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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


An understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) remains a fundamental goal of science education in the Unites States. A developed understanding of NOS provides a framework in which to situate science knowledge. Secondary science teachers play a critical role in providing students with an introduction to understanding NOS. Unfortunately, due to the high turnover rates of secondary science teachers in the United States, this critical role is often filled by relatively novice teachers. These beginning secondary science teachers make instructional decisions regarding science that are drawn from their emerging knowledge base, including a tentative understanding of NOS. This tentative …

Contributors
Firestone, Jonah Benjamin, Luft, Julie A, Baker, Dale, et al.
Created Date
2011

Effectively educating students with autism is a necessary element in providing all students with a free and appropriate public education, and as the number of students diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder continues to increase in both public and private educational settings, providing successful and satisfactory professional development opportunities in the area of autism is becoming increasingly essential. This study explored the experiences of twenty-three educators in a suburban southwest K-12 public school district, as they participated in a fifteen-hour professional development course in an online or face-to-face format, and collaboratively problem-solved their challenges in educating students with autism. Qualitative …

Contributors
Wozniak, Renee, Mccoy, Kathleen M., Puckett, Kathleen, et al.
Created Date
2011

One of the critical imperatives for the development of inclusive school systems is the capacity to nurture and develop teachers who have the skills, critical sensibilities, and the contextual awareness to provide quality educational access, participation, and outcomes for all students; however, research on teacher learning for inclusive education has not yet generated a robust body of knowledge to understand how teachers become inclusive teachers in institutions where exclusion is historical and ubiquitous. Drawing from socio-cultural theory, this study aimed to fill this gap through an examination of teacher learning for inclusive education in an urban professional learning school. In …

Contributors
Waitoller, Federico Roberto, Artiles, Alfredo J, Kozleski, Elizabeth B, et al.
Created Date
2011

Federal mandates, such as, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) set high standards, but in reality did little to promote critical thinking instruction and learning in our nation's schools. Race to the Top is our nation's current attempt to improve education and thanks to this legislation there is now a set of common core standards aimed at infusing critical thinking into the curriculum. Districts in Arizona are struggling to provide common core training to prepare teachers to teach these new, rigorous standards. This is a problem because teaching critical thinking is challenging. While grade level teams often get together, little time …

Contributors
Lawlor, Leonor Aguilar, Zambo, Debby, Hansen, Cory, et al.
Created Date
2012

Due to the push down of academics, today's elementary students are being asked to learn more concepts and sit for longer periods of time. Sitting slows thinking, whereas movement wakes up the brain. Using movement to learn is embodied cognition, or learning through both the body and the brain. Movement should be part of instruction for young students; however teachers are often not sure how to incorporate movement in their lesson plans. The Japanese practice of lesson study may help because it embeds teachers' new learning in their classrooms while intimately connecting it to the learning of their students, and …

Contributors
Lyding, Linnea Johnson, Zambo, Debby, Hansen, Cory, et al.
Created Date
2012

This semester-long study examined the functions for which English (L1) and Spanish (L2) were used in two intact hybrid Spanish as a foreign language (FL) university classes at the 202 (fourth semester) level. Five 75-minutes classes of two instructors were observed by the researcher, video- and audio-recorded, and transcribed. A survey was also used to determine the functions for which the instructors and students believed that Spanish and English were used in the classroom, and the functions for which both believed that the two languages should be used. Talking about a test and teaching grammar were the functions for which …

Contributors
Hansel, Patsy Jane, Lafford, Barbara A, García, Carmen, et al.
Created Date
2012

In the next decade, community college English departments will expand their developmental course offerings. The students who take these developmental courses generally have higher incidence of diagnosed learnin g disabilities, bleak economic circumstances that require them to work full time, greater dependence on public transporation, and some level of frustration and confusion about being placed in a non-credit course despite graduating from high school. Using a qualitative approach, this action research study articulates the faculty behaviors, classroom environments, and faculty-student interactions that help developmental writing students succeed. The researcher interviewed successful students about what the faculty members did that helped …

