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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Exploring effective secondary schools in challenging contexts : a study in two Chilean regions

Balbontín Alvarado, Roxana P. January 2012 (has links)
School effectiveness in areas of social deprivation is a fundamental issue for every society, because it is related to social justice, equity and development, which are important matters for every developed or developing country. Social justice in education means that any student, whatever their social background, has equal access and opportunities to receive an education of quality. It is often considered that schools in the poorest neighbourhoods provide a lower quality of education than institutions in more advantaged areas. Nevertheless, taking into account all the barriers that some schools have to face, there are some institutions that seem to make a difference. They have demonstrated that it is possible to be more successful in terms of educational outcomes, despite the impact of their student intake from disadvantaged backgrounds. This study intends to contribute to the school effectiveness field through the study of effective secondary schools from two important regions in Chile, which are characterised by their disadvantaged student intake. The main aim of this research is to gain greater understanding of the particular characteristics of effective schools in challenging contexts and the influences of these particular features on the students’ academic outcomes. A sample of schools was selected after the analysis of the students’ academic achievement demonstrated in their results in a national examination over a period of 3 years. The sample only considered schools with a student intake characterised by high social vulnerability. These schools were analysed using case studies and a mixed methods research approach. The intention was to explore the school processes that support effectiveness and to generate some illuminating findings, in order to contribute to educational policy and practice.

Drama and multiculturalism : power, community and change

Nelson, Bethany January 2011 (has links)
This three phase research project, conducted with low-income students of color in an urban high school, addresses the use of process drama and playmaking as primary modes for addressing components of best practice in multicultural education, and altering the reproduction of hegemonic ideologies in schools. Further, the effects of classroom community on the learning outcomes of the project are considered. This is a qualitative study using participant observation as a primary form of data collection, followed by ethnographic interviews. Data analysis followed a primarily inductive process with a focus on the development of grounded theory to explain the outcomes. Discussion of project outcomes are considered in relationship to literature on the nature of ideologies, the ways that public schooling both supports and exacerbates existing dynamics, the suitability of public schools as potential sites of change in these dynamics, and the potential of applied drama/theatre to provide a viable alternative curricular approach for facilitating change in hegemonic reproduction in schools.

Implications of the PPSMI policy for the performance of Malaysian secondary schools in mathematics and science subjects

Ismail, Ihsan January 2012 (has links)
The introduction of the Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science Subjects in English (PPSMI) policy to change the medium of instruction in mathematics and science subjects from Bahasa Melayu to English has raised many debates on the effectiveness of the policy and the ability of the schools, teachers and pupils to adapt to the new medium of instruction. This study evaluates the implications of the PPSMI policy for the school performance in mathematics and science subjects. The school performances before and after the implementation of the policy were assessed and compared according to school types, states, and locations by developing an advanced technique in measuring school efficiency based on hybrid returns to scale (HRS) data envelopment analysis (DEA). A new methodology of measuring change in performance over time based on the Malmquist index was also developed to measure the difference in performance before and after the implementation of the policy. The aim of developing the methodologies is to provide an alternative assessment of the implications of the PPSMI policy for the school performance in mathematics and science subjects thus helping the Ministry of Education Malaysia to decide on the direction of the PPSMI policy. The HRS DEA model is a new extension in DEA based on the concept of selective proportionality in the relationship of input-output variables. It gives a better estimate compared to the original convex models, the constant returns to scale (CRS) and the variable returns to scale (VRS), when some of the inputs and outputs have proportional relationship while others do not. In this study, an HRS-based DEA model utilising 10 inputs and 8 outputs was developed to assess the efficiency of schools from three states i.e. Kedah, Penang, and Perlis. The schools comprise of three different types i.e. the national, fully residential, and religious school-types. The efficiency was also assessed by using the CRS and VRS models to compare the results. The Malmquist index is a popular productivity index for measuring efficiency over time. The Malmquist index can be calculated from the CRS-based or the VRS-based DEA efficiency scores. This study developed a new productivity index called the HRS-based Malmquist index. This is similar to the VRS-based Malmquist index but the calculation of the index is based on the efficiency scores from the HRS DEA model. The efficiency scores and Malmquist indices of schools in different categories (i.e. school-types, states, and locations) were tested for significant difference by using nonparametric statistical tests. Nonparametric statistical tests were used due to the nonparametric nature of DEA. The statistical tests used in this study are Mann-Whitney U Test and Kruskal-Wallis Test to look at independent samples such as samples from different school-types, and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test and Friedman's Two-Way Analysis of Variance to examine dependent samples such as the difference in performance before and after the implementation of the policy.

