• Alaska Native scholars: a mixed methods investigation of factors influencing PhD attainment

      Jones, Alberta J.; Barnhardt, Ray; Vinlove, Amy; Leonard, Beth; Roehl, Roy (2018-05)
      This study entitled, "Alaska Native Scholars: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Factors Influencing PhD Attainment," investigates the contributing factors influencing the attainment of PhD degrees by Alaska Natives. Originating from a cross-section of rural and urban Alaska communities and tribal ethnicities, this group of scholars attended graduate schools throughout the country. Today many of these PhDs work in universities, conduct research, and advocate for Indigenous people in various leadership roles, both in and outside of Alaska. This study's assumption is these PhD graduates have gained valuable lessons along their path to success and an examination of these factors is relevant to advancing that successs. The findings analyze results from a survey instrument with approximately a 92% response rate from all living Alaska Native PhD/EdD graduates that were able to be located at the time, up to early 2015. Survey participants shared personal, demographic, cultural, social, academic, and economic factors both supporting and hindering PhD attainment. Survey data was validated by ten personal interviews with PhDs from eight different Alaska Native tribes. One goal of this study was to increase our knowledge of the circumstances and factors of Alaska Native doctoral graduates and to build upon knowledge necessary to increase interest and enrollment of Alaska Native PhD graduates. Some questions examined by this study are: What sets of factors do AN PhDs have in common which led to their success? What challenges and barriers are specific to the Alaska Native demographics? If patterns of successful factors exist, can these factors be replicated to expand Alaska Native participation in PhD or other graduate programs? Are there 'lessons learned' in terms of aiding university PhD programs in attracting and graduating Alaska Native students? A stronger PhD representation of this population has implications for leadership, education, business, and policy-making roles serving to increase Indigenous self-determination. Additionally, this research has implications for universities seeking to address gaps in Alaska Native and American Indian faculty representation.
    • Community-Based Instruction and Vocational Learning in Special Education: A Meta-Synthesis

      Joslyn, Sean A. (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-08-03)
      This meta-synthesis on community-based instruction and vocational learning in special education explores the training and skills individuals with disabilities require need to survive and thrive in employment and post-school activities designed to improve self-reliance, personal responsibility, and increase exposure to the community and all of the activities and opportunities that exist there. Substantial barriers must be addressed for all individuals with disabilities, but particularly for those individuals with moderate to more severe disabilities. Through proper trainings, and the utilization of the necessary tools and equipment, individuals with disabilities will continue to increasingly transition into meaningful employment and community-based programs intended to build self-sufficiency.
    • The Comparison of Effective Social-Emotional Learning Programs Use in P-12 Schools: A Meta-Synthesis

      Hebert, David (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-08-02)
      This meta-synthesis of literature analyzed 59 journal articles pertaining to social-emotional learning programs for P-12 students. The articles underscored the importance of the involvement of peer support, parent support, teacher and parent training, behavior intervention, positive reinforcement, school-wide programs, and individualized programs being utilized in a consistent way as well as the individual programs being used with fidelity across the whole environment of the student for a successful implementation.
    • Coping Skills for Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Synthesis

      Brighton, David (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-08-01)
      Students diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are often seen as problem students with little hope for academic success. It is common for these students to be medicated with a daily dosage of stimulants to help them function more appropriately in the classroom. This meta-synthesis identifies multiple ways to work with students with ADHD; effective interventions can help students with ADHD cope with their disorder and become more successful students.
    • Culturally responsive teaching and student self-efficacy in Alaskan middle schools

