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Showing papers in "Journal of Research Initiatives in 2017"


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the challenges faced by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) due to their lack of accreditation and the lack of endowment dollars available to them.
Abstract: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are facing challenges to their continued existence on several entities. One is fiscally, as federal funding for education has been cut and the responsibility for paying for higher education has been levied on students and parents. Another challenge is the amount of endowment dollars available to them and lastly, there are questions today as to if HBCUs are still needed in a society that has allowed African-Americans to enroll in Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Both of these challenges are contingent on the most critical issue – accreditation. The loss of accreditation of units and entire institutions has forced several HBCUs to shutter their doors. In 2016 alone, four presidents were fired due, in part, to accreditation and budgetary shortfalls. HBCUs are more than learning institutions; they are also cultural and economic incubators in their localities and regions. The closure of HBCUs creates a loss of valuable opportunities for first generation students of all races, a loss of diverse researchers, and the loss of voices in our American society. Introduction Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are Black academic institutions established prior to 1964 whose principal mission was, and still is, the education of Black Americans (Roebuck & Murty, 1993, p. 3). This singular mission is sometimes at odds with HBCUs aspiring to, acquiring and maintaining individual units and overall university accreditation. In order to earn the HBCU designation, the school must be accredited or working toward accreditation in their states and can be junior colleges or have programs that work toward a bachelor’s degree. “Ashmum Institute, now Lincoln University, was the first all-African American institution to remain in its original location, award baccalaureate degrees, and develop completely into a degree-granting college” (Harper, Patton & Wooden, 2009). HBCUs have been around for over 156 years and have served as a beacon in the African-American community for vocational, professional, political, and scholarly education. The roots of designation started in Congress. Justin Morrill, a congressional representative from Vermont, championed legislation in 1862 for each state to have land set aside to establish agriculture and vocational/mechanical arts. The rights for Blacks to receive these opportunities were minimal or nonexistent. Therefore, because of the \"educational segregation of the Southern states, a subsequent Morrill Land Grant Act, enacted in 1890, established sixteen Black colleges to serve the same purpose for the African American population\" (Justiz, Wilson, & Björk, 1994, p. 198). These new schools, and some that had previously been created, were all now known as \"the 1890 HBCUs: Accreditation Journal of Research Initiatives 2 colleges' to distinguish them from the 1862 land grant colleges\" (Justiz, Wilson, & Björk, 1994, p. 198). Southern states simply opened the new colleges and excluded Blacks. Some educators, such as Paul Barringer of the University of Virginia, were against educating these freed men. He said it was foolish to try to educate the former slaves while there are so many poor whites who needed training for the same jobs. In stating his case, Barringer emphasized, \"We cannot equip both, and to equip the Negro to the neglect of the poor white would be a grave political error and an economic absurdity\" (Brooks, 1996, p. 241). The second Morrill Act demanded the southern states to create schools to educate the freed men. Unfortunately, as is reality now, the funding for these two groups of institutions were never equal or fair. Even with the differences in funding, \"this second Morrill Act did eventually give rise to several historically Black agricultural and mechanical colleges\" (Jones-Wilson, Asbury, Okazawa-Rey, Anderson, Jacobs, & Fultz, 1996, p. 18). Present-day funding is tied to institutional outcomes – from accreditation to enrollment to assessment. Accreditation is a way in which an institution is perceived as having legitimacy and transparency in the manner it is structured and operational. Most accreditation bodies of higher education institutions and programs require that programs assess their effectiveness. These accreditation processes often require self-study of individual programs as well as the institution in and of itself (DavidsonShivers, Inpornjivit & Sellers, 2004). Accreditation is an essential system for recognizing professional and educational programs affiliated with those institutions as having standards, a level of performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public. The study of accreditation is important because it helps the public and other stakeholders have a record of the practices and procedures that govern institutions of higher learning. Institutional agencies look at the operation of the entire college or university. The administration of institutions of higher education is a complex, challenging, and, in many instances, frustrating undertaking. The administrator must deal with many groups, including students, faculty, other administrators, federal, state, and local governing agencies, accreditation agencies, business and professional organizations, service clubs, and alumni. This paper looks at how HBCUs operate as institutions. “Institutional Theory is an emergent set of theoretical arguments about the influence of broader sets of societal values, cultural theories, ideologies, perceptions on organizational structures, and practices.” (Heck, 2004, p. 150) Institutional theory provides an alternative to technical-rational conceptions of organizations. This perspective on organizations “flows from a general institutional theory of social organization, which explains that the behavior of actors, both individual and collective, expresses externally enforced institutions rather than internally derived goals” (Crawford, Kydd, & Riches, 1997, p. 14). \"Institutional theory stresses that organizational adaptation occurs due to institutional pressures for legitimacy rather than market pressures for efficiency” (Greenwood and Hinings, 1996). HBCU administrators work within this framework of having their units, focused as primarily teaching institutions, while attempting to have at least some working professionals on staff. Many of these administrators have found that having media professionals, in the various fields, to join their faculty, as both adjuncts and lecturers is a way to meet current best practices at accredited institutions. “Institutional theory is powerful in demonstrating the way in which organizations are linked to their environment; the role of agency is underestimated. It is therefore important to examine the processes by which strategic choice is exercised within organizations (Child, 1972). The administrators’ challenge is to make their units as successful as they can. They define HBCUs: Accreditation Journal of Research Initiatives 3 success in different ways and institutional theory works because it does not give a template as to what makes the organization a success. \"Institutional isomorphism stresses legitimacy over efficiency, thereby allowing for the persistence of inefficient, but legitimate, organizations\" (Poole & Van De Ven, 2004, p. 136). HBCUs, whose primary missions were to be teaching schools, have an outstanding record of achieving and maintaining accreditation for their teaching units. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is one accreditation that HBCUs have proven to master. NCATE is a national accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education. NCATE determines which schools, colleges, and departments of education meet rigorous national standards in preparing teachers and other school specialists for the classroom (NCATE, 2004). Colleges and universities with Schools of Education have had to evolve with current laws and social mores. There is only one national organization whose direct actions have affected the question of who should be accredited in a particular state. This organization, which is without legal status, is a voluntary agency known as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). So, how can HBCUs, being so sound in maintaining NCATE standards, be failing in other accreditation models? HBCUs have closed their doors or been in danger of closing in the last several years. This paper examines the missions and accreditation of HBCUs, the governance challenges at these institutions, and student recruitment and retention, along with possible avenues for the future success of HBCUs. HBCU Governance: Challenges and Successes Researchers have examined the leadership and governance of colleges and universities during the last decade. The topic of accreditation has been researched, primarily regarding online degrees, also during this period. However, the paucity of specific research on how accreditation and HBCUs intersect has been lacking in the leading educational and journalism academic journals. Educational leadership within a college or university’s units makes them strong and, at times, vulnerable for failure if the leaders are not able to work within the unit’s mission statement and culture, yet be innovative enough to look forward for opportunities for institutional success. Decision-making contexts can be affected by structural, cultural, or situational distinctions that leaders of these institutions must take into account. If governance is the structure by which decisions are made determining the direction of a campus, then research on what affects decisionmaking is important. While the distinctiveness of HBCUs is widely recognized, defining what contextual aspects potentially affect decision-making practices has not been a focal point of scholarship (Minor, 2004

14 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present an analytical perspective of global transformational leadership and its role based upon ideological issues in cultural relevance, ethics and social responsibility, which can be used to control the cognitive practice.
Abstract: Grounded in transformational leadership theory (Northouse 2010) this paper presents an analytical perspective of global transformational leadership and its role based upon ideological issues in cultural relevance, ethics and social responsibility. Interests in global transformational leadership is increasing due to interdependence of cultural, global, economic, and political issues that require the collaboration and networking efforts of leaders. The researchers examined these issues and ideologies using a metacognitive lens to further the research on global transformational and organizational leadership programs of study in higher education. Introduction The discourse on the topic of global transformational leadership is gaining interest and great momentum in the field of leadership development and leadership studies. Due to the interconnectedness of our global societies through environmental health, environmental policies, politics and economics, the need for leaders capable of leading change within organizations capable of creating networks of global impact is a research-intensive concern. Transformational leadership is known well in leadership programs of study, however global transformational leadership is yet emerging, evolving and becoming more defined. Transformational leadership involves the engagement of others creating connections raising motivation and morality levels of leaders and followers (Northouse, 2013). As the interconnectedness of global trade, foreign policy, common global concerns based on terrorism, and environmental welfare continue, more global leadership will be essential to ensure the appropriate uses of resources including human capital that ensure safe and healthy global societies. This paper attempts to combine the tenets of transformational leadership and globalization offering the potential impact of global transformational leadership. Global Transformational Leadership The leadership characteristics and related issues presented by Ellwood (2010), Etzioni (2014) and Hofstede (2010) offer relative arguments for global transformational leadership. In considering global transformational leadership, it is essential to examine some of the main ideologies. Global transformational leadership could potentially be a model for management and operations locally, nationally, and globally for implementation on all levels of government, throughout various organizations, institutions and businesses. Of significance are the ideologies that drive the global economy, global leadership and the conceptual framework for how these entities impact businesses, institutions and organizations and cultures (DeVoss, Jasken, & GLOBAL TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP Journal of Research Initiatives 2 Hayden, 2002). The dynamics of cultural relevancy, ethics and social responsibilities that shape policies are among the ideologies examined in this paper. To better understand the dynamics of ideologies a metacognitive approach is useful. Metacognition is a cognitive practice that should be encouraged by global leaders. Metacognition can be used to control the cognitive practice. This practice can empower and compel the development of meta-reflective strategies to reflect and implement greater problem solving skills needed for global transformational leadership (Williamson, 2014). America and other western countries need to balance cultural ideologies. Cultural relevancy, ethics and social responsibilities are among ideologies and practices that have a major impact on globalization. Hickman (2010) posits that little attention has been given to the role of culture in determining appropriate and effective leadership strategies useful in preventing conflict between groups. Nonetheless, it is advisable that organizations consider cultural differences due to the increase of globalization in the business sector. (Morrison, 2001) suggests that global leaders have the ultimate responsibility of defining many aspects of ethical behavior for themselves and the broader organization. For global leaders, integrity is demonstrated at two levels: interactions that are external to the company and interactions that are internal to it. External interactions include those activities through which organizations are represented to the outside world. Internal interactions are those that involve individuals or groups within an organization (Morrison, 2001). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) offers insurance against management lapses. The practical need for CSR as brand insurance comes from changing social expectations, affluence, and globalization (Werther & Chandler, 2005). CSR is regarded as voluntary corporate commitment to exceed the explicit and implicit obligations imposed on a company by society's expectations of conventional corporate behavior. Hence, CSR is a way of promoting social trends in order to enhance society's basic order, which is defined as consisting of obligations that cover both the legal framework and social conventions (Flack & Heblich,

13 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, a study has been conducted in a number of primary-education schools of a central region in Greece, where generally there are no monitoring practices followed, concerning the work stress of educators and their relevant support.
Abstract: Work-related stress and burnout is a reality in modern society, because the lack of time and the high work demands seem increasingly intensified. Thus, the study of working conditions and the factors that affect the physical and mental health becomes even more imperative. Professions that are particularly stressful are those where there is daily contact with people, for example, doctors, nurses, social workers, or school leaders. Besides administrative and official duties, modern principals perform additional functions such as the organization and management of schools, the coordination of people who are involved in the teaching and operational process and they intervene to reform and upgrade the work of their schools. In addition, they must have skills like cooperation ability, be knowledgeable in the psychology of individuals and groups, have perceptual and observation ability, administrative imagination and energy, have managerial experience and solid scientific training. Since burnout is the result of chronic work-related stress, the purpose of this study is to record the specific factors that create professional stress to school leaders and their correlation with burnout and other features, like gender or experience. This study has been conducted in a number of primary-education schools of a central region in Greece, where generally there are no monitoring practices followed, concerning the work stress of educators and their relevant support. Thus, it is perceived as a prerequisite for the designing of any supportive services and activities, if necessary. Introduction In modern society, the obligations of school leaders are not confined to handling issues of administrative nature but are urged to work methodically, to support, encourage and facilitate the learning process, to communicate with parents and the local community and to envision a better future (Kruse, 2001). Consequently, the traditional role of the principal as administrator and bureaucrat tends to slowing be diminishing. According to Stravakou (2003) and AthanasoulaReppa (1999), besides accomplishing administrative and official duties, modern principals perform additional functions such as the organization and management of schools, the coordination of people that are involved in the teaching/operational process and they intervene to reform and upgrade the work of their schools. In addition, they must have skills like: cooperation Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 ability; be knowledgeable in the psychology of individuals and groups; have perceptual and observation ability, administrative imagination and energy; have managerial experience, and solid scientific training (Anagnostopoulou, 2001; Saitis et al., 1997). Moreover in Greece, principals have additional educational obligations (exerting educational work in class; teaching duties). The Greek educational system is characterized as centralized, since the central government (Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs) has the decisive authority for most administrative issues (Mavrogiorgos, 2005). In this context, school managers are called both to play an active role in innovations and reforms and, on the other hand, are faced with conditions that reduce their effectiveness and cause feelings of uncertainty, insecurity and confusion (Papanaoum, 2003). Within this framework, it has been argued that school leaders should acquire counseling skills (Papakitsos & Argyriou, 2017), but they also need, potentially, an advisory support mechanism for reducing the degree of work stress and burnout. The first step of establishing such a mechanism is to identify the factors causing burnout herein, after presenting the relevant elementary concepts and definitions (Stress; Work-related Stress; Burnout). Stress The term stress is used in psychology, physiology, chemistry, neuroscience, social and clinical psychology, in most cases with different reference points (Bezevegkis, 2001). In the 17th century, the English word stress denoted the suffering and discomfort, while later, in the late 18th century, this term implied coercion, pressure on the person or on the mental powers of the individual (Cooper et al., 2002). According to Manos (1997), stress refers to those conditions which include disruptive feelings of anxiety and fear, in response to unrecognized and undetermined threats. Similarly, the majority of the definitions of stress (Lazarus, 1999; Levi, 2001; Fontana, 1989; Seley, 1956) emphasize the interaction of the individual with the environment. In particular, stress is defined as a response of mind and body that exceeds the individual’s abilities (Fontana, 1989). If the person is not able to meet the demands of the environment, it then leads to physical and psychological exhaustion. Additionally, it is considered as a mismatch situation between the individual capabilities and the environmental requirements (Kantas, 1995) or as a result of active interaction of the individual with the environment that may have psychological, physiological, and social factors, which are not necessarily independent of each other (Lazarus, 1999). Seley (1956) also defines stress as the body’s response to an external pressing situation, while Levi (2001) states that it is the failure to adapt to the requirements of the external environment in relation to the abilities and expectations of the person in the work environment which creates anxiety. When expectations are not verified, the body reacts by creating a state of anxiety and that is when the individual realizes that the demands of a situation are beyond reach (Sarafino (1999). Stress is divided into two types: (a) bio-normal and (b) pathological (Manos, 1997); or (a) good stress (“eurostress”) and (b) abnormal or bad (distress), according to Seley (1974). The first type of stress is created while the individual is trying to adapt to situations and stimuli that are Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 considered important and it is necessary for the mobilization of the individual (Seley, 1974). The second type is created when people adaptability to environmental conditions are lost, accompanied by various reactions such as aggression and irritability; this can have harmful effects on health (Seley, 1974). This creates problems in daily operation while the individual is trying to fulfill their objectives (Manos, 1997). In this case, the individual may express disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder. Regarding stress levels, Fontana (1989) reports that the level of stress that anyone experiences depends on a number of factors such as personality, age, sex, and the importance attributed to the event. Lazarus (1966) reported that stress levels depend on how a person perceives and interprets the environmental conditions from which it receives stimuli. Stress symptoms are divided into three categories (Athanasoula-Reppa, 2003; Kourtesi &