Whole class interaction in the mathematics classroom : a conversation analytic approach

Ingram, Jennifer January 2012 (has links)
This thesis analyses whole-class interactions in the mathematics lessons of four mathematics teachers and their pupils. A conversation analytic approach was taken in analysing the transcripts of whole-class interactions, focusing on those interactions that were about mathematics. The sequential organisation of talk, in particular turn-taking and preference organisation, is examined for similarities and differences across the four classrooms and the implications these may have for the teaching and learning of mathematics are explored. This research also examines the discursive construction of the mathematical tasks and activities in each of the classrooms. The analysis reveals that the teachers and pupils orient to the institutional setting in which the interaction occurs. The structure of interactions in formal classrooms offers opportunities that can support particular features of learning mathematics, such as using mathematical terminology, building in opportunities for pupils to think about the mathematics, explain their reasoning, and ask mathematically related questions. However, these structures also constrain the interactions and so features of learning mathematics only feature in interactions that deviate from the usual patterns of interaction in formal classrooms, such as argumentation and justification. Finally, this research offers evidence that the way mathematical tasks and activities are talked into being affects the nature of the mathematics that the pupils experience.

Student attitudes in the context of the curriculum in Libyan education in middle and high schools

Alhmali, Rajab January 2007 (has links)
In any country, the education of the next generation is of huge importance. For Libya, which has developed very rapidly, the education of young people will be vital for the future of the country. The main problem at present in Libya is the quality of education: the need to build so much in order to educate so many in a short time creates the classical dilemma of quality of education versus quantity of education, a problem common in many developing countries. There is also a shortage of Libyan school teachers at secondary school level especially those qualified in science subjects, as well as resource problems. The examination system emphasises the rote recall of information and holds great power over the learners at key times of the year. Against this background, students sometimes show their dissatisfaction by leaving school or simply failing to attend. The aim of the present research is to look at Libyan education at various stages and ages from the student perspective: in middle (ages 12-15) and high schools (ages 16-20). The aim was to gain a picture of what was happening and to find out student’s views about their learning experiences. Overall, the aim of this study is to offer insights into the perception, beliefs and attitudes of students in Libya in an educational system where growth has been phenomenal over the past five decades or so. The study involved three major surveys using questionnaires. These involved very large samples (1939 in all), drawn from a wide range of schools and catchment areas, reflecting Libyan society. It was possible to analyse the responses by various subgroups. Great care was taken to ensure that the students responded to reflect what they actually thought by emphasising that the questionnaires were not seen by teachers, all questionnaires being anonymous. To confirm the picture given by the responses to the questionnaires, samples of students were interviewed using a checklist of key areas of interest. A sample of teachers was also interviewed to see to what extent their views matched those of the students. A first survey offered an overview of students’ views, the emphasis being on looking for trends with age. Age 12 is the first year of middle school under the Libyan system while age 15 is the uppermost year in middle schools. The other three groups are drawn from various stages in the high school. The second survey allowed students nearing the end of their studies at secondary school to reflect on their experiences and to offer ideas for the future. Students are able to reflect on their educational journey as they approach the end of schooling; and university, college or jobs are in the imminent future. In Libyan education, students make fixed subject choices (arts, sciences, technology) which determine their high school and curriculum. Once a choice is made, they have to continue with this for the remainder of their school time. The third survey focussed on the age group when these decisions have just been taken: first year in high school. Finally, the interviews offered a useful way to see to what extent what the students said matched the pictures which had come from analysing the questionnaires. Interviewing a sample of teachers gave added insights in offering a new perspective on the Libyan educational provision as seen from the teacher perspective. The main question was the extent to which teacher views matched student views. The examinations system clearly poses many problems, including relationships to the curriculum as well as cheating. The students want less reliance on recall, less reliance on end of year examinations and they feel that they are being undermined by the ease of cheating. The system is dominated by the reward of accurate recall. There seems to be an expressed wish for freedom: freedom to question, freedom to express themselves, freedom to be released from the dominance of memorisation and recall. Despite this, they still rely on the security of the factual knowledge as the sources are often seen in black and white terms. Teachers are seen as authority figures and the curriculum is based tightly on prescribed textbooks. Students wish for curricula which are related to life and lifestyles as well as related to their needs, future needs and aspirations. Students were also seeking some kind of pastoral care and support for learning. In looking at specific subject areas, the sciences need some overhaul. The students see them largely as memory driven and this presents the sciences as bodies of knowledge to be memorised rather than methods of enquiry or ways of interpreting and understanding the world around. They have a utilitarian view of language, wanting to start English at a very much earlier age so that it is available for the world of the sciences. Mathematics is a major problem area, generating very polarised views. The main problem subjects, therefore, appear to be mathematics and physics (with its abstractness) and, perhaps, chemistry. This is a matter of concern given the high proportions which take these subjects for career reasons. The purpose of education is seen as based on careers, examination passing and recall. Understanding, applying ideas, creativity, questioning are all devalued. The idea of school education as a way to unlock potential seems missing and the students appear to appreciate that. The teacher’s role is largely that of transmitting information in an efficient and effective manner to their students. The teachers have little insight in the role of their subjects in the development of young people. They are ruled by the demands of society, with its dependence on examination success for gaining access to the next stage of life. They find the curriculum overcrowded and want more time for students to be able to think. However, they have little clear idea of the nature and role of understanding and the idea of seeing their subject in terms of wider life (outside entry to careers) is largely absent. Overall, the students are quite positive about many aspects of their experiences although they know of no other educational system. The most fundamental need is to generate a new way of thinking: where the recall of information under an examination-driven system is changed to an educational experience where understanding, applying ideas, creativity and questioning hold a much higher status. This will need a major paradigm shift for teachers and wider society in Libya.

