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Browsing School of Education by Author "Ayers, Richard"
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- ItemFacing Attrition: The Lived Experiences of Emerging Adult Teachers in Public Education(Southern New Hampshire University, 2022) Dolan, Amanda; Ayers, RichardThis multiple case study was conducted for the purpose of exploring the developmental readiness of emerging adult teachers in relation to teacher attrition. Introduction to the notion of development in relation to teacher readiness was explored specifically in response to the rate of attrition among emerging adult teachers and the overall decline in student achievement and the perpetuations of America’s achievement and opportunity gaps. Consideration of readiness in respect to cognitive and psychological development were explored using the tenets of Jeffrey Arnett’s theory of Emerging Adulthood with a total of six study participants. Specifically, this study examined the impact of life decisions in relation to identity formation occurring between the ages of 18 and 29. With emerging adults being precariously and metaphorically affixed in a position of having one foot in adulthood and the other in adolescence, this study sought to reveal relevant factors that attributed to both the professional and personal identity of emerging adult teachers who had left the teaching profession. With the focus of this study providing a perspective for attrition- from a developmental perspective, it is hoped that the knowledge gained from this study will add to the further research and dialogue on attrition, and lead to further studies in the future focusing specifically in the area of developmental psychology.
- ItemHigh school experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming young adults: A reflective photovoice study(Southern New Hampshire University, 2019) Weltsek, Bernadette M.; Ford, Margaret; Ayers, Richard; Murray-Chandler, LynnIncreasing numbers of high school students are identifying openly as transgender and gender nonconforming even as they navigate violence, discrimination, and harassment from peers and others. Many of the scholarly work on trans issues in education have positioned transgender and gender nonconforming students within the larger grouping of LGBTQ individuals. The purposes of this study are to (a) to clarify and document the needs and reflective experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming youth; (b) to determine the extent to which school policies at the federal, state, and local levels are meeting those needs; and (c) to utilize input from participants in support of school, community, and policy changes. I utilized the qualitative research methodology of photovoice and aspects of phenomenology, allowing participants to tell their high school stories through photography and personal reflection. By highlighting the lived experiences and related issues facing our transgender and gender non-conforming youth, my purpose was to highlight the need for a change in policies related to transgender students in our schools. (Author abstract)
- ItemThe implications of the opioid epidemic on select elementary schools in crisis regions of the Northeast: A multiple case study investigation(Southern New Hampshire University, 2019-03) Welby, Kathryn; Ayers, Richard; Moehle, Matthew; Olwell, RussellIn response to the growing opioid epidemic, this multiple case study investigation explored multiple schools in opioid crisis regions of the Northeast. Select elementary schools in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire partook in the study. There was a total of 76 participants ranging from district administrators, teachers, counselors, mental health providers, and consultants. Children exposed to parental drug-addictive behaviors or born addicted to opioids may have cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral needs all teachers will be responsible for accommodating. Additionally, students in kindergarten through second-grade classrooms are experiencing adverse childhood experiences in their environments and community because of opioid exposure. Consequently, the adverse experiences are impacting the schools. In addition to the schools added responsibility to meet students’ basic unmet needs, student attendance is poor, student and parents’ inappropriate behaviors are increasing, and academic achievement is impacted. Teachers are experiencing vicarious trauma and stress. Evidence collected from this study suggests that there is a lack of organizational systems, preparation, consistency, and proactive plans to support the schools, administrators, teachers, and students impacted by the epidemic in the select elementary schools in crisis regions of the Northeast. (Author abstract)
