• Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance in Undergraduate Nursing Faculty: A Mixed-Methods Study

      Crawford, Ryan Patricia; Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
      The current nursing and nursing faculty shortages are related, multifactorial problems. The nursing faculty shortage impedes the current demands to increase the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses. Important concepts, which could impair recruitment and retention of nursing faculty, include job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and work-life balance. These concepts could be impacted by certain demographics. The purpose of this study was to better understand the gender, generational, and racial differences of job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and work-life balance in baccalaureate nursing faculty. This study incorporated a convergent parallel mixed-methods study design to assess job, satisfaction, life satisfaction, and work-life balance of baccalaureate nursing faculty of differing genders, generational cohorts, and races. A total of 370 full-time, baccalaureate nursing faculty members participated in one web-based survey. Quantitative data were collected using four instruments: a demographic questionnaire, the Work-Life Balance Self-Assessment, the Job Satisfaction Survey, and the Satisfaction with Life Survey. Qualitative data were collected using open-ended questions. Within the quantitative findings, significant differences were identified with minority faculty reporting less job and life satisfaction. Gender differences were also identified in satisfaction levels. Both findings have practical significance as there are increased calls to diversify the nursing workforce and faculty. Qualitative data analysis revealed the themes Relationship with Administration, Nursing Faculty Workload, and Boundary-setting. These themes presented a dichotomy in subthemes relating to the concerns of the nursing faculty members. Generational differences were seen among the qualitative findings, which included one theme for Generation X and Millennial cohorts Family Life, with varying subthemes for the generations. The findings of the quantitative and qualitative strands were similar for work-life balance regarding the bimodality noted in the quantitative strand and the dichotomy of subthemes within the qualitative strand. The findings from this study have the potential to provide a better understanding of work-life balance among full-time, baccalaureate nursing faculty members. Recommendations for nursing based on these findings include thoughtful workload calculations, mentoring, faculty development, and administrator development. The findings from this study could guide further research, which is needed to identify the unique experiences of faculty who identify as male or from a minority race.
    • Scripture Meditation (lectio Divina) And The Regulation Of Negative Reactions To Stress In Anderson University Students Anderson, South Carolina

      Jennings, Amy S.
      ABSTRACT AMY STURDIVANT JENNINGS SCRIPTURE MEDITATION (LECTIO DIVINA) AND THE REGULATION OF NEGATIVE REACTIONS TO STRESS IN ANDERSON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA Under the direction of Karen G. Massey, Ph.D., Supervisor On university campuses there has been an increase in students needing accommodations for stress related issues. Anderson University is no exception, and over the past three years the university has seen a 7% increase in academic accommodations for psychological issues related to stress. The two main purposes of this research study were to assist female students in deepening their relationship with God and to help them in managing their negative emotional reactions to stress. The researcher sought to accomplish these goals through a series of four teaching sessions by introducing participants to the spiritual practice of Scripture meditation (Lectio divina). The research methodology was an experimental design and obtained both quantitative and qualitative data. The study was conducted on forty-seven recruited students from introductory behavioral science courses at Anderson University. All students voluntarily participated, signed consent forms, and received behavioral science research credit upon completion of the study. Students were randomly assigned to two groups: control group (n=23) and experimental group (n=24). During the first session participants completed several assessments that measured their stress, emotional regulation, and spirituality. While the control group received emails with suggestions for handling stress, the experimental group met weekly for four weeks to learn Scripture meditation. They were given journals with instructions on how to practice Scripture meditation privately, and they also prayed in small groups weekly. The same assessments given before the intervention were given at the conclusion of the intervention. The quantitative aspect involved completing ANOVAs to determine the statistical significance of the intervention. The qualitative component gathered data from student journals and private interviews. The results of the study revealed that, in comparison to the control group, the experimental group had significant differences on their scores between the pre- and post-assessments. The interviews also confirmed these findings. The results suggest that Scripture meditation assisted students in deepening their intimacy with God and provided them with an effective way of managing their negative emotional reactions to stress. Application of this study could be made to various populations who use their faith as a means of developing both mental and spiritual well-being.
    • Searching For Scientific Literacy And Critical Pedagogy In Socioscientific Curricula : A Critical Discourse Analysis / By Kristina Marie Cummings.

