• Under the microscope

      Harper, Tyrus (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      During the past two decades, an alarming trend has emerged in American education. Students in the United States are consistently plummeting in the global standings on international standardized assessments. Research suggests that scores on one such assessment, the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), especially illustrate that students in the United States are continually falling behind those in other nations. Globalization and its relationship with instruction in the United States have also proven to be an important inquiry in regard to attempting to understand the current national education landscape. [from author's abstract]
    • The Use of Musical and Visual Interventions for Transitions in Children with Autism.

      McGarry, Erin M. (2013-10-24)
      The purpose of this descriptive survey study was to describe teachers' and therapists' reported use and perceptions of musical and visual transition interventions they use to help children with autism at an early childhood special education program. The perceived effectiveness was defined as the educational support team's perceptions of the effects musical interventions and visual interventions have on transition behaviors. Participants (N=19) were certified special education teachers and therapists who were employed by the early childhood program. An online survey consisting of 16 questions was sent electronically to participants via the employee email system. The survey questions consisted of five sections based on demographic information and the following research questions: 1) How often do teachers and therapists report using music interventions, visual interventions, or a combination of musical and visual interventions to aide children who have autism? 2) Which intervention is perceived to be the most effective? 3) What is the perceived effectiveness of musical interventions, visual interventions, and a combination of musical and visual interventions on social and communicative responsiveness in children with autism? and 4)What strategies do teachers and therapist use when selecting a transition intervention (musical, visual, or a combination of musical and visual) for children who have autism? Data from this survey was also analyzed for variation in perceptions based on professional background. The results showed participants used more musical interventions than visual interventions or a combination of musical and visual interventions, with 50% (n=9) stating they almost always used music when addressing transition behaviors. The results of this study also indicated a combination of musical and visual interventions was perceived as the most effective transition intervention by the teachers and therapists at this early childhood program, as almost all of the participants (n=18, 85.74%) chose this method as the most effective. Nine of these participants reported the musical component should be emphasized when combining musical and visual interventions, while the other nine reported the visual component should be emphasized. In regards to promoting social responsiveness and communication in children with autism, an overwhelming majority of the teachers and therapists in this study (17 out of 19 participants for the social responsiveness category, and 18 out of 19 participants for the communication category) reported a combination of musical and visual interventions was the most effective method for promoting these two key areas of need. When using this combined intervention approach, the musical component was reported as the most important modality in promoting social responsiveness (52.63%, n=l 0), while the visual component was reported as the most important modality in promoting communication (52.63%, n=IO). The results of this study also suggested that the individual needs and preferences of the child were a major factor professionals consider when selecting a transition intervention, as all of the participants in the study (n=19) reported this as a factor. It is the researcher's hope that these results may be used to inform our understanding of which interventions are perceived to be the most effective for children with autism. This study, along with future research, may help to improve transitional performance for children with autism. Keywords and themes for this study include "autism," "music therapy," and "transitions."
    • Use of tablets with Saudi girls, ages 5-7 to improve reading skills

      Bin saran, Ohud (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Reading is a fundamental literacy skill that must be taught to children at early ages for them to master. The integration of technology in reading skills helps to make the learning process easier and fun. Tablets have the ability to enhance the literacy skills of young children. This study was designed to answer the following research question : Does the use of tablets with Saudi girls, ages 5-7 improve reading skills? A review of the literature on the use of tablets and and e-books as educational tools is included as a foundation to this study. Also, literature on specific reading skills and the first grade reading level is included. The study was conducted in summer 2015 in Saudi Arabia. The participants of this study were 12 female students in the first grade at three public primary schools. The students were divided into two groups consisting of six students. For the first group, the experimental group, each student used a tablet with downloaded educational applications. Lessons on the same letters and sounds were given to the second group, the control group, by the traditional way of education. The study investigated if the use of tablets with children learning to read improved their literacy skills through a comparison of pre and post intervention reading comprehension tests. The results of this study showed that the use of tablets with students helped to improve reading skills for the students. Also, the use of tablets with students is a helpful way to encourage an increase in students' reading and learning. [from author's abstract]
    • Using cooperative learning strategies to increase students' participation and positive learning outcomes

