Tag Archive: General

Predictability of ADHD Behavioral Symptoms: A Follow-Up Examination in At-Risk Preschool Children (Education Papers posted on May 13th, 2014 )

Students with emotional behavioral problems, particularly those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), experience a variety of difficulties in the areas of academic achievement and educational outcomes. As early as preschool, difficulties in the attainment of pre-academic skills and appropriate behavioral control are evident. The purpose of the present study was to identify whether there is a point in time at which academic achievement measures and ADHD symptoms become significantly correlated in a sample of preschool children identified as at-risk for ADHD who also received intervention. Correlation and hierarchical multiple regression analyses across three time points found parent ratings of Social skills and direct observation variables were moderately correlated with measures of early reading and readiness skills. In addition, these variables best predicted performance on measures of early reading and readiness skills. Support for the hypotheses that differences would be found in the strength of the relationships between the variables as time increased and ADHD symptom variables would account for the greatest amount of variance in the prediction of academic achievement variables was not found.

The cognitive, social, and affective dilemmas of Generation 1.5 English language learners: 1990–2011 (Education Papers posted on April 12th, 2014 )

This study examines the academic, Social, and personal challenges of Generation 1.5 linguistic minority students who were born and raised in Canada but spoke a language other than English in the home. Specifically, a cohort of six Generation 1.5 respondents were interviewed and discussed their experiences of facing challenges because of discrepancies between their values, beliefs, and home traditions and the expectations of educators, which hindered not only academic process, but also precipitated personal losses, including identity confusion. Additionally, this project explores how the Ministry of Education’s policy regarding the support of this demographic group within the publically funded educational system has evolved over the last 21 years, examining the types of responses that have been generated to foster the academic development of Generation 1.5 linguistic minority students.

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“If It Matters… Measure It” — The Fraser Institute, Socioeconomics and School Performance (Education Papers posted on April 12th, 2014 )

Isn’t the report card just a way to distinguish the “have” schools from the “have not” schools? This is the ninth in a series of frequently asked questions that can be found on the school performance section of the Fraser Institute’s website. Importantly, the report cards in question are both produced and published by the Fraser Institute, an independent public policy research group that ranks Canadian elementary schools on a set of indicators gleaned from the results of provincial standardized testing. While the Fraser Institute answers this question with a simple No, the thesis research presented here uses a mixed methods approach to examine the accuracy of this simplistic answer. Using socioeconomic data and regression analysis, this research endeavors to uncover if standardized test results can indeed stand independently of class and other demographic factors to produce a valid point of school comparison. This research also provides an in depth exploration of the Fraser Institute’s annual elementary school report card from the perspective of current elementary teachers in Ontario. Lastly, this research presents findings regarding the ways that parents of elementary school children use and understand the Fraser Institute’s school ratings.

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The Impact of a School’s Closure on Rural Community Residents’ Lives (Education Papers posted on April 11th, 2014 )

In this dissertation, I use a single qualitative case study methodology, participant observation, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews to explore how a rural school’s closure influenced the lives of residents in one rural farming community: Limerick, Saskatchewan, Canada. Three “stand alone” papers comprise this dissertation. In the first paper, I investigate the impacts of the school’s closure on rural families. In the second paper, I explore the ways Limerick School’s closure affected adults without school-aged children. In the final paper, I assess school closure’s impact on gendered volunteer roles. Using Social ecological theory and socialist feminist theory, I argue that the school’s closure had far-reaching implications for community members and that these implications varied depending on stage of life, gender, and roles within the family and community contexts. Together, these papers not only make a contribution to filling the gap in existing literature pertaining to rural school closures, but they also strengthen our scholarly understanding of the school-community relationship in the rural context.

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The invisible and the visible: Language socialization at the Chinese Heritage Language School (Education Papers posted on March 27th, 2013 )

The present study explores the language socialization of a group of China-born and American-born children who are Mandarin learners at the Lu Xun Chinese Heritage Language School in the Southwestern U.S. Theoretically, the study follows a new paradigm in language socialization research which focuses on second language contexts and uses multiple sources of data to investigate the dynamic nature of the process through which learners are socialized into a new language and cultural environment. Specifically, the study explores how members of a small Chinese community in a major city contribute to the maintenance of the Chinese language and culture by transmitting their cultural values to their children through school and home contexts, and how the children react to the efforts made by their instructors, parents and other caregivers. Ethnographic in nature, the study was conducted by adopting a variety of methods such as participant observation in the classroom and the community, interviews with parents, instructors, and children, and dinner table talk. A total of twelve students, fifteen parents, and two instructors participated in the study and all data were recorded with digital recording equipment. This study adds to the current literature about how linguistic and cultural knowledge are constructed through each other in different heritage language learning contexts, and what role children/novices and adults/experts play as active and selective agents in the process of language socialization within these contexts.

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Predictors of resilient successful life outcomes in persons with disabilities: Towards a model of personal resilience (Education Papers posted on March 27th, 2013 )

Disability has been identified in the literature as a risk state which can lead to potentially less than optimal or poor life outcomes. To date, the risk and resilience literature has identified numerous protective factors related to various resilient outcomes across several life domains. The current study set out to quantitatively measure the predictive ability of a model of personal resilience, comprised of four personal protective factors optimistic outlook, self-efficacy, internal locus of control, and tenacity) to predict resilient successful life outcomes RSLOs) as participation across five life domains work, school, community, family, and leisure) amongst persons with disabilities. These four personal protective factors were examined individually as well as components of a model of personal resilience. Furthermore the ability of optimistic outlook, self-efficacy, and internal locus of control to predict tenacity, individually as well as together in a model of tenacity, were measured. The statistical significance of variation in RSLOs across static type disability and progressive type disability was measured. Finally, the statistical significance of variation in RSLOs across ethnicity was measured. 133 adult subjects, ages 20–63, with a variety of static type and progressive type disabilities from several organizations serving persons with disabilities participated in the study. Results showed optimistic outlook and internal locus of control when considered independently of as well as in the presence of the other predictors, were statistically significant in predicting RSLOs. Self-efficacy, when considered independently of the other predictors, was statistically significant in predicting RSLOs. Self-efficacy when considered independently as well as in the presence of the other variables was statistically significant in predicting tenacity. Optimistic outlook, when considered independently of the other predictors was statistically significant in predicting tenacity. Variation in RSLOs was not statistically significant across either disability type or ethnicity.

