Now showing items 1-20 of 234

    • 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.
    • Mentoring Program for Novice Teachers in Private Catholic School

      Sullivan, Candice (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      We invest in our children and young generation, as they will one day lead this country. Yet, we do not invest in our teachers. Through research it was concluded that mentoring programs for novice teachers can have a major impact on the result of high quality teachers. I report on the features of, challenges, and highlights that emerged during research and formation of the mentoring program for novice teachers. These findings conclude the vital significance of mentoring novice teachers. With the concluding points, a detailed guide was created to assist with mentoring in districts with no mentoring in place for novice teachers. There is a desperate need to provide active mentoring for novice teachers to develop into a high quality educator.
    • The Impact of Background Music on Student Reading Comprehension

      Seewagen, Amanda (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      Reading is the foundation for lifelong learning. It has been shown that music has an impact on students learning depending on what music you use in the classroom (Rashidi & Faham, 2011; Chew, Yu, Chua, & Gan, 2016; Chou, 2010). This brought up the problem of music impacting students reading comprehension. This problem led to the research question of does background music have an impact on students reading comprehension. An online survey was used to find if middle school general education and special education teachers used music in their classroom and if the music has an impact on the students reading comprehension. The results showed three major themes. The first theme was that music helps the student’s comprehension. The second theme was that the music teachers used in their classrooms are a range from upbeat to slow soothing music. The third theme was that music that the participants who used music in their classroom found their students to be more engaged and focus more on the lesson. The teachers also stated that they would also recommend using music in the classroom to other learners. These findings were important to the research because they showed that more research needs to be done on this topic. The teachers found differing results from the research stated in this study. There are limitations and recommendations offered for a future study.
    • The Perception of Preservice Teachers Regarding the Impact of a Math Methods Course on Their Ability to Instruct Mathematics in Their Future Classroom

      Schmidt, Courtney (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the pressure of teachers to challenge and increase achievement in the area of mathematics, it has become imperative to effectively train teachers to have this mathematical knowledge. Research has shown that more teacher preparation programs are focusing on introducing the foundation of mathematics for preservice teachers knowing that they are generalist elementary educators. This study looks at the perceptions of mathematics based on the completion of a mathematics methods course in a small liberal arts college in Chautauqua County. A questionnaire was distributed and consisted of both qualitative and quantitative questions. The results show that undergraduate mathematics courses are crucial to the implementation of mathematics in the preservice teachers future classroom. Future research could pair the questionnaire with an observation to examine their delivery of mathematics instruction.
    • The Impact of Middle School Teachers' Personal Reading Habits on Their Literacy Instruction

      Ruber, Jessica (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      All educators, regardless of subject or grade level taught, are expected to incorporate literacy best practices into their classroom (Huang, 2017). They are also expected to inspire their students to be lifelong readers which can be problematic when teachers do not have positive personal reading habits (Nathanson, et al., 2008). Based on this understanding, this empirical study sought to answer the question: what is the impact of core middle school teachers’ personal reading habits on their classroom literacy practices? Participants consisted of nine middle school teachers. The study used an online survey tool and resulted in three main findings. First, there was no clear connection between the participant’s personal reading habits and their use of literacy best practices in the classroom. Second, the participants mainly valued reading but were not frequent readers themselves. Third, within the qualitative data, there was no connection between the participant’s reading habits and their use of best practices as they value a variety of best practices with an emphasis on more “non-social” strategies. In conclusion, the lack of reading habits of the middle school teachers surveyed did not impact their use of literacy best practices in the classroom.
    • Altering the Home Literacy Environment: A Look into How Teachers are Supporting Families Through Home Literacy Interventions

