• The acceptance of evolutionary theory by science teachers in the Fairbanks Northstar Borough School District, Fairbanks, Alaska

      Shier, Peter Matthew; Hogan, Maureen; Reyes, Maria; Norris-Tull, Roger (2006-08)
      This study measured the acceptance of evolutionary theory by science teachers in an Alaskan urban city. Acceptance was assessed by a sample of 59 high school science teachers through use of the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument. This was incorporated into a booklet, which included survey items about teacher experience, education, and classroom practices. Descriptive statistics indicated the majority of teachers have an extensive amount of academic and classroom experience and a high level of acceptance of evolution. Assumptions about these characteristics correlating with an adequate treatment of evolution in the classroom were not confirmed when 60% of teachers reported spending two weeks or less on evolution in class. Further research is needed to clarify the factors influencing the teaching of evolution in this school district.
    • Alaska Native females: understanding body image dissatisfaction in a culturally diverse country

      Naegele, Karaline M.; Cook, Christine; Renes, Susan; Harrison, Lynn (2013-05)
      The current study was conducted to expand literature on body image dissatisfaction (BID) in Alaska Native females. As BID has been a concern for European American females, and many minority groups in America, professionals should examine all cultural groups for the presence of BID. The research was comprised of qualitative interviewing methods. Interviews were conducted with Alaska Native female participants between the ages of 18 and 23 years, attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Research questions addressed whether or not Alaska Native females experience BID, and if so how BID develops and manifests for this population. The study found that all participants experienced BID beginning in adolescence. The development and manifestation of BID varied on an individual basis, reflecting other research findings.
    • Austin Powers meets Robin Hood: exploring texts through drama

      Ragan, Barbara S. (2006-05)
      This research project followed an ethnically and culturally diverse, sixth-grade classroom as they shared and constructed meaning from a selected text through a variety of drama activities. Unlike most studies on drama in the classroom, this research project examined the relationship between social construction of meaning through multiple literacies and the influence this has on student engagement. This study is centered in sociocultural theory, the central premise of which describes human thought as constituted by and originating from language-based social interactions with others. This research project also addressed the concept of multiple literacies and how it applied to the extension of communication choices beyond that of just language. It included drama, film, video, computer technology, visual arts, and music. As traditional forms of reading, writing, and communicating take on new literary forms, students need to be prepared and encouraged to critically think about the information they are exploring, especially in the area of media literacy. Through participant observation, field notes, fieldwork journal entries, audio and video recording, and interviews, I analyzed the students' social learning experiences, and their use of a variety of literacies to enhance and extend the traditional methods of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
    • Dena'ina duch'deldih: "we are learning Dena'ina," language goals and ideologies among adult learners of Dena'ina Athabascan

      Bell, Lindsay A. (2006-05)
      The work contained herein consists of two research papers that emerged from a single qualitative study of goals and ideologies of adult learners of Dena'ina Athabascan in attendance at the 2005 Dena'ina Language Institute. The study draws upon 19 semi-structured, in-depth interviews that were collected and analyzed in order to increase community control over the program and to assist in the development of future programming offered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The first research paper suggests that goals of attendees clustered into four categories: fluency, literacy, cultural knowledge, and community building. More important than these four stated goals were the ways in which these goals connected to overarching themes of visibility, healing and resistance. It is argued that these themes are interconnected forms of, and tools for, empowerment. The second research paper suggests that the presence and work of university representatives is always ideological and always educational. It outlines the importance of ideological critique on the part of both community and institution when goals of empowerment are being sought after. The work contains both-site specific recommendations and broader implications for educational institutions involved in Native language programming.
    • Funding issues associated with schooling in Alaska and Ghana

      Donkor, Harry; Monahan, John; Reyes, Maria; Barnhardt, Ray; Lehman, John (2007-05)
      This thesis provides a comparative analysis of the educational funding systems in Ghana and Alaska. The issues discussed in this thesis include the equitable and adequate distribution of funding for the educational needs of the various school districts in both countries. This study will focus on three areas : (1) Review of the history and foundation of education in the Alaska, and Ghana ; (2) Study of education funding for K-12 education in Alaska and Ghana; (3) Making a determination on whether educational funding in Alaska and Ghana is sufficient to meet the funding needs of K-12 schools. In this study I will be attentive to two major areas : (1) Adequacy - Is the money being spent sufficient? (2) Equity- Is there equal funding for all K-12 schools in Alaska and Ghana? The goal of this research is to learn through this research more about adequacy and equity.
    • Homeschooling in Alaska: parent perceptions and homeschool regulations

