Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Dissertations
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Welcome to Concordia's Collection of Dissertations, submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Ed. D. Program.
Browsing Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Dissertations by Issue Date
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- ItemSchool Climate as Experienced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students: A Mixed Methods Study on the Effects of Fair Act Implementation and Role Models(2016-12) Platt, David B.Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students do not have the same experiences at school as their heterosexual and cisgender classmates. Whether the climate is characterized as less welcoming or hostile, either way it leads to disparate outcomes in the form of lower GPA (Aragon, Poteat, Espelage, & Koenig, 2014), decreased likelihood of post-highschool education (Bart, 1998), and threats to both emotional (Kann et al., 2011; Saewyc, Konishi, Rose, & Homma, 2014) and physical (Hatzenbuehler, Bellatorre, et al., 2014) wellbeing. This study began with a quantitative study of the climate, as reported by LGBT students, at 9 Southern California high schools. Survey data were analyzed using a t-test and an ANOVA to determine if there was a difference in school climate based on 2 independent variables: (a) implementation of the FAIR Act, requiring, among other things, positive representations of LGBT people in social science classes, and (b) the presence of out LGBT staff members. No statistically significant difference was found for these variables. Data were also analyzed using a multiple regression to determine whether any component of school climate served as a predictor of students’ positive affect. Here, a connection was found: students exhibiting self-protective behavior, like skipping class or avoiding restrooms and locker rooms, have a lower ratio of positive to negative emotions. In the second phase of the study, school staff were interviewed. As they shared their interpretation of the quantitative results and their efforts to improve school climate, a unifying idea emerged: school climate can improve over time with consistent, deliberate effort from the entire school community.
- ItemHow do Teacher Perceptions of the Six, Essential Professional Learning Community (PLC) Criteria Impact the Effectiveness of a PLC?(2016-12) Davis, Sharon LeeUsing two case studies this dissertation project examined teacher perceptions of the six essential criteria required for an effective Professional Learning Community (PLC) model: shared vision and goals, collective responsibility, authentic assessment, self-directed reflection, stable setting, and strong school-level administrative support. Specifically, the following three questions were answered in these studies: 1. How do teachers within the professional learning community perceive their community? 2. How effective do teachers perceive the professional learning community when all six of the Essential PLC Criteria are implemented? 3. Is there an increase in students passing their English-Language Arts and mathematics requirements? In graduating from high school ready for career or college? Representative of two urban schools, these studies presented data from teacher surveys, observations, and interviews – as well as federal, state, and local education agency data – to explore how professional learning communities support student performance. The data showed increases in student achievement in English Language Arts and mathematics, and in graduation rates of high school students after the adoption of the Professional Leaning Community Model.
- ItemA Study of the Use of Data to Implement School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports in a Large Elementary School(2017-02) Eldridge, Edward J.In nearly every profession, there is a general understanding that decisions should be informed and driven by data. Even in situations where individuals may not have a clear understanding of what data are needed, people have an innate understanding that more information will normally result in a more desirable outcome. Nowhere should the promise of data-based, high-quality decisions be realized more than in public schools that have answered the call to provide school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports (SWPBIS). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of data in the implementation of SWPBIS in a large elementary school in a Northern California school district. This study assessed school personnel’s ability to access and use student data contained in the district’s data system. The study also assessed the impact of providing training to school personnel focused on accessing and using student behavior, attendance, and achievement data available in the district’s data system. A mixed methods, embedded design of a primarily quantitative quasi-experimental, one-group pretest-posttest design supplemented by qualitative data comprised the methodology for this study. The results presented in this study contribute to research literature on the use of data in schools to improve student outcomes by providing strong support for increased data training of school personnel. There was variability between participants’ ratings of data accessibility and usefulness. Additionally, there were significant increases in participants’ ratings regarding the accessibility and usability of data points related to student behavior, attendance, and achievement as a result of data-focused professional development
- ItemINDICATORS OF SUCCESS IN THE BLENDED DOCTORAL COHORT MODEL(2017-03) Norton, Susan K.For decades, the cohort model has been utilized to bring graduate degrees to working adults who cannot put their family lives and careers on hold to attend a university in the more traditional way. With the growing access to reliable digital tools, some cohorts have taken advantage of the ability to meet online with live-streaming applications such as Skype, GoToMeeting, and Adobe Connect. The blending of online instruction and face-to-face interaction has given birth to blended learning, a hybrid of synchronous and asynchronous learning. With this evolution of curriculum and instruction delivery, questions arise regarding the quality of graduate programs. Are the students who are investing time and money into these graduate degrees receiving the high-level of quality that they would expect if they were attending the university in a traditional way? How are they interacting with their peers in a scholarly fashion? How are the professors engaging the students in meaningful and scholarly ways? How do students and institutions know what is working for the success of the student and what needs to be improved? This study sought to uncover answers to some of these questions as it researched 16 doctoral students in one blended cohort in central California. With primarily qualitative methods, the study attempted to describe the phenomenon that is the blended doctoral cohort, specifically researching the participants’ perspective of themselves and the blended cohort model at the beginning of their program and, again, at the end of their program.
