Archives - Page 2

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

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

    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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.
  • Advancing Knowledge Mobilization in Colleges of Education
    Vol. 15 No. 1 (2019)

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

    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!

  • School Districts’ Contributions to Students’ Math and Language Achievement
    Vol. 14 No. 9 (2019)

    Conducted in British Columbia, this mixed-methods study tested the effects of nine district characteristics on student achievement, explored conditions that mediate the effects of such characteristics, and contributed to understandings about the role school-level leaders play in district efforts to improve achievement. Semistructured interview data from 37 school administrators provided qualitative data. Quantitative data were provided by the responses of 998 school and district leaders’ in 21 districts to two surveys. Student achievement data were district-level results of elementary and secondary student provincial math and language test scores. All nine district characteristics contributed significantly to student achievement. Three conditions served as especially powerful mediators of such district effects. The same conditions, as well as others, acted as significant mediators of school-level leader effects on achievement. This is among the few large-scale mixed-methods studies identifying characteristics of districts explaining variation in student achievement.
  • Good Governance and Canadian Universities: Fiduciary Duties of University Governing Boards and Their Implications for Shared Collegial Governance
    Vol. 14 No. 8 (2019)

    Using a legal framework, doctrinal analysis, critical legal analysis, and fundamental legal research and drawing upon legislation, case law, judicial, and scholarly commentary, this article defines the fiduciary duties of Canadian university governing boards given the unique features of the university as a legal entity. Thelegal  analysis considers the Canadian university as a corporation, distinguishing it from other types of corporations, identifying the charitable, not-for-profit, public/private dimensions of universities in Canada, and significantly, considering the judicially recognized “community of scholars” and collegial features of universities. The article argues that all of these features shape the fiduciary duties of governing boards and have implications for shared collegial governance in Canadian universities.

  • Beyond Rhetoric: How Context Influences Education Policy Advocates’ Success
    Vol. 14 No. 7 (2019)

    This article discusses findings from a study of a 22-year campaign to change special education assessment policy in Ontario by the advocacy organization People for Education (P4E) and explains how dominant discourses enabled the government to leave the issue unresolved. Based on a rhetorical analysis of 58 documents, the article identifies strategies used by P4E to persuade Ontario’s government and citizens to view students’ uneven access to educational assessments as a problem. Further, since this problem differently impacts children by class and geographical location, it perpetuates inequities. Despite using strategies deemed effective in other change efforts, arguments mobilized by P4E have not been persuasive in a neoliberal context that champions responsibilized individualism, meritocracy, human capital development, and reduced funding of public services.
  • Addressing Wicked Educational Problems through Inter-Sectoral Policy Development: Lessons from Manitoba’s Healthy Child Initiative
    Vol. 14 No. 6 (2019)

    In 2000, the Government of Manitoba initiated an inter-sectoral policy strategy referred to as Healthy Child Manitoba. This article reports on a research project that studied the success and challenges of this horizontal policy strategy. The research suggests that while this policy approach—which places educatiowithin the broader context of a healthy child—warrants attention, the day-to-day operationalization of the policy strategy remains difficult. Using a horizontal approach to improve educational outcomes by breaking down the silo effect of traditional government departments appears to be important, but working effectively across sectors requires overcoming a number of barriers, including the need for the horizontal approach to co exist within a well-delineated vertical governmental machinery.

  • Coaching as a Knowledge Mobilization Strategy: Coaches’ Centrality in a Provincial Research Brokering Network
    Vol. 14 No. 5 (2019)

    Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) program is a provinciallysponsored  initiative that aims to build school district capacity for developing research-informed school mental health policies. This article reports findings from a mixed-methods study that employs social network theory and analysis tools to explore the centrality of CYMH coaches within this research brokering network. Overall, CYMH coaches are central within these social networks, although the patterns of interaction differ from the program’s original design, with some coaches being more central than others. While formal CYMH professional development events appear to be the most direct approach to connecting research, policy, and practice, informal social networks provide the support necessary to make sense of research-based materials for use in local policymaking.
  • Using the Evidence-Based Adequacy Model across Educational Contexts: Calibrating for Technical, Policy, and Leadership Influences
    Vol. 14 No. 4 (2019)

