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ItemThe World is Flat, Stanley: Globalization, Ethnocentricity, and Absurdity."(Routledge, 2016) Anderson, Anne W.; Rebecca L. PowellWhen his young sons asked one evening what would happen if the bulletin board on their wall fell on them during the night, New Yorker editorial staff writer Jeff Brown replied that they would not wake up because it would fall very slowly. However, he added, when they did wake up, they would probably be flat. From that absurd notion, Brown created other bedtime stories for his sons about a flat child sliding under doors, being flown like a kite, and being mailed to faraway places. In 1964, Brown published the adventures as Flat Stanley. In the 1990s, Flat Stanley became an internationally recognized character when Canadian and American schoolchildren began mailing cutout Stanley-figures to friends and family, asking them to document his journey. More recently, a digitized Stanley travels via email and cell phone. One new series of books sends Stanley on global adventures while another series of I Can … ItemA Study of Latina K-12 Public School Administrators: Barriers and Strategies to Career Advancement and the Impact of Race and Gender on Ascension and Leadership(2016) Tayloe, LisandraThe numbers of Latinas in educational leadership positions are minuscule and not reflective of the Hispanic student population in the United States. Limited studies exist exclusively on the lived experiences of Latina administrators and the roles that race and gender play in their careers. Grounded on critical race theory, this mixed methods research study identified barriers related to the attainment, retention, and promotion of Latina, K-12 educational leaders. It then examined the effects of these barriers, as well as identifying successful strategies employed by Latina educational leaders in order to overcome perceived barriers. This study also examined the roles that race and gender play in the careers of Latina educational administrators. The findings of this study were derived from a Likert-type questionnaire, inclusive of categorical responses, open-ended responses, and a voluntary short-answer section that was administered to Latinas in the roles of public school assistant principals and principals. Data were also gathered from interviews conducted with four Latina public school administrators. Data were analyzed by utilizing SPSS 23 statistical software and through thematic categorization. Results indicate that race and gender may be inseparable factors challenging Latinas in their attaining and advancing through educational leadership roles and that race and gender play integral roles in Latinas’ leadership practice and style. Latina administrators contend with racism, racial stereotyping, deficit thinking, cronyism, menial role assignment, and a lack of professional support systems. Latinas employ many successful strategies to compete with perceived barriers that would likely challenge their career advancement. Recommendations for ensuring equitable hiring practices, increasing Latina educational leadership representation, and promoting diversity within institutions of learning were presented. A call to action to eradicate racial and gender bias, racism, racial discrimination, stereotyping, and deficit thinking on aspiring and practicing Latina administrators was made as a result of the findings in this study. ItemLimiting Factors in Women’s Attainment of Leadership Positions in Higher Education Administration(Florida Southern College, 2016) DeConcilio, DanielleThe representation of women in higher education leadership roles does not accurately reflect the female student population in institutions of higher education or in higher education faculty.Limited studies exist applying a feminist framework in the world of higher education to the themes of power and privilege associated with many male leaders. The purpose of this mixed method research study grounded in a feminist phenomenological framework with references to social role theory was to itemize a list of limiting factors that hold women back from achieving leadership roles in higher level education in the hopes of ameliorating the struggles and culturally-instituted biases women must meet and overcome by acting strategically to serve as senior leaders at colleges and universities. Interviews with eight women in higher education leadership roles and a quantitative survey completed by 139 women in higher education leadership roles served as the basis for this study. The findings of this study revealed that participants struggle to maintain satisfying personal and professional lives. Women also must sometimes seemingly choose between motherhood and a career, balancing a sense of guilt and self-sacrifice. The idea of what constitutes a true mentorship and the principles of transformational leadership were also investigated. In terms of overcoming barriers, those who participated agreed that their gender was a barrier in obtaining leadership roles in higher education in some instances and that the good old boy network still exists. Recommendations for increasing female representation in educational leadership included creating more transparent leave and hiring practices and the idea of tenure stop clock. A call to action to minimize gender bias and build a more supportive culture were made as a result of the findings in this study. ItemJob Attainment and Perceived Role Differences of Cyberschool