- ItemLead with Passion: Effective Leadership Characteristics as Perceived by School Administrators and Teachers(2017-04) Manuel, La Tanya AntoinetteThe purpose of this mixed methods research study was to examine how educators lead with passion. The study identified key characteristics in school administrators and teachers who lead effective schools. This research study analyzed whether there were any significant differences in the leadership styles of administrators and teachers. Five research questions served to guide the investigation of leadership characteristics: (1) Is there a difference between the average reported scores for each of the three frequently used leadership styles? (2) Is there a difference between the administrators and the teachers on the three leadership styles? (3) Is there a significant difference between the schools on each of the three measures of leadership styles? (4) Which leadership characteristics do administrators and teachers perceive to have the most influence on creating successful schools? (5) Does the use of empowerment leadership theories such as transformational, servant, visionary, cultural, moral/ethical, and invitational affect the Academic Performance Index (API) scores at elementary magnet schools? Fifty-two administrators and teachers from three elementary magnet schools participated in the study employing a customized version of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and semistructured interview questions. There was a significant difference in the preference of leadership style by the participants. Research participants preferred the transformational leadership style. There was no significant difference in the perceptions by the administrators and the teachers in the responses to the leadership styles at the three elementary schools.
- ItemDeveloping Social-Emotional Competence Interventions that Facilitate Emotional and Behavioral Self-Regulation(2017-05) Bonillo, Danette BonfieldThe literature on childhood learning has shown that numerous factors lead to student achievement. A student must access personal resources to successfully navigate their educational and social world. This study sought to determine if intervention promotes students’ social, emotional, and behavioral self-regulation, as well as implications for readiness to learn. The study’s sample was comprised of 75 kindergarten students in a general education public school setting that received 90 minutes of intervention weekly in their natural classroom environment. The 10-week intervention consisted of direct instruction within the classroom for 30 minutes twice weekly by the teacher and researcher, with three 10-minute ‘check-in’ periods throughout the week to provide feedback and reinforcement. Several qualitative and quantitative tools were used to analyze the impact of the intervention, including the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS), teacher surveys, a post-intervention teacher focus group, home program, researcher’s observations, and parent reports. The major findings included a statistically significant difference between pre- and post-test results following intervention. Consistency and teacher support were reported as contributing factors. Teachers, parents, and students indicated that the researcher’s lessons and intermittent reinforcement made a significant impact on the positive outcome of the intervention program. The results showed that students demonstrated the use of tools and terminology related to self-regulation in their school and home environments. Additional analysis suggested that three quantitatively identified “at risk” students, who consistently participated in the home program, were no longer in the at risk range, following intervention. Based on the Grounded Theory Framework, unique components of an effective self-regulation program emerged to provide implications for practice and further research recommendations.
- ItemTHE IMPACT ON THE CULTURE AND BELIEFS IN AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORT(2017-05) Solorzano, Tina ReneeThis study explores the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions (PBIS) in an alternative school located in a large, urban, inner-city school district. It focused on determining the consistency of the implementation with the culture and climate of the staff and the school and the reduction of office discipline referrals and suspensions. PBIS provides an operational framework for providing a system for improving student behavior outcomes to ensure that all students have access to the most effective implemented instructional and behavioral practices. Across the country, thousands of schools are implementing PBIS as a way to improve school culture, safety and climate. Sugai and Horner (2006), the architects of the PBIS framework, claimed that the framework consisted of four integral elements: 1. Data for decision-making 2. Measurable outcomes supported and evaluated by data 3. Practices with evidence that these outcomes are achievable 4. Systems that efficiently and effectively support implementation of these practices The results of this mixed-methods study determined that there was a reduction in the number of office discipline referrals since the implementation of PBIS, and the culture and climate of the staff perceptions increased. However, PBIS is relatively new to this particular school in addition to the school district. It is still too early to determine the long-term effects of the implementation.
- ItemECONOMIC PROSPERITY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: HOW ONE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SCHOOL DISTRICT’S HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC EXPERIENCES CAN BETTER PREPARE STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER(2017-05) Nelson, William GregoryAs we progress into the 21st century, we find ourselves at a transition point in the field of education. Preparing students for future careers and economic prosperity requires a dramatic change in the traditional American high school education system. The purpose of this mixed methods study is to identify if the participants’ high school experiences provided the skills necessary for college and career preparation after graduation, ensuring their economic prosperity as adults. Three research questions were addressed in this study: (1) If students graduate from high school unprepared for college and career after graduation, what is the economic impact on the community? (2) Does the completion of career-related programs such as career pathways, career technical education (CTE), or science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) prepare students for college and career? (3) Does A-G course completion, participation in honors programs, early college, or dual credit courses completed in high school prepare students for college and career? This population was identified because they would have time after graduation from high school to provide answers if their high school education program affected their college and career success or lack thereof. The findings demonstrated that the participants’ high school college and career preparation could influence students’ future economic success as adults. Also,the findings suggest that the specific types of experiences the participants had while in high school that led to their economic success varied and depended on the type of educational programs, opportunities, experiences, support, and motivation they had in high school.
- ItemTEACHER PERCEPTIONS OF DUAL-IMMERSION IN ARIZONA’S ENGLISH-ONLY LANGUAGE ENVIRONMENT(2017-05) Morehouse, Daniel A.Seventeen years after the passage of Arizona’s English-only education mandate, a growing number of schools in the state have implemented dual-language programs. Although Arizona’s English Learners lack access to public education in their heritage languages, the emergence of these programs signals hope for an expansion of these students’ options. This mixed-method study assessed the perceptions of “dual-immersion” teachers – who are members of a professional development consortium in Maricopa County, Arizona – towards their program and its overall role in serving all students in their classrooms. Using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological systems model as an interpretive framework, this study examined interview and survey data in order to develop an understanding of how the systems’ environment affects teacher’ beliefs and perceptions. Key findings included dual-immersion teachers’ lack of agency in affecting language policy, the need for instructional materials, the positive impact of team learning facilitated by leaders, an economic or practical rationale for programs’ existence, and teachers’ beliefs in the abilities of English Learners to succeed in the dual-immersion classroom. Understanding how dual-immersion teachers position themselves towards their programs and students offers educational leaders insight into promoting an expansion of program options to underserved students in the state. Future research directed at teachers in Mandarin and French schools in the state could provide new information or reinforce existing themes uncovered during the research.
- ItemThe Influence of Student Poverty on Preschool Teachers' Beliefs about Early Literacy Development, School Readiness, and Family Involvement(2017-05) Devitt, Suzanne E.According to the National Center for Child Poverty, in 2011 nearly half of the 72 million children in the U.S. were living in low-income families. Through this study, the author examined the effect that student poverty has on teachers’ beliefs about student print knowledge including school readiness and print literacy. Teachers’ beliefs were explored using a social justice framework that surrounds an explanatory sequential design. This mixed methods research helped me to identify whether or not teachers’ beliefs about students differ based on family socio-economic status (SES). The author of this study worked with a large urban school district located in the California Central Valley. The school district administers a Head Start preschool program and a California State preschool program. A total of 89 preschool teachers from these preschool programs participated in a Likert-style questionnaire. Participants were asked to share their beliefs about student print knowledge, school readiness, and parental involvement based on their 2016-2017 students. After collecting all questionnaires, 10 participants were interviewed to further investigate the effect of poverty on teacher’s beliefs about students and families. The overall findings of this study showed that poverty level thresholds between the two preschool programs did not appear to have an effect on participant’s beliefs regarding student print literacy, school readiness, and parental involvement. Participants were consistent in beliefs across both programs. Overall, participants were more positive in the areas of school readiness and parent involvement. Participants in both preschool programs were less positive in regards to student print literacy. .
