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MERC Publications

Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Education

Understanding Teacher Morale, Jesse Senechal, Tamara Sober, Samantha Hope, Teri Johnson, Felicia Burkhalter, Teri Castelow, Debbie Gilfillan, Kenya Jackson, Autumn Nabors, Patrick Neuman, Rodney Robinson, Rob Sargeant, Stacy Stanford, Deanna Varljen Jan 2016

Understanding Teacher Morale, Jesse Senechal, Tamara Sober, Samantha Hope, Teri Johnson, Felicia Burkhalter, Teri Castelow, Debbie Gilfillan, Kenya Jackson, Autumn Nabors, Patrick Neuman, Rodney Robinson, Rob Sargeant, Stacy Stanford, Deanna Varljen

MERC Publications

This study emerged from discussions within the Policy and Planning Council of the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC), a research alliance between Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education and seven surrounding school divisions.

The project has two goals. The first goal is to develop an understanding of the factors that impact teachers’ experience of their work in the current PK12 public school context. Although this topic could be, and has been, investigated through a number of lenses (e.g., burnout, trust, motivation), this project focuses on the idea of teacher morale, a choice that will be discussed in detail ...


Cultural Diversity Professional Development For Teachers: A Research Brief, Samantha Hope, David Naff Jan 2016

Cultural Diversity Professional Development For Teachers: A Research Brief, Samantha Hope, David Naff

MERC Publications

Many regions of the United States have experienced rapid shifts in the racial and ethnic makeup of the population over the past decade. As a result, many of the nation’s schools have undergone significant changes in student demographics. This includes growth in the numbers of Asian, Hispanic, and multi-racial students.1 Regionally, enrollment data reflect this demographic change (figure 1). It is also worth noting that these demographic changes are more dramatic in some schools and communities than others. Aggregate data for the region shows the largest growth in the population of Hispanic students, which increased from 2.98 ...


Academic Rigor: A Research Report, Gabriel Reich, Volkan Sevim, Amanda Turner Jan 2015

Academic Rigor: A Research Report, Gabriel Reich, Volkan Sevim, Amanda Turner

MERC Publications

Rigor can be defined in any number of ways. We found an imbalance between the ways in which rigor has been defined by the Virginia Department of Education, and how education scholars define rigor in the respective academic disciplines.

(1) The Commonwealth of Virginia defines rigor as college and career readiness as measured by attendance in post-secondary educational institution, achievement of high Standards of Learning (SOL) test scores, as well as participation in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs.

(2) Educational Psychologists tend to define rigor in ways that are generalizable across contexts. Researchers in this tradition focus on academic ...


Differentiated Instruction: A Review Of Literature, Whitney Sherman Jan 2008

Differentiated Instruction: A Review Of Literature, Whitney Sherman

MERC Publications

Differentiated instruction is recognized to be a compilation of many theories and practices related to effective teaching and its link to student achievement. It requires a departure from traditional methods of teaching and the belief that learners vary according to readiness, ability, motivation, and interest. While numerous testimonials, examples of differentiation in practice, and for profit tools abound in the literature, little empirical research exists warranting future research on the effectiveness of differentiated instruction as measured by student achievement on assessment. This manuscript provides a review of the literature.


Enhancing Parental Involvement In Urban Schools: Types Of Programs, Characteristics Of Successful Programs, And Proven Strategies, Suzanne Trevett, James H. Mcmillan Jan 1998

Enhancing Parental Involvement In Urban Schools: Types Of Programs, Characteristics Of Successful Programs, And Proven Strategies, Suzanne Trevett, James H. Mcmillan

MERC Publications

Numerous students and reports document the fact that parental involvement in education is positively related to higher student achievement. A review of the literature also reveals that educators regard parental involvement in a variety of ways, ranging from a traditional concept of inviting parents to back-to-school night, to more participatory efforts such as parental membership on decision-making committees and executive councils. Studies also show that parental involvement relates to enhanced community satisfaction with education and to better physical facilities. None of these is an inconsequential or isolated factor; each impinges the other, and taken together they constitute major challenges facing ...


Teachers' Classroom Assessment And Grading Practices: Phase 1, James H. Mcmillan, Daryl Workman Jan 1998

Teachers' Classroom Assessment And Grading Practices: Phase 1, James H. Mcmillan, Daryl Workman

MERC Publications

Classroom assessment and grading practices are becoming a greater focus of educational inquiry as teachers and policymakers become more accountable to the public for educational outcomes via assessment driven instructional practices. This study was an attempt to better understand the classroom assessment and grading practices of teachers, which have previously been described as a "hodgepodge" mix of student attitude, effort and achievement. Specifically, the following questions regarding teachers' assessment and grading practices were addressed:

What is the current state of assessment practice and grading by teachers?