LeadersLeaders(International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS), 2016-01) Richardson, Jayson W.; Beck, Dennis; LaFrance, Jason A.; McLeod, ScottAs cyberschooling options expand, it is vital that we understand the nuances of these particular learning opportunities. Because little research exists on leaders of K-12 cyberschools, this exploratory case study had two purposes. We first examined how 18 cyberschool leaders in the United States obtained their position. Second, we explored the perceptions of cyberschool leaders regarding the differences between their job and that of a traditional brick-and-mortar school leader. We found that cyberschool leaders tend to be predominantly new, technology savvy administrators who have some background in online learning. Main differences between cyberschool leadership and brick-and-mortar school leadership included interactions with students, teacher supervision, provision of professional development, and management of the day-to-day operations. ItemAn Examination of Positive Coaching Alliance Triple Impact Competitor Workshops on the Moral Knowing of Secondary School Athletes(Florida Southern College, 2017) Flynn, Michael R.A common belief in United States culture is that “…sports can provide opportunities for personal growth and social development.” (Ewing, 1997). Unfortunately, more recent research has suggested there is a growing trend to the contrary. As a result, those whose work it is to develop an athlete’s morality should seek out strategies that have been evaluated for their effectiveness. Therefore, the purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the degree to which participating in Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Workshops affect secondary school athletes’ level of moral knowing. ItemOnline Schooling in the United States: A Response to Saultz and Fusarelli(Taylor & Francis, 2017) Beck, Dennis; LaFrance, JasonIn this paper, we discuss some concerns and recommendations of Saultz and Fusarelli (2017), offering nuanced and detailed views of online schooling from a different perspective. This includes addressing challenges regarding online learning such as fluctuating enrollments, financial concerns, quality assurance, and accountability. In addition, we propose recommendations related to funding, better quality data, and oversight and monitoring. We conclude with a short discussion of the need for differentiated research for specific online learning contexts. [For "Online Schooling: A Cautionary Tale" (Saultz and Fusarelli), see EJ1130469.] ItemDepartmentalized, Self-Contained, or Somewhere in Between: Understanding Elementary Grade-Level Organizational Decision-Making(KDP, 2017) Parker, Audra; Rakes, Lori; Arndt, KatieRecent trends indicate a move away from self-contained classrooms and toward content-focused departmentalization in elementary schools. This study takes a snapshot of the existing organizational structures used in elementary schools in one district and explores administrators' beliefs and practices regarding this phenomenon. Our findings suggest administrators base their decisions to organize grade levels on various factors, including their own experiences, contextual dynamics, and personal perceptions of outcomes for students and teachers. ItemA Quantitative Study Analyzing Predictive Factors That Affect Achievement on Florida’s Algebra I End-of-Course Exam (EOC)(Florida Southern College, 2017) Holley, Hope D.Despite research that high-stakes tests do not improve knowledge, Florida requires students to pass an Algebra I End-of-Course exam (EOC) to earn a high school diploma. Test passing scores are determined by a raw score to t-score to scale score analysis. This method ultimately results as a comparative test model where students’ passage is determined by how well they performed compared to other test takers. Unfortunately, passing rates have been as low as 19%. In addition to determining whether the student earns a diploma, the EOC determines math competency, which leads to student labeling, directs course tracking into college preparatory or non-college preparatory classes, and negatively impacts student motivation. Furthermore, the EOC alters curriculum and de-emphasizes 21st century skills. Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory suggests that students’ capabilities to learn stem from cultural influences, coupled with Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of proximal development, which advocates for teaching and learning with the idea that learning occurs even when mastery is not achieved. This quantitative study explores cultural variables as predictors on the EOC. Findings suggest that as the percent of socioeconomically disadvantaged students and the percent of minority students in a district increase, the percent passing on the EOC decreases. The size of the district is not significant. Additional findings propose that students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged score higher on the EOC in districts that have higher median household incomes, but districts’ unemployment rate and cost of living index are not predictors of achievement. These findings have implications for district leaders, as well as state policymakers. Additionally, statistical models reported can be used to establish yearly goals, as well as Schools Improvement Plan (SIP). ItemExploring the Benefits and Challenges of Inclusion through the Perceptions of Teachers and Administrators at the Elementary Level in a Large Florida School District(Florida Southern College, 2017) Kelley, Kimberly RaeIn the early twentieth century, parents began forming advocacy groups to help bring educational needs of students with disabilities to the public eye. These groups rallied together and by the early 1970’s, a number of students with disabilities were being educated in the public school. Finally, in 1975, the United States Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) then the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and ultimately, EHA was absorbed in the IDEA law and provisions. The provisions of IDEA establish a right to public education for all children regardless of disability and requires schools provide individualized or special education for children with qualifying disabilities. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their neighborhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. Inclusive education is about how educators develop and design schools, classrooms, programs and activities so that all students learn and participate together. Inclusion expresses a commitment to educate each student, to the maximum degree appropriate in the regular classroom. This method involves bringing support services to the child instead of moving the child to the services. However, rather than having to keep up academically with the other students, they can receive accommodations based on their disability in the regular education environment. Situated in an elementary education setting, this study explored the perceptions of regular education teachers, ESE teachers, and administrators on the effectiveness of inclusion programs for special education to better understand the benefits and challenges of the learning environment for students with disabilities. The purpose of this case study, further, was to explore methods, practices, and approaches teachers use and support provided by administrators. My research questions that guided this study were: 1. What support is provided by educational leaders to regular education and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teachers in an elementary inclusion setting? 2. What methods, practices, and approaches are identified by regular education and ESE teachers in an elementary inclusion setting? 3. What are the benefits and challenges identified by teachers and administrators in an elementary inclusion setting? The theoretical framework of this study was social constructionism. This theory stresses the fundamental role of social interaction in the development of cognition, and how the community plays a central role in the process of making meaning. Employing qualitative research methodology, this researcher conducted interviews with eight decisively selected participants. The findings reported from this study and the literature reviewed explored the benefits and challenges of inclusion that the regular education and ESE teachers are faced with on a daily basis. The perceptions of principals, regular education, and ESE teachers were shared based on their personal, overall experiences. Educational experience, training, and administrative support for teaching students with disabilities play an essential role in the successful implementation of inclusion. Teachers’ preparedness plays a significant role in the success of the implementation of inclusion as well as collaboration among the regular education and the ESE teacher. Inclusion is important because it is constructed on the principle that students with disabilities should be valued for their exceptional abilities and included as important members of the regular education classroom just as the regular education students. Inclusion enables these students to be educated with their peers in the least restrictive environment with instructional strategies such as cooperative learning and differentiation being used to deliver instruction. ItemA Case Study of Leadership and Disciplinary Practices Used by Secondary School Leaders to Support Equity for Black Male Students(Florida Southern College, 2017) Haggins, JazrickThe school-to-prison pipeline has plagued black males for many years. When school leaders apply disciplinary consequences such as in-school and out-of-school suspension, they inadvertently foster the push-out of black males by removing them from the classroom. When black males are removed from the classroom through suspension, the opportunities to excel in social and academic environments significantly decrease. The social construction of race in the context of school discipline supports how black males are stereotyped by the way they dress, their cultural background, and their everyday demeanor (Simson, 2014). Because of this stereotypical societal perception, black males are often generalized as being defiant, disrespectful, and dangerous. It is important for educational leaders to have an awareness of how black males are perceived in school and create opportunities for equitable disciplinary practices towards black male students. The purpose of this study was to explore leadership and disciplinary practices used by secondary school leaders to support equity for black male students. The researcher used qualitative research to conduct three instrumental case studies. Three high schools were used as part of this research: one suburban and two urban. The researcher interviewed and observed three high school principals and high school assistant principals. The exploratory questions that guided this research are listed below: 1. What factors, as perceived by school leaders, play a role in equitable school disciplinary practices for black male students? 