Archives - Page 3

  • 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.

  • Looking for Competent School Leaders for Indigenous Schools: The New System to Appoint School Leaders in Mexico
    Vol. 13 No. 9 (2018)

    The understanding that leadership matters is well regarded in many types of organizations not only in education. In 2015 Mexico implemented a new system to appoint school leaders updating the previous, which was applied for more than four decades. This system aims to appoint the most competent candidate as school principal based on the scores they get on two tests. This study explored how the new system enhances or hinders preparation and readiness for leadership positions, and the effectiveness of tutoring and in-service professional development. Five newly appointed school leaders to Indigenous schools were followed throughout their first year of service. They were interviewed at the beginning, after six months, and at the end of their first year. Thematic analysis was used to process the data gathered from semi-structured interviews using a selective coding approach. Two main predefined themes were explored in this study: Leadership Preparation and Tutoring and Professional Development. Findings indicate that for schools located in remote Indigenous communities, isolation and the lack of communication infrastructure, such as internet and phone signal, hinder the possibility of effective training and tutoring. This study concludes that even though the new system seems to have made progress in appointing better school leaders, it is only partial since aspiring leaders are neither required to make specific preparation for their new post nor offered these opportunities, hindering their readiness to enact headship effectively.

  • Declining Morale, Diminishing Autonomy, and Decreasing Value: Principal Reflections on a High-Stakes Teacher Evaluation System
    Vol. 13 No. 8 (2018)

    Since the adoption of teacher evaluation systems that rely, at least in part, on controversial student achievement measures, little research has been conducted that focuses on stakeholders’ perceptions of systems in practice, specifically school principals. This study was conducted in a large urban school district to better understand principals’ perceptions of evaluating teachers based on professional practice and student achievement. Principals in this study strongly expressed concerns regarding: a) the negative impact of the teacher evaluation system on morale; b) their lack of autonomy in evaluating teachers and making staffing decisions; and c) their perceived lack of value as professionals. Examining the implications of teacher evaluation systems is increasingly important to better understand the intended and unintended consequences of these systems in practice.

  • International Students in American Higher Education: A Quantitative Study Comparing Their Distribution from Both the Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives and the Implications on Policy-Making
    Vol. 13 No. 7 (2018)

    This study applies the Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Kruskal-Wallis test to explore the significant differences in international student populations among five American regions from both the synchronic and diachronic perspectives. The study found significant differences in international student populations among the five American regions in 2016. Further, Northeastern, Southeastern, and Midwestern regions had significantly larger international student populations in 2016 than in 2015, while Western and Southwestern regions did not. The variables of climate, geographic location, and the population of immigrants were found to be the main reasons for the distribution of international students. The findings suggest four potential strategies for promoting the internationalization of higher education and the enrollment of international students. The article concludes by recommending three areas for possible future research.

  • The Development of Doctoral Degree Curriculum in England: Perspectives from Professional Doctoral Degree Graduates
    Vol. 13 No. 6 (2018)

    Thisarticleinvestigateswhypotentialdoctoralstudentsdecidedtoenroll in a professional doctorate program instead of a traditional Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and how it enhanced their professional development and career promotion. Twenty professional doctorate graduates were invited to participate in this study, which was guided by the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). The article reveals that the program offers the flexibility for professionals to enjoy the rigorous education at the doctoral level. Second, the curriculum allows graduates to apply both theories and practical applications directly into their current workplace. Third, the lecturers enhance the professional doctorate graduates’ life experience. This study provides recommendations for university administrators, policymakers, organizational employers, and potential doctoral students in the United Kingdom and other Anglophone countries.

  • Implementation of the Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System in Rural Kentucky High Schools
    Vol. 13 No. 5 (2018)

    A focus on improving teacher quality and student achievement led many states to implement teacher effectiveness systems. The Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching was adapted by Kentucky as the Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (TPGES). This study examined educator viewpoints concerning the impact of TPGES on improving teacher quality and student achievement, educator attitude for implementation, time requirement, and the potential to impact teacher growth and student learning. Teacher and principal triangulated data indicated mixed viewpoints concerning the impact of TPGES implementation on improving teacher quality and improving student learning. The data did not indicate positive educator attitudes for the implementation and time requirement for TPGES. Study implications focused on five identified dispositions relevant for all educators striving to implement innovative change initiatives.

  • Identifying Good Teachers: Expert Versus Ordinary Knowledge
    Vol. 13 No. 4 (2018)

    While much has been written about the effects of standardized testing on student achievement, less work has addressed how parents take up this information. Drawing on a survey of 286 parents in a diverse urban school district, this research illuminates three aspects of parental response to test score information: 1) how parents relate various teacher traits to quality teaching; 2) how parents know if their child has a good teacher; and 3) how parents think teachers should be evaluated. Results show that test score data are perceived as both imperfect and incomplete with regard to measuring teacher quality, and that parents often rely more on “ordinary” forms of knowledge. This raises questions about the value of test data as an informational spur to reform.

