• A Basal Program Does Not Stand Alone: The Roles Professional Choice, Principled Practice, and Finessing Play in Elementary Teachers’ Negotiation of a Basal Program

      Roberts, Ashley; The College at Brockport (8/1/2011)
      Basal programs can be useful guides for teachers. They provide structure and useful material for a lesson plan. However, in school districts where the program plan is required to be taught with little to no flexibility the programs become restrictive and cumbersome. Most teachers find it necessary to alter the programs in specific ways. In this master thesis, the author considered how elementary school teachers actually use basal programs within the classroom. The thesis begins with a thorough history of basal programs, including the evolving approaches of teaching. Nine elementary teachers were interviewed, teaching grades one through four. All of them were women aged between twenty-five to fifty-five years old, with teacher experience ranging from four to thirty-four years. The teachers interviewed had many things in common. The teachers all agreed on what aspects of the program were essential. These aspects were kept, while the features judged to be less important were replaced by each teacher’s unique alternatives. Alterations to the program were driven by time constraints and the students’ comprehension levels. Time was found to be a large factor in negotiating the program. The program was often too dense, and there wasn’t sufficient time to teach the entire curriculum. Many aspects of the program were either too easy or too difficult, and in some cases unnecessary for the majority of students, and alternatives were used.
    • A Book Club's Impact on Parent Support of Adolescent Reading

      Nichols, Rachel; The College at Brockport (5/1/2011)
      Purpose The purpose of this study, then, is to investigate, both before and after intervention, parents' perceptions of their abilities to impact their children's literacy attitudes and activities. The intervention will take the form of a book club conducted by the researcher with parents. This book club will include discussions on current authors and books for adolescents, as well as demonstrations of literacy activities parents can incorporate into their daily lives. The following research questions will be addressed. First, how do parents perceive their abilities to support their sixth grade students in the area of reading? Second, what happens to these perceptions when parents participate in a parent book club and how does this effect home literacy activities? Procedures I will design each meeting's discussions and demonstrations based on parent reports of student interest, and current literature and research regarding appropriate literacy activities for adolescent students. Parents and I will meet once per week for five weeks. Each meeting will be approximately one hour long. During this time parents will participate in direct instruction, open discussion, role playing opportunities, and exploration of book recommendations. In order to assess my research questions, I will administer a qualitative survey at two points during the book club; one at the beginning, and one at the midpoint. I will also administer a phone interview one week after the end of the book club. Throughout this process, I plan to keep a teacher journal in which I will record any observations during book club meetings. Through this study, I hope to arm parents with information about activities, authors, and books that will help them support their adolescent readers. I hope to share my findings with my school colleagues, administrators, and other parents.
    • A Case Study of the Challenger Learning Center of Greater Rochester

      Balzano, Betsy Ann; Ribble, Robert B.; Baker, Patricia E.; O'Leary, Carol T. (7/1/1994)
      The Challenger Learning Center of Greater Rochester (CLCGR) is a privately funded hands-on math, science, and technology educational facility for the Greater Rochester area which serves groups from all over Western New York. It is a computer-driven simulation of a space mission that motivates students to apply teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills to the task of “flying a mission” in the mock-up Space Station and Mission Control. The author surveyed the private donors who funded the CLCGR to analyze the process of building and operating the center and to determine whether there existed generalized principles or characteristics of charitable donations to educational initiatives by the private sector. These characteristics could then be emphasized when approaching potential funders for corporate, foundation, or private donations. The author found that donors sought out programs which addressed real-world needs for a large sector of the target population in a reasonable, sustainable, and innovative way. The reputation of the operating organization and the recognition gained from the community were also important for swaying prospective donors. Donation sizes were decided by the donor’s budget, amount asked for, and relative size of other donations. Most donors expected some kind of feedback, reporting, or accounting of the use and effectiveness of their gift, as well as some form of publicity. The method of donor solicitation was only of importance to large donors, who desired credible or well-known solicitors to lead the approach. These findings could thus be used for future privately-funded educational initiatives.
    • A Case Study On The Effects a TBI Has On Learning