12 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore the factors that public school administrators felt promoted or inhibited the reading achievement of elementary children and find that the recurring themes that they perceived inhibited reading achievement were lack of early literacy exposure, lack of family support, and lack of teacher and parental expectations.
Abstract: The purpose of this study is was explore the factors that public school administrators felt promoted or inhibited the reading achievement of elementary children. The participants for this study were administrators who were employed at eleven Title I schools in North Carolina. The study used a qualitative design and collected data by phone interviews. Several overarching recurring themes and patterns surfaced that administrators perceived promoted reading achievement (a) family support, (b) early literacy exposure, and (c) teacher effectiveness and expectations. The recurring themes that they perceived inhibited reading achievement were (a) lack of early literacy exposure, (b) lack of family support, and (c) lack of teacher and parental expectations. Introduction Over the past decades, many programs have been implemented to address the concerns of low reading achievement among elementary students. However, despite these programs some elementary children continue to be low proficient in reading. According to a report published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (2010), failure to read proficiently by the end of third grade is linked to higher rates of school dropout. Webley (2011) referred to a study conducted by Hernandez, a sociology professor at the City University of New York, who found that 26 percent of third-graders who lived in poverty and not able to read on grade level would eventually drop out or fail to graduate on time. Poor reading comprehension continues to be a dominant trend among elementary students, especially those attending Title I schools. Even though federal dollars have made it possible to detect the early warning signs of low reading performance, many Title I students continue to lack mastery in reading. Therefore, research is needed to understand exactly why this is a continued pattern in public schools and most importantly, how educators can begin to resolve this phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that public school administrators felt promoted or inhibited the reading achievement of elementary children. The following research questions guided this study: 1. What are administrators’ perceptions of the factors that promote students’ reading achievement? 2. What are administrators’ perceptions of the factors that inhibit students’ reading achievement? Economically Disadvantaged Students and Education Research is necessary to find solutions to stop the catastrophe of economically deprived individuals’ failure to obtain an education, it is society’s responsibility to ensure that an equal Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 education system is available to all children (Ford, Watson, & Ford, 2014). It is essential to investigate factors that inhibit the economically deprived child from scoring low on reading proficiency, which hinders them from being successful in a globally competitive society. According to Stinnett (2014), students from higher economically advantaged homes generally outperform students who come from lower socioeconomic families. This is mainly due to the availability of resources that are sometimes not available to children from low socioeconomic families. Hagans and Good (2013) also indicated that children from low socioeconomic backgrounds were more prone to reading difficulties, and these children were more likely to acquire persistent learning problems that may have long-term detrimental consequences. Stinnett (2014) claimed that students from low-income families enter high school five years behind those from high-income backgrounds. Again, this is contributed to the unequal distribution of wealth that separates one group from another, solely based on wealth. It is vital for individuals to obtain literacy skills that will enable them to excel and become productive citizens of society, and it is the responsibility of the school systems to provide the resources for all students’ success. Research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation 2014, found that children raised in economically disadvantaged homes encountered excessive levels of stress that impacted their health, brain development, and social and emotional well-being. Jensen (2009) stated that disadvantaged children are often left at home to fend for themselves while the guardian works strenuous hours. Ironically, it was noted that individuals from financially stable homes were unaware of the level of pressure that children from lowincome homes face on a daily basis. The researcher further noted that children raised in poverty face overwhelming challenges that affluent children never have to encounter. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of educators to close the achievement gap that exist among the two groups of students. However, despite the barriers that many low-income children face, studies have found that these children can be successful and resilient during their academic path. Fenske (2013) reported that low-income elementary children could be successful when teachers demonstrate positive perceptions and high expectations for these students. Simpson (2014) also found that low-income students were able to succeed against the odds in literacy because they had family support, a strong sense of self, and teachers who believed in their academic success. Promoting Reading Achievement Williams, Greenleaf, Albert, and Barnes (2014) found that school personnel play a critical role in the development of educational resilience among students labeled at-risk for school failure. Furthermore, the researchers mentioned that principals, support staff, and teachers should strive to do the following: 1. Bring together families, schools, and communities through collaborative efforts such as strength-based partnership programs. 2. Advocate for students in and out of school. 3. Learn more about the students’ lives outside of school. 4. Assist parents in understanding and navigating the politics of schools. 5. Assist parents in accessing social capital. 6. Integrate an ethic of care in school policies and practices. 7. Teach African American students about resiliency. 8. Integrate resiliency into daily duties. 9. Identify diverse forms of parent/caregiver involvement. 10. Provide different outlets for family participation. Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 Flynt and Brozo (2009) implied that ongoing mentoring and professional development should be offered to teachers by literacy coaches and others who have demonstrated knowledge and skills in connecting with students to help them achieve higher levels of reading. Jay (2011) explored the principal’s role in high-poverty schools with high literacy achievement, and found that collaboration, reflective practice, progress monitoring, literacy experts, and maintaining a climate that promotes trust and respect were all recurring themes that promoted literacy. Harris (2011) reported that organized structures that consisted of effective collaboration, data driven instruction, and effective decision making contributed to high reading scores. The Internet is certainly a way to reach out to all children, Flynt and Brozo (2009) indicated that the Internet is ultimately a major way to promote literacy and should be utilized in classrooms. The authors noted that teachers who do not have experience with social networking or YouTube are missing opportunities to connect to their students’ lives and interests. If teachers can make this personal connection with their students in the classroom, it will enhance all students’ literacy knowledge. The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2010) reported that all children are owed a fair and equal opportunity to succeed, and the nation’s workforce, employers, and universities would benefit from a larger population of high school graduates who are prepared to compete in a globally competitive society. According to research, it is suggested that school personnel strive to develop trusting relationships with their students and make personal connections during instruction to their students’ lives and personal interests (Davis, Gableman, & Wingfield, 2011; Flynt & Brozo, 2009). Davis et al., (2011) studied first graders’ relationship with teachers as a means for promoting achievement. Through an interview protocol they were able to determine that lowincome children felt more confident when they trusted their teachers. It is imperative that educators show students that they believe in them by forming positive relationships so that achievement gains can happen for all children. Research found that when students participated in cooperative learning, their academic achievement revealed significant growth (Wilson-Jones & Caston, 2004). According to McNair (2006), cooperative learning implemented in many schools has shown a positive influence on students’ academic achievement. Zarei and Keshavarz (2011) reported that cooperative learning had statistically significant effects on both vocabulary and reading comprehension. The researchers further voiced that cooperative learning is imperative to the school curriculum and the academic success of children. Method This study used a qualitative design. Obtaining qualitative data allowed the researcher to capture rich data from the participants on their perceptions of the factors that promoted or inhibited reading achievement in elementary Title I schools. Bellenger, Bernhardt, and Golstucker (2011) stated that choosing a qualitative design allows a researcher to understand how individuals feel and think. Therefore, this approach allowed the researchers to focus on the administrators’ feelings, experiences, and thoughts. The qualitative approach also enabled the researchers to better understand administrators’ perceptions of the factors that they perceived contributed to reading achievement. Creswell (2013) reported that qualitative research steps consist of orga

8 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Zhao et al. as mentioned in this paper conducted a phenomenological study of five Chinese students in the USA, engaged in the process of English language communication, and found that despite their best efforts, they encountered struggles that choked their expressions.
Abstract: Increasingly more students from China are looking to the USA for learning opportunities. Despite being beneficial for both stakeholders, this phenomenon has some deep-rooted issues pertaining to cross cultural language acquisition barriers that may be preventing such learners from reaching their full potential in academic accomplishments. This phenomenological study of five Chinese students in the USA, engaged in the process of English language communication, is a step towards understanding this phenomenon. The study’s findings led to the development of a new metaphorical paradigm (Looking Glass Effect Paradigm) to explain the key issues faced by such learners, a new pedagogical approach (Globally Infused Pedagogy), and an innovative teaching strategy recommendation (Customized Learning Camp) to assist Chinese learners in gaining English language competencies. Introduction Once upon a time, not too long ago, five students from Asia stepped through the looking glass, and crossed the vast oceans to come to this far away land in the West that they believed was a land of opportunities. They had worked hard to be here, and were prepared to work even harder to stay. While they did meet many people, and made many friends, they were still not quite able to make their voices heard. Despite their best efforts, they encountered struggles that choked their expressions. Does the story sound somewhat familiar? If it does, the information in this paper will take you on an empathetic journey. If it does not, the same information will provide insights to a critical issue prevalent in the US academic world. This is not just the story of five Asian students’ struggles to make sense of their learning challenges, and reflecting upon strategies that may help ease their arduous journey through the prickly forest of English writing. This is relevant and important for every person experiencing the phenomenon of being born in a logographic language system like Chinese, facing challenges as they interact with an alphabetical language universe: The English ‘languageverse’. The paper reports the findings of a Phenomenological study on Chinese graduate students’ perceptions of their English writing and communication experiences in the United States. The metaphor of the ‘Looking Glass’ has been used to discuss the findings, which will be explained in subsequent sections. The study focused specifically on graduate students for compelling reasons. Graduate students from China who are in the United States have gone through rigorous English training, both in China (Lin, 2002), and several years of academic experience in the United States. However, despite their exposure to English long-term, the challenges of writing in English remain, which indicates that whatever learning process they had ENGLISH WRITING CHALLENGES Journal of Research Initiatives 2 been through thus far did not work, at least not to its full potential. This could be because the degree of differences between the Chinese and English languages influences the way the native language users perceive, interpret, assimilate and eventually translate information. This creates a unique set of challenges that place Chinese learners who are from a logographic background, within ill-structured spaces when faced with writing assignments in English. The level and uniqueness of this challenge may prevent learners from constructing usable knowledge without appropriate interventions in all stages of learning English, and can eventually prove demotivating. In such cases, providing a bevy of support, including specific and more frequent feedback, may be a better strategy for knowledge transfer. Additionally, despite efforts to push English language learning for its citizens, the Chinese government is trading quantity for quality. The ‘Gaokao System’ of English training in China focuses solely on preparing students for test taking, which does not prepare students for real applications of the language in communications (Li, 2012; Wong, 2015). Zhao (2014) argues that the authoritarian nature of Chinese education is responsible for a majority of issues with students’ lack of applicable knowledge. “Such an education system, while being an effective machine to instill what the government wants students to learn, is incapable of supporting individual strengths, cultivating a diversity of talents, and fostering the capacity and confidence to create” (Zhao, 2014, p. 9). Since the exact causes of such challenges are not fully apparent, it is important to look at this phenomenon through the lens of graduate student experience, to identify some reasons for the low competency level despite extensive exposure to English. Finding such reasons would be valuable information that can be applied to redesigning curriculum when training undergraduate level students from this population with respect to English. Thus, this study sought answers to the questions: What are the characteristics pertaining to the phenomenon of Chinese graduate students’ experiences of writing in the English language? What are the perceptions of Chinese graduate students regarding support strategies like feedback to facilitate cross-cultural language writing? There is scant literature on the effects of feedback and other support mechanisms on logographic writing systems users within alphabetical language environments. The exposure of the two languages to each other is relatively recent, which is why there is a dearth of research and literature on how to handle such cross-language barriers in higher education. This study is also valuable in the context of the rapid increase in the population of Chinese students within the USA, coupled with the cultural and financial benefits they provide (NAFSA, 2013). For example, in 2014-2015, there were 304,040 Chinese students in the USA, who collectively contributed $9.8 billion into the U.S. economy through tuition and fees (IIE, 2016). Chinese learners favor the USA as a learning hub, and the USA wants to welcome them warmly due to cultural and financial benefits. Helping such a population will be mutually beneficial for all stakeholders. In addition, the findings discussed in this paper will be valuable for all international learners as a resource for information on enhancing learner experiences and performances. Literature Review The investigation applies Och’s (1989) Language Socialization Theory (LST) as the framework of inquiry. The selection of LST is based on the definition of theoretical framework as “the application of a theory, or a set of concepts drawn from one and the same theory, to offer an explanation of an event, or shed some light on a particular phenomenon or research problem” (Imenda, 2014, p. 189). LST is a good fit, given this description, as the study seeks to investigate and explain factors within the phenomenon of English writing experiences of Chinese ENGLISH WRITING CHALLENGES Journal of Research Initiatives 3 graduate students. Based on Imenda’s (2014) description of conceptual framework as a composite of concepts related to a phenomenon, some critical aspects of cross-cultural language acquisition and application, as supported in literature, are also discussed in this review section. The selection of literature is based on Creswell’s (2012, 2014) suggestion to include works that represent the relationships of things to the surroundings, as well as the worldviews of learners or researchers. Language Socialization Theory (LST): Theoretical Frame The theory propounds that people learn language through socialization and socialize through language. Thus, language socialization involves simultaneous learning of a language and associated culture. “Many formal and functional features of discourse carry sociocultural information. Part of the meaning of grammatical and conversational structures is sociocultural (Ochs, 1986, p.3). Based on Psycholinguist Nelson’s views (1981), Ochs (1989) argues, “children come to understand lexical items first in terms of their role in particular situational contexts of use and later in terms of properties that generalize across contexts of use” (p.3). This is fitting to the context of the study as socio-cultural aspects underpin some of the unique challenges Chinese students face in terms of gaining English language writing competencies. First, the Chinese learners’ ‘built environment’ is radically different from that of the United States’ learning environments, in which such learners are placed. ‘Built environments’, which is the name given to the concept of manmade surroundings designed for human activity, can be seen in physical, social, cultural and psychological realms (Rapoport, 1990). In addition, most Chinese students are novice learners when it comes to English language, given the magnitude of cultural differences and their historical underexposure to the native user culture. “A central tenet of language socialization research is that novices’ participation in communicative practices is promoted but not determined by a legacy of socially and culturally informed persons, artifacts, and features of the built environment” (Duranti, Ochs & Schieffelin, 2012, p.4). Language socialization research examines semiotic worldviews of novices’ engagement with culturebinding webs of meaning. “Language socialization also subscribes to the idea that a person may be an expert in one situation and a novice in another” (Duranti, Ochs & Schieffelin, 2012, p.17). The study seeks to verify the accuracy of these assumptions, by examining the participants’ experiences as novice learners of a foreign language, and its effects on their built environment, in the context of learning English in China and within the academic settings of the USA. Writing Systems: Logographic versus Alphabetic Based on the foci of the research questions (RQs), it is important to examine the differences existing between English and Chinese languages’ writing systems, as these are defining

