• 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.
    • The impact of parent and student access of student information management systems on student achievement

      Kershner, Catherine Marie; Jacobsen, Gary; Gatto, Mario; Roehl, Roy (2010-12)
      "The introduction of online student information systems (SISs) has provided parents and students the opportunity to more closely monitor student academic performance. Two years after the implementation of an SIS, PowerSchool, in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, data indicates no significant increase in grade point average (GPA) despite significant increases in SIS utilization. System contacts increased during academic years 2008/'09 and 2009/' 10 among populations of middle school and high school students while average GPAs remained essentially unchanged. However, comparisons between SIS contacts and GPAs revealed statistically significant correlations between the two variables, indicating some degree of connection between student/parent monitoring and academic performance. In addition, analysis of student records indicates a positive correlation between average GPAs and contacts recorded during an academic year: records with low GPAs reported fewer contacts with the SIS, with contacts increasing with GPA values. Thus, while families of higher-achieving students are more likely to utilize PowerSchool than lower-achieving students' families, the introduction of PowerSchool has had essentially no impact on promoting academic achievement"--Leaf iii.
    • 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.
    • An indigenous vision of 21st century education in the Bering Strait region

      Amarok, Barbara QasuGlana; Madsen, Eric; Brayboy, Bryan; Reichardt, Paul; Leonard, Beth (2014-12)
      I am an Iñupiaq Alaska Native from the Bering Strait region and have worked in the region for 32 years in the fields of elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education. Alaska Native students, as a cohort, have consistently had higher drop out rates and lower percentages of proficiency than other cohorts. My work represents a synthesis of my personal and professional experiences and is similar to research methodologies such as triangulation, auto-ethnography, mixed methods, or various Indigenous research methodologies that focus on webs of relationship. I also interviewed a sample of community members ranging in age from 15 to 75 years old to determine to what extent they hold similar or dissimilar views. I suggest: 1) changes to teacher certification requirements, 2) changes to school district practices and discourses, and 3) a stronger partnership between communities and educators, so that schools can more effectively serve the communities to which they are responsible and so that local life ways and priorities form the foundation of schooling.
    • 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.
    • The life of my grandmother: Olinka Arrsamquq Michael

      Skinner, Olga J.; Hogan, Maureen; Schneider, William; Leonard, Beth (2009-11)
      "Investigations into texts on the history of Kwethluk, Alaska reveal little, with one published account describing my maternal grandmother. Fueled by my own curiosity, I interviewed four women who knew her before she passed away, to learn of her life, her influence on others, and village history. Critical theory underlies my research and is evident in the documentation of the life of a Yup'ik woman through the voices of female informants. Analysis of the interviews revealed primary process codes that include important periods of life, and roles my grandmother held became subcodes. Her roles are tied together by her desire and acts of caring for others, especially women and children. With the increasing presence of Western influence in a Yup'ik village, several of her roles also establish her as a cultural broker. Life history research, through interviews and supporting historical documents and texts, generated a picture of life in Kwethluk in the 1900s"--Leaf iii
    • 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.
    • Management of large interdisciplinary team science projects: a multi-methods approach to examining competencies

      Veazey, Alice Danielson; Monahan, John; Cahill, Catherine; Daniel, Mary Jo; Taylor, Karen (2017-05)
      Over the past fifty years, the world has experienced a significant increase in the scale and complexity of scientific research that is focused on society's most important issues. This type of research requires a team approach from people with diverse skill sets working together across multiple disciplines, and that trend is reflected in a significant rise in collaborative research. "Team science" is the focus of research efforts intent on better understanding the challenges and maximizing the effectiveness of collaborative research. Projects that involve large teams of scientists require a thoughtful and planned approach to leadership and management in order to achieve the stated goals and outcomes. The science community has recognized that in order to run effective team science projects, people must identify the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and beliefs that define the competency set for large-scale team science leadership and management. This study used a mixed-methods approach to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data through group concept mapping to develop a concept map of the competencies required to lead and manage large, interdisciplinary team science programs. These results were then used as a lens to examine the competencies identified through the content analysis of hiring documents for positions related to a broad spectrum of team science efforts. Expert team science managers defined a list of five critical competencies: project management, shared leadership, personal competence, social competence and communication. Analysis revealed that hiring practices do not identify these skill sets in position descriptions and announcements, typically focusing on project management and communication and neglecting the remaining three competencies. In order to hire people capable of managing large science teams, hiring practices, training programs and career tracks must be developed and align with these core competencies.
    • Mentoring novice elementary teachers in rural Alaska

      McBrayer, Natalie Ann; Rickey, Melissa; Webster, Joan Parker; Scoles, Lorrie (2010-08)
      "This study investigates the impact of a literacy coach on novice teachers' reading instructional practices. Coaches are used to support teachers in their classrooms in districts across the country to improve student achievement. At this time, the tie between coaches, teachers and student achievement in research is limited. This qualitative study explores the impact of a literacy coach on three novice teachers' and their reading instructional practices. Data was collected using field notes, interviews, collaborative logs and observations. Analysis indicates that teachers relied on the coach to support them in five main areas. Those areas were; teacher request for support in ordering supplies, organizing the classroom, etc.; classroom practice that included working with classroom aides, on going assessment, etc.; teacher learning that had to do with teaching specific skills, professional reading, etc. The last two areas were student improvement and impact of the coach. The results of this study indicate that a literacy coach does have an impact on novice teachers reading practices, which in turn raises student achievement. Test scores, students' daily work and passing levels, indicate evidence of the achievement. More research is needed in the area of teacher mentoring and how it affects student achievement"--Leaf iii
    • 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.
    • Paving the road to college: impacts of Washington State policy on improving equitable participation in dual credit courses