      Wade, Carol H.; Ellis, Jessica H.; The College at Brockport (2/13/2014)
      Young adults are one of the highest risk groups for sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (Hux, et al., 2009). Hence, some of the most frequent survivors are of school age. Upon reentry into education, survivors of TBI often display a gamut of challenges that interfere with academic performance with deficits in cognitive processes, such as executive functioning, memory, attention and concentration. Survivors may also experience social, emotional, or physical limitations that interfere with academic performance. Thus, "the magnitude and persistence of challenges faced by survivors of severe TBI necessitates establishing supportive environments and appropriate accommodations to support academic endeavors" (Hux et al., 2009, pg. 13). However, because of the variability and complexity of deficits survivors of severe TBI present, it is challenging to investigate the appropriate supports and accommodations for those reentering school (Hux et al., 2009). In fact, research on supports and accommodations used in the classroom for students with TBIs has been minimal, and mostly quantitative. Experts in the field, such as Ylvisaker, Todis and Glang have expressed the need for qualitative research "to explore the interaction of multiple factors affecting recovery and school integration experiences of students with TBI" (Hux, et al., 2009, pg. 14). This thesis provides such research in the form of a case study about a survivor of a TBI, Victoria, which is a pseudonym to protect the identity of the participant. This case study investigates the effects of a TBI on Victoria’s ability to learn and describes her experiences upon reentering education.
    • A Case Study: An Investigation on Influences Affecting the Reading Levels of Bilingual Students

      Ribble, Robert B.; Avila, Enildo D.; The College at Brockport (5/12/1994)
      This study examines the reading of native Spanish-speaking Hispanic students, focusing on any influences or factors that might impede their ability to gain competence in their target language—English. It focuses on eight students from a middle school in Rochester, NY. Four students scoring in the lower half of the Pupil Evaluation Program (PEP) test and four students scoring in the upper half were selected for examination. Each student participated in a personal interview to determine whether there are any influences that impact them in the affective domain. The study reveals four primary concerns that may impact student success, including parent/school miscommunication about the bilingual program, code-mixing in the home, parental modeling and reading instruction, and the lack of adequate Spanish reading material available to the bilingual students. In addition, the author notes that using bilingual programs to transition multi-lingual students into an exclusively English environment seems counterproductive, given the emphasis on foreign language acquisition in secondary school.
    • A Case Study: How Do Students with Severe Lead Poisoning Develop and Perform as Readers, and What, as Educators, Can We Do to Help?

      Heirigs, Sean D.; The College at Brockport (7/1/2008)
      Lead poisoning is a serious problem in the United States found primarily in lower socioeconomic regions. This often overlooked, national topic is the catalyst for problems concerning not only developmental and health problems but academic learning issues as well. This thesis project focuses on the area of reading performance for students suffering from lead poisoning toxicity. Assigning this content area foundational status for academic success, questions explored function and performance as readers, specific reading strategies, and approaches for student progress. Additionally, the study discusses student self-assessment and perspective as readers. Extensive research provides historical background information on specific economic, social, and health problems caused by lead poisoning. This three-year longitudinal study examined two primary questions: how do students suffering from lead poisoning and its effects function as readers and how do they view themselves as readers. The four student participants that comprise this case study attend a school district where there is a high degree of public assistance among the families and every student qualifies for the free/reduced breakfast and lunch programs. The academic scores on fourth grade English and Language Arts exams reveal only a 56% passing level. There is also a high percentage of the student population who suffer from varying degrees of lead poisoning toxicity. Methods for the study included in-class observation, one-on-one reading conferences, and parent questionnaires to assess home learning environment and support. A month-long intensive Reading Skills Program was developed to assist in understanding common challenges for students suffering from lead poisoning. Over the course of the study, students’ cumulative academic records were also accessed. Conclusions drawn support the hypothesis that reading ability and academic success are compromised for students suffering from lead poisoning. Even with intensive one-on-one tutoring, development, retention, and recall are weak as students perform well below grade level, especially in reading.
    • A Case Study: Recall of Mathematical Facts Comparing Students Labeled Educable Mentally Retarded (EMR) with their Average Peers

