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Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Educational Leadership

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An Exploratory Study Of Leadership, Literacy Assessments And Acceleration For Closing The Reading Achievement Gap By Third Grade, Laura Frances Estes Apr 2018

An Exploratory Study Of Leadership, Literacy Assessments And Acceleration For Closing The Reading Achievement Gap By Third Grade, Laura Frances Estes

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The third grade year is a seminal moment for children moving into a fluent reader stage that continues to evolve well across their school career. Research indicates that not learning to read well by the third grade sets some children on a path of overall diminished school and life success, and thus, school leaders are faced with the challenge of altering the trajectory for students behind their peers in reading development. School leaders and teachers have a limited number of tools to assess literacy progress of beginning readers; therefore, it is important educators understand the connections between two of the ...


Teacher Perceptions Of The Implementation Processes Of The Imagine Learning Program In Title I Elementary Schools, Brigitt Angelica Mcguinness Apr 2018

Teacher Perceptions Of The Implementation Processes Of The Imagine Learning Program In Title I Elementary Schools, Brigitt Angelica Mcguinness

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Closing achievement gaps for students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds is a decades-long issue in public education, particularly for reading instruction (International Reading Association [IRA], 2010; National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2013). Across the United States, initiatives to further integrate technology-based instruction to achieve differentiation are constantly emerging. Selecting which programs to use and how to best implement the technology to produce the highest academic gains remain significant issues. Research has shown that technology-based programs can produce the same positive or negative effects as teacher-led instruction (Ross, Morrison, & Lowther, 2010). Finding and implementing high-quality literacy technology is particularly important for students attending Title I schools. Students from low-income backgrounds may start their schooling at a disadvantage in terms of vocabulary and oral communication skills (Reardon, 2013; Timmons, 2008) which research has linked to higher unemployment rates (Timmons, 2008). The ...


Project Based Learning To Promote 21st Century Skills: An Action Research Study, Jason Michael Allison Apr 2018

Project Based Learning To Promote 21st Century Skills: An Action Research Study, Jason Michael Allison

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This action research study explored how instructional staff members at a rural high school in Central Virginia can improve their PBL instructional practices to promote students to acquire the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Based on the results of this action research study, the top three strengths of PBL were students learning from mistakes, students taking responsibility for their learning, and that projects come in all shapes and sizes. The study revealed that there is not a tight fit or alignment between PBL and the Four Cs of communication, creativity, and critical thinking, and collaboration ...


A Program Evaluation Of A Technology Based Formative Assessment For Algebra Readiness, Cassandra Harris Mar 2018

A Program Evaluation Of A Technology Based Formative Assessment For Algebra Readiness, Cassandra Harris

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Algebra 1 is often called the “gateway” course to higher education and opportunity. In the state of Virginia, the Algebra Readiness Diagnostic Test (ARDT) is the recommended mathematics formative assessment selected to monitor progress of students at each grade level. This program evaluation sought to take a closer look at tasks that teachers practice in the formative assessment process which exceed the mandatory ARDT periods for assessment. Teachers felt strongly about the adverse impact of assessment overload, but they also stressed the need to have continual alternative assessments, such as memory recall practices, to make certain that elementary students retained ...


The Actions Institutional Agents Take To Support First-Generation Latino College Students At A Catholic Hispanic-Serving Institution: An Embedded Case Study, Diana Marie Hernández Jan 2018

The Actions Institutional Agents Take To Support First-Generation Latino College Students At A Catholic Hispanic-Serving Institution: An Embedded Case Study, Diana Marie Hernández

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of the study was to examine the actions institutional agents took to support first-generation Latino students at a Catholic Hispanic-Serving Institution using Stanton-Salazar’s (2010) framework. All but one of the 14 roles in the framework were present. An in-depth examination of the framework led to the creation of a fluidity model, aligning with Stanton-Salazar (2010) and Jiménez’s (2012) findings that institutional agents fulfilled simultaneous and multiple roles. In addition, the data demonstrated that institutional agents’ roles worked in tandem with Rendón’s (1994) validation theory. Last, context and whether St. Jude’s was Hispanic-serving versus Hispanic-enrolling ...