      Christian, Scott; Kaden, Ute; John, Theresa; Sesko, Amanda; Ontooguk, Paul; Jester, Timothy (2017-12)
      Culturally responsive teaching may provide practices and dispositions which support closing the achievement gap between minority and Caucasian student populations. For this research, culturally responsive teaching can be considered as teaching practices that address students' specific cultural characteristics. These characteristics include common practices such as language, values and traditions but also include concepts such as communication, learning styles, and relationship norms. The research also presents a definition of culturally responsive teaching that extends beyond curriculum and instruction to focus on student teacher relationships, empathy, and the teacher as learner. This research explores the beliefs and practices around Culturally Responsive Teaching in ten Alaskan Middle Schools. A mixed-methods, sequential explanatory research design was used to answer the research questions: 1. How do teachers identify what is culturally responsive teaching, and what is not? 2. How is culturally responsive teaching implemented in Alaskan middle schools? 3. How is culturally responsive teaching connected to student self-efficacy in Alaskan middle schools? Although culturally responsive teaching has become a recognized practice in the fields of teacher preparation and professional development for teachers, the working definitions as well as evaluation tools are inadequate to describe the actual practice that teachers enact when they are engaged in culturally responsive teaching. Despite state regulations requiring Alaska school districts to include teaching practice of the Alaska Cultural Standards in teacher evaluations, there is only limited focused research available about the implementation of the standards in classrooms. Through semi-structured interviews and surveys with teachers and principals, formal classroom observations, as well as a student self-efficacy survey, this research addresses the lack of research and understanding regarding the relationship between culturally responsive teaching and self-efficacy for middle school students. This study identified the integration of local culture and language into academic content areas, teaching through culture, and the establishment of positive, respectful working relationships with students as promising practices for culturally responsive teaching.
    • Developing an Effective Learning Environment for Children with Asperger Syndrome: A Meta-Synthesis

      Gressett, Rosanne (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-08-01)
      This meta-synthesis of the literature on developing an effective learning environment for children with Asperger Syndrome examines four critical areas that help support academic and social growth and self-advocacy. Early intervention and social skills instruction, while considering the specific needs of the child are foremost and provide the foundation from which all future learning will evolve. Effective learning not only encompasses approaches that are person-centered but also requires adaptations that support transition. For the Asperger child, as he moves into adulthood, transitioning can be especially challenging. As an adult, with ongoing support and interventions, transitions can be opportunities for self-awareness and growth.
    • Early Childhood Special Education in Norway and the United States: A Meta-Synthesis

      Brainerd, Julia (University of Alaska Southeast, 2012-06-11)
      This meta-synthesis investigates various aspects of early childhood special education in Norway and the U.S. Both countries strive to provide services for young children with disabilities in inclusive settings. However, the differences in policy, levels of governmental regulation and involvement, local organization of service delivery, and provision of social benefits shape very different realities for children with disabilities, their families, and their service providers in Norway and the U.S. This inquiry of 43 articles addresses such issues as overall quality of services and support available to children with disabilities and their families, qualifications of personnel who work with children with disabilities, funding of various early childhood settings that these children attend, and availability and accessibility of inclusive early childhood environments for children with disabilities in both Norway and the U.S.
    • The Egg/Nest Problem: Teaching Language to Students with Autism. A Meta-Synthesis

      Howe, Ryan (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-07-30)
      This meta-synthesis of the literature on methods of instruction to students with ASD examines the various methods of teaching language to students with ASD. While each student learns language at his or her own pace, the author has found that certain methods yield results quicker, and these methods need to be examined critically for any literature on their reliability, efficacy, and scientific research. If a student with autism can be taught language quickly, therefore mitigating any further delays in academic development relative to peers, then this methodology should be made accessible to all teachers of such students.
    • Haa Dachx̱ánxʼi Sáani Kagéiyi Yís: Haa Yoo X̱ʼatángi Kei Naltseen