      Aldosari, Abdulmajeed (2016-05)
      There is a need for high-quality education in Saudi Arabia for the next generation to equip them for facing the challenges of the developed world, and traditional learning techniques are unable to perform well. One of the most powerful ways to increase student participation in class is through the creation of a cooperative learning environment. Research into the general effectiveness of cooperative learning techniques suggests that cooperative learning is superior to traditional learning in terms of academic achievement. Many schools in the United States and other developed countries are effectively implementing cooperative learning techniques to increase students’ classroom participation and positive learning outcomes. This study was conducted during the summer of 2015 in Saudi Arabia. The participants of this study were 24 students in the fifth-grade. The research was at a school in Sulail City of the Riyadh. The selected model consisted of pre-test and post-test activities. A quantitative approach was used in this study to gather empirical evidence on the effectiveness of cooperative learning strategies in math class. The students were divided into two groups, the experimental group and the control group. Each student's participation was analyzed individually. All students were tested by the same pre-test and post-test. According to the results, there was an increase in the student participation and learning outcomes by the experimental group as compared to the control group. This research indicates the need for further development of teachers’ pedagogical skills in Saudi Arabia.
    • Using cooperative learning to improve reading comprehension skills for Saudi intermediate students

      Aljadoa, Ashraq (2016-03)
      This research study investigated the effect of cooperative learning strategies to improve reading comprehension skills. It sought to determine whether the use of cooperative learning strategies in teaching Saudi 13-15-year-old female students reading comprehension skills in Arabic improved their academic achievement as measured by a teacher-made comprehension assessment. Many adolescents struggle with reading comprehension skills. Therefore, the use of effective strategies such as cooperative learning may motivate students to learn, raise their academic abilities and enhance their skills thus leading them to academic success. For the purpose of the study, it was important to read about cooperative learning strategies and the age group of the participants in the study. The literature on reading comprehension skills was also reviewed. The study was conducted in Saudi Arabia. Fifty female students participated in the study, divided into an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received instruction using cooperative learning strategies while the control group received traditional instruction. The participants were tested at the end of the instruction period. The assessment scores were collected and compared to determine the effect of the use of cooperative learning. In addition, the researcher conducted observations and recorded field notes on students’ behavior during reading lessons. The cooperative learning strategies showed positive effects on the improvement of Saudi students’ reading comprehension. The participants in the experimental group were able to connect their own experiences and knowledge with the daily texts to share their opinions and demonstrate a high level of understanding.
    • Using Think-Aloud Strategy to improve English reading comprehension for 9th grade students in Saudi Arabia.

      Alaraj, Mohammed (2015)
      This study was designed to investigate what effect the incorporation of the Think-Aloud reading strategy into a Saudi Arabian middle school curriculum would have on the reading ability of students, in terms of both information retention and comprehension of material. Two groups of 23 students were studied. One group was designated as the control group, receiving traditional instruction, and the other was the treatment group, which received explicit instruction using the Think-Aloud strategy. A total of four assessments were administered to obtain data, and were then graded on a rubric scale for analysis. The results showed that the students in the treatment group had, in the majority of cases, improved their reading comprehension; as measured by the assessments, while the control group’s scores remained the same. These results lead the researcher to conclude that the incorporation of the Think-Aloud strategy has much potential as a topic of research for incorporation into future curriculum in Saudi Arabia.
    • A volume conundrum : a study of high school geometry students misconceptions of volume of cylinders.

      Beck, Angela (2013-01-14)
      This research explores misconceptions of high school geometry students related to the volume of cylinders. Previous research has shown that students often have difficulties remembering the formula and visualizing the figures. This experiment asked high school students to answer problems regarding the volume of cylinders and to take a short survey on how they thought they did on the problems. These problems were then analyzed which showed that the majority of students did not remember the correct formula and that students who did not remember the formula used the circumference formula for a circle instead of the area formula or they created their own formula. From these results, it can be concluded that teachers need to emphasize remembering the basic volume formula and to read problems carefully.
    • What are English Language Learners' Attitudes to NNES Teachers and What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of NNES Teachers?