Principal Support And Academic Optimism In Urban High Schools, Todd Edward Perelli Jan 2018

Principal Support And Academic Optimism In Urban High Schools, Todd Edward Perelli

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between principal support and teacher academic optimism. The conceptual framework guiding this study proposed that the existing relationship between the constructs of teacher academic optimism could be related to principal support. Extant data from high school teachers in an urban setting provided quantitative data analysis of the four types of principal support (emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal) and whether they can predict the constructs of teacher academic optimism (teacher self-efficacy, teacher trust in parents and students, and teacher academic emphasis) or academic optimism itself. This study identified the relationship between ...


Knowledge, Perceptions, And Beliefs Of Elementary Principals Regarding Whole-Grade Acceleration For Gifted Students, Allison A. Sheppard Jan 2018

Knowledge, Perceptions, And Beliefs Of Elementary Principals Regarding Whole-Grade Acceleration For Gifted Students, Allison A. Sheppard

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Abstract This study used a case study research design to investigate the knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs of elementary principals regarding whole-grade acceleration for gifted students. The research literature is overwhelmingly positive on student outcomes – academically, socially, and emotionally. However, little research exists on the impact of principal leadership and the use of acceleration as an academic option. The study explored principals’ prior training, personal and professional experiences with whole-grade acceleration. In addition, the research questions aimed to understand what participants considered to be both benefits and challenges with acceleration. The theoretical framework for this study was human capital theory that ...


Distinguished, Endowed, And Underrepresented: A Phenomenological Exploration Of Talent Development Among Expert Black Scholars In Education, Keisha Baylor Jan 2018

Distinguished, Endowed, And Underrepresented: A Phenomenological Exploration Of Talent Development Among Expert Black Scholars In Education, Keisha Baylor

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and gain an in-depth understanding of the lived experiences of talent development toward successful outcomes among 10 expert Black scholars in the field of education. A transcendental phenomenological approach was employed to gather data through open-ended phone interviews. Research questions included: What are the talent development experiences of Black distinguished and endowed faculty in the field of education? How did contexts or situations influence or affect their path toward successful career outcomes? Five themes emerged from the interviews: (a) Background Influences and Preparation, (b) Connections, Mentoring, and Support, (c) Self-Preservation and ...


Teacher Perceptions Of Teacher Performance Pay And Performance Evaluation In Yunnan Province, China, Yi Hua Dec 2017

Teacher Perceptions Of Teacher Performance Pay And Performance Evaluation In Yunnan Province, China, Yi Hua

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

In China, teacher performance pay has been implemented for eight years, but teachers’ perceptions regarding its implementation have been examined seldomly. Exploring teachers’ perceptions is a path to hear teachers’ voices, inspect implementation practice, and evaluate impacts. This mixed-method study explored teachers’ perceptions toward performance pay in Panda School District of Kunming City, Yunnan Province, China through surveys, interviews, and artifacts. A total of 333 valid responses to the survey were collected and 14 teachers participated in follow-up semi-structured interviews. The quantitative results indicate low to moderate teacher support for performance pay. The qualitative themes generated through content analysis present ...


The Implementation Of A Principal Mentoring Program And The Corresponding Impact On Leadership Practice, Paula Massey Huffman Oct 2017

The Implementation Of A Principal Mentoring Program And The Corresponding Impact On Leadership Practice, Paula Massey Huffman

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

With the challenges facing principals today, the question of how best to support new principals in meeting these challenges remains. The leadership abilities of new school leaders matter more today than ever with increasing accountability and additional responsibilities. The focus of this study was to determine participants’ perceptions of the impact of mentoring on the development on first and second-year principals in a suburban school district located in a fast growing metropolitan area within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The overarching question of the study was: What impact does mentoring have on first and second-year principal performance? Secondary ...


Evaluating Programming, Performance, And Perspectives In Pursuing Progress For English Language Learners, Patricia Marie Tilghman Aug 2017

Evaluating Programming, Performance, And Perspectives In Pursuing Progress For English Language Learners, Patricia Marie Tilghman

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Abstract The demographic composition of America’s population has changed significantly over the past several decades which is reflected in classrooms that are culturally and linguistically more diverse. In particular, the rapidly growing population of non-native English speaking students has highlighted the need for language instruction programs to increase linguistic proficiency outcomes and close pervasive gaps in academic achievement in comparison to native English speaking students. Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), requires that local education agencies (LEAs) as guided by state education ...