7 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Gaston et al. as discussed by the authors examined the leadership experiences of African American women leaders in North Carolina community colleges and to shed light on the factors that impact their career advancement, including race and gender, leadership preparation, networking and building relationships.
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative research was to examine the leadership experiences of African American women leaders in North Carolina community colleges and to shed light on the factors that impact their career advancement. Twelve African American women leaders (directors, chairs, deans, vice presidents and presidents) who met the inclusion criteria were interviewed for this study. Through a triangulated data collection and analytical approach, a number of themes emerged on their experiences and factors that impacted the career advancement. The themes include race and gender, leadership preparation, networking and building relationships. The findings from this research have leadership, policy, and practical implications. Introduction African American women have served as college and university presidency positions since the beginning of the 19th century (Coleman, 2012; Gaston, 2015). The lineage of African American women presidents began in1904 when Mary McLeod Bethune found Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls in Daytona, Florida. During the course of her twentyyear presidency the school experienced growth from five students to over two hundred and fifty. In 1930, Dr. Anna Julia Cooper became president of Frelinghuysen University and served as a president and registrar for twenty years. Frelinghuysen University was designed to provide access to higher education for students in Washington, D.C (Gaston, 2015). In 1987, Dr. Johnetta Besch Cole became the first African American woman to lead Spelman College, which is an elite private historically Black liberal arts college for African American women in Atlanta, Georgia (Collins, 1987). In 1990, Marguerite Ross Barnett became president of the University of Texas. Dr. Barnett was the first African American woman appointed president of a major public institution of higher education in Texas (Glasrud & Pitre, 2008). In 1999, Dr. Shirley Jackson became the 18th president of Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. It is significant to note, that Dr. Jackson is reportedly one of the highest paid university presidents in the country (Gaston, 2015). In 2001, Dr. Ruth Simmons became the first African American woman to become president of Brown University, which is an Ivy League university. In 2007, Julianne Malveaux, a nationally known economist and author was selected to be the 15th president of Bennett College, an all-women private college located in Greensboro, NC (Pluvoise, 2007). Historically, African American women have successfully led colleges and universities for more than 100 years with little research on their leadership experiences and factors that impacted their advancement. Studies that examined the experiences of African American women administrators in community colleges were limited. The focal point for the majority of studies AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN Journal of Research Initiatives 2 and surveys on Blacks in higher education were on Black males. This study was intended to bridge the gap in literature by focusing on the experiences of African American women leaders in North Carolina community colleges. In 2006, women comprised of 23% of community college presidencies, however, White women were mostly represented in those leadership positions (American Council on Education, 2012). Eddy (2008) concluded that the next decade anticipates impressive changes within community college leadership in the United States based on the number of leaders that will retire from those positions. The purpose of this qualitative research was to examine factors that impact the career advancement of African American women leaders in North Carolina community colleges. Another focus of the study was to examine their experiences as leaders in those community colleges. The state of North Carolina is known for its fifty-eight (58) community colleges and it is the fourth largest community college system in the country with enrollment of over 880,000 students pursuing degrees in many fields. This study is significant as there is limited research on African American women in leadership positions in North Carolina community colleges. Research Questions This study was guided by the following research questions: 1. What are the leadership experiences of African American women leaders in North Carolina community colleges? 2. What are the perceptions of African American women leaders on factors that impact their advancement in leadership positions in North Carolina community colleges? Research Worldview and Theoretical Framework This research was grounded in a transformative worldview which supports that research inquiry needs to be connected with politics and a political change agenda to confront social oppression at any levels (Mertens, 2010). The research ends with an action plan for reform that may change the lives of the participants and the institutions in which the individuals work. It is important that research portray important social issues of today, such as inequality and oppression. This philosophical worldview targets the needs of groups and individuals in society that may be marginalized (Creswell, 2014). Research has shown that African American women encounter bias and discrimination in the workplace based on gender and race (Hamilton-Mason, Everett, & Hall, 2009). The theoretical framework for this research study is Black Feminist Theory which emerged out of the continuing marginalization perpetuated in and by the feminist movement, capturing the intersection of race and gender and recognizing the oppressive nature of gender construction and race as a social construct, which directly affect one’s experience (Harris, 2007). Black feminist thought came about during the era of abolitionists to end slavery. Black women were denied rights as humans, citizens, and were continually confronted with a system that desired to destroy them as both humans, and as women. The liberal reformer and abolitionist Sojourner Truth is dignified as the originator of Black feminist thought in the 19th century. Sojourner Truth was born as a slave and preached that slavery denied Black women motherhood, protection from exploitation, and devaluation of their innate feminine, womanly qualities (Ann, 2007). Black feminist theory has contributed significantly to contemporary and critical thinking about the social condition of African American women in the United States. Intersectionality and double jeopardy are both connected to Black feminist theory. In 1989, Black legal scholar Kimberle’ Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality in her astute essay, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN Journal of Research Initiatives 3 Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics” (as cited in Smith, 2014). Intersectionality examines the belief that race, gender, and social class intersect to produce a system of granting African American women with unequal levels of power and privilege (Lloyd-Jones, 2009). Intersectionality advocates the view that African American women’s experiences are different because they deal with issues of their race and gender. Black feminist centralizes and validates the intersecting dimensions of race and gender experienced in the lives of African American women. It is grounded on the assumption that the majority of Black women share commonalities, perceptions, and experiences (Henry & Glenn, 2009). Lloyd-Jones (2009) conducted a qualitative single case study approach to examine the lived experiences of an African American woman working as a senior level administrator in a predominantly White research university. At the time of the study, the participant was one of the highest-ranking African American women administrators employed at a predominantly White research university in the Southwest United States. Data were collected through in depth interviews held over two consecutive days and archival records. The findings suggest that the participants’ lived experiences are consistent with other African American women administrators in predominantly White campuses described in literature. Precisely, her experiences include both achievements and challenges, which suggest a dichotomous experience in that type of setting (Lloyd-Jones, 2009). Distinctive tenets of contemporary Black feminist thought include: 1. The belief that self-authorship and the legitimatization of partial, subjugated knowledge represents a unique and diverse standpoint of and by black women. 2. Black women's experiences with multiple oppressions result in needs, expectations, ideologies, and problems that are different from those of Black men and White women. 3. Black feminist consciousness in an ever-evolving self-reflective process toward Black women’s liberation through activism (Few, 2007; Ritzer & Ryan, 2011). 4. The placement of deleterious images of Black womanhood (Ritzer & Ryan, 2011). However, this study focused on the second tenet that those Black women experiences with multiple oppressions result in needs, expectations, ideologies, and problems that are different from those of Black men and White women. This tenet explains the importance women's experiences with multiple oppressions resulting in needs, expectations, ideologies, and problems that are different from those of Black men and White women (Ritzer & Ryan, 2011). History of the Community College The creation of the community college in America evolved from the need for skilled workers during the industrial revolution of the Twentieth Century (Historical Information, American Association of Community Colleges, n.d.). The first community colleges were housed on the campuses of local high schools. These community colleges were woven in the fabric of the communities that they served and existed in order to provide skilled and trained workers into the local industrial workforce. This community college model was created based on the belief that students were not

7 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors presented the widely accepted and required skills of a successful educational leader and the relevant skills of counselors for comparison and linking purposes, and the structure of the Greek educational system is also presented in order to demonstrate that educational leaders should acquire counseling skills.
Abstract: Contemporary educational leaders must manage complex school community processes in which many factors are involved, such as students, teachers, parents and the social environment, the different disciplines with their specific features, outdated infrastructure, limited financial resources, the relevant legislation, the superior educational authorities, etc. To resolve the problems that arise in a manner ensuring quality management that is not easily quantifiable, apart from the various models of educational administration that have been occasionally proposed, counseling skills can be a valuable asset in a context of multiple authority, as it is encountered in the Greek educational system. The acquirement of counseling skills is a valuable asset for educational leaders, in order to deal with the diversity of the encountered issues that arise within the complex social environment of schools. Therefore, the widely accepted and required skills of a successful educational leader and the relevant skills of a counselor are presented for comparison and linking purposes. The structure of the Greek educational system is also presented in order to demonstrate that educational leaders should acquire counseling skills. Thus, postgraduate studies that prepare teachers for leadership roles should include counseling courses in their curriculum. Introduction During the last decades, the interest of scientific research in the field of educational administration focuses on issues relating to the operation, improvement and effectiveness of schools that are treated both as relatively autonomous organizations and as part of a wider educational system. This focus of interest is linked to the educational policy of most countries of the Western world, as the priority of schools is to ensure high educational standards, operational infrastructure and high student performance. These are the conditions for the functional connection of schools to the labor market and knowledge productivity. The realization of such an objective requires both a central planning in the form of necessary adjustments to the content of knowledge, learning and assessment procedures, and adequately trained leaders who will both implement the planned innovations and will also accommodate any practices to the particularities of each school, as part of a broader educational and social environment (Raptis, 2006). In this context, the educational leaders (directors), both at the school level and at the local/regional levels, are requested to achieve a sense of balance and effective operation, the continuous upgrading of the educational work and provision of educational services, the school’s integration in the overall strategic planning of the local community and GREEK EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM Journal of Research Initiatives 2 its interface with other institutions, such as the society, the labor market and the institutions of knowledge production (universities, research institutes). As the society and the education system are becoming more complex, in circumstances where the crisis has become a structural parameter of the system, new needs are created to be served timely, accurately and efficiently. Here, the directors are required to perform efficiently multiple roles with appropriate responsibilities, being essentially asked to manage competing interests of different social groups with different cultures and attitudes. This situation results in issues related not only to the training of educational personnel and their ability to exercise power but also to taking a leading role both at school level and particularly at social consultation. Therefore, educational leaders must have increased formal and informal qualifications and of course to be able to manage the complexity of the local system, which are assigned to administrate. In the international literature, the importance of educational leadership emphasizes the effective functioning of the educational units, highlighting it as one of the most important factors of proper educational reality (e.g., Pasiardi, 1993; Bush & Jackson, 2002; Yukl, 2002; Hargreaves & Hopkins, 1991; Sergiovanni, 1994; 1992; 1984). In this context, counseling skills can be proved a valuable asset. Educational Counseling Leaders at all levels have a responsibility to assist and develop their team members through counseling and guidance. They also need to be both mentors and trainers. If leaders do not advise the members of their group, they do not do whatever is necessary to develop both the individuals and the team. If leaders fail to give advice, they have failed to fulfill a major leadership responsibility. People expect to hear how do they perform and have the right to ask for help and guidance from their leaders, who, in turn, support their subordinates to learn from the experience and knowledge of their leader. These interpersonal relationships facilitate personal development and better organization and performance of the team. It is an absolute requirement that leaders regularly advise the people that are responsible for their guidance. Counseling requires such actions that demonstrate knowledge, understanding, judgment and ability. They include learning and applying techniques for effective counseling skills that show a caring attitude and sincere interest the most efficient characteristic of effective counseling. Leaders must practically show their concern for the welfare of their personnel. To be effective, leaders-directors must set an example and be ethical in all personal and professional activities. They need to know their own tasks, the requirements of the working team-members and the possibilities and limitations of the individual members. They need to understand what methods of counseling are the most appropriate. Above all, they must demonstrate the standards of individual behavior and performance expected by their team-members. For developing appropriate attitudes and behaviors, they should be familiar with the specific aspects of effective Counseling. These include: 1. Flexibility: matching the Counseling style to the unique character of each person, depending on the type of the desired relationship. 2. Respect the view of other people as unique persons with their own beliefs, values and norms. 3. Communicate: establishing an open and bidirectional interaction with the team-members, using both verbal and non-verbal communication. Effective counselors listen more than talk. 4. Support: they support and encourage team-members through activities and by expressing an interest while they guide them through their problems. 5. Motivation: they give each team-member the opportunity to actively participate in the GREEK EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM Journal of Research Initiatives 3 counseling process and teach team-members the value of counseling support. Each teammember will respond differently. Those who need and want advice are more likely to benefit from it, but the focus should be extended on those who need but do not want advice, as well. 6. Purpose: they seek to develop responsible and self-sufficient team-members that can solve their problems themselves. Effective leaders approach each person as unique and thus the same approach for another teammember is never likely to be used. The general approaches used in counseling are: (a) The directional (counselor-centered); (b) The non-directional (individual-centered); (c) Their combination. During a counseling session, there should be flexibility in the choice of approach. The personality of the individual, the environment and the time available will influence the chosen approach. Therefore, an effective leader needs to cultivate basic counseling skills that can be generally grouped as follows: (a) Monitoring and listening; (b) Responding; (c) Guiding. Effective counseling should be done continuously, as part of the educational roles. This necessity has led many researchers (Wingfield et al., 2010; Mason & McMahon, 2009) to consider the relationship between leader and counselor as bidirectional. Namely, the effective leader is a counselor while the counselor has leadership skills, especially those of decision-making and motivation. Educational Leadership Given the previous correlation between high quality leadership and effective schools, Bush & Middlewood (2005) raise two key questions: 1. What type of leadership is more likely to produce positive results? 2. What is the best way to create successful leaders? In order to answer these questions, we need to identify the characteristics of an effective school manager. Baldridge et al. (1978) report that the leader is first among equals in an educational institution, if experts (teachers) manage the foundation and they follow a collaborative process. The features of such a leader are: (a) to order less and listen more, (b) to use conciliation and persuasion rather than to command, (c) to facilitate its partners and (d) to assemble targeted judgments instead of mainly playing an instructional role. Several researchers (Everard et al., 2004; Hay, 2003; Everard & Morris, 1990) mention the following features that both the directors and the deputy directors of educational services should