      Balzano, Betsy Ann; Schlosser, Linda; Robinson, Scott D.; McConnell, Kerri S. (7/1/1999)
      As the number of inclusion classrooms continue sto grow across the country, educators are quickly noticing the enormous span in ability level among students in one classroom. Given the large number of learning disabilities, the well-known ones often overshadow the less commonly known disabilities. Programs designed to best suit the needs of a majority of students in an inclusion classroom can thus miss the needs of students with these uncommon disabilities. Educable Mental Retardation (EMR) is interpreted as a student who cannot function in society or a classroom without additional help. This case study is designed to understand the abilities of students who are identified as EMR so that programs can be designed to meet their needs in the classroom. The author examined a blended third/fourth grade classroom which included students with special needs and two students with EMR. The author asked: Are Educable Mentally Retarded (EMR) students able to recall the same amount of mathematical information as average students? Which activities do the students who are EMR believe are most beneficial to them when learning multiplication? Students were taught multiplication facts using several different strategies designed to assist recall. Several tests were given to assess recall ability. Following the study, two random students and the two students with EMR with interviewed. The author found that the students with EMR were unable to recall the same amount of information as average students. Daily repetition of facts and strategies, as well as one-on-one support is found to be beneficial.
    • A Case Study: The Effect of Repeated Read-Alouds of Complex Texts on the Comprehension of a Preschool Student

      Joseph-McEwen, Debra A.; Cottrell, Stephanie J.; The College at Brockport (5/11/2015)
      Abstract The purpose of my research is to explore how the comprehension of a preschool student is impacted through being engaged in a total of twelve read alouds and discussions using complex texts in the form of a chapter book. During the conducting of this research, a preschooler participates in read alouds conducted by the researcher and engages in a post-reading discussion about the reading. Each read aloud is then repeated a second time followed by second post-reading discussion. My research seeks to answer to what extent can a preschool student retell and discuss content from a complex text? How does the use of repeated readings of complex texts impact the comprehension and vocabulary knowledge of a preschool student? The data is collected through the use of observations and comprehension rubrics.
    • A Closer Look Into Advisor/Advisee Programs

      Beers, Morris J.; Schlosser, Linda; Baker, Patricia E.; Hofmann, Heide; The College at Brockport (7/1/1995)
      To address the unique needs of middle school students, many middle schools have developed advisor/advisee type programs to help ease transition into the school. Odyssey at Hoover Drive has developed a program called Connectime whose objectives include building communities, strengthening relationships and increasing student autonomy. This study investigates sixth graders’ transition into the middle school setting and assesses whether the Connectime program assists students with this transition. Five sixth grade teachers and ninety-two sixth grade students completed questionnaires to determine whether Connectime was properly meeting the students’ needs. Percentages were calculated for each of the questions asked in both the student and teacher questionnaires and a chart was compiled to identify favorable and unfavorable results for each objective. Analysis of the teacher questionnaire shows that all sixth grade teachers agreed that Connectime’s objectives were important for incoming sixth graders, but they disagreed on whether the program was actually meeting those goals. The teachers were particularly skeptical of the use of small groups to assist in educational endeavors and end result of increasing student autonomy. Students generally had a favorable response to Connectime’s attempts to develop small communities and personal connections to Odyssey’s faculty. Importantly, the majority of students had favorable responses to attempts to build student autonomy, with more than three-fourths of students feeling their Connectime teacher respected them. The author argues that Connectime fulfills its objectives in helping sixth grade students transition into middle school. However, while Connectime teachers seem to have a strong influence on their students, peer groups remain the most influential group for dealing with personal problems. The author recommends further study to see how needs develop over time, as well as the perception of parents on advisor/advisee programs.
    • A Closer Look into Discipline Specific Literacy Strategies for Mathematics

      Pelttari, Carole; Johnson, Kaitlyn; The College at Brockport (12/16/2015)
      This study then looks into specific researched based literacy practices to determine which strategies are known to work and help students read. The study then looks into research-based literacy specific practices to determine which strategies are known to work to help students read. Then, I take what I have previously learned regarding why students struggle to read mathematical text, and take the literacy strategies I found to further modify them into discipline specific literacy strategies. The purpose of this study is to provide professionals, including myself, a toolkit of mathematical literacy strategies to use to implement into everyday instruction, ultimately increasing students content knowledge.
    • A Collection of Computer Simulation Enhanced Units for Earth Science

