• Identifying, Constructing And Maintaining Positive Teacher-student Relationships In A Secondary Setting / By Adam Crownover.

      Crownover, Adam
      This study articulates a vision for a relational pedagogy in education. In a policy era characterized by an overwhelming emphasis on accountability for teachers and students connected to content area assessment scores, a humanist recalibration of the priorities of education policy is needed. Rather than a fixation on performance data, I advocate for a consideration of the quality of the relational environment constructed by teachers based in part on the research which suggests that positive teacher-student relationships are connected to other positive outcomes for students, academic and otherwise. Accordingly, this research was guided by three questions: “what is the nature of a positive teacher-student relationship?�?, “What is the relational climate between participating teachers and students,�? and “what practices or behaviors have led to the establishment of these relationships?�? To address these questions, a sequential, mixed-methods phenomenographical study was conducted in three phases. Phase One featured open-ended surveys distributed to 55 students and 84 teachers with questions regarding the nature of positive relationships. These data were used to create the Crownover Student Relationship Survey, a 31-item instrument with relational indicators to which respondents provide feedback via a 5-point Likert-type scale. In Phase Two, the Crownover Student Relationship Survey was administered to 90 sophomores and five teachers to explore student conceptions of the relationships with those teachers. These data were analyzed and qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with participating teachers to uncover practices connected with the student scores. A factor analysis of the Phase Two survey data produced three factors which were then used as deductive themes for organizing the teacher interview data. This study illuminates components of the teacher-student relationship and has led to the creation of the Crownover Student Relationship Survey, a measure which can be used by teachers as way of assessing student perceptions of the relational climate created by the teacher. These data can serve to highlight strengths and areas for teacher growth in the various relational capacities. Subsequent discussion provides insight into practices corresponding to specific parameters. Furthermore, the Crownover Student Relationship Survey data serves as a starting point for exploring the relationships among the various relational variables included as parameters.
    • Diffusion Of And Access To Innovation: The Efficacy Of Bring-your-own-device (byod) Programs To Improve Academic Achievement Of Students From Low-income Families

      Coston-Scott, Marcia Elizabeth
      ABSTRACT MARCIA COSTON-SCOTT THE EFFICACY OF BRING-YOUR-OWN-DEVICE (BYOD) PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS FROM LOW-INCOME FAMILIES Under the direction of OLIVIA M. BOGGS, Ed.D. The purpose of this mini-ethnographic case study was to examine the perspectives of school leaders and teachers regarding the effectiveness of mobile learning devices in improving academic achievement of low-income students in the disciplines of mathematics and reading and to analyze the implementation/integration, policies, procedures and evaluation techniques of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program in a Title I school. The research targeted the persistent problem of academic achievement gap between students from low income families and their peers from high income families in the areas of mathematics and reading which can further be exacerbated by the limited or restricted access to the use of mobile devices as learning tools. The study also examined the implementation/integration challenges of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs. Of concern was how mobile learning devices in the classroom can help students from low-income families improve student achievement in mathematics and reading. Moreover, the study investigated the implementation and integration challenges schools face when using technology in schools. The research was conducted at a Title 1 middle school with a successful history of implementing a BYOD Program. The school district is recognized throughout the state, country and internationally for their Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Program. The data analysis from the semi-structured interviews conducted with the Principal, Technology Support Specialist and open ended survey responses from three Mathematics teachers, two Reading teachers and one English Language Arts teacher and document analysis and observation notes produced four themes that were aligned with the theoretical framework. The findings of the research explain how the school uses mobile technology as an instructional strategy in conjunction with researched based teaching practices to improve student achievement in the areas of mathematics and reading. Also, the findings of the research explain how the implementation of a well-developed Professional Development Program, along with technology training, is essential to providing support for teachers to enhance their instruction by integrating technology usage in classrooms.
    • A Narrative Study Of Foster Youth Perceptions Of Learning Climate Through A Self Determination Lens

      Ward, Kim
      ABSTRACT A NARRATIVE STUDY OF FOSTER YOUTH PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING CLIMATE THROUGH A SELF DETERMINATION LENS Under the direction of KAREN WELLER SWANSON, Ed. D. Foster youth or former foster youth face many educational, social, and emotional struggles in the classroom. Through a lens of self-determination, this study investigates the perceptions of foster youth or former foster youth about teacher autonomy support in the classroom, as well as how they perceive that teacher autonomy support affects their motivation and achievement. The five themes that arose from research question one in this study are: Theme 1 – Acceptance, Respect, Understanding, Family-Like Atmosphere; Theme 2 – Confidence, Trustworthiness, and Encouragement; Theme 3 – Understanding the Goal of the Class; Theme 4 – Comfortable Learning Environment for Dialogue and Listening; and Theme 5 – Choices and Options in the Classroom. These themes suggest ways that teachers can provide for the needs of foster youth while also improving their motivation and academic performance. The four themes which emerged from research question two are: Theme 1 - Confidence, Theme 2 - Motivation; Theme 3 – Inspiration; and Theme 4 – Emotional State. These themes concern the effect on the foster child of having autonomy supportive requirements met.
    • "anybody Listening?": Perceptions Of African American Girls Involvement In A Community-based Delinquency Reduction Program