      Piatek, Kaitlyn (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      This empirical research study investigated the following two research questions: what are kindergarten, first and second-grade teachers currently using to make improvements to the home literacy environments of their students and what supports are teachers providing to families of their students to make these improvements successful. In this study, nine elementary teachers were surveyed. An online survey containing qualitative and quantitative questions was used. The first finding from this research study was that teachers are currently provided families with literacy resources/activities to complete at home with their child/children. The second finding for this research study was that teachers stated that it would be possible to positively influence the home literacy environments of their students but they needed more literacy resources in order to adequately support their students’ literacy learning at home. The third finding was that the participants were confident in their ability to support families with home literacy practices and were knowledgeable about the most effective home literacy practices that families could use. The findings from this research study showed that kindergarten, first and second-grade teachers were supporting the home literacy environments and the families of their students by sending home literacy resources.
    • Barriers to Postsecondary Education for Western New York Rural High School Students

      Mulcahy, Collin (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      Rural high school students in Western New York are faced with numerous challenges when deciding to enroll in postsecondary education. Rural students are faced with limited support, both inside and outside of school. Research has shown that faced with these barriers, rural students are less likely to enroll in higher education than are urban students. The purpose of this study was to the needs of rural high school students as well as to identify the supports in addressing their perceived lack of self-efficacy for their educational abilities in postsecondary education. This qualitative case study analyzed the viewpoints of three high school guidance counselors who provide crucial college admissions assistance to high school students in Western New York. The results of the study illustrated that rural high school students need further support in addressing their perceived lack of efficacy when deciding whether or not to pursue a college education after graduating from high school. Furthermore, many rural students and their parents/guardians are not informed about the costs of higher education. Positive perceptions of postsecondary education were identified as a motivator that helps students overcome the identified challenges in higher education. Higher education institutions can better aid rural students by addressing the challenges they face when making the decision to enroll in postsecondary education.
    • 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.
    • Perceptions of Social Studies Teacher Roles in Literacy Instruction

      Hubbard, Justin (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      Research has found that Social Studies content teachers struggle implementing literacy into their content area. This study focused on the question, what are Secondary Social Studies teachers perceptions of their role in literacy instruction? The principal investigator of this study interviewed two experienced Secondary Social Studies teachers on their perceptions and implementation of literacy in the Social Studies content area. It was found by these interviews that these participants had been using higher level literacy instruction techniques as part of their daily instruction in the content area and that they perceive literacy instruction as the responsibility of the Social Studies teacher not only for the benefit of literacy ability, but for Social Studies content knowledge as well.
    • 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.
    • The SHAPE of an IRES: Secondary Structure Determination of the Internal Ribosomal Entry Site in the 5’UTR of the gurken mRNA Using SHAPE Chemistry

      Martin, Allison (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      Internal Ribosomal Entry Sites (IRESs) are conserved secondary structural elements present in the 5’ untranslated regions (UTR) of some essential eukaryotic mRNAs and many viral RNA genomes. IRESs allow the mRNA or viral RNA to bypass canonical cap-dependent translation initiation and entice the ribosome to assemble directly onto the RNA strand and initiate translation. Viruses utilize this method of translation initiation to hijack cellular translation machinery and eukaryotes utilize this to maintain levels of critical proteins when most translation is shut down due to cellular stress. Gurken (Grk) protein is an EGFR ligand essential for determining polarity and eggshell patterning in Drosophila melanogaster development. The gurken mRNA is believed to have an IRES for several reasons, including steady regulation of grk translation under nutrient limited conditions when canonical cap-dependent translation is repressed and the necessity of a RNA helicase for cap-dependent translation to occur under non-starvation conditions. Here we are interested in finding structural features corresponding to a potential internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) in the 5’ UTR of the gurken mRNA from D. melanogaster. Selective 2’-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension (SHAPE) chemistry is a powerful tool used to investigate secondary structure in RNA molecules. We used this procedure to probe the grk 5’ UTR secondary structure and then compare the predicted structure to known IRES structural motifs. In collaboration with in vitro translation Luciferase assays and selective deletion or mutation of structural features, individual secondary structural features can be selectively analyzed and included or excluded as a potential IRES. Here I present the wild-type structure of the gurken 5’ UTR and correlations between the structural elements present there and known IRES structural features.
    • College Students' Exploration of Isomorphic Numerical and Word Percent Problems