      Cummings, Kristina Marie
      The omnipresence of science and technology in our society require the development of a critical and scientifically literate citizenry. However, the inclusion of socioscientific issues, which are open-ended controversial issues informed by both science and societal factors such as politics, economics, and ethics, do not guarantee the development of these skills. The purpose of this critical discourse analysis is to identify and analyze the discursive strategies used in intermediate science texts and curricula that address socioscientific topics and the extent to which the discourses are designed to promote or suppress the development of scientific literacy and a critical pedagogy. Three curricula that address the issue of energy and climate change were analyzed using Gee’s (2011) building tasks and inquiry tools. The curricula were written by an education organization entitled PreSEES, a corporate-sponsored group called NEED, and a non-profit organization named Oxfam. The analysis found that the PreSEES and Oxfam curricula elevated the significance of climate change and the NEED curriculum deemphasized the issue. The PreSEES and Oxfam curricula promoted the development of scientific literacy while the NEED curricula suppressed its development. The PreSEES and Oxfam curricula both promoted the development of the critical pedagogy; however, only the Oxfam curricula provided authentic opportunities to enact sociopolitical change. The NEED curricula suppressed the development of critical pedagogy. From these findings, the following conclusions were drawn. When socioscientific issues are presented with the development of scientific literacy and critical pedagogy, the curricula allow students to develop fact-based opinions about the issue. However, curricula that address socioscientific issues without the inclusion of these skills minimize the significance of the issue and normalize the hegemonic worldview promoted by the curricula’s authors. Based on these findings, additional research is necessary to confirm the connection between the way curricula address a socioscientific issue and develop or suppress scientific literacy. Additionally, further analysis is necessary to confirm the connection between corporate-sponsored curricula and the suppression of socioscientific issues, scientific literacy, and critical pedagogy. Finally, this study addressed only the intended results of the curricula. Further research is necessary to measure the actual impacts of these curricula on students.
    • Secondary Special Education Teachers' Perceptions Of The Georgia Alternate Assessment (gaa) / By Misty Salter.

      Salter, Misty
      The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine secondary special education teachers’ perceptions of the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) as an assessment measure for high school students with cognitive disabilities. The GAA was created in an effort to ensure accountability of teachers, schools, and states by assessing students with severe cognitive disabilities on grade level content and standards to ensure these students are being provided access to the same general curriculum as their same aged peers. Georgia’s special education teachers assess students using the portfolio approach, as mandated by the state. The participants in this study were six Georgia public high school teachers who have worked with the GAA for a number of years and have administered the GAA to high school students with cognitive disabilities. Consequently, these teachers were able to share their perceptions of the GAA’s ability to effectively measure student progress and growth. Findings revealed that the secondary special education teachers in this study do not perceive the GAA to be an appropriate assessment for high school students with significant cognitive disabilities. All six of the research participants expressed their dissatisfaction with the GAA’s portrayal of their students’ progress and individual growth. The participants unanimously agreed that the GAA was not a recommended approach for assessing their students. While participants did not have a unified response about a specific assessment tool to replace the GAA, all participants agreed that for an assessment of this population of students to be appropriate, the assessment would need to focus on individual student goals that are more functional in nature. Participants unanimously agreed that assessment for high school students with significant cognitive disabilities should include functional skills, focus on IEP goals, and be individualized for each student.
    • Seeing Our Way To God: An Exploration Of How Baptists Utilize Prayer Drawing As A Contemplative Practice