What assessment and grading topics do teachers identify as needs to be addressed in ...


Alternative High School Scheduling: Student Achievement And Behavior Research Report, John Pisapia, Amy Lynn Westfall Jan 1997

Alternative High School Scheduling: Student Achievement And Behavior Research Report, John Pisapia, Amy Lynn Westfall

MERC Publications

In 1995, the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) commissioned a study of alternative high school schedules to determine their effects on teaching strategies, teacher and student satisfaction, and student and school performance. Two previous papers emanating from this study reported the views of teachers and students regarding alternative schedules in twelve high schools utilizing different scheduling alternatives to address. This paper uses commonly collected statistical data, and survey and interview responses from those same schools to determine the impact of alternative schedules on student achievement and behavior.


Teaching As Reflective Practice: Papers By Teacher Researchers, Merc Teacher Researchers Jan 1996

Teaching As Reflective Practice: Papers By Teacher Researchers, Merc Teacher Researchers

MERC Publications

This is a collection of papers by Teacher researchers in different county public school systems put together by the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC). Papers in this report include:

- "Why Do They Hide Their Hands?" by Rebecca Miller and Tracy Pausic of Bailey Bridge Middle School, Chesterfield County Public Schools

- "The Fourth "C" of Motivation - Competition" by Sharon P. Eshler of Cold Harbor Elementary School, Hanover County Public Schools

- "A Study of the Implementation of a Math Buddy Program Between Kindergarten Students and Third Graders In An Attempt to Improve Communication Skills" by Melinda Jenkins and Anne Overman of Lakeside ...


Successful Literacy Passport Test Remediation Strategies For Elementary And Middle School Students: A Research Report, James H. Mcmillan Jan 1995

Successful Literacy Passport Test Remediation Strategies For Elementary And Middle School Students: A Research Report, James H. Mcmillan

MERC Publications

The purpose of this study was to examine instructional strategies teachers and other school personnel have employed to successfully remediate students who have failed the reading and writing parts of the Virginia Literacy Passport Test (LPT), or the LPT Predictor Test. The intent was to determine if specific approaches seem to work best for different types of students, and if particular materials, teaching strategies, scheduling, and other factors are associated with successful remediation.

A qualitative research design was employed to gather and analyze information related to successful remediation. Classroom and resource teachers who had experience in remediating students who had ...


Alternative High School Schedules, John Pisapia, Amy Westfall, Tony Hubert Jan 1995

Alternative High School Schedules, John Pisapia, Amy Westfall, Tony Hubert

MERC Publications

Currently there are four scheduling models being used in Chesterfield County Public High Schools. Manchester, Midlothian, Thomas Dale and Meadowbrook High Schools use the traditional six period day which evenly divides the school day into six periods of approximately 51 minutes in length that meet for the full year. Matoaca High School uses a seven period schedule which divides the school day into seven periods of approximately 45 minutes in length that meet for the full year. Clover Hill and L.C. Bird High Schools use a seven period alternating block schedule which divides the school day into three periods ...


Audit Of Internal Communication Practices Among Special Education Personnel In The Virginia Department Of Education, John Pisapia Jan 1993

Audit Of Internal Communication Practices Among Special Education Personnel In The Virginia Department Of Education, John Pisapia

MERC Publications

The overall goal of this study was to provide recommendations and a mechanism to assist the DOE in providing proper communication of issues and coordination of activities involving the provision of services for children with disabilities. The research team employed a case study approach centered around a modified communications audit.

The study addressed the following three questions: 1) what is the current communication and coordination system for internal personnel involved with special education issues? 2) what are the strengths, weaknesses and barriers to use of the system? 3) what recommendations can be offered to improve internal communications and coordination among ...


Increasing The Academic Pool Of Minority Students For Higher Education, Diane J. Simon Jan 1993

Increasing The Academic Pool Of Minority Students For Higher Education, Diane J. Simon

MERC Publications

The review of the literature on "Increasing the Academic Pool of Minority Students for Higher Education" was conducted in response to a request from the Virginia Department of Education R.F.P. #92-3 Team. The paper examines the factors that have an impact on increasing the number of minority students prepared to attend and succeed in college and reviews a number of successful programs, many of which are supported by business and industry. In addition to these two basic areas of inquiry, the R.F.P. #92-3 Team requested that the problem of increasing the minority student pool for college ...