    This article reports on a rigorous approach developed for calibrating the Evidence-Based Adequacy Model to suit the Ontario K–12 public education context, and the actual calibrations made. The four-step calibration methodology draws from expert consultations and a review of the academic literature. Specific attention is given to the technical revisions and, importantly, the significant influence of policy (values) and leaders’ decision-making on the calibration process. It also presents emerging implications for leaders and researchers who are considering calibrating the EBAM for use in their educational context. Calibrating the instrument was a necessary step before use in a jurisdiction outside of the United States, where the model was developed, and our team has been the first to outline a methodology and bring Canadian evidence to the discussion.
  • Measures of Socio-Economic Status in Educational Research: The Canadian Context
    Vol. 14 No. 3 (2019)

    This study aims to recommend and test a conceptual model for socio-economic status (SES) and variables to measure it that are available to researchers in Canada and applicable in other countries. Recommendations for quantitative researchers are presented to address issues that arise with including SES in analyses. The study analyzed data linking student achievement in mathematics and literacy to both economic and social factors. Results from hierarchical linear modelling showed that the use of intersecting variables was better served to answer research questions than any individual SES measure or a composite measure. Using SES measures at the school and neighbourhood level is also recommended.
  • The Role of School Administrators in Providing Early Career Teachers’ Support: A Pan-Canadian Perspective
    Vol. 14 No. 2 (2019)

    This article is based on an extensive mixed methods pan-Canadian study that examined the differential impact of teacher induction and mentorship programs on the retention of early career teachers (ECTs). It discusses the findings from the analysis of publicly available pan Canadian documents detailing the mandated roles, duties, and responsibilities of school administrators in teacher induction and mentorship. It then describes the results of the Teacher Induction Survey (N = 1,343) and the telephone interviews (N = 36) that elicited the perceptions of Canadian early career teachers regarding the school administrator’s role and engagement in effective teacher induction and mentoring programs.
  • Preparing Instructional Leaders: Evaluating a Regional Program to Gauge Perceived Effectiveness
    Vol. 14 No. 1 (2019)

    An instructional leadership program (ILP) has offered education and support to three cohorts of educational leaders in Nova Scotia, Canada, amounting to approximately 130 participants. Quantitative and qualitative feedback from a convenience sample (n = 90) suggests that the ILP offers an extremely useful practical program; in fact, 95 percent of the sample indicates advances in the categories of professional growth, improved instructional leadership, and tangible progress in administrative effectiveness. Systemic and school environment trends have dictated that educational leaders need a skill set that positions them to respond more aptly to issues of poverty, socioemotional health, and mental health while attending to improved community building both within the school and in the greater public. This study uses surveys, interviews, and focus groups to identify emerging and impending challenges.

  • Leadership Coaching and Mentoring: A Research-Based Model for Stronger Partnerships
    Vol. 13 No. 12 (2018)

    This conceptual article proposes a research-based model for leadership preparation programs to more effectively prepare, support, and sustain new school leaders in the field and profession. This study offers a new construct, which combines the concepts of early field experiences, experiential learning, leadership-focused coaching, and mentoring support, with university faculty and school district leaders and mentors working collaboratively to support novice leaders. University faculty would provide leadership-focused coaching while prospective leaders are completing coursework and later once they are placed in school leadership positions. Further, school districts would provide mentoring support by experienced instructional leaders.

  • An Exploratory Analysis of the Prevalence of Quantitative Research Concepts in Journal Articles
    Vol. 13 No. 11 (2018)

    The purpose of this study is to explore the prevalence of quantitative research methodologies in published journal articles to better understand the knowledge and skills necessary for school leaders to meet the expectations of applying research findings to practice. It examines research articles published between 2008 and 2013 in the American Educational Research Journal, the Educational Administration Quarterly, and the NASSP Bulletin. Empirical articles comprise 91 percent of the 449 identified research articles, with 58 percent reporting the use of quantitative methodology.

  • Assistant Principals’ Perceptions of the Principalship
    Vol. 13 No. 10 (2018)

    Education research has established a significant relationship between school leadership and students’ achievement. This study considers the leadership self-efficacy and practice of assistant principals (AP) in public schools in the domains of facilitating a supportive and collaborative learning environment, instructional leadership, school improvement, management, and family and community relations, as perceived by APs’ self-reports. The findings of this study suggest that, in addition to APs’ strengths in the domain of facilitating a collaborative learning environment and efficacy around family and community engagement, there were explicit gaps in the instructional leadership and school improvement practices of APs that need to be addressed. The study also confirmed that there continue to be a proliferation of duties and a lack of a consistent set of practices for APs.

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