Seven GSE students defend their dissertations in 2009-2010

The GSE would like to congratulate the seven doctoral students who defended their dissertations this year! Their work is highlighted below with a selection from the abstract of their study.

Regina Moreno
Paraprofessionals Who Work with Elementary Grade Students with Significant Disabilities in Inclusive Settings

Paraprofessionals provide crucial services in the education of students with disabilities and plan an important role in the assurance of free and appropriate public education for those students (Etscheidt, 2005). This study extended the current literature regarding paraprofessionals who serve students with significant disabilities in inclusive general education elementary school settings.

Andrea Smith
Concurrent Study of Eastern and Western Medicine at the National College of Natural Medicine: Dual or Duel?

Students at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) are eligible to concurrently study both Western medicine, as reflected by the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) program, and Eastern medicine, as exhibited by the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) degree program. The dual track is unique in that the dominant Western approach to medicine parallels the Eastern approach to healing with the latter being accommodated within the Western framework of teaching and learning. This study highlights the challenges that Western medical education faces when Eastern medicine is concurrently taught using the Western perspective through an examination of the dual medical degree track at NCNM.

Carla Sosanya-Tellez
Transformative Teacher Evaluation: Self Evaluation for High-Performing Teachers

Public schools are in crisis, as educators and legislators seek to provide high quality education to diverse students in a measurement-driven environment. In legislation, student assessment, teacher licensure, and research-based curricula have taken center stage. Teacher evaluation is noticeably absent (NCLB; Danielson, 2003; Iwanicki, 1994). This study explores Wood’s (1998) call for a move from traditional to transformative evaluation. Ten high-performing teachers field-tested a self-evaluation handbook. They explored study options designed to help them critically reflect on their own teaching, connect with students, and set new goals.

Suad Alazzam-Alwidyan
A Critical Analysis of the Jordanian National English Language Curriculum Planning Discourse

The rise of English as the language of international communication and as the lingua franca of our globalized era has placed pressing linguistic demands on educational systems of non-English speaking countries. Focusing on the locale of Jordan, this study examined how the global spread and dominance of English has been discursively “appropriated” (Pennycook, 1994) and responded to in the past two decades. Primary data for this study consisted of the genre of the Jordanian English language national Curriculum Framework Documents (CFDs) for the years 1990 and 1993, 2002, and 2006.

Ted Feller
Achieving Congruence: Building a Case for Implementing a District-Wide Interim Benchmark Assessment That Is Aligned with a Balanced Literacy Framework

The author proposes a preliminary research approach designed to evaluate the correlation and predictive value of a Balanced Literacy interim assessment such as the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) on the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) in order to establish its utility as a viable alternative to DIBELS. If this study is able to demonstrate that the DRA can function as robust and reliable interim assessment, educators who are leading districts that favor a Balanced Literacy framework will be able to use it with confidence in their all-important efforts to put a coherent and effective reading program in place.

Rosemary Celaya-Alston
Hombres en Acciòn (Men in Action): A Community-Defined Domestic Violence Intervention with Mexican Immigrant Men

Studies suggest that knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about domestic violence influence the behaviors of Mexican men. However, few interventions have targeted men in efforts to provide domestic violence awareness and health education to a relevant at-risk community that is often linked to challenges of low literacy. Mexican immigrant men, particularly those less acculturated to the dominant U.S. culture, are significantly less likely to access services and more likely to remain isolated and removed from their communities and, more importantly, their families. The purpose of this study was to explore and examine how culture beliefs and behaviors influence the potential of domestic violence from the perspective of the Mexican-of-origin male immigrant.

Jan Carpenter
Negotiating Meaning with Educational Practice: Alignment of Preservice Teachers’ Mission, Identity, and Beliefs with the Practice of Collaborative Action Research

The case study examined the phenomena of how three preservice teachers within a Master of Arts in Teaching program at a small, private university negotiated meaning around a nontraditional educational practice—collaborative action research. Preservice teachers must negotiate multiple, and often competing, internal and external discourses as they sort out what educational practices, policies, organizational structures to accept or reject as presented in the teacher education program. This negotiation is a dynamic, contextual, unique meaning-making process that extends, redirects, dismisses, reinterprets, modifies, or confirms prior beliefs (Wenger, 1998).

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