6 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explored the narratives of rural superintendents regarding their roles as moral agents in the politics of public school settings and how they view their moral and political advocacy as grassroots activism for student and community rights.
Abstract: This qualitative inquiry explores the narratives of rural superintendents regarding their roles as moral agents in the politics of public school settings and how they view their moral and political advocacy as grassroots activism for student and community rights. Insights from superintendent narratives provided themes about the history, practice, and expectations of school leaders as political agents within their respective communities. These themes focused on activism and advocacy for equitable funding and policymaking that specifically related to transportation, testing, and technology. Findings describe and define how superintendents make meaning of their political and public obligations and provide data that can help leadership preparation programs better prepare candidates for meaningful political practice. Introduction With shifts in power from the local education agency to federal legislature under No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), and back to the state under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the political roles assumed (or not assumed) by school superintendents have become increasingly critical to the present and future state of education. Netusil and Dunkin (1974) acknowledged that superintendents and other district stakeholders did not believe that educational leaders, including superintendents, should participate in a political role, especially at the state level. One participant in this study acknowledged this position, stating, “I have to tell you back in 1987 when I started as an educator I had no idea that I would testify before the house or the senate in the State of Ohio. Or anything. I didn’t realize that education was political” (Personal communication, 2016). According to Netusil and Dunkin (1974) this opinion developed most likely due to the idea that education and politics should not mix. Over time this mindset has changed. Scholars have noted a growing emphasis being placed on the superintendent as a political agent the district leader’s responsibility for gaining needed resources and improving the educational experience for students in their districts (Antonucci, 2012; Cuban, 1985; Elmore, 2000). The purpose of this study was to examine the opinions of practicing school superintendents in rural Appalachian Ohio regarding the roles they assume as advocates for students and look at ways they provide the local education agency with a political voice at the state or even federal levels. Primarily the study aimed to gain an understanding of the superintendent’s role as a moral agent engaged in school politics, and subsequently create a more in depth image of his or her experience in activism at the local and state level for meaningful school change. As such, the researchers sought to determine what characteristics rural superintendents valued most in politics of school leadership. The research attempted to identify and prioritize the critical factors involved in educational leadership, from the perspectives of district superintendents as political agents. Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 Research Problem As school district leaders, superintendents have a unique obligation beyond the immediate needs and interests of their students and various stakeholders that involves a broader scope of political engagement. Specifically, superintendents are responsible for all aspects of educational policy, including local, state, and federal issues. This can create a dynamic and complex political environment. According to Noguera and Wells (2011), Policymakers typically develop and legislate new education policy in state capitols based on ideas that may be politically popular (i.e., phonics versus whole language or opposition to bilingual education), but without consulting with educators or educational researchers. In many cases, educational policies are more likely to be based on politics and ideology than on objective educational research. (p. 10) The problems and concerns of school superintendents in rural regions of the United States, such as the Appalachian region of southeast Ohio, include distinctive difficulties with technology, high-stakes testing, and inadequate school funding (Howley & Howley, 1995; Meier & Wood, 2004; Nichols & Burliner, 2007; Ravitch, 2011). Historically, rural Appalachian school districts have been economically and educationally disenfranchised due to unconstitutional funding models (Obhof, 2005), overuse of standardized testing (Howley, 2001), and unstable enrollments due to competition with non-traditional schools (Carnoy, 2000). These factors have lead to a perception of sub-standard quality of education in the region (Shaw, DeYoung, & Rademacher, 2004). However, while these difficulties are unique, these problems are not exclusive. The perceptions and opinions of these superintendents about the actual and perceived political forces in these often-isolated areas lay down a foundational narrative that informs leadership practice and preparation. Superintendents from rural school districts were interviewed using a questionnaire that delves into the way in which superintendents advocate and engage in activism concerning political issues impacting their respective districts. Past research from three decades ago (Cuban, 1985; Netusil & Dunkin, 1974) showed that superintendents did less in actual political roles than they thought they should do. As such, this investigation explored the notion of whether or not that is still the case and look at ways in which superintendents successfully (and unsuccessfully) engage in relevant politics. Research Questions The overarching research question for this study was, “How do rural superintendents in the Appalachian school districts of Southeast Ohio perceive themselves as political agents?” Underlying this principal question were two additional questions. First, “What expectations do Appalachian superintendents in rural districts have regarding their own moral obligation to be politically engaged?” In other words, how do rural superintendents define political agency? Second, “What do these rural superintendents perceive to be the primary political concerns for their stakeholders and what activities do they undertake to face these concerns?” Theoretical Framework Political agency can be viewed as influence, power, authority, and persuasion demonstrated by leaders in local, state, and federal contexts. Superintendents function as political agents through advocacy leadership to make education worthy to call it an education (Anderson, 2009; Apple, 2009). In Anderson’s (2009) words, the term advocacy leadership refers to . . . . . . a more politicized notion of leadership . . . that acknowledges that schools are sites of struggle over material and cultural resources and ideological commitments. Political Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 alliances of leaders may have to be built among superintendents, principals, teacher leaders, union leaders, student leaders, and community leaders in order to defend the democratic goals of public schooling against those who to replace the political democracy with a logic of the marketplace. (p. 13) By taking a role of advocacy leaders, superintendents engage in political activities that focus not only on local community realities but also on the impact that state and federal policies have on their communities. Thus, political agency refers to organizational processes, individual and collective efforts, formal and informal acts, and rational and affective demonstrations for impacting political spaces, events, processes, or outcomes (Barnett, 2008; Häkli, & Kallio, 2014; Lestrelin, 2011). Educational leaders, as political actors, exercise political agency in many facets of their work, and if these leaders are working toward equitable and socially just access for all students, they demonstrate competencies and dispositions of advocacy leadership (Anderson, 2009; Apple, 2009). Political agency, although a highly disputed and multifaceted concept (Brewer, 2011; Thomas, 2009; Wright, 2010), relates to the political behaviors of school superintendents in a dynamic and dimensional practice at the local, state, and federal levels of policymaking and public influence. Fostering true transformation and change has become an urgent need in the educational enterprise of closing the achievement gap and promoting equity and justice (Friedman & Mandelbaum, 2011). However, change demands school leaders find new ways of establishing connections with school stakeholders. Superintendents face a need to acquire and utilize power to disrupt the historical, social, and economic marginalization of their learning communities. Challenging trends in budgeting and standardization in the education may necessitate developing a strong public and democratic presence at all levels of policymaking. Context of the Study Geographically speaking, Southeast Ohio is synonymous with Appalachian Ohio. The region is comprised of 32 counties ranging from Clemont County in the southwestern region eastward along the Ohio River north of Kentucky, to the southeastern corner sharing a border with West Virginia, and then north up the Pennsylvania border to the northeastern most county of Ashtabula at Lake Erie (Appalachia Rural Commission, 2016). Appalachian Rural Commission (ARC) (2016) defines Appalachia as “a 205,000-square-mile region [including] the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi” (p. 1). The Appalachian area of Ohio is home to 327,102 people living in poverty (Ohio Development Services Agency, 2016). The Appalachian counties with the highest population in poverty are Mahoning with 40,784 and Trumbull with 35,147; the county with the highest percentage of population in poverty is Athens at 31.6%. Images of Appalachian Ohio, such as those perpetuated by Vance’s Hillbilly

6 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire developed by The Ohio State University to measure the ideal behavior faculty members expect of administrative leaders at the University of Belize, using three research questions (descriptive and comparative for statistical analysis) and two open-ended questions.
Abstract: A new University of Belize (UB) was created through the assimilation of several smaller institutions and was only two years old at the time of this study. The authors recognized that the creation of this most-recent university would bring different expectations of leadership on the part of faculty and administrators. As higher education changes, particularly at the UB, the need for persons in leadership positions who can bring groups together in spite of differences, will be critical. According to Machiavelli (1961), there is nothing more difficult to plan, more uncertain of success, or more dangerous to manage than the establishment of a new order. This study utilizes the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire developed by The Ohio State University to measure the ideal behavior faculty members expect of administrative leaders at the University of Belize, using three research questions (descriptive and comparative for statistical analysis) and two open-ended questions. The survey results show no significant statistical differences between the two dimensions of leader behavior for any of the three research questions asked, leading the authors to conclude that faculty members want a balanced relationship with department chairs. The open-ended questions indicate faculty expect administrative leaders to be effective in setting and achieving departmental goals and that they value a relationship built on mutual trust and respect, desire a leader who listens, who is open to suggestions for problem solving and who fosters a spirit of teamwork and cooperation Introduction According to the Belize Times (May 28, 2000), the University of Belize (UB) officially opened on August 1, 2000. The university was established by the merger of five Belizean postsecondary institutions, the University College of Belize, and other government-sponsored, twoyear, associate-degree granting institutions, including the Belize School of Nursing, Belize Technical College, Belize Teachers’ College, Belmopan Junior College and Belize College of Agriculture. At the time of this study, the university had been in existence for almost two years. The authors recognized that the creation of a new UB, through the assimilation of several smaller institutions, would bring different expectations of leadership on the part of faculty and administrators. As higher education changes, particularly at the UB, the need for persons in leadership positions who can bring groups together in spite of differences will be critical. According to Machiavelli (1961), there is nothing more difficult to plan, more uncertain of success, or more dangerous to manage than the establishment of a new order. Extensive research has been conducted on leadership inside and outside higher education. Belize; however, has little research on this topic. This study seeks to contribute data and analysis on the expectations of faculty members of department chairs’ leader behavior at the UB. In the following section, a review of the relevant literature will provide background to help determine whether faculty expectations of administrators as leaders are conducive to the effective workings of an institution. This information will be useful to the academic community at the UB as they work to make it one of the premier institutions in the region. Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 Literature Review Bolman and Deal (1997) state that change inevitably creates conflict. It spawns a hotly contested “tug of war” to determine who is in control. Too often, conflicts are submerged and smolder beneath the surface. Occasionally, they burst into the open as outbreaks of unregulated warfare. Administrative leaders and faculty members must be able to openly discuss their expectations of leadership styles and behavior, with a willingness to compromise on differences, whether the differences are cultural, based on leadership type, or based on work habits (Bolman & Deal, 1997). Only through these two groups working cooperatively will the UB develop its full potential as a competitive institution in Central America and the Caribbean regions. Good leadership is vital to the continued success and existence of any organization. In accordance with Bolman and Deal statement above faculty have expectations of leaders’ behavior, if these expectations of good governance is exhibited in leaders’ performance, an institution will operate more efficiently and productively. As is true for the entire country, the staff of the UB is comprised of Belizeans from different institutional, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In addition to how individuals are taken out of their comfort zones by the change to a national university, the symbols, rituals, and culture of these different groups must be taken into account. The importance of symbolism cannot be overemphasized. “Our links to yesterday and tomorrow depend also on the aesthetic, emotional, and symbolic aspects of life, on saga, play and celebration. Without festival and fantasy, man would not be a historical being” (Cox, 1969, p. 13). According to Senge (1990), the only way to encourage members of a learning organization to invest in the new order is to produce what is expected, modeled by one or more members. For the University of Belize, administrators must recognize that faculty and staff will be dedicated to and buy into the institution when their leaders meet expectations. To help readers understand the context of the research, the authors provided historical background of the country of Belize and people. Historical Insight into Belizean Culture Belize is a Central American nation created out of the British colony of British Honduras. The Rio Hondo River, along the Northern border, and the Gulf of Honduras gave British Honduras its name, which was changed to Belize in 1993. Belize is believed to originate from the Mayan word Belix or Beliz (meaning muddy water). The name was changed by the people in anticipation of the country’s independence (Barry, 1992). Belizeans tend to view persons in administrative positions, especially elected officials, with guarded suspicion. Bolland (1986) wrote that the Belizean public’s present view of administrative leaders may be attributed to the undermining actions conducted by plantation owners immediately post slavery. Plantation owners, assisted by the British government, upheld laws keeping the masses poor and dependent on their former masters, even after slavery was abolished (Bolland, 1986). According to Bolland (1986), one way the settler minority (British) maintained control was by dividing the African slaves from a growing population of free Blacks given limited privileges. By the time of legal emancipation in 1838, the essential nature of Belize—as a rigidly hierarchical and authoritarian colonial society in which people were ranked according to race and class in a structure of great inequalities—was well established. The act to abolish slavery in the British colonies was passed in June 1833 but it did not produce radical change, which was never its intention. In fact, the act included two generous measures for slave owners: first, a system of apprenticeship calculated to extend control over former slaves, so that they continued to work for Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 the same masters, without pay, to compensate for property losses; and second, the measure helped ensure that the majority of the population remained poor and landless, dependent for work upon their former owners who still monopolized the land (Bolland, 1986). In the next section the article will examine Belizean culture in the 21 century. 21 Century Belizean Culture Today, there are Belizeans who continue to misuse political power in ways similar to their former slave masters. For example, political aspirants dangle the possibility of land ownership for votes. Elected officials dismiss government employees (who are alleged opposition supporters) to fill positions with their own supporters. One of the authors has witnessed many Belizeans losing their jobs when they said something against a governing political party or one of their political representatives. There were times even family members would be affected (Ramos, 2015). Belizean citizens continually voice skepticism of persons in leadership positions, whether elected or promoted. Academia has not escaped public suspicion, for example, in his 2000 address to University of Belize faculty and staff on the amalgamation of five government institutions, the Minister of Education said, “We recognize that a university must be autonomous, such autonomy provides the environment for excellence in scholarship, research and scholarship” (Tun, 2004, p 58). However, when the UB Act 2000 was officially passed, The Minister was given ultimate control of the university. This led Tun (2004) to conclude that while the amalgamation brought together five different institutions, each with their own cultures, all institutions shared a common reality: they were all dependent on government for financing their institutions and their missions were inextricably tied to that of their sponsor. Thus, in this situation, the substantive autonomy (the mission) of the new university was compromised. Cunningham (1985) affirms that in turbulent times, individuals seek the right kind of leadership to help them survive. As higher education undergoes changes in Belize, with enrollment of more students and a growing need for more involvement of postsecondary education institutions in community development, leading institutions will become more complex. As previously mentioned, combining different institutions to form the UB is a major change. There are new administrative positions; rules and regulations are established; and employees are appointed to positions with new responsibilities. All of the