Contributors
Bixler, Laura Ann, Clark, Christopher M, Rund, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

The purpose of this writing is to explore the relationship students have with popular media as well as the call to implement a Critical Media Skills course at the high school level. The research was interested in finding what images from popular media students were taking into their personal lives and how implementing a Critical Media Skills course could make positive benefits into their lives. From casual observations, informal student interviews, and the creation of an online survey in which 72 high school students participated I was able to collect data about the extent students were consuming popular media and …

Contributors
Gonzales, David, Ovando, Carlos, Sandlin, Jennifer, et al.
Created Date
2012

Few would argue that teacher effectiveness is a key lever in education reform and improving the overall quality of public education, especially in poor and working class communities. To that end, the importance of supporting and developing beginning teachers is of utmost importance in education, thus requiring deep understandings of the process of learning to teach. Yet, most conceptions of teacher learning struggle to capture the social, cultural, and historical context of teacher learning, particularly in understanding how learning and the production of knowledge is situated, active, and complex. One example of this limitation comes from the field of research …

Contributors
Diaz, Victor Humberto, Fischman, Gustavo E., Luft, Julie, et al.
Created Date
2012

Effective professional development has been shown to improve instruction and increase student academic achievement. The Train the Trainer professional development model is often chosen by the state Department of Education for its efficiency and cost effectiveness of delivering training to schools and districts widely distributed throughout the state. This is a study of the Train the Trainer component of an innovative K12 professional development model designed to meet the needs of the state's lowest performing schools that served some of the state's most marginalized students. Pursuing a Vygotzkian social constructivist framework, the model was developed and informed by its stakeholders, …

Contributors
Pollnow, Michele K., Jimenez-Castellanos, Oscar, Jimenez-Silva, Margarita, et al.
Created Date
2012

ABSTRACT This research studies the effects of a writing community on three novice, middle school, Title I language arts teachers' perceptions of themselves as educators and as writers. The participants wrote on topics of their selection, on a bi-monthly basis, for one semester, to explore their teaching and learning. The teachers are in their first five years of instruction and work in Title I, urban schools with ethnically diverse students. All participants are National Writing Project fellows. The researcher analyzed teachers' journals, narratives, conversations, interviews and pre-surveys to collapse and code the research into themes. Findings suggest that teachers need …

Contributors
Powell, Mary Grace, Roen, Duane, Blasingame, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

This project draws on sociocognitive rhetoric to ask, How, in complex situations not of our making, do we determine what needs to be done and how to leverage available means for the health of our communities and institutions? The project pulls together rhetorical concepts of the stochastic arts (those that demand the most precise, careful planning in the least predictable places) and techne (problem-solving tools that transform limits and barriers into possibilities) to forward a stochastic techne that grounds contemplative social action at the intersection of invention and intervention and mastery and failure in real time, under constraints we can't …

Contributors
Clifton, Jennifer, Long, Elenore, Gee, James Paul, et al.
Created Date
2012

When it comes to planning for instruction, many teachers may feel an overwhelming need to rely on prescribed curricular resources and when those are not available many teachers may feel lost. While several methods for improving instructional planning exist, research has shown that prioritizing standards, creating assessments aligned to those standards, and using the data from those assessments to make instructional decisions have positively impacted teachers' instructional planning practices. Grounded in participatory action research (PAR), this mixed methods action research study sought to investigate the influence that targeted coaching could have on teachers' planning practices. The study was conducted in …

Contributors
Moore, Jonathan P., Jimenez-Castellanos, Oscar, Gonzalez, Gustavo, et al.
Created Date
2012

The purpose of this action research study was to examine the impact of cogenerative dialogues on instructor and student perceptions of rigor in a master's and certification program for alternatively certified teachers. Additionally, the study was designed to determine if these open dialogues would impact instructional decisions of college instructors in the program. The investigator used a mixed methods research model that included surveys, interviews, and video of the dialogues to measure the impact. The results of the study indicated that both sets of participants remained consistent in their identification and definition of the term rigor. The cogenerative dialogues did …

