Volume 17 Issue 3

Planning for Principal Evaluation Effects on School Climate and Achievement

By: Edward Williams, Ganga Persaud, Trevor Turner

ABSTRACT: This study examines the proposition as to whether principals’ performances on selected leadership tasks would improve school climate and whether climate would predict student achievement. Teachers evaluated principals on such task areas as: instructional planning, interpersonal skills, decision-making skills, school facilities planning, and evaluation in relation to school climate. Supervisors utilized the data in conferences with principals to engage them in planning for improving school climate with the expectation that climate would improve student performance. In a sample of 81 out of 84 schools, the ve tasks were significantly related to school climate, while in a regression analysis of the data only 9% of the variance on achievement scores was predicted by climate.

In Planning Science Labs: Beware of Unintended Consequences

By: Edward Duncanson and Charles Achilles

ABSTRACT The role of designed classrooms and the use of space as components of education have not received a great deal of attention since open classrooms were studied in the early to mid-1970’s. Instead, researchers have focused on curriculum. “One thing we have learned from examining the history of curriculum in the 20th century is that curriculum reform has had remarkably little effect on the character of teaching and learning in American classrooms” (Larabee, 2000, p. 148). Required new patterns of instruction and testing forms point to the need to reconsider spaces designed for science learning. Better use of existing classroom space can provide a nurturing, learning environment (Simplicio, 1999). Duncanson (2001) found that classroom space has a high positive correlation to hands-on science skills (r = .910, p = .032). Rooms with larger amounts of floor space per student promoted higher attainment of student outcomes. In addition, researchers in Kentucky found that school climate as a correlate of student achievement was more important than curriculum, assessment, and professional development. Successful schools had a learning environment that respected the needs of students (Browne-Ferrigno, et al., 2006). These results point to the fact that the center for school improvement resides in classrooms.

First-Year Experience: Reform in College Freshmen Programs for First Year Students

By: Brenda Marina and Melisa McGuire

ABSTRACT Since its inception in the 1980s, First Year Experience (FYE) programs remain an essential part of ensuring the success of freshmen, promoting retention, and further developing the strength of American higher education. Because of the stamina of the FYE reform, substantiation of this reform is apparent across the campuses of American colleges and universities. Undeniably, the reform has stood the test of time, and through endless efforts, continues to influence first-year students across the United States. Different today, however, American colleges and universities have not changed in the responsibility for providing positive experiences for students, faculty, and administrators.

A Two-Dimensional Model of School Entrepreneurship

By: Ori Eyal

ABSTRACT: Schools seem to be caught in a constant tension between their conservative nature and their need to behave entrepreneurially. By adopting the perspective of network theory as developed by Barabasi (2003), I argue that different levels of deregulation and the presence or absence of competition may interact to produce different niches that may inhibit or facilitate the emergence of radical school entrepreneurship. The proposed model seeks to deepen our understanding of educational entrepreneurship.