- ItemTechnological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK): An Educational Landscape for Tertiary Science Faculty(2017-05) Lavadia, LindaEarlier studies concluded that technology’s strength is in supporting student learning rather than as an instrument for content delivery (Angeli & Valanides, 2014). Current research espouses the merits of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework as a guide for educators’ reflections about technology integration within the context of content and instructional practice. Grounded by two theoretical frameworks, TPACK (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; 2008) and Rogers’ (1983, 1995) theory of diffusion of innovation, the purpose of this mixed-methods research was two-fold: to explore the perceived competencies of tertiary science faculty at higher education institutions with respect to their integration of technology within the constructs of pedagogical practice and content learning and to analyze whether these perceived competencies may serve as predictive factors for technology adoption level. The literature review included past research that served as models for the Sci-TPACK instrument. Twenty-nine professors of tertiary science courses participated in an online Likert survey, and four professors provided in-depth interviews on their TPACK practices. Quantitative analysis of data consisted of descriptive and reliability statistics, calculations of means for each of the seven scales or domains of TPACK, and regression analysis. Open-ended questions on the Likert survey and individual interviews provided recurrent themes of the qualitative data. Final results revealed that the participants integrate technology into pedagogy and content through a myriad of TPACK practices. Regression analysis supported perceived TPACK competencies as predictive factors for technology adoption level.
- ItemThe Influence of Student Poverty on Preschool Teachers' Beliefs about Early Literacy Development, School Readiness, and Family Involvement(2017-05) Devitt, Suzanne E.According to the National Center for Child Poverty, in 2011 nearly half of the 72 million children in the U.S. were living in low-income families. Through this study, the author examined the effect that student poverty has on teachers’ beliefs about student print knowledge including school readiness and print literacy. Teachers’ beliefs were explored using a social justice framework that surrounds an explanatory sequential design. This mixed methods research helped me to identify whether or not teachers’ beliefs about students differ based on family socio-economic status (SES). The author of this study worked with a large urban school district located in the California Central Valley. The school district administers a Head Start preschool program and a California State preschool program. A total of 89 preschool teachers from these preschool programs participated in a Likert-style questionnaire. Participants were asked to share their beliefs about student print knowledge, school readiness, and parental involvement based on their 2016-2017 students. After collecting all questionnaires, 10 participants were interviewed to further investigate the effect of poverty on teacher’s beliefs about students and families. The overall findings of this study showed that poverty level thresholds between the two preschool programs did not appear to have an effect on participant’s beliefs regarding student print literacy, school readiness, and parental involvement. Participants were consistent in beliefs across both programs. Overall, participants were more positive in the areas of school readiness and parent involvement. Participants in both preschool programs were less positive in regards to student print literacy.
- ItemMotivation: The Value of Developing Intrinsic Motivation in Elementary School Students in Grades Four Through Sixth(2017-05) Gerstner, Gary M.This study sought to fill the gap in the literature concerning intrinsic motivation in elementary students in Grades 4–6 by examining 155 elementary school students and in-depth interviews with three elementary grade teachers. This study used data collected from the self-report survey called the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI) and from three in-depth elementary school teacher interviews. The study sought to answer the following questions: Is there a difference in student intrinsic motivation levels based on grade level? Do elementary school males and females differ in his or her intrinsic motivation in Grades 4-6? Is there a difference in intrinsic motivation within the subject areas of reading, math, social studies and science? Is there a correlation between a child’s intrinsic motivation level and his or her academic performance? What are examples of things that teachers do to promote intrinsic motivation in his or her students, and to what extent are they implemented? The findings of this study indicate that there is not a significant difference with the intrinsic motivation between the grade levels or between the genders. A student’s intrinsic motivation within the subject areas of reading, math, and social studies was relatively the same, however, there was a significant statistical difference in science. There was a correlation between a student’s intrinsic motivation level and his or her academic achievement in science. Lastly, based upon the data collected and the teachers’ interviews, four recommendations on how to foster intrinsic motivation in students in Grades 4–6 were made.
- ItemA Study of the use of Data to Implement School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports in a Large Elementary School(2017-05) Eldridge, Edward J.In nearly every profession, there is a general understanding that decisions should be informed and driven by data. Even in situations where individuals may not have a clear understanding of what data are needed, people have an innate understanding that more information will normally result in a more desirable outcome. Nowhere should the promise of data-based, high-quality decisions be realized more than in public schools that have answered the call to provide school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports (SWPBIS). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of data in the implementation of SWPBIS in a large elementary school in a Northern California school district. This study assessed school personnel’s ability to access and use student data contained in the district’s data system. The study also assessed the impact of providing training to school personnel focused on accessing and using student behavior, attendance, and achievement data available in the district’s data system. A mixed methods, embedded design of a primarily quantitative quasi-experimental, one-group pretest-posttest design supplemented by qualitative data comprised the methodology for this study. The results presented in this study contribute to research literature on the use of data in schools to improve student outcomes by providing strong support for increased data training of school personnel. There was variability between participants’ ratings of data accessibility and usefulness. Additionally, there were significant increases in participants’ ratings regarding the accessibility and usability of data points related to student behavior, attendance, and achievement as a result of data-focused professional development.
- ItemPositive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and School Culture: A Mixed Method Study on the Effects of Implementation of PBIS in an Urban K-8 School(2017-05) Letcher-Boeve, Debra DennetSchool culture develops as staff members interact with each other, the students, and the community. It becomes the guide for behavior shared among members of the school at large. School culture is a self-repeating cycle; culture is shaped by the interactions of the personnel, and the actions of the personnel become directed by culture (Hinde, 2004). The culture of a school can be a positive influence on student learning or it can inhibit the functioning of the school. Stakeholders in any environment prefer to be in a situation that is appealing and welcoming. When students attend school, the expectation is that it is a place where they like to be, a place that offers support and encouragement, and a place where physical comfort levels are optimal (MacNeil, Prater, & Busch, 2009). Research indicates school culture plays a significant role in educational reform efforts (Gruenert & Whitaker, 2015). This study investigated how perceptions of teachers, support staff, and administrators affect school culture and academic achievement, and aimed to define how Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) impacts school culture. The data collected and the statistical tests performed included Correlations, a Mann-Whitney Test, and a One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The SCS-FF Open-ended responses were coded and synthesized, and interviews with six certificated employees were coded and categorized into nine themes divided into four metacodes. Lack of implementation with fidelity and consistent progress monitoring of the PBIS program suggests that there is a lack of cohesiveness shared among staff members at XYZ K-8 School. Consistent expectations for all stakeholders, set forth by administration, emerged as imperative to program success and a positive school culture.
- ItemClosing the Achievement Gap Using Students' 21st Century Skills: How Fidelity to Rigorous Curriculum Design Units Affects Student Outcomes(2017-05) Eckersall, Michele AnnaThe purpose of this research project was to implement rigorous curriculum design to deliver instruction that effectively results in academically successful and engaged students who take ownership of learning. The goal in implementing rigorous curriculum design was to create academically successful students who were well-practiced in the formative process and 21st century skills in order to increase metacognition as well as college and career readiness. The 90 students in this study were from three junior high schools within the same district in Southern California. The study was conducted over eighteen weeks. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in the form of teacher grades, teacher and student surveys, and state testing results. The data provided by these instruments were analyzed during this process. The results indicated a slight increase in state test scores by gender, for Hispanic students, and for African-American students. There was little to no change in survey results from the beginning to the end of the study. Teachers also rate student ability in 21st century skills higher than the students do. Student responses indicated that more opportunities to practice 21st century skills are needed.
- ItemHOW CALIFORNIA DISTRICTS ARE MAXIMIZING THEIR LOCAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTABILITY PLANS TO MEET THE EDUCATIONAL DEMANDS OF THEIR TARGETED STUDENTS(2017-12) Egan, Teresa AnnIn 2013, Governor Jerry Brown and the State Board of Education signed into law the Local Control Funding Formula in a bold attempt to provide equitable educational opportunities for all. This study sought to analyze the effects of districts’ LCAPs to determine what staffing changes have been made at the district level, which programs and services have helped to close the achievement gap, and which methods of stakeholder engagement have supported continuous student improvement. The author of this study invited 197 randomly selected district superintendents throughout California to participate in an electronic survey. Thirty-four participants provided answers to questions about staffing and district office responsibilities pertaining to the development of the district’s LCAP. Additionally, questions were posed around stakeholder engagement opportunities and program models that have been implemented. Five personal interviews were conducted with superintendents from various regions in California for a more indepth look at LCAP implementation. The LCAPs of the five districts were also reviewed. Overall findings indicate that not all districts have hired personnel to support LCAP development. Moreover, all of the survey respondents and superintendents interviewed use a combination of surveys and meetings to gather stakeholder input. Larger districts provided more opportunities for stakeholder engagement than their smaller counterparts. There has been some success in improved stakeholder engagement through electronic surveys that are delivered directly to personal cell phones. Finally, it is too early to tell which programs or services are proven to be the most effective in meeting the academic needs of California’s targeted students.