2. What data sources do school leaders principals utilize that may influence disciplinary practices towards black male students? 3. What discretionary practices do school leaders use or take into consideration that support equity when handling a disciplinary incident that directly involves black male students? 4. How do school leaders develop and train faculty and staff members to reflect a shared vision to support equity for black male students? This study was designed based upon research done on the Critical Race Theory and the Racial Threat Theory. The racial threat theory suggests that minorities are perceived to present an economic, political, and criminal threat to the dominant social group. The Critical Race Theory suggests that racial stigmatization, stereotyping, and implicit biases are based on a long history of racial prejudice in the United States. Inequity in school discipline for black males has been an ongoing issue for several years. Qualitative research examined how school leaders support black males and maintain equity in leadership and disciplinary practices for black male students. Several components are considered to support equity, and those components range from building positive relationships to promoting parental involvement in education. The researcher offers policy implications on disciplinary practices and recommendations for further research for school leadership. ItemA Descriptive Study of Florida Public School Elementary Highly Effective Reading Coaches' Perceptions on the Performance Evaluation for Coaches(Florida Southern College, 2017) Jurnigan, Lacey J.The purpose of this study is to explore Florida public school highly effective elementary coaches’ perceptions on how to best evaluate the effectiveness of the position of reading coach. The study attempts to answer the research questions- What are Florida elementary public school exemplary reading coaches’ perspectives on the performance evaluation process? What are the components that highly effective reading coaches believe should be included in the evaluative process? This study was comprised of interviews with 6 full time coaches who currently work as reading coaches at one elementary school with an increasing school grade and have been labeled highly effective by district staff. Coaches believe that collaboration should be included in the evaluative process through observations. Teacher input and feedback should be considered through an annual survey. Coaches should turn in a schedule in order to develop their skills in prioritizing their time. Danielson believes portfolios have extraordinary potential to present an authentic view of teaching and learning (Danielson, 2000). District reading coaches would be knowledgeable and credible to evaluate and support school based coaches. Good quality reading coaches can decrease the number of teachers who leave the profession. Negative implications include: that district coaches would be in an evaluative role, and developing an evaluation and training personnel to be evaluators would be time consuming and costly. Based on the research, my study fills the gaps by creating procedures for assessing all aspects of coaching and provides a trained evaluator to provide consistent judgments. ItemA Case Study Identifying Leadership Behaviors Present in Directors of Private High-Quality Preschool Programs in Central Florida(Florida Southern College, 2017-10) Todt, NatalieFederal and state governments invest in childcare programs as a way to improve school readiness skills for children. The problem facing early childhood education, and one that is negatively impacting children entering kindergarten, is that within the preschool setting the children are not learning the necessary readiness skills needed to be successful in kindergarten. Since the early 1980s, it has been shown that a child’s development can be improved by receiving a high-quality early childhood education (Ishimine and Tayler, 2014). The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine how leadership influences the quality of the preschool program and what behaviors those leaders possess. A qualitative multiple case design was utilized because the data collected was open for interpretation by the researcher and used to construct a meaningful explanation of a complex situation by deeply exploring personal interviews. The results and evaluation of the findings were done by using cross-analysis of the data from an interview and an MLQ survey to answer two research questions. What were the leadership behaviors present in a high-quality private preschool program? What similarities and differences in the directors’ leadership behaviors were reported between a private Voluntary Prekindergarten Education (VPK) Program, which accepts federal/state funding, and a private Prekindergarten Education Program that does not accept federal/state funding? The data analysis revealed that the leaders that participated in the current study did lead with mostly transformational leadership behaviors. They also used little to no leadership behaviors found within passive leadership. It was also determined that there are more similarities in their leadership behaviors than differences. ItemRecruitment, Retention, and Utilization of Adequately Prepared High School Mathematics Teachers