5 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, a mixed-methods study investigates and supports how inserting MMOGs within an undergraduate Online English Composition section helped improve learners' performance and engagement. But, most available studies on MMORPGs do not discuss relationships between MMOG use and performance outcomes in higher education.
Abstract: The use of Massively Multiplayer Online Games or MMOGs is receiving attention in the educational world due to increased availability of such games, a growing consumer base, and the proven benefits of video games as engagement tools. MMOGs that have been known to possess a significantly high capacity to keep users involved over sustained periods, which gives them the potential to enhance learning experiences and performances. However, most available studies on MMOGs do not discuss relationships between MMOG use and performance outcomes in Higher Education. Additionally, majority of such studies focus on examining a single MMOG, providing limited scopes of understanding the benefits of multiple MMOGs as educational tools. Using a sample of 32 students, this mixed-methods study investigates and supports how inserting MMOGs within an undergraduate Online English Composition section helped improve learners’ performance and engagement. Practitioner and future research implications are also discussed. Introduction In 2015, one hundred and fifty-five million Americans played video games, with at least two players in each game-playing household (ESA, 2016). On an average, video gamers have 5 weekly game sessions, lasting approximately 1.9 hours per session. Of these games, Massive Multiplayer Online Games or MMOGs are the most played (SuperData Research, 2016). Given the rising popularity of these games, it is not surprising that using MMOGs as part of Digital Game Based Learning (DGBL) is becoming increasingly feasible due to the variety and availability of such games, as well as their increased consumption by gamers worldwide (Gros 2007; Hainey, Connolly, Stansfield, & Boyle, 2011; Pivec 2007). Several studies as well as conceptual literature indicate that video or digital games in general have great entertainment, engagement and educational benefits (Bogost, 2007; Griffiths, 2002; Paraskeva, Mysirlaki & Papagianni, 2010; Zarraonandia, Diaz, Aedo & Ruiz, 2014). Video games, including MMOGs, can provide learning challenges in highly interactive ways (Hung, Kinzer & Chen, 2009; Kiili, 2010; Marvel, 2012; Paraskeva, Mysirlaki & Papagianni,2010; Romero, 2016; Tsai, 2016; Van Eck & Hung 2010), and allow learners to learn through virtualization and socialization (Szell & Thurner, 2010). Analysts predict the growth of MMOG market due to this high level of interest and emotional connections users have (Suárez, Thio & Singh, 2013). Additionally, the immersive environments of MMOGs aid in the development of learning skills such as communication, evaluation of information, research, problem solving, and literacy, as well as provide players with scaffolds for technological and content knowledge (Schrader & McCreery,2008). This suggests that MMOGs may be ideal for DGBL strategies as they can be powerful engagement tools within learning environments. Existing research on MMOGs include games like World of Warcraft and Everquest, being used for language learning and writing (Colby & Colby, 2008; Heathcote, 2012; Kongmee, Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 Strachan, Montgomery & Pickard, 2011; Lee & Pass, 2014), ethnography and anthropology (Delwiche, 2006; Nardi, 2009; Servais, 2015) , human behavior and psychology (Longman, O’Connor, & Obst, 2009), adult social interaction ( Zhang & Kaufman, 2015), teacher perceptions (Schrader, Zheng, & Young, 2006), and guild and communal life within the games (Williams, 2006). This trend in the current literature to study single MMOGs at one time may leave a significant gap in our understanding of the value of MMOGs as a game genre. Ryan, Rigby, and Przybylski (2006) discuss how limiting the investigations to single games when studying the co -relation between MMOGs and performance/engagement is not desirable. Given the vast array of MMOGs available, it is possible that attempts of extrapolation may be limited by the lack of knowledge of the aspects of the games that give them their true value versus estimated assumptions of their value. Thus, for this study an attempt was made to steer away from the popular games such as WoW and Everquest, and use instead some free-to-play MMOGs that have not been used in scholarly studies so far. Thus, four MMOGs called Skyforge, Age of Conan, Rift and Tera Rising, were the ideal selections. Even though MMOGs are emerging as interesting, viable options for instruction, their usage in Higher Education is limited (Godwin-James, 2014; Law & Sun, 2012; Yuzer & Kurubacak, 2014), and there are not many studies on the effects of DGBL on performance outcomes (Perrotta, Featherstone, Aston & Houghton, 2013). Thus, there is a need for research, which investigates the value of DGBL approaches in the context of engagement and performance in Higher Education (Epper, Derryberry, & Jackson, 2012). This may be particularly useful for community college learning environments where there is precedence of issues with faculty and student engagement negatively affecting performance outcomes (Bolliger & Wasilik, 2009; Bonk, 2001; Jacoby, 2006; Maguire, 2005). This mixed methods study examined the effects of using free-to-play Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) in an online English Composition course in a community college. To get a comprehensive view of this effect, it should be viewed through multiple lenses such as learners’ perceptions with regards to engaging/interacting with MMOGs, and their overall performance in the course. The selection of MMOGs as an educational resource for study was based on the perceived value of such resources as discussed in the following paragraphs. In order to fully understand the phenomenon of learners’ interaction with MMOGs, it was important to investigate their perceptions with respect to such interactions, as well as their performance as a result of such interactions. Thus, the study sought answers to the following

4 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: This paper conducted a qualitative case study to investigate how two Preservice teachers reconfigured their role as teachers during their teaching practicum and found that placement was influential for the two teachers.
Abstract: The aim of this qualitative case study was to investigate how two Preservice teachers reconfigured their role as teachers during their practicum. We collected data through interviews, field observations, and documentary notes gathered at an urban school across four months. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. The results revealed three themes: (a) Blaming vs. Connecting, (b) Idealism vs. Realism, and (c) Retreating vs. Reconfiguring. The findings of this study indicated that placement was influential for the two Preservice teachers. This case study shares valuable information regarding the importance of connecting Preservice teachers with quality teaching practicum experiences aimed at bridging theory and practice. Introduction Colleges devote significant time and human capital in the preparation of preservice teachers. The preparation of novice teachers through field experiences is crucial to their growth as teachers. Indeed, teaching experiences play an important role as far as helping new teachers develop confidence in teaching and professional expertise. Scholars have indicated that exposing preservice teachers to quality supervised field experiences is beneficial to their professional growth (Boyd, Grossman, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2009; Constantinou, 2011; Duncan & Clemons, 2012; Spooner, Flowers, Lambert, & Algozzine, 2008; Stanulis & Floden, 2009). Therefore, it is important to investigate what preservice teachers learn during their field experiences (Eisenhardt, Besnoy, & Steele, 2011-2012). Unraveling the experiences of preservice teachers in teaching and learning settings is an important research area augmenting our knowledge of teachers and program assessment (Hand, 2014). The aim of this qualitative case study was to illuminate challenges and opportunities facing two preservice physical education teachers during their teaching practicum. Qualitative case research offers supervising teachers opportunities to reflect on field experience placements. Quality preparation of preservice teachers should be a process, linked in practices and informed by sound pedagogies (McDonald & Kahn, 2014). The Role of Field Experiences The problem at the heart of this qualitative case study is how preservice teachers reconfigure their roles as teachers during their teaching practicum. In order for preservice teachers to benefit from their practicum experiences, university faculty members need to understand how field experiences influence preservice teachers in their teaching decisions. The field placement itself is a very important contributor to preservice teachers’ understanding of teaching (Constantinou, 2011; Moulding, Stewart, & Dunmeyer, 2014; Ronefeldt, 2012, 2015). If not carefully planned and supervised, field experiences may curtail learning of significant teaching skills in novice teachers and may end up being of “little or no value” (Beck & Kosnik, 2002, p. 81). Researchers have noted the importance of carefully designing and selecting field placements to help preservice teachers learn necessary skills (Beck & Kosnik, 2002; Britzman, Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 1991; Duncan & Clemons, 2012; Hand, 2014; McIntyre, Byrd, & Fox, 1996; Moulding, et al., 2014; Ronefeldt, 2012, 2015; Zengaro & Zengaro, 2016; Zengaro, Zengaro, & Belcher, 2015). Thus, field experiences have promising results (1) when designed to target specific teaching expertise in preservice teachers (Ericsson, Charness, Feltovich, & Hoffman, 2006) and (2) when structured so that preservice teachers work directly with students (Eisenhardt et al., 2011-2012; National Research Council, 2010). Concern over placement in field experiences is not a new development. Lortie (1975) discussed that field placements help formulate preconceptions about teaching in preservice teachers. Borg (2004) added that field observations may create a false sense of expertise in preservice teachers, leading them to think they understand teaching better than they do. Field experiences and teaching practica play a pivotal role in terms of shaping knowledge of teaching and learning (Britzman, 1991; Lafferty, 2015; Levine, 2006; McIntyre, Byrd, & Fox, 1996). However, poorly planned experiences may not help preservice teachers develop the expertise they need to teach. Teaching can be a stressful event for preservice teachers when personal beliefs about teaching differ from the actual reality of teaching (Anhorn, 2008; Barrett, Kutcy & Schulz, 2006; Kokkinos, 2007; Liu, 2007; Melnick & Meister, 2008; Murshidi, Konting, Elias, & Fooi, 2006; Quinn & Andrews, 2004; Roth & Tobin, 2005; Schlichte, Yssel, & Merbler, 2005; Yost, 2006). Nevertheless, teaching promises to be most beneficial to students when teachers care about and nurture their students (Bain, 2004; Noddings, 1992; Shulman, 2006). Preservice teachers, who have a dual role of teachers and students, need to be able to connect with their cooperating teacher supervisors (Beck & Kosnik, 2002) and see the work “behind the scenes” involved in teaching, not just being in front of students in the classroom (Lafferty, 2015). Theoretical Framework The aim of this qualitative case study was to describe the reconfiguration of their teaching roles by two preservice teachers. We framed this qualitative case study through the lenses of constructivism, because knowledge in constructivism is created by rather than received by an individual (Woolfolk, 2013). We based the research on a theoretical framework of Piaget’s cognitive constructivism and Vygotsky’s theories of sociocultural learning. We believe that knowledge reconfiguration is consistent with constructivist theories of knowledge creation. Therefore, from a constructivist perspective, knowing is an active process individuals engage in to restructure their own knowledge, via adaptation, accommodation, and integration; individuals’ new knowledge comes from internal dissonance, or a state of imbalance, where learners try to reconfigure their own knowledge (Eisenhardt et al., 2011-2012; Piaget 1966, 1970a, 1970b). Knowledge is also shaped by culture & language (Vygotsky, 1978). This implies that the expertise of preservice teachers is influenced by sociocultural factors as well, such as their field placement experiences. When preservice teachers reflect on their actions, they are able to reconfigure their knowledge, by integrating new information with old information through active reflection and positive feedback provided by faculty members working with preservice teachers (Hand, 2014). Field placements are uniquely suited for self-reflection, a practice used and supported by faculty mentoring preservice teachers in field experiences (Eisenhardt et al., 20112012; Zengaro et al., 2015; Zengaro & Zengaro, 2016). This research is based on a qualitative framework. Qualitative case research draws out important information from small samples. The scope of qualitative case research is not to isolate particular variables within a study. Rather, the scope is to let the disciplinary framework, the dynamic context of the research, direct the purpose of the investigation. Instead of making Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 inferences to the population, qualitative case studies utilize “analytical generalization,” or connecting the results of the case study to previously developed theories to support the findings (Yin, 2003). When conducting constructive qualitative research, the study’s design should reflect (1) the active role of the participants (2) and the researchers generating their own theories (Charmaz, 2014). The researchers narrate the story from the participants’ perspectives (Zengaro et al., 2015; Zengaro & Zengaro, 2016). It is important to investigate how preservice teachers reconfigure their knowledge of teaching while engaged in teaching practice. This research is necessary not solely as an augmentation of knowledge, but because of its connection to program placement, effectiveness and evaluation. Researchers have highlighted the importance of understanding what teachers learn while involved in field teaching experiences (Eisenhardt et al., 2011-2012; Hand, 2014; McDonald & Kahn, 2014; Mutton, Hagger & Burn, 2011; Norman, 2011; Zengaro et al., 2015; Zengaro & Zengaro, 2016). In this qualitative case study, we discuss the experiences of two preservice physical education teachers during their teaching practicum. Their experiences are carefully captured in a narrative style. The description of their own personal experiences calls for grounded constructivist theories (Charmaz, 2014). Therefore, the design of this case study and the research questions framing it underscore an in-depth qualitative research paradigm. We suggest that individual knowledge framed in interpretative research designs relies on (1) the richness of data, (2) limited sample size, (3), data saturation, (4) data comparison, and (5) insightful knowledge deriving from multiple sources of evidence (Ali, Zengaro, & Zengaro, 2016; Charmaz, 2014; Check & Schutt, 2012; Creswell, 2015; Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007; Onwuegbuzie, 2003; Onwuegbuzie & Daniel, 2003; Yin, 2003). The following research question guided this investigation: How do preservice teachers reconfigure their knowledge of teaching during their teaching practicum? This study is important because it seeks to explain the role of field placement in helping preservice teachers learn their

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examined the mentorship experiences of seven women who served or are currently serving as presidents of AHEIs prior to their appointments as presidents, although in the majority of the cases, men mentored these women.
Abstract: There has been an increase in women selected to serve as university presidents at Adventist Higher Education institutions worldwide within the past few years. Notwithstanding that increase, the overall representation of women in that position is still proportionately low. To date, about 22 women have served since we first began operating higher education institutions in 1874. At present, about nine women are serving as presidents of AHEIs; this is largest number serving at any one time since 1874. Having so few women, in these top-level positions does not provide opportunities for women to mentor other women. This paper examined the mentorship experiences of seven women who served or are currently serving as presidents of AHEIs prior to their appointments as presidents. General findings reveal that the mentorship experiences played a critical role in the career advancement of these women leaders, although in the majority of the cases, men mentored these women. It is therefore highly recommended that strategic and deliberate mentorship opportunities be available for women-to-women, in an effort to ensure that more women leaders emerge to serve at AHEIs. Introduction and Background Mentorship or mentoring refers to relationships in which an empowered person provides support and guidance to a less experienced person (Donaldson, Ensher, & Grant-Vallone, 2000; Kram, 1985; Ragins & Cotton, 1999; Santamaria, 2003). These relationships can be either formal or informal (Ragins, Cotton & Miller, 2000; Kasprisin, Boyle Single, Single, & Muller, 2003; Packard, 2003). Formal mentorship exists when there is an actual mutually agreed-upon relationship where both parties benefit (Higgins & Kram, 2001; Kram, 1985; Ragins & Cotton, 1999). According to Wong and Premkumar (2007), these formal mentorship relationships are systematic since organizations match mentors and mentees together. Informal mentorship on the other hand according to Wong and Premkumar (2007) is “a type of relationship that is established spontaneously; largely psychosocial that helps enhance the mentee’s self esteem and confidence by providing emotional support and discovery of common interests” (p. 17). In simplifying the term and practice of informal mentorship, Zachary (2009) suggests that “informal mentoring relationships are usually described as unstructured, casual, and natural” (p. 64). Basically, the informal mentorship happens when there is no agreed upon relationship or goal-setting, but a more experienced person still offers guidance and the like for a protégé, and both parties are beneficiaries (Ragins, Cotton & Miller, 2000). Many authors admit that there is much value to these informal mentorship relationships. For example, Ragins and MENTORSHIP OF WOMEN LEADERS Journal of Research Initiatives 2` Cotton (1999) found that protégées in informal mentorship relationships were more content with their mentors when compared to those in formal relationships. There also appears to be some distinct functions to the mentoring relationships. Kram (1983, 1985) states that there are two in the relationship between the mentees or protégés and the mentors. These are career-related or psychosocial functions. Career-related functions generally refers to the guidance that the mentor offers in helping the mentee or protégée develop or advance in their careers (Ragins & Cotton, 1999; Kram, 1983, 1985; Noe, 1988a; Ragins & McFarlin, 1990; Underhill, 2006). Levinson (1978) for example have also found it to be a significant catalyst for men in their mid-careers. Kram (1983, 1985, 1988) submits that mentors influenced lateral moves and promotions, and provides opportunities for exposure and visibility; the tools needed to maneuver within the organizational culture. Other authors even discovered that both mentors and protégés placed greater significance on the career functions aspect of the mentorship relations than on psychosocial functions (Tillman, 2001). Psychosocial-related functions of the mentor-mentee relationship generally refer to the mentor acting as a friend, counselor, confidant and listener to the mentee or protégé (Chao, Walz, & Gardner, 1992; Ragins & Cotton, 1999; Kram, 1983, 1985, 1988; Ragins & McFarlin, 1990). Some authors argue that the psychological function of the relationships also assist the mentees in their personal development. For example, Wong and Premkumar (1997) suggest, “...mentored individuals enjoy higher selfconfidence, self-efficacy, and self-assurance” (p. 5). Interestingly, in a one-year study conducted by Seibert (1999), the researcher found that mentees/protégés got more psychosocial support than career-related support. Overall, Ensher, Thomas, and Murphy (2001) made distinctions between mentorship structures such as peer mentoring and supervisory mentoring and links their success to the two functions of Kram (1983), career and psychosocial. Consequently, Ensher et.al (2007) argue that peer mentoring is better in developing a psychosocial function approach, while supervisory mentoring would be better at advancing the career function. There are several research articles examining whether there are differences in the mentoring experiences of males and females and even the willingness of genders to mentor each other (Allen & Eby, 2003; Allen, Poteet, Russell & Dobbins, 1997; Noe, 1998a). Gender and Mentorship There are views that women are less inclined or interested in mentoring others. Ragins and Cotton (1993) report finding differences in the willingness of male and female to mentor others; citing that women found greater barriers to mentoring others than men did. Later, other studies found that women did not have less interest or intentions to mentor than men did (see Noe, 1988a). Other studies found no differences in the willingness of men and women to mentor others (Allen, Poteet, Russell and Dobbins, 1997; Ragins, 1989). As it relates to women mentoring women, Kram (1998) contends that women were reluctant to mentor other women because of perceived barriers such as time constraints, token status and a lack of self-confidence. According to Kram (1998), this is linked to the absence or low rate of more female mentors mentoring other women. Some authors even argue that women do not have enough guidance, encouragement and modeling/demonstrations in their academic careers (Bronstein, Rothblum, & Solomon, 1993), thereby hindering their progress or rise to leadership, and consequently, their mentoring of younger women to do the same. Overall, Astin and Leland (1991) found that men have been conscious of mentoring women who they deem as having leadership abilities. MENTORSHIP OF WOMEN LEADERS Journal of Research Initiatives 3` Notably, a significant finding of a few studies on gender and mentorship indicate that persons who served as mentors were themselves mentored, and these people were more likely or willing to mentor others (Allen, Poteet, & Burroughs, 1997; Ragins & Cotton, 1993; Ragins & Scandura, 1999). According to Kram (1985), the willingness of these people can be attributed to them being first-hand recipients of mentorship. In general, the willingness or opportunities for mentoring may be problematic since few women are in top leadership; fewer women are reported as mentors and consequently may not be in the leadership positions to mentor other women. Some authors have stated, “factors that hindered women’s career development was their lack of exposure to role models and mentors (Bower, 1993; T. M. Brown, 2005, as cited in Joseph, 2014, p. 33). In addition, Ragins and Scandura (1994) posit that the differences in the willingness of gender groups to mentor others may simply be functions of rank, position and resources. As such, women’s mentorship selections and experiences in the workplace may differ. There are also contending opinions about the experiences of mentorship relationships across genders. Noe (1998b) in examining formal mentorship relationships found that mentors reported being more effectively utilized by mentees or protégées across genders than in samegender relationships. Suggesting that persons were possibly more comfortable being mentored by someone of a different sex, or that mentors themselves had greater mentorship experiences with persons of the opposite sex. Allen and Eby (2003) found no differences in the satisfaction levels between samegender and cross-gender mentorship relationships. Regardless of the type of mentorship, formal or informal, the mentorship functions performed and achievedcareer or psychosocial, or even the willingness of gendered groups to mentor and the experiences persons have with being mentored, same-sex or cross-sex, many authors are of the view that there are significant benefits to mentorship for both the mentor and mentee. Benefits of Mentorship in the Workplace There appears to be some major benefits for companies that promote or have established mentorship programs in the work place and for mentors and mentees who participate in these programs. For example, the literature suggest some benefits to the mentor such as having pride in the accomplishments of the mentee; being able to experience renewed enthusiasm, and solidarity, which has an overall positive outcome in the organization (Williams, 2000). Other authors have also share some of the views of Williams (2000), but add other benefits such as having a rewarding experience by passing knowledge and skills to others thereby leaving a legacy; (Kram, 1985; Levinson, 1978; Ragins & Scandura, 1999). In addition, having fresh and insightful energy; improvement in job performance because of new perspectives shared by mentee or protégé; being recognized by others and the organization; having the loyalty and support of the mentee or protégé were also noted as benefits of mentoring (Kram, 1985; Levinson, 1978; Ragins & Scandura, 1999). Particularly, Kram (1983, 1985, 1988) contend that the mentors can also assist the mentees in lear

