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    1390 research outputs found

    A Contemporary Analysis of Impostor Phenomenon Among Female Education Leaders in the Province of Alberta

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    The purpose of this mixed-methods research study was to explore how prevalent impostor phenomenon (IP) is among education leaders in the province of Alberta, and to determine what can be done to support these leaders. This study explored the extent to which educational leaders experience impostor phenomenon, and how those experiences varied by gender, age, position, years of educational experience, and years of experience in their current role. There were 167 participants in this study, including superintendents, associate superintendents, principals, and assistant principals from 16 school divisions across the province of Alberta, Canada. Data collection included a survey (n = 167) with follow-up semi-structured interviews (n = 7). The survey consisted of the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), a demographic questionnaire, and seven open-ended questions. The CIPS is the most common psychometric instrument used in research to identify experiences of impostor phenomenon. Purposeful, criterion sampling, based on demographic characteristics and CIPS scores, identified participants for the qualitative phase of the study. Quantitative data analysis included independent sample t-tests, ANOVAs, and chi square analyses. Findings indicated that female educational leaders were significantly more likely (p = .033) to be affected by impostor phenomenon than their male counterparts. Additionally, leaders under the age of 45 were significantly more likely (p = .024) to experience impostor phenomenon than leaders aged 45 and above. Qualitative data from interview transcripts and open-ended survey items were analyzed using a two-cycle coding process (Saldaña, 2016), resulting in the emergence of five themes for the second research question, For those educational leaders who experience impostor phenomenon, what factors have contributed to these experiences? The themes identified included: cognitive distortions, impact of adverse relationships, overwhelming expectations, gender bias, and early life experiences. In response to the third research question, For those educational leaders who experience impostor phenomenon, what supports have helped to overcome those barriers? four themes emerged: relational influences, intentionality related to self-care, professional supports specific to education, and positive self-talk. This study can serve to provide support to school divisions regarding leadership development programs and the implementation of specific professional development suggestions for administrators. It is vital that school districts provide intentional support to educational leaders and that these supports include programming specific to the needs of the participants

    School Principals’ Knowledge of the Change Process and Experience with Leading and Managing Change and the Implications for Professional Development

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    Principals must be transformational leaders. However, research has indicated that they face challenges with leading and managing change in their schools (Caposey, 2016; Marzano et al., 2005; Reyna, 2017; Salazar, 2007; Shoho & Barnett, 2010; Sincar, 2013; Spillane & Lee, 2013; Stevenson, 2008). Many researchers have emphasized the importance of understanding the change process for continuous school improvement (Alberta Teachers’ Association, 2014; Bennett, as cited in Hall & Hord, 2020; Burke, 1990; Darling-Hammond et al., 2007); Fullan, 2002, 2015; Fullan et al., 2005; Pont et al., 2008; Roy, 2005). Research on effective leadership-preparation programs and professional development for school principals (Darling-Hammond, 2007; Huber, 2011; Orr & Orphanos, 2011) has left a gap in the inquiry regarding school principals’ knowledge of the change process; the concerns, barriers, and challenges or successes that they face in leading and managing change; and how this knowledge guides their leadership-preparation programs and professional development. Thus, support for school leaders might not offer the necessary learning to help principals lead and manage change effectively in their schools. Therefore, the aim of this study was to gain insight into and an understanding of principals’ knowledge, experience, and training in the change process and in leading and managing change. The researcher used a descriptive research design for this study. A purposeful, criterion-based sampling of Alberta school principals yielded 77 participants who practiced in public and separate school authorities. The researcher used quantitative and qualitative questioning. The qualitative component included a validated instrument consisting of 25 true-false questions from Burke et al.’s (2022) Leading and Managing Change Questionnaire. Seventeen openended questions on knowledge, experience, and training comprised the qualitative component. The data-analysis process uncovered nine findings that have implications for professional development. The principals’ responses to the questions on their knowledge, experience, and training in the change process and in leading and managing change revealed six areas of review for professional development. Aspiring and practicing school leaders require intentionality in the contributors, design, delivery, interactions, content, and audience of their professional development. Notably, educational institutions authorized in Alberta to deliver leadership standard certification, school authorities that deliver preparation programs for aspiring leaders and ongoing professional development for school leaders, and professional-development companies and organizations that also offer various professional development must be aware of school leaders’ need for knowledge of the change process in their role as principal. This knowledge can have implications for the success of school leaders when they implement change in their schools

    Investigating Changes to First Year, First-Generation Students’ Visual Thinking and Learning in an Academic Success Course