in Florida’s Rural Districts(Florida Southern College, 2018-03) Shumard, Lorinda J.This study investigates recruitment, retention, and utilization of adequately prepared high school mathematics teachers in Florida’s rural districts. The research is a result of public concern regarding low passing rates on End-of-Course exams in secondary mathematics classes. Fearing this problem might be the result of unprepared mathematics teachers, the study investigates methods for recruiting and retaining educators in rural areas with low socioeconomic student populations. Given the inconsistency in government regulation and low minimum criteria set by the state, identifying adequately prepared educators is a difficult task for administrators. This is notably arduous in critical shortage areas like mathematics and science, where successful educators must possess substantial content knowledge. This phenomenological study identifies methods of recruitment, retention, and utilization that can assist districts in filling mathematics classrooms with competent teachers by examining best practices of rural Florida high school principals whose schools have the highest achievement scores in mathematics and student bodies with a similar low socioeconomic status. Principal interviews identify methods for recruiting and retaining adequately prepared applicants for mathematics positions, strategies to deal with the effects of alternative certification on recruitment and retention, and strategies that maximize the instructional effectiveness of mathematics teachers who have diverse levels of certification. In addition to helpful methods and strategies for administrators, the qualitative study uncovers a desperate lack of applicants for mathematics teaching positions. As a result, the study includes implications for action and suggestions for policymakers with the hope of improving the quality and availability of exceptional mathematics educators in Florida’s rural districts. ItemExamining Effective Instructional Leadership in Mathematics: A Case Study(Florida Southern College, 2018-03) Hebert, ScottThe researcher has developed a case study using a qualitative research methodology to understand the practices a principal in an elementary school in rural Florida has utilized to develop instructional capacity and a culture for high achievement in mathematics. A Nation At Risk is a report that spawned a reform agenda that challenged teacher effectiveness through the quality of education that students received in public schools. The report revealed that there was a decline in the achievement of students in the United States and concerns with curriculum and teaching (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983, April). This study has attempted to uncover the knowledge principals need regarding structures, systems, and practices to best support learning so that they can ensure all teachers, experienced and inexperienced, access these structures and systems. The following research question has been used to guide the study: What leadership practices exist with an elementary principal as those practices influence mathematics instructional techniques and student achievement in a small rural school district? A qualitative case study methodology has been chosen for this study. The research focuses on the organization and processes, not on recording the life stories of the individuals (Yin, 2014). This study provided evidence and support to understand what qualities, skills, and strategies need to be developed with leaders as they work in schools to increase achievement in mathematics. The principal is at the center of directing the operation and function of a school. Marshalling resources, garnering support, and empowering teachers are all part of the daily work of a principal. This will be the work that needs to be done as we continue to look at leadership and its impact on improving the instructional program in mathematics. ItemExamining the Relationship between Community Colleges' Caring Practices and Student Engagement Behaviors(Florida Southern College, 2018-10) Sharp, Stacy DurdenThe purpose of this ex post facto study was to examine the relationship between community colleges caring practices and student engagement behaviors. For the context of this study, caring practices were designated as orientation, college success or student success courses, and welcoming college environments. Student engagement behaviors were designated as awareness and use of face-to-face tutoring, online tutoring, math, writing, and skills labs, as well as students’ self-assessment of college readiness. Using a random sample of the Center for Community College Student Engagement’s 2014 Survey of Entering College Student Engagement cohort, Chi-square tests of independence and bivariate correlations revealed statistically significant associations between on-campus orientations and students’ awareness of tutoring services; orientation courses and students’ awareness of tutoring services; college success and student success (SLS) courses and students’ use of tutoring services; and students’ assessment of college’s welcoming environment and their self-assessment of college readiness. ItemLearner Self-Efficacy in K-12 Online Environments(Springer, 2018-10-25) LaFrance, Jason A.; Beck, DennisIn this chapter, we examine learner self-efficacy broadly in K-12 face-to-face classrooms, learner efficacy in K-12 online learning, and then specifically issues related to self-efficacy