Recent Submissions

  • TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IN IMPLEMENTING STATE PERSONAL FINANCE MANDATES

    Franklin, Deanna M. (Indiana State University, 2015-05)
    This study examined strategies teachers are implementing for personal finance instruction in answer to the state financial-literacy mandates in Central Texas. One-on-one interviews, focus groups, and document analysis found that teachers are relying on personal experience, community resources, and Internet resources to instruct in personal finance in absence of personal finance curricula. No data emerged that school districts were providing resources; however, administrators are willing to provide resources if they were available. Teachers are using a variety of creative methods to enhance personal financial literacy in the classroom. Sporadic in-service/professional-development opportunities were available to train teachers in personal financial-literacy instruction; however, many teachers opted not to participate in those events, selecting to depend on their own personal experiences as background. Data from this study also found that there was no evidence of teachers being involved in the curriculum-change process for personal financial-literacy education.
  • FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACADEMIC SUCCESS OF LOW-SES STUDENTS

    Daanen, Lynn Kathryn (Indiana State University, 2015-05)
    The purpose of this study was to identify factors that may contribute to the success of some students of poverty to complete high school through graduation. The research examined if positive teacher–student relationship behaviors, the use of learning strategies, school locality or enrollment, years of experience as a principal, and years of teaching prior to becoming a principal had an impact on the non-waivered graduation rate of some Indiana poverty high schools. The study tested for a statistically significant difference between graduation rates or types of school locales on the relationship score and the learning style score. The study also examined if years teaching prior to holding an administrative position, gender of principal, enrollment size of the school, and years as principal might account for a significant proportion of the variance in the relationship score or the learning strategies score. The study’s results showed the participants’ current enrollment and years teaching prior to holding an administration position served as predictors of the learning strategies score. There was no significant difference between graduation rates or types of school locales on the relationship score or the learning style score. The participants’ years in current position, gender, and school location did not serve as predictors of the relationships score or the learning strategies score. The current enrollment of the participants’ schools and years teaching prior to administration did not serve as predictors of the learning strategies score.
  • A QUALITATIVE HISTORIOGRAPHICAL CASE STUDY OF THE EDUCATIVE PROPERTIES OF EUGENE V. DEBS AND JOHN DEWEY: 21st CENTURY IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION

    Countermine, Bradley (Indiana State University, 2015-05)
    This study aimed to shed light on the current state of educational reform rhetoric through an analysis of previous attempts to shape public education for the benefit of all. Analyzing Eugene V. Debs’s and John Dewey’s views on democracy and education during the Progressive Era promotes a version and vision of education that inspires people to think critically, to navigate contemporary society, and to acknowledge current issues within public education and United States society at large. Because education both reflects society and has the power to transform it, the struggle for fair, equitable, and enlightening education is paramount to the success of future generations within any society. By linking Progressive Era educational reform rhetoric to issues prevalent in United States educational reform today, I illustrate the consistencies between both periods and the underlying fundamental social, economic, and political issues shaping both educational and societal reform in the 21st century. Further research can focus on intervening historical variables especially as they contribute toward the motivation behind the current corporate educational reform movement and the push toward privatization at the expense of public schools created to make education the great equalizer.
  • THE PERFORMANCE OF LEADERSHIP: ALL THE SCHOOL’S A STAGE AND THE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS ARE MERELY PLAYERS