      Cavan, Lisa R.; Fabbri, Cindy; Adams, Barbara; Armstrong, Anne; Hogan, Maureen (2017-05)
      Homeschooling is a growing trend in the United States and Canada. States vary as to what regulations are required to homeschool a child. Current studies from the United States and Canada focus on the academic achievement of students who are homeschooled, the homeschooling styles that were used, along with education levels and income levels of those who teach at home. The studies only include students who are known to be homeschooled and do not account for the ones that are not required to participate in standardized testing. Research was conducted, first using online surveys completed by families that homeschool in Alaska, then with interviews that had more open-ended questions to allow for more detailed input. In Alaska, parents can choose to homeschool through a correspondence program or homeschool independently without having to notify the state. This research revolved around the following three questions: What does homeschooling look like for families in Alaska? What are parents' perceptions on homeschool regulations in Alaska? Why do parents choose to homeschool with a correspondence program that has more regulations than if they homeschool independently? Findings suggest that parents tend to have an eclectic approach in their teaching and student progress is measured by curriculum assessments, observation and discussion, much like is seen in a public school classroom. Parents may not fully understand the difference between homeschool regulations and regulations for correspondence programs in Alaska. Funding seems to be a top reason to enroll in a correspondence program. As the sample for this study was limited, it would be beneficial to have additional research regarding homeschooling in Alaska.
    • How drama in Kodiak motivated my teaching

      Fogle, Tamie Everton (2004-08)
      In order to help myself overcome several frustrations which had arisen in my secondary classroom, I began looking for teaching techniques that would motivate both myself and my students. The Kodiak Island Borough School District Inservice trainings led me to the use of drama as an instructional tool. In order to understand how drama and theatre differed, I began my research with a phenomenological study of the directorial staff for the play Peter Pan. That research showed me that I needed more information about how the drama techniques could be applied. Therefore, I conducted semi-structured depth interviews with seven teachers who had also attended the training in order to compare how they had utilized drama techniques in their classrooms. I discovered an amazing variety in the types of drama these teachers used as well as the ways that they applied their knowledge to their teaching practices.
    • Implementation of middle school best practice in a K-8 school: a case study of the planning year for Barnette Magnet School in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Smith-Thomas, Colleen; Lipka, Jerry; Rickard, Anthony; Reyes, Maria Elena; Monahan, John (2006-12)
      This study used a case study design to investigate the planning year for Barnette Magnet School, which opened in the fall of 2005. The conversion to a K-8 school is met with some difficulty by school districts across the nation because, while there are many benefits to keeping these 7th and 8th grade adolescents in their neighborhood elementary school where supportive relationships have already been developed, the fact remains that they have different social, emotional and academic needs than either elementary or high school students. This case study seeks to examine the current research into best educational practice for this age group and to what extent the planning of the magnet school aligned with this research. The data revealed that the Magnet School, by implementing an innovative school-wide structure based on exploratory curriculum and dynamic interactions between school and community, generally did align its plans to what is considered best practice for adolescents. Several areas of weakness are identified and described.
    • Kuiggluk Speech Community

      Amos-Andrew, Barbara; Marlow, Patrick (2010)
      This thesis explores language shift in the Kuiggluk speech community through interviews, observation, and surveys. Kuiggluk is a Yup'ik community in Southwestern, Alaska that is undergoing language shift from the indigenous language, Yugtun, to English. The interviews examine four mothers and their daughters' speech patterns and their schooling and cultural history. The observations reflect the four girls' speech patterns and their daily conversations. The surveys examine the Kuiggluk youth's speech patterns and goals for Yugtun more broadly.
    • Literacies and engagement: incorporating Yup'ik literacies in a language arts classroom