  • Examining the Value Aspiring Principals Place on Various Instructional Strategies in Principal Preparation
    Vol. 13 No. 3 (2018)

    This article reports on a study of the value master’s students in a principal preparation program placed on a variety of instructional strategies. The aspiring principals completed a survey with fixed-response and open-ended items. The students’ most valued class discussions were about how their personal experiences related to the class topic and how to apply the topic to practice. The class activities they valued the most highly were problem solving, simulations, small-group discussions, and whole-group discussions. The highest rated out-of-class assignments included writing reflective papers, conducting interviews and observations, and performing leadership activities in schools. The types of readings the master’s students most appreciated were case studies and journal articles. In describing their “outstanding professor,” the aspiring principals focused on the professor’s personal qualities, creation of a positive learning environment, and constructivist teaching.

  • Educational Decentralization Efforts in a Centralized Country: Saudi Tatweer Principals’ Perceptions of their New Authorities
    Vol. 13 No. 2 (2018)

    This study captures the perspectives of school principals in Saudi Arabia regarding the new authorities granted to them as part of their country’s education decentralization efforts. Specifically, it explores these principals’ perceived ability to implement the new authorities, the levels of support they received, the effectiveness, and any additional authorities they desire. This study provides an opportunity to analyze the early efforts of a country with a very centralized educational system to implement decentralization efforts. A total of 173 Tatweer school principals completed an online survey, and findings suggest these Saudi principals perceived a limited ability to implement the authorities, low to moderate support, and only slight agreement that the authorities would achieve desired outcomes. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the principals’ perceived ability to implement administrative authorities, perceived support in implementing technical authorities, and years of experience predicted their beliefs about the effectiveness of the authorities.
  • Tracking Myself: African American High School Students Talk About the Effects of Curricular Differentiation
    Vol. 13 No. 1 (2018)

    Research on the merit of school tracking policies has long been at the center of heated educational debate. Unfortunately, while the trend in studies looking at tracking in schools has continued, the student perspective has been underutilized in much of this previous research. Recently, however, there has been a surge in research that focuses on the benefits of student-centered research. This research recognizes the legitimacy of student perspectives in reform efforts. This article focuses on the student perspectives in a qualitative project with seven black students to understand the insights and contributions they have for school leaders. Findings revealed that students contribute nuanced perspectives on complex educational reform issues, such as tracking, and provide powerful insights that should be considered in school reform conversations. 

  • Gender Differences in Participatory Leadership: An Examination of Principals’ Time Spent Working with Others
    Vol. 12 No. 8 (2017)

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether female principals have a more participatory style compared to their male counterparts by examining principals’ daily time allocation patterns. The study analyzed data from End of Day (EOD) survey logs from principals in an urban school district in the United States. Results from hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) showed that female principals, when compared to male principals, spent a higher proportion of their time working with others in planning/setting goals. At the same time, there were no differences in how principals allocated their total time working alone or working with others and their time distribution in other leadership domains. The findings suggest that gender differences in leadership style depend on specific activity domains and that there are significant differences in the key domain of strategic planning. 

  • Educational Knowledge Brokerage and Mobilization: The Marshall Memo Case
    Vol. 12 No. 7 (2017)

    The importance of intermediation between communities primarily engaged in research production and those primarily engaged in practice is increasingly acknowledged, yet our understanding of the nature and influence of this work in education remains limited. Accordingly, this study utilizes case study methodology and aspires to understand the activities and signature product (the Marshall Memo) of a particularly influential mediator of current educational research, news, and ideas: Mr. Kim Marshall. The article also examines the memo’s meaning to subscribing educators. Data analyses suggest subscribers greatly appreciate several aspects of the memo, which was found to draw from a wide range of source material that varies in terms of its research centredness and its practical implications. 

  • Caught on Camera: Special Education Classrooms and Video Surveillance
    Vol. 12 No. 6 (2017)

    In Texas, state policy anticipates that installing video cameras in special education classrooms will decrease student abuse inflicted by teachers. Lawmakers assume that collecting video footage will prevent teachers from engaging in malicious actions and prosecute those who choose to harm children. At the request of a parent, Section 29.022 of the Texas Education Code (2015) will protect students who are unable to speak for themselves from bullying and abuse by installing video surveillance cameras in special education classrooms. The purpose of this article is to describe the law in Texas, the impact of the bill on classrooms, to raise questions about the implementation of the law, and to provide recommendations for school administrators.

