K-12 Dissertation Abstracts
The Educational Administration Department is pleased to present a compilation of Dissertation Abstracts from the HALE Ph.D. and K-12 Educational Administration Ph.D. programs. These abstracts represent the rich and dynamic community of scholars in EAD. The research presented reflects the wide range topics that emerge from a local as well as global perspective on postsecondary education and educational leadership. In reviewing these abstracts we hope you will learn about the interesting research that goes on in the EAD doctoral programs.
K-12 Educational Administration
2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Author: Hyemi Lee (2013)
Advisor: Susan Printy
Since the 1990s, many states have started implementing standards-based reforms and developed their own accountability systems. Each state established academic content and performance standards, implemented test for all the students in grades 3 through 8 annually, and set up annual measurable objectives in reading and mathematics for districts, schools, and designated student subgroups within schools. The combination of states' accountability policies, such as performance standards, high school graduation exit exams, and the difference of between starting points and intermediate goals, may lead to the varying strength of the accountability systems in different states.
Although several studies focused on whether these differences are related to students' achievement and teachers' instruction, little is known about how principals respond to accountability systems, although principals make a big difference in teachers' instruction and students' academic outcomes. Therefore, it may be necessary to find the relationship between the strength of the states' accountability policies and principals' responses and the relationship between the strength of the states' accountability systems and teachers' responses.
The relationship between the strength of accountability systems (the stats' proficiency performance standards, the difference of starting point and intermediate goals (AMO strength) in states, and the high school graduation exit exams) and principals' responses (having influence on instruction and facilitating teachers' learning) were studied using 2-level hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analysis based on 2007-2008 SASS, and the relationship between the strength of accountability systems and teachers' responses (teacher autonomy and their participation in professional development programs) were examined using 3-level hierarchical linear modeling analysis based on the same data set.
The analysis of two level HLM found the negative effects of states' accountability systems on principals responses. AMO strength was negatively related to principals' influence on instruction, and the high school graduation exit exams negatively affected principals' support of professional days before and during the school year. However, other states' accountability policies, the proficiency performance standards may not have any relationship with principals' influence on instruction and their facilitating teacher learning. Principals' professional development programs and school climate were related to principals' responses to states' accountability systems.
The findings of three level HLM showed that the proficiency performance standards increase teacher curriculum autonomy and their spending time for content professional development programs although AMOs strength and high school graduation school exit exams decreased them. Principals were an essential factor for teacher autonomy and their participation in professional development. School physical features were effective on teacher curriculum autonomy and their content professional development programs, while school climate were critical on teacher instructional autonomy and teachers' spending time in classroom management.
Author: Sheba Onchiri (2013)
Advisor: Christopher Dunbar
Reforms aimed at meeting the Education for All (EFA) global initiative have been implemented in several developing countries in the recent past. One of the goals of this global reform is to increase access to schools for girls and children from low-income families who are considered educationally marginalized due to socio-cultural and poverty related factors. Proponents of EFA initiative emphasize that the education of women and girls in particular is inextricably linked to delayed early marriages, reduction of maternal deaths, and prevention of unsafe sex and its related consequences. It is on the backdrop of such global efforts that Kenya initiated the 2003 Free Primary Education (FPE) policy with the intent to increase access to schools for disadvantaged groups such as girls.
This study sought to explore the implications of the 2003 FPE policy for girls' educational opportunities in Kenya. Using a qualitative case study design, this study explored the schooling experiences of girls in one urban and one rural public primary school in Kisii district, Western Kenya. The study sought to answer the following questions: 1. What have been the schooling experiences of girls since 2003? 2. How has FPE policy influenced girls' participation and achievement in public primary schools? 3. What factors inhibit girls' participation and achievement in schools? 4. What factors enhance girls' participation and achievement in schools?
Data for this study were collected for a period of two months using face-to-face open-ended interviews. The respondents included two school principals (both males), two teachers (both females) and eight female students in two focus groups. Each focus group was composed of four girls. The findings indicate that because of the government removal of tuition fee and the provision of textbooks and writing materials, the 2003 Free Primary Education policy has improved the opportunities of girls' educational participation. However, hurdles such as teenage pregnancies and lack of, or shortage of classrooms, teachers, supplementary textbooks, toilets, and sanitary pads have posed a threat to girls' active participation. External factors such as poverty and negative attitude towards girls' education continue to inhibit girls from active schooling in the wake of the 2003 Free Primary Education policy.
This study presents a meaningful text that is vital to designing gender sensitive educational reforms and programs that can benefit girls especially those residing and schooling in rural and marginalized areas. Policymakers and implementers will find this study key in highlighting both the challenges and opportunities that can be exploited to address issues of poverty and socio-cultural practices that continue inhibiting girls from actively participating in education and thus, derailing the realization of Education for All (EFA) initiative and the 2003 FPE policy goals.