Recent Submissions

  • Does Incorporating Dance into Elementary School Classrooms Increase Academic Achievement and Enjoyment?

    McLyman, Meghan (2016-05-01)
    The purpose of this research was to determine if incorporating dance into elementary school classrooms increases academic achievement and enjoyment. Throughout this project, an experiment was done with second graders that supported this idea that by adding dance into classroom lessons, students achieve more. These students scored higher on an assessment after including movement into the lesson. Some of them enjoyed the lessons more with dance and others did not. Previous research found that dance helps the student learning process due to its ability to meet diverse needs, its effect on the memory, and increase on student engagement. Dance also connects to Bloom's Taxonomy and Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Students with different disabilities have also shown higher academic achievement when dance is used in their classrooms. It helps with attention and stimulating the brain. Along with this research, four mini units are attached that incorporate dance for teachers to use as examples as to how to incorporate dance into their lessons. These include English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies lesson made for second graders using Massachusetts State Standards and National Dance Standards for second graders. Through the experiment, research, and creation of lesson plans, it can be said that incorporating dance into elementary school classrooms increases academic achievement and may increase overall enjoyment.
  • The Relationship: Partners’ Behaviors and Their Impact on Overall Satisfaction

    Crone-Todd, Darlene (2016-05-01)
    Relationships are a top priority for many people, perhaps because relationships fulfill an important human need: love. Relationships tend to be complex and have many predictors related to whether or not a relationship will be satisfying. It is important that one evaluates how satisfied he/she is with the relationship in order to decide whether to continue. If one learns early in the relationship that they are not satisfied, then they can terminate the relationship before it continues too long. Relationship satisfaction was examined in terms of positive and aversive behaviors commonly demonstrated in relationships. The positive behaviors analyzed included support/praise, affection, security, and communication, while the aversive behavior categories included exclusion, deceit, avoidant behaviors, undesirable actions, and potential competitors. A survey was administered through surveymonkey, in which participants completed demographic information, a pre-survey rating of their overall level of relationship satisfaction, questions regarding the frequency of certain behaviors, and a post-survey rating on their level of relationship satisfaction. When analyzing the pre and post survey responses, participants were more satisfied with their relationship after completing the questionnaire. Regarding the pre-survey satisfaction rating, a stepwise regression procedure indicated exclusion and support/praise as having the most significance in a relationship, where as the post satisfaction rating was most closely associated with exclusion, support/praise, deceit, and potential competitors. Therefore, the clearest correlations appear to be exclusion, deceit, support/praise, and potential competitors. Another finding is that filling out the survey changed both the satisfaction level and the predictor variables. It is likely that the behavioral categories tend to produce satisfying relationships because both people in the relationship are experiencing both generic and idiosyncratic reinforcement from the significant other. Also, participants' satisfaction ratings appear to increase as a result of completing the survey. Is is not clear why this is the case; however, it may be that "taking stock" of the positive and aversive behaviors may have led this sample to be more satisfied with their current relationship. These findings suggest that reviewing the positive and negative aspects of a relationship can be beneficial, but more research is indicated.
  • A 21st Century Update of Gender Portrayal in Caldecott Winners

    Gonsalves, Joanna (2016-05-01)
    This study replicated previous studies that investigated the portrayal of gender in Caldecott award-winning books. Past studies found that females were nearly invisible. Females tended to be under-represented in titles, central roles, and illustrations (Weitzman, Eifler, Hokada, & Ross, 1972). In addition, they appeared in the illustrations to be indoors more often than outside and displayed gender-typical behavioral traits. The current study utilizes the methods and procedures of past researchers to present an updated account of gender-portrayal in the Caldecott winners for 2010 through 2015. A content analysis, and a character trait analysis were performed to analyze the books. The researchers found no significant increases or decreases for human single-gendered illustrations and human characters. However, there was a significant increase in the percent of females for non-human single-gendered illustrations and non-human characters. In addition, females were over-represented outdoors, which is in contrast to past research. Furthermore, only three traits were rated as being more salient for females than males: nurturant, rescue and traditional role. Compared with past studies, children's books are becoming more gender equitable in terms of representation, location and behavior traits. However, improvements can still be made to reflect the actuality of societal proportions.
  • El Uso De La Música En Las Clases De Español En Los EEUU