      Younkyeong, Nam; Jankowiak, Erin; The College at Brockport (12/15/2014)
      Inquiry learning has become the big thing in science education. Yet many concepts across the sciences pose challenges that have traditionally made them difficult or even impossible for this kind of learning. This project explored the implementation of computer simulations into the science classroom as a way to overcome many of the traditional challenges. While research has revealed both benefits and issues associated with their use, when implemented properly computer simulations were found to have the potential to help students develop deeper conceptual understandings of scientific concepts. Along with exploring the benefits and issues related to computer simulations, a review of the literature also revealed a collection of research-based strategies for their effective implementation. These strategies include scaffolding and real world connections among others. This research was then used to design a collection of five Earth Science units. Each unit is technologically enhanced through the incorporation of a PhET simulation by the University of Colorado and provides students with an opportunity to engage in simulation-based inquiry.
    • A Collection of Guided Note-packets and PowerPoint Presentations to be Used in the Earth Science Classroom: With a focus on multi-modal representations and writing in science

      Veronesi, Peter; Trifeletti, Leigh W.; The College at Brockport (5/23/2013)
      Abstract The significance of this literature review is to examine the current beliefs and practices that bring scientific literacy into the classroom through writing in science and multi-modal representations. Areas of student intellectual abilities and cognitive processing skills are also examined. Through this review of the educational research, a pattern of significance emerged that supports the implementation of multi-modal guided note-packets in the science classroom. After a thorough review of the research findings, this paper will highlight the beneficial, and sometimes adversarial, effects of using multi-modal representation in enhancing and exploring scientific literacy and practice, while acquiring note-taking skills.
    • A Collection of Scientific Modeling Incorporated Units for Chemistry

      Younkyeong, Nam; Spaman, Laura E.; The College at Brockport (12/11/2015)
      Science education incorporates methodology to make content relatable, relevant and important to students. The problem with science content such as Chemistry, is the ability to make the abstract understandable and clear on a level students are able to grasp. With content that deals with the unseen, modeling practices let students visualize the scientific concept being described in an additional manner. The Units that follow, incorporate modeling practices into the curriculum in order to allow students to access material that involves higher level thinking and reasoning. In addition to navigating the benefits and drawbacks of incorporating different modeling strategies, the review of the literature also explores the numerous methods of including modeling into teaching practice, as well as the range of different types of models that can be utilized. Student-centered modeling, technology-supported modeling, and inquiry-based modeling are all integrated into the lessons with the ultimate goal of student understanding
    • A Comparative Study Between an ESL Program and a Bilingual Program in Kindergarten

      Ribble, Robert B.; Baker, Patricia E.; Connelly, Ada E.; The College at Brockport (4/1/1995)
      Bilingual education has been an element of American life since the seventeenth century, though it has often been the target of nativist ire. With the present political movement for “English Only” education programs, the value of bilingual education is being challenged, often by officials unfamiliar with the challenges and obstacles faced by recipients of bilingual education. This thesis examines the merits of bilingual education nationwide as well as within the Syracuse City School District and includes an exploration of the opposition to the program. To determine the strength of bilingual programs, the academic achievements of Latino kindergarten students in the bilingual program are statistically compared to Latino kindergarten students who only had an English as Second Language (ESL) program. The author found that the bilingual group performed just as well as the ESL group on the kindergarten developmental test. However, as students progress and concepts become more abstract, ESL students begin to lack the sufficient amount of language necessary to fully conceptualize the subject matter whereas bilingual education provides higher levels of cognitive and linguistic development over time. Furthermore, bilingual programs empower students by validating their language and culture in a school environment. The author argues that the Syracuse City School District should continue to provide bilingual education to the Latinx population.
    • A Comparative Study Between the Bilingual and Non-Bilingual Program Students in Reading and Mathematics

