Archives

2020

Vol 16, No 8 (2020): Mediated, Evidence-Informed Practice as Impact

This study presents a conceptualization of mediated, evidence-informed practice as a form of impact within the education context, then examines whether and how a particular intermediary organization, Edutopia, is having such an impact. Extant open- and closed-ended survey data are analyzed. Survey respondents routinely reported using content hosted or featured by Edutopia in their professional practice, and provided specific insights regarding how they were doing so. These findings provide strong evidence that an educational intermediary can variously impact educators’ practices. The study provides a conceptualization and model that may be useful for other intermediaries and for scholars who are interested in examining impact and knowledge mobilization.

Vol 16, No 7 (2020): Knowledge Mobilization for Impact: A Multi-Case Study of Education Organizations

Using a multi-case design, this study draws on empirical evidence and literature to analyze the knowledge mobilization approaches in educational organizations. The sample consists of four different types of education organizations in Ontario, Canada: a school board, a university, a not-for-profit, and a professional association. Data sources include publicly available websites and documents (n = 63) and key informant interviews (n = 18). Although research impact was operationalized and observed differently in these organizations, measures of impact were found to be ineffectual in all cases. This article validates the findings of existing studies that have found that there are limited instrumental uses of research, wherein research directly influences policy and practice decisions. The study calls for a careful discernment and applicability of research impact.

Vol 16, No 6 (2020): How a Networked Approach to Building Capacity in Knowledge Mobilization Supports Research Impact

Research impact is emerging as a common feature in national research systems. Knowledge mobilization (KMb) includes efforts undertaken to aid and accelerate research impact pathways by directing focus to processes that support impact. To date, researchers and universities have struggled to increase their capacity in KMb. This study explores the perceptions held by 16 leaders of Research Impact Canada, representing 14 networked universities, about the usefulness and use of networked learning to build institutional capacity in KMb. The analysis of data, which was collected using a mixed-methods survey design, highlights two overarching themes: 1) the contextual variability in how institutions engage in KMb work, and how practice-based subgroups can support the diverse KMb needs of different institutions; and 2) how capacity is developed through networked learning is distributed among individuals and groups within institutions, and how networked institutions need to be self-referential to the ways knowledge about KMb is sourced, validated, shared, interpreted, and employed.

Vol 16, No 5 (2020): Principal Influence: A Catalyst for Positive School Climate

This investigation explores the relationships between principal influence and four facets of organizational climate: institutional vulnerability, collegial leadership, achievement press, and professional teacher behavior. Data were collected from 2,033 teachers at 112 elementary schools in two states from the Southern and Midwestern United States. The results of multiple linear regression analyses show that the independent variables of principal influence, SES, and school size combined to form a significant portion of the variance in organizational climate. The four facets of organizational climate explored in this study provide insight into specific mechanisms through which influential principals can positively affect schools.

Vol 16, No 4 (2020): Opportunities and Access: Exploring How School District Leaders Make Meaning of Equity in Practice through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to explore how PBIS and equity interacted according to school and district leaders.
Research methods/approach: This study examined how five schools made meaning of the implementation process, ongoing efforts, and structures created. Through a case study including interviews, focus groups, and observations, the primary research question was explored: How do school leaders and teachers make meaning of implementing and assessing PBIS in their schools as a component of a journey toward equity?
Findings: While the five schools had unique aspects, four common themes emerged across schools, including the benefits of PBIS, the power of relationships, the importance of communication and leadership, and PBIS challenges.

Vol 16, No 3 (2020): Low-Fee Private Schools: Case Studies from Ghana

This article focuses on Christian low-fee private schools (LFPSs) in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. This qualitative study uses a case study approach to longitudinally examine who these schools serve, why parents chose them, and what challenges the schools face. Findings reveal that parents choose Christian LFPSs for religious reasons and the quality of the education these schools provide. Other reasons include proximity, teacher and administrator quality, small class sizes, and extracurricular
offerings. Challenges for these schools were financial and related to retaining teachers. This research is significant because Christian LFPSs have a role to play in helping Ghana’s educational system and in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Vol 16, No 2 (2020): Get the Most from Your Survey: An Application of Rasch Analysis for Education Leaders

High-quality measurement tools are critical to school improvement efforts. Education researchers frequently employ surveys in order to assess a host of variables associated with school improvement. This article asserts that Rasch modeling techniques enhance the quality of a measurement tool because they comprise elements of both qualitative and quantitative research approaches, and because Rasch modeling corrects the erroneous conclusions that result from the errors associated with ordinal response scale data. This article illustrates, with specific attention to the needs of education leaders and researchers, how the Rasch measurement model gauges the usefulness of survey instruments. This study illustrates the benefits of Rasch modeling
using the scale that measures teacher external political efficacy (TEPE). Findings show that a set of four items captures this domain well.

