ISLE Graduate Student Conference Papers

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    The American Indian Institute: A case study
    (Wichita State University, 2023-04-14) Felihkatubbe, Jason; Wilson, Kimberly D.
    The overall high school graduation rate for American Indian/Alaska Native students is 74% compared to 89% for White students. On average, less than 1% of postsecondary students identify as Native American. One of the challenges faced by these students is a lack of access to advanced placement and/or college preparatory courses in high school. Several programs have been tried throughout history. In the past, boarding schools were not effective because they focused on assimilation, not college preparation, thereby causing trauma and creating an entirely new set of problems. Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) operated schools and tribally controlled (but BIE funded) schools weren't effective, with 35 schools having a high school graduation rate less than 67%, because of the emphasis on culture, rather than academics. Charter or community schools, such as the Sovereign Community School (SCS) in Oklahoma City, provided scant impact, only 15% of SCS' students are at grade level in reading, math, and science according to state test scores, because of a lack of understanding of the system and financing. One school that did work was the American Indian Institute (AII) which opened in 1915 in Wichita, Kansas. At the time, it was the only college preparatory high school in the United States for Native males and operated for nearly 20 years before closing. The research question addressed by this study is: What program components promote increased access to a college preparatory program for Native students? This study seeks identify the most empirically supported method of providing a college preparatory program to Native students through the examination of different programs that have been instituted through time.
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    Structure and the classroom after remote/hybrid learning: A case study
    (Wichita State University, 2022-04-29) Felihkatubbe, Jason M.; Wilson, Kimberly D.
    INTRODUCTION: In the fall of 2021 the researcher accepted a one-month assignment as a substitute for a fifth-grade classroom in a Title I school in Kansas while the teacher of record went on a leave of absence. At the beginning students weren't following rules and expectations, they had difficulty staying on task, and completing homework. The classroom had to be restructured and students held accountable. The curriculum was adapted to make it more appealing and applicable. Mindfulness techniques and social-emotional skills were integrated. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to illustrate the importance of a transitionary period prior to teaching after remote/hybrid learning. METHODS: The case study approach was utilized for this project with data coming from classroom observations and data from calculated grades of student's work. RESULTS: Changes resulted in an increase in overall participation and completion of work, as demonstrated by the chart titled "Homework Submission Rate" and an overall increase in the quality of work performed as demonstrated by the chart titled "Average Score of Weekly Decoding Assessment." CONCLUSION: After being absent from the traditional classroom environment for an extended period, there is a transitionary period in which a student must become reacclimated to the rules and expectations and social norms of the public school system. This can be accomplished with structure, accountability, flexibility, and sensitivity.
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    A case study on teacher burn-out: On the edge, to stay or to leave
    (Wichita State University, 2021-04-02) Lamei, Lena; Latavietz, Beata M.
    INTRODUCTION: The burnout syndrome is conceived as an individual's emotional exhaustion, dissatisfaction with personal accomplishments, and feeling depersonalization and work detachment (Maslach, 2003). Burnout can be inevitable for both students and teachers. It makes the students drop out and the teachers leave their profession. Burnout leads to emotional overextension, chronic fatigue, stress, cynicism, and negative attitudes. It diminishes executive functioning and memory, and causes problems in critical thinking, cognitive, and regulating emotions (Golkar et al., 2014; Durning et al., 2013). Individual and self-regulatory factors, such as self-efficacy, facilitate coping with the burnout syndrome and may protect individuals from negative outcomes of burnout (Brown, 2012). Self- efficacy is understood as the belief in one's competence to cope with challenges and successfully execute the behavior needed to produce a desired outcome and succeed. Generally, self-efficacious teachers experience less burnout. Teachers with higher sense of self-efficacy are more open to new ideas, more committed to teaching, and more resilient in the face of setbacks (Bandura, 1986; Brouwers & Tomic, 2000; Chwalisz et al., 1992; Shoji et al., 2015). PURPOSE: This research explores what impacted a teacher burnout and decision to quit. It also reflects what factors could encourage the teacher to stay. The study explains if higher levels of the teacher's sense of self-efficacy could help. METHODS: A mixed research method of qualitative and quantitative data analysis is used for a better understanding of the phenomenon. Triangulation adds validity and reliability to the case (Creswell & Poth, 2018). A semi-structured interview and two assessments of Maslach Burnout Inventory for Educators and Teacher's Sense of Efficacy Scale were administered and added quantitative information to the participant's personal feedback and the thematic analysis of the interview (qualitative data). The participant is in her 30s, with twelve years of experience as teacher and behavior analyst in public middle schools. Recently, she left her dream job of a teacher and works as a case manager in a non-profit special education center with children aged four to six. RESULTS: Different sources of data and research strategies provided comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of burnout and the factors that contributed to the teacher burnout and ultimately her resignation. It shows how the school administrators and parents could help her stay, but they failed to protect and support her, albeit it is a case study on one person's experience. The results highlight the importance of teacher's sense of self-efficacy in controlling and coping with burnout. Efficacy of the teacher results in their persistence, resilience, and aspiration when they face setbacks and difficulties. CONCLUSION: This study contributes to understanding of what factors may intensify or reduce burnout, how burnout could be minimized or controlled, and in what interventions. The research contributes to detecting potential system-wide problems and evaluating the role of the school and rules and regulations in protecting and supporting the teacher. The case explores the role of parents in making the teacher quit. This study also increases awareness of the factors that help teachers to stay energized and motivated especially through the difficulties that cause emotional exhaustion, cynicism, inefficiency, detachment, and lack of self-realization.