      Tronolone, Emily (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2016-06)
      This study examines students' ability to solve percent problems when in word form versus numeric form. The work of University Pre-Calculus students was analyzed with two isomorphic assessments measuring the accuracy of the problem solution when given in word versus numerical form. It was hypothesized that college students would perform better on numerical percent problems, specifically working with discount, tax, and tip problems. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that the words would hinder the students' ability to accurately solve percent problems when in word form compared to numeric form. The results of this study prove the hypothesis to be inaccurate. In contrast to the hypothesis, students performed better on word problems versus numerical problems (p-value of 0.013) when the problem specifically dealt with discounts, tax, percent increase, and percent decrease.
    • The Great Divide: A Study That Examines the Understanding of Long Division Across Multiple Generations

      Sturm, Steven (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2016-06)
      This research explores the understanding of the long division algorithm across multiple generations. It was hypothesized that over time, people either forget how to complete long division problems, or become more inaccurate when asked to solve a long division problem. Specifically, it was hypothesized that students between the ages of 12 and 17 would be more accurate than those between 18 and 23, and adults 24 or older. The results of this study indicate that students between the ages of 12 and 17 and adults 24 and older outperformed students between the ages of 18 and 23. However, there was no significant difference between 12 to 17 year olds and adults 24 or older as well as no significant difference in gender as a whole. Student work samples were collected and analyzed to observe the common mistakes made when dealing with the long division algorithm and inferences were made about how educators can combat these mistakes and misconceptions.
    • The Effects of Conspecific Songs on the Aggression and Phonotaxic Behavior of House Crickets (Acheta Domesticus)

      Sendi, Kawthr (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2016-12)
      Mating in crickets has continued to be an especial topic because of the interesting phenomena of female mate preferences and male-male aggression. Most crickets produce three distinct song types, with each one produced under a different social circumstances. A clear understanding of the responses of crickets to different song types will help clarify the function of multiple song types. We carried out two experiments with related tests: the effect of the calling song, the courtship song, and the aggression song, on male-male aggression and on male and female phonotaxis. In the aggression experiment, we played back a single song during male-male contest, and the results showed low values of aggression intensity in the presence of calling and aggression songs. Playback songs significantly affected the duration of a fighting contest and the aggressive encounters were resolved at low intensity compared to muted treatment. In the phonotactic experiment, we played a single song and female crickets showed non-significant tendency to respond less to the courtship song compared to the aggression and calling songs. Overall, the results show no significant phonotactic preference for both male and female crickets.
    • Gender Games/Trauma Games: Gender and Victimology in the Hunger Games Trilogy

      Scherer, Ellen (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2015-08)
      In this thesis, I claim that victimhood and vulnerability can be used as a form of agency. I argue that many of the problems associated with the concept of vulnerability come from an outdated and binary way of thinking about gender. A brief review of media and literature reveals that this way of thinking has a history of plaguing the YA novel, thus limiting the ways in which YA readers think about women and vulnerability. Using elements of queer, feminist and trauma critical theory, I prove Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy creates the opportunity for the trauma of victimhood and vulnerability to be used for individual agency.
    • An Analysis of Acceleration and Advancement Criteria in Middle School Mathematics