Emotional Intelligence, Environment, And Teacher Self-Efficacy: A Look Into The Effects Of Teacher Emotional Intelligence And Socioeconomic Status Of School On Teacher Self-Efficacy In K-12 Public Schools, Augustine Kang Aug 2017

Emotional Intelligence, Environment, And Teacher Self-Efficacy: A Look Into The Effects Of Teacher Emotional Intelligence And Socioeconomic Status Of School On Teacher Self-Efficacy In K-12 Public Schools, Augustine Kang

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This study sought to uncover the relationship among emotional intelligence, teacher self-efficacy, and socioeconomic status of schools amongst K-12 public school teachers. Correlations were analyzed between overall emotional intelligence and overall teacher self-efficacy, as well as between the subscales of both constructs. Furthermore, regression analysis was used to determine the predictability of teacher self-efficacy based on emotional intelligence, school socioeconomic status, and the subscales of emotional intelligence. Weak correlations were found between emotional intelligence of teachers and teacher self-efficacy levels. Emotional intelligence and school socioeconomic status were not found to be strong predictors of teacher self-efficacy. Subscales of emotional intelligence ...


Virginia Principals' Knowledge Of Classroom Assessment And Support Of Assessment For Learning Practices, Rachel Previs Ball Aug 2017

Virginia Principals' Knowledge Of Classroom Assessment And Support Of Assessment For Learning Practices, Rachel Previs Ball

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this study was to investigate the assessment literacy of Virginia principals and describe how principals with varying levels of assessment literacy integrate assessment leadership practices that support assessment for learning. This study investigated the differences in assessment literacy between elementary and secondary principals and across principals’ predominant method of training in assessment. Mertler and Campbell’s (2005) Assessment Literacy Inventory (ALI) was used to obtain measures of overall assessment literacy and determine relative strengths and weaknesses across the seven Standards for Teacher Competence in the Educational Assessment of Students. There were no significant differences in assessment literacy ...


Institutional Analytics: A Response To The Pressures Of Academic Capitalism, Molly E. O'Keefe Jul 2017

Institutional Analytics: A Response To The Pressures Of Academic Capitalism, Molly E. O'Keefe

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The higher education sector today faces an environment unlike any it has seen before. Serving a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders and facing diverse and fast-changing economic, social, and political pressures, universities can benefit from corporate-like approaches such as the use of analytics to inform strategic decision-making and planning. Institutional analytics programs can be a valuable resource in guiding university responses to modern challenges around fiscal responsibility, accountability, competition, and student success. Customizable when it comes to leadership, staffing, and data and technology infrastructure, analytics initiatives can be targeted to meet individual institutional resources, environments, challenges, needs, mission ...


Teacher Perspectives Of Whole Brain Teaching In A Suburban Middle School: A Program Evaluation, Wendy Vanhosen Jul 2017

Teacher Perspectives Of Whole Brain Teaching In A Suburban Middle School: A Program Evaluation, Wendy Vanhosen

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this program evaluation case study was to seek the perceptions of a group of teachers based on their experience with Whole Brain Teaching strategies at a suburban middle school. Perceptions and factors that lead to teacher use of the strategies were explored with the intention of informing stakeholders of whether teachers view these strategies as viable to their practice and how these beliefs influence implementation. Challenges pertaining to implementation were uncovered as well as the frequency and intended purposes of teacher use of the Whole Brain Teaching strategies. Further, there is limited research available on Whole Brain ...


The Relationship Between Student Infractions And Social Emotional Competence: A Program Evaluation Of Responsive Classroom(Rtm), Bloodine Barthelus Jan 2015

The Relationship Between Student Infractions And Social Emotional Competence: A Program Evaluation Of Responsive Classroom(Rtm), Bloodine Barthelus

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


The Language Of Leadership A Feminist Poststructural Discourse Analysis Of Inaugural Addresses By Presidents Of High Profile Research Universities, Tehmina Khwaja Jan 2015

The Language Of Leadership A Feminist Poststructural Discourse Analysis Of Inaugural Addresses By Presidents Of High Profile Research Universities, Tehmina Khwaja

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Mission Us And Historical Empathy: A Qualitative Case Study Of Sixth-Grade Students' Experiences, James Richard Maxlow Jan 2015

Mission Us And Historical Empathy: A Qualitative Case Study Of Sixth-Grade Students' Experiences, James Richard Maxlow