- ItemThe millennial generation: common experience guiding them into adulthood(Southern New Hampshire University, 2016) Cecere, Donna-Marie; Patusky, Lorraine; Ayers, Richard; Pepin, EliseThe Millennial Generation, those born from 1980-2000, see the world from a different viewpoint. This distinctive cohort has structured their lives in a different manner than preceding generations. The introduction and influence of social, political, and technological changes over the past few decades have structured Millennials’ unique and sometimes unclear characteristics and behaviors. Dividing and defining people by their birth years can seem like a subjective generalization. However, Howe and Strauss (2000) argue that shared experiences during formative years within a cohort result in a distinctive generational bond resulting in common attitudes and behaviors. Millennials have been labeled as one of the most overprotected and enabled generations in history, and mentors are uncertain how to beneficially nurture this generation as they transition into adulthood (Lykins & Pace, 2013: Twenge et al.). Generations are shaped by the dynamic interplay of history and popular culture, which can form a lens for understanding a generation’s collective nature (Mannheim, 1928). To determine what the future holds for the Millennial Generation as they transition into adulthood, one should closely examine their formative experiences and construct a socio-psychological portrait (Ng, Schweitzer, & Lyons, 2010). By clarifying the process that formed their adulthood, we gain a clearer understanding of what it means to them to be an emerging adult in the Millennial generation. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the Millennial Generation’s perceptions of how their formative experiences have affected their transition into adulthood. It was my intention through this phenomenological study to view the Millennial Generation’s common formative experiences through the lens of the Theory of Generations, Theory of the Emergent Adult, and the Gestalt Theory and link their unresolved familiarities to their current behaviors and mindset as they emerge into adulthood. The researcher investigated the following questions: How do the Millennials describe the experiences which have guided their transition into adulthood? What common formative experiences are predominant within the Millennial Generation? How does the Theory of Generations, Gestalt Theory, and Emergent Adulthood Theory aid in understanding the mindset of the emergent Millennial adult? Due to the nature of this study’s qualitative inquiry a phenomenological methodology was pursued. This methodological design was steeped in the idea that the researcher would explore the cultural phenomenon of society from the point of view of the subject of the analysis. In Phase One of this emergent design, a preliminary survey was employed to select the final three subjects. The data collected from these three selected participants during Phase Two followed the semi-structured, in-depth interviews of Seidman’s (2013) Protocol. Combined with the interviews participants were asked to use artifacts to aid in eliciting personal information necessary for the development of a story. Collecting data from three sources – interviews, artifact elicitation, and surveys – aided in revealing richer data concerning the topic of the Millennial Generation. The researcher chose five lenses through which to proceed with this study: belief, influence, growth, values, and self-values. These lenses emerged and developed during value coding. The researcher expanded and further defined Miles, et al.’s, (2013) three main attributes: values, attitudes, and beliefs in order to fully isolate and describe the experiences the participants were sharing. These five lenses were grouped into meaningful categories to capture and describe the Millennial’s common experiences in regards to belief, influence, growth, values, and self-value. The Millennials through these five lenses described themselves and how their experiences were different or unique from the generations that preceded them. Overall, the data findings suggest that the mind set of Millennials is based on a desire for educational growth through experiences, a belief that family is the nucleus of life and a support system for reasoning, values which align with their ideals on living an authentic existence, growth through their personal journeys, and focusing on self-values through a desire to serve in the best interest of all humanity. (Author abstract)
- ItemThe perceptions of academic administrators in higher education about conflict handling styles(Southern New Hampshire University, 2019) Khan, Pauline Bary; Ford, Margaret; Lindley-Soucy, Kim; Ayers, RichardConflict, and the methods by which conflict is handled in organizations, may lead to obstacles when solving problems or may contribute to constructive feedback and progress. In a higher education organization, interpersonal conflicts exist among faculty members, staff, and administrators. These conflicts may occur due to a variety of reason, including differences in work ideology, decisions, tasks, and resource allocation. Often, department administrators are charged with handling their own conflicts as well as handling and managing interpersonal conflicts between others. Therefore, it is vital for department leaders to understand conflict management and the different conflict handling styles. This study uses qualitative methodologies to examine how administrators in higher education perceive conflict handling within their organization. The results include seven primary themes about how administrators describe and develop conflict handling styles. Three major conclusions are presented in this research. First, higher education administrators would benefit from more formal training about how to handle conflicts. A second conclusion that was reached from the data in this study is that a chosen conflict style is dependent on the perceived situation. A third conclusion that was identified from this research is that emotional conflicts can result in unresolved conflicts that can negatively impact the culture of a department for a long period of time. (Author abstract)