      Patterson, Stephanie Totty
      STEPHANIE TOTTY PATTERSON SEEING OUR WAY TO GOD: AN EXPLORATION OF HOW BAPTISTS UTILIZE PRAYER DRAWING AS A CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE Under the direction of Daniel Vestal, Th.D., Faculty Supervisor If listening to God and abiding in God’s presence are the primary ways in which people perceive the will of God, cultivate self-awareness, and transform culture, how might our churches create opportunities to engage with God in meaningful ways? In the specific context of a Baptist congregation in Anderson, South Carolina, this research project introduced prayer drawing as a contemplative practice. The structure of the prayer time invited participants to encounter God through drawing and coloring in an open-ended and receptive way. Each of four forty-five minute sessions utilized a schedule that (1) gave a theological and historical background for contemplative practice and the use of art in the church, (2) gave instruction on the practice of prayer drawing, (3) set a meditative tone, (4) allowed time for the practice itself (about 17 minutes), and (5) allowed time for detailed responses to reflection questions. The primary research instrument was a questionnaire that sought to ascertain the following: (1) to what degree is prayer drawing a new practice to Baptist participants and to what degree was the practice helpful, (2) in what ways did this prayer operate as a contemplative practice, (3) to what degree did this prayer modality assist in facilitating a connection with God, and what was the resultant communication, (4) in what ways did prayer drawing operate as a vehicle for God’s grace in moving participants beyond the self to glimpse a more truthful and deeper reality. The researcher compared the resulting data to themes found in literature about contemplative prayer. For the group of Baptists participating in the study, prayer drawing operated as a contemplative practice and provided an opportunity for participants to communicate and abide with God in a receptive mode. The data revealed an increased sensitivity and awareness of God’s movement and presence, and it also indicated participants prayed in ways that were worshipful, grace-filled, transformative, and transcendent. Implications for further research about prayer drawing include examination of this practice using a different population sample, using different artistic media, utilizing a closed-covenant group, using a home journaling approach, or incorporating this practice into worship.
    • Seeking The Mind Of Christ Together: Progressive Baptist Ecclesiology As A Framework For Congregational Decision Making, An Educational Initiative Of The Center For Baptist Heritage And Studies In Cooperation With River Road Church, Baptist, Richmond, Virginia

      Taylor, Nathan Lee
      ABSTRACT NATHAN LEE TAYLOR SEEKING THE MIND OF CHRIST TOGETHER: PROGRESSIVE BAPTIST ECCLESIOLOGY AS A FRAMEWORK FOR CONGREGATIONAL DECISION MAKING, AN EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE OF THE CENTER FOR BAPTIST HERITAGE AND STUDIES IN COOPERATION WITH RIVER ROAD CHURCH, BAPTIST, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA Under the Direction of WILLIAM LOYD ALLEN, Ph.D. This project explores the effectiveness of a pilot course designed to equip lay leaders of Baptist churches with an enhanced theological framework for decision making from a progressive Baptist perspective, in addressing contextual challenges. The course intended to help participants to cultivate an enhanced sense of their own tradition’s ethos, especially for addressing presenting historical-theological problems, and/or church practices which have become hindrances in themselves. Questions such as the following were addressed. How effectively might a group of leaders employ a progressive Baptist ecclesiological perspective for decision-making after completing a formational-educational experience in Baptist identity from such a perspective? How effective is the course in preparing lay leaders to address problems of practice, through a more developed sense of progressive Baptist heritage? How might such an experience enrich the theological identity and functional leadership of the participants? Might there be unanticipated benefits? This project employed qualitative methods of focus group assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of a course designed to elicit Christian formation in the area of congregational decision making from a progressive Baptist perspective. Eight participants were selected and individually interviewed before the pilot course. The course met for four sessions lasting one hour and a half, within a two-week period. The first three sessions were content presentations, followed by a fourth session for assessment, which employed fictional case studies in which the class practiced resolving a congregational problem. Following the experience, participants again were interviewed individually. Data was collected by audio recording each individual interview, as well as the group discussion of the case studies. This data was transcribed, coded, and analyzed for interpretation. The results of the study revealed that the pilot course was generally effective in enhancing the participants’ ability to make decisions from a more developed sense of a progressive Baptist theological framework. Results also suggested that some practical applications, especially the incorporation of spiritual experiences in church business, were not inculcated effectively by the course process as delivered, suggesting areas for future development. Further study should include more exploration into how religious experiences benefit and factor into spiritual discernment for such congregations.
    • Self-Efficacy of K-12 Mathematics Teachers in Teaching Math

      Sillah, Omar; Tift College of Education
      The need to understand the differences in the self-efficacy of K-12 mathematics teachers based on teachers’ characteristics and school factors is imperative because research has shown teachers’ self-efficacy to be a mediating factor on students’ academic achievement. As such, education policymakers and school administrators need to understand variances in teachers’ self-efficacy so that they could better implement programs to enhance and support the self-efficacy of teachers. This quantitative research used an exploratory cross-sectional design. The study consisted of 50 K-12 inservice teachers from two rural districts in a southeastern state in the United States. The study examined differences in teachers’ sense of self-efficacy (TSES) for teaching mathematics at the K-12 level based on teachers’ gender, teaching experience, education level, and school type (elementary school, middle school, and high school). Findings suggest that teachers’ overall sense of self-efficacy and subscales efficacies (student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management) based on school factors and demographic variables were comparable in the context of rural teachers in the southeast United States. The findings of insignificant differences in teachers’ sense of self-efficacy that were discovered in this research might be due to the positive working environment among staff and the dual role of principals as teachers and school leaders that are characteristic of schools in rural settings. Based on the findings of this research, future studies might want to examine the influence of suburban and urban environments on teachers’ sense of efficacy for teaching mathematics in K-12 settings, for the experiences of teachers in rural settings might be unique when compared to teachers in other school environments.
    • Sensing the Presence of God Through Online Worship at Heritage Fellowship in Canton, Georgia

      Bishop, Justin Dwight; McAfee School of Theology
      Can sensory experiences enhance online worship? In an era when church attendance is in cultural decline and online or hybrid worship is becoming the new normal, one wonders how to make the most of this limited time in worship, especially for online worshipers. This thesis examines the biblical and historical use of sensory elements in worship, and it seeks to reimagine them for an online presentation in order to examine the effect of these sensory elements on the online worshipers’ experiences. Ten participants volunteered to take part in four video worship experiences during the Lenten season of 2021, beginning with a survey and semi-structured interview prior to the actual worship experiences and ending with a similar survey and interview. The questions were designed to determine if the sensory elements “enhanced” the overall online worship experience without using the word “enhance.” The themes that emerged from the surveys and interviews indicated that sensory elements were disruptive enough to call attention to the act of worship, enhancing it by making it less of an event to attend and more of an act in which to participate. Finally, in conclusion, this thesis offers ideas for how worship leadership might incorporate more sensory elements in both in-person and online worship that might enhance the divine encounter.
    • Service Learning With Fifth-grade Students: An Ethnographic Case Study Of Classroom Culture

      Walker, Brandi
      BRANDI E. WALKER SERVICE LEARNING WITH FIFTH-GRADE STUDENTS: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC CASE STUDY OF CLASSROOM CULTURE Under the direction of JANE WEST, Ed.D. With the rapid onslaught of technology, there is a lack of citizens possessing 21st-century skills, such as collaboration, cooperation, and critical thinking. Many school systems are making large financial investments in one-to-one technology initiatives in the name of developing 21st-century skills, yet without a balance between genuine human interaction and the infusion of technology, students are not developing the interpersonal skills compulsory to growing into adult citizens equipped with a sense of community-minded problem solving. Lack of soft skills such as problem solving, working in a group, and verbal communication is a significant problem in today’s schools. This study investigated the culture of a fifth-grade classroom as students engaged in service learning. Numerous research studies of service learning address high school and college settings; however, a limited number of research studies investigate elementary students engaging in this learning approach. The methodology of the study was an ethnographic case study with the fifth-grade students as participants and the participants’ teacher as researcher. The students participated in two eight-week service learning units during the course of the school year. The first unit took place in the fall and the students worked in small groups on five different projects. The second unit occurred in the spring, and the students worked in small groups on four different projects. The results of the study included a central theme of a culture of belongingness. The findings also indicated two secondary themes that led to the inclusive culture. To move the work forward, the students used supportive actions and various negotiations while interacting with peers. The researcher also observed six additional outcomes of service learning that contributed to the culture of belongingness. Recommendations for future studies included a longitudinal study following elementary students who have been exposed to service learning across their middle and high school years and a mixed-methods study including student surveys.
    • Setting The Stage For Arts Integration As A Pedagogical Practice In The Elementary Classroom: A Narrative Inquiry

      Maye, Donna Olivia
      This narrative study sought to examine teachers’ use of the arts integration approach and whether, as adult learners, background arts experience, preservice training, and professional learning influenced its use as a pedagogical practice. Three teachers in a private school in the southern United States were purposefully sampled to share their stories on arts integration from prior arts experiences to the present implementation. The research questions were: (1) What do teachers view as necessary to implement the arts integration approach in their pedagogical practices? (2) What are teachers’ attitudes about the value of arts integration during classroom instruction? and (3) How do the needs of the adult learner of arts integration manifest itself in pedagogical practices? Data sources were interviews, observations, and artifacts, collected over a 12-week period. Results indicate that the value of the approach, school culture, and teacher passion were motivations for its use. Implications from the study revealed that preservice training in arts integration may need to be evaluated.