, Jeffrey Michael Rehling, Robert Glenn Weaver Sep 2020

Elementary Classroom Teachers’ Self-Reported Use Of Movement Integration Products And Perceived Facilitators And Barriers Related To Product Use, Roddrick Dugger, Aaron Rafferty, Ethan Hunt, Michael W. Beets, Collin Andrew Webster, Brian Chen, Jeffrey Michael Rehling, Robert Glenn Weaver

Faculty Publications

Movement integration (MI) products are designed to provide children with physical activity during general education classroom time. The purpose of this study was to examine elementary classroom teachers’ self-reported use of MI products and subsequent perceptions of the facilitators of and barriers to MI product use. This study utilized a mixed-methods design. Elementary classroom teachers (n = 40) at four schools each tested four of six common MI products in their classroom for one week. Teachers completed a daily diary, documenting duration and frequency of product use. Following each product test, focus groups were conducted with teachers to assess facilitators …