Monthly Archives: February 2012

Faculty prescriptions for academic integrity: An urban campus perspective (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

With alarming frequencies students are viewing the acts of academic dishonesty as commonplace. Cheating is now considered an alternative form of academic behavior which is situationally dependent upon the risks involved. Any apparent institutional, faculty, and student indifference to academic dishonesty communicates to students that the values of integrity are not sufficiently important to justify a serious effort to instill them. One means of combating academic dishonesty is to involve faculty that sit at the heart of the higher educational system. Faculty can conduct their courses to uphold the institutions academic integrity policies. This study investigated faculty training regarding academic dishonesty, the dissemination of academic integrity expectations to students, faculty perceptions of academic integrity in the classroom, faculty responses to incidents of academic dishonesty, and faculty familiarity with the University of Pittsburghs School of Arts and Sciences Academic Integrity Code.

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Making meaning of decisions and multiple agency roles in complex moral dilemmas among experienced pastoral mentors: A phenomenographic study (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

This study examined the qualitatively different ways in which experienced pastoral mentors made meaning of multiple agency roles when faced with decision-making during a moral dilemma. The framework of agency, traditionally discussed on a single plane, was viewed as occurring on complex, multiple levels in life, affecting the decision-making observed in the exemplary value traits of mentors. These mentors were seen as those whom psychologist Abraham Maslow 1970) described as peak performers. Phenomenography was used to better understand the variation in ways participants made meaning of both their decision-making and their multiple agency roles. Seven participants provided data through in-depth, semi-structured, open-ended, qualitative interviews that were examined using phenomenography, Maslows model of peak-experience traits, and the biblical model of the Fruit of the Spirit traits. Mentors made meaning of decision-making through categories of faith, values, past experiences, outcomes, and moral dilemmas. Life experience played a key role in how their decisions changed over time. They also perceived multiple agency in categories of stratified, prioritized, prioritized/unified, and unified agency. The study findings support both trait models. The findings also suggest understanding of both trait and agency theories that was not present in the literature reviewed. KEY WORDS: Leadership, Mentoring, Decision-making, Ethics, Agency

Cultural differences in the experience of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD in a son: Interviews with three Mexican and three Caucasian American mothers (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

As the world becomes increasingly ethnically diverse, the need for empirically sound multicultural research has come to the forefront. Based on a review of the literature, while research on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD) is abundant and some research on cultural issues regarding ADHD has been produced, there is relatively little research on the Mexican culture and ADHD. The current study explored the experiences of Mexican and Caucasian American mothers of boys with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in order to compare and contrast differences between the two cultural groups. Three Mexican immigrant and three Caucasian American mothers were interviewed regarding their experiences of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD in their sons. The interviews were conducted in a semi-structured format with open-ended questions allowing pariticipants to offer more information than might have been anticipated by the researcher. The interview addressed issues that typically arise during the identification and assessment of a behavioral problem, diagnosis of ADHD, and treatment of ADHD. Participants were recruited from a mental Health agency in Los Angeles, California located in a service area with a high Mexican immigrant population. All participants were required to have sons who had been diagnosed with ADHD. Mexican participants were required to meet criteria ensuring that they were culturally Mexican and Caucasian American participants were required to meet criteria ensuring that they were culturally American. Several differences were expected to be found between the two groups based upon research available regarding Latinos and mental Health including differences in the acceptance of a diagnosis of ADHD, the use of treatment, the degree to which parents are involved with the assessment process, the amount of stress experienced, and the awareness and utilization of resources. Surprisingly, expected differences were not seen among the six women in this study. Explanations for why the differences were not seen are explored including limitations of the research. Other subtle differences were seen that had been unplanned for and those are explored. The recruitment of Mexican participants was a significant difficulty throughout this study. This issue is explored, including possible explanations and suggestions for future researchers. Suggested directions for future research include research with a larger group of Mexican mothers, research in other locations, research of other Latino subcultures, research of mothers of girls with ADHD, and research including fathers.