      Hicks-Brown, Marco Viveca
      Female adolescents represent a growing subcategory of the juvenile justice population. This growth is directly linked to adolescent females being disproportionately incarcerated for status offenses such as running away. The Georgia House Bill 242 has changed the way status offenders are held accountable for their actions. The bill called for more researched-based, community-based services. However, there were very few gender-specific community-based services for adolescent females and even fewer programs that address all the areas of need for a delinquent adolescent female. This study adds to the literature of “what works�? for adolescent females in the juvenile justice system and establishes a long-term service that will prevent adolescent females from reoffending or violating their probation. A key component to the services provided to adolescent females is education. In this capacity, this research study sought to answer the following question: 1. How do the experiences of at-risk adolescent females in a community-based program help reduce their recidivism rates? Participants, volunteers, and the founder of Savannah Youth City, Inc. were interviewed to determine the effectiveness of SYC’s program through their lived experiences and the perception of the participants on the program’s ability to reduce their recidivism rates. This study utilized a qualitative methodology. The participants were adamant that SYC was effective in reducing their delinquent behaviors despite some of the participants having recent judicial system involvement. It was the perception of the participants that SYC provided them with acceptance, validation, and a nonjudgmental environment.
    • Caregivers' Perceptions Of Transition Of A Family Member From Acute Care To Hospice Inpatient Care / By Sandra Elaine Monk.

      Monk, Sandra Elaine
      Sandra Elaine Monk Caregivers' perceptions of transition of a family member from acute care to inpatient hospice care Under the direction of Laura P. Kimble, PhD, RN, FAAN Transition at end of life has the potential for fragmenting the delivery of health services and becoming a burden for patients and families according to the Institute of Medicine (2014). In spite of the family caregiver’s essential involvement in caring for a family member at end of life, less recognition has been placed on the emotional needs of the family caregiver (Harrington, Mitchell, Jones, Swettenham, & Currow, 2012). The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of caregivers during the transition of a family member from an acute care to hospice inpatient care. The study addressed the following research questions: “What are the lived experiences of caregivers during the transition of a family member from an acute care setting to a hospice inpatient setting?�? and, “What experience mattered most to family caregivers during this transition?�? Subjective experiences of the caregivers were described by the researcher with a focus on transition according to Meleis’ (2010) theory of transitions and a conceptualization of patient-and family-centered care in hospice and palliative nursing. Giorgi’s (2009) procedural method of descriptive phenomenology was utilized to analyze data and to develop a structure of the experiences of caregivers in the transition of a family member from acute care to hospice inpatient care. Study participants included 13 caregivers with a mean age of 55.2 (S.D. 12.6) years. Of those participating in the study, 77% were female. Participants completed qualitative, semi-structured interviews in a hospice inpatient setting. Seven interrelated constituent parts evolved from descriptive phenomenological data analysis to form the structure of a description of the phenomenon. Constituent parts and variations of the structure for caregivers’ experiences during transition of their family member at end of life included: Context, Caregiving, Chaos, Communication, Candor, Communication, Comfort, and Confidence. Findings of the study suggested caregivers gained confidence when shared goals for patient comfort were met through communication and assistance with navigation. Caregiver assessment and anticipatory planning earlier in the process, informed by caregivers’ experiences for evidence-based interventions, could help ease burden, and support a partnership during transition from acute care to hospice inpatient care.
    • Middle Grades Mathematics Engagement : How Action Research Informs What Counts / By Pateakia Ivory.

      Ivory, Pateakia
      The purpose of the study was to examine how action research informs instructional changes that need to take place in the middle grades mathematics classroom. There is a need for an increase in engagement in middle grades mathematics by educators being critically reflective of their instructional practices. The research question addressed in this study: How do I systematically reflect upon and change my mathematic instructional design through the process of action research? The qualitative methodology for this study was implemented through the process of action research. The researcher used daily journal reflections, student conversations, weekly lesson plan feedback, and achievement data to inform instructional changes grounded in constructivism within each round of data collection. Qualitative data analysis indicated that the action research process promotes reflection that shows critical instructional changes that may be hidden behind a teacher’s daily routine of instruction. Data also present the need for challenging work for high achieving students to promote engagement, confidence, independence, and persistence. Action research is critical to educators’ instructional practices because instructional design should morph to meet the needs of learners. Recommendations for future research include increasing low-ability student engagement, creating mindful engagement conversations with low-ability students, and implementing engagement strategies to promote grade-level content understanding for low-ability students. The researcher hoped to provide insight on the importance of incorporating action research into daily instructional practices to meet the needs of all learners.