      Ribble, Robert B.; Gonzalez, Francia S.; The College at Brockport (4/1/1992)
      As part of New York State regulations designed to improve the quality of education, students must complete Pupil Evaluation Program (PEP) tests so that teachers can identify those students who are not learning at a rate that will allow them to pass the Regents Comprehensive Test (CT). This study investigates general comparisons between bilingual program students and non-bilingual program students on the New York Pupil Evaluation Program (NYPEP) tests for total Reading and total Mathematics. It seeks to move beyond comparisons of mean performance and to analyze the evaluation within each distribution of scores and investigate the explanatory power of the treatment effect size. Consequently, it can be viewed as a pilot exploration into the worth of Point Biserial Correlation techniques in furthering an understanding of the observed variation in the two sets of scores. The author compared the PEP scores of 80 sixth grade students, half of whom are taught in bilingual programs and half of whom are not. The results showed that Bilingual program students were performing slightly lower than the non-Bilingual group. However, the author cautions that the non-Bilingual group is more academically prepared in the English language in which the tests are given. That the Bilingual students were able to do as well as they did in a language and cultural-academic setting which is newer to them than non-Bilingual students should be taken into account when comparing groups. Finally, the use of Point Biserial Correlation allowed for the collection of more statistically supportive data than simply comparing differences between performance means.
    • A Comparative Study of the Effects of Affective Response Techniques on Seventh Grade Students of Low and High Abilities When Applied to Reading in the Content Areas

      Bennett, James G.; The College at Brockport (4/1/1991)
      The purpose of the study was to introduce concepts of the Affective Response Approach to Literature to students in two seventh grade classrooms in order to determine whether the use of affective responses changes students' attitudes about reading and about social studies. Also measured was student achievement in both areas. The subjects for the study were the 88 seventh graders enrolled in the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Junior High School in the 1989-1990 school year. Prior to the study all students were evaluated using a modified Rhody attitude assessment tool in order to measure their attitude toward reading and social studies. A modified primary trait scoring system modeled after Cooper’s writing evaluation tool, was used to measure student aptitude in reading and social studies. For a period of ten weeks, content area teachers implemented elements of Bleich’s heuristic and affective response techniques in covering reading in their perspective areas. The language arts teacher reinforced concepts covered in content areas with expanded uses of both Bleich’s heuristic and personal responses. Some seventh graders were absent on test days or failed to complete assignments. Theses students’ scores were not included in the analysis. At the end of the study, the students’ abilities and attitudes were again evaluated using the above measurement tools. Results of the study showed a significant increase in both student attitude and aptitude in both reading and social studies as a result of using affective response approaches. These results were consistent when the class scores were compared as a whole and when they were compared in thirds when grouped by ability. In all comparisons, student aptitude improved markedly as shown in pre to post test scores. Student attitude scores never reflected the same improvement. In comparison of pre to post test of the top third of the class, attitude assessment scores reflected almost no improvement in attitude due to use of affective response techniques. However, since the attitude of the class as a whole was shown to improve significantly at the end of the study, and since the aptitude of the students, as a whole and at each level, reflected an important improvement, it can be said that affective response techniques are a useful and effective new set of strategies for teaching reading in the content areas.
    • A Comparative Study of Two Process Approaches to the Teaching of Writing to Third Grade Students

      Whited, Frances Moroney; Clark, Anita J.; The College at Brockport (8/1/1985)
      The purpose of this study was to determine if the quality of writing of third grade students instructed in a structured method of writing would vary from that of a similar group instructed in an unstructured method. The element of learning style that denoted a preference for structure or lack of preference for structure was considered to determine any significant relationship with writing achievement. This study was conducted over a ten-week period with twenty-four third-grade students. Pre-treatment and post-treatment writing samples were collected. One group of students, (Group I) was instructed using a structured approach to writing. The other group (Group II) was instructed in an unstructured approach to writing. The element of the Learning Styles Inventory: Primary Version that pertained to structure was administered to all subjects. Data comparing pre-treatment and post-treatment scores of Group I and Group II were analyzed using a dependent t test. Data comparing post-treatment scores of Group I and II were analyzed using an independent t test. Chi-square was used to determine any relationship between writing achievement and learning style. The analysis of the data revealed that Group I, the group using the structured method, showed a significant gain from pre-treatment to post-treatment samples. There was no significant difference between pre-treatment and post-treatment samples of Group II, but there was some gain. There was no significant difference between the post-treatment scores of Group I and Group II. There was no significant relationship between writing scores and learning style for Group I or Group II. Based on analysis of the data, the conclusion can be drawn that both groups improved using a process-based writing approach. The structured group demonstrated significant gains. Learning style did not seem to have any relationship to the writing achievement of this group of student over the ten-week treatment period. Interest in the writing process and the inter-relatedness of learning style and writing achievement reveals numerous areas for further research. This supports awareness of learning styles and use of a process approach to writing in the classroom.
    • A Comparison Between a Trade Book and Textbook Instructional Approach in a Multiage Elementary Social Studies Class

