• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • What Would Captain Underpants Do? A Literary Analysis Of Children In School

      Carter, Jeanne Noelle; Reyes, Maria (2006)
      Using cultural studies and critical discourse analysis as guiding theories, this study focuses on the literary representation of school experience by analyzing popular children's literature. The study focuses on literature appealing to the 8--12 year-old audience. Books of primary examination include L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones series, Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby books, Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Andrew Clemenet's Frindle, C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books, Betty McDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, and Walter Dean Meyer's Monster. The general trends found are: (1) Books featuring female protagonists are often concerned with relationships. The protagonists are frustrated that the roles and expectations of school do not allow space for discussing relationships or personal information. (2) Books featuring male protagonists generally focus on themes of power structures and how the students use subversive methods to assert their values in spite of the dominant administrative authority. (3) When books feature children who are working on character or ethical development, those children are often removed from the school context and placed in a more fantastical context. (4) The literature surveyed implies that students value unrealistically committed teachers with no interests outside of the children, who can make lessons clear, relevant, and interactive.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Quality Schools Model Of Education Reform: A Description Of Knowledge Management Beliefs And Practices Using Baldrige In Education Criteria

      Nelson Cope, Dale L.; Porter, David; Monahan, John; Allen, Jim; Johnson, Paul; Lofthus, Jeffrey; Morotti, Allan (2008)
      This study used a concurrent nested mixed-methods approach to analyze the implementation of the Quality Schools Model of education reform through the lens of the seven Malcolm Baldrige Education criteria. Specifically, this study was an inquiry to determine the difference in beliefs and implementation related to knowledge constructs between and within groups of school staff based on professional role, years of education experience and years of experience working in the Quality Schools Model district. This research also used structural equation modeling to examine the fit between the Baldrige in Education theoretical model and actual practice of the Baldrige concepts in the context of rural Alaska school districts implementing the Quality Schools Model of comprehensive education reform. A 72-item questionnaire was used to measure beliefs about importance of concepts and perceptions of the concepts in practice. The questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 212 administrators, teachers, and classified staff in three rural Alaska school districts. Qualitative data was gathered through 14 semi-structured interviews with community members, elders, school board members, parents, and school staff. Results from the questionnaire data showed that job classification was the greatest predictor of mean responses. Administrators perceived knowledge activities were in practice to a greater degree than teachers. There were no significant differences in beliefs about importance or practice among participants based on years of education work experience or on experience in the current school district. The results showed ambivalence and sticky transfer in the street-level implementation of the QSM with significant large differences between belief and practice scores for all groups. A structural model of Baldrige in Education factors with leadership as the exogenous factor was created for the QSM. Results showed that leadership had a direct effect on knowledge management, and knowledge management had a direct effect on strategic planning, and an indirect effect on process management and the outcome variables of student, stakeholder and market focus, and results. There was no direct or indirect path between the knowledge factor and staff focus factor, leading to a recommendation to increase knowledge creation and sharing opportunities for that group.
    • A Description Of Baldrige In Education Leadership Concepts Within The Alaska Quality Schools Model Of Education

      Crumley, Robert L.; Madsen, Eric; Monahan, John; Morotti, Allan; Allen, Jim; Covey, Jerry (2008)
      This dissertation reviews the implementation of the Quality Schools Model (QSM) of educational reform in three rural Alaska school districts. This research examines the fit between the theoretical model of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) program and actual practice in the context of rural Alaskan school districts implementing the QSM. Specifically, I sought to determine the perceived levels of importance and practice of leadership practices to form conclusions about the role of leadership. I examined the systematic creation of conditions within the studied districts to foster the transformation from traditional hierarchical leadership to distributed leadership with ownership throughout the system. The results of this mixed-methods study come in part from an analysis of quantitative survey data from a sampling of the three districts' certified and classified staff. Using a concurrent nested design, I triangulated these data with qualitative data gathered through semi-structured interviews of a criterion-based sample of staff and community members within the districts. I conducted this research in collaboration with three cohort members. The following are summary statements of the principal quantitative findings for the common research question: (1) The QSM survey data confirmed the theory that as an independent construct, Leadership drives the remaining Baldrige constructs within the QSM. Derived from the QSM survey, it is therefore a valid Leadership Model for rural Alaskan educators. (2) Through principal component analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling, we found that within the QSM school districts studied, leadership had significant direct causal effect upon two Baldrige constructs (Staff Focus and Knowledge Management) and an indirect causal effect upon the remaining four constructs (Process Management; Strategic Planning; Student, Stakeholder, and Market Focus; and Results). The fit indices from structural equation modeling show the alternative QSM Leadership Model to be a statistically acceptable alternative to the Baldrige (MBNQA) model. This research illustrated that staff of the three districts in the study perceived the MBNQA leadership concepts within the QSM to be important. While these districts may not have fully implemented these concepts, this study indicates each district is well on its way toward putting them into practice.
    • A Description Of The Relationship Between Process Management And The Quality Schools Model In Three Rural Alaska School Districts

