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GSE Theses and Dissertations

Mostrando recursos 1 - 20 de 58

  1. Exploring Teachers’ Collective and Individual Adaptations to an Evidence-Based Summer Literacy Program

    Burkhauser, Mary A.
    While the field of educational research has produced an enormous amount of literature relevant for improving teaching and, ultimately, student achievement, the field has been less successful at producing deep and lasting instructional change at scale. In this dissertation, I present three papers that explore an approach to program implementation that attempts to cultivate conditions to support scale by involving teachers in a process of collaborative inquiry around an evidence-based program called READS for Summer Learning (READS). While many have called for implementation approaches that give educators an opportunity to make adaptations, few studies have examined the ways in which...

  2. Parents’ Beliefs and Commitments Towards Formal Education and Participation in Book-Sharing Interactions Amongst Rural Mayan Parents of First Grade Children

    Nieto, Ana María
    As Western schooling continues to expand and reach remote communities, it is imperative to understand rural parents’ beliefs about formal education and the ways in which they can support their children’s schooling. Sociodemographic changes in rural communities have been connected to shifts in parents’ cultural values and practices (Greenfield, 2009), and parental participation in the institution of Western schooling has been identified as an important influence in these changes (Chavajay, 2006; LeVine et al, 2003; 2012, Rogoff & Chavajay, 2002; Rogoff et al., 1993). This dissertation contributes to this knowledge base by exploring both schooled and unschooled parents’ beliefs and...

  3. The Effects of Prenatal and Early-Postnatal Exposure to Mexico’s Oportunidades on Long-Term Cognitive Achievement

    Sánchez, Alonso
    It is well established that children’s early life environments can have significant consequences on their long-term outcomes. Yet, there is still limited empirical evidence on the effects that being exposed during the prenatal and early postnatal periods to positive shocks, such as conditional cash transfers, has on long-term cognitive function. By exploiting the initial village-level randomization, I estimate the causal effect on long-term cognitive achievement of prenatal and early postnatal exposure to Oportunidades, Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program. I find that those eligible children born into the program who received its benefits early on have higher standardized assessment scores in...

  4. Media, Curricula, & Socioacademics

    Elizabeth, Tracy
    This dissertation is inspired by the creativity in children’s books and films, and by the possibilities for education as they are advancing with modern technology and media. Research tells us that youth are spending less time reading books and more time watching movies and television, and there is a growing trend in our culture to translate popular kids’ books into movies. Given this, I wondered: How can fiction books and their Hollywood film adaptations be leveraged to educate youth? To answer this, I present two papers, both of which explore instructional approaches for using crossmedia (books and film) in middle...

  5. Teachers Learning: Engagement, Identity, and Agency in Powerful Professional Development

    Noonan, James
    Professional development (PD) is seen by a broad cross-section of stakeholders — teachers, principals, policymakers — as essential for instructional improvement and student learning. And yet, despite deep investments of time and money in its design and implementation, the return on investment and subjective assessments about PD’s effectiveness remain uneven. In this thesis, I focus in-depth on professional development experiences that teachers identify as their most powerful and ask what these experiences could suggest toward improving PD design, policy, and research. Specifically, drawing on 25 in-depth accounts of powerful professional learning, I analyze PD across three papers, each of which...

  6. Pathways to Thriving: First- and Continuing Generation College Student Experiences at Two Elite Universities

    Gable, Rachel L.
    In this longitudinal interview-based study, I explore the self-assessed preparation, academic experiences, and social experiences of one ninety-one first-generation and thirty-five continuing generation (those with at least one parent a college graduate) students attending Harvard College and Georgetown University between the years of 2012-2016. Through random sampling techniques and iterative interviews, I examine the variation and change over time among first-generation students’ descriptions of their college going experiences and compare these to their continuing generation peers. I identify points of overlap as well as factors that specifically affect first-generation students’ transition into and experiences of college. I argue that a...

  7. Young Children’s Changing Reactions to Counterintuitive Claims

    Ronfard, Samuel
    This dissertation examines young children’s acceptance of, memory for, and doubts about counterintuitive claims. In Study 1, children aged 3- to 5-years in the United States and China were asked to categorize hybrids whose perceptual features originated from two different animals or two different objects (75% from one and 25% from the other). At first, most children categorized the hybrids in terms of their predominant perceptual features. However, after hearing counter-perceptual categorizations by an adult, children categorized fewer hybrids in terms of their predominant features. When retested 1-to 2-weeks later, the adult’s earlier counter-intuitive categorizations still impacted children’s categorizations but...