based on the demographic characteristics of the learners. We do this with the understanding that self-efficacy beliefs are context specific [Hodges, Performance Improvement Quarterly, 20(3–4), 7–25, 2008]. From there, we review the literature on the learners’ level of preparation and how self-efficacy can be improved in online contexts. ItemThe Study of Evaluating Teacher Perspectives of Collective Efficacy in the High School Professional Learning Community(Florida Southern College, 2019) Farina, MarygraceThis mixed-methodology study explored collective efficacy within the high school Professional Learning Community (PLC) from teachers’ perspectives in southwest Florida. This text/data collection and analysis process revealed the teachers’ opinions expressed in their voices and interactions displayed within their PLCs. Furthermore, the implementation of the sociogram which Owens & Valesky (2015) defined as a graphic that illustrated the social interactions within a human group, and the Teacher Collaboration Assessment Rubric (Woodland, 2016) added to the depth of the quantitative and qualitative analysis. In addition to the personal interviews and field observations, both collection tools exposed the real situations that occurred in these PLCs. The results of this study divulged that the complex and challenging learning environments of high school campus has made it necessary for educators to find emotional support and knowledge within the talents and expertise of their PLC members. The conclusion of the study further discovered that the role of the administration had a great impact on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the high school PLC. Bring to light the powerful catalyst of a trusting school culture on the successful development of a proficient PLC. ItemA Qualitative Case Study of Assistive Technology Use in Inclusive Education Programs in Selected Central Florida Schools(Florida Southern College, 2019) Shipe, MeganThe purpose of this collective case study is to explore the role in the integration of Assistive Technology, for teachers and leaders, in the inclusion of ESE students at selected Central Florida schools. This study attempts to answer the following research questions: • What knowledge and skills do leaders and teachers bring to the role in supporting the inclusive program? • How are leaders supporting the use of Assistive Technology to support effective inclusion? • How are teachers using Assistive Technology to support effective inclusion? • How do leaders and teachers address ethics of justice, critique, care, and professionalism in the successful use of Assistive Technology in inclusion? An in-depth collection of multiple sources of information, including interviews, documents and reports were collected and analyzed to develop a case description, case categories and case themes. Additional themes will be introduced by individual participant role. The implications of putting this research into practice could have a major impact on successful inclusive education programs. In addition, putting this research into practice could have a significant impact on the implementation of Assistive Technology in inclusive education programs. Lastly, implications of putting this research into practice could have direct impact on individual category roles identified in this study, for both leaders and teachers. The role of any school personnel is vitally important. The role of a special education school leader and teacher are even more vitally important. Whether it be elementary, middle, high, charter school, center school, private school, or an inclusion setting, the role of any individual involved with students with special needs can be challenging. ItemA Quantitative Study of P-12 Public, Rural Principals' Self-efficacy with Florida's Principal Leadership Standards(Florida Southern College, 2019) Crawford, Teresa McKenzieThe purpose of this study was to determine what variables increase self-efficacy for public, rural P-12 principals in Florida’s principal leadership standards. The study’s intent was to also determine what sources principals acknowledged as their source of self-efficacy in each standard. For the context of this study, sources of self-efficacy were operationalized and ranked by respondents. Self-efficacy in each standard was determined by a continuous rating 0-10 in each of the skills established by the Florida Department of Education as comprising each of the nine standards evaluated in this study. The data was analyzed using non-parametric measures because of the skewness of the data as determined by the Kolmogorow-Smirnov test. Pearson’s, Mann-Whitney U, and Kruskal-Wallis were used to determine relationships of the variables studied with principals’ self-efficacy in each standard. The number of years a principal has served in that capacity had the greatest significance with having weak, positive correlations in four of the nine standards. Females had higher rates of self-efficacy in two of the nine standards, and race, ethnicity, school and school site had no relationship with self-efficacy in the nine standards. As a principal’s age increased, so too did self-efficacy in two standards. Years of teaching and years as an assistant principal had no relationship with a principal’s self-efficacy in the standards. The greatest source of self-efficacy, ranking number one, was performance outcomes, while verbal feedback was the second, and vicarious experiences ranked as third.