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Hamline University: DigitalCommons@Hamline
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    18140 research outputs found

    What Common Elementary Practices Impact Teacher Efficacy?

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    Efficacy and its impact on student outcomes have often been researched. Specific practices within an elementary setting that impact teacher efficacy has not been widely researched. This research focused on gathering the perceptions of elementary teachers regarding which experiences had impacted their feelings of efficacy positively or negatively. This qualitative research followed a grounded theory process. Data collection methods involved gathering data from an email survey and following up with a focus group which allowed triangulation of data and findings. Participants from a midwestern suburban high-performing elementary school were selected for this research based on the assumption that high-performing schools would likely have teachers who self-identified as having higher efficacy. I wanted higher efficacy educators because as an outcome I wanted to create a list of practices for administrators that could build efficacy for staff, sustain efficacy if it was in place, and avoid harming successful efficacy cycles or practices for new or newer administrators when joining a building. Findings suggested that administrators should pay particular attention to four general areas to support or sustain efficacy. The four areas for positive impact include any practices that impact an educator\u27s time, areas that include support for the teacher, relationships, and reflective practices. Within these themes there were very specific practices that could be put into place for immediate impacts on efficacy, for example, one of the practices that received a 90.9% positive impact on efficacy was receiving a public oral or written compliment from a peer or administrator. The findings also suggested some practices that hinder or have a negative impact on efficacy. The two themes that emerged negatively were professional development based on how it is launched and handled and curriculum matters also dependent on how the decisions surrounding the curriculum are handled. Areas for future research include a longitudinal study that follows teachers from teacher development through their teaching career as well as research that would look at the cultural components of efficacy as that has not been covered in the existing literature

    How To Create A Successful Learning Environment For Students With Challenging Behaviors

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    As an experienced special education teacher working with a range of school districts, I have observed the need for further training on how to manage challenging behaviors within our schools. Though there are many researched based strategies available for helping educators manage challenging behaviors, there are very few trainings that guide educators to program for students with challenging behaviors. With teacher shortages at all-time high in the state of Minnesota, and schools working hard to provide inclusive classrooms, the need for further training for educators appears to be at the forefront. This project on: How to create successful learning environments for students with challenging behaviors, will help educators set up classrooms, special education rooms, or specialized programs for students who struggle with challenging behaviors. This project trains educators on 6 key components needed to create a successful learning environment for students with challenging behaviors. These components are supported by research-based methods like PBIS, Restorative Justice, and Token Based Economy Systems

    The Best Way to Utilize MakerSpace in a 6th Grade Science Classroom

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    The research question addressed in this capstone project is: “How can the MakerSpace model be implemented in a sixth grade science classroom successfully?” This paper follows a sixth grade science teacher\u27s journey into learning more about MakerSpace and how to implement the MakerSpace model in a science classroom. This paper also follows how this learning influenced the creation of a MakerSpace guide intended for educators that are interested in implementing a MakerSpace in their classroom, specifically a sixth grade science classroom. The topics of focus are: what is MakerSpace, what makes it different from other science programs, research behind MakerSpace, benefits and pitfalls of implementation, and what a successful MakerSpace needs. The project includes: teacher materials, a variety of classroom materials - including posters with project ideas, vocabulary and QR codes for student resources, and a design journal for students

    Utilizing a Culturally Relevant Ecology Curriculum to Help Students see Intersections between their Scientific and Cultural Identities

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    The purpose of this capstone was to create a two-week long ecology unit for high school biology students rooted in culturally relevant practices. The project sought to answer the question “How can utilizing a culturally relevant ecology curriculum help students see intersections between their scientific and cultural identities?” Data shows that people of color and women are underrepresented within the sciences. Disengagement and lack of interest in the sciences begins in middle and high school, suggesting students feel the material is irrelevant or disconnected from their lives. To address this gap, this project utilized a culturally relevant lens to create an ecology curriculum. Research showed that culturally relevant pedagogy increased student engagement with and retention of science concepts. The created curriculum draws on students’ pools of knowledge and integrates historical and cultural data into the practice of science. Students engage in a variety of learning activities including laboratory experiments, inquiry based activities, and reflective journaling. This project acts as a model for educators looking to engage in culturally relevant practices within the sciences as a mechanism to increase student engagement

    How Using Multidisciplinary Approaches To Mainstream Education Can Increase Diversity In Environmental Education And Improve Students’ Environmental Literacy

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    For there to be solutions to environmental issues people of diverse perspectives need to be able to critically think and collaborate together to work through possible solutions. Historically, environmental education has been missing many voices from the BIPOC communities in finding creative solutions to environmental issues. This Capstone Project had the driving question of, Can increasing diversity in environmental education improve students\u27 environmental literacy? The literature reviewed showed that environmental education cannot be a stand alone curriculum. Instead, it needs to be a multidisciplinary approach to the curriculum that allows students to critically think about real world issues that society is facing. Besides making environmental education a multidisciplinary curriculum there needs to be a connection to multicultural education at the same time. If students see professionals like them participating in environmental education activities they are more likely to participate. Before students can participate in multicultural, multidisciplinary environmental education teachers need to be able to design effective, meaningful and constructive curriculum to support the needs of their students. This Capstone Project created three professional development opportunities for teachers to reflect on their own social justice understanding, time to create meaningful curriculum that connects environmental concepts to their daily lessons, and a time for educators to share their findings and reflect on the environmental education focus lesson being taught. Everyone has a connection with nature, but in order for environmental issues to be solved diverse perspectives need to be applied and communities need an opportunity to have a strong environmentally literate society

    To what extent do existing nature-based lesson plans for outdoor learning experiences in the Great Lakes area align to a nature-based sense of place framework?

