Archives

2019

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!

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

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.

Vol 14, No 8 (2019): Good Governance and Canadian Universities: Fiduciary Duties of University Governing Boards and Their Implications for Shared Collegial Governance

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.

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

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.

Vol 14, No 6 (2019): Addressing Wicked Educational Problems through Inter-Sectoral Policy Development: Lessons from Manitoba’s Healthy Child Initiative

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.

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

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.

Vol 14, No 4 (2019): Using the Evidence-Based Adequacy Model across Educational Contexts: Calibrating for Technical, Policy, and Leadership Influences

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.

Vol 14, No 3 (2019): Measures of Socio-Economic Status in Educational Research: The Canadian Context

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.

Vol 14, No 2 (2019): The Role of School Administrators in Providing Early Career Teachers’ Support: A Pan-Canadian Perspective

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.

Vol 14, No 1 (2019): Preparing Instructional Leaders: Evaluating a Regional Program to Gauge Perceived Effectiveness

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.


2018

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

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.

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

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.

Vol 13, No 10 (2018): Assistant Principals’ Perceptions of the Principalship

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Vol 13, No 7 (2018): 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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.


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