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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Librarian and Faculty Collaborative Instruction: A Phenomenological Self-Study

    Brown, Jennifer; Duke, Thomas (Elsevier, 2005)
    Several models of librarian and faculty collaboration are found in the professional librarian literature. The literature on collaborative self-study research in higher education settings indicates collaborative self-study research can improve interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to teaching and research and facilitate the transfer of knowledge. A research librarian and assistant professor of special education conducted a phenomenological self-study to examine their multiple roles as researchers, collaborators, and educators who collaborated to develop, implement, and evaluate distance-delivered instructional services for public school teachers who live and work in remote, rural, and Native communities throughout the state of Alaska. Several themes emerged from this study, including: (a) the authors’ interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts resulted in increased opportunities to team teach and conduct future collaborative research; (b) the authors struggled to communicate effectively with students via audio-conference; and (c) the beliefs and practices of both authors were transformed by their participation in this self-study. The study suggests implications for further and improved interdisciplinary collaboration between librarians and faculty. The authors believe this collaborative approach to self-study research facilitates reflective and authentic teaching and research for academic librarians working in collaboration with teaching faculty.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Preparing Information Literate Teachers: A Review of the Literature

    Ward, Jennifer Diane; Duke, Thomas Scott (Elsevier, 2010)
  • Transition Planning for Secondary Students with Learning Disabilities: A Meta-Synthesis

    McKim, Howard (University of Alaska Southeast, 2012-06-11)
    Despite increasing legal requirements in planning and documentation, transition outcomes for secondary LD students continue to fall short of pre-graduation expectations. As students move from the supportive and controlled environment of public school education systems to the less structured world of work or post-secondary education, a myriad of skills, supports, and coordinated efforts are needed for optimal outcomes. As the number of students qualifying for services continues to rise, analysis of the shortcomings and successes of the current special education transition strategies is becoming increasingly important. This meta-synthesis of the literature on transitioning secondary LD students investigates the realities of secondary transition planning and the difficulties in implementation.
  • The Use of Technology to Teach Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Synthesis

    Boitnott, V. Joy (University of Alaska Southeast, 2012-06-11)
    This meta-synthesis of empirical and non-empirical literature reviewed 43 journal articles that evaluated the availability and use of technology to educate and socialize learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Aspersers Disorder. Students with these disorders cannot be defined or categorized each individual is unique and elegant; challenging caregiver's and educator's creativity to teach and guide them toward a quality of life they would not find on their own. There are tools and research to support unique education on many levels of learning from academics to socialization. The literature indicates that while there is a wealth of technology available and new technology is constantly being developed cost can not only prohibit production it can lessen the quality. What gets into the classroom tool box is determined by the tenacity of the educator.
  • Transition in Rural Communities: Opportunities for Secondary Students with Disabilities. A Meta-Synthesis

    Anderson, Nancy (University of Alaska Southeast, 2012-06-11)
    This metasynthesis examines transition planning and services in rural communities, especially those in Alaska. It considers the barriers and challenges to transition implementation, the cultural responsiveness of rural educators, the developments in and suggestions for transition services, and approaches and strategies for transition planning. It illuminates the importance of building community relationships and tapping into human resources. Finally, the metasynthesis stresses the rural educator's need for cultural sensitivity in rural Alaska Native communities.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Teaching Methods for Students with AD/HD: A Meta-Synthesis

    Creamer, Matt (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-07-30)
    This metasynthesis explores teaching methods and strategies for helping middle school students with ADHD. Students with ADHD show more frequent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity compared to their peers. There is a significant difference between students with and without ADHD. The severity of ADHD will increasingly affect students' academic performance and social support in the classroom setting. Teachers can improve student performance by incorporating specific interventions, accommodations, and modifications to the students' academic curriculum. In addition, the concepts of teacher support, parent collaboration, and student medication were also discussed. This text also provides suggestion and advice for future special education teachers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Teaching Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Inclusive Classrooms (Grades P-3): A Meta-Synthesis

    Clifford, Melody (University of Alaska Southeast, 2011-08-02)
    This meta-synthesis focuses on the literature pertaining to students with emotional and behavioral disorders in inclusive preschool through third grade classrooms. The first purpose of this study was to discover the feelings and ideas that teachers, parents and community members have. Teachers, parents and community members have varying views about inclusion of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. The second purpose was to discover ideas that teachers could use in the classroom to successfully support students with emotional and behavioral disorders.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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