Contributors
Desimone, Melissa Faith, Carlson, David L., Jordan, Michelle, et al.
Created Date
2012

This study is of professional development of secondary teachers seeking an English as Second Language (ESL) endorsement. Participants are secondary teachers of a major urban metropolitan school district with over 70% student population that is identified as speakers of a language other than English (LOTE). The study analyzes teachers' understanding of knowledge, skills and dispositions associated with teaching English Learners (ELs) after these teachers have completed a long term, coherent professional development program designed for urban secondary teachers of one school district. In seeking a determination, the study utilizes two guiding research questions. The first research question addresses what mainstream …

Contributors
Trifiro, Anthony, Arias, M. Beatriz, Faltis, Christian J., et al.
Created Date
2012

Multivariate forms of social oppression, such as racism, linguicism, and heterosexism, are manifested in schools that, as part of our communities, reflect the societal stratification and structural inequalities of a larger society. Teacher educators engaged in multicultural education are responsible for providing pre-service teachers with opportunities to critically examine the intricacies of cultural diversity in U.S. classrooms, developing critical multicultural dispositions. What are effective pedagogical strategies that encourage pre-service teachers to develop such critical multicultural practices? The researcher has found that participatory theatre, including Boalian theatre games, Forum Theatre, Image Theatre, and ethnodrama, can be a transformative, emancipatory pedagogical tool …

Contributors
Mitsumura, Masakazu, Tobin, Joseph, Saldaña, Johnny, et al.
Created Date
2012

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of instructor response prompts and rubrics on students' performance in an asynchronous discussion-board assignment, their learning achievement on an objective-type posttest, and their reported satisfaction levels. Researchers who have studied asynchronous computer-mediated student discussion transcripts have found evidence of mostly mid-level critical thinking skills, with fewer examples limited to lower or higher order thinking skill demonstration. Some researchers suggest that instructors may facilitate increased demonstration of higher-order critical thinking skills within asynchronous discussion-board activities. However, there is little empirical evidence available to compare the use of different external supports to …

Contributors
Giacumo, Lisa A., Savenye, Wilhelmina, Nelson, Brian, et al.
Created Date
2012

ABSTRACT There is a continuing emphasis in the United States to improve student's mathematical abilities and one approach is to better prepare teachers. This study investigated the effects of using lesson study with preservice secondary mathematics teachers to improve their proficiency at planning and implementing instruction. The participants were students (preservice teachers) in an undergraduate teacher preparation program at a private university who were enrolled in a mathematics methods course for secondary math teachers. This project used lesson study to engage preservice teachers in collaboratively creating lessons, field testing them, using feedback to revise the lessons, and re-teaching the revised …

Contributors
Mostofo, Jameel (Jim) Richard, Zambo, Ronald, Elliott, Sherman, et al.
Created Date
2013

First-year alternatively certified teachers face significant challenges as they attempt to address the complexities of classroom teaching, particularly when they are assigned to teach in urban school settings. As the number of alternatively certified teachers continues to increase, it is important to provide them with professional development opportunities that address the challenges that they encounter in their first year of teaching. This action research study was conducted to examine a professional development model designed to support the development of a small group of first-year alternatively certified teachers in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) at Arizona State University. As …

Contributors
Preach, Deborah, Buss, Ray R, Barnett, Joshua, et al.
Created Date
2013

National Board Certification is an esteemed certification and professional learning and reflective opportunity for teachers. Cognitive coaching is also a method of support many teachers receive over the course of their National Board Certification journey. The certification process involves reflective practices and opportunities for teachers to think differently about their instructional decisions and overall teaching practice. This project involves teachers who are not affiliated with the National Board Certification process. The researcher provides them with reflective opportunities and components from the certification process. An analysis of qualitative and quantitative data unveil the following results. First, coaching and practices associated with …

Contributors
Diaz, Kirsten Anne, Roe, Mary, Weber, Catherine, et al.
Created Date
2013