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Teacher perceptions of factors influencing middle school student achievement

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rochelle Reene Nixon-Green (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Carl Lashley

Abstract: The purpose of this case study was to examine an urban middle school demonstrating increased student academic achievement gains and success in helping adolescent students prepare for high school. The research also set out to identify key programs, practices, and instructional strategies that teachers in the study site identified as having a positive impact on student academic, social development, and high school preparedness. Furthermore, this study sought to uncover themes emerging from the examination the programs, practices and instructional strategies identified at the case study school associated with raising student achievement. The focus of the study was narrowed to three key factors associated with student academic success including school-wide programs school-wide practices, and instructional practices. The school selected for this case study was an excellent exemplar of a successful urban middle school dedicated to increasing student achievement for several reasons. Being a part of the relatively large urban district, the school is located in a primarily low socioeconomic neighborhood. The school demonstrates high success in increasing student achievement as can be seen in a three-year trend in academics as measured by the North Carolina Standardized Testing and Reporting Program. has met or exceeded the criteria set for this study defining it as a high performing school for the last three academic years, having made steady academic performance improvement over the past several years as measured by the California Standardized Testing and Reporting Program. The inquiry method employed for this study was the case study approach. Documents were reviewed, observational field notes of site visits were taken, and structured, open-ended interview questions were utilized to uncover factors positively affecting student achievement. A total of nine teachers, one administrator and one curriculum facilitator participated in the interview process. To ensure effective triangulation of the research data, a quantitative survey was used to support the principals' and teachers' interview responses. A total of 12 teachers at the case study school completed the questionnaire surveys. Data analysis uncovered three major themes associated with increasing student achievement, including a culture of support for students, the setting of high academic expectations for students, and the establishment of school-wide systems and structures. Use of Bolman and Deal's four frames paradigm provided the theoretical support for the analysis, interpretation of the data gathered at the case study school, and identification of implications for further study.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2012
Keywords
Case study, Middle school, Social development, High school preparedness
Subjects
Academic achievement $z North Carolina $v Case studies
Middle school education $z North Carolina $v Case studies
Middle school teaching $z North Carolina $v Case studies