- ItemTHE LEADERSHIP PRACTICES OF ELEMENTARY PRINCIPALS IN URBAN INNERCITY SCHOOLS OF SOUTH LOS ANGELES THAT IMPACT THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF SCHOOL REFORM(2017-12) Robin, Benton L.The purpose of this study is to investigate the existing influences faced by today’s urban inner-city elementary school principals that impact the successful implementation of reform strategies as measured by student achievement data. The study examines dynamics such as the characteristics and qualities, leadership style and behavior, instructional leadership, school community, and political influences encountered by principals assigned to low-income urban inner-city schools and the impact of these forces on student achievement in South Los Angeles elementary schools. It utilizes a mixed method design phenomenological approach. The quantitative phase entails the use data from the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ)-5X from Mind Garden Institute and the Principal Instrumental Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) authored by Hallinger (1982). Information was collected from interviews with principals, assistant principals, and approximately 30% of classroom teachers at two nderperforming schools. Grounded within the Coherence Framework by Fullan and Quinn (2015) and the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) Coherence Framework by Childress, Elmore, Grossman and King (2011), the study provides an insight into the effectiveness of the principal position and its impact on school reform efforts. The findings of this study revealed the transformative style of leadership is most preferred as it allows stakeholder voice in decision-making. Data also verified that urban inner city principals devote the least amount of time in their day to instructional leadership activities. These activities are focused on framing the school’s goals and coordinating the school curriculum and require emphasis on engaging in the behaviors that develop the school’s learning climate. Moreover, several themes emerged from the study. These included (a) teacher “voice” in school-wide decisions impacts reform efforts; (b) the school community severely impacts the principal’s decision-making towards school improvement; (c) the principal’s style of leadership influences teacher commitment; (d) the political/district influences can limit reform efforts.
- ItemPROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TOOLS TO ENHANCE THE ABILITIES OF VETERAN TEACHERS IN PRE-K THROUGH EIGHTH GRADES(2017-12) Kuykendall, Salvatrice DomenicaProfessional Development Tools to Enhance the Abilities of Veteran Teachers in Pre-K Through Eighth Grades examined the variety of professional development tools available to veteran educators. The quasi-experimental study allowed veteran teachers to participate in a pretest survey consisting of questions about teachers’ desire for continued professional development, learning preferences, tools and ideas, and demographic information. An intervention in the form of PowerPoint was then presented to the veteran teachers outlining the adult learning theory and a variety of professional development tools. After the intervention a posttest was conducted and compared using an ANOVA. The results in the study indicate that while there is not a significant difference in the pretest and posttest following the intervention, veteran teachers are interested in learning, growing, and enhancing their classroom. Veteran teachers would like to be actively involved in the planning and expansion of professional development opportunities and would like to learn from their peers in how to make their classroom more effective. Veteran teachers also feel that their peers can learn from watching them teach in the classroom and would like to use the peer coaching model and Instructional Rounds to be able to learn from their colleagues. Veteran teachers feel that tools such as observations and feedback are helpful in the classroom and would like to learn more about student engagement, instructional strategies, classroom management, differentiation techniques, Instructional Rounds, growth mindset, and subject specific programs. The results from the teachers’ survey were given to administrators for feedback about how to use the responses to develop effective professional development opportunities in schools. The interview results from the administrators revealed that teacher observation and collaboration are optimal for teachers to grow professionally. The one-on-one interviews also resulted in the overwhelming need to include teachers in the creation of professional development opportunities.
- ItemA MIXED METHODS STUDY OF CHARTER SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSPECTIVES OF EFFECTIVE INCLUSION PRACTICES(2017-12) Okpara, NnennaIn the early 1990s, the educational system in the U.S. began to change with the advent of publicly-operated charter schools. In recent years, there has been a surge in parents opting for this type of alternative educational setting to meet the needs of their students. This increase in enrollment did not preclude students with disabilities. This research study specifically examined charter school leadership perspectives regarding the inclusion model as it relates to accountability standards, service delivery trends and models, and general education professional development. It is important to measure the efficacy of these elements and their compliance with education law as it relates to students with disabilities. Few studies have been conducted in the area of compliance of programs for students with disabilities in charter schools, and therefore, this study serves as an exploration into these publicly run but misunderstood segments of the educational environment. The major findings of this study report that from the perspective of the charter school administrators, there is compliance with the method used to serve students with disabilities. In terms of the scope of the study, 38 participants completed this study with a 100% completion rate. The service delivery models differ from site to site, but in essence, all operate in good faith to serve their students with disabilities.