      Hanson, Havala; Vinlove, Amy; McIntyre, Julie; Adams, Barbara; Mazzeo, Christopher; Wong, Kenneth (2019-12)
      This dissertation evaluates early impacts of a state policy to increase participation in dual credit courses in Washington state through subsidizing the cost of college credits for underrepresented rural and low-income students, and through extending eligibility to earn dual credit to students in grade 10. This study evaluates both aspects of the policy, with emphasis on the impacts for underrepresented rural and low-income students, students of color, and English learners. It employs quasi-experimental designs to estimate the impact of the policy on intended outcomes. The study finds mixed early impacts of the policy. While no effects were found for students attending schools near the cutoffs for eligibility for tuition subsidies, promising evidence emerged on the policy's impact on participation in dual credit among students in grade 10. The findings can provide policymakers with early evidence of the policy's effects, identify places where implementation may be strengthened, and serve as a blueprint for ongoing monitoring of the policy's impact and similar evaluations of dual credit policies nationwide.
    • 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.
    • Protective Factors Promoting Psychosocial Resilience In Biracial Youths

      Kawakami-Schwarber, Gail K.; Morotti, Alan (2010)
      Resilience in adolescents is the achievement of positive outcomes and the attainment of developmental tasks in the face of significant risk. This study identified protective factors promoting resilience in the development of positive self-identity in biracial youths. The rapidly rising biracial youth population is a vulnerable group facing potentially higher risks for mental health and behavioral issues compared to their monoracial counterparts. Identity development, a central psychosocial task of adolescence, is a complex task for biracial youths since they must integrate two ethnic identities. For biracial youths, mastery of the psychosocial identity developmental task can be daunting as they face stressors such as racial stigmas and negative stereotypes, which may lead to identity problems manifesting during adolescence. Sixteen biracial individuals ranging from age 18 to 29 years participated in this qualitative research project. Comparisons were made to identify patterns and themes for factors affecting self-esteem and ethnic identity level among the participants. Brought to light were culturally-based protective factors stemming from individual, family, and social domains promoting psychosocial resilience in fostering healthy biracial identity resolution. Risk factors unique for the biracial population were also identified. The findings underscore the importance in understanding how the environment shapes and influences the ways biracial youth negotiate their dual identity. The research results can be integrated into appropriate prevention and intervention techniques for application by professionals and families to further healthy identity resolution in biracial youths.
    • Schools in rural Alaska with higher rates of student achievement: a search for positive deviance in education

      Hill, Melissa M.; Jacobsen, Gary; Adams, Barbara; Richey, Jean; Barnhardt, Ray (2017-05)
      This study sought to identify schools in rural Alaska with higher rates of student achievement and study what factors contribute to that success. Alaska Native students make up a large majority of the students attending school in small remote villages across the state. Data, however, have shown that Alaska Native students constantly perform lower than any other demographic group on every subject level and lower at every grade level when tested using state assessments. This study begins with a journey to understand the complexity of the problems that affect schooling in rural Alaska, ranging from teacher turnover to school district size and oversight. However, it is important to examine this current challenge by examining the history of education and how that history has affected Alaska Native people today. To identify schools in rural Alaska with higher rates of student achievement, a binary variable was used to determine positive deviance. Data analysis drew on academic achievement of each school as measured by the 5-year average score of the school in three subjects: Reading, Mathematics and Writing. While the results did not yield a case study for positive deviance, the findings and conclusion, using a critical race theory lens question whether schools today, intentionally or unintentionally, are still modeled after the same framework and operate in the same fashion as they did when they were intended to assimilate Alaska Natives to become better citizens. Using an advocacy worldview, this study draws upon the unchallenged truth that schools in rural Alaska may never perform as a collective as well as or better than their urban counterparts under this model.
    • 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.
    • Standards-based learning under the Bering Strait instructional model: can levels be used as valid indicators for proficiency on the Alaska High School Graduation qualifying exam?

      Jones, Carrie A.; Hogan, Maureen; Barnhardt, Ray; Strange, Anthony (2009-08)
      "The Bering Strait School District is an Alaskan school district that took on standards-based education under the umbrella of a larger systemic change encompassed by what has been called the Quality Schools Model. In this model students are engaged in standards-based curriculum that is organized in a manner allowing for time to be a variable in student learning and where groupings (levels) are based upon student readiness in the non-graded system. In this study, the effectiveness of standards-based levels was quantitatively studied by comparing sophomore reading, writing and math levels in the model to their high school exit exam scores in an attempt to determine if an association between the two assessments exists. The application of the chi-squared statistic lead to the conclusion that the level a student is working at in reading or math, within the model, is in fact associated to their proficiency on the high school exit exam"--Leaf iii