      Gehman, Michael J.; Hogan, Maureen; Leonard, Beth; Siekmann, Sabine (2017-05)
      The use of culturally relevant teaching practices and local literacies has been shown to increase student engagement in other studies. To observe the impact of Yup'ik literacies on student engagement, I designed and implemented a teacher, action research study that asked students to create a yuraq song to demonstrate their mastery of this topic. I spoke with members of the community to ensure the study was culturally acceptable and seen as beneficial, as well as to gain understanding about yuraq because I am an outsider to the culture. Students were observed and recorded throughout eight class periods while writing an academic essay and creating a yuraq song. Their actions in the classroom were analyzed to create an operational definition of engagement from a Yup'ik perspective, which was used, in conjunction with discussions with community members and students as well as student journals to determine if the yuraq task was able to foster deep, meaningful engagement. Their actions were also analyzed using James Paul Gee's work on "Big D" Discourse to identify the impact a local literacy had on their school Discourse. The data were able to illuminate a clear definition of Yup'ik engagement consisting of collaboration, physical action, and intense listening; deep student engagement similar to concept of Csikszentmihalyi's flow was observed in some but not all students; and the use of Discourse that matched the task and setting, but did not attempt to alter the power structure of the dominant Discourse in the school. The findings held a large degree of local validity for the participants, and were used to adjust teaching strategies to benefit this class.
    • The moving writing workshop

      Ward, Robyn Francine Rutherford; Hogan, Maureen; Austin, Terri; Kenaston, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2006-12)
      This yearlong ethnographic case study documented the implementation of a 'moving' writing workshop at the first year of the Barnette Magnet School. This study focused on selected students in the 5/6 grades at the magnet school. In the moving writing workshop, the students changed rooms and worked in a variety of writing rooms that coincided with the writing process. The traditional writing process steps are prewriting/brainstorming, drafting, revise and response, editing, and publishing. The classroom teachers and staff at the school assisted students in the various writing rooms. This study looked at the benefits students gained by participating in the moving writing workshop. It addressed whether or not participation in the moving writing workshop improved the students' quality of writing and attitude toward writing. The writing quality and attitude of the students in the study did improve. However, after analyzing the data, with the research that was conducted, it was impossible to determine whether moving during the writing process was the factor that caused the improvements. The data did however show that the physical act of moving mostly had a positive impact on the students' writing.
    • The process of founding Fairbanks Baptist Bible College: a case study

      Loriot, Cliff R. (2006-08)
      The purpose of this study was to compare the founding of Fairbanks Baptist Bible College with a procedure I later developed from various sources (Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education [ACPE], "Regulations," 2000; "Statutes," 2000; Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges [AGBUC], 2000; Cedarholm, 1988; Fadel, 1971; Fisher, 1983; Gribble, 1998; Halm and Hiatt, 1987; Ingram, 2003; Schindlbeck, 1969; Stark and Lattuca, 1997). The comparison shows that we omitted some important steps in establishing the college. Based on the previous sources, the results of the study, and Thornton's (1966) procedure, I developed a recommended process describing the responsibilities of four successive groups: the founders, the Board, the president, and the college. I concluded with some implications for future study.
    • Seating patterns and their influence on classroom interaction and participation

      Scouten, Michele Marie; Hogan, Maureen P.; Titus, Jordan J.; Rickey, Melissa (2007-08)
      Research was conducted to find a link between student seating patterns and levels of classroom interaction and participation. Two classrooms were observed in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District over ten days of the spring semester of 2007. Observations were conducted in two English classes at Lathrop High School. A total of 53 students and two teachers took part in the study. The primary research question centered on the relationship between seating location and classroom interaction and/or participation. Further questions dealt with student grouping according to race, gender, academic ability and age as well as other factors that may influence student interaction and participation. The teacher's role in encouraging interaction and participation through changing the seating arrangement was also analyzed. Results indicate that while seating location played a role in classroom interaction and participation, it may be more important to look at who a student is sitting next to as a predictor of the level of interaction and participation. Grouping patterns exist to some extent for gender, race, academic ability and age. Other factors that can influence student behavior included the absence or tardiness of students. Teachers were also shown to play a role in influencing behavior.
    • A shifting paradigm: teachers' beliefs and methods for fostering ecological literacy in two public charter schools