    Fenton, Christi Anne (Indiana State University, 2015-05)
    The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify and better understand the performance qualities that are prevalent in successful principals. Specifically, acting and leadership tools previously identified and compared by Dunklee (2000) were used to gain a better understanding of the interview process utilized to hire K-12 principals in school districts with more than 10,000 students in the state of Indiana. Arguably, the roles of the principal are much like those of an actor who must think on his or her feet in multiple situations. It is hoped that this study contributes new knowledge to assist in the selection process of principals and help in developing an interview framework to use in identifying and hiring the most effective principals by acknowledging and capitalizing on performance qualities. The following research questions framed the interviews with practicing hiring managers: 1. In what ways does acting like an effective school principal, as understood through performance qualities, result in being an effective principal? 2. What performance qualities do hiring managers perceive their successful principals utilize? A case study methodology was selected to take a more in depth look into the hiring process in five large urban school systems in Indiana. A variety of demographic data were collected about the individual school systems, with a key focus on the interview process and desirable attributes for hiring principals. The major themes and subthemes were also identified. Primary themes include the following: (a) Hiring protocols are not focused on performance qualities, (b) Performance qualities were predetermined to inform the interview process, and, (c) Districts supported professional development for both aspiring and practicing principals. The primary theme of hiring protocols included the subthemes of (a) The use of a cattlecall approach (i.e., mass interviewing) in the interview process are consistent in all districts included in the study, (b) The practice of hiring internal candidates is a prevalent practice, and (c) Current interview rubrics and questions to identify effective principals. The primary theme of nine performance qualities were maintained as subthemes in this category and later reduced in number. The primary theme of training for aspiring and practicing principals led to the subthemes of (a) Internal and (b) External use of those professional development practices.
  • MEASURING SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY: PERCEPTIONS FROM TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, AND SUPERINTENDENTS

    Bush, Keith Thomas (Indiana State University, 2015-05)
    The purpose of this study was to identify the multiple factors that are utilized by accountability models and to identify the perceptions of Indiana educators in regard to what these professional educators believe should be utilized to assess school accountability. No Child Left Behind and the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability model frameworks have had an impact on all public schools in the United States. Under AYP, high stakes testing results are utilized to provide acknowledgement to schools that meet pre-established thresholds, as well as to provide consequences for schools that fail to meet these requirements. This study is significant because it measures the perceptions of educators in what variables they believe should be utilized to determine whether or not schools meet specific accountability thresholds. Potential reliability issues that are correlated to specific accountability models can be identified through the analysis of the composite score differences between the different accountability variables. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVAs, and a simple multiple regression were used to analyze and disseminate the data collected for this study. This study was conducted by administering an electronic survey to all public school K-12 teachers, principals, and superintendents throughout Indiana. A 17-item accountability perception survey was created to quantitatively measure the opinions and perceptions of teachers, principals, and superintendents as to the variables used measure school accountability. A total of 746 educators submitted responses to the Perception of Variables Utilized to Effectively Measure School Accountability Survey. Statistical analysis of the data included descriptive analysis for selected items as well as inferential analysis that included one-way ANOVAs and a simple multiple regression. The composite score was tabulated from the survey to determine if significant differences existed among dependent variables that included position type, locality, socioeconomic level, and school letter grade received from the Indiana Department of Education. By collecting the responses of teachers, principals, and superintendents, a composite score was determined as to the perceptions of the variables utilized to measure school accountability. A one-way ANOVA found a statistically significant difference among the composite scores when separated by position type. The teacher composite mean scores were significantly lower than the principal and superintendent composite scores. A one-way ANOVA found no statistically significant differences between locality (urban, suburban, rural), socio-economic level (0%–33%, 34%–67%, 68%–100%), or school letter grade received by the Indiana Department of Education (A, B, C, D or F) and the accountability variable composite scores. A multiple regression analysis determined that demographic factors (locality, number of years at current building, socioeconomic status, school size, Indiana A–F letter grade) do not serve as significant predictors of the composite scores for principals.
  • THE EXPERIENCES OF AFRICAN-BORN WOMEN FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATORS AT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN THE UNITED STATES

    Afoaku, Oyibo H. (Indiana State University, 2015-05)
    The purpose of this study was to document the experiences of African-born women faculty and administrators at colleges and universities in the United States. The study explored the factors that motivated African-born women to immigrate to and extend their stay in the United States beyond completion of their education; factors they perceive as constraint on their quest for self-empowerment and identity as foreign students, college instructors, and/or administrators, and parents; and factors that have enabled them to adapt to their host culture and achieve their educational and professional goals even though they had to contend with multiple challenges associated with living in America as Black women. Eight women who are currently or previously serving as faculty or administrators were interviewed for this study. Participants were originally from Benin, Cameroun, Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Six of them were faculty and three were administrators. Ten themes emerged from the study: family-centered cultural orientation, multicultural perspectives, dealing with transition and culture shock, preservation of cultural heritage, American higher education culture, American higher education structure, American higher education curriculum, American higher education policy, limited leadership opportunity for African-born women, and alumni loyalty. The participants expressed reservations about the status quo and want to see significant improvement in diversity policy and practices on their respective campuses that will yield substantive outcomes for all stake holders, including foreign students, foreign-born faculty and administrators. The study concluded by recommending inclusive dialogue and communication, comprehensive policy process; broad leadership structure, and wide-ranging mentoring programs as steps that can enhance the experiences of African born faculty and administrators at colleges and universities in the United States.
  • How Effective Superintendents Select and Develop Principals

