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GSE Theses and Dissertations

Mostrando recursos 1 - 20 de 138

  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. Neurobiological Mechanisms of Risk for Psychopathology in Adolescents Exposed to Childhood Adversity

    Busso, Daniel S.
    Childhood adversity (CA) exerts a deleterious toll on mental health, contributing to population-wide disparities in educational attainment, economic productivity and responsible citizenship (Shonkoff et al., 2012). The past decade has witnessed a burgeoning interest in how exposure to adversity affects neurobiological development, thereby representing one pathway through which these experiences become developmentally embedded. However, our knowledge of these intervening processes currently remains limited. This dissertation examines neurobiological mechanisms linking childhood adversity with adolescent psychopathology, a critical step for developing effective prevention and intervention efforts supporting at-risk youth. In Study 1, I explore the differential impact of threat (exposures that involve...

  9. Fidelity Versus Flexibility: Effects and Moderators of Program Management Structures on Teacher and Student Outcomes in a Cluster-Randomized Trial

    Quinn, David
    The questions of how to improve educational practice at scale, and what role scientific investigation can or should play in that endeavor, have been central to the enterprise of education research since its beginning (Dewey, 1929). In one approach, researchers produce evidence regarding the effects of standardized instructional procedures on student learning, and then school- and district leaders manage teachers’ faithful implementation of those procedures. In another approach, teachers are encouraged to use their expert judgment and flexibly apply research-based principles of effective instruction in order to meet students’ unique learning needs. While these contrasting frameworks have each been influential...

  10. More Than Just Symbols: Mental and Neural Representations Related to Symbolic Number Processing in Mathematics

    Pollack, Courtney
    The ability for students to understand numbers and other mathematical symbols is a crucial part of success in mathematics. Accordingly, it is important for researchers to understand the nature of symbolic number processing – the connections between a symbol or collection of symbols that convey numerical information (e.g., Arabic digits, arithmetic facts, literal symbols) and their related mental and neural representations. Research that joins the mind and brain sciences with education, such as educational neuroscience work, provides a powerful way to examine students’ symbolic number processing. Much of the research in this area has focused on processing of Arabic numerals...

  11. Exploring Intergenerational Effects of Education: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding Mothers’ Educational Pursuits and Their Young Children’s Development

    Gomez, Celia J.
    The positive relationship between parental education and children’s educational outcomes is one of the most well established connections in the developmental literature. However, nearly all of this research treats parent education as static across a child’s development. Estimates from the 2008-2009 Survey of Income and Program Participation suggest that nearly 2 million low-income parents were engaged in some form of continued education that year. Given this, it is critical to understand parents’ experiences in school, as well as the relationship between child development and parent education, as the latter changes over time. In this two-study dissertation, drawing broadly from ecological...

  12. An Exploration of Youth Talk Around Representations of Individual Difference in the American Television Show Glee

    Dorsey, Jennifer M.
    In this study I investigate the ways in which youth talk about difference and fictional television characters in order to better understand youth's relationship with the media and diverse others. I use the theoretical framework of constructivism and the analytic framework of Foucauldian Discourse Analysis in order to answer the following research questions: 1) What discourses and positionings do youth use when talking about fictional characters? 2) What discourses and positionings do youth use when talking about difference in the context of a television program that presents diverse characters, specifically in the areas of (a) ability, (b) sexuality, and (c) ethnicity?...

  13. Preschool and Educational Technology: Evaluating a Tablet-Based Math Curriculum in Mexico City

    Garduno, Ana Eugenia
    This study examines the effect of an intervention called Native Numbers on the development of number sense and quantitative skills in low-SES preschool children (ages 5 to 6) in Mexico City, using a randomized control trial (RCT). Native Numbers (NN) is a math curriculum built as an application for iPads that includes activities on number concepts, relations, ordering and counting. The study was conducted in 2014, with eight participating schools and an analytic sample of 249 students. The intervention lasted two weeks in each school, and compared students randomly assigned to a group using NN with a group using iPads...

  14. Teacher Teams and Refined Praxis: an Investigation of Teacher Perceptions in Schools

    Waronker, Shimon
    Two approaches have emerged to counteract isolation (Donaldson, et al., 2008; Little, 1990) and lack of structures for teachers to reflect and learn (Ash and Moore, 2002; Schön, 1983; Dewey, 1910, 1933): they are teaming (Troen & Boles, 2012) and reflective practice (Schön, 1983, 1987). In this paper, I research “refined praxis,” a theoretical framework based on four foundational theorists of reflective practice: Dewey (1910, 1933), Freire (1970, 1974, 1985), Schön (1983, 1987) and Argyris (1974, 1982, 1990) (see also Argyris & Schön, 1974). Refined praxis combines collegial dialogue with reflective practice to offer a new approach to improving instructional...

