Leadership Dissertations

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    Leadership Styles of Minority Women Administrators in Academic Medicine: A Quantitative Study
    (2020-09-10) De La Cruz, Laura
    Leader development in academic medicine is lacking for women, particularly women of color. The problem is Black and Hispanic/Latinx women are underrepresented in leadership positions in academic medicine. The purpose of this quasi-experimental quantitative study was to determine if a statistically significant difference existed between the transformational, transactional, and passive/avoidant leadership styles of Black and Hispanic/Latinx women administrators in academic medicine to gain a greater understanding of the differences between their leadership styles. The study sample was 131 Black and Hispanic/Latinx women administrators in U.S. medical schools who self-identified as either Black or Hispanic/Latinx. They were recruited via professional social media contacts and volunteered to participate. The theoretical framework for the study was the full range of leadership theory. The study instrument was the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) Form 5X. Data were analyzed using an independent samples t-test. The study's findings suggest a statistically significant difference between the leadership styles of Black and Hispanic/Latinx women administrators in all three leadership styles, with Hispanic/Latinx women indicating they are more transformational, transactional, and passive/avoidant than Black women. The findings also suggest sub-group differences in Hispanic/Latinx women in transformational leadership. Data results support the development of leadership programs that recognize the differences among women administrators, as well as programs that recognize the differences between minority women. Key words: leadership styles, transformational leadership, transactional leadership, passive/avoidant leadership, women, minority, diversity, healthcare, healthcare organizations, and healthcare leadership
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    Exploring Teacher Perceptions About Professional Learning Communities: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study
    (2022-08-22) Cunningham, Andrea
    Teaching is a profession that influences the lives of future generations and is sometimes viewed as an isolated profession. Many teachers are ill-equipped with the skills, tools, and environment to collaborate with a team to improve student achievement. Professional learning communities (PLCs) were designed to mitigate the isolated environment for teachers. After reviewing the literature on PLCs, there are few studies addressing teacher perceptions. Studies showed a gap in the literature about what teachers know about PLCs. This qualitative phenomenological study helped fill the literature gap by gaining insight and understanding about teachers' experiences and perceptions of PLCs. The study will assist educational leaders and provide tools to support teachers working in a PLC. The adult learning and transformational leadership theories guided the study. The qualitative phenomenological study aimed to effectively understand teachers' perceptions, skills, and tools needed to participate in a PLC. The following questions guided the study: What are teachers' experiences who participate in a PLC, and what are the perceptions of teachers who participate in a PLC? Twenty teachers were purposefully sampled from a pool of 2,000 teachers in a Phoenix school district. The responses gathered from participants indicated both positive and negative experiences with PLCs. The shared experiences were compiled into five themes: (a) communication/collaboration, (b) team structure, (c) leadership, (d) PLC challenges, and (e) data usage. Instructional leaders can devise a PLC plan utilizing these teachers' experiences and perceived challenges. A recommendation for future research should include teachers from similar surrounding school districts. Keywords: professional learning communities, teacher perceptions, shared vision and values, collective learning, shared personal practice, supportive leadership, and conditions.
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    Elementary Teachers’ Perspectives on English Learners’ Academic Language Difficulties: A Phenomenological Study
    (2022) Pell-Lopez, Erika
    Abstract English language learners (ELLs) impact the education system and account for 10.1% of public- school students in the United States. ELLs are outperformed by their non-ELL peers, causing achievement gaps. ELLs are outperformed in comparison to their native-English-speaking peers. Additional studies are needed to explore English as a second language (ESL) teachers’ perceptions of ELLs’ academic language learning difficulties. The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to describe elementary ESL teachers’ lived experiences of ELLs’ academic language difficulties. The theoretical framework incorporated the theories of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development and Zeeb et al.’s growth mindset. Elementary teachers’ perceptions highlight scaffolding, knowledge of learners, and growth mindset as effective in teaching ELLs. Participants included 15 elementary ELL teachers teaching at least 5 years and possessing an English for speakers of other languages-related master’s degree. Virtual questionnaires and interviews were used to collect perceptions of ELLs’ difficulties with language. Data were analyzed via thematic analysis, and findings confirmed existing literature and extended knowledge of teachers’ lived experiences of academic language difficulties. Common themes that were identified included knowledge of learners, scaffolding, and differentiated instruction (DI) to support ELL academic language acquisition. Future policy recommendations include increased knowledge of learners, effective strategy implementation, and evidence of DI targeting ELLs. Keywords: English Language Learner, ELL, knowledge of learner
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    Standards-Based Assessment and Achievement in a Toledo School: A Quasi-Experimental Study
    (2022-04) Pehlivan, Abdullah
    Student achievement has become critical in measuring school achievement. The problem was underachievement in a K–12 public charter school in northwest Ohio. The purpose of this study was to determine whether standards-based assessments (SBAs) improved standardized test achievement in a K–12 public charter school in northwest Ohio. The theories of formative assessment and transformational leadership were the theoretical frameworks of this study. The research questions focused on the effect of SBA as a form of formative assessment on standardized test achievement. A posttest-only quasi-experimental design with ex post facto data was used. The study’s target population was students enrolled in Grades 3–10 in a K–12 public charter school between 2015 and 2019. The sample sizes were n = 185, n = 243, n = 183, and n = 263 for Grade 7 English language arts, high school English language arts, Grade 7 mathematics, and high school Algebra 1, respectively. Due to a lack of randomization, purposive sampling was employed. The study data were from Ohio’s state test results. The data collection instrument was an existing Google Sheets document including state test scores. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used for independent t-test statistical calculations, where d = 0.5, α = 0.05, (1 – β) = 0.95. Results indicated a statistically significant difference in both English and mathematics standardized-test scores after SBA implementation. These results suggested SBA should be implemented to improve student achievement.
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    Teacher Perceptions of Obstacles to Physical Education Instruction: A Qualitative Inquiry
    (2022-06-01) Capes, Bryan
    Students need effective instruction to acquire physical skills leading to a healthy lifestyle. The problem this study addressed was U.S. public school physical education (PE) teachers being underprepared when attempting to deliver effective skill instruction, given numerous existing obstacles. A research gap existed on solutions to instructional obstacles, such as lack of real-world training for PE teacher candidates, overpopulated classes, and infrequent PE classes for students. Students need high-quality skill instruction during PE, but specific viable solutions to identified obstacles are not known. Transformational leadership and social cognitive theories were the theoretical frameworks used to investigate PE teachers’ perceptions of obstacles to delivering quality skill instruction, and possible solutions to overcome these obstructions. Research and interview questions were used to investigate perceived obstacles to quality PE instruction, characteristics of a model of instruction to solve these barriers, and support needed to deliver skill instruction effectively. The study was a phenomenological qualitative inquiry research design. The target population was K–12 U.S. public school PE teachers who were members of online Facebook groups designated for PE teachers. The sample size was 15. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic protocols, semistructured interviews were conducted via Zoom software to seek answers to the research questions. Data were coded manually using Excel software. Structural coding was used to analyze collected data. Key results showed previously identified obstacles to effective PE instruction still exist in U.S. public schools. Findings from the study relate the need for collaboration among school leadership and stakeholders to address ongoing issues hindering health-enhancing instruction to students. Keywords: student engagement in PE, student enjoyment of PE, obstacles teachers face in PE, lack of PE teacher preparation, lack of quality instructional models for PE instruction, lack of student time in PE, assessment in PE, physical literacy in public schools, technology in PE, and large class sizes in PE