    Dávila Gonçalves, Michele (2021-05-01)
    In this thesis I explore the use of music in Spanish classes in the United States. Though there are a few disadvantages, the benefits hugely outweigh them. En esta tesis se exploró el uso de la música en las clases de español en los Estados Unidos. Durante la investigación encontré ejemplos de ventajas y desventajas en el uso de la música en el salón de clases. También, hablé con dos maestras de español y estudiantes. Por lo general, la música tiene más ventajas que desventajas en las clases de español. Entre las ventajas señalé que la música tiene un buen efecto cognitivo en los estudiantes, provee algo divertido para la clase, es un buen ejemplo de texto auténtico y brinda conocimiento sobre la cultura de países hispanohablantes. Además, puede apoyar la gramática, el vocabulario, la pronunciación y la motivación entre los estudiantes. En conclusión, la música es importante en las clases de español y todos los maestros deben usarla.
  • What is Missing Here? The Absence of a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Salem State University’s Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program

    Schumaker-Murphy, Megan; Noonan, Anne (2021-05-01)
    The K-12 student population in the United States is becoming increasingly more diverse in terms of the cultural, linguistic, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds of its students, with the racial identity of the students being of particular interest to researchers now that students of color make up around 50% of the school children population (Pennington, 2003). Numerous studies in this area have indicated that in order to meet the learning needs of a diverse student body and make their educational experience more equitable, a teacher must take on a culturally responsive teaching approach. This teaching approach to education has proven to be effective with students from various backgrounds as it builds on both the strengths and learning capacity of the individual student; and creates an expectation for teachers to take responsibility for their students` success, communicate high behavioral and academic expectations address their implicit biases, and work on relationship building and trust within their classroom (Souto-Manning, 2018). However, White people account for almost 90% of both teachers and teacher students in America (Ladson-Billings, 1999), and countless studies have reported that these teachers are ill- prepared to become a culturally responsive teacher, let along be able to address their implicit biases (Jett, 2012). Since the Massachusetts school system is currently seeing an increase in the diversity of its student population, as well as serious issues with segregation making it more likely for teachers to have a class where most of its` children identify as minority students (Rocheleau, 2017), an early childhood teacher preparation college in the area was observed, specifically Salem State University. The courses within the teacher preparations were examined, specifically for the purpose of finding how embedded a culturally responsive pedagogy was in the required courses for graduation. The study then gives recommendations about how to weave culturally responsive teaching and/or principles of culturally responsive teaching throughout the courses within the program, so pre-service teachers will be professionally trained to be culturally responsive educators in their future schools.
  • A Closer Look at How Children's Choice Book Award Programs Motivate Upper Elementary Students to Read

    Pierce, Michelle (2014-05-17)
    The purpose of my thesis was to learn more about children's choice book award programs such as the Massachusetts Children's Book Award Program (sponsored by SSU). Specifically, I wanted to know what prior research tells us about the impact of children's choice award programs and children's motivation to read, children's reasons for participating in such a program, and children's strategies for selecting books and deciding on a favorite. I completed a review of literature to see what past research has found about the effectiveness of children's choice award programs and their motivation to read. Through a survey completed by seventeen 4th and 5th graders who participated in the 2013-2014 MCBA program, I was able to find answers to support prior research done on the effectiveness of children's choice award programs as well as raise questions for further research.
  • La Importancia De Usar Literatura Auténtica En La Escuela Primaria Para Los Latinx

    Dávila Gonçalves, Michele (2021-05-01)
    Cuando un libro es un espejo para el lector, como destaca Rudine Sims Bishop, este puede verse a sí mismo y su propia vida. Hoy en día en los Estados Unidos alrededor del 90% de los libros que los niños leen gira predominantemente en torno a personajes blancos. Otros niños de diferentes orígenes, ahora más de la mitad de la población infantil en Estados Unidos, no tienen acceso a ese “espejo,” simplemente están obteniendo “ventanas” a las vidas de comunidades privilegiadas. Estos jóvenes lectores que no ven ninguna representación de sí mismos en la literatura se ven afectados emocionalmente. Una mayor diversidad en la literatura infantil auténtica puede proporcionar espejos para estos niños, además de ser ventanas para los lectores blancos. En esta tesis investigaré qué dice la literatura y los maestros sobre la falta de diversidad en los libros que se les ofrecen a los estudiantes de escuela primaria en los Estados Unidos, y cómo pueden combatirla para así ayudar a sus alumnos Latinx.
  • Does Paper Presentation Affect Grading: Examining the Possible Educational Repercussions of the Quality of Student Penmanship