Identification of extended communication networks of school library media specialists (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )

Complex and often hidden networks exist within organizations and workgroups. The pattern of relations between individuals and groups of individuals that constitute the network may constrain or enable work performance by members of the organization. The researcher reports the findings of a study in which Social network analysis methodology was applied to a school library media organization operating within a school district. The patterns of relations constituting four distinct communication networks were identified, measured, and mapped. Potential effects of these networks on individual library media specialists and on the organization as a whole were described.

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Gender and professional experience as predictors of consultants’ likelihood of use of social power bases (Education Papers posted on March 24th, 2013 )

The Social power typology originally identified by French and Raven (1959) and later modified by Raven (1965, 1992) was used to examine factors related to school psychological consultation. Specifically, this dissertation investigated whether the gender and amount of relevant professional experience of psychologists (i.e., consultants) and teachers (i.e., consltees) influenced how likely psychologists were to use soft power bases when consulting with teachers. In addition, this study examined whether consultants’ use of soft power bases was related to their self-evaluations of effectiveness during consultation. Two instruments were employed: the Interpersonal Power Inventory (IPI), which was modified to examine school consultants’ likelihood of use of Social power bases when consulting with teachers; and the Consultant Evaluation Form (CEF), which was modified to assess psychologists’ self-evaluations of effectiveness during teacher consultation. The IPI and CEF were mailed together to 1,000 Nationally Certified School Psychologists, and a total of 352 usable protocols were returned. Results indicated that when consulting with female teachers, female consultants were not more likely to use positive referent power than the other four soft power bases combined; however, male psychologists were more likely to use positive expert power than the other four soft power bases combined. Additional results indicated that consultants’ likelihood of use of soft power bases was not related to their years of professional experience, although results of a secondary set of analyses using a slightly different constellation of soft power bases did yield a significant relationship between the two variables. Findings also revealed a significant relationship between consultees’ years of experience and consultants’ use of soft power bases, in that school consultants were less likely to use soft power with more experienced teachers. Finally, results indicated a significant, positive relationship between consultants’ likelihood of use of soft power bases and their self-evaluations of effectiveness during consultation. Findings of this study suggest that the experience level of teachers plays a significant role in determining the influence strategies used by psychologists during consultation. Results also imply that consultants’ use of soft power is related to perceptions of more effective school consultation.

Achievement tradeoffs and No Child Left Behind (Education Papers posted on March 20th, 2013 )

Despite speculation that the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001′s (NCLB) finely tuned attention to improving academic opportunities for traditionally low-performing students and student subgroups compromises educational opportunities of high-performing students, there is limited empirical evidence that NCLB actually inhibits the progress of high-performing students. Consequently, ideological predispositions have dominated public interest in distributional effects under NCLB. A Student X Subject general linear model with school and Year X Grade fixed effects is estimated to isolate whether a school, based on prior year’s performance, has targeted resources to (a) students in a failing subgroup, (b) students in a failing subject, and/or (c) students failing math on a failing subgroup in Idaho. There is strong evidence that NCLB’s threat of sanctions increased incentives for schools and school districts to elevate learning opportunities for traditionally low-performing students and student subgroups, but that the increased performance by traditionally low-performing students and student subgroups did not occur at the expense of traditionally high-performing students. It appears that Idaho’s response to NCLB is one of improved efficiency and not achievement tradeoffs, in that traditional public schools in the state did more with the same level and distribution of resources as in years past.

Wealth and prices in the not-for-profit sector (Education Papers posted on March 18th, 2013 )

I develop a model in which a not-for-profit sector arises because altruistic agents care about the consumption of certain goods by other agents. The equilibrium is identical to the solution to the benefactors’ utility maximization subject to the beneficiaries’ demand, the potential entry of for-profit firms, the production technology and the budget constraint. Therefore, the goal of a not-for-profit reflects the preferences of the benefactor. If the goods produced in the not-for-profit sector are characterized by their quality and quantity, differences in the benefactor’s tastes for quality and quantity across these goods result in different effects of donations on prices. The main claim is that the price of quality-intensive goods is more likely to increase or stay constant when donations grow. I analyze the case of symphony orchestras in the U.S. in the period 1988-2005. The evidence is consistent with the benefactors caring significantly about the quality of the service. I also analyze the case of private colleges in the U.S. Since in this not-for-profit industry consumers (students) are inputs in the production process (education), I develop a more complicated model of matching. Students differ in talent and maximize their net wealth. Colleges differ in wealth and maximize their quality, measured by the human capital of their graduates. The model has two predictions: (1) when a college becomes wealthier it raises tuition, and (2) when the wealth of all colleges grows at the same rate, tuition increases at every college. The first claim is supported with data from the period 1970-2005 using the number of alumni as an instrumental variable for each college’s wealth. The second claim is supported with a data set from the period 1900-2005 using the Dow Jones index as an instrumental variable for colleges’ median endowment. The main conclusion is that colleges’ wealth must be added to the factors behind the rapid growth in tuition fees over the last twenty-five years discussed in other studies.

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