Vol 16, No 1 (2020): To Leave or to Stay: Faculty Mobility in the Middle East

Existing research on faculty mobility generally investigates the issue in the context of Western postsecondary institutions. This study adds to the body of knowledge through studying higher education faculty in six Middle Eastern countries. Participants of the study were higher education faculty members in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Out of 600 faculty members initially invited, 139 completed the electronic survey, which was administered in the 2017–2018 academic year. The findings show that factors both internal and external to an institution contributed to a faculty member’s decision to stay or leave. It also shows that gender and experience in the GCC Universities had no significant effect on faculty members’ intentions to leave or to stay.

2019

Vol 15, No 16 (2019): Student Choice and Social Mobility through Institutional Policy: An Examination of Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

The cost of higher education continues to rise, forcing many students to seek financial support to pursue their education. Many countries have utilized national systems of student aid to help mitigate the increasing costs. However, these financial aid systems often lead to significant student debt. Guided by restrained choice theory, this nstudy analyzes innovative institution-level policies in the United States called Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs), and provides insight into how these policies affect traditionally disadvantaged students’ choice to enroll in a university. Findings suggest that disadvantaged students, specifically first-generation students,
are more cognizant and have a better understanding of innovative financial policies (e.g., LRAPs), and the use of such programs could increase student choice and retention, based on their subsequent enrollment satisfaction.

Vol 15, No 15 (2019): Gender Differences in Academic Achievement in Saudi Arabia: A Wake-Up Call to Educational Leaders

Educational leaders must consider equity in education as a priority to make sure all students receive the best education possible. Studies on this topic in Saudi Arabia, however, are still in the embryonic stage. This article, thus, examines whether significant differences in academic achievement exist between male and female students based on gender, subject value, and expectations of education attainment. From a sample study of 3,759 students, the findings showed that female outperformed male students in both math, science, and their domains. Further, the more students value a subject or expect to go far in their education, the higher the score for both students, but female still outperformed male students. Educational leaders should consider these findings a wake-up call to the persistent academic achievement disparitie

Vol 15, No 14 (2019): The Impact of Conscious Discipline on Teacher Efficacy and Burnout: Perspectives for Elementary Teachers

This study examined the impact of Conscious Discipline® on Michigan elementary teachers’ perceptions of their self-efficacy and burnout levels. Teachers completed a survey of the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) and Maslach’s Burnout Inventory
(MBI) and were observed using a fidelity instrument (Rain, 2014) by the researcher five months after the adoption of Conscious Discipline® school-wide in the treatment group (n = 12). The control group (n = 15) was matched with similar student population demographics, and the same surveys and fidelity instrument (Rain, 2014) were used. Results from this study found no statistical significance in the TSES or MBI scores between those in treatment and control groups. Additionally, no statistical significance was found in the observed implementation level of Conscious Discipline® and efficacy or burnout scores.

Vol 15, No 13 (2019): Secondary School Counselors’ Perceptions of Service-Learning: Gaps between State Policy, Counselors’ Knowledge, and Implementation

The purpose of this study was a state-level investigation of school counselors’ knowledge of their role in the implementation of service-learning policy using survey research methods. The respondents reported having little knowledge of the policy, not having implemented it statewide, and not having been trained in service-learning pedagogy. Based on these results, this article provides implications for consideration when states develop educational policies that impact school counselors’ work.

Vol 15, No 12 (2019): Well-Being: Bridging the Gap between the Language of Policy and the Culture of Schools

While there is an increasing interest in the notion of well-being—politically, societally and educationally—it remains an enigmatic, multifaceted concept that sometimes eludes definition in academic articles. This article takes account of policy developments in the area of well-being over the last decade in Ireland, particularly educational policy developments. It presents research findings from a study conducted with primary school teachers on the west coast of Ireland about what well-being means to them as teachers and their challenges in promoting it. The findings highlight that well-being is open to many interpretations, and there is a clear gap between the language of well-being policy documents and the practices taking place in schools.

Vol 15, No 11 (2019): An Investigation into Educational Decision-Making in a Centralized Education System: Governance Principles and the Case of National Education Councils (Şûras)

This study aims to investigate how national education councils are organized inTurkey, shed light on their voting procedures, and examine their perceived chal-lenges, based on data from eight participants of the 18th National Education Council.A qualitative research design was adopted and data were collected through semi-structured interviews. By scrutinizing a particular decision-making convention in acentralized system, the study offers significant evidence on education decision-mak-ing and contributes to the existing body of literature on education decision-makingin accordance with governance principles.