      Guo, Qiang (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the Chinese economy developing, the relationship between China and the world has become stronger and stronger. English as a Second Language (ESL) education plays an important role in China now. There are millions Chinese English Language Learners (ELLs), and their attitudes toward non-Native English Speaking (NNES) teachers influences the prospects of NNES teachers. In this study, I interviewed 10 Chinese ELLs to explore their attitudes toward NNES teachers and the advantages and disadvantages they think regarding studying with NNES teachers. Some of my participants were university students and the rest of them were studying in a private institute. However, all participants had studied with Native English Speaking (NES) for teachers over 3 months. This point is the most distinctive factor of this study. During the interviews, most participants expressed positive attitudes to NNES teachers; nonetheless, when comparing NNES teachers with NES teachers, they chose to study with NES teachers? I used a number of graphic displays to show students’ attitudes toward NNES teachers and the advantages and disadvantages they found through their experiences that studying with NNES teachers. I hope that, through this study, NNES teachers can get an idea of their real status in students’ minds. Moreover, NNES teachers also can get a sense of the kinds of improvements they should try to make during the teaching practice.
    • What are the Main Factors that Contribute to ELLs' Pronunciation?

      Xiao, Haiying (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      Pronunciation is viewed as a difficult part in the English learning process of ELLs. This study aimed at exploring the factors that influence the pronunciation of ELLs. In this qualitative research, oral interview was a method for data collection. The sample of the study contained of 7 international students with age ranges between 18-25 from a State University in Western New York. The students were asked questions regarding their pronunciation difficulties. The results produced three general themes: personal reflection, difficulties and bias. Also, this study uncovered the implication of students’ pronunciation problems towards the teaching and learning of English. The findings of this study have implications for administrators, ESL educators and students.
    • What are the Parent Perceptions of Daily Homework Assignments Within a Kindergarten Classroom?

      Vara, Jessica (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the increasing educational demands and homework assignments within primary grade levels, it is important to understand the different structures and supports, or lack of structures and supports, that parents/guardians implement during homework completion. This study examined the views, beliefs, opinions and practices of the parents/guardians in regards to daily homework assignments within a kindergarten classroom and the overall home to school connection/relationship. Data for this study was collected from a parent/guardian survey that asked the participants to reflect on their parental involvement during their children’s homework completion. Findings indicated that parents/guardians established homework routines, offered support and assistance as necessary during homework completion and valued the homework assignments as a useful tool for children to understand how and when to complete homework as they become older. Findings also showed that that parents/guardians were made aware of all important happenings within the classroom, curriculum and school and felt comfortable engaging in open means of communication with their children’s teacher as necessary.
    • What are the Perceptions of International Students Regarding Their ESL Program?

      Hur, Hwibum (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      As the world gets more globalized and many people choose to receive their education abroad, there are an increasing number of international students coming to the United States. In this qualitative study, 8 international students that were currently attending or had graduated from an English as a Second Language (ESL) institution in a state university in Western New York were interviewed. The students were asked multiple questions regarding different aspects of the program and expressed their candid opinions regarding their current or past program. The three main themes investigated were facility, content, and personnel. Within each theme there were three subthemes: positives, negatives, and suggestions. The results from this study are intended to help educators, staff members, and students better understand this increasing subgroup.
    • What do my teachers think of me? The effect of deficit framing on emergent bilinguals' self-concept as language learners