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    This paper explores the question To what extent do existing nature-based lesson plans for outdoor learning experiences in the Great Lakes region align to a nature-based sense of place framework? Sense of place includes place meaning and place attachment that must be developed through experience. Chapter two explores nature-based experiences with examples from environmental education to help illustrate a sense of place development in action. The literature review further investigates current understandings of sense of place and current best practices for developing outdoor, nature-based, environmental experiences. The Sense of Place framework developed by Mathews et al. (2020) was used to guide the creation of a rubric to rate how closely the lessons align to the construct of sense of place. Chapter Three describes the scope of the project in terms of timeline, audience, and assessment. Twenty nature-based lesson plans from six organizations based in the Great Lakes region were rated using a rubric to identify how closely the actual lessons align to the framework to develop a sense of place. A key outcome of this project is a White Paper that serves as a resource which calls for the use of the rating rubric which is understood to be a practical tool for the Sense of Place theoretical framework. Conclusions included descriptions and analyses. The paper ends with the limitations of this work and the call for completion of a reliability and validity study on the rating rubric

    Teaching Vocabulary To Ninth Grade Students From Context

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    Learning new words from context is a skill that many ninth-grade students lack. Although there are many methods to teaching vocabulary, many of the methods are outdated or riddled with issues. The methods help students, but no method is well rounded, leaving students with a skill set that is not completely developed. The integrated vocabulary curriculum that is proposed in this capstone explored the variety of methods and best practices to create a hybrid version to fully support students in learning vocabulary from context. Overall, the capstone addressed the need for a vocabulary curriculum that is flexible and can support student learning in the classroom

    What is the Significance of Reading Aloud to Middle School Aged Students in the Language Arts Classroom as Measured By the Star Reading Assessment?

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    The research question addressed in this study is: what is the significance of reading aloud to middle school aged students in the language arts classroom as measured by the STAR Reading assessment? Topics explored in the review of the literature include components of literacy-specifically children’s literacy, language arts curriculum, as well as the importance and effectiveness of classroom read alouds. A cohort of nearly 30 students in fifth and sixth grades were observed on how well they comprehended children’s novels while reading independently and while reading with teacher guidance and interaction. While one class completed a read aloud novel study with the instructor, the other read the same novel silently on their own. Ideally, they read two chapters a day regardless if they are reading with instructor or on their own. Both groups completed the same comprehension packet as they read the novel. Again, if they read the novel with the teacher, they completed the comprehension packet with instructor as well. If they read the novel on their own, the students also completed the comprehension packet on their own. After the completion of that novel, the class that read aloud with the instructor then silently read the next novel study on their own. The class that read the previous novel study silently on their own, then read aloud the next novel study with instructor. This way, each class read the same book at the same time, but one class read it silently and the other read it aloud. Both classes used the same assessments, whether they read aloud or silently read. Students then took an accelerated reader quiz after reading each novel which measured their comprehension and understanding of the novel. Students then took a STAR Reading Assessment to measure their overall comprehension growth. Keywords: rea

    Legacy of Women and the Culture of an Organization

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    The purpose of this paper is to explore women in executive leadership positions in traditionally male-dominated public-sector organizations. This research will determine whether women entering into these positions have the ability to change the culture of a traditionally male-dominated institution so that women are regarded as equals to men in leadership success, team-building, solicitation of organizational input from subordinates, and overall operational efficiency in the organization. The study will also explore how uniquely feminine qualities contribute to a distinctively transformational leadership approach in women, challenging the common notion that only men are qualified to lead because of their traditionally aggressive “masculine” demeanor. The findings will encourage advocacy for equal opportunities for both women and men to attain executive leadership positions in their organization. To these ends, the researcher conducted in-depth interviews with six women who are executive leaders within their respective organizations and asked them to narrate their experiences in their positions and the effects of their leadership styles, methods and approaches on the cultures of their organizations. This research also establishes the importance of subordinate buy-in and team collaboration to increase leadership efficiency within an organization

    Sheltered Secondary SLIFE and Effective Instruction

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    Within the population of English language learners, there is a unique subgroup of students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE). These students bring with them unique qualities to school, balancing the need for English language acquisition and learning a new culture. Through this capstone project, I sought to answer the question, what are the key components to effective instruction to use with students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) at the secondary level? Throughout this capstone project, the main themes that arose in research were culturally relevant instruction and trauma informed pedagogy. The information I have learned in this project has helped to develop the resource website (https://teachingslifemn.org/), as well as enhanced my own teaching practice as I reflect on my teaching strategies and incorporate new learnings from this project


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