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Discourses Of Developmental English Education: Reframing Policy Debates, Aaron R. Tolbert May 2017

Discourses Of Developmental English Education: Reframing Policy Debates, Aaron R. Tolbert

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

According to the National Educational Longitudinal Study, an estimated 28% of academically underprepared students who take developmental courses (preparatory, not credit-bearing) graduate within 8.5 years (Attewell, Lavin, Domina, & Levey, 2006), far below the national average graduation rate of near 60% of students for all postsecondary institutions (USDE, 2016). Given these statistics, some conclude that developmental education itself contributes to the low graduation rate of developmental students (Bailey, Jaggars, & Jenkins, 2015). Indeed, the causes of this attainment gap are the focus of vigorous debates by scholars from numerous disciplines, defining whether the problems exist within the organizational structure and climate of the institution, the developmental coursework, the students’ academic preparedness, or with other factors (Bailey et al., 2015; Goudas & Boylan, 2012; Grubb & Babriner, 2013). Similarly, the research methodologies most appropriate to analyze the problems are also debated (Bailey et al., 2015; Goudas & Boylan, 2012; Grubb & Babriner, 2013). In fact, since developmental education’s inception, scholars have disputed how to conduct basic skills education (Grubb & Babriner, 2013) and how best to support developmental students (Soliday, 2002). Despite the breadth of current inquiry, few scholars have used poststructural methodologies to explore the conceptual construction of “problems” related to developmental education, except within the field of basic writing (Horner & Lu, 1999).

Accordingly, the purpose of ...


Somali Parents' Involvement In The Education Of Their Children In American Middle Schools: A Case Study In Portland, Maine, Abdullahi Ahmed Dec 2015

Somali Parents' Involvement In The Education Of Their Children In American Middle Schools: A Case Study In Portland, Maine, Abdullahi Ahmed

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Across the nation, language minority students comprise one of the largest minority groups in U.S. public schools. The increase of linguistically diverse students, especially Somalis, brings unique challenges to Portland, Maine public schools. Different subgroups have their unique characteristics, yet the U.S. education system treats immigrants and English Language Learners (ELL) as somewhat the same (Barrera, 2006; Hosp & Reschly, 2004). Although there are many reasons for the underachievement of minority students in public schools, one way to mitigate low performance of students is engaging parents by creating mutual relationships between parents and schools and involving all families in the education of children of all ages (Christen & Sheridan, 2001; Crespo-Jimenez, 2010; Cutler, 2000).

This case study examines the views of one subgroup, Somalis, on education and schooling as well as their involvement in their children’s middle schools. The study employed a mixed method design using interviews and surveys ...


Diversity Education Goals In Higher Education: A Policy Discourse Analysis, Stuart Glen Swain May 2013

Diversity Education Goals In Higher Education: A Policy Discourse Analysis, Stuart Glen Swain

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Many colleges and universities have established student learning outcomes for diversity education as a part of their broad undergraduate education program. These education goals, developed for assessment purposes or other policies, reflect a range of possible diversity and multicultural learning purposes. The emphasis on some purposes, and the language used to articulate those purposes, potentially focuses or constrains practice. Using a policy discourse analysis methodology, I explore the articulated diversity education goals and the discourses and subject positions they advance. In particular, I consider the institution-wide diversity education goals established at 50 public liberal arts colleges and universities across the ...