    Willman, Robert W. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine how effective superintendents select and develop principals. Through this qualitative study, the perceptions of four superintendents explored several areas: a) the process by which principals are selected which includes qualities desired, interviewing, education, and internal versus external candidates and b) the professional development that takes place after the principal has been selected. The superintendents in the study were located in the state of Indiana and met the study criteria outlined in Chapter 3. The topics of related literature reviewed included the characteristics of instructional leaders, succession management and studies of professional development. In exploring these four superintendents, several elements emerged: a) the establishment of a clearly defined process of selecting principals, b) superintendents prefer to hire principals from within their districts but value external candidates in the process, and c) professional development for principals should be both global to the needs of the district as well as specific to their strengths and weaknesses. Insight gained from this study should assist superintendents in their efforts to create a selection process and a direction for professional development of principals that will work for their school districts.
  • EFFECTIVE LITERACY INSTRUCTION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL IN INDIANA

    White, Paul Michael (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this study was to discover school- teacher- and student-level factors that describe effective literacy instruction at the secondary level of high-performing schools. A sub-question of the study focused on whether high-performing schools practiced “literacy across the curriculum.” National data suggest only about one-third of secondary-level students in the United States read at a proficient level. A recent trend to improve secondary-level student literacy has been to emphasize literacy development in all content areas. A mixed-method approach was used for this study. A linear regression was executed for all middle and high schools in Indiana for spring 2011, 2012, and 2013 state language arts testing results. This was used to build a predicted language arts scale score based on free and reduced lunch status for all schools. Four schools (two middle schools and two high schools) with three consecutive years of posted language arts testing results above their predicted scores were selected for a qualitative multiple case study. Teachers and administrators were interviewed and surveyed regarding their school literacy practices. This study discovered common themes regarding the literacy practices of all four high-performing schools, which included (a) high levels of teacher collaboration among the language arts teachers, (b) the incorporation of high interest reading materials while working with students on their reading comprehension skills, (c) strong levels of teacher commitment and personal responsibility among the language arts teachers to see student literacy improve, and (d) a lack of a common instructional method to improve student literacy, and none of the four schools in the study presented evidence of a developed across-the-curriculum culture for literacy development. Based on the findings, this study determined that matters of professional teaching culture such as collaboration and personal commitment may be stronger factors in student literacy development than a particular instructional approach. School leaders are reminded that the language arts teachers of a school lay the foundation of effective student literacy development. Before school leaders embark on adopting any across the curriculum approach to literacy development, it is needed to first focus on the professional functioning of the language arts staff in a school, particularly in matters of culture such as collaboration, commitment, and an interest in sharing the challenge of improving student literacy with other colleagues. Finally, each high-performing school’s language arts staff demonstrated that one particular best-practice approach to student literacy development does not work for all. It is more critical for language arts teachers to be well-versed in a variety of best practice approaches to student literacy development, and work collaboratively with teaching colleagues to employ the best-practice approaches our students need at that time to improve their reading and writing skills.
  • OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN INDIANA HIGH SCHOOLS

