Centenary University Digital Repository
Centenary University digital repository organizes, preserves, and makes accessible digital and scanned documents or materials of enduring institutional, historical, and scholarly value to Centenary University.
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The Effects of Passion-Based Learning on Student Risk Taking and Resilience: A Qualitative Study
(Centenary University, 2021)
Society is raising a generation of people that are not given opportunities to grow and develop through their failures. This generation has parents that hover over them, clear all obstacles in their path to success, and ensure that all participants receive a trophy. The current society is creating a generation of people that will lack the skills to fail and rebound in social, academic, and professional settings. The purpose of this study was to explore risk taking and resilience attempts while participating in passion-based learning for students in New Jersey Public Schools. The study focused on the internal and external variables that motivate or deter students' risk taking and resilience. This qualitative study was conducted utilizing semi- structured interview questions that were asked of a purposeful sample of New Jersey Public School Teachers and Administrators. This qualitative study resulted in a proven coordination between passion-based learning and student risk taking and resilience. The study detailed student motivation and need to meet expectations as internal variables that affect student academic risk taking. The study also detailed teachers’ unwillingness to relinquish control in the classroom and stressful classroom environments as external factors that hinder student risk taking and resilience. Future studies should include a comparison study of urban, suburban, and rural school settings on student risk taking and resilience while participating in passion-based learning. Future studies should also include an expansion of geographic area including and comparing the different regions of the United States of America.
The Perceptions of Parents of Students with Disabilities Towards the IEP Meeting
(Centenary University, 2021)
Despite federal legislation mandating parental participation in the design and delivery of special education services for children with disabilities, parents report feeling marginalized by educators as they are not treated as equal members of the educational teams of their children. As a result, a child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a common source of conflict in special education. This study sought to determine factors which may shape parental perceptions of their interactions with educators during the IEP meeting including the disability classification, academic placement, grade level, and size of school district of the child. Through the use of a survey instrument (n = 164), the study found that parents of students with the disability classification of autism and students in more restrictive academic environments enjoyed better relations with educators than did peers. Relations with educators were found to degrade over time as students progressed from elementary to secondary schools. The size of the school district provided mixed findings regarding relations with educators, as parents of students with disabilities in larger school districts enjoyed better relationships with special education teachers and paraprofessional staff. By treating parents as equals during IEP meetings, education professionals minimize feelings of frustration that can lead to conflict. When adversarial relationships are avoided, conditions are created that can lead to greater student achievement and improved outcomes.
REDESIGNING DEVELOPMENTAL MATH TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY COLLEGE RETENTION RATES AND STUDENT SUCCESS
(Centenary University, 2021-05)
When looking at today’s Community College graduation rates, dropout rates and time to completion of degrees, it is abundantly clear that a problem exists. This study examined the characteristics of community colleges in New Jersey and student experiences that contribute to the dismal statistics. Mathematics curriculum in P-12 falls short on preparing students for the gatekeeper community college courses, creating barriers that make it difficult for students to meet their degree requirements to graduate. The study explored the potential benefits of completely eliminating the developmental mathematics requirement and offering students the opportunity to earn credits in their first semester. The researcher used a qualitative approach consisting of interviews with 11 community college developmental mathematics professors. After reflecting upon questions regarding the need to or not need to remediate certain topics and how to incorporate that refresher in the constructs of a credit earning algebra course, as well as the overall effectiveness of current developmental programs across the state, they agreed that a redesign incorporating a Just-in- Time scaffolding approach would benefit both the students and schools as a whole. In addition, creating a statewide network with a uniform mathematics program would allow schools to work together and be more efficient in attempting to mitigate the issue. Finally, courses made to reflect the student’s major would increase buy-in, focus, and the perception of equity for the student later in their educational career and beyond. Once this occurs, students of community colleges will meet with a higher success rate, finish their Associate’s Degree in the prescribed two years, and transition seamlessly into a four-year institution or career upon graduating from community college.
Digital Screen Time: The Effects on Social and Emotional Development of Four and Five-Year- Old Children
(Centenary University, 2021-05)
The study sought to determine the duration of screen time usage among four and five-year-old children and its effect on the social and emotional development and sleep reported by caregivers utilizing the data found at The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Additionally, the research examined associations between screen time and psychological well-being measured in four and five-year-old children (including self-control, distractibility, and sleep disturbances) among a large population study of caregivers’ responses collected in 2017 by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. For this research, 2,145 caregiver participants of children ages four and five in the U.S. who completed the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) were used. The study employed a cross-sectional study design with bivariate statistical tests to understand screen time’s role on 10 survey questions categorized under self-control, distractibility, and sleep. The study found that children who spent more time on their digital devices were lower in social and emotional well-being than low technology users. High users of digital devices were significantly more likely to display decreased self-control and were more distractible. These children had lower task persistence, difficulty following directions, and sitting still. Higher users of digital devices sleep less and do not have consistent bedtime routines. High users of digital devices may suffer from irreversible damage to their developing brains and limit one’s socio-emotional abilities for school success and beyond.
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Their Effects in the Classroom: Are Our Educators Prepared
(Centenary University, 2021-05)
There are many challenges in the world of education. One challenge to teaching and learning are Adverse Childhood Experiences. The trauma resulting from these experiences negatively affects the developing brain of students. This study examined teacher preparation for working with this vulnerable population of students. It also examined whether there was a relationship between teachers’ sense of efficacy and several factors including: teaching assignment, grade level assignment, years in the profession, the amount of time spent with each group of students each day, and the number of students an educator works with each day. The survey instrument used was the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scales. The Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale was utilized to measure educators’ perception of effectiveness when worked with students who had experienced trauma. The survey instrument quantitatively measured their sense of effectiveness in three areas: student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management. The survey instrument was completed by 112 respondents, all of whom were Pre- K– Grade 12 educators in a suburban New Jersey school district. The study was quantitative and employed a correlational research design. Data collected was analyzed using a Pearson Correlation test through SPSS 26.0 to determine potential relationships between a sense of efficacy and the aforementioned variables. Statistical significance was determined in all factors with varying degrees. This study adds to the body of knowledge by providing districts and schools with information as to what factors affect educators’ sense of efficacy and how they feel about the preparation they have received in order to meet the challenge of educating students who have been affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences.