• 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 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 Elementary School Counseling: Current Practices And Future Directions

      McMorrow, Samantha Gale; Morotti, Allan (2010)
      Professional school counseling has roots as far back as the nineteenth century in the United States. Along the way there have been many changes in title and duties for the school counselor, who by recommendation of the American School Counseling Association as well as the state of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, acts as the professional leading the comprehensive counseling program. Elementary comprehensive counseling programs are designed to be developmental in nature and preventative in practice. Additionally, they are intended to make the counseling program available to all students, not just those who are high achieving or at risk within the school community. However, there is a great deal of variance in how programs operate in Alaska. This research used mail surveys to gather data from potentially all elementary school counselors in the state of Alaska. Data were then considered in regards to the suggested comprehensive counseling program to evaluate and produce informed recommendations. One of the specific challenges that Alaskan elementary school counselors face is that of larger than recommended student-to-counselor ratios. Additionally, many counselors are operating in more than one school. Counselors working in the field suggest that curriculum is a much needed resource as well as recommendations that a counseling coordinator be employed to assist in bringing a more uniformed structure to counseling programs in the state of Alaska. School counseling, as well as education in general, has undergone many changes over the last century. Counseling programs in Alaska will need to continue to change and adapt if they are to meet the needs of students and communities.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Alaskan Superintendent Turnover: Is There A Correlation Between Anticipated Turnover And The Organizational Culture Of School Boards In The State Of Alaska

      Herbert, David M. Q.; Jacobsen, Gary; Barnhardt, Ray; Laster, Mary; Jorgensen, Spike (2012)
      The purpose of this study is to determine if a particular type of school board culture is predictive of Alaskan public school superintendents' intention to leave their positions. Cameron and Quinn's four types of organizational culture---hierarchy, market, clan, and adhocracy---serve as the model for the study, which surveyed Alaska's public school superintendents during the 2010-2011 school year. The 47 participants completed the Anticipated Turnover Scale and the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. A correlational analysis was utilized to assess what relationship might exist between anticipated turnover and superintendents' perceptions of their school board culture. No statistically significant correlations were found for any of the specific organizational types and superintendents' intention to quit their job. The findings do not discount the potential for school board culture to impact superintendents' intention to leave their positions; rather they suggest directions future research might take in reframing and exploring this question.
    • Analysis of the effects of online homework on the achievement, persistence, and attitude of developmental mathematics students

      Barnsley, Amy Elizabeth; Kaden, Ute; Jacobsen, Gary; Faudree, Jill; Rickard, Anthony (2014-05)
      This dissertation summarizes a study of the use of online homework with developmental mathematics students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. To address the problem of high failure rates in developmental mathematics courses this study investigated the relationship between online homework and academic achievement, persistence, and attitude. Special focus was placed on non-traditional and Alaska Native students. A matched pair experimental design was employed. The independent variable was homework type and the dependent variables were achievement, persistence, and attitude. Nineteen sections of developmental mathematics, six instructors, and 423 student participants were involved. The main effect of homework type was not statistically significant to any of the dependent variables. However, the effect of the interaction between homework type and course level was significant (p = 0.005). Upon further analysis it was found that one of the four levels (beginning algebra) had significantly higher post-test scores when online homework was assigned. The interaction effects of homework type/ Native status and homework type/ non-traditional status were not statistically significant on any of the dependent variables. Also, results from homework questionnaires were compared. In general, students rated paper homework slightly higher than online homework. Instructors rated online homework higher than students did. Non-traditional students scored paper homework higher than online homework. The conclusion of this study is that while students have a slightly more favorable attitude toward paper homework, online homework in conjunction with graded paper quizzes and face-to-face instruction does not have a negative effect on achievement or persistence.
    • 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.
    • Barriers To Ahtna Athabascans Becoming Public School Educators

      Johnson, Michael A.; Jacobsen, Gary; Barnhardt, Ray; Elliott, James W.; Richey, Jean A. (2012)
      Using a mixed-method phenomenological approach, this cross-cultural study utilizes a non-formalized survey and interviews. Data was gathered and presented in a manner consistent with Ahtna cultural norms and values. Survey data set was analyzed by statistical description. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically through axial coding. The review of literature and data gathered from Ahtna Athabascan participants identified barriers common to other minorities groups evidenced in Ahtna-specific ways. Through a thematic analysis, the data showed barriers, consequences, benefits, and solutions to Ahtna Athabascans becoming public school educators. Through this study, Ahtna Athabascans expressed an overwhelming desire to see more Ahtna Athabascans teachers in public schools. Among the policy and practical implications identified in the study are the need to improve the quality of K-12 educational experiences for Ahtna youth and improved guidance counseling services. The analysis of the data set provides pathways for future Ahtna-specific research and Ahtna-specific solutions for increasing the number of Ahtna Athabascan teachers in local public schools.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Differences Between Frequency Of Diagnosis, Diagnosis Extremity, And Global Assessment Of Functioning Score In A Euro-American And Alaskan Native Client

      Niles, Britton Ann; Morotti, Allan; Lewis, Jordan; Strange, Anthony; Sheppard, Dani (2011)
      This research answers the question, given identical client information, history, and presenting issues, but variation in ethnicity, does diagnosis frequency, diagnosis extremity, or Global Assessment of Functioning score differ for an Euro-American male versus an Alaska Native male mental health client. Graduate counseling students, six males and six females, ranging in age from 22--59, currently enrolled at either the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or Alaska Pacific University, volunteered to participate in the present study. Participants were randomly assigned to view either a Euro-American or Alaska Native client's mock intake session. The mock videos were identical in script and environment; the only difference in the videos is that one male actor is Euro-American and the other actor is Alaska Native. Completed mental health intake forms were compared and evaluated through both quantitative and qualitative methods. Qualitatively, Strauss and Corbin's (1990) three step analytic process, grounded theory, was used to analyze the descriptive part of the intake form. Axis I, II, III, IV and V, of the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000), multi-axial system, were quantitatively, assessed to determine diagnosis differences between the Euro-American and Alaska Native client. Results identify that counseling students in training view the Alaska Native client as overall more maladaptive versus the Euro-American client. Counselors-in-training expressed this tendency through more frequent diagnosis and lower Global Assessment of Functioning scores for the Alaska Native client. These results support the need for future research and counselor training programs to be aware of these tendencies of counselors-in-training.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.