Vol 15, No 10 (2019): Gateway Literacy Retention Policies: Perspectives and Implications from the Field

South Carolina’s Read to Succeed Law (RTS) is different than the other 15 states’ literacy-based third grade retention laws. It mandates literacy intervention training for in-service and pre- service teachers. Research indicates academic gains from retention are short-lived, diminishing over time and increasing drop-out rates. Through a statewide survey, this study identifies educators’ perceptions and knowledge of retention and the RTS policy, and examines the relationship between knowledge and
perceptions. Educators were not familiar with retention research or RTS specifics, but favored retention. Implications include the need for more teacher training regarding new state policies and the efficacy of their foundations. This study provides evidence that policymakers should consider the means of implementation and shoulder accountability for a structured and equitable support system.

Vol 15, No 9 (2019): Property Tax Cap Policy in Indiana and Implications for Public School Funding Equity

The purpose of this research was to examine funding losses experienced by preschool to grade 12 (P–12) public school districts in Indiana, U.S., from an equity standpoint after the implementation of statewide property tax caps. All Indiana public school districts (N = 292) rely on property taxes as a major source of revenue, but districts experienced widely varying losses after the tax reform. Analyses across an array of district characteristics revealed significant relationships between differential funding losses and demographic indicators, including total student enrollment and the percentages of certain minoritized students. Implications for policy and practice
include the integration of findings with essential research on funding equity in public education and attention on leadership toward reducing funding disparities.

Vol 15, No 8 (2019): School Culture and Its Effect on Extracurricular Participation in Hong Kong

Extracurricular participation has displayed positive effects on student development; it is, therefore, worthwhile to investigate the factors that influence students’ willingness and ability to participate in extracurricular activities held by the school. Through a qualitative research design, this study hopes to reveal how school culture and other factors influence extracurricular participation among local high school students in Hong Kong. Focus groups were conducted with students from three local schools, and teachers and administrative staff were interviewed when available. The study focused on four main themes: school and student profile, participation requirements, activity availability, and school mission and academic emphasis. Hand coding and data analysis suggest that principal and school attitudes influenced the activities available, while timing and activity arrangement significantly affected student participation. Overall, there were mixed opinions toward extracurricular activities.

Vol 15, No 7 (2019): Attaining Work-Life Balance and Modeling the Way among Female Teachers in Ghana

This study investigates the extent to which female teachers in Ghana are able to balance their careers and social roles, while acting as role models in career progression. Work-life balance (WLB) is a phenomenon gaining much interest in educational administration and management in Ghana. The Ghana Education Service (GES) employs a significant number of female teachers, yet evidence shows practical policy issues when it comes to WLB. Study respondents indicated their perceptions of significant sociocultural challenges in trying to balance domestic roles and teaching. Some support systems were identified, but they were not found to have a significant effect on female teachers’ resilience and determination to consolidate their career in GES. The results have several implications for GES policy direction, practices for performance, and recommendations for scaling up WLB research in Ghana.

Vol 15, No 6 (2019): Fostering a Culture of Innovation: A Case Study of Elementary School Principals in Costa Rica

To help promote a culture of innovation, the Ministry of Education andthe Ministry of Science, Technology, and Telecommunication of Costa Rica estab-lished a national executive decree requiring all public schools in the country partic-ipate in the National Program of Science and Technology Fairs (NPSTF). This casestudy examines the role of five elementary school principals in Costa Rica in implementing and preparing their schools for the NPSTF initiative. Principals played threesignificant roles: the motivator of teachers and students; acquirer of NPSTF resources;and the organizer of NPSTF committees and coalitions to help train and finance theinitiative. It is recommended the Ministry of Education establish a budget solely ded-icated to support infrastructure and professional development for NPSTF while aligning goals with all stakeholders.

Vol 15, No 5 (2019): Perceptions of Educational Leadership Faculty Regarding Open Access Publishing

There is a dearth of research on the perceptions of faculty members in educational leadership regarding open access publications. This reality may exist because of a lack of funding for educational leadership research, financial obstacles, tenure demands, or reputation concerns. It may be that there are simply fewer established open access publishers with reputable impact factors to encourage publication by members in the field. The current study seeks to answer the following question: “What are the perceptions of educational leadership faculty members in UCEA about open access publishing?” The results are based on responses from 180 faculty members in the field of educational leadership.

Vol 15, No 4 (2019): Developing Effective Advocates during Doctoral Preparation: An Examination of Federal-Level Special Education Policy Internships

It is critically important for leadership personnel in special education to develop knowledge and skills in policy and advocacy. The Pew Charitable Trust initiated a survey to uncover resources and experiences impacting doctoral-level preparation at institutes of higher education. Results indicated that fewer than 30 percent of doctoral students were provided the opportunity for an internship experience. Thus, a large university located in the southeast United States created an internship experience reflective of current policies and trends within the field of special education. This article discusses interns’ responsibilities with reference to policy and politics, opportunities for mentorship, the development of personal contacts and networking, and the impact of each experience on the intern’s future role in  specialeducation teacher education and advocacy.

Vol 15, No 3 (2019): What We Want, Why We Want It: K–12 Educators’ Evidence Use to Support their Grant Proposals

This study analyzed educators’ requests for grant funding to purchase desired educational resources or services. Specifically, it examined to what extent, and how, educators utilized research and other forms of evidence to support their decision-making. References to research were sparse, though applicants sometimes referred to local data or small-scale trials. Conceptual research use likely also lurked beneath certain statements. Applicant educators also showed special concern for certain topics, including student engagement/motivation and enhancing the cultural relevance of programming. The proposals varied considerably in terms of the robustness of underlying theories of action. This line of inquiry contributes to understandings both regarding a) educators’ use of research and other knowledge sources to support their professional decision-making; and b) the nature of evidence use in education.

Vol 15, No 2 (2019): Globally Minded Leadership: A New Approach for Leading Schools in Diverse Democracies

Global migration, global markets, and technological advances have connected the world at an unprecedented scale and have diversified the communities with which people engage and the schools in which educators teach. This study explores the school leadership attributes that facilitate the learning of critical competencies needed to thrive in a diverse, interconnected world. Using a grounded theory approach to analyze in-depth interviews with eleven practicing school principals, ten globally minded leadership practices emerged from the data. These fell under the constructs of setting the direction, developing people, redesigning the organization, and situating glocally. Findings hold implications for how educational leadership programs and professional development providers can utilize this emerging framework to\ cultivate globally minded leaders.

Vol 15, No 1 (2019): Advancing Knowledge Mobilization in Colleges of Education

This study examines emerging efforts by three colleges of education to contribute to research use through public systems of knowledge exchange among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other education stakeholders. Often labeled knowledge mobilization (KM), such organization- and individual-level agendas seek to enhance, expand, and sustain engagement with educational research. Colleges of education with public KM agendas signal formal, local efforts at a time when KM remains weakly integrated within education. This study seeks to highlight the interdependent opportunities and challenges that accompany individual and organizational capacities for such change associated with KM. Findings from analysis of faculty survey responses (n = 66) suggest that progressive engagement with KM among colleges of education challenges their faculty to navigate the competing demands of knowledge production and mobilization.

Vol 14, No 10 (2019): Special Issue: Education Research in the Canadian Context

This special issue of the International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership (IJEPL), Research in the Canadian Context, marks a significant milestone for the journal. Throughout our twelve-year history, we have sought to publish the best research in leadership, policy, and research use, allowing authors to decide the topics by dint of their research. While this model still serves as the foundation for IJEPL content, we decided to give researchers a chance to engage in deeper conversations by introducing special issues. In our first special issue, researchers discuss their work within the scope of education policy, leadership, and research use within the Canadian context. While many aspects of leadership, teaching, and learning can be seen as similar across contexts, there are also issues of particular concern within national, regional, provincial, or local spheres, particularly when looking at policy and system changes. The researchers featured in this issue provide an important look into education in Canada.

Policy
In the policy realm, Sue Winton and Lauren Jervis examine a 22-year campaign to change special education assessment policy in Ontario, examining how discourses dominant in the province enabled the government to leave the issue unresolved for decades. Issues of access and equity play out within a neoliberal context focused on individualism, meritocracy, and the reduced funding of public services. While Winton and Jervis highlight the tension between policy goals and ideological contexts, Jean-Vianney Auclair considers the place of policy dialogues within governmental frames, and the challenge of engaging in broadly applicable work within vertically structured governmental agencies. One often-touted way to move beyond

Research use
Within the scope of research use, Sarah L. Patten examines how socioeconomic status (SES) is defined and measured in Canada, the challenges in defining SES, and potential solutions specific to the Canadian context. In looking at knowledge mobilization, Joelle Rodway considers how formal coaches and informal social networks nserve to connect research, policy, and practice in Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health program.

Leadership
Turning to leadership, contributing researchers explored the challenges involved in staff development, administrator preparation, and student outcomes. Keith Walker and Benjamin Kutsyuruba explore how educational administrators can support early career teachers to increase retention, and the somewhat haphazard policies and supports in place across Canada to bring administrators and new teachers together. Gregory Rodney MacKinnon, David Young, Sophie Paish, and Sue LeBel look at how one program in Nova Scotia conceptualizes professional growth, instructional leadership, and administrative effectiveness and the emerging needs of administrators to respond to issues of poverty, socioemotional health, and mental health, while also building community. This complex environment may mean expanding leadership preparation to include a broader consideration of well-being and community. Finally, Victoria Handford and Kenneth Leithwood look at the role school leaders play in improving student achievement in British Columbia, and the school district characteristics associated with improving student achievement.

Taken together, the research in this special issue touches on many of the challenges in policy development, application, and leadership practice, and the myriad ways that research can be used to address these challenges. We hope you enjoy this first special issue of IJEPL!


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