    Pomerantz, Francesca (2014-05-17)
    Based upon personal experience, upon being returned a graded, handwritten assignment, teachers will often extend compliments to those students who wrote in neat, legible handwriting, refraining from alluding to the quality of the content during this exchange. With these concepts in mind, the author elected to determine whether or not the presentation of handwritten assignments has any effect on a teacher’s ability to grade objectively, if, perhaps, teachers are allowing their students’ penmanship to sway their interpretation of a paper’s content. In order to discover the validity of these concerns, a thorough literary analysis was conducted with the following questions in mind: Does the quality of one’s penmanship influence grading? What are the evolving conceptions regarding the importance of handwriting and how have they affected the quality of students’ penmanship? How can teachers implement a consistent and effective handwriting education? Should students be encouraged to submit their work in a typed format in the attempt to avoid this possible bias? The results of the study were that, when presented with assignments written in varying degrees of neatness, teachers are allowing factors other than the content of the writing to affect their ability to grade impartially. While this paper supports the need for a consistent and effective handwriting education in order to improve overall handwriting legibility, it also suggests that those schools with the means should encourage all students to submit their work in a typed manner, thus presenting the information uniformly so as to potentially eliminate this bias.
  • Teachers’ Perceptions Of Students Based On Socioeconomic Status: A Literature Review

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Noonan, Anne; Condie, Cami (2018-01-01)
    The purpose of this research was to determine whether teachers’ perceptions of students are affected by students’ socioeconomic status (SES). It was hypothesized that teachers perceive students from lower socioeconomic classes as less capable than students from higher socioeconomic status, and that teachers unconsciously set lower achievement expectations for low SES students, based on these original perceptions. All empirical studies conducted in the last decade on the topic were reviewed, including studies that used both naturalistic methods and those that used hypothetical scenarios. The hypothesis was supported through the analysis of past research, finding the presence of classism in teacher perceptions. Implications for teacher training are discussed to help address the biases revealed in this research.
  • “Is The End Game All The Same?”: Analyzing The Importance Of German Schools And The Hitler Youth Under The Third Reich

    Seger, Donna (2018-01-01)
    Was the German public education system or the Hitler Youth more influential in the indoctrination of children in Nazi Germany? The German school system promoted a rhetoric built upon a Nazi ideological framework, with the end goal of having children passively think within that framework. In contrast, the Hitler Youth emphasized physical training and militarization as a critical component of the indoctrination process. Ultimately, both proved vital in the success of Nazi Germany’s re-education program and allowed for the full integration of youth into the Nazi State.
  • Effective Instructional Practices in the Inclusive Classroom

    Wiersma, Geertje E. (2014-05-17)
    The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that children with disabilities are educated in the "least restrictive environment appropriate” to meet their “unique needs.”-- otherwise known as an inclusive setting. How do teacher attitudes and practices correlate with effective inclusive education? Studies show that if a teacher gives students higher expectations, they are more likely to perform to higher standards. Thus, by giving a student with disabilities the opportunity to be included in a general education classroom, they are usually held to a higher standard. However, whether this motivates or discourages the student is then based on the teacher’s attitude and school’s resources. In this qualitative study, 61 hours were spent observing two second grade classrooms in the same town, but at schools with different demographics. One of the schools contained students primarily from lower socio-economic backgrounds, while the other school contained students who were predominately middle class. Data was recorded in a chart that contained instructional practices in inclusion classrooms. The results show that teacher attitudes and practices differed significantly in the two classrooms observed in that positive teacher attitudes and use of encouraging language, effective socialization, support services, and balanced exposure to flexible grouping strategies—all key factors for effective inclusive education, were much more prominent in one of the two classrooms observed. Future research should be conducted over a greater period of time and in a greater variety of classrooms for more accurate results.
  • Hot, Warm, Cool: The YMCA And You

    Scott, Kristina (2018-01-01)
    In order for children to self-regulate themselves in situations that may escalate their emotions, children must be able to identify their emotions and understand how they affect their body. This can be challenging as de-escalation strategies typically go against our natural reactions to situations, but as parents and educators, we can retrain a child’s minds to cope with their emotions. Breathing, taking a break, communication, etc. are all elements that children can learn as a skill to cope with their emotions. The following children’s book will have a dual purpose of providing families and their children with what resources the YMCA can provide in certain situations as well as provide a visualization for children on their emotions through an emotion thermometer and educate them on techniques to self-regulate their emotions. The story follows children at the YMCA and highlights escalating situations and describes what the best techniques are to cope with them.
  • Exploring Differences In Job Satisfaction Among Nurses In Union And Non-Union Work Settings