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Chancellor's College Success Coach Initiative: A Formative Program Evaluation Of The Virginia Community College System's Initiative From The Success Coaches' Perspective, Marcia C. Strange Jan 2015

Chancellor's College Success Coach Initiative: A Formative Program Evaluation Of The Virginia Community College System's Initiative From The Success Coaches' Perspective, Marcia C. Strange

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


The Relationship Between Teachers' Computer Self-Efficacy And Technology Integration In A School District's Bring Your Own Technology Initiative, Ashley F. Ellis Jan 2014

The Relationship Between Teachers' Computer Self-Efficacy And Technology Integration In A School District's Bring Your Own Technology Initiative, Ashley F. Ellis

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this mixed methods program evaluation study was to investigate the ways in which one public school district and its teachers implemented a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) initiative. This study also measured teachers' computer self-efficacy, as measured by Cassidy and Eachus' (2002) Computer User Self-Efficacy Scale, and investigated the relationship between the teachers' computer self-efficacy and use of BYOT. The study sought to discover the successes and challenges the teachers in the district faced with implementation in their schools and classrooms. Participants included teachers in the four high schools in the district. The study used the CIPP ...


An Evaluation Of Project Iread: A Program Created To Improve Sight Word Recognition, Theresa Meade Marshall Jan 2014

An Evaluation Of Project Iread: A Program Created To Improve Sight Word Recognition, Theresa Meade Marshall

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This program evaluation was undertaken to examine the relationship between participation in Project iRead and student gains in word recognition, fluency, and comprehension as measured by the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) Test. Linear regressions compared the 2012-13 PALS results from 5,140 first and second grade students at adopting and non-adopting schools. Similar regressions were performed at early and late adopting schools. The outcomes for Project iRead indicated statistically significant improvement in word recognition at the district level. However, the results were not practically significant as less than 1% of the variation was explained by the model. In addition ...


The Impact Of Leadership Behaviors Of Blue Ribbon Catholic School Principals On School Culture, Rosaline Cardarelli Jan 2014

The Impact Of Leadership Behaviors Of Blue Ribbon Catholic School Principals On School Culture, Rosaline Cardarelli

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this study was to conduct an analysis of six successful Blue Ribbon Catholic schools to determine the relationship between principal's leadership behaviors, teacher's perceptions of principals and resulting school culture within six successful Blue Ribbon schools. A mixed methods approach for analysis was used through both qualitative and quantitative methods by means of principal interview data, observations, survey data, principal survey, and teacher survey. Participants in the survey included six principals and 80 teachers from elementary and high schools from rural as well as urban schools. The six schools in the study were all co-educational ...


Living, Learning, And Leading From The Middle: African American Women Administrators In Student Affairs, Melinda R. Jones Anderson Jan 2014

Living, Learning, And Leading From The Middle: African American Women Administrators In Student Affairs, Melinda R. Jones Anderson

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This qualitative study examined the career progression of African American women mid-level administrators in student affairs. A conceptual framework that integrated Career Advancement Factors (Coleman, 2002) and Black Feminist Thought (Collins, 2000) was used analyze the narratives of nine participants. The major findings of this study are that African American women mid-level administrators in student affairs are negotiating their careers by developing mentoring relationships, developing a professional skill set, earning a doctoral degree and navigating institutional politics. They believe their career progression has been impacted by their race and gender albeit in varying degrees. Race was perceived to be a ...


Investigating The Relationships Among Primary Teachers' Math Profile, Math Teaching Efficacy, And Math Content Pedagogical Knowledge, Theresa Marie Roettinger Jan 2014

Investigating The Relationships Among Primary Teachers' Math Profile, Math Teaching Efficacy, And Math Content Pedagogical Knowledge, Theresa Marie Roettinger

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Kindergarten, first and second grade teachers play an important role in the development of a student's understanding of mathematics. Consequently, in order to improve student achievement in mathematics, it is important to investigate the relationships that may exist among primary teachers' math profile, math teaching efficacy, and math pedagogy and content knowledge. Participants completed an online survey that included the Math Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (MTEBI) and Math Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) items. Participants provided math profile data through academic demographic questions.;Two-hundred seven respondents completed the survey. Analysis of the data included descriptive statistics, chi-square test of independence ...