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    This mixed-methods case study investigated changes to first year, first-generation (FYFG) college students’ visual thinking and learning while enrolled in a 15-week academic success course (ASC) with a focus on meta-learning. The researcher found that a 5-week metalearning intervention within the ASC helped six focal participants enact changes to support their visual thinking and learning processes. Focal and class participants integrated a number of metacognitive strategies into their learning, such as writing notes in their own words (e.g., voice), monitoring their understanding, drawing ideas in their notes, and visualizing new ideas to support their learning. As focal participants applied these strategies more over the course of the semester they began to develop metacognitive knowledge and skills for their learning. As a result, focal participants learned about themselves as visual thinkers and learners, specifically how they learned best. Six ‘changes’ are discussed as well as participants reports of improved academic performance and learning, feelings of empowerment, confidence, and control over their learning. Additionally, class participants saw a significant increase in metacognitive awareness, and 21 of 24 class participants reported positive metacognitive gains as measured by the metacognitive awareness inventory (MAI). Considerations are given to integrating metacognitive and meta-learning objectives into traditional curriculum as well as developing first-year interventions that support first-generation students’ academic success and life-long learning capabilities

    Trauma-Informed Practices: Principal Perceptions of Self-Regulatory Strategies in Schools

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    This case study explored the perceptions of school principals in kindergarten to grade six and kindergarten to grade nine schools related to impactful strategies utilized in trauma-informed practice with a focus on self-regulatory strategies. For the purposes of this study, trauma was defined as the effects of one or more harmful events, either physical or emotional in nature, that interfere with an individual’s ability to function (SAMHSA, 2019). Trauma-informed practice can include the use of a number of strategies to help mitigate the effects of traumatic life events on students, the data collection and analysis of this research study focused on the perceived effectiveness of self-regulatory strategies in school settings. This research study sought to understand a) the perceptions of school principals of impactful strategies utilized in trauma-informed practices, with a focus on self-regulatory strategies in kindergarten to grade six and kindergarten to grade nine schools, and b) how they, as principals, supported, encouraged, and promoted trauma-informed practices, specifically self-regulatory strategies. This study contributed to the growing evidence of the importance of addressing the needs of students affected by traumatic life events who are attending public schools. To help fill the research gap of documenting effective practices by educators this study included data from 17 surveys and 5 one-on-one semi structured interviews. Surveys and interviews were conducted with principals in public schools in one large urban center in Alberta, Canada. Data analysis revealed four major findings: 1) selfregulation allows students access to learning; 2) resources are needed to foster selfregulation; 3) commitment to the work of trauma-informed practice is essential; and 4) strong leadership is necessary. The current study provides evidence indicating the need for school wide trauma-informed practices within kindergarten to grade six and kindergarten to grade nine schools. Strong, transformative leadership can result in the implementation and sustainability of effective trauma-informed practices and selfregulatory strategies within a school. Future research is warranted that includes the perceptions of all stakeholders, including teachers and students, about the effectiveness of trauma-informed practices

    Principal Turnover and Retention in Urban Alberta

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    Although a growing body of research on principal turnover and retention exists in the United States, researchers have conducted very few studies in Canada (Pollock & Hauseman, 2016). Therefore, the purpose of this single embedded case study is to investigate principal turnover and retention in socially vulnerable elementary schools in one large school division in urban Alberta. The final response rate from the Principal Turnover and Retention Survey was 51.5% (N = 85). The author also accessed school division data that included 10-years of data on enrollment, student demographics, and principal tenure. The seven findings from both the survey and the organizational data analysis include the following: (a) Less-experienced principals lead smaller, socially vulnerable schools; (b) principals in socially vulnerable schools believe that they do not have the support and resources that they need; (c) working conditions impact job satisfaction for all principals; however, principals in socially vulnerable schools indicate that the workload related to poverty is what impacts their job satisfaction; (d) principals believe that they are not compensated for the work that they do; (e) principals are generally satisfied with serving as school administrators but have difficulty balancing instructional leadership with all the other duties of a principal; (f) principals want to focus on leadership behaviors that predict more positive outcomes for students and schools; and (g) the organizational data show that less-experienced principals lead smaller, socially vulnerable schools with greater student diversity. Understanding that job satisfaction, effectiveness, and self-efficacy are connected, the author made four recommendations: (a) experienced principals must be encouraged to work in the most socially vulnerable schools, (b) that division leaders ensure new leaders are ready for the challenges of working in socially vulnerable schools, (c) that the workload of principals is supported through system-level processes, and (d) that an organizational culture be developed that focuses on collective action; leveraging what the research has stated about effective leadership

    Teachers’ Perceptions of Guided Reading in Elementary Education

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    The current study examined teachers’ perceptions with regard to the Guided Reading (GR) approach in elementary level education. Specifically, this study examined the following research questions: a) What are Alberta teachers\u27 perceptions about the GR approach? b) What are Alberta teachers’ perceptions about how they enact GR in the classroom? and c) What are Alberta teachers\u27 perceptions about how they learned about GR? This study utilized a mixed methods research approach to examine Alberta teachers’ perceptions about GR in a single separate Alberta elementary school. Thirteen teachers completed demographic and survey questions relating to the GR approach and the research questions noted above. A further six teachers from grades one, three, and five participated in focused interviews to further elaborate and elucidate teachers’ perceptions with regard to GR in the elementary grades. Three main themes that emerged from the study were as follows: a) teachers have mixed feelings about the GR approach; b) implementing GR can be a challenging process; and c) training and support for teachers could impact the way GR is implemented. Eight subthemes emerged from the study, including positive attributes of GR, negative attributes and challenges associated with GR, GR for ELL students, GR enactment, challenges with implementation in classrooms, the planning process, training components, and teaching resources. Findings of the study revealed that overall, teachers’ perceptions of the GR approach are overwhelmingly negative with a few positive aspects