      Twitchell, X̲ʼunei Lance (2018)
      The Tlingit language has experienced drastic losses over the past two decades in terms of total number of speakers and places where the language is used. This steady decline in speakers was drastically accelerated as the last generation who grew up in a time when Tlingit was the primary language of homes and communities reach their sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties. The youngest first language speakers are in their 60s, although most of them are in their eighties because intergenerational transmission severely declined in the second half of the 1900s, and has only recently returned with a few families who have committed to speaking with their children. Recent estimates have determined that the Tlingit language has about 80 birth speakers of various levels, and 50 second language learners that could be considered at the “intermediate” level or higher according to ACTFL scales. There are probably only 10 speakers remaining who could be considered fully fluent and capable of higher forms of speaking, and most of them are over 70 years old. This combines to create an unprecedented crisis for the Tlingit language, which will require massive shifts in cultural values, ways of living, institutional cultures, and educational practices if the language is going to survive the next 50 years and have more than a handful of speakers. Instead of merely surviving, or preserving, the goal of the Tlingit Language Continuity Movement1 is to have 3,000 speakers of the language by 2050. The current population of the Tlingit people is about 20,000 and of Tlingit territory is around 100,000. This means that 3,000 speakers would be 15% fluency among the Tlingit people and 3% within Tlingit territory, rising from 0.65% and 0.13% respectively. This dissertation documents some of the events that have led to massive language decline, and proposes a series of interconnected methods that would result in language revitalization. In particular, increasing adult fluency, creating safe acquisition environments, mending a people and their language, and following a 30-year action plan is the proposed method to revitalizing the Tlingit language. These chapters are based upon the following research methods: reviewing published Tlingit language materials and recorded Tlingit language, documenting Tlingit language speakers and their thoughts on language learning and use, and incorporating theories from sociolinguistics, language revitalization, and post-colonial decolonizing methodologies.
    • How Alaska Natives Learn and Changes to Alaska Education that would Ensure Success: A Review of the Literature

      Kookesh, Sally Woods (University of Alaska Southeast, 2009-07-14)
      I have examined 47 articles that related to Alaska Native/American Indian education and culturally responsive education. I found problems in K-12 education for Alaska Natives; historical contexts; cultural context; building bridges; and the future for K-12 education for Alaska Natives were common themes throughout my review of the literature. Problems with education was established 200 years ago and Alaska Natives still perform lower than their non-Native counterparts; historical context tells a story of past Native educational and mainstream practices; cultural context can play a positive role in closing the achievement gap through language, culture, and involving the community; building bridges can occur between Native and non-Native systems by using best practices and local ways of knowing in a diverse cultural climate; and looking forward by changing K-12 education for Alaska Natives through involving Native parents, communities, educators, and universities as equal collaborators in education for Alaska Natives.
    • How Can Neuroimaging Inform Our Treatment of Reading Disorders in Children With Learning Disabilities?

      Rueter, Joseph (2015-04-28)
      Neuroimaging technology in the last two decades has allowed a direct 3 dimensional view of the processing activity in an individual’s brain while completing a particular cognitive task enabling the characterization of functional brain areas and typical processing pathways. This meta-synthesis examines current studies of the neuroimaging of reading in both typical proficient readers, and individuals with developmental dyslexia and examines how these studies can inform our treatment of reading disorders. Functional Imaging studies with fMRI, DTI, MEG, and EEG techniques have documented that the brains of individuals with dyslexia have distinct physical differences and an atypical processing of reading tasks when compared to their normal reading peers. These differences in both form and function can be determined in young pre-reading age children, enabling the early identification (with 90% accuracy) of individuals that will later struggle with the disability. Researchers in the field indicate that DD is an evolving progressive disorder beginning with a distinct phonological disorder and evolves into semantic word recognition disorder as the child ages. The underlying causes for DD that are being currently advocated are a Magnocellular/vision deficit, a cerebellar deficit, and/or a phonological deficit. Studies indicate that more than one of these deficits may be contributing factors, however 90% of individuals presenting with the DD have a phonological deficit as a major contributor making this the target area of most early interventions. Many studies have contrasted the functional scans of DD readers before, and after phonological interventions in an attempt to characterize a neuro-plastic change resulting from the intervention. These contrast studies indicate that many individuals with dyslexia will normalize their atypical processing of written information to appear to process written text much like their proficient reading peers. However, there are still many individuals with dyslexia who do not respond to interventions with normalization, but instead compensate for their atypical processing of written text by recruiting disparate areas in the brain to accomplish the same task. These researchers’ results indicate central challenge of developing interventions guided by the neurology. These interventions should target activation of a given brain system identified to be the source of the deficit in an individual’s Dyslexia with the intent to induce a neuro plastic, normalizing change in brain.
    • The Impact of Language Acquisition and Language Learning On Learning Process: A Meta-Synthesis