Teacher Self-Efficacy, Content And Pedagogical Knowledge, And Their Relationship To Student Achievement In Algebra I, Antonia M. Fox Jan 2014

Teacher Self-Efficacy, Content And Pedagogical Knowledge, And Their Relationship To Student Achievement In Algebra I, Antonia M. Fox

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the relationship between teacher self-efficacy beliefs and the level of student achievement their students obtain as evidenced by the Algebra I Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment. This study also explored teachers' mathematics content knowledge, mathematics pedagogical knowledge, and the relationship of each of these to their self-efficacy beliefs as teachers, and to student achievement. Finally, the study explored whether there were significant differences between teachers who teach Algebra I at the middle school level versus those who teach Algebra I at the high school level in each of the four ...


A Descriptive Case Study Of Appreciative Inquiry As An Approach To Strategic Planning For Special Education In A Public School, Paul L. Ruhlman Jr. Jan 2014

A Descriptive Case Study Of Appreciative Inquiry As An Approach To Strategic Planning For Special Education In A Public School, Paul L. Ruhlman Jr.

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This study's purpose was to describe appreciative inquiry (AI) as an approach to strategic planning for special education in a public school. The study investigated four research questions. How do plans for special education emerge as participants engage in the four phases of AI during strategic planning for the future of special education in a public school district? What were participants' experiences and perceptions of AI as a method to develop strategic plans for the future of special education? to what extent did participants' experiences using AI mirror the philosophical principles of AI? to what extent did using AI ...


A Program Evaluation Of A Leadership Academy For School Principals, Kristi E. Wagner Jan 2014

A Program Evaluation Of A Leadership Academy For School Principals, Kristi E. Wagner

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This program evaluation focused on mid-range outcomes of a leadership academy for school principals. The mixed-methods evaluation included interviews, principals' instructional observation database, and teacher surveys. The Principal Academy program was designed to build principals' knowledge of high-yield instructional strategies (Hattie, 2009), expertise with tools to collect classroom data that provide immediate feedback to teachers, and facilitate collaborative observation conferences to engage teachers in professional learning to improve classroom instructional practices. Participants in the study included Academy leaders and directors, principals, and identified teachers. Interviews revealed evidence of principals' increased knowledge of intended instructional strategies and targeted professional learning for ...


Leadership Challenges In Implementing A Balanced Literacy Model In Elementary Schools, Amy C. Colley Jan 2014

Leadership Challenges In Implementing A Balanced Literacy Model In Elementary Schools, Amy C. Colley

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purposes of this study were to conduct a formative evaluation in the third year of one district's implementation of a balanced literacy model to determine the degree of fidelity of implementation as well as to identify successes and challenges experienced by instructional staff. The evaluation model was designed from the constructivist paradigm using Scriven's (1991) goal-free evaluation as a framework. In conducting the evaluation, lesson plans were analyzed, classroom observations were conducted and interviews and focus groups were facilitated. The resulting qualitative data and descriptive statistics revealed implementation gaps and needs in the areas of writing and ...


Faculty Sense Of Academic Optimism And Its Relationship To Students' Achievement In Well Performing High Schools, Michael Tyrone Cromartie Jan 2013

Faculty Sense Of Academic Optimism And Its Relationship To Students' Achievement In Well Performing High Schools, Michael Tyrone Cromartie

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The aim of this study was to determine the organizational characteristics and behaviors that contribute to sustaining a culture of academic optimism as a mechanism of student achievement. While there is a developing research base identifying both the individual elements of academic optimism as well as the academic optimism construct itself as contributors to student achievement, little information exists to assist school leaders in identifying specific organizational practices that sustain collective teacher efficacy, academic emphasis, and trust in students and families. This study employs case study methodology to investigate faculties' interpretations of academic optimism by examining the organizational and instructional ...


Teacher Perspectives Of The Use Of Student Performance Data In Teacher Evaluations, Paul Thomas Hopkins Jan 2013

Teacher Perspectives Of The Use Of Student Performance Data In Teacher Evaluations, Paul Thomas Hopkins

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this study was to determine how K-12 public school teachers perceive the use of student performance data in teacher evaluations. The proprietary, utility, feasibility, and accuracy standards created by the Joint Committee on Standards for Education Evaluation (JCSEE) served as a framework for the study. An online survey was deployed to a random stratified sample of teachers across the United States. Participants responded to thirty statements using a four-point Likert Scale that ranged from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. Participants were also provided an opportunity to list and describe additional items that they favored and feared with ...