ScholarWorks @ ACE Library

ACE ScholarWorks is an open access institutional repository showcasing and preserving the research, scholarship, and publications of American College of Education faculty, staff, and students. ACE ScholarWorks is a service provided by the ACE Library.


Recent Submissions

A Quantitative Study of the Relationship Between Principals’ Use of Time and Student Growth
(2023) Luby, Julie
The problem is that Connecticut school principals face time allocation challenges impacting their ability to ensure student growth in reading and mathematics. With the knowledge of which actions have the greatest impact on student growth, principals can make strategic use of time to increase student achievement. The gap in the literature is that present research offers principals guidance on what type of leader to be but falls short in identifying what specific uses of time, if any, are most highly correlated with student growth. The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to examine the relationship between principals’ use of time and student growth, as measured by the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Behavioral Theory provided the foundation for this study. This study was designed to determine if a correlation existed between the time that principals spent in classrooms or time principals spent interacting with teachers and student growth in reading and mathematics. This study examined the relationship between how Connecticut principals spent their time and how their 4th – 8th grade students grew on the Smarter Balanced Assessment during one school year. This study utilized purposeful sampling to obtain input from 89 of the 885 Connecticut principals utilizing a Google Form, sent to emails found on the State of Connecticut Department of Education’s public site and examined the correlation with student growth data, retrieved from the same site. The data were analyzed using the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. A significant correlation between principals’ time spent interacting with teachers about teaching and learning and student growth in mathematics was found.
Retention of Long-Term, Part-Time Adjunct Faculty in Academia: A Qualitative Case Study
(2023-08-23) McCarty, Gregory
Study addressed adjunct positions as the lack of tenure, uncertainty, and insecurity of contingent positions added to experienced stressors. The problem is poor retention rates of long-term, part-time faculty in higher education could undermine efficiency and productivity, and on some occasions, threaten the institution’s long-term survival (Ramasamy & Abdullah, 2017). A focus on factors affecting faculty retention, together with current and applicable literature, directed the alignment and purpose of this study to identify reasons long-term, part-time adjunct faculty in higher education choose to teach for the same employer. A qualitative case study was conducted to expand the literature and focus on a sample of 15 long-term, part-time faculty teaching in northeast United States. The sample of 15 participants was selected from the approximately 189 current adjunct faculty members employed by the university. The data collected through interviews and field notes were analyzed and manually coded using Braun and Clarke’s 6-step method. The theoretical framework of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the Herzberg two-factor theory provided context to the data collected in identifying reasons participants choose to teach for the same employer and provided a resource for institutions of higher education to address adjunct retention.
A Phenomenological Study of Teacher Experiences with the Classroom Physical Environment's Influence on Teaching and Learning
(2023) Milan, Maylene Manaois
Although the classroom environment is essential to teaching and learning, the classroom’s physical conditions are not a priority at every school. The problem is that school leaders and teachers seldom focus on the physical component’s influence on teaching and learning regarding the teacher’s self-efficacy to establish their classroom physical environment. This phenomenological study explored elementary, middle, and high school teachers’ experiences to understand their perceptions of the classroom physical environment’s influence on teaching and learning in Guam. While literature details the classroom environment’s effects on student learning and achievement, research seldom shares a teacher’s perspective of the classroom physical environment’s influence on the teacher’s practices and student learning. Spatiality theory and SCT guided the study to focus on the teachers’ perceptions and experiences. The study used purposeful sampling to select 18 Guam public elementary, middle, and high school teachers in all grade levels and content areas. Data collected from semi-structured interviews was analyzed through thematic analysis, which identified five themes related to the research questions: classroom preparation, physical environment, teacher efficacy, leadership support, and classroom culture. All participants shared similar beliefs about the classroom physical environment’s influence on teaching and learning; however, their experiences depended on the grade level they teach, the region in Guam they teach, and whether they shared their classroom space with others. The findings filled a gap in the literature and recommended further research to be conducted to explore school administrators’ perceptions.
Teacher Mentorship Programs in a Rural Southwest County: A Basic Qualitative Study
(2023-11-24) Martinez, Rose Maria
Abstract Teacher retention continues to be an issue in rural school districts nationwide. The problem is teachers are leaving the profession within the first 5 years. While there is evidence to show a correlation between mentorships and teacher retention, there is a gap in the literature on effective teacher mentorship program experiences and rural teacher retention in an Arizona rural county. This study aimed to explore beliefs, opportunities for growth, and the perceived impact of a mentorship program resulting in teacher retention in the fifth year and beyond. Teacher development theory, mentor theory, and self-efficacy theory created the theoretical framework of this proposed basic qualitative study. Essential elements in an effective mentorship program, opportunities for growth, and deciding to remain in the profession were the three research topics that guided this study. Purposeful sampling of rural school district teachers provided the pool of participants. Rural teachers identified as fifth-year teachers and beyond participated in semi-structured interviews. Identification of teachers with a minimum of 5 years' experience took part initially in a survey followed by interview data collected from 15 teachers over 7 months. Six central themes materialized from research findings: (a) mentoring/coaching, (b) classroom procedures, (c) professional growth, (d) emotional growth, (e) coaching, and (f) teamwork. Recommendations included partnering with other rural districts to create a continuum of mentoring. Implications included modifying current state policies to include funding mentoring programs in rural schools.
Secondary Sheltered Content Teachers’ Self-Efficacy: A Qualitative Case Study
(2023) Hadley, Shannon Eileen
Public schools in the United States are becoming more diverse. Teacher self-efficacy affects abilities to accommodate instruction to teach diverse learners. The problem is the lack of understanding of secondary content teachers' self-efficacy when teaching English Learner (EL) students in a sheltered class when teachers have little or no training in instructing ELs. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceived self-efficacy of secondary content teachers who teach sheltered content courses for ELs and the type of professional development (PD) they need to improve their self-efficacy in the classroom. Leaders seek to develop PD to equip teachers with strategies to teach effectively. Providing teachers an opportunity to describe PD needed to improve self-efficacy when teaching sheltered courses helped to fill a gap in research literature. Bandura's self-efficacy theory and transformational leadership theory served as the research framework. In the study, 15 volunteer secondary content teachers teaching mainstream and sheltered classes in a Midwest suburban school district participated in an online questionnaire and in-person focus group to describe perceived self-efficacy and potential PD to improve self-efficacy in sheltered classrooms. The data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s six steps to thematic analysis. Themes were identified using manual coding and include mainstream and sheltered preparedness, sheltered and mainstream rewards, and professional development. The study found secondary content teachers have lower self-efficacy when teaching sheltered classes to and seek support from administration through ongoing PD and sheltered teacher cohorts. Recommendations include school leaders providing continuous support and PD opportunities for content teachers teaching sheltered classes.