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors discuss the intersectionality of race, dyslexia, and giftedness in the context of pre-k-12 education and propose a theoretical framework for understanding 2e Black males.
Abstract: Though overrepresented in special education, Black males are seldom given attention in scholarly literature addressing Twice-Exceptional (2e) students, and existing research has failed to systematically examine the intersectionality of race, dyslexia and giftedness. First, the article begins with definitions of key terms discussed throughout the paper. Second, the literature review synthesis relevant literature on the intersectionality that includes: race and misidentification, and my lived experience. Third, the article calls attention to a proposed cultural lens for understanding 2e Black males, its implications, and my interpretation. Finally, in the discussion section PreK-12 educators are presented with necessary information about the proper identification process, and classroom strategies. Overall, the article is based on a larger auto-ethnographic account that is based on the author’s lived experiences as a gifted Black male with dyslexia. Intellectually gifted individuals with specific learning disabilities are the most misjudged, misunderstood, and neglected segment of the student population and the community. Teachers, school counselors, and others often overlook the signs of intellectual giftedness and focus attention on such deficits as poor spelling, reading, and writing. (Whitmore & Maker, 1985, p. 204). Introduction Although Whitemore and Maker’s statement on giftedness and learning disability is over 30 years old, it remains relevant today for Black males within the PreK-12 special education system who continue to be academically underestimated, and remain a misunderstood segment of the student population under-identified as Twice Exceptional (2e) (Davis & Robinson, inpress; Robinson, 2016a/2016b). Reis, Baum and Burke, (2014) emphasized students identified as 2e “often have educational journeys that are fraught with challenges, as they do not fit the traditional definitions of either exceptionality” (p. 217). The characteristics they exhibit generally group them as mediocre performers in the classroom, which limits them from reaching their full potential (Lohman, Gambrell, & Lakin, 2008). The current body of literature addressing 2e Black males is limited in scope, which contributes to the failure of PreK-12 institutions offering their staff appropriate resources and training needed (Ford, Trenton, Blakeley, & Amos, 2014). Peterson-Besse, et al., (2014) asserted that more attention needs to be placed on subgroup differences among individuals who are 2e. Moreover, the research focusing on the intersection of race, giftedness, and dyslexia has neglected to examine how those areas are used to constitute one another, and how educational policies and cultural practices continue to marginalize Black males in special education (Annamma, Connor, & Ferri, 2013; James & Wu, 2006). Therefore, this article not only calls attention to a proposed theoretical model for understanding 2e Black males, but also provides PreK-12 educators with fundamental information about the proper identification process and characteristics these students can exhibit. First, the article covers definitions of key terms discussed throughout the paper followed by Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No.1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 relevant literature on the intersectionality of race, giftedness, dyslexia. Thereafter, a brief description of the theoretical framework titled the Triple Identity Theory will be highlighted. Next, implications of the theoretical model will be discussed followed by my interpretation. Finally, the article will end with a discussion and conclusion.

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore the process of expressing new way of poetry produced by new generation which draws upon earlier tradition, but is composed in circumstances that are very different from the past.
Abstract: This paper explores Landay, a form of folk poetry and consist of couplets; the first one consists of nine syllables and the second thirteen. The author of such couplets is generally unknown. Some of them have names of authors or national figures and heroes attached. In the study of a society, various aspects can be discussed like historical background, cultural elements, cultural heritage, which are main points of a society. Furthermore, it gives importance to fundamental values and customs along with life style can be taken to consideration. To explore any culture we have to study its literature, especially folk literature. Pashtun culture is clearly depicted in Landay, a genre of folk literature. This research seeks to study history of Pashtu Landay, its current situation and future perspectives. Essentially, the research will explore how Landay has been transferred from one generation to another and in specifically it highlights women's contribution in producing Landays. Furthermore, currently, an improvement has been taken in the mode of saying Pashtu Landay by Afghan youth living aboard. Therefore, the research intent to study the process of expressing new way of poetry produced by new generation which draws upon earlier tradition, but is composed in circumstances that are very different from the past. As earlier, these poems were said and sung in the valleys, mountain and deserts, but these days youth have been able to take advantage of new technology to communicate their message through the tradition of the Landay in a modern way. Introduction Numerous studies have been conducted on various aspect of Pashtu Landay focusing on the history, forms, types and usages of Landay. However, a different results are suggested within this research because only certain aspects of Landay are discussed and only in Pashtu Language. In order to make it understandable by other nations and culture, it is essential to write in an international language. This paper has collected historical background of Landay and translated Pashtu Landays into English Language in various topics. For the most part, the literature produced under oriental inspiration articulates Pashtuns as cluster of violent tribes, utter savages with no conformity of the modern world. Pahstuns have a special code for governing their way of life, \"Pashtunwali\", in which \"badal\" or \"revenge\" and \"nang\" or \"honor\" are the main factors. Even in pashto short stories, revenge is mentioned as typical characteristics of their daily life (Widmark). The tradition of oral culture, both secular and religious, has existed in Afghanistan since centuries. Initially, social beliefs, norms, and values were the primary techniques of oral tradition in Afghanistan. Later on, non-formal education also heavily depended of oral form. Pashtu Landay or anonymous Pashtu couplets are one the unique items of Pashtuns' traditions whose authors are unknown. Illiterate Pashtuns men and women expressed their feelings of passions VOICE OF AFGHAN WOMEN Journal of Research Initiatives 2 and sentiments through theses couplets. Landay are said and then sung as songs in the mountains, valleys and deserts of the villages. Behind each piece of Landay distinctive feelings of love, peace, sorrow, war, separation, homeland, grief and joy are hidden in which usually men addressed by women. It is because female's emotions are more tenders and insightful as compared to that of the male. Also her voice is sweeter and suitable for the Landay, which adds to its effects (Benewa, 1958). For centuries, people have articulated the golden moments of their lives in the form of a Landay, thus each Landay is considered as precious as gold. Hence, it is worthwhile investment to collect as many Landays as possible. Although the exact history of Landay is unknown, some date them back to as far in the history as seven thousand years. the following Landay was said by a lover of Khalo who was a commander during Mohmmad Ghaznavi's era (Layq 1364) ېچ د و لاخ یرک ش ل یل غار------------------------------------هز ه ب لمو ګ ه ت لپ خد را ی ند ید ت همځ Translation: \"whenever Khalo's soldiers came, I go to meet my lover in Gomal (name of a place in Paktia Province of Afghanistan)\". Methodology This paper is base on qualitative research. It is based on the studying of accessible books, observations and personal interview with expert of Pashtu literature and as well with young readers. The interviews have been conducted through internet especially through social media. Discussion The present research predicated that Landay is folk couplet an oral and often anonymous scrap of song created by and for mostly illiterate people; the more than twenty millions Pashtuns women who span the border between Afghanistan and Khyber Pakhtunkha. Traditionaly Landays are sung aloud, often to the beat of a hand drum, which, along with other kinds of music, was banned by the Taliban from 1996 to 2001, and in some places, still is (Poetry Foundation, 2013). Pashtu Landay can be discussed under the theory of Cultural Studies. However other related theories for instance Comparative Literature, Gender Studies and Historical Studies may also be given due consideration. Because where Pashtu Landay has affinity to Punjabi Maheya on one hand so it may be viewed in the light of Comparative Literature Theory and on the other hand Landay is generally sing from women side therefore we may also need recourse to Theory of Gender Studies. Similarly, Landay has its own historical background and Historical Studies Theory has to be given consideration while discussing Pashtu Landay. Limitations During research, particular attention is given to make the paper comprehensive and authentic as much as possible. As all researches have some limitations, the limitations found for this paper in the material reviewed can be result from linguistics aspects and resources. In linguistics aspects much of the research about Landay is done in Pashtu Language, it was difficult to translate each and every word from Pashtu to English Language. However, a few short articles found with limited information in English. Limited resources were another challenge, the books were not available online and interviewed people were slow in responses. Findings In 2012, Bilquees Daud stated Pashtu Landay is a special part of Oral Folkloric Literature (Wolosi Adabyat) that is divided into the parts according to their themes such as, Political Landay, Social Landay, Love Landay, Historical Landay and Patriotic Landay. They all belong to Pashtuns and have traditionally been produced in tribal areas because they are related to poor and very harsh situations, not easy lives of cities. Landay represents the situation of village life VOICE OF AFGHAN WOMEN Journal of Research Initiatives 3 like fighting, traveling, dying, loving, defeating, enemies and others. This tradition of Landay has been among Pashtuns for centuries. Landay is said by men and women, but there is peculiarity that mostly Landy is sung by women, which reflects the women psychology in very natural and original shape. Generally women are in tribal areas only house wives and don’t travel. Men travel to various parts of world for earning livelihood and fights with enemies. Therefore, in villages, Landays are sung for travelers by women who wait for their husbands, sons, brothers and fathers; the trips would could take almost ten years or more. similarly for the death bodies in wars (Daud, 2012). In the study of Landay, it must be noted that mostly Landay has been sung by female. It mean that women are more aware and conscious regarding family kinship relation. So Landay explains women's character from various angles on one hand and on other hand it has explanation for relationship like mother, sister, daughter and wife. However, woman has been depicted as a lover or beloved. Landay deals with beloved or fiancé. This color of romance is significant and highlighted in Landay. Therefore, Landay from female side depicts male characters with reference father, brother, son and mostly her beloved (Khalil, 2011). Status of Mother In the study of Landay woman as mother is greatly honored. Generally, mother's relation with a daughter is significant when a dialogue is depicted in Landay. It show the emotion and sentiments of a lover girl and her dialogue and reasoning with her mother in a very beautiful manner. امز د ې نز لاخ ېد نارو وړ ک--------------------------------هز ه ب ېل ی خ ب ه تروم هڅ ه نا ب همو ک Translation: You have marred the mole of my chin, what would I say to my lamenting and weeping mother about the mishap In this Landay emotions and sentiments of a beloved daughter has been depicted along with the portrayal of the secret meeting of a lover with her beloved in Pashtuns' culture. The beloved meets her lover secretly and she tries to conceal and give excuse and explanation if any sign is found on her due to the meeting with her lover. It shows that explicit and unbound love and it expression is forbidden in Pashtuns' society. ې کروم هم ه تار هږ یره ق--------------------------------ه پ ا ت یوش ری ت ه پ ام سوا لل غار ه نوراو Translation: Do not get mad on me mother, you have done your turn and how it my turn. In this Landay a beloved daughter asks her that you have spent and enjoyed your youth and I am in love now it is my turn to enjoy my youth and bloom. Status of Father In kinship relations, status of father is also seen in Landay. For examples: د ا با ب هک لرو ک تن ج ید -----------------------------------ام ه پ ېد هښ تن ج ې ک یړ ک ید ه نول ی س Translation: Father's house is like Paradise and I enjoyed the blessing of this paradise. In this Landay, a daughter's love towards father house has been expressed. This Landay expresses sentiments of newly wedding daughter to whom father house looks like a paradise when she is about to shift to her in-laws. Landay may be used to complain and lament restrictive Pashtun customs, perceived as dow