    Voelker, Joseph A. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of the study was to determine whether schools that impose more days of out-ofschool suspension as a discipline consequence in Indiana high schools have a relationship with the academic results of the school. The study was conducted by administering a survey to all Indiana public high school principals. Eighty-nine principals responded to the Principal Survey on High School Discipline. The Principal Survey on High School Discipline asked respondents the number of days a student would be suspended out of school for first time offenses to 18 common discipline infractions. The sum of out-of-school suspension days (called the suspension composite score) for each high school was then compared to each high school’s scores for the 2013 sophomore cohort on Indiana’s End of Course Assessments following the completion of English 10 and Algebra I coursework. Also analyzed in the study were whether there was a difference in the suspension composite score and the school’s size; whether there was a difference in the suspension composite score and the school’s location; whether principal demographics of age, years of experience, or years in education affected the suspension composite score; if out of school suspension makes students less likely to misbehave; and if zero-tolerance policies made an impactful contribution in maintaining order at their schools. Data were analyzed through one-way ANOVA and linear regression testing and the null hypotheses were tested at the .05 probability level or better. The data analysis did not display significant findings for any of the research questions. Some of the findings when analyzing the demographic data were urban schools were more likely to suspend but less likely to expel a student for issues such as drug possession or transmission and alcohol possession or transmission. Rural schools were the exact opposite. They were less likely to suspend but more likely to expel a student for those infractions. Small schools versus large schools followed the same pattern, but the data were not as pronounced. The principals were split as to whether zero tolerance policies make an impactful contribution in maintaining order at their schools. When zero tolerance policies were broken down by school size, small schools disagreed that it helped maintain order, but medium- and large-sized high schools had nearly 60% agreeing to 40% disagreeing.
  • A COMPARISON OF TEACHER PERCEPTIONS OF PRINCIPAL LEADERSHIP ACTIONS IN HIGHLY EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS AS MEASURED BY THE AUDIT OF PRINCIPAL EFFECTIVENESS

    Stephens, Michael (Indiana State University, 2014-09)
    The role of the principal has never been as multi-faceted or as scrutinized as it is in today’s schools. Principals are looked to for leadership and guidance in the processes, communications, relationships, instructions, and curriculum of today’s schools. Marzano (2013) listed 21 responsibilities of the principal of today. Principals of today wear many hats and are looked to have knowledge and skills beyond the scope of leaders in many other professions. The purpose of the quantitative study was to examine the perceptions of the teachers in Indiana high schools pertaining to their principal’s level of effectiveness as measured by the Audit of Principal Effectiveness. The results of this study can be beneficial to principals of all schools. Regardless of the grade assigned to the school, the study suggests the value of building relationships with administrative colleagues, the interaction with students, and the setting of high professional goals for all involved.
  • THE EFFECTS OF EXPLICIT STORY GRAMMAR INSTRUCTION ON THE NARRATIVE SKILLS OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

    Bierman Mulvey, Nichole A. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of large-group, explicit, story grammar vocabulary instruction during shared storybook reading on the narrative retell skills of preschoolers. Two preschool classrooms in rural, southeastern Illinois participated in the study. The study examined narrative retell ability via the Test of Narrative Retell-Preschool. Scores were compared for the experimental group, who received instruction from the investigator, to the control group, who received instruction from their regular classroom teacher. The study also explored instructional practices during shared storybook reading through observational checklists of recorded sessions. The results of the study indicated that students who received experimental instruction showed significant gains in scores for character, setting, and emotion on the Test of Narrative Retell-Preschool, but these gains were not significantly higher than the control group students, who also showed significant gains in scores throughout the six-week study.
  • AN EXAMINATION OF PRINCIPALS IN EFFECTIVE HIGH-POVERTY MIDDLE SCHOOLS WITH HIGH ACHIEVEMENT

