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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). 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. 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. 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. 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. ItemCHAIR AGENCY, CHAIR PREPARATION, AND ACADEMIC SUPPORTS IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP DOCTORAL PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES(Informing Science Institute,, 2020) LaFrance, Jason A.; LaFrance, Diane; Melton, Teri DenleaAim/Purpose The purpose of this exploratory qualitative case study was to understand dissertation chair agency, chair preparation, and academic supports provided by experienced Educational Leadership Ed.D. dissertation chairs in the United States. Background Previous research has identified attrition rates of 50-60 percent in education doctoral programs. This research helps identify the faculty profiles and academic supports provided by Educational Leadership faculty who have served on successful dissertation committees. Understanding these findings may help to improve retention and completion in other doctoral programs. Methodology This was an exploratory qualitative case study. Ten doctoral faculty who have successfully chaired 419 Ed.D. Educational Leadership dissertations at accredited U.S. colleges and universities were interviewed. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Contribution The findings from this study contribute to the body of knowledge on doctoral retention and dissertation completion by providing information on promising practices from the perspective of dissertation chairs. Findings While successful dissertation chairs exhibited expertise as researchers, seven of the ten participants reported that they had limited training for chairing dissertations. Academic supports included coursework that was organized coherently with a focus on opportunities for substantive feedback, writing support and research methodology. Recommendations for Practitioners Dissertation chairs should utilize their agency to ensure that the program has the proper resources to support doctoral education. This includes adequate writing support for graduate students, courses taught by faculty who are engaged in research and understand the requirements for completing a dissertation, and protecting faculty time so that they are able to provide students substantive feedback within coursework and at the dissertation phase. Recommendation for Researchers Researchers should continue to explore the causes of attrition in doctoral programs and identify specific actions that can be taken to improve program completion rates. Impact on Society Increasingly U.S. institutions of higher learning are being called to validate their success and improve retention rates. Understanding the faculty profiles and academic supports utilized by successful doctoral faculty has the potential to improve retention and thereby increase completion rates and consequentially alleviate the stressors that ABD students experience. Future Research Future research could focus on expanding the findings of this study by exploring the perspectives of faculty based on institution type and examining how socio-emotional factors such as student-student and faculty-student relationships are intentionally established in programs with high graduation rates. Keywords doctoral dissertations, dissertation chair, doctoral attrition, doctoral retention, graduation rate, educational leadership programs, educational leadership faculty development INTRODUCTION Higher education institutions in the United States frequently discuss the quest for excellence (Bowen, Kurzweil, Tobin, & Pichler, 2005). However, in the US, education doctoral programs are reporting attrition [...] ItemCollege Student Communication Using Social Media(2022-03) Fowler, Melanie Ryan; Hernan, Mary (Florida Southern College Student); Freijo, Kira (Florida Southern College Student)The purpose of this study is to explore the levels of media richness of social media applications that are popular amongst college students. The greatest limitation to this study was sample size. Initially, we performed a repeated-measures ANOVA with the three most rated social media applications. However, the resulting sample size of 11 could not produce meaningful results (B = .03). We collected data for this study as the COVID-19 pandemic began. It is possible that the ways in which individuals used social media changed as the pandemic continued. 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 Descriptive Case Study of Eighth-Grade Striving Readers’ Motivation and Resiliency: Their Perceptions of Teachers’ Care, Expectations, and Opportunities(Florida Southern College, 2020) Goldman, BrittanyThis mixed-methods study was designed to examine teacher behaviors relating to care, expectations, and opportunities in the reading classroom. Additionally, the study aimed to determine whether teacher behaviors related to striving readers’ “feelings of autonomy, competency, and relatedness” in their literacy instruction. A sample of seven eighth grade students were interviewed on their perceptions of teacher care, high expectations, and ongoing opportunities for participation regarding their reading instruction. The interview questions were constructed based on Zhao and Li’s (2016) context-specific measurement tool. Furthermore, they completed the Motivation for Reading Questionnaire (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997), which assesses 11 constructs of reading motivation. This study measured 7 of 11 constructs reading: curiosity, reading compliance, reading challenges, reading efficacy, recognition for reading, reading involvement, and social reasons for reading. As an inductive approach was used, there were frequent or significant themes that emerged after analysis of the interview transcripts. The two frequent themes found relating to students’ perception of caring behaviors were having a positive tone and checking in with students. The three frequent themes found relating to students’ perceptions of high expectations were reading challenges, compliments/positive feedback, and work completion. Furthermore, there were two frequent themes found relating to students’ perceptions of having ongoing opportunities for participation, which were reviewing/scaffolding material and one-on-one instruction. Lastly, the bivariate correlational analysis revealed a positive correlation between reading curiosity and the number of reported caring behaviors, r=.76, p=.046. There was a position correlation between reading challenges and high expectations, r=.78, p=.04. 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. ItemThe Effects of Human-Animal Interactions in the Classroom(Florida Southern College, 2022-03) Pritchard, AmyLeeA traditional K-12 classroom in the state of Florida may contain 20-25 students and a single teacher. ESE and ESOL paraprofessionals may arrive in the classroom to work with their individual students. Some classrooms may have a class pet like a fish or a hamster. Though research suggests that classroom pets like insects, reptiles, fish, and small mammals such as hamsters support early childhood development and foster social interactions and social-emotional development (Meadan and Jegatheesan, 2010), many districts have outright banned the usage of pets in the classroom. 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. 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. ItemFrom freedom dreams to realities: Adopting Transformative Abolitionist Social Emotional Learning (TASEL) in schools(Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2022-01) DeMartino, Linsay; Fetman, Lisa; Tucker-White, DeAnne; Brown, AmandaSchools are adopting social emotional learning (SEL) programs, intending to provide students with intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to better prepare them for life. Transformative SEL is designed to promote the building of relationships between diverse students and educators to build more just schools and society. Because SEL models are heavily adopted, this paper addresses the inequities present within them. That is, traditional and transformative SEL fail BIPOC: Traditional SEL perpetuates the status quo by further marginalizing BIPOC and transformative SEL is too conceptual for successful adoption in PreK-12 schools. This article provides a brief discussion of traditional SEL, transformative SEL, and abolitionist teaching frameworks, then highlights educational practitioner narratives that discuss SEL adoptions that have proven harmful. We assert that we must (re)imagine and formulate a transformative SEL based on abolitionist teaching structures, which requires fully engaging the voices of our educators by presenting Transformative Abolitionist Social Emotional Learning (TASEL) framework, a practitioner-friendly SEL alternative framed by the tenets of equity and justice. ItemImproving the Quality of Your Research & Why It Matters(2022-03) Hornick, Julie N.Participants in this session will gain a better understanding of the importance of using materials in their work and will learn how to use resources available through Roux Library and online to recognize high impact research. ItemAn Inquiry into Student-Led Conferences: The Yellow Brick Road Preparing Students for Their Future(Florida Southern College, 2020) Tatom, LanaStudent-led conferences are a transformational shift from traditional parent-teacher conferences to the student discussing their progress with their parent. Student-led conferences have occurred in a variety of educational settings for three decades. This one aspect of change has not occurred consistently, if at all. From preschool through college and career placement, students receive numerous assessments. What is lacking is a measurement of students’ understanding of their performance, progress over time, and making a connection to their long-term goals for their future. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of those using student-led conferences, to determine how student-led conferences may prepare students for future academics and careers, how teachers use student-led conferences to inform instruction, and how school leaders create a school culture that fosters student-led conferences. This dissertation presents findings from a qualitative phenomenology study conducted by interviewing participants in two schools; a public elementary Title I school with a poverty rate of over ninety percent in the northern United States, and a charter public secondary collegiate school with a poverty rate of thirty-three percent in the southern United States. The schools and participants represent diversity in demographic data from levels of poverty, gender, and race. Findings from this research indicate student-led conferences benefit many stakeholders and once the shift occurs from teacher-led to student-led conferences stakeholders prefer student-led conferences. Student-led conferences help students improve their communication skills. Teachers observe how students demonstrate their learning to their families to inform instruction. School leaders are instrumental in creating a school culture for student-led conferences. 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.