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  • Thumbnail for Funding success : an analysis of public school funding and demographics in Colorado and their effect on school performance
    Funding success : an analysis of public school funding and demographics in Colorado and their effect on school performance by Borgeson, Andrew Thomas

    This quantitative study seeks to understand the effects of public school funding, expenditures, school, and neighbor-hood demographics on 2011 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) tests. Primarily, this thesis tries to answer whether or not public school funding has a significant effect on TCAP scores, how demographics shape both funding and TCAP scores, and how neighborhood and school demographics relate to each other. With public schools in Colorado as the unit of analysis, unemployment and education levels are used in conjunction with school demographics including student race, poverty, number of students, and student-teacher ratio are used to determine differences throughout the state and how they translate to academic performance. TCAP scores are used to gauge disparities in academic performance throughout the state. This study confirms many of the existing literature claims that student personal background, along with home-life, and institutional quality of schools exhibit some considerable effect on student performance uncovering unique findings as well.

  • Thumbnail for Service learning : improving student learning and character
    Service learning : improving student learning and character by Gaskill, Whitney Dawn

    In a world where social and environmental issues are increasingly complex and global in nature, teachers have a unique opportunity to not only prepare their students academically, but also help learners apply their skills as active members in society. How can we incorporate these current events and issues into our classrooms? Furthermore, how can we empower students to feel that they have the power do something about these problems? Service learning can be used as a tool to engage students in their studies, increase learning, and build character....Service learning standards of quality practice can be implemented to optimize student achievement.

  • Thumbnail for Electives, student achievement and student motivation : a qualitative exploration
    Electives, student achievement and student motivation : a qualitative exploration by Evans, Hannah Marie

    Often, elective programs such as art and physical education are the first items cut when middle school budgets become strained. The American Educational system places higher value on core curriculum classes such as math and science and there has been little research done on the importance of electives for student achievement. This thesis seeks to explore the benefits of elective courses for student achievement and a student’s education in general. The two motivational theories used to explore the relationship between electives, student achievement, and student motivation are Social Learning Theory and Job Characteristics Theory. A survey was sent out to a select sample of middle school administrators in Colorado to obtain rich qualitative data on the topic of electives in the middle school curriculum. The surveyed schools varied from high achieving schools to low achieving schools (achievement measured in standardized test scores) and across different districts in Colorado. The data was analyzed and found to be consistent with many of the characteristics of Social Learning Theory and Job Characteristics Theory.

  • Thumbnail for Differentiating instruction in the music classroom : responding to the needs of all learners
    Differentiating instruction in the music classroom : responding to the needs of all learners by Woods, Michael William

    The purpose of this research paper study is to determine if differentiated instruction has an effect on student achievement in the music classroom. The findings of this study were data collected to answer the following research questions: 1) Does differentiated instruction have an impact on student achievement? and 2) Are there components of differentiated instruction that have a greater impact on student achievement than others? When educators differentiate instruction strategically, they can better meet their students’ learning needs while helping them make great strides in overall achievement. Differentiation not only recognizes that students are at different levels of readiness, but it also recognizes that students vary in their interests and how they process new information or skills (Tomlinson, 1999). Teachers differentiate instruction to make appropriate accommodations to ensure that the curriculum is engaging and appropriate for all learners. This paper provides a literature review, including a rationale for the practice of differentiation; the definition, characteristics, and theoretical background of differentiated instruction; ways to differentiate content, process, and product according to students’ readiness levels, learning profiles, and interests; and a description of the few empirical studies that exist on the impact differentiated instruction has on student achievement. The findings in this study provide anecdotal evidence of student music proficiency growth and achievement as a result of implementation of differentiated instruction. The findings in answering the second research question also suggest that there were components of differentiated instruction that have greater impact on student achievement than others. It is the researcher’s hope that the findings of this study will provide a foundation for future studies on the effects of differentiated instruction on academic achievement in the music classroom.

  • Thumbnail for Teaching through music in the elementary classroom
    Teaching through music in the elementary classroom by Spendlove, Mickelle

    Study of the effect of teaching social studies, math, and language arts subjects through music. Study used three 4th grade classes.