    Mull, Rhonda J. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this qualitative, multi-site case study was to observe and examine the strategies, techniques, and leadership styles of principals in effective middle schools with high poverty and high achievement. This study focused on defining a core of specific strategies utilized by staff members in these schools. Two high-poverty middle schools in Indiana that have done an exemplary job of attaining high scores on the state's standardized test were examined. Data for this research was collected via interviews of the school's principal, leadership team, and teachers. Classroom observations and teacher department meetings were also conducted. After the staff interviews and observations were completed, all notes and tape recordings reviewed, and all obtained infonnation was processed and analyzed, five themes emerged. These themes included the following: principal leadership, student scheduling, staff scheduling, building culture, and cmTiculum and professional development. Within these themes, some of the detailed strategies and techniques were similar at both schools and some were different. Based on the significant findings of the data analysis within the five themes, the following seven strategies were utilized by both principals and seemed to play a critical role in the high achievement of the students in both schools: (a) there was a strategic system in place to address the academic core; (b) the daily schedule was developed for student needs; (c) collaboration for teaching staff was invaluable and they wanted more time together; (d) teacher-led professional development was utilized; (e) data was used in a meaningful way; (f) though principal leadership styles differed, creating a strong team of teacher leaders was essential; (f) and the staff created a relational learning environment. These five themes and seven strategies appear to be critical and essential components that could hold true value for other schools attempting to make gains in their students' academic achievement.
  • CIRCLING THE WAGONS AND SHOOTING INWARD”: UNDERSTANDING HOW NURSING ADMINISTRATORS APPROACH THE POLICY PROCESS

    Moore, Jill M. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this qualitative study was to develop an understanding of factors that nursing education executives in higher education believe are essential to influencing and implementing sound policy decisions. This study sought to answer the following: (a) what characteristics and skills do nurse administrators in higher education believe are essential to positively influencing the policy-making process, and (b) what organizational features do these nurse executives believe impede or facilitate their ability to influence policy processes? This study utilized an exploratory qualitative design representing a collective case study. The sample selection was purposive and included in-depth interviews with nurse educators who had at least two years’ experience as nursing education executives. Themes emerging from the narrative data were that a collaboration leadership style, effective communication, and political awareness were considered essential skills for successfully navigating the policy process. The theme of complexity created by institutions and stakeholders involved in policy was observed. Implications of the study included (a) the complexity of higher education institutions regarding the need to interface with multiple internal and external stakeholders acts as a barrier to policy process, (b) lack of formal preparation to manage policy can be a barrier for nurse leaders who typically lack such preparation, and (c) collaboration is at the center of how these nurse leaders drive and implement policy in their educational institutions. Recommendations made for future research include, (a) complexity and nursing education, (b) preparation of nurse education for policy-making, and (c) understanding policy experiences of a more diverse group of nurse educators.
  • THE IMPACT OF EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION ON PRESERVICE TEACHERS’ CONCEPTIONS OF RANDOMNESS

    McBride, Jonica H. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    This study considered the impact of explicit teaching of misconceptions regarding randomness on cognitive growth of preservice teachers. Specifically, the purpose was to compile and validate instructional materials that facilitate preservice teachers’ conceptual understandings of randomness. The quasiexperimental design compared the cognitive effects of the instructional materials. Hence, in addition to the instructional materials, assessment instruments were compiled and validated. These items were intended to illuminate the cognitive growth resulting from the treatment instruction. The convenience sample of 67 students represented approximately one third of the teacher-education students enrolled in a mathematics education content course at this institution. Three sections were chosen and then two were randomly assigned to the experimental course (pooled to form one treatment group) that included a brief task-based module on misconceptions of randomness in the probability unit and one was assigned to the traditional course that did not include the experimental module. The participants were pretested and posttested for evidence of misconceptions regarding randomness. The data were analyzed using parametric and nonparametric tests for means and proportions. Results indicated that there were no significant differences found between the groups on total posttest scores; however, the treatment group did show a significant increase in scores from the pretest to the posttest (gain scores). An item analysis revealed significant differences between the groups’ posttest scores on three of the assessment items and a proportional analysis indicated that the treatment instruction had a significant effect on evidence of two of the misconceptions. Explicit instruction on misconceptions may not be sufficient to overcome all invalid probabilistic reasoning involving randomness; however, it appears that addressing the common misconceptions of randomness has the potential to remedy preservice teachers’ mistaken ideas that lead to incorrect probabilistic reasoning and possible transmission of invalid reasoning to future students.
  • ONLINE EXPERIENCES OF ADOLESCENTS WITH ASPERGER’S SYNDROME AND HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