      Allman, Ashley (University of Alaska Southeast, 2018-07-20)
      This meta-synthesis explores the correlation between language acquisition and learning. Children who are bilingual have advantages and disadvantages to how they learn. When research first started on this idea, common opinion was that it was a disadvantage to be bilingual. However, as research has progressed more advantages than disadvantages of being bilingual have been found. Furthermore, new ways children can learn language have appeared. Options can include but are not limited to parents and guardians, an immersion program, and/or a dual/multi-language program. An important factor of language acquisition is for children to be fluent in one language before they learn a second language. Children that do not have a firm grasp of their first language combine two language patterns and create a different language. The combining of languages causes them to have challenges throughout their education.
    • Managing Students' Emotional Behavioral Disorder Inside and Outside of the Classroom: A Meta-Synthesis

      Fielding, Estelita D. (University of Alaska Southeast, 2012-06-11)
      This metasynthesis of the literature focuses on managing students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) inside and outside of the classroom. Students with EBD require large amounts of time and attention, often unplanned and in response to disruptive behaviors. Students with EBD can take a heavy emotional and physical toll on teachers, staff and peers involved with them, and instruction time for other students can be shortened or delayed due to disruptive behaviors. School districts find retention more difficult when students with EBD are present due to the high stress factor. When teachers and staff have the appropriate preparation and tools, however, students with EBD can be successful in an inclusive school setting with minimal disruptive behavior. Furthermore, as they make progress, they can practice self-management techniques to achieve more independence.
    • No Teacher Left Behind: The Influence of Teachers with Disabilities in K-8 Classrooms A Meta-Synthesis

      Hauk, Amanda (2009)
      This meta-synthesis of the literature on K-8 teachers with disabilities examines the profound influence that teachers with disabilities can have in our classrooms. Teachers with disabilities act as valuable and realistic role models for all students and bring unique qualities to the classroom, including a passion for inclusive education and creative methods of instruction. However, prejudicial barriers to success often restrict these exceptional teachers from access to our classrooms, undermining the inclusion movement present in most special education programs and schools today. When these teachers are denied employment, students with disabilities suffer in and out of the classroom from a lack of identity construction, reduced self-esteem, and nonexistent advocacy skills.
    • No Teacher Left Behind: The Influence of Teachers with Disabilities in the K-8 Classrooms. A Review of the Literature

      Hauk, Amanda (University of Alaska Southeast, 2009-07-14)
      This review of the literature examines the profound influence teachers with disabilities can have in our classrooms. Teachers with disabilities act as valuable and realistic role models for all students and bring unique qualities to the classroom, including a passion for inclusive education and creative methods of instruction. However, prejudicial barriers to success often restrict these exceptional teachers from access to our classrooms, undermining the inclusion movement present in most special education programs and schools today. When these teachers are denied employment, students with disabilities suffer in and out of the classroom from a lack of identity construction, reduced self-esteem, and nonexistent advocacy skills.
    • Rett Syndrome: A Place for Angels

