Volume 23, Issue 3

Goal-Free Planning:  A Largely Unrecognized, but Frequently Used, Approach to School Improvement

Ronald A. Lindahl

This article explores the relatively unknown educational planning model introduced by David Clark in 1981 – goal-free planning. Unlike more traditional rational planning models, goal-free planning focuses on building a shared understanding of the school’s mission, vision, and key values, rather than on more finite goals and objectives. It then calls for stakeholders to recognize how each can make his or her unique contribution to moving the school in the desired direction.

Principals’ Leadership and Student Performance in Senior Secondary Schools in Edo State, Nigeria

Roseline O. Osagie and Umemefu Momoh

The study investigated the leadership styles of principals who were successful in achieving good results consistently in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in Edo State, Nigeria. No previous studies have examined leadership styles and the link to student performance as measured by public examinations in Edo State. The transformational leadership model was used to conceptualize the leadership styles of principals in this study. It was hypothesized that there is a positive relationship between transformational leadership behaviors of principals and overall performance of students. Analysis of principals’ leadership style was conducted using the transformational Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire 5X Short. The findings demonstrate support for the hypothesis relative to five dimensions of transformational leadership and student’s performance in the SSCE. The study also shows that transformational leadership is an important element of school improvement. Hence, the findings have important implications for education professionals and administrators with respect to planning for leadership development and preparation of teachers in Edo State.

Conflict Resolution Strategies and Staff Effectiveness in Selected Federal Universities in Nigeria

Evuarherhe Veronica Abolo and Olatunde Oguntoye

Conflict is inevitable in all organizations, and the university being a center of learning, with diverse needs is not left out. The study examined the different conflicts occurring in the Nigerian South-West federal universities and their impact on staff effectiveness. The academic and the non-academic staff of the three South-West federal universities in Nigeria constituted the population for the study from which 1385 participants were selected as samples. The survey research design was adopted for the study. The stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used to select the sample from the three unions in the selected universities. Two sets of research instrument namely: Conflict and Staff Effectiveness Questionnaire (CSEQ) and an interview schedule were used for data collection. Three research questions and two research hypotheses were answered and tested in the study. The research questions were answered using descriptive statistics of percentages, frequencies, and means while the hypotheses were tested using inferential statistics of T-Test and Pearson Product Moment Correlation. The findings of the study are that conflicts were significantly related to staff effectiveness and that the effectiveness of the academic staff was affected more than that of the non-academic staff during conflicts. The study recommended the need for the Nigerian South-West federal universities and the federal government to embark on morale booster programs for the university staff.

Attaining 21 Century Skills in a Virtual Classroom

Caitlin Riegel and Alice Kozen

As society moves further into the 21st century and focuses on becoming more global, current and future learners will need to meet another set of requirements that are viewed as quality indicators and necessary dimensions for future success. These requirements are outlined by The NationalEducation Association as the “Four Cs” of 21st century skills. They include communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, and creativity. Typically, these skills are taught in traditional settings as the instructor and students interact face-to-face. However, the “Four Cs” can be achieved in online environments as well through the use of various forms of technology. This article addresses teaching and learning the four quality indicators within a virtual classroom. Digital resources that address each of the “Four Cs” and tie into content learning are identified and described. Through the use of the recommended resources, virtual classrooms may have more to offer than seated classrooms in terms of attaining and becoming proficient in the 21st century skills. Further, these recommendations offer a valuable service for making online instruction more effective by way of a comprehensive list of digital resources.

Examining Student Behavior under Two Correlated Color Temperature Levels of Lighting in an Elementary Classroom

Alana Pulay, Marilyn Read, Elif Tural and Seunghae Lee

Numerous studies suggest a correlation between a school’s physical environment and children’s academic success. A variable within the classroom environment that has received little attention in the literature is the interior lighting. It is known that higher levels of correlated color temperature (CCT) lighting influence worker productivity in a workplace or laboratory setting. The CCT is the color of light emitted from a light source ranging from low (red) to high (blue). It is therefore necessary to uncover if a higher CCT level of lighting compared to the typically specified lower CCT level of lighting would influence student productivity and academic success in a classroom environment. This is a mixed method within-subjects case study designed to observe student behaviors as a way to gauge student productivity and academic success. Two different CCT levels of fluorescent lighting, which is the standard lighting fixture in most American public school classrooms, were installed in an existing second grade classroom using an ABAB study design. The study utilized both behavior mapping techniques to record student physical locations in the room and a time sampling non-participate observation technique to record on-task behaviors of the students for a duration of 5 months. The findings on the relation between the CCT of the lighting fixtures and student on-task behavior in an elementary classroom concluded that the higher CCT of the lighting the more student on-task behaviors were (p =.038) even while more male students physically moved around the classroom. This study has practical implications to facility managers and school officials interested in bettering classroom physical environments to advance student academic success.