  • An Analysis of Principals’ Perceptions of the Primary Teaching Evaluation System Used in Eight U.S. States
    Vol. 12 No. 5 (2017)

    This research examines how public school principals in eight U.S. states perceive their teacher evaluation systems, which are based on Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching (FfT). States were selected to represent high, middle, and low scorers in the annual Education Week “Quality Counts” report (Education Week, 2016). A total of 1,142 out of over 8,100 working principals in the eight states responded to an online survey, yielding a response rate of over 14 percent. Most principals were somewhat satisfied with FfT but found implementing the system too cumbersome. Responses suggested an average of two changes to FfT desired by each principal; few wanted to keep their FfT as is. Targets for improvement included overhauling software used to enter teacher evaluations; eliminating student growth goals and student test scores (VAMs) as part of evaluations; reducing the time and paperwork required; and wanting more training for administrators and teachers on the use of FfT. Some states’ principals wanted to return control over teacher evaluation systems to local school districts. Most respondents agreed that their version of FfT has improved their school’s instructional program, and they prefer the new instrument over their previous evaluation instrument. 

  • Building Productive Relationships: District Leaders’ Advice to Researchers
    Vol. 12 No. 4 (2017)

    Expectationsfortheroleofresearchineducationalimprovementarehigh. Meeting these expectations requires productive relationships between researchers and practitioners. Few studies, however, have systematically explored the ways researchers can build stronger, more productive relationships with practitioners. This study seeks to identify such strategies by examining district leaders’ views of how researchers might work with practitioners in more effective, beneficial, and collaborative ways. Through an analysis of 147 interviews with 80 district leaders in three urban school districts in the United States, we identify several key pieces of advice highlighted by district leaders for researchers. For researchers, these findings reveal potential strategies for shaping the design, conduct, and communication of their research in order to ensure its usefulness for practitioners. 

  • School Policy and Transgender Identity Expression: A Study of School Administrators’ Experiences
    Vol. 12 No. 3 (2017)

    School administrators are charged with establishing and enforcing school policies that provide safe and equitable learning environments for all students while adhering to state and federal laws as well as adopted school board policies. This qualitative research focuses on school administrators’ experiences with transgender students’ identity expression as it relates to school policies and student body experiences of transgender inclusion. Implications for district and building policy are also discussed. 

  • Principal Leadership and Reading Specialist Role Understanding in the Era of Test-Based Accountability Policies.
    Vol. 12 No. 2 (2017)

    This study investigates how the role of the reading specialist (RS) is defined and communicated by principals, and examines to what degree a common understand- ing of this role exists among teachers, building administrators and reading specialists. The principal’s responsibility in defining and communicating role, and the effect these efforts have on job satisfaction and specialists’ perceived effectiveness is also studied. Eight elementary schools in the western part of New York State (USA) are studied. Based on interviews with principals and reading specialists and surveys completed by principals, reading specialists, and teachers, the following themes emerge: a) Principal leadership was essential in defining the RS role; b) A clearly defined RS role was asso- ciated with greater RS satisfaction and perceptions of effectiveness as well as greater teacher compliance; c) Greater teacher compliance with a school’s literacy program did not affect beliefs about the proper role of RSs; d) Lack of a clearly defined role in a school was associated with role conflict and role ambiguity for reading specialists; e) Reading specialists, even without coaching responsibilities, served as a resource to teachers, although no time was allocated in their schedule to do so; f) Reading special- ists faced challenges due to increased accountability and assessment demands affected by policy, demographics, and accountability requirements. It is concluded that princi- pals must assume responsibility for defining and communicating the reading specialist role within their schools to strengthen literacy programming. 

  • Developing Leadership Capacity in Others: An Examination of High School Principals’ Personal Capacities for Fostering Leadership
    Vol. 12 No. 1 (2017)

    In this multisite case study, we examine the personal capacities of six high school principals who have developed the leadership capacities of other leaders in their respective schools. Participants were purposefully selected by two teams of researchers in two states of the United States, one on the east coast and one on the west coast, who engaged their professional networks of current and former educational leaders to obtain recommendations of high school principals known for developing the leadership capacities of formal and informal leaders in their schools. The findings indicate that the principals possessed a strong commitment to developing leadership capacity, that they understood leadership development as a process, and that they tolerated risk. This study adds to the rapidly growing corpus of literature focused on distributed leadership; it does so by illustrating the complexities of developing leadership capacity in attempts to increase organizational leadership capacity, and by highlighting the relevant characteristics of principals who have intentionally sought to do so.

  • An Analysis of the 2013 Program Evaluation Proposals for the School Leadership Preparation Program
    Vol. 11 No. 11 (2016)

    This article presents a content analysis of the 2013 School Leadership Program (SLP) grants. SLP projects provide a unique opportunity for participants in the field to explore innovative leadership preparation and development and their impact on program participants, schools, school districts, and students. The article begins with an overview of the SLP, the changing field of leadership preparation, and current research in the field. Findings then reveal a range of evaluation tools, methods, and data, the presence of myriad evaluators participating in the projects, and little focus on external dissemination of program evaluation methods beyond the scope of the projects. Suggestions for research to extend the field are provided. 

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