      Atwater, Stephen G.; Madsen, Eric; Monahan, John; Allen, Jim; Porter, David (2008)
      This study, conducted as part of a cohort of four, included three districts that follow the Quality Schools Model of educational reform. It used a mixed methods research paradigm to describe how one particular reform evaluation criterion, process management, is believed to be important and to be in practice as a part of the Quality Schools Model (QSM). Process management is the pertinent techniques and tools applied to a process to implement and improve process effectiveness. In this study, I sought to answer four research questions that are fully described in Chapter 3. Three of these questions explored stakeholders' perceptions about the importance of process management in contrast to their perceptions about the extent to which process management was actually in practice in the studied districts. The results of the analysis of the responses showed that there were few significant differences among the respondents. However, stakeholders' perception about the extent to which process management was actually in practice varied significantly with their job classification, but did not vary significantly with either their level of educational work experience or their years of experience with the QSM. Question four of this research was common to the cohort and explored the interrelationship of the seven Malcom Baldrige in Education Criteria in the three districts. The Malcom Baldrige in Education Criteria are a method to evaluate the quality of a school district. The cohort used structural equation modeling (SEM) to answer this question. The data supported a model that shows general agreement with the hypothesized model that is included with the Baldrige literature. While this research was specific to the QSM, others who are pursuing systemic educational reform should consider the implications. They are: holistic educational reform is dependent on well established processes; leadership does not have a direct influence on results; a school district's shared vision must be comprehensive to allow optimum learning conditions through the effective establishment of coproduction; and Total Quality Management practices should be included as a way to ensure staff does its best.
    • The Quality Schools Model Of Education Reform: A Description Of Staff Focus Beliefs And Practices Using Baldrige In Education Criteria

      Mccauley, Susan Ann; Madsen, Eric; Monahan, John; Lofthus, Jeffrey; Allen, Jim; Jorgensen, Spike; Porter, David (2008)
      This study used a mixed-methods approach to analyze the implementation of the Quality Schools Model through the lens of the seven Malcolm Baldrige Education Criteria. Specifically, this study was an inquiry to determine the beliefs and practices of one of the criterion, Staff Focus, and the effect on these perceptions of professional role, years of education experience and years of experience working with the Quality Schools Model. Through structural equation modeling, this research also examined the fit between the Baldrige in Education theoretical model and actual practice of the Baldrige concepts in the three studied school districts implementing the Quality Schools Model. A 72-item questionnaire with two response scales was used to measure staff members' perceptions of the importance and practice of Staff Learning and Staff Motivation. The questionnaire was administered to 212 administrators, teachers, and classified staff in three rural Alaska school districts. Qualitative data about the implementation of the model was gathered through 14 semi-structured interviews with community members, Elders, school board members, parents, and school staff. Results from the questionnaire data showed that Staff Learning and Staff Motivation were considered very important by staff members irrespective of job classification, years of educational experience, or years of QSM experience. While the majority of staff members perceived Staff Learning and Staff Motivation as practiced frequently or always practiced, they perceived them as significantly more important than in practice in their district and schools. Administrators' perceptions of the frequency of practice of Staff Motivation were significantly higher than those of teachers or classified staff. Qualitative data revealed that learning required by staff for QSM implementation is demanding and complex, particularly during initial implementation of the model. However, staff and community members attributed improvements in student learning and the increased participation of students in their learning to implementation of the QSM, and these were motivating factors for staff members, as were the shared vision and shared leadership components of the QSM. The structural model corroborated the importance of Staff Focus showing that it was directly, positively effected by Leadership and that it had a direct, positive effect on Results.
    • Correlation Between Teacher Turnover Rates In The State Of Alaska And Standardized Test Scores In The Area Of Mathematics On The Standards Based Assessments/High School Qualifying Exam

      Roehl, Roy F., Ii; Brayboy, Bryan; Barnhardt, Raymond; Noble, Diane; Rickard, Anthony; Strange, Anthony (2010)
      This study utilized bivariate correlations, partial correlations, multivariate analysis including Hotelling-T, and observed power to investigate the possible correlations and connections of teacher turnover in Alaska's public school system to performance on the standards-based assessment of the Alaska High School Qualifying Exam (HSQE). The study focused on the results in the content area of mathematics involving the 10th grade standards-based assessment (SBA). Results from the study indicate two primary correlations exist as applied to the proficiency levels on the mathematics portion of the 10th grade mathematics SBA, teacher turnover and percent Alaska Native of school population. The results indicate that teacher turnover is statistically significant with an inverse relationship in relation to standards-based test scores, and the students most likely being impacted by teacher turnover are located in Alaska school districts that have large Alaska Native student populations.
    • The Influence Of Positive Mother-Child Verbal Interactions On Adolescent Mothers' Literacy

      Baron, Heather-Lee M.; Rickey, Melissa; Melvin, Mary Jo; Reyes, Maria Elena; Rickard, Anthony (2010)
      The purpose of this six-month qualitative microethnographic case study was to determine what influence a family literacy program based on positive mother-child verbal interactions would have on the participating adolescent mothers' literacy skills. The design of the program was founded on the Hart and Risley study (1995) and their findings regarding the five categories of significant family experiences that enhance children's vocabulary: language diversity, feedback tone, symbolic emphasis, guidance style, and responsiveness. These experiences stress the importance of affirmative interactions between children and their parents. The three adolescent mothers who participated in the study were single, white, of low socioeconomic status, and enrolled as high school seniors in the same school district in rural northwestern Pennsylvania. One participant was 11 weeks pregnant with a boy, one participant was parenting an 11-month old girl, and one participant was 18 weeks pregnant with a boy and parenting a one-year-old boy. The study found that the girls who participated in this program showed a growth of one grade level in their expository text reading levels. The results also suggest a relationship between the participants' attitude and motivation scores and their participation level in the study. Finally, the researcher believes that external/environmental factors may also have influenced the participants' participation level and the overall results.