    Ko, Shin Ruu (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    This study investigated the online experiences of 10 adolescents with Asperger's Disorder (AD). This study was exploratory in nature and employed a qualitative approach. Three research questions guided this study: (a) What are the positive and negative online experiences of youth with ASD?, (b) What are the perceptions of online interactions in comparison to offline interactions held by youth with ASD?, and (c) What experiences with social connectedness and cyberbullying do youth with ASD have as a result of Internet usage? Four themes and 14 subthemes emerged during the process of analyzing the data: (a) Benefits of Internet Usage (Social, Emotional, Educational, and Interests); (b) Bringing People Closer (Reducing the Miles in Between, Accessibility to People, and Easier Communication); (c) Negative Social Interactions (Negativity, Trolling, and Cyberbullying); (d) Combating Negative Social Interactions (Prevention, Avoid/Ignore/Leave, Support of Peers, Seek Help from Adults/Authority Figures). Results from this study suggest that youth with ASD generally have positive experiences on the Internet. These positive experiences translate into many benefits that impact the development of youth with ASD. When faced with social experiences online, participants demonstrated how perceptive and resourceful they can be in finding ways to solve their problems. These findings demonstrate the potential for youth with ASD to learn, grow, and overcome various ASD symptomologies through online interactions and activities.
  • THE ESSENCE OF A GENTLEMAN: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF HONOR AND MASCULINITY IN WABASH COLLEGE’S GENTLEMAN’S RULE

    Isaacs, Jacob (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    This dissertation examined how college men at Wabash College understand good behavior and masculinity while living under a subjective honor code: the Gentleman’s Rule. This included how students learned about and talk about the honor code and particular behaviors that students would identify as exemplifying the Gentleman’s Rule in action. To unearth this information, 12 current Wabash students were each individually interviewed for roughly an hour. Contributions from respondents were subjected to a phenomenological analysis to determine the essence of students’ experiences related to the Gentleman’s Rule. The study found that students typically learned about the Gentleman’s Rule as prospective students still in high school, and had formative conversations only up to the end of freshman orientation. Students also understood masculinity to be complex and not something to be narrowly defined. Most understandings of masculinity were entwined with their understandings of good character or gentlemanliness, with little agreement of any characteristics of masculinity that fell outside of gentlemanliness related to the Gentleman’s Rule. Meta-themes that emerged as connected to gentlemanly behavior included personal responsibility, respect for others, reasoned discussion, and self-awareness. This conflicted with negative stereotypes of hegemonic masculinity that college men are subjected to by society at large. These results inform higher education institutions about the ideals that college men associate with masculinity and good behavior/gentlemanliness and how those factor into the effectiveness of a subjective honor code. New modes of addressing and working with college men are called for to benefit college men and improve engagement and retention rates among men. Ideas for implementation of a subjective honor code are also given as well as opportunities for further study.
  • IDENTIFYING, CULTIVATING, AND UTILIZING ELEMENTARY TEACHER LEADERS

    Holder, April (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how elementary principals identify, cultivate, and utilize teacher leaders within high-growth elementary schools. For the purpose of this study, high-growth schools are schools that surpassed the state average of high growth for the bottom 25% and top 75% in English/language arts and math for two consecutive years based on the Indiana Department of Education A-F Accountability Report Card. Through this qualitative study, the roles of the principals in three similar Indiana elementary schools were analyzed in regard to the commonalities of the identification of teacher leaders, cultivating talent and leadership, and the utilization of teacher leaders to improve student achievement.
  • THE BALANCED APPROACH TO LITERACY INSTRUCTION IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS

    Helmberger, Tenicia Rae (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this study was to determine if the frequency with which middle school teachers implement research-based literacy strategies serves as a predictor of success on the English/language arts portion of ISTEP+. The study looked at research-based strategies in fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. Teachers of English, language arts, social studies, science, and a combination of the above subjects were surveyed. Seven questions from each area were posed relating to the frequency of implementation per quarter. The study was split into two groups, high-poverty schools and low-poverty schools. Of those teachers surveyed, teachers in low-achieving, low-poverty schools reported using research-based fluency strategies more often than those in high-achieving, low-poverty schools. However, there was no significant difference between the frequency of implementation of research-based fluency strategies in high-achieving, high-poverty schools and low-achieving, high-poverty schools. Statistical significance was found with the reported implementation of research-based comprehension strategies among lowachieving schools compared to high-achieving schools among the high-poverty schools in this study. There was no significant difference in the frequency of implementation of comprehension strategies in low-achieving, low-poverty schools compared to high-achieving, low-poverty schools. The reported implementation of research-based vocabulary strategies was not significant among low-achieving schools compared to high-achieving schools among the lowpoverty schools in this study. Likewise, the reported implementation of research-based vocabulary strategies was not significant among low-achieving schools compared to high-achieving schools among the high-poverty schools in this study. It was predicted that the ELA ISTEP+ pass rate decreased by .509 for every one percentage increase in the free and reduced lunch percentage while holding all other variables constant.
  • HOW HIGH ACHIEVING ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IMPROVE STRUGGLING READERS

    Hartlage, Kimberly C. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore educational elements that explain how high-achieving elementary schools improve struggling readers. The perceptions of the principals and teachers in three high achieving elementary schools were investigated in three areas of interest: (a) student achievement as it relates to literacy instruction, (b) early intervention leading to success, and (c) the role of school leaders who build a culture for success through change. All three schools that participated in the study were located in the state of Indiana. The topics of the related literature reviewed included a connection of reading instruction to student achievement as it relates to early literacy intervention and the dynamics of the school leadership and building a culture for success. In this study, findings of contributing factors of the manner in which high performing elementary schools improve struggling readers included data driven instruction, reflective practice, 90-minute literacy block with strong core instruction, planning and collaboration, and highly effective people. Aspects that emerged from the topic of early intervention revealed establishing a literacy framework of tiered instruction beginning in kindergarten, conducting benchmark assessments, analyzing data to identify sub skill deficits, developing and implementing an intervention plan, and monitoring student progress. In studying the role of school leadership in achieving success, three aspects surfaced: maintaining high expectations, trust, and respect; support for materials and resources; and strategic scheduling. Understanding obtained from this study should assist teachers and school leaders in their attempts to improve the overall academic achievement of elementary students who struggle in the area of reading.
  • USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY INDIANA PRINCIPALS AND SUPERINTENDENTS

    Griffin, Robert Stephen, Jr. (Indiana State University, 2014-12)
    The purpose of this study was to examine the use of social media by Indiana K-12 principals and superintendents. The use of social media has become prevalent both as a social and professional tool. The social media movement has evolved quickly over the past five years; however, schools and school districts have been slow to effectively utilize this tool out of fear, apprehension, and ignorance. The opportunity to explore social media as a professional tool by educational leaders was opportune and timely as this tool becomes a multi-purpose tool in today’s society. Descriptive statistics, independent sample t test, and one-way ANOVAs were used to analyze and disseminate the data collected for this study. This study was conducted by administering an electronic survey to all public school K-12 principals and superintendents throughout Indiana. I created a 16-item Social Media Survey to quantitatively measure the opinions and perceptions of principals and superintendents as to the frequency, preference, and reasons for using social media as a professional tool. A total of 263 principals and 94 superintendents submitted responses to the Social Media Survey. Statistical analysis of the data included descriptive analysis for selected items as well as inferential analysis that included independent sample t tests and one-way ANOVAs. A composite score was tabulated from the survey that helped to determine if significant differences existed among dependent variables that included position type, locality, years of experience in the field of education, socioeconomic level, and grade letter received from the Indiana Department of Education. The composite score was determined by collecting the responses of principals and superintendents as they related to social media as an effective professional tool in the areas of communication, professional development, recruitment, networking, and transparency. An independent sample t test found no significant difference between position type (principals and superintendents) composite score responses on the Social Media Survey. A one-way ANOVA found no statistically significant differences between locality (urban, suburban, rural), years of experience in the field of education (0-10, 11- 20, 21-30, over 30 years), socioeconomic level (0-25%, 26-50%, 51-75%, 76-100%), or letter grade received by the Indiana Department of Education (A, B, C, D, F) and the social media composite score.

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