      Schwartzmeyer, Tina (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      When looking into best practice pedagogy for English language learners (ELLs), it is important to take a holistic view and explore the many different factors that can affect such complex learners, especially from a detrimental standpoint, such as holding a deficit perspective of these learners. Furthermore, it is important to look at teaching practices from the perspective of the students themselves, as this has not previously been researched. In this research study, the author chose to use the term Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) in order to focus on the students from a positive, additive perspective of language learners. This study had 3 main research questions focused on the constructs of teacher perceptions and academic self-concept. The first question focused on how EBs perceived their teachers' attitudes toward them as students followed by looking into what extent the EBs rated their own academic self-concepts. Lastly, the research explored the two constructs together to see if a relationship existed between teacher perceptions and academic self-concept. Using a survey comprised of twelve items rated on a four-point Likert scale and two short answer items, data was collected from eighteen EBs in an urban school district in Western New York. The results showed that the majority of students rated their teacher perceptions favorably and additionally, rated their own academic self-concepts in a favorable manner. The final research question determined that there was not a strong correlational relationship between the two constructs. [from author's abstract]
    • What effect will a mathematics intervention have on 7th grade students' achievement solving equations?

      Gates, Leigh (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      The adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) came many high expectations including the CCSS offering a "foundation for the development of more rigorous, focused, and coherent mathematics curricula" (NCTM, 2016, para 1). The following study focuses on an intervention to investigate a specific differentiated instruction strategy to use in a mathematics inclusive classroom to increase student achievement. More specifically the intervention includes two strategies to solve equations (1) algebraic method and (2) hands-on method. The data showed that the intervention provided improvements to student achievement when solving equations in a 7th grade mathematics classroom. Another finding indicated that more students felt comfortable solving equations using the algebraic method. Future research can focus in a different setting to further investigate the differentiated instructional strategies from the study. [from author's abstract]
    • What is the academic impact mathematics journaling would have in a cooperative learning environment?

      Thompson, Michael (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      Educators have become increasingly concerned with the declining statistics of mathematics students in the United States; Americans continue to turn in flat results in tests that measure students' proficiency in reading, math, and science worldwide. As I have searched for various solutions to address the low achievement of students in mathematics, my review of the current literature has led me to believe that, if students use an interactive writing journal they could be more successful. Research has shown that when used with fidelity cooperative learning can increase student learning outcomes. Furthermore, when students use writing in mathematics as a strategy to communicate problem-solving, learning outcomes are also improved. This study focuses on mathematics journaling in a cooperative group with a fifth grade class in an urban school district in western New York. The results show there is a positive correlation between their Interactive Mathematics Journal and their cooperative group. Future research in a similar school district could speak to the validity of this project. Future research could increase the gap in the data to support mathematics journaling in a cooperative learning environment. [from author's abstract]
    • What research shows about literacy instructional strategies specifically for students with specific learning disabilities.

      Braunscheidel, Jennifer R. (2015)
      Within general education and special education classrooms are students with specific learning disabilities, and within these classrooms are general education and special education teachers who may or may not have specific training in how to teach reading to those students. This situation leads to the question of what literacy instructional strategies general education and special education teachers can use for literacy instruction with students who have specific disabilities related to literacy. The most appropriate way to answer this research question was with a research synthesis. The exhaustive literature review and subsequent research synthesis for this study produced three findings. The first is that research has determined five literacy instructional strategies that produce positive impact on students with specific learning disabilities: direct instruction with individuals, direct instruction in groups, repeated oral reading, technology integration, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies. The second is that the most useful and versatile instructional strategies are the three that produce positive results for all three age ranges of elementary, middle school, and adolescents: repeated oral reading which impacts oral fluency, direct instruction with an individual, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies, both of which impact reading comprehension. The third finding is that the main literacy skills to be targeted by literacy instruction for students with specific learning disabilities at the middle school and adolescent age range appears to be reading comprehension. These findings then form the basis of professional development for teachers that takes the form of an online interactive module.
    • Why and how to increase Metacognition in the college composition classroom.

      Blood, Benjamin Justin (2013-07-02)
      No Author abstract.
    • "Would Thou Go to America?" : The Frontiers of Thomas Pynchon.

      Sherwood, Jesse E. (2013-01-17)
      No author abstract.