      Sterling, Evan P.; Vinlove, Amy; Green, Carie; Carlson, John (2015-05)
      Ecological literacy is measured by a person's ability to understand the natural systems that make life on earth possible and how to live in accordance with those systems. The emergence of the pedagogies of place- and community-based education during the past two decades provides a possible avenue for fostering ecological literacy in schools. This thesis explores the following research questions: 1) How is ecological literacy fostered in two Alaskan public charter schools? 2) What are teachers' beliefs in these two schools about the way children and youth develop ecological literacy? 3) What are effective teaching methods and what are the challenges in engaging students in ecological literacy? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six K-12 teachers in two public charter schools in Alaska in order to investigate these questions, and relevant examples of student work were collected for study as well. Qualitative data analysis revealed several emergent themes: the need for real-world connections to curriculum; the necessity of time spent outdoors at a young age; the long-term and holistic nature of ecological literacy development; and the importance of family and community role models in developing connections with the natural world. Based upon the research findings, several recommendations are made to support the efforts of teachers in these schools and elsewhere for fostering ecological literacy in children and youth.
    • Socioeconomic factors that lead to Latino male students leaving school before graduating

      D'Agostino, Joseph C.; Wong, Nga-Wing Anjela; Barnhardt, Raymond; Armstrong, Anne Brenner (2012-05)
      Students of color make up a predominant number of learners that leave high school before graduating (National Center for Education Research, 2009). I selected to study Latino males to narrow the scope of my research. The literature I reviewed pointed directly at socioeconomics as one of the primary factors. I feel there are more specific factors involved for many of the individuals impacted. I used a qualitative approach and utilized an anonymous survey and individual interviews to pinpoint some of these factors. The findings from my research further supported that socioeconomics were a leading factor. My data and literature review showed that school environment and stereotyping/discrimination also played a role. I intend to conduct further research to identify the additional sub-factors that are most prevalent to Latino males. My long-term goal is to provide information to my peers that can assist in the construction or reconstruction of programs that can offer the best support for these students.
    • A study of Arkansas' implementation of an elementary art program

      Harris, Angela; Reyes, Maria; Hornig, Joan; Hogan, Maureen (2007-05)
      The purpose of this case study was to describe how Arkansas was able to mandate and implement their elementary art education program, as well as the possibility of using Arkansas' program as a model for implementing art education at the elementary level in schools in other states. Based on what I discovered through interviews and publicly available documents, Arkansas' program was mandated and designed in such a manner that other states could modify the process used to create an elementary art program to fit their own individual needs. The findings from this study of the elementary art program in Arkansas could have an impact on art education nationwide. The possibility that other states could follow this lead would be a positive step towards improving art education for all students.
    • A study of increased instructional time and the relationship with the mathematical achievement of intermediate elementary students

      Lower, Elizabeth Anne (2005-08)
      The purpose of this study was to determine whether two different approaches to increased instructional time led to a statistically significant increase in math achievement of fifth grade students. The null hypothesis stated that there would not be a statistically significant difference at the .05 level of significance between the math scores of the fifth grade students at schools A and B, as measured by standardized test scores. Data consisted of standardized test scores of annual statewide assessments. The test results were collected and analyzed using SPSS software. The null hypothesis could not be rejected. The results indicated that the largest gains were made by the lowest achieving students. Additionally, in both schools, the students who had scored in the highest quartile on the pre-test were not able to maintain their quartile ranking, and slipped into lower quartile rankings after the different time treatments were applied.
    • The practice of teachers reading aloud in the classroom

      Bost, John C.; Hogan, Maureen P.; Noon, Doug; Kardash, Diane (2014-05)
      This inquiry, which involved use of a teacher survey and classroom observations, was designed to explore how teachers use the practice of reading aloud. This small case study, of one urban elementary school in Alaska, also set out to examine how teachers view the practice of a read-aloud. Studies have identified a number of effective components of a read-aloud. This study found teachers in agreement on some important reasons to read aloud and the components of a read-aloud that they value. The teachers in my inquiry appear to value reading aloud and they all share similarities in how they use the read-aloud practice. All of the teachers agreed that the three most important reasons to read aloud are: for enjoyment, to expose students to texts that they may not read otherwise, and to promote a love of literature and/or reading. Most of the teachers rated two components in particular as very important: animation and expression, and modeling fluent reading.
    • Who's "fat", who's not: sociocultural influences on female adolescent's body image

      Paxton, Lindsay Astheimer (2004-12)
      Sociocultural influences, media, parents and peers, on adolescent females' body image, as perceived by female high school students of a military related community were investigated. A body image survey was administered to 26 adolescent females. Ultimately, the research revealed that media, parents and peer groups influenced adolescent body image and significantly contributed to female students' perceptions and attitudes.