- ItemRecreation as a related service: focusing on the quality of life of students with disabilities(Southern New Hampshire University, 2017) Diodati, Melissa Rose; Charron, Nancy N.; Ayers, Richard; Evans, BeverleyLeisure participation is influential on the quality of life of individuals. Individuals with disabilities can face barriers in leisure participation, impacting their quality of life. IDEA (2004) recognizes recreation as a related service as one way to enhance the leisure experiences for students with disabilities. The purpose of this embedded case study was to explore how recreation as a related service contributed to the quality of life of students with disabilities in a public school setting. The scope of this study included six students and fifteen IEP TEAM members, including parents. Interviews, questionnaires, and document analysis were utilized to collect data on the perspectives of students and IEP Members, student outcomes, and the service delivery model used within a PreK-12 public school district in Northeastern United States. Findings from the data analysis suggested that students who received recreation as a related service demonstrated quality of life in the area of physical and emotional well being, social participation, and independence. Currently, there is a lack of awareness of recreation as a related service and it is underutilized in the public school setting. Findings that emerged from this study identify the potential outcomes from the utilization of recreation as a related service in the public school setting. Identifying these outcomes can increase the awareness of this related service. More research is needed to identify how recreation as a related service contributes to the interpersonal relations of students with disabilities and their peers. (Author abstract)
- ItemReward school leadership: building a good-to-great cycle of excellence(Southern New Hampshire University, 2016) Zadravec, Stephen; McQuillan, Mark K.; Ayers, Richard; Lindley-Soucy, Mary-KimFor years, schools across the country have carried the label, and in many cases the reality, of being schools in need of improvement. School improvement plans, deficit analyses, and theories for school organizational improvement have saturated the landscape of school communities. While much of this work has been focused on strategies to correct existing deficiencies, very little is focused on taking schools with strong performance and solid foundations and enabling continuous and sustained growth. Collins (2001) in his book Good to Great examines the enabling factors that have distinguished companies that sustain a much greater rate of corporate success, or profit, than others. Many schools have looked to adapt these strategies for continuous improvement in student learning. A thorough examination of the enabling factors in schools that have shown this type of improvement, and a comparison of those factors with Collins’ framework, will inform the discussion of “good to great” school improvement. This qualitative study examined the factors present and enabling improvement in student learning in a designated Reward School in New Hampshire. Reward schools have been so designated because of sustained significant growth in student learning (US DOE, 2012). In particular, this study examined (1) the characteristics of the leadership present in the school; (2) the ways in which that leadership has supported the continuous improvement; and (3) the alignment of the external measures of improvement with the stated values in student learning held by the school staff and leadership. This qualitative study utilized a case study research design with data gathered through staff surveys, document analysis, and staff and principal interviews. (Author abstract)
- ItemUnderstanding Later-Day Saint missionary re-acculturation(Southern New Hampshire University, 2019) Sheffield, Kathleen Bunker; Ford, Margaret; Rogers, Audrey; Ayers, RichardWhen a sojourner travels to a new place they often acculturate to their new surroundings and the host culture in which they are living. There is also a readjustment when that same sojourner returns home, changed by their recent experiences and acculturation as they seek a return to the familiar and their home culture. The term used to describe this adaptation to a new culture is acculturation. Acculturation often entails a loss of the familiar as well as a loss of personal history and a sense of belonging. Re-acculturation can be defined as the readjustment or transition to one’s home culture after living abroad. Acculturation and re-acculturation reflect many of the same elements of adjustment and re-adjustment. Volunteer religious missionaries become sojourners as they experience living in new and diverse circumstances away from their home culture and again as they return home and experience re-adjustment. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their re-acculturation after completing a voluntary religious mission. The individual missionaries’ lived experience of transition and re-acculturation were at the center of this research. The researcher used interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) as the qualitative approach for this study. Interpretive phenomenological analysis provided the framework through which the researcher obtained a detailed examination of the personal lived experiences of 10 returned Latter-day Saint missionaries. An analysis of findings indicated a lack of connection and need for connection, a progression of learning, growth and shift in identity, as well as an iterative process of perspective taking, meaning making, application and integration. In addition, a model that reflects the collective illustration of these finding was created and included to further illustrate the discussion. (Author abstract)