      Cox, Deborah Ann (University of Alaska Southeast, 2009-07-14)
      Rett syndrome is a thief! It robs little girls of their projected life. It lulls their families into a false sense of security while their little girls develop normally for 6 to 18 months. Then it insidiously robs them of their skills and abilities until they are trapped in a body that won't respond. These little girls are called "silent angels" (Hunter, 2007). Rett syndrome (RS) was originally identified in 1966 by the Austrian neurologist Andreas Rett, but his research and findings were written in an obscure form of the German language the medical world could not and did not translate. It wasn't until 1983, that Rett syndrome was re-identified and labeled as its own disorder (Hunter, 2007). The Rett Syndrome Research Foundation (2006) summarizes the condition best with: Rett syndrome is a debilitating neurological disorder diagnosed almost exclusively in females. Children with Rett syndrome appear to develop normally until 6 to 18 months of age when they enter a period of regression, losing speech and motor skills. Most develop repetitive hand movements, irregular breathing patterns, seizures and extreme motor control problems. Rett syndrome leaves its victims profoundly disabled, requiring maximum assistance with every aspect of daily living. There is no cure. (Retrieved October 14, 2008 from http://www.rsrf.org/about_rett_syndrome/) Research is ever going to regards to Rett syndrome. What is known as of now is that Rett syndrome is caused by a mutation of the gene MECP2. It is not passed down in families and it knows no ethnic boundaries. The majority of Rett girls live to adulthood (RSRF, 2006). The male child doesn't usually survive birth with Rett syndrome.
    • Secondary Transition Planning: Reponsibilities and Strategies. A Meta-Synthesis

      Arnold, Art (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-08-02)
      This meta-synthesis of the literature, on transition planning for youth with disabilities, examines several important facets that impact the post school outcomes for students with disabilities. Eight specific areas have been highlighted that point out the common theme areas of this metasynthesis. Research recognizes the responsibilities of the regular and special education teachers to the secondary transition process and the roles of the student and parent are not minimized at all. Professional development and continuous training are needed and highlighted for teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and students. There are specific successful strategies and methods to apply to the transition planning process. Raising expectations will likely result in positive post school outcomes as well. However, it is only too often that teachers, counselors, parents, and students are ill prepared for secondary transitions from high school to employment or further training. Expectations are too low and students are not prepared to make decisions about their employment or training in spite of the fact that self determination and self advocacy are strong tools that can and will promote positive outcomes for students. Indeed, individualized transition planning and person centered planning are valuable tools.
    • Selective Mutism: The Child Silenced by Social Anxiety. A Meta-Synthesis

      Merrill, Kellie (University of Alaska Southeast, 2012-06-11)
      This meta-synthesis explores the subject of selective mutism across multiple age groups. Selective mutism is present in a very small percentage of students. Given the small number of students that have this disorder there is limited resources and professional collaboration options available for teachers. The low incident rate of selective mutism often leads to students being forgotten about in the classroom setting. Teachers do not know how to help them overcome their disorder and the students are not able to ask for the help they need. This exploration into selective mutism reviewed 30 articles on the topic and attempted to provide identifying characteristics of the disorder as well as interventions for educators to implement while working with students selective mutism.
    • Septo-Optic Dysplasia (SOD): Educational Issues in Literature for Teachers and Parents

      Bailey, Stephen (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-06-20)
      Ninety-nine articles published in professional journals related to septo-optic dysplasia (SOD) or the education of young blind children were reviewed by a special education teacher and parent of a blind one year old boy diagnosed with SOD. The articles were classified by publication type (e.g., research studies, descriptive articles, guides, position papers, reviews of literature). Fifty-three of the 99 articles were research studies; these 53 research studies were classified by research design (i.e., quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods); the participants and data sources of each study were identified; and the findings of each study were summarized. All 99 articles were then analyzed using a modified version of the Stevick-Callaizi-Keen method to draw out the essential themes of this body of literature. The 11 themes that emerged from this analysis included: (a) septo-optic dysplasia and optic nerve hypoplasia; (b) parenting and early intervention; (c) cognitive development; (d) language development; (e) orientation and mobility; (f) social behavior; (g) assistive technology; (h) educational placement; (i) emergent literacy; (j) Braille literacy; and (k) assessment. These themes were then considered from the author's roles of parent and teacher.