Creation-spirituality practices for cultivating interdependent relationships in the Korean American church (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

Because of the church conflicts and splits, the Korean American church is unhealthy, and it is too weak to lead society and young people in spite of the churchs great growth. Therefore, both pastors and congregations need to renew their understanding of the relationships that cause conflicts and splits, and their ministries according to the understanding of the spiritual maturity of individuals and the idea of a vital community. The Korean American church must practice new spirituality in a changing world. Now, the most pressing concern dealing with a successful ministry in the Korean American church is to initiate and sustain growth in the interdependent relationships both internally and externally. With this approach, the Korean American church could once again revive and play an important role in Gods mission in America and the world. It is important for new and mature Christians not only to develop habits of devotion to God, but also to develop interdependent relationships with other Christians and the rest of humankind through spiritual practices. In order to develop relationships, the effects of negative Korean traditional, cultural factors and influences must be healed. This project proposed that this can be accomplished through creation-spirituality practices offered by Matthew Fox.

An examination of gender, home language, self-appraisals, and mathematics achievement among Hispanic youth (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

Hispanic youth are at particular risk for negative educational outcomes, including grade retention, dropout, and lower educational attainment. The current study examines the mathematics achievement of Hispanic youth (716 girls and 675 boys) utilizing data from the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Evaluative and affective self-appraisals regarding mathematics are examined, in addition to future educational aspirations. These constructs are examined separately for girls and boys and by what level of English is spoken in the home. Analyses include Pearson correlations, z-tests using Fisher’s r — z transformation, ANOVA, and multiple regression procedures. The results can be used to advance our understanding of the interplay between self-perceptions and achievement. In addition, the findings can provide further insights to guide teachers, educators, administrators, and school psychologists when seeking to promote, support, and increase the mathematics achievement of Hispanic youth.

The career paths of mathematics and science teachers in high need schools (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

High-poverty schools typically have higher levels of attrition than other schools, particularly in mathematics and science. Financial incentives have often been used to attract teachers to high need schools and subjects. Despite extensive investments in these incentives and extensive research regarding recruitment and retention, little is known about how these areas interact with one another over teachers’ careers. The purpose of this study is to address the lack of integration of these areas by investigating the career paths of 38 Noyce scholars. Acceptance of the Noyce funding requires teaching in high-need schools for two years. Grounded theory methodology was guided by the research question: What are Noyce scholars’ reasons for the decisions made on the career path of becoming and remaining teachers in high need schools? Analysis resulted in an explanatory model of the “pathway to retention in high need schools.” The model indicates that the career paths of teachers in high need schools are complex and interactive. Interactions among the reasons the scholars chose to enter teaching, their school setting, community, teacher Education and the Noyce funding appear to play a role in their eventual satisfaction and retention. The study has implications for the recruitment and retention of teachers in high need schools.

The effects of intercollegiate athletic participation on student academic achievement and leadership performance in a selective institution (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of various intensity levels of athletic participation on academic and leadership performance in a selective institution. For the purpose of this study a retrospective analysis of existing admissions and student performance data was conducted. The continuous dependent variables were academic and leadership performance scores. The categorical independent variables were the three intensity levels of athletic participation (high commitment athletes, moderate commitment athletes, general population students), gender and race. The subjects for this study included 4977 of the 4998 students that graduated from a selective institution from 1992 through 1996. Results of this study provide evidence that participation in college athletics did not hinder student academic performance in a selective institution. Even athletes that participated in high commitment athletics were found to reach their academic potential in this setting. These findings are attributed to the institutional policies that allowed athletes to remain integrated within the student body as a whole. It remains unclear; however, which policies had the greatest impact on the academic success of athletes in this investigation. In a separate analysis, athletic participation was found to negatively influence high commitment athlete’s leadership performance scores in a selective institution. Given the scarcity of published research examining the influence of athletic participation on leadership development, the findings of this investigation may form the foundation upon which future studies will build upon. The implications for this study provide insight for future research and allow for the advancement of current theory on the complex role of intercollegiate athletics and its influence on the academic and leadership performance of college students.