Journal Article
TL;DR: The role of an educational opportunity program and its efforts to support student success are explored in Bloomsburg University and its practice of supporting students from a summer bridge experience until graduation is focused on.
Abstract: At-promise students enter colleges and universities with various challenges including being academically underprepared and lacking those essential critical thinking skills to be successful. However, providing support mechanisms within a nurturing environment can help these students overcome academic obstacles as well as personal challenges in order to achieve academic success. This article explores the role of an educational opportunity program and its efforts to support student success. Introduction Student retention, persistence, and graduation are common goals for institutions of higher education. Retaining students can be particularly challenging when students are academically underprepared, lack the necessary financial resources to obtain a college education, and struggle to adjust to the college setting. This article focuses on the educational opportunity program (EOP) at Bloomsburg University (BU), known as Act 101, and its practice of supporting students from a summer bridge experience until graduation. Act 101 is a centralized program, within the Department of Academic Enrichment. We work with a large population of first generation college students, many of whom are African-American, and we seek to help them make a successful transition to college. First generation college students have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education, have low socioeconomic status, and tend to require additional academic support in reading and math (Terenzini, Springer, Yaeger, Pascarella & Nora, 1996). Background Act 101/EOP is a state funded program, at a predominantly white institution (PWI) located in central Pennsylvania. The program is designed to help students who are traditionally viewed as having a financial, educational, and in some instances a cultural disadvantage. Banks (2009) defined underprepared as “having attended underfunded public schools with limited resources” (p. 15). Act 101 students are considered “underprepared” or “at-risk” by university standards because of the lack of rigorous academic preparation that institutions of higher education have deemed as a requirement for success. Rose (1989) postulates that even though these students have experienced “less-than-privileged educations” (p. 193), they still deserve the opportunity to get a college education. Hence, the Act 101 program serves as a pathway for atrisk students to pursue their college aspirations. Thus, the purpose of the program at BU is to provide a structured environment where underprepared students are holistically supported academically, financially, and personally. Perry (as cited in Perry, Steele, and Hilliard, 2003) describes EOP as a “carefully constructed environment that made it possible for program staff to routinely participate in the transformation of students into high academic achievers” (p. 3). For first generation college students developing a roadmap to graduation is critical. According to the Education Advisory Board (2016) 90% of low-income first generation students do not graduate on time. First generation college students face many challenges like paying for college, navigating college life, and having proper guidance and support. Therefore, the program also seeks to implement strategies to make certain that Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 students not only gain access to higher education but also persist and graduate with a college

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors address the need for an effective program structure to ensure best practices while creating, implementing, and maintaining experiential learning programs, and propose an effective internship program structure.
Abstract: The internship program offers opportunities for learners to fulfill their scholastic, professional, and personal interests through a contractual agreement. The various stakeholders within the internship experience are vital and should be aware of the internship program structure. The goal is to prepare the intern for life outside of the collegiate experience and to transition from novice to expert. To ensure best practices while creating, implementing, and maintaining experiential learning programs, the need for an effective program structure is addressed in this paper. Introduction Within higher education, experiential learning, learning based from life experiences, is a practice that many schools, colleges and departments use to ensure their learners have what it takes to enter the world after college and can perform at the same levels as those who are in the workforce (Gailbraith, 2004). Experiential learning is a hands-on approach to learning and allows the learner to gain real-life experience in the learning process. Gailbraith (2004), discussed the various philosophies of andragogical practices, and internships was a component addressed within the various educational philosophical approaches. Due to globalization and the continuous shifting of educational initiatives across the nation, it is best that a holistic approach to learning that encompasses an increased focus on experiential learning rather than traditional learning is emphasized to address these societal changes (Gailbraith, 2004). Within the internship process, there are many stakeholders such as the learner, the school, faculty, community partners, and field supervisors. Each role is critical and may vary from institution to institution; however, each internship program has one main objective, to aid the learner in his or her transition from out of the classroom into the real world (Rangan & Natarajarathinam, 2014). To ensure that individuals are gaining well-rounded experiences, they should be knowledgeable of diversity in their work or learning setting, aware of the organization and its structure, and be eager to gain real-life experiences through networking. Educating a Diverse Society To ensure that learners are adequately prepared to enter the diverse workforce, it is imperative that diversity is replicated into their internship experience to eradicate a prejudicial outlook (Chinn & Gollnick, 2009). Today’s society is well-diverse in countless aspects such as: race, gender, sexual orientation, and physical/psychological dimensions (Cunningham & Melton, 2012). Due to this, it is imperative that stakeholders within the learning experience and the learners are sufficiently trained and educated to refrain from discriminatory practices (Cunningham & Melton, 2012). Having a well diverse staff within any institution that promotes experiential learning, permits the learners to receive instruction by professionals from many backgrounds and not have to be subject to isolated learning experiences (Chinn & Gollnick, 2009). The ethnic make-up of the United States is continuously shifting and becoming more diverse (Chinn & Gollnick, 2009). The U.S. school system has consisted of mainly the Caucasian ethnic group; however, minority ethnic group enrollment is increasing enormously Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 (Chinn & Gollnick, 2009). Studies have shown that having personnel within the learning experience that reflects the student population provides a well diverse internship experience (Chinn & Gollnick, 2009). Therefore, participation in learning initiatives, such as interning, allows the learner to experience interaction with individuals outside of the scope of their current community and or institutional demographics. Societal influences impacts the learning experiences of students (Lewis, 2012). This is due to adolescents imitating what they observe in their communities and scholastic settings. Due to this, it is understood that collegiate learners will have similar experiences as those witnessed within their communities (Lewis, 2012). Learning experiences are perceived to be social settings where learners can obtain knowledge, skills, and abilities from many stakeholders and via observations. The internship experience, experiential learning, is an avenue that learners can gain social skills in a diverse setting. Due to the diverse global community, it is also essential that instructors, field supervisors and other personnel understand the many obstacles that learners may experience, such as language barriers (Chinn & Gollnick, 2009). Due to this, all stakeholders should be cognizant of these differences and are culturally sensitive to the needs of the learner so that the learner can have a well-rounded learning experience (Khatib & Hamidi, 2013). During the experiential learning process, learners gain experience through intermingling with clients of the organizations as well as witnessing and participating in trainings, workshops and other learning initiatives offered by the agency hosting the internship experience (Rangan & Natarajarathinam, 2014). This experience provides the student with an abundance of knowledge. Experiential learning is also beneficial for learners who may not grasp the content well within the classroom and may need a more hands-on approach (Gailbraith, 2004). Some learners may belong to special populations, such as having a learning disability, and the internship experiences aids with their actual learning process (Education, 2017). According to the California Department of Education, some characteristics of persons belonging to special populations are those that may have disabilities, single parents, and those who are limited English language speakers (2017). Learners who are not self-confident and who may have learning barriers can gain better practice and triumphs through hands-on techniques, in comparison to other practices. Reading and writing are some mechanisms that professionals utilize daily. Having the ability to read and write fluently, allows one to perform many tasks scholastically and in the modern world (Baszile, & Brandon, 2009). If the internship incorporates real-life, practical approaches to the experience of the learners, then reading, writing, and other techniques that are utilized frequently in the workforce would benefit the learners’ likelihood of future employment. Understanding the Collegiate Internship Process As Gailbraith (2004) emphasized Knowles principles of adult learning, it is imperative that the educator, the agency to which the intern will conduct their internship, as well as the intern have basic knowledge of the internship process. Knowles five principles of andragogical practices: 1) what learners need to know, 2) recognizing the self-concept of the learner, 3) identifying the experiences of the novice, 4) recognizing the learner’s orientation, and 5) instilling motivation within the learner are all essential to having a successful internship experience (Gailbraith, 2004). Educators, field supervisors and any personnel that are supporting the mission of the internship experience should be sure to incorporate various coaching and instruction Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 methodologies. All stakeholders should also be experienced professionals that are fluent in educator-centered approaches (appropriate, professional, and personal model teaching, and novice centered tactics (coaching, lecturing, facilitating, blended, and collective trainings) (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2014). A student’s learning experience can affect the student’s social mobility, which includes scholastic and professional experiences (Collins, Collins, & Butt, 2015). To ensure that an intern is experienced and proficient in his or her field of study, many institutions offer field hours, or shadowing experiences from the freshman year until the actual internship process, which is typically during the senior year. These earlier learning experiences of students, not only prepares the learner for the internship process, but it also prepares them for real-life experiences through experiential practices of learning (Khatib & Hamidi, 2013). This allows learners to gain responsibility for their learning as well as their professional and academic growth. For a student to receive satisfactory internship experiences, an educator must be able to recognize a student’s learning style and areas for improvement, which will enhance the overall learning experience. There are several approaches that one can employ in the learning experience to captivate their learners (Galbraith, 2004). Some of these approaches are the use of script, technology, hands-on events and group dialogue. These numerous approaches can also include evaluation, language, and supplementary materials to provide the intern an informed experience (Gailbraith, 2004). Educators may attend workshops and intermingle with field supervisors to expand ideas to improve their supervising and mentoring methods. To have a favorable and accomplished scholarship experience, the educationalist must warrant that the learner receives satisfactory coaching as well as useful criticism (Galbraith, 2004). Instruction should be void of biases, encompass various teaching methods, learning styles, the diverse society and should reach as many learners as possible (Cunningham & Melton, 2012). Factoring these items can aid with making the internship experience enjoyable. Although, all of the stakeholders involved have a responsibility, it is imperative that transparency, collaboration and effective communication are in effect to ensure best practices. Best Practices To have a beneficial, yet well-rounded internship program, it is critical that all stakeholders involved understand and aid with the creation and implementation of an interns

Journal Article
TL;DR: Hilton et al. as mentioned in this paper conducted a qualitative study with 15 African American males who were enrolled in three universities in the University of North Carolina system to explore the perceptions of undergraduate African American male social science majors on the personal factors that influenced their retention in higher education.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of undergraduate African American male social science majors on the personal factors that influenced their retention in higher education. This was a qualitative study with 15 African American males who were enrolled in three universities in the University of North Carolina system. The data were collected using face-to-face interviews of approximately 45 minutes duration that took place on two separate occasions. The African American males appeared eager to discuss their experiences as freshmen and the factors that influenced them to return to the university a second year. The main findings from this study were that African American males who persisted in the social science majors had inner determination, support from peers, mentors, parents, siblings, and extended families. They also had spiritual support, and learned to navigate through the social science curriculum with a commitment to a career in the social science field. The findings from the study contributes to the field of higher education by informing administrators about some approaches to facilitate the retention and graduation of African American males in social science majors. Future research studies might examine the persistence of other underrepresented students at other universities in social science majors using a mixed methods approach. Introduction Degree completion rates for African American males appear troubling. African American female college students tend to excel, while African American males face challenges throughout their matriculation on college campuses (Hilton, Wood, & Lewis, 2012). Starting with their first year in college, the retention of African American male college students has become especially challenging in higher education (Cuyjet, 2006; Habley, Bloom, & Robbins, 2012; Hilton, Wood, & Lewis, 2012; Sax, 2008; Swail, Redd, & Perna, 2003). Over the past 20 years, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) continues to report the lagging retention rates among African American male students attending United States colleges and universities (NCES, 2006). The retention rate for this student population has drawn the attention of college administrators; in fact, there are noticeable differences in degree completion between Caucasians and their counterparts (Sax, 2008). African American women tend to outperform their male counterparts regarding degree completion rates; actually, these females earn approximately twice the number of bachelor and master degrees than African American males (Sax, 2008). The gender gaps in education are becoming greater each year at all levels: elementary, secondary, and postsecondary (Renn and Reason, 2012). The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of undergraduate African American male social science majors on the personal factors that influenced their retention in higher education. Therefore, the following research question guided this study, what do undergraduate African American male social science majors perceive as the personal factors influencing their retention in higher education? This study was limited to three institutions in the ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 1 Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 University of North Carolina System. This study focused on purposefully selected undergraduate African American male students who were enrolled at these universities. The results gathered from African American male students who attended these universities represented only a limited segment of the African American male student population and should not be considered of minority students attending other institutions of higher education. African American Family Structure The well-being of African American males is directly connected to family income and school performance. Boyce-Rodgers and Rose (2001) conducted a study with 2,153 students examining the effects of family structural factors on academic achievement. They discovered that parental support was higher for two-parent families than for single parent or step families. Hines and McCoy (2013) conducted a quantitative study with 153 eleventh and twelfth grade African American males from two schools outside of a major city in the northeastern region of the United States. The majority of the participants were either 17 or 18 years old and the average GPA of the participants was 2.62. The purpose of the study was to explore the connection between parenting styles and African American males’ academic achievement. The parents in the study were classified as authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, or neglectful; authoritarian parents were identifying as demanding but demonstrate little warmth; authoritative parents were identifying as having balance high expectations with support and warmth; permissive parents were defined as not placing any limits on their children; and neglectful parents showed little interest in their children’s welfare. The findings indicated no significant relationship between parenting styles and enrollment in honors courses. However the results indicated that the fathers’ education level and two-parent households were positive predictors of students’ GPA. As of 2011, over 54% of African American children live in single parent households and below the poverty level compared to 35% of Caucasian children (U.S. Census, 2011). The median household income of African Americans is $37,000 compared to $52,000 for Caucasians (U.S. Census, 2011). Based on research, a parent of 25% of African American children will be incarcerated before the child’s 18 th birthday (Wildeman, 2009).The high school dropout rate for African American males is 52% and approximately 100,000 African American males drop out every year (Kunjufu, 2010). However, there are examples of low-income, single-parent families whose children achieve academically. Williams and Bryan (2013) conducted a qualitative study of eight urban, African American high school graduates, who were enrolled in an institution of higher education. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 21 years, and all participants lived in households with their mothers with the exception of one who lived with his grandmother. Cumulative high school grade point averages ranged from 2.75 to 4.2. The purpose of the study was to identify the factors that contributed to the academic success of urban, African American high school graduates from low-income, single-parent families (Williams & Bryan, 2013). The participants were college sophomores except for one, who was a freshman. The participants were selected because of their shared experiences of growing up on the south side of Chicago amidst poverty, crime, and chronic unemployment. The researchers utilized individual interviews and focus groups. Six of the eight participants discussed the spankings they received for getting in trouble at school or getting mediocre grades. This punishment helped increase their motivation to excel in school. All of the participants mentioned words of encouragement from their parent(s) that kept them focused on school, they also stressed the high expectations their parents had for their ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 scholastic performance. Several stated that extended family members, such as aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents who were positive impact on their academics. Extended family members helped participants overcome their social, emotional, and financial challenges (Williams & Bryan, 2013). It appears that regardless of family structure, a substantial percentage of low-income parents have high academic aspirations for their children. In addition, teacher expectations and peer pressure were also shown to be important aspects for African American males. Spirituality and African American Male Students The role of spirituality in the college lives of African American has become increasingly important in recent years (Dancy, 2010; Seifert & Holman-Harmon, 2009; Watson; 2006). The coping strategies and problem-solving styles of African American college students are deeply influenced by spirituality and religious involvement (Constantine, Wilton, Gainor, & Lewis, 2002; Dancy, 2010). Constantine et al., (2002) found that African American students were more likely to utilize spiritual strategies to cope with collegiate challenges. Herndon (2003) conducted a qualitative study examining how spirituality affects African American males attending a predominantly White institution (PWI). Thirteen African American male students were interviewed and spirituality was found to create a greater sense of purpose and encouraged resilience. Watson (2006) interviewed 97 freshmen and sophomore male students at three private Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs). He utilized three open-ended essay questions and a 23-item Likert scale questionnaire to his participants. Watson found that spirituality was essential in academic persistence and identity development. Riggins (2008) replicated Herndon’s 2003 study among 13 African American males at a southern HBCU. The purpose of Riggins study was to explore the role spirituality had on African American college males who were enrolled in an HBCU. The 13 participants were between the ages of 19 to 26 and were majoring in Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Sociology. The findings consisted of three major themes. The first theme was the role of prayer as a means for guidance and coping with stress; they reported putting their troubles in God’s hands. The second theme was spirituality in a social context; they reported openly confessing their faith to others and that their spirituality assisted them in avoiding on campus temptations. The third theme, social support from religious institutions, was described as a valuable aspect of their retention. Participants descr

