Sample Abstracts


  • Stacey Caudill
    It Takes Determination: Using Class Meetings To Develop a Caring First Grade Community -
    I investigated holding class meetings with first graders.I held several meetings and observed the interactions between the students. I found that it was possible for first graders to hold meaningful and effective class meetings, and that the meetings affected the relationships and interactions at other times of the day.
  • Dean Krishna
    Reviving a Recycling Program: Student Transformations -
    In this action research project, I examined how sixth-graders' attitudes toward the environment changed as they established a school-wide recycling program. Students' socialized assumption of a power imbalance with teachers affected their actions. As the project progressed, students placed their own efficacy more prominently in their opinions on the environment.
  • Lisa Jantzen
    Family Literature Circles in Action -
    I and two other colleagues began a 10-week family literacy program with Spanish-speaking parents. Through an ongoing process of praxis, we explored how using children's literature in family discussion circles could affect students, parents, and ourselves. This participatory action research has allowed us to reflect upon our roles as teachers and the opportunities for participants' empowerment.
  • Tara Torres (Berke)
    Q.A.R. and English Language Learners -
    I investigated the impact of comprehension on my2nd graders. I conducted interview, took anecdotal record, and conducted running records. I found that Q.A.R. gave my English Language Learners strategies to increase their comprehension.
  • Michelle Fisher
    Rethinking Baldrige in Education: An Educational Process -
    A critical analysis was conducted on a particular business metaphor Baldrige in Education, (BiE) as an appropriate vehicle to change an educational processes in the classroom. I conducted interviews with teachers who use BiE. Teachers enjoy using BiE in the classroom, but resist the business language used in the training.
  • Bruce Robinson
    The Journey of a Second Career, First-Year Teacher -
    This project articulated the experiences and learning of a second career first-year teacher in a self-contained K-8 school using selected students and personal journal as a lens to examine the first year.
  • Michael Aguilera
    Fostering Specific Reading Strategy Instruction For Expository Text -
    I investigated the effects of specific reading comprehension strategies for expository text with 4th graders. I conducted pre and post assessments using reading inventories, I interviewed students after the study about their experiences, and collected reading journals and observational notes. I focused on teaching students the think aloud strategy to monitor their comprehension while reading expository text. I found that think aloud strategies highly supported students to read and comprehend difficult expository text.
  • Colette Rabin
    An Ethic of Care in Practice -
    In this thesis, the Rose School teachers' narratives concerning how they foster and sustain relationships in one private school confirmed and gave practical examples of the application ofNel Noddings' theory. Noddings' seminal work on an ethic of care departsfrom Enlightenment and Pre-enlightenment ethicists' relegation of morality to the rational that cloistered it in formal argument. Noddings posits affect as a primary good and in so doing, suggests that our inclination to be in relationship may motivate moral behavior. Noddings' moral education centers on the categories of modeling, dialogue, practice, and confirmation.The Rose School teachers' interviews revealed their unique conceptions and applications of modeling, dialogue, practice, and confirmation to foster relationships at school. This analysis of in-depth teacher interviews through the lens of Noddings' schema both affirmsand extends her theory into examples of caring in practice.
  • Allison Rose
    Moving Beyond Colorblindness -
    I examined White teacher's narratives to understand the range of experiences that influence and shape racial identities of educators and the students they teach. I conducted three separate interviews with three White educators, observed the participants in their classroom, and collected field notes. I found that concepts of race change over time based upon life experiences including relationships with key individuals, professional training, and dialogue with people of color.
  • Molly Byrne
    Expository Text, Ells, and the QAR Strategy -
    This study focused on the development of the Question-Answer Relationship method (QAR) in expository text with a small group of 1 st grade English language learners. Results indicated that all the students improved in question generation, as well as increased conceptual knowledge and overall comprehension of expository text.
  • Joe Bolin
    Comprehension Strategies Used by Primary Grade Students -
    During this investigation, second-graders were taught five comprehension strategies identified in the literature as key to building meaning. Following intensive instruction, the students' use of these strategies while reading independent-level text was measured. Written and oral think-alouds as well as teacher observation were used to uncover student implementation of the strategies.
  • Bruce Neff
    Visual Community: Classroom Community Explored Through Pictures -
    I investigated how the community of my classroom was affected when students examined, through dialogue, pictures taken by each other. I used field notes, student's writings, and surveys. I found that when we begin to uncover taken for granted beliefs through dialogue a community can change in a positive way.
  • Kari Sparks
    The Modesto City Schools Strike of 1980 -
    I investigated the dynamics of the Modeston City Schools strike of 1980 and how teachers and parents narrate their participation twenty four years later. I conducted interviews, researched The Modesto Bee archives, and collected reading journals and field notes. Following Freire's four steps of anitdialogic and dialogic action, I compare and contrast my findings.
  • Julie Goodman
    Academics and Self-Concept Enriched By Classroom Community -
    I investigated the post-modern philosophy of classroom community, which emphasizes equality, dialogue, and positive interactions with students. I conducted interviews, and found that community helped students develop stronger self-concept, independent thinking and problem-solving skills, and higher academic functioning.
  • Vijenti Davis
    How Technology Can Improve Students' Work -
    I investigated the usage of technology in elementary classrooms. I found that, when students are engaged in technology-oriented lessons, they feel highly motivated and empowered and their performance improves. Also, their teachers' efforts to provide such instruction allowed for more dialogue, creativity, and choices
  • Michele Huesties
    Reading Intervention For Struggling Sixth-Grade Readers -
    Sixteen of 32 struggling sixth-grade readers were placed in an intervention class, while the others received the standard curriculum. Students receiving intervention had significantly higher gains in comprehension and independent reading levels when compared with students who did not receive intervention. Explicit, systematic instruction can help struggling readers.
  • Judy Zaccheo
    Big Change In a Small School -
    A teacher leader was the driving force behind school-wide improvement in reading in a very small school. Flexibility was the key to changes in the nature of the chosen program and the way it was implemented in each classroom, thus ensuring success of all students.
  • Veronica Arcos
    Systematic Instruction in Phonemes, Phonics, and Sight Words (SIPPS) with Spanish-Speaking -
    I investigated the impact of SIPPS with a group of Spanish speaking English language Learners enrolled in a bilingual class. I conducted pre and posttests and collected field notes, and student work. I found that students decoding and sight word recognition in English increased.
  • Ermina Termura
    Breaking Barriers About Service Learning -
    Through interviews, I researched the various misperceptions that educators (mainly administrators) have about service learning. I discovered that communicating effectively and presenting concrete evidence could break down the educators' misperceptions, and help them begin to view and implement service learning as an empowering pedagogy.
  • Shauna Grimshaw
    Beginning Reading Instruction with Kindergarten ELL Children -
    I implemented a systematic reading program that included daily activities in phonics, phonemic awareness and sight words. I observed how children responded to whole-group instruction and also listened to them read individually. I found that I was more knowledgeable in regards to each child's reading development and students were excited about reading.
  • Minnie Flores
    Do Struggling Readers Plus Early Interventions Equal Success? -
    I conducted a case study of the impact of early intervention strategies on struggling readers. I conducted interviews, collected writing journal and spelling samples, recorded assessment data, recorded students, and kept anecdotal records. The finds indicated that all students made progress based on students abilities to learn and progress.