  8. Intermediary Organizations and the Business of Impact: Enacting a Vision for Equity by Leveraging Learning

    Olajide, Frances-Victoria
    Intermediary organizations are an increasingly relevant instrument for implementing policy and informing instructional practices in a growing school improvement industry. The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows (DLEF) is a 24-month, cohort-based leadership experience co-led by two intermediary organizations, Big Picture Learning and the Internationals Network for Public Schools. The fellowship was created to convene in-service educators to create a community dedicated to ensuring access to deeper learning student outcomes for all students but especially six student groups vulnerable to encountering discrimination during their school experiences. This capstone chronicles a strategic project undertaken at Big Picture Learning aimed at rationalizing and improving the...

  9. Making Advanced Courses Equitable and Effective: Aligning Approaches, Philosophies, and Decision-Making Structures in Bellingham Public Schools

    Dutta, Shashwata Prateek
    This capstone outlines my strategic project on creating a coherent system for advanced course taking across Bellingham high schools. The Bellingham School District offers three dual-enrollment and dual-credit options for high school students: Advanced Placement, College in the High School, and Running Start. Each high school has their own structure, vision, and philosophy on how students enroll in those advanced classes. However, school board members, district officials, and high school principals realized this model was ineffective and sought a more coherent system. In order to create coherence and alignment for advanced course enrollment across different high schools, I first attempted...

  10. Building Regional Intermediary Capacity Towards Equity, Access, and Excellence in Tennessee’s Grades 7-14/16 College and Career Pathways

    Martin, Mark Walter Charles
    Career pathways help direct students’ futures direction and provide relevant, engaging learning experiences that are designed to lead them to and through a postsecondary degree or credential and ultimately on to successful occupations with family-sustaining wages, upward career trajectories, and economic mobility. Although one essential lever to successful career pathways is strong and supportive state level policy and leadership, career pathways development and implementation must ultimately take place within regional ecosystems that encompass economic labor sheds, including postsecondary institutions and employers. Cross-sector regional partnerships among educational institutions (secondary and postsecondary), employers, and workforce development are critical to developing the programming,...

  11. Leading the Implementation of the Strategies for Children Community Readiness Initiative

    Grimes, Mariama K.
    Strategies for Children (SFC) is a nonprofit organization that works to expand access to high-quality preschool for all Massachusetts children. In 2015, under the guidance of a revised strategic plan, the organization undertook a new approach to its work by focusing on improving the preschool infrastructure in local communities. This capstone examines my leadership of the initial phase of the strategic plan implementation. I focused much of my effort on evaluating the needs, barriers, and attitudes surrounding access to preschool in the community. As a result of these discussions, I was able to exercise influence on the development of a...

  12. Advancing and Sustaining the Oceanside Promise: A Collective Impact Initiative Anchored Within Oceanside Unified School District

    Magnuson, Nicole Y.
    In addition to preparing students academically, public schools are increasingly expected to address the complex social, emotional, and safety needs of students. Collective impact, first defined by Kania & Kramer (2011) as “a commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem” has emerged as a framework for bringing cross-sector partners together to share ownership of student success (p. 36). Its data-informed, continuous improvement orientation drives collective action to address root-cause issues and to achieve large-scale social impact. This capstone documents the leadership and support I provided to Oceanside...

  13. Partner Up: The Role of Collaboration in Education

    Herrmann, Zachary
    Individuals and organizations collaborate when they are unable to achieve their goals on their own. Considering the complex and ambitious goals of many education organizations, the education sector would appear ripe for collaboration. This capstone explores the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in collaboration between education organizations by focusing on district-university partnerships. District-university partnerships must navigate significant challenges, including differences in organizational culture, ways of working, theories of action, and goals. But these differences must not be viewed solely as challenges to overcome; they are also opportunities to be leveraged. Indeed, differences are precisely what lead to unique capabilities and...