    Frost, Marion (2018-01-01)
    This research addresses the ever growing problem of job dissatisfaction and job burnout among nurses. Job burnout is a state of “physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about one’s competence and the value of one’s work” (Mayo Clinic, 2015). Job burnout has negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of the nurse, as well as his or her patients. Policies and regulations can vary depending on the union status of the establishment where the nurse is employed. A union is an association made up of a group of individuals sharing a common purpose. Staffing ratios, salary, benefits and job stability can all be seen to vary within different facilities depending on their union status. There are both positives and negatives to each union and non-union facility. This research will explore these topics in order to see if any correlation among the nurse’s job dissatisfaction and union status exist. A cross-sectional electronic survey was sent out to Salem State University School of Nursing alumni. Registered Nurses (RN) participating were asked to complete a survey containing demographic information, nursing specific questions, questions regarding union status and a modified Burnout Inventory Risk questionnaire. The dichotomous outcome variable will be union versus non-union work settings. Due to a lack of research on this topic in the United States, this research will be a positive contribution to nursing science. The purpose of this study is to better identify job burnout among the nursing profession as well as researching factors that could have an effect.
  • Looking Through the Eyes of Primary School Teachers: A Study of How White Teachers Talk About Race

    Leith, Chad (2014-05-17)
    A study of how White Primary teachers talk about race was conducted. Two different schools districts from Massachusetts were chosen, along with three different teachers from each district that represented a range of different grade levels. One suburban town North of Boston, Massachusetts, was comprised of primarily White students, while one urban city North of Boston, Massachusetts, was primarily composed of a diversified population of students. After conducting a series of interviews with teachers from each representative school district, results were analyzed to conclude two different teaching strategies used by White teachers when talking about race - a proactive teaching approach and a reactive teaching approach. Both of these teaching approaches proved to be important for all teachers to employ in order to be able to respond to their students' questions about race, as well as appropriately plan different lessons and units that highlight this important topic that impacts the lives of students throughout the United States.
  • Mindfulness in Elementary Schools

    Carroll, Greg (2016-05-01)
    Breathing is vital to our well-being. Being attentive to our breathing and taking deep breaths can actually help our bodies relax and focus. Teaching students to pause and focus on their breath can help them handle difficult situations that arise during the school day. This technique is something students can carry with them and use as they grow up. Breathing also helps develop mindfulness, which helps improve attention skills and memory. Mindfulness also encourages compassion, kindness, and understanding. In this children's book, Bah Bah faces many difficulties on his first day at a new school. He handles his emotions discreetly by pausing and having breathing breaks throughout the day that help him relax and move on. Read along and learn to breathe like Bah Bah!
  • Power Tools for Talking: Custom Protocols Enrich Coaching Conversations

    Pomerantz, Francesca; Ippolito, Jacy (2015-02-01)
    The article examines how the use of protocols increased professional learning among a group of reading specialists when Salem State University collaborated with a suburban school district. The objective was to support eight elementary and two middle school reading specialists as they acted as data coaches, helping classroom teachers investigate the implications of literacy data for teaching.
  • “When Do We Get To Read?” Reading Instruction And Literacy Coaching In A “Failed” Urban Elementary School

    Pomerantz, Francesca; Pierce, Michelle (2013-09-22)
    From 2005-2009, the state determined that the Williams School had made no progress in raising its poor performance on the state English language arts test. In the fall of 2009, the state awarded literacy partnership grants to provide professional development to low-performing schools, and the Williams School partnered with our institution of higher education to 1) conduct a needs assessment to determine what teachers were doing in regard to reading comprehension instruction, 2) provide professional development to teachers in the form of literacy coaching, and 3) research the effectiveness of the professional development in changing teachers' instructional practices. The investigation sought to determine how professional development based on knowledge building, co-teaching, and coaching influences teachers' application of explicit comprehension instruction. Overall, results showed improvements in teachers' ability to engage in effective comprehension instruction. However, the qualitative evidence gathered as part of the investigation points to various challenges teachers faced in implementing specific aspects of comprehension instruction and the lack of opportunities students had for reading, some of which appear to be related to contextual factors in the school setting. The results highlight obstacles coaches, teachers, and students face in a low-performing, urban district and suggest possible directions for the future.