2019 - Volume 7 Open Issue: Scholarship Across the University

   Individual articles can be accessed below. The full volume of the journal is available at the following link:

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP, SCHOOL CULTURE, AND TEACHER SELF-EFFICACY


Mendi Davis, Grand Canyon University


Studies have shown that teaching is a stressful career often leading to teacher burnout and resulting in a national epidemic of teacher departures. The purpose of this correlational, quantitative research study was to examine the extent to which there were relationships among distributed leadership, school culture, and the self-efficacy of teachers in public elementary schools in Pinal County, Arizona. This was study informed by the theoretical frameworks of Spillane and Elmore for distributed leadership, Bolman and Deal for school culture, and Bandura for self-efficacy. The sample consisted of 54 certified kindergarten through fifth grade teachers (n = 54) from nine schools within a single school district within Pinal County, Arizona. Participants completed 68 questions on distributed leadership within their school, their individual school culture, and their own self-efficacy. Quantitative data were collected from three instruments: the Distributed Leadership Inventory (DLI), the School Culture Survey (SCS), and Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale (TSES). Data from the DLI measured the dimensions of distributed leadership. Data were analyzed using Pearson’s Correlation. All scores were normally distributed as assessed by Shapiro- Wilk’s test. The researcher found a significant relationship between distributed leadership and teacher self-efficacy (r = .35, p < .05), between school culture and teacher self-efficacy (r = .54, p < .05), and between distributed leadership and school culture (r = .70, p < .05). While the study revealed a correlation between the variables, further development of school leadership programs and a focus on the development of a positive school culture are necessary to impact teacher retention.



HAPPY SHEETS: HOW TO DEFLATE INFLATED TEACHER PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS

Mary Ann Manos



Current educational research describes a strange phenomenon in American schools. Classroom teachers (in most states) are judged overwhelming to be “excellent” by their evaluators. “Excellent” and “Highly Effective” teacher evaluation rates are consistently reported, with sometimes up to 97.5% of the teaching force in a state responding. The high ratings persist across all teaching disciplines and demographics, and such overarching excellence across the board in the American teaching profession flies in the face of reason. Current research provides interesting insights into the role of school-level administrators tasked with the evaluation of their own staff and faculty. Is the performance rating inflation seen in public school teaching also seen in teacher preparation programs? Ignoring the inflated student teacher performance teacher ratings is a dangerous practice for future teacher self-efficacy. This article investigates the past, present, and future of teacher rating inflation in the current literature and proposes a viable alternative to “Happy Sheets” in the teaching profession and teacher-prep programs.


AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Elizabeth Valenti, Lori J. Cooper, Amanda Laster-Loftus



Emotional Intelligence (EI) encompasses self-perceptions that include lower-level personality characteristics (Cooper & Petrides, 2010). Awareness of self-perceptions could arguably afford individuals more control over how they think and feel or regulate emotions, which in turn could result in improved Academic Achievement (AA). The first step in examining this relationship was to establish that EI and AA are related. For this study, an examination was conducted exploring whether a correlation existed between EI and AA in 253 undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology courses at a private Christian university in Southwestern United States. Findings include a significant, but low positive, correlation between EI and AA in individuals who could recognize and regulate their emotions (r = .22, p = <.001), EI and GPA (r = .19, p = .002), as well as EI and self-reported end of course grade (r =.19, p = .002). The identified links between these variables have strong implications for educational efforts that may strengthen the foundation and opportunity for EI awareness in an academic setting.


EXPLORATION OF WOMEN VETERANS AND HIGHER EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Crystal B. Manboard and Deborah M. Jones


The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to explore how female veterans explained and described the factors and reasons they chose not to access higher education or vocational training opportunities prior to or after separation from the military. A purposeful sampling of 20 female veterans who retired or separated from the military between 1993 and 2013 were interviewed. The guiding theoretical foundations for this study were standpoint and life course theories. Five themes emerged: 1) higher education/vocational training is accessible and beneficial during and after military separation, 2) military obligations prevented females from accessing education opportunities while in the military, 3) barriers prevented females from accessing higher education during their time in the military, 4) education was not a priority at the time, and 5) transitioning from military to civilian life poses unique challenges. These themes indicated that some veterans found higher education/vocational training to be accessible, while others reported military obligations and other barriers prevented access to educational opportunities. Several participants indicated that education was not a priority at the time and that transitioning from military to civilian life poses unique challenges. The results suggested that females in the military should receive counseling about programs available that offer education or technical training opportunities; however, not all participants knew about the programs or chose to use the resources. The implication is that there is a need for females in the military to have a better understanding about the programs intended to help them obtain higher education or vocational training prior to separation or retirement from military service.

CAN YOU LOSE WEIGHT BY TALKING ON THE PHONE?

Michael Swoboda and Eric Matthews





Obesity is one of the costliest epidemics in the United States, with an estimated $148 billion spent annually from increased healthcare costs and lost work and productivity. Obesity related illnesses contribute to increases in the instance of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. Adults with sedentary jobs are at a higher risk of becoming obese and developing obesity related illnesses. Work site wellness programs are being implemented as an intervention method to prevent and manage chronic illnesses and improve weight and activity in otherwise sedentary adults. A retrospective chart review was conducted to assess the efficacy of a remote telephonic work site wellness program. The primary outcome was an assessment of weight loss over six months, with secondary outcomes assessing changes in weekly exercise time and self-perceived nutrition confidence. After stratification, the initial target population of 11,755 participants yielded 431 participants meeting inclusion criteria. After random sampling, 203 participants were included in the study. Program participation had a strong correlation to weight loss (rs = .963), although clinical significance was not met. There was a moderated positive correlation between program participation and increases in nutrition confidence (rs = .422). Changes in weekly exercise time were not significant (p = 0.215). Remote telephonic work site weight management programs are a low-cost method to support weight loss in otherwise sedentary workers and would be best supplemented with an in-person, provider-organized program for best results






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