  14. An Assets- and Equity-Based Approach to Multilingualism, Multiliteracy, and Multiculturalism: Harnessing the Development of a District-Wide Strategy to Foster Learning, Shift Mindsets, and Seed System-Level Change

    Warren, Sarah Catherine
    In the United States and globally, there is growing recognition of the extensive cognitive, emotional, social, and economic benefits of multilingualism, multiliteracy, and multiculturalism. At the same time, a double standard persists in the way that society—and many education systems—view language development: monolingual English speakers who learn a second language are typically seen as high achievers, lauded for developing a valuable 21st-Century skill. However, students who are in the midst of learning English as a second language (while simultaneously studying core academic content in English, in most cases) are often viewed through a deficit-clouded lens—labeled as “Limited English Proficient,” over-classified...

  15. Leading, Learning, and Disequilibrium: Defining the Role of a Harbormaster Organization in a System of Schools

    Pozniak, Catherine R.
    This capstone examines the role of a new type of nonprofit in education reform efforts. Referred to as “harbormasters” or “quarterbacks,” these city-based organizations represent a shift to locally developed and executed strategies to improve outcomes for preK-12 education. My residency took place within a harbormaster called New Schools for Baton Rouge (NSBR) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. NSBR is a 501c3 organization with a mission to ensure that every child in Baton Rouge has excellent school options. NSBR’s initial goal was to create 12,000 high quality seats for the highest need students in North Baton Rouge, a cluster of neighborhoods...

  16. equityXdesign: Leveraging Identity Development in the Creation of an Anti-Racist Equitable Design Thinking Process

    Ortiz Guzman, Christine Marie
    Educational Equity has been situated as the civil rights issue of our time. While arguably the focus on education reform efforts has increased over the last 50 years, progress has been slow if present at all. This capstone describes my journey in creating equityXdesign, a set of technical tools that come from the merging of equity consciousness with design thinking methodologies. With a premise that racism and equity are products of design and can be redesigned, we believe that if we equip individuals, in particular street-level bureaucrats, with design tools that are centered in equity, they will be able to...

  17. From Communication to Coherence: Leading Change

    Hay, David A.
    This capstone chronicles the task of internal communication in service of coherence making as part of a comprehensive change underway within the New York City Department of Education. School district leaders everywhere face the difficult task of building and maintaining the focus and energy of their employees in spite of myriad external distractions. Inevitably, change means disrupting the existing status quo, necessitating the need to reach a new state of equilibrium, or coherence. This process is called coherence making. Working in the most complex school system in America, the author examines strategies for coherence making. The author explores ways in...

  18. A Bias Toward Teams: Are We Teaming Well? Does It Even Matter? Implications for Teams in Public School Districts From a Case Study at Boston Public Schools

    Wall, Mary C.
    Teams are at the heart of change efforts in public school districts all over the country. Within central offices, the nature of systems-level reform generally requires collaboration amongst diverse people with diverse perspectives, sitting across bureaucratic silos and altitudes, who come together to respond and react to school needs and district priorities. Teams are thought of as intrinsic to the work of public education, as a structure that can harness expertise and capacity to address complex, seemingly intractable problems that have dogged districts for decades. But are teams really necessary to get the work done? If they are, what chances do...

  19. Teacher by Design, Not Accident! Partnering With Educators Rising to Prepare Tomorrow's Teachers, Today

    Rhodes, Dwight E.
    As of spring 2017, more than 50 million students attend public schools in the United States. However, the number of new college enrollees who desire to enter education as a profession is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years. According to data gathered by UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program, as of 2016, barely 4% of college freshman plan to pursue education as a major, which is down from nearly 12% just a few decades ago (Flannery, 2016). The percentage of Black teachers is even lower. A recent study by the Department of Education entitled, “The State of Racial Diversity...

  20. Helping Teacher-Created Ideas Survive and Thrive

    LaRosa, Michael
    How might we encourage educators’ ideas and innovative approaches, and support the survival, sustenance, and growth of those ideas and innovations? This essential question is relevant and important for the U.S. education sector given continued calls for innovative instructional improvements coexisting with the difficulty of stewarding change in school contexts. A strategic project situated in IDEO (a design and innovation firm), The Teachers Guild (one of its entrepreneurial ventures), and the Design for Learning studio (one of its organizational groups) investigated this essential question. This capstone illustrates that while innovation may be sparked productively through enterprising, influential, early visionaries, leaders and organizations...

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