  15. The Development of Core Academic Language and Reading Comprehension in Pre-Adolescent and Adolescent Learners

    Phillips Galloway, Emily
    Many adolescents struggle to comprehend text, a fact which has led educational researchers to speculate that these reading struggles might be linked with students’ levels of familiarity with the vocabulary and language found in these texts. However, few studies have identified the school-relevant language skills beyond vocabulary that contribute to variation in reading comprehension growth during the middle school years. With the goal of focusing additional attention on the central role of academic language in text comprehension, I explore the relationship between these language skills, referred to as Core Academic Language Skills (CALS), and reading comprehension. Study 1 of this...

  16. Promoting Argumentation Skills in Urban Middle Schools: Studies of Teachers and Students Using a Debate-Based Social Studies Curriculum

    Duhaylongsod, Leslie J.
    Argumentation skills are essential to individuals’ career prospects in future economies (National Research Council, 2008) and to the success of our democracy. Unfortunately, these skills are often challenging to teach, and there is a dearth of studies addressing “the teacher’s use of specific instructional methods” (Newell, et al. 2011) to promote argumentation skills over time. In my dissertation, I examine how urban public middle school teachers promote text-based argumentation skills in classroom discussion. I draw on data from the Catalyzing Comprehension through Discussion and Debate (CCDD) research project. Specifically, I look at transcripts from enactments of lessons in the Social...

  17. Uses of Complex Thinking in Higher Education Adaptive Leadership Practice: A Multiple-Case Study

    Yeyinmen, Karen Coskren
    Research and theories of leadership development link the capacity for complex thinking to effectiveness at leading adaptive change. However, few empirical studies examine how this link operates in natural work settings, or explore its implications for practicing the kinds of leadership being called for in higher education today. In this study, I address this gap using post-positivist, ethnographic methods to examine how three higher education leaders, who are publicly recognized as effective change agents and demonstrate the capacity for complex thinking via research-validated instruments, use complex thinking to understand and lead adaptive change in natural work settings. Drawing on a...

  18. Looking for Development in Leadership Development: Impacts of Experiential and Constructivist Methods on Graduate Students and Graduate Schools

    O'Brien, Timothy J.
    Nearly every graduate school, especially professional schools, claims to train, educate, and develop leaders. However, the leader-development literature offers little evidence of how a graduate level leader-development course might actually do that. Developmental theory informing experiential and constructivist leader-development methods suggest that those methods might be useful in promoting development, and one’s capacity to lead, however there is little empirical evidence of impact. This dissertation is comprised of three studies. The first two used a constructive-developmental lens to explore the interaction between participant’s stage of development and two different leader-development courses that deploy experiential and constructivist pedagogies: Adaptive Leadership and...

  19. The Marshmallow Test: Delay of Gratification and Independent Rule Compliance

    Saxler, Patricia Kasak
    The Marshmallow Test, a self-imposed delay of gratification task pioneered by Walter Mischel in the 1960’s, showed that young children vary in their ability to inhibit impulses and regulate their attention and emotion in order to wait and obtain a desired reward (Mischel & Mischel, 1983). The Marshmallow Test offers an opportunity to observe and measure children’s decision-making and self-regulation in an emotionally charged context of often conflicting motivations. Additionally, this task provides a context to investigate how compliance with rules and self-regulation may depend on or compete with each other. In this dissertation, I examine the marshmallow test by...

  20. The Civic Knowledge Gaps in Chile, Colombia and Mexico: An Application of the Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition Method Using Data From the 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS)

    Diazgranados Ferrans, Silvia
    The existence of significant differences in the civic knowledge, civic attitudes and civic skills of young people from different socio-economic (SES) backgrounds represent civic competence gaps that affect their ability to act as personally responsible, participatory and justice-oriented citizens in their society (Carretero et al, 2016; MEN, 2004; Westheimer & Kahne, 2004). Identifying civic competence gaps, their magnitude, and the factors that account for them should be a priority for researchers, policy-makers and educators in Latin America because they can threaten the strength, stability and legitimacy of democracies in the region (Levinson, 2010). I use data from three nationally representative...

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