EL Theses and Dissertations

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    Graduate students’ evaluation of the Wichita State University’s educational psychology program
    (Wichita State University, 2023-05) Woods, Nichole; Herron, Jason P.
    This study is a program inclusive evaluation of graduate students’ perspectives on the Wichita State University’s Educational Psychology Graduate Program’s process of implementation of learning theories in teaching instruction. The study evaluated the analogous variations in pedagogical practices of theory implementations by educators and perceived quality of the program including attributes of comprehension, appliance of academic materials, professionalism of instructors, and program efficiency. A quantitative approach was incorporate in the methodology while collecting descriptive data. The analyses of central tendency and frequencies were conducted for the Student-Based Program Evaluation Scale indicated a highlevel of frequent agreement for attributes of each learning theory, and an inclusive significance in perceived program quality. Unsuitably, the Educator Perspective of Pedagogical Practices Questionnaire produced ineffectual results due to the insignificant quantity of educator reports. Although the questionnaire results are insignificant to validate the educators’ perceptions as a population, the participant’s responses to the questions in each category aligned with the attributes of the behaviorism and connectivism learning theories, in addition to, the correspondence of attributes in each learning theory presented.
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    A narrative inquiry of rural, low-income, single mothers’ aspirations for their children
    (Wichita State University, 2010-05) Wyrick, Johnny J.; Patterson, Jean A.
    This narrative inquiry focused on what four low-SES single mothers had to say about their aspirations for and support systems they have for their children. Discussions with the mothers involved a mix of topics. The four stories are unique in their own way yet similar themes emerged relating to the experiences they face being a single mother with children enrolled in and attending school in grades K-6. The theoretical perspective of social capital and the narrative inquiry approach to research provide the foundation for this study. Individual narratives of the four low-SES single mothers’ are shared. The mothers’ provided insightful and critical assessments of their experiences being a single mother of school age children in a society that tends to look at them in a different view.
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    Boys’ achievement gap and the ethic of care: a participatory action research study
    (Wichita State University, 2012-05) Siemens, Douglas T.; Bakken, Linda
    Achievement of boys in school is falling behind girls nationally and internationally. Fewer boys are enrolling in honors and advanced placement classes and fewer of them are going on to college. In fact when compared to girls, boys earn lower grades, are suspended and expelled more often, and more of them drop out. Research is inconclusive on attempts to correct the problem through the use of single-sex schools or recruitment of more male teachers. This participatory action research project created an opportunity for pre-k--12 collaboration to study the phenomenon of boys’ underachievement to consider how Noddings (1984) care theory and relationships might be used to close the gap. Six themes came from the research: differences between boys and girls, care through responsive teaching, care through building relationships, power of parents, stress and pressure in education, and taking action and trust. Each of the first five themes was seen by teachers to positively or negatively influence the degree to which boys succeed in school. Teachers understand the need to take time to be seen as a person and to also take time to learn something about the student. Teachers understand the need to build and maintain relationships over time. Teachers’ understanding of how they care for boys shapes their role as a teacher as they focus on building relationships in which the teacher is present or in the moment with the student and maintains high standards for academics and conduct. The sixth theme taking action and trust revealed a challenge within the district involving trust and the nature of participatory action research.
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    A case study of the effects of school culture on a positive discipline program
    (Wichita State University, 2012-05) Eubank, Heather R.; Patterson, Jean A.
    This qualitative case study examined the school culture of an urban elementary school and the implementation of a school-wide positive discipline program. Focus groups, interviews, observations and document review were used to understand the existing culture and gather perceptions from staff members and students regarding their opinions of the adopted program. The study used Schein’s (2004) theory of organizational culture and Nodding’s (Noddings, 2005) theory of educational caring as the theoretical framework. The staff members and principal desired to implement a positive discipline program in order to find a better way to discipline students that would preserve student dignity and teach students alternatives to inappropriate behavior. The Effective School Discipline program was chosen to be implemented schoolwide, and all staff received training in the use of this program. Although teachers cared about students and voiced their desire to respond to student misbehaviors in a positive manner, the implementation of Effective School Discipline was not successful due to a school culture which did not allow for professional dialogue or risk-taking to occur. A significant level of distrust existed between the principal and the teachers which hindered the program’s effectiveness. Although the implementation of Effective School Discipline did improve some teacher/student interactions on a limited scale, the programs misuse or nonuse by most staff members reflected the underlying assumptions which existed at the school’s deepest cultural levels. The findings of this study suggest that a healthy school culture is cornerstone to successful school reform. School leaders should work towards creating schools which have collaborative professional learning communities, distributed leadership models, and a high level of trust among all stakeholders in the organization.
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    Counter stories of African American males who attained a doctoral degree at a predominantly white institution
    (Wichita State University, 2012-05) Callis, Larry D.; Patterson, Jean A.
    This study examined the counter stories of African American Males, ages 36-61, who successfully earned a doctoral degree at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). Critical inquiry was used to examine the worldviews of African American Male (AAM) doctoral students and their doctoral experience through the theoretical lenses of Critical Race Theory, Stereotype Threat, and Racial Identity. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews that gathered data through critical inquiries about these experiences from a post-degree perspective. African American Male doctoral degree attainment is a vital function of student success within a privileged educational paradigm. Results of the study demonstrated that AAM doctoral degree achievement is complex by his perceptions of racism, racial identity, and the issues of diversity at Predominantly White Institutions.
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