    A Case Study of Implementing Collaborative Student Support Teams to Support Students on the Path to High School Graduation

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    This research explores who is at risk of dropping out of high school and how collaborative Student Support Teams can contribute to students staying on track to graduate high school. The issue of student success is important because graduation is positively correlated with important life outcomes and ability to earn an adequate income in the labor market. For this paper, “at-risk students” is defined as students considered in danger of not graduating, not being promoted, or not meeting other education-related goals. The research looks at high school dropout indicators and how the Collaborative Response Model contributes to student success in school. The results will inform the ways in which society, particularly education system support teams, can positively support youth who are at risk of early school leaving

    Effectiveness of Engaging Parents of Indigenous Students as Measured by the Engaging Parents of Indigenous Students Survey for School Leaders (EPIS-SSL) and the Relationship Between EPIS-SSL Results and Indigenous Student Attendance and Achievement Results in Alberta, Canada

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    Significant achievement and attainment gaps exist between students who are registered at their schools as Indigenous and students who are not registered as Indigenous. Research indicates that engaging parents of Indigenous students can improve student achievement outcomes. The purpose of this quantitative descriptive analysis was to describe practices schools use to engage parents of Indigenous students, principals’ perceptions of the effectiveness of parent engagement practices as measured by the Engaging Parents of Indigenous Students Survey for School Leaders (EPIS-SSL), and whether these engagement practices have a relationship with previously collected Indigenous student attendance and achievement data. This study used three instruments to examine practices schools use to engage parents of Indigenous students: the EPIS-SSL, Average Daily Attendance reports, and Alberta education assurance measures–First Nations, Métis, and Inuit reports. This study was unique from other studies of practices for engaging parents of Indigenous students as it sought to use quantitative measures to examine the effectiveness of those practices. The study used a quantitative descriptive analysis design, which included both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Participants in the study included 30 principals across five school districts. The study described several practices that schools use to engage parents of Indigenous students, including hiring school liaisons, facilitating cultural celebrations, initiating communication, offering transitional supports, encouraging parent council participation, building relationships, and offering Indigenous language programs. Effective strategies for engaging with parents of Indigenous students included having a liaison, facilitating cultural celebrations and informal events, and offering texting as a communication option. The study examined barriers to engaging with parents of Indigenous students, which included technological barriers, nonrecognition of family structures, and staff attitudes. The study revealed that schools that use texting as their primary form of communication scored higher on achievement tests

    Perceived Responsibilities for the Language Proficiency of French Immersion Teachers

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    This mixed methods descriptive case study explored the perceptions of 162 leaders and French immersion (FI) teachers related to their roles and responsibilities for the target-language proficiency (TLP) of FI teachers in an urban school division. To date, no research has explored leaders’ and FI teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the system as it relates to TLP. Results revealed inconsistent knowledge of university requirements, provincial requirements, and hiring and evaluation practices pertaining to the TLP of FI teachers. Although leaders (94%) and FI teachers (93%) agreed that the TLP of FI teachers was very important and further agreed that ongoing development of TLP was essential throughout FI teachers’ careers, data indicated that only 60% of FI teachers would consider participating in activities related to the ongoing development of TLP if the division offered them. The study confirmed obstacles such as time and the need to focus on other types of professional learning beyond TLP, as previously noted in the literature. Additionally, this study added to the body of literature by identifying the perceived responsibilities of leaders and FI teachers related to their responsibilities for the TLP of FI teachers. Results were analyzed using Senge’s learning organization framework. The results and implications of this study may provide insight for school divisions about ensuring that TLP is viewed as a shared responsibility that is articulated and actioned in procedure and practice

    Declining Teacher Wellness: A Case Study on Elementary Teachers’ Perceptions of Leadership Strategies That Positively Impact Wellness

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    Teachers today are stressed, fatigued, and burning out. The world of teaching is becoming more complex with the increased needs of students, extra workload demands, and lasting effects of a pandemic that turned the education world on its head. At the same time there is pressure and an expectation on school leaders to demonstrate a commitment to the health and well-being of all teachers. The purpose of this qualitative intrinsic case study was to investigate how rural elementary school teachers perceive their wellness is impacted by their school leaders. A questionnaire distributed to 53 elementary school teachers with at least 1 year of teaching experience and a follow-up focus group revealed three themes related to teacher flourishing (Cherkowski & Walker, 2018) and Dunn’s (1961) model of optimal wellness. The three themes include (a) being seen and valued, (b) human traits, and (c) school improvement and all articulate how teachers perceive they are best supported and what specific leadership strategies and conditions teachers feel impact their wellness and ability to flourish at work


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