Developing a discourse for CPD leadership in the secondary school sector in England

Field, C. January 2010 (has links)
This study was founded upon an assumption that the discourses of leadership and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in England are different, and that leading CPD in England is complex and difficult to manage. The overall goal was first to develop a shared understanding of concepts of CPD leadership which underpin the complexity, and second to assist overcoming the confusion. Both the assumption and the stated goal emanate from the researcher’s own professional position. The researcher is professionally active in the field, as a provider of CPD, and also as a representative of the University sector. As chair of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) CPD committee, the researcher has lobbied for academically accredited CPD. This presupposes a respect for teachers’ criticality and a reflective approach to Government proposed policy. The work examines policies and practices of CPD since 2000. Significant organisations (e.g. General Teaching Council for England, Training and Development Agency for Schools, National College of Leadership for Schools and Children’s Services) have based their work on a number of concepts which have contributed to a confusion and complexity for leaders of CPD tasked with shaping practice. The initial literature review showed how concepts associated with CPD leadership are emerging, and that therefore any research could not be based upon a static focus. The study explored concepts of educational leadership, noting the emphasis on individual styles, behaviours and performance of leaders. This analysis contrasted with findings that CPD is more focussed on the collective effort of professionals. The study is based upon professionally focussed research. Findings varied according to different stakeholder groups’ attitudes and tacit understandings. The methodology adopted was essentially qualitative and consisted of approaches and techniques associated with phenomenology, action research and grounded theory. Although the term ‘discourse’ is frequently used, it is in the sense of ‘discourse analysis’, rather than of ‘discourse theory’. Outcomes of the work were the identification of four dimensions, which may be seen to drive CPD leadership, and which served to provide an underpinning framework to help the analysis of the research. The uncovering of nine variables, which determine the emphasis contained within different approaches to CPD, served as finer detail to aid CPD leaders. These perspectives were developed into a survey tool, and served as stimuli for interviews. Use of the survey and interviews provided data sets for close scrutiny, leading to a visual representation of different stakeholder perspectives, and indications of how and why each group differed from others. The findings also showed areas of agreement and shared understanding. The work ends with a consideration of how identifying the concepts and perspectives underpinning a CPD initiative can assist CPD leaders in shaping their behaviour and practice.

A study of assessment formats and cognitive styles related to school chemistry

Danili, Eleni January 2004 (has links)
This study has two principal aims. It explores the relationships between the results of various formats of paper-and-pencil classroom assessments of Chemistry. It also investigates the performance of pupils in different formats of assessment in relation to their cognitive style, personal preferences, and intellectual development. The study was conducted mainly in Greece with the participation of first year upper secondary public school pupils (Lykeio, Grade 10, age 15-16) in two stages. The convergent/divergent characteristic correlated with pupils’ performance in assessment where language was an important factor. However, in algorithmic type of questions or in questions where there is more use of symbols and less use of words, the convergent/divergent characteristic did not relate to pupils’ performance. The short answer or open ended questions favour divergent pupils more than objective questions because in short answer questions pupils need to articulate their thoughts, and divergent pupils were the ones more able to do it. In objective testing, if a question needs reading skill in order to elaborate and interpret a text given, then again the convergent/divergent style is a very important factor for success. It seems that, in relation to the convergent/divergent characteristic, the chemistry content is a factor affecting the type of questions being asked. Field independent pupils surpassed field dependent pupils in all the tests, and in almost all the formats of assessment. It seems that the field dependent/independent characteristic is a very important factor for pupils in order to perform well in almost all types of assessments, irrespective of the content of the question. The short answer questions favour more field independent pupils than the objective questions in some of the chemistry tests. It is a matter of concern that performance in a chemistry test is so strongly related to these particular psychological parameters, control over which is outside the individual pupil. This raises an important ethical issue about assessment. Are we testing chemical knowledge and understanding or cognition?