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    The new standard: An exploration of high school teacher perceptions on the implementation of Standards-Referenced Grading
    (Wichita State University, 2021-04-02) Ellison, Ricki; Hawkins, Kevin C.; Kepha Isanda; Barnes, Prisca; Iwuagwu, Dozie; Lopez, Jessica; Sherif, Victoria
    INTRODUCTION: Standards-Referenced Grading (SRG) allows students to demonstrate their learning in a meaningful way by exploring passions and furthering their knowledge and skills. Each student receives the differentiated support they need to be successful and after demonstrating proficiency they can move on to the next level. However, with much interest in SRG, research highlights that high school teachers' views and attitudes towards SRG implementation vary while struggling to effectively incorporate SRG into their instruction. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the feelings and perspectives of high school teachers related to the SRG implementation. This research explored the potential change fatigue of high school teachers as they prepare for implementation and how they perceive SRG. For the purpose of this presentation, findings related to the following research question will be presented: How do high school teachers perceive the transition to SRG and their preparedness to transition? METHODS: In this basic qualitative study, 31 high school teachers from 8 high schools in a large Mid-western district volunteered to participate. Participants represented multiple subject areas including liberal arts, STEM, and social studies. Web-based focus group interviews were conducted via Zoom and were audio/video recorded. The interviews were semi-structured with an open-ended format and lasted 60 minutes with an average of 3 participants per interview. The data were redacted, transcribed, and inductively and deductively analyzed in Dedoose through the lens of Change Fatigue Theory. RESULTS: Some teachers felt that they are on track with SRG implementation, especially after attending professional development in-service workshops. Others indicated they were excited but nervous about the transition. There were concerns about the impact of implementing SRG on students who learn differently. Many teachers acknowledged that SRG will be positive but did not feel prepared to implement right away due to the need to adapt to current educational changes imposed by the pandemic. Teachers indicated they were trying to survive the transition even though previous changes did not affect their perceptions on SRG. They would need more practice-based examples as to how to assess student knowledge and skills and would like calibration of rubric grading to ensure consistency across subject areas. SIGNIFICANCE: The findings of the study further our understanding of how the district can make the implementation process more desirable and effective for all. Results from the study inform the role of change fatigue in teacher perceptions of SRG to support its implementation. Additionally, the study has potential implications for the change fatigue theory within the context of secondary education as this theoretical framework has been actively employed in nursing research.
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    Why come to school? Learning from middle school students' perspectives on chronic absenteeism
    (Wichita State University, 2020-05-01) Berry, Bobby D.; Hawkins, Kevin C.; Holt-Fields, LaWanda; McClintock, Amy; Montford, John; Monk-Morgan, V. Kaye; Royal, Christy L.; Sherif, Victoria
    INTRODUCTION: Chronic absenteeism is a long known barrier to educational success and academic achievement (McClusky, Bynum & Patchin, 2004). While governing agencies have established policies and standards for attendance, schools have implemented several interventions to address chronic absenteeism (Kearney & Gracyk, 2014) and none of them have turned the tide on this growing social issue. What remains elusive is an understanding of students' awareness of absenteeism and its consequences, what factors they identify as contributing to the issue and possible solutions to improve attendance. PURPOSE: The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore the perceptions of middle school students regarding their attendance and precluding barriers. METHODS: Seventeen students from two middle schools in Kansas participated in the study. The participants were identified by school administration as at-risk for chronic absenteeism. This study employed semi-structured face-to-face interviews. The interviews were 15-30 minutes in length. RESULTS: Study participants came from ethnically and economically diverse backgrounds. Their families differed in structure, parental roles and degree of extended family engagement in student lives. They perceived schooling and education as a critical resource for personal, financial, and academic success and independence. Participants identified multiple barriers that have negatively impacted their attendance. The most frequently disrupting factors to one's attendance were student concerns with mental health and illness of family members. Since schools were not located within walking distance, transportation was also emphasized as an issue for being absent. CONCLUSION: Extenuating circumstances related to students' physical and mental health and expectations to provide healthcare, emotional and financial support to family members unfavorably contributed to one's status of at-risk of being chronically absent. Despite diverse and economically suppressed family backgrounds, students highly valued their education. They strived to attend the school regularly "[b]ecause it's fun and I get to learn, and I don't want to be at home because it's boring and my brother is annoying".