      McGrain, Michael; The College at Brockport (4/1/2002)
      The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of using trade books in a multiage social studies class on students' ability to answer targeted higher level questions. The subjects were 23 students made up of third, fourth, and fifth graders in a multiage classroom. The students were taught a 3-week unit on Native Americans using the provided social studies textbook from the school district. When they were completed with the unit they were given a.5-question essay test that consisted of targeted higher level questions about that unit that the district provided. Upon completion of this unit the students were then taught a 3-week unit on the American Revolution using only trade books as references. These books consisted of both fiction and non-fiction. Once again, at the end of the unit the students took the same test but the questions this time revolved around the American Revolution. At the end of the two units the researcher examined the students' test scores and found that there was a statistically significant gain in comprehension in the unit taught with trade books.
    • A Comparison between Assigned Topic and Unassigned Topic Writing Compositions of Fifth Grade Students

      Smith, Arthur; Ellis, Norma Jean; The College at Brockport (4/1/1990)
      The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a statistically significant and important relationship between fifth grade students' writing products when self-selected-topic compositions were compared to assigned-topic compositions. The study was conducted over an eight-week period of time with 88 fifth grade students from a suburban school in western New York. There were 48 boys and 40 girls in the study. Each student was requested to write two compositions; the first composition was based on a topic of the student's own choice, the second composition was based on an assigned topic selected from a previous New York State "Survey Test in Writing." Scores comparing self-selected-topic compositions to assigned-topic compositions were analyzed using the point biserial coeffecient of determination. An analysis of the data revealed no statistically significant and important relationships between the scores of self-selected-topic compositions and assigned-topic compositions. While the statistics were not sufficient to reach the criteria deemed "educationally important", the general trend reflected higher mean scores for self-selected-topic compositions for both boys and girls. Girls acquired higher mean scores than the boys on both assigned and unassigned compositions. Students ranked as "satisfactory" writers by their classroom teachers exhibited the greatest increase in mean scores on unassigned-topic compositions. Based on this study, further research in the area of process writing and topic selection would benefit the educational system. Skills, acquired while writing compositions on self-selected topics, will transfer to other educational and content areas.
    • A Comparison of a Literature Based Approach with a Textbook Based Approach in Secondary Social Studies

      Begy, Gerald; Wetherby, Carroll; The College at Brockport (12/1/1996)
      The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of using a literature based approach to instruction with a traditional textbook based approach in the content area of social studies. The study was performed at the secondary level, with eleventh grade students, in a four week unit on the Civil War and period of Reconstruction in United States history. A treatment and control group were used in a pretest – posttest design. The sample consisted of 50 students. One class (n = 26) was instructed through the use of a literature based approach. The other class (n = 24) was instructed through the use of school adopted textbook and textbook published materials. Both classes were taught by the same instructor and were equated using a pretest to determine the amount of previous knowledge of the subject studied. Students were administered a posttest at the end of the four week unit. Questions on the test were drawn from previously given Regents exams. The data were analyzed at the .05 level of significance using t test of independent means. The overall mean gains for the literature based group were significant. It was concluded the literature based instructional approach more effectively conveyed information, knowledge and understandings necessary for students to perform better on the Regents exam type posttest. Suggestions for classroom applications and implications for further study were discussed.