Omani school head teachers views of effectiveness of school leadership of secondary schools in Oman

Al-Farsi, Said Nasser January 2007 (has links)
The aims of the study were to: examine how school leaders define effective school leadership, and identify the range of strategies school leaders employed in the management of their school. These aims would allow a consideration of the implications of the results for the professional development of school leaders in secondary schools in Oman. Two questions were set: What are the head teachers’ views of effective school leadership in the secondary schools, and what are some of the strategies head teachers use to lead their schools? Two methods were used. A survey was carried out using a questionnaire completed by all head teachers of secondary schools in Oman. This questionnaire identified a number of items within seven fields and asked head teachers to indicate their level of agreement with these items. These items were drawn from a reading of the literature to identify the features of participatory school leadership. The questionnaire had 40 items divided into seven fields with between 4 and 7 items in each field. This first stage was followed by a smaller group of head teachers being interviewed with the sample being composed of one male and one female head teacher from every district in Oman. The study investigated the profile of current secondary head teachers in Oman in terms of qualification, job experience, teaching experience and gender. Summary data for each of these aspects has been gathered. Also gender was examined in relation to the factors of qualification, length of experience as a teacher and as a manager. The study explored the views of all secondary head teachers in Oman about a participatory model of school leadership and found that there was a consistently high level of agreement with each of the items in the seven fields. The responses of head teachers were also examined for the presence of any statistically significant correlation between the views of the head teachers and each of the following variables: the head teachers’ gender, qualifications, length of experience as a head teacher and length of teaching experience.

The introduction and development of the comprehensive school in the West of Scotland 1965-80

Watt, John January 1989 (has links)
This study investigates the emergence of the comprehensive school following the issue of Scottish Education Department Circular 600 in 1965, and its focus is the area of west Central Scotland covered by Dunbartonshire, the City of Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. A major concern of the research is to examine how the secondary sector was affected by the transition from a bi-partite to a comprehensive system. The introduction gives a short account of the purpose of the research, its organisation and the methodology chosen. The thesis falls into six chapters. After a short examination of the comprehensive lobby in the post war period, Chapter One presents a literature survey in four sections: definitions of the comprehensive school, and some conceptual models; the cultural context, which highlights the characteristic features of the Scottish educational tradition; the political context, dealing with issues of central control, central-local government relations and the roles of local politicians and education officials; policy implementation and the management of innovation. These four themes form a conceptual framework against which to examine the data presented in the following chapters. Data for the thesis was gathered from two sources: a wide range of documentary material, and the transcripts of one hundred and fifty-two interviews conducted by the author with educationists and politicians. Data presented in Chapter Two leads to the following propositions: the comprehensive school was perceived as an English imposition on the Scottish system; official opinion in the Scottish Education Department was unfavourable to its introduction; optimistic claims for its educational and social potential were made in an ambiance of confusion about its definition; the Scottish Education Department conceived of the changeover principally in structural terms, and adopted a laissez-faire attitude to its philosophical implications; the advent of the comprehensive school caused widespread apprehension among educationists

Cognitive characteristics of students in middle schools in State of Kuwait, with emphasis on high achievement

Hindal, Huda Soud January 2007 (has links)
Kuwait has a history over a number of decades of identifying the most academically able school students and, in recent years, this has led to the establishment of an enrichment programme for those students described as ‘gifted’. The process of selection is basically according to academic achievement and the enrichment provision aims to give them special activities for high thinking skills through a specially designed syllabus. This study seeks to explore the cognitive characteristics of such high achievement students in middle school (ages 13-15) as well as a wider range of students, the work being carried out in the State of Kuwait. The study discusses the nature of giftedness and how it might be defined, moving on to look at ways by which selection can be considered. The study was conducted on a total sample of 2169 students, from middle schools in State of Kuwait. The research was carried out in three experiments. In the first experiment, the relationship between cognitive characteristics (working memory capacity, field dependency, divergency, and visual-spatial characteristics) and performance in six subjects are explored with a large sample containing a high proportion of very able students aged about 13. The second experiment investigated the relationship between cognitive characteristics and self awareness, along with school performance with two samples: the first one selected students from the first experiment who scored highly in most of the cognitive characteristics (124 from grade 8); the second group was 299 students in grade 7 from the same 15 Kuwaiti middle schools who participated in experiment one. In the third experiment, samples in this experiment were drawn from grade 7, grade 8 and grade 9, the aim of this experiment being to examine the relationship between cognitive characteristics (divergency, convergency; and visual-spatial disabilities), using freshly designed tests for visual-spatial abilities and convergency.

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