      Rappole, Robert (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2016-11)
      This research explores the criteria associated with various accelerated middle school mathematics programs currently employed by New York, North Carolina and other states across the United States. In addition, a longitudinal study of a single accelerated cohort of 25, 2016 graduates was investigated, so as to discern possible gaps in their original accelerated design. It was hypothesized that school districts make use of limited mathematics acceleration criteria, often focusing solely on either teacher recommendations or standardized assessments. Also, it was expected that the majority of district policies did not offer/include provisions for students to easily transfer into the accelerated mathematics program if students exhibit qualifying mathematical talent later in their secondary school career. First and foremost the survey research showed that teacher recommendation was used by 68.75% of schools, testing was addressed in 90.63% of schools and grades were a factor for 75%, making up the primary criteria for advancing students. Other data collected revealed that only about 60% of schools give the option to join the program at a later date, approximately 40% gave parents the right to override the school's placement decision, and roughly 20% of all schools surveyed had a set number or percent of students allowed into the program each year. When examining the longitudinal study, the 12 ‘additional’ students faired almost identically to the 13 ‘primarily placed’ students, each had approximately 33% of their group drop out of advanced placement and both groups had 6 students successfully complete Calculus I or higher. Half of the students in the additional group took Calculus or more advanced courses their senior year of high school. Based on the original criteria, none of these students would have had access to the advanced/college level mathematics coursework. In a class of only 60 students to miss 6 students is to miss 10% of the class. Implications from this study were that all policies should have opt-in or opt-out options for students, a scoring rubric, parental override procedure, a balance between and use of multiple criteria, no population limit or percentile cut-off and schools should compact classes, meaning combining 6th and 7th grade mathematics, not just skip grades.
    • College Students' Performance on Isomorphic Visual vs Non-Visual Regents Level Geometry Problems

      Leitner, Dylan (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2017-09)
      This study explores students' misconceptions regarding pictorial geometry problems. Specifically, to investigate misunderstandings students experience when solving visual and nonvisual geometry problems. During this study, college students completed two identical 6-problem assessments on the topics of area, volume, and surface area. The instrument was administered several weeks apart and directly generated from past state tests: New York State Geometry Regents and Mathematics A Exams. It was hypothesized that given an assessment composed of visual and non-visual isomorphic geometry problems college students would score lower on non-visual problems. Furthermore, students would struggle most to complete volume problems compared to area and surface area problems. After analyzing the data the hypothesis was partially confirmed. The scores were compared to a survey students completed following each assessment recording their confidence on the overall exam and each problem. The results of this study indicated there was no significant difference on student scores when comparing visual and non-visual Regents geometry problems. Additional results revealed the topic that students struggled with most was volume.
    • Next Generation Sequencing Guided SNP Mapping

      Hasper, John (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      Oogenesis is dependent on precise translational control and localization of numerous morphogens within the oocyte to achieve faithful patterning. Gurken, (Grk) is one such protein and is responsible for specification of the dorsal/ ventral axis. Mutations in the spindle-B gene results in inefficient gurken translation due to activation of a meiotic DNA damage checkpoint. This checkpoint activation inhibits the Vasa RNA helicase, an essential grk translation factor. Without proper Gurken levels, the egg chambers develop defects, the most severe being complete ventralization. A 2004 forward genetic screen targeting the 3rd chromosome identified thirty nine unique mutants in a spn-BBU mutant background. Two of these lines had already been mapped, the other lines were screened for their ability to suppress the ventralized spn-BBU phenotype and therefore stimulate grk translation. Eggs laid by homozygotes from each of the isogenized lines were scored for their dorsal/ventral polarity and compared to those of the control group of spn-BBU homozygotes. We have taken advantage of a next-generation sequencing approach to identify candidate mutations in 10 independent lines from a forward genetic screen for regulators of dorsal ventral patterning during Drosophila oogenesis. Through a partnership with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, the best suppressor lines were subject to whole-genome re-sequencing using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. A large scale mapping experiment was started, creating recombinant flies for six of the lines. After multiple universal markers were developed to distinguish these chromosomes from the mapping line, a focus was placed on one of the suppressor lines, CA231. A previous mapping experiment on this line placed the mutation toward the end of the right arm. A higher density map was made for this area. The screen was limited by the number of recombinants that showed variation in this area. While the causative mutation has yet to be found, the pool of candidate mutations has been vastly diminished. Furthermore, additional focused mapping projects have been started from the recombinants made in this experiment, using a subset of the markers that are shared with CA231 as a starting point.