Publishing in refereed journals: Perceptions, challenges, and strategies (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

This study examines the first time publishing experience of non-native English speaking doctoral students at three public universities in Hong Kong. The purpose was to gain an understanding of the perceptions of Hong Kong non-native English speaking doctoral students as writers of journal articles, their difficulties in getting papers published in refereed journals, the strategies they use to cope with difficulties ranging from writing to publishing, and their perceptions of their training on research publications in Hong Kong. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with six non-native English speaking applied linguistics doctoral students in Hong Kong, interviewees’ various drafts and the final version of the first refereed journal paper, journal reviewers’ comments on the interviewees’ papers, my correspondence with journal editors, mission statements of journals, and content/theme in that particular issue of the final published paper. Results show that a majority of the interviewees exhibited mixed feelings towards writing in English for publication. Lacking motivation and lacking confidence were typical problems encountered by Hong Kong doctoral students in publishing in refereed journals. This study suggests strategies to cope with the difficulties in academic publishing and discusses its contributions to research, theory, and practice.

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An empirical study of the influence of social networking on the transfer of tacit knowledge and job performance (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

Research and consultant work has surfaced examples of the financial benefits of transferring knowledge within an organization. However, for these benefits to be realized the environment must be conducive to learning von Krogh, 1998; von Krogh, Kazuo, & Nonka, 2000) and to socialization. Socialization is a key component in the sharing or relay of tacit knowledge Busch, Richards, & Dampney, 2003; Haldin-Herrgard, 2000; Hauschild et al., 2003; Leonard & Sensiper, 1998) because it serves to expand ones network of resources Seufert, von Krogh, & Bach, 1999) and is a source of justification of an individuals beliefs von Krogh et al, 2000). Tacit knowledge and thus Social networks have a strong connection to job performance. The study reviewed how Social/work networks of twelve individuals were created, expanded, and managed. These individuals have been in their current role/assignment for one to three years. The twelve individuals represented many employment sectors — not-for-profit organizations, government, Education, religious, and business. The individuals were mostly split evenly by gender, almost all were not directly promoted to fill a position vacated by their prior direct manager, and most individuals had to relocate to their new position. The study focused on how a primary research subject) added new individuals to their network. Four phases seemed to emerge — identification, preparation, decision to add and establishing a common bond. Identification and preparation varied considerably by individual. Finding common ground provided the foundation to establish the relationship. At times, common ground was identified through the sharing of personal information and trust. Once added to a network, contacts were maintained through a variety of communication channels. Each primary had his or her own channel preference e.g. email, phone), but would adapt the choice of communication channel to the situation. Communication frequency and the method of maintaining contact information also varied. Data outlined two key benefits — accessibility to others, which is the ability to leverage ones network to get to a person that they could not access otherwise, and the compounding effect, where the contacts from others networks become accessible or even added into the primarys network.

Challenges in education: A study of safety in service-learning (Education Papers posted on February 29th, 2012 )

Service-learning has been defined as a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. The effective application of this strategy often requires student participation beyond the safety of the classroom in a wide variety of environments containing different potential safety issues. It is important to determine potential challenges that service-learning presents to safety and prescribe effective measures that reduce risk and enhance the service-learning experience. This study sought to identify safety issues arising in the field to determine the unique nature of safety with regards to service-learning in an effort to promote responsible application. In this study, six service-learning practitioners participated in a qualitative panel discussion of their experiences related to safety in service-learning. The study identified 12 themes emerging from an analysis of the panels experiences essential to safe practice. The themes were communication, preplanning, project familiarity, project appropriateness, student conduct, service impact, student ownership, adult supervision, community partner, administration, parental consent, and transportation. The study concluded with recommendations for further study, including a recommendation to develop a practical theory or model of safe service-learning practice.