Department of Educational Leadership, Learning, and Curriculum

Permanent URI for this collection

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 130
  • Item
    Identifying Effective Professional Development to Meet Teachers’ Needs When Instructing English Learner Students
    (2024-05) Brazee, Erika
    AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF Erika Brazee for the degree of Doctor of Education Presented on February 19, 2024 Title: Identifying Effective Professional Development to Meet Teachers’ Needs When Instructing English Learner Students. Abstract approved: _______________________________________________________________ Scott Mantie, Ph.D., Dissertation Committee Chair This phenomenological study explored elementary educators' identified needs for effective professional development, focused on the instruction and assessment of English Learners (EL) in schools with low EL incidence. Addressing teacher preparation through effective professional development was guided by Bruner’s (1960) constructivist theory and Knowles andragogy theory, specifically adult learning theory. The purposeful sampling for the individual semi-structured interviews included eight elementary Kindergarten through fifth-grade educators who had previously had an EL student. The teachers participated in a 45-minute Zoom interview. The responses were coded using descriptive focused analysis and In Vivo coding while anchoring. Three common themes were identified from an in-depth analysis of the transcribed interviews after multiple readings from anchor one and five from anchor two. Anchor one addresses the design and delivery of an effective PD, and anchor two reports on teachers’ identified needs for instructing and assessing EL students. Anchor one included the presentation of material: workshop, in-person, visuals, is of sustained duration, two half days, two times a year; Role of the learner: active learner; Role of the facilitator: supports collaboration, offers feedback and coaching, and use of models of effective practice and identified resources. Anchor two included math instruction, reading comprehension instruction, assessments, using technology, and understanding EL proficiency levels to provide evidence-based instruction. The researcher then developed a PD template using the data from this study and research on effective PD and best practices for instructing and assessing EL students in low-EL incidence areas.
  • Item
    Educator Perception: The Use of Student Voice to Increase Engagement in Social Emotional Learning
    (2024-05) Brault, Paula
    AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERATION OF Paula H. Brault for the degree of Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Community presented on March 25, 2024 Title: Educator Perception: The use of Student Voice to Increase Engagement in Social Emotional Learning Abstract Approved: Scott J. Mantie, PhD Dissertation Committee Chair There are decades of examples of the use of student voice to engage a student in curriculum. A sizeable gap in this research is the use of student voice in social emotional learning (SEL) to increase engagement. The purpose of this pragmatic study was to determine if incorporating student voice into the SEL curriculum is effective in changing adolescent student engagement. Online surveys were used to collect data. High school principals provided demographic information and SEL educators answered Likert Scale and open-ended questions regarding their impressions of student engagement with and without student voice. Data was also acquired from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website. Principals and educators at Massachusetts high schools with a population of less than 1,000, took part in the study. Qualitative and statistical analyses were used to make comparisons between programs that used student voice and those who did not. Of the 22 schools that participated, 15 school principals allowed SEL educators to participate and 23 educators completed the survey. Findings showed positive outcomes in attendance and discipline. The researcher also explored potential changes in SEL curriculum and the needs of educators to be comfortable teaching SEL.
  • Item
    Special Education Teacher Retention and Attrition in Rural Schools: What Special Educators Report as Impacting Persistence
    (2024-05) Brown, Sabrina
    AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF Sabrina L. Brown for the degree of Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Community presented on February 22, 2024 Title: Special Education Teacher Retention and Attrition in Rural Schools: What Special Educators Report as Impacting Persistence Abstract approved: Scott J. Mantie, Dissertation Committee Chair This qualitative phenomenological study explored the factors Vermont rural special educators reported as impacting their persistence and what institutional barriers and supports they identified as needing. The complexities and challenges experienced by all teachers, special educators, rural teachers, and rural special educators informed the conceptual framework that guided this study. A purposeful sampling of Vermont’s rural special educators included an open-ended confidential survey and one-to-one semi-structured interviews conducted between October 2023 and December 2023. Through coding, sorting, and constant comparative analysis, the interview transcriptions and survey data were analyzed to identify themes. The study uncovered insights on what rural special educators identified as enjoyable in their role, the barriers/challenges they faced, and the institutional factors they need from their supervisory unions to persist. Participants identified that work environment, noninstructional tasks, job design, and resources affected their well-being as rural special educators. Strategies for increasing special educator retention in rural communities are discussed.
  • Item
    Sustained Change in Practice: Meeting the Needs of Teachers
    (2024-05-10) Riley, Kathleen
    AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF Kathleen M. Riley for the degree of Doctor of Education in Leadership, Learning and Community presented on February 29, 2023. Title: Sustained Change in Practice: Meeting the Needs of Teachers Abstract approved: Scott J. Mantie, Ph.D. Dissertation Committee Chair It is estimated that K-12 public school districts spend approximately nine percent of their annual operating budgets on professional development to enhance the practice of teachers, yet research has found that this significant resource for training does not always yield sustained changes in instructional practices. This phenomenological qualitative study examined the factors that influence teachers from two to New Hampshire public school districts to achieve a sustained change in their instructional practice. An open-ended teacher survey and semi-structured interviews provided insight into the lived experiences of the 34 participants. The study captured the rich descriptions of times when the teachers were able to achieve a sustained change in their instructional practice and times when they did not. The principals and assistant principals detailed how they influence teachers to make practice change and the resources they use to motivate those changes. The data analysis revealed eight factors that influence teachers to make and sustain instructional practice change. The implications of this study extend to educators, administrators, and policy makers by offering insights on how curriculum implementation can be re-designed to address the identified factors and meet the needs of teachers.
  • Item
    "Canning" Social Capital: Rural Literacy, Community Resilience, and Solving the Rural Schools Problem
    (2023-12-20) Robinson, Sean
    AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF Sean R. Robinson for the degree of Doctor of Education Presented on November 30, 2023 Title: "Canning" Social Capital: Rural Literacy, Community Resilience, and Solving the Rural Schools Prpblem Abstract Approved: November 29, 2023 Scott Mantie, Ph.D., Dissertation Committee Chair Over the last fifty years, populations in the northern and western counties of New Hampshire have decreased. As part of a nationwide phenomenon that has been under study for decades, the concern for learning in rural communities has been of national interest for much longer. Literature in the fields of rural education, rural literacy, and community resilience suggests a link between rural educational practices and social capital-the intangible attachments that link, bridge, and bond people, communities, and the government and allows communities to face socioeconomic challenges. This study investigated the relationship was between educational practices in public high schools in the rural counties of New Hampshire and the social capital of the communities that support them. A convergent mixed-methods study was designed to identify curriculum and learning in public high schools inside the study area, and to identify the level of social capital of each school district. Qualitative methodology including questionnaires, semi­ structured interviews, and document analysis were used to identify ways in which schools developed social capital. Quantitative methodology used the Social Capital Index to use publicly available census data to identify social capital for each district. The study found that while school districts provided a variety of opportunities for students to develop social capital, schools who worked with their communities as sites of learning had communities with higher social capital than those who viewed their communities predominantly as funding sources.