Journal Current

(1) An Analysis of Course Requirements and Action Plans within Doctoral Curriculum Departments

Linda S. Behar
University of Florida

Abstract: There is a paucity of research concerning the knowledge base requirements for curriculum specialists enrolled in programs of professional preparation. However, curriculum specialists are frequently responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating the curriculum. Understanding the relationship between the relevance of what is taught in higher education curriculum programs and school-based curriculum processes can be explored in part by assessing the relationship between course requirements in doctoral curriculum departments. The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of correspondence within course requirements among curriculum departments in the United States and to assess what steps are being taken to ensure that curriculum specialists are being trained to meet the challenges associated with increasingly diverse student populations. A summary of the course requirements in curriculum programs and an analysis of the thematic content of action plans that universities had written is reported. Overall, the findings suggest that there is little evidence to support the existence of a core of courses that characterize doctoral programs.

Citation: Behar, L. S. (1994). An analysis of course requirements and action plans within doctoral curriculum departments. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 34(1), 31-45.

Download:  Behar.341.pdf (147 downloads)

(2) Grading on the Curve: An Oxymoron?

James K. Brewer
Florida State University

Abstract: This paper makes the case that grading on the curve is not grading, but quota setting, and is tantamount to having no standards, which are crucial to grading. Particular attention is given to the nonacademic reasons instructors give for curve grading while criticizing the use of theoretical distributions in assigning grades.

Citation: Brewer, J. K. (1994). Grading on the curve: an oxymoron? Florida Journal of Educational Research, 34(1), 46-50.

Download:  Brewer.341.pdf (131 downloads)

(3) “Action Zones” and Academic Performance in a Middle School Classroom

Godfrey Franklin
University of West Florida

Carol A. Lane
Escambia County School System

Abstract: The relationship between self-selection seating choice and academic performance in a classroom was investigated. Eight teachers and 161 pupils in a Florida middle school participated in the study. Results indicated that pupils who sat in the front of the classroom did better academically than those who sat in the middle. However, students who sat in the front of the classroom did not necessarily do better than those who sat in the back.

Citation: Franklin, G., & Lane, C. A. (1994). “Action zones” and academic performance in a middle school classroom. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 34(1), 5-13.

Download:  Franklin.341.pdf (142 downloads)

(4) The Elementary Mathematics/Science Specialist Program: Trying to Practice What We Preach!

Kathleen Kelly-Benjamin
Florida Institute of Technology

Abstract: Current literature in educational research emphasizes the benefits of instructional strategies such as hands-on exploration, cooperative learning, team projects, and constructivist activities. However, the adoption and/or effectiveness of these same methodologies in college courses is evidenced far less frequently. This article describes the professional growth experienced by both instructors and students participating in a graduate level program that embodied these recommended practices. The Elementary Mathematics/Science Specialist Program, established at the Florida Institute of Technology, answered the Department of Education Eisenhower Grant Program’s call for improving teachers opportunities for learning math and science. This paper reflects the developmental nature of the transitions experienced by the programs’ inStructors as they moved through the reflective teaching process.

Citation: Kelly-Benjamin, K. (1994). The elementary mathematics/science specialist program: trying to practice what we preach! Florida Journal of Educational Research, 34(1), 70-88.

Download:  Kelly-Benjamin.341.pdf (203 downloads)

(5) Students’ and Parents’ Perspectives on a Magnet School’s Effectiveness

Janet K. Pilcher
University of West Florida

Linda A. Weeks
University of West Florida

L. Carolyn Pearson
University of West Florida

Abstract: Brown Barge Middle School, located in the Escambia County School District, Florida, is a voluntary magnet school. Characteristics of Brown Barge Middle School include: 1) a flexible schedule that can accommodate extended time blocks for instruction, planning, and special events; 2) technology components that are incorporated in the core curriculum; and 3) an integrative and cooperative cross grade level approach to designing and implementing curriculum and instruction. The purpose of this study was to examine Brown Barge students’ and their parents’ attitudes towards these characteristics. The results indicated that the integrated approach in the curriculum design implemented at Brown Barge Middle School was viewed positively by most students and their parents.

Citation: Pilcher, J. K., Weeks, L. A., & Pearson, L. C. (1994). Students’ and parents’ perspectives on a magnet school’s effectiveness. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 34(1), 14-30.

Download:  Pilcher.341.pdf (157 downloads)

(6) A Survey of Attitudes Toward Coaching Evaluation

Ronald L. Pinnell
Stetson University

William R. Eissele
Seminole County Public Schools

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine to what extent the formal written evaluation of athletic coaches existed in the high schools of a central Florida school district. It was determined that 1 of the 6 high schools in the school district utilized such a system of evaluation. However, there was not consensus among the respondents of this school regarding how this system operated. The results also indicated that there was strong support within the school district from principals, athletic directors, and athletic coaches for a formalized system of evaluation. It was suggested that the coaching domains offered by Pflug (1980) provide a functional framework for determining what should be assessed in such a system. Based on these findings, seven recommendations were made regarding the implementation of a formalized system of evaluation in schools.

Citation: Pinnell, R. L, & Eissele, W. R. (1994). A survey of attitudes toward coaching evaluation. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 34(1), 51-60.

Download:  Pinnell.341.pdf (160 downloads)

(7) Evolution of a Collaborative School Research Project as a Prototype Environment for Empowering Teacher Action Research: Results and Implications

Michael R. Vitale
East Carolina University

Nancy Romance
Florida Atlantic University

Abstract: Overviewed are results and implications of a collaborative 5-year longitudinal school research project conducted in a large urban school district in the southeast that evolved into a supportive environment for developing teacher action research skills. Discussed in the paper are how the prototype model naturally provided the critical elements necessary for teachers to function successfully as members of the educational research community. Emphasized is how ongoing research that successfully improves classroom practice within a school improvement framework can provide a foundation for developing the research interests and capabilities of teachers.

Citation: Vitale, M. R., & Romance, N. (1994). Evolution of a collaborative school research project as a prototype environment for empowering teacher action research: results and implications. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 34(1), 61-69.

Download:  Vitale.341.pdf (157 downloads)