Journal Article
TL;DR: Cinema clips have been used to connect students to learning content as mentioned in this paper, which can provide students with multi-faceted information and different perspectives about an instructional topic, and can also provide a differentiated style of teaching for students.
Abstract: Most certainly “good styles of teaching” match the needs of students. As technology distractions within society grow more and more tearing students away from a classroom’s pedagogy, it becomes even more important today for teachers to find effective ways to engage students. Cinema clips is one-way educators can apply a cultural value driven pedagogy to connect students to lessons. For one, the use of cinema clips allows teachers to use multi-media resources to translate or deconstruct a lesson through video and auditory mechanism. Furthermore, it offers a differentiated style of teaching for students. What makes the use of Cinema clips noteworthy is its ability to provide students with multi-faceted information and different perspectives about an instructional topic. Quite honestly, there is nothing new about teachers applying cinema clips to connect students to learning content. What is different is how such a method adds cultural value and instructional meaning for students and teachers in a classroom. When appropriately and strategically aligned, cinema clips promote powerful discussion webs and project-based learning assignments while at the same time creating a different set of menu options for students to choose. Simply just showing a movie to show a movie is “bad teaching practice.” However, when used strategically, cinema clips provide teachers with the effective means to combat boredom aligning modern tech devices into a classroom experience. Introduction A good movie or film usually draws with it a series of rave reviews and public recognition. The most recent films of Star Wars (2015) and Creed (2015) exemplify how a movie can mesmerize audiences while at the same time contribute to popular culture milieu. Great quotes such as “Give him an offer he can’t refuse,” from Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather (1972) or how about Mel Gibson’s famous phrase from Brave Heart (1995), “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” Quite often what makes a film “good” is it relates to something lots of people identify and connect with. The use of cinema excerpts in a classroom can have the same powerful affect on students because it enhances societal values while at the same time evoking meaning to a lesson. Although it is easier for History and English subject areas to exhibit cinema within their classes, the application of cinema excerpts are noteworthy in any subject area. The idea or objective here is not to have a teacher sit back and show a whole movie as a lesson mismanaging classroom time, but rather skillfully and methodically applying film clips to lessons that equip students with visual application, general discovery, insight, and formative comprehension. Students experiencing film as a pedagogical lens not only feel connected to what is happening in class, but also learn a different instructional viewpoint. VALUE DRIVEN PEDAGOGY Journal of Research Initiatives 2 Why a Cultural Relevant Responsive Value Driven Pedagogy? A cultural relevant value driven (CVD) pedagogy encourages the use of an artintegrated curriculum to engage students (Ladson-Billings, 2009; Ali and Barden, 2015). What this ultimately does is provide visual and auditory sensory to lessons that, at times, teachers struggle to connect or relate to students. In addition, film excerpts are very useful tools because they add meaning and value to lessons that appear mundane or nonnoteworthy for students (Gelineau, 2011). The goal of critical pedagogy is to challenge students to question, reason, and analyze concepts or challenging information distinctly important for them to learn (Freire & Ramos, 2000). Take the example of students learning the Pythagorean Theorem in a geometry class. There are times when students get bored with the idea of learning how to apply or see its relevancy. For example, the Wizard of Oz scene when the scarecrow discovers his new brain translated the Pythagorean Theorem in front of his peers and the “Great Wizard” saying, “The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side” (Metro-GoldwynMayer & Harold Rosson, 1939). The use of the clip creatively highlights the theory’s popularity while describing its function. For teachers, such a clip is an effective way to introduce the theory as a warm up or bell ringer exercise. Pythagoras’ theory also possesses a considerable historic connection regarding its origins. The theory relevancy and application existed for centuries beyond the Greeks in Egypt and throughout Latin America. Egypt’s great mathematical mind Imhotep, known as the father of this theory by the Greeks and Egyptians, is given credit with applying this formula to design the pyramids (Browder, 1989). Hence, showing students the great pyramids of Giza from either the film, Prince of Egypt (1998) or the Oscar Award winning movie, The Ten Commandments (1956) provide students with visual insights and historical connections that engage and advance their learning comprehension. It might also be possible for students to conduct further research of how this theory not only used in Africa, but also throughout Latin America as the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans built great pyramids to honor their leaders and gods (Schoch, 2004). Ultimately, a film’s excerpt serves as a cultural relevant responsive value-driven pedagogy because it serves as an instructional resource. As a result, teachers are able to strengthen their lessons by using cinema clips to visually connect and entice learners to want to learn more about a subject. Teachers can further apply cinema clips, as relevant currency, to connect students to difficult conversations often deemed restricted or too challenging. Conversations related to race and history using cinema clips offer meaningful constructive applications for teachers to develop project based learning assignments that radicalize students’ awareness, engagement, and concept development. Cultural Connections What better way to discuss the American constitution or pre-revolutionary history using cinema excerpts from Mel Gibson’s The Patriot (2000)? Gibson’s film captures a series of questions dealing with pre-colonial frustrations against the British tax system, loyalist versus patriot sentiments toward the British crown, or the choice of slaves to either fight alongside their slave master or with England. In fact, what makes these excerpts intriguing and fascinating for an educator primarily deals with the “instructional hooks” and discussion items generated from such cinematography. An instructor can use any one of these film clips to have students write a persuasive exposition, apply a Venn diagram, or produce a discussion web. Major quotes from film can also be extracted for students to dialogue the pros and cons of an instructional theme. VALUE DRIVEN PEDAGOGY Journal of Research Initiatives 3 What also strikingly makes a movie like the Patriot (2000), Glory (1989), or Roots (1977) terrific classroom commodities are the multifaceted ways they inform students of important historical matters. Again, the controversial subject of race emerges within all of these films as it does continuously throughout many facets of society. As a result, films such as these allow students to discover and learn the significant roles African Americans have had developing American society. Students could review the role of Occam, Gibson’s Black sidekick in the Patriot film, to articulate and discover the way African Americans contributed to the White colonist freedom. More important, a film documentary such as the PBS’ Slavery: The Making of America (2005) offers an enrichment resource for students to learn more about African Americans contribution laying the foundation of the colonies’ war against England. Other films that culturally discuss the role and importance of race and history include Do the Right Thing (1989), Amistad (1997), China Girl (1987), Dark Matter (2007), Stand and Deliver (1988), Infancia Clandestina (2011), and many more. In other words, a classroom should not only have a library of books, but also a small library of films to use as excerpts to enhance students’ visual comprehension of a subject’s concept. Especially today, the more options students are provided or offered greatly increase their chance to complete learning tasks. As a result, teachers within their rooms are applying menu options, which provide a list of opportunities for learners to readily complete assignments such as students studying the Civil Rights Movement, The Big Bang Theory, or Shakespeare’s Macbeth. (Refer to Figure 1). Especially with the amount of visual distractions and stimuli young people are exposed to today, there is a greater chance of them becoming more bored from instructional topics once popularized and celebrated as edutainment. Postman (1986) famous text, Amusing Ourselves To Death, highlighted the significance of literacy skills and critical inquiry declining as more Americans got hooked to “T.V. land.” The text was written at a time when television dominated media consumption. However, today’s teens have more distractions at their disposal and television is probably way down on their list, i.e. twitter, face time, Instagram, snap chat. Social media consumption is so enigmatic within U.S. society statistics show that 60% of people use social media and smart phone apps almost 30% of their daily time, which accounts for a 1/3 of a person’s day (Perez, 2015). VALUE DRIVEN PEDAGOGY Journal of Research Initiatives 4 So to say the traditional modicums or instructional approaches should remain current only denies how much young people are inundated with technology trends. To counter or balance the use of distractions students daily receive, it is important teachers introduce media stimuli into a classroom environment to engage learners. Cinema clips are one way of culturally introducing relevant lessons into a teachers’ pedagogy. Best P

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present and paradigmatically support the researchers' worldview through a logical primacy and discussion of ontological, epistemological, axiological, and methodological perspectives.
Abstract: This paper offers a historical theoretical discussion and practical perspective on the qualitative paradigm of inquiry referred to as Naturalistic Inquiry (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Moreover, it endeavors to demonstrate the paradigm’s versatility and usefulness when attempting to illuminate phenomena that specifically occur when students experience and interact with engaging, innovative, and experientially based pedagogies (e.g., service-learning, work-integrated learning, community-based learning). This paper presents and paradigmatically supports the researchers’ worldview through a logical primacy and discussion of ontological, epistemological, axiological, and methodological perspectives (Guba & Lincoln, 2001). Following this, Naturalistic Inquiry is identified as a paradigm of inquiry that aligns with the worldview and serves as a useful paradigm for observing phenomena, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting transferable findings with regard to experiential pedagogy. This paper could serve as a citable source and theoretical underpinning advocating and calling for qualitative methodologies and research into student and community engagement. Introduction We believe as researchers we take the shape of keys. Each key varies slightly or considerably from other keys. It is our ontological, epistemological, methodological, and axiological assumptions that determine the shape and cut of our specific key. These assumptions of reality, knowledge, method, and values are largely shaped by our culture, experiences, and hermeneutics (among other influential factors). Denzin and Lincoln (2003) recognize that behind these labels is the “personal biography of the researcher” (p. 29). The voice of the researcher’s personal biography is indicative of a lifetime of experiences that are inextricably shaped by class, gender, race, cultural, religious, and ethnic community perspectives. Positioned between the ‘researcher as a key’ and the phenomena they intend to understand are locked doors. These doors represent the numerous paradigms of inquiry, which serve as collections of “logically related assumptions, concepts, or propositions that orient thinking and research” (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998), of which we as value-laden inquirers with “personal biographies” of our own may or may not align. The door, with its frame, knob, lock, and hinges, serves as a symbol for the axioms that underpin a particular paradigm. Each of these doors has a lock; and in order to open one, the researcher must be a key that fits and is granted access, methodologically speaking. While there are many doors to choose from, there is typically one that is most suitable for the key of the researcher and the phenomenon intended to be studied. We must reiterate that this is our interpretation of a subjective process. Meaning, the door that a ‘researcher as a key’ opens is representative of a human constructed paradigm and subsequently is subject to human error, bias, and misinterpretation. The ‘researcher as a key’ is also not immune to human error because it is completely human, particularly idiographic, and emergent. Subsequently, the ‘researcher as a key’ is based on the hermeneutics of the researcher’s view of knowledge, reality, method, and values. In this the ‘researcher as a key,’ so long as he or she is true to his or her worldview, can shape and reshape their key Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No.1 November 2017 ISSN# 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edsu/jri 2 (worldview) throughout access, interpretation, and synthesis of newly accumulated information. This allows for continual development of the researcher’s perspective and the research process as they become immersed in their investigation. Furthermore, this aligns with the established concept of emergent design. In return, the phenomenon being investigated also has an influence on the paradigm of which a researcher aligns. Meaning that the paradigm of inquiry selected is also contingent on the topic of investigation (e.g., student test scores, student experiences, student engagement scores, community organizations’ perspectives on service-learning). Understanding that the doors, or paradigms of inquiry, and the ‘researcher as a key’ are both predisposed to human error allows for the research process to unfold in an emergent way versus a predetermined or a priori design. As researchers, it is essential to understand the worldviews before unpacking the interplay that transpires among the researcher, the paradigm of inquiry with which they most align, and the phenomenon they seek to more deeply understand. Before one can subscribe to the most appropriate paradigm of inquiry, a researcher must provide insight into their worldview and its construction. The way they view the world is based on the experiences they have had and the hermeneutic understandings that they have come to through reflection, critical reflection, and attempts at making meaning. While paradigms are human constructions and therefore subject to human error (Guba & Lincoln, 2001), they do provide the door through which we can enter and interpret our world and its complex phenomena. Essentially, it is this penultimate interpretation, or description of the door, that serves as the subconscious filter through which the collected data from an investigation will travel and ultimately be analyzed. Before one can discuss the paradigm of inquiry and the connected methods used to collect and interpret the data, a researcher must first provide the necessary context for understanding their ontological, epistemological, methodological, and axiological perspectives and assumptions. The Researcher as a Key As researchers and human beings, we have views of what reality is and how it has, can, or could come to be known. We have ideas about what counts as knowledge or truth, and we have a set of values, which serve as our “arbiters of preference or choice” (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 160, italics original). Furthermore, bound within these views and ideas of reality, knowledge, and values, we have an understanding of how we as researchers can come to find them. The process of how we come to find out more about the phenomenon of study is referred to as methods. The nature of the methods researchers use is bound by their perception of reality, knowledge, and values. These elements are discussed in the following sections in a logical hierarchy, which Guba and Lincoln (2001) have suggested as a “necessary primacy” (p. 60), by first addressing the form and nature of reality. Based on what is real and what can be known about what is real, the process or methods used to seek the data to inform the researcher’s knowledge is also determined. Throughout all of the decisions made and assumptions had on each of these elements are the axiological elements. Prescribed by the researcher’s values, these influence the choice of research focus or topic, paradigm of inquiry, theory used to frame phenomena, and contextual or environmental agents or forces. The departure point for understanding a researcher’s ontological view is best described in the concluding sentence of Bogden and Biklen’s (1998) anecdotal story entitled, “Forever.” “It is multiple realities rather than a single reality that concern the qualitative researcher” (p. 27). In this, the point is that there is no single reality, but many interpretations of what participants see, perceive, and experience as their realities. To further develop this idea, LeCompte and Preissle (2001) identified five assumptions within a major theoretical perspective of social science research. These assumptions demonstrate the interconnectedness and influence that conceptions of reality have on the framing of an inquiry. 1. Meaning is constructed through social interaction. 2. Individuals act on the basis of meanings they perceive. Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No.1 November 2017 ISSN# 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edsu/jri 3 3. Meanings change in the course of interaction because of different perceptions held by the actors. 4. Thus, reality is not a prior given; it is based upon interpretations and it is constructed during interaction between and among individual actors. 5. Reality is not fixed, but changes according to the actors and the context (p. 46-47). If reality is not fixed, but perceived, constructed, and interpreted during an individual’s interactions with others, their environment, and the phenomena being researched, then describing reality as singular, fragmented, or hypothetical variables may not be the only, or best, way to understand phenomena. Subsequently, the counter to this if-then statement is the recognition that there are numerous constructed realities based on individual interpretations that can and should be studied holistically. When phenomena are studied in this capacity, then the increased understanding does not lead to a singular, fragmented reality that is capable of being predicted and controlled, but to a deeper level of understanding of or a clearer illumination of the phenomena under investigation (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). This ultimately has implications for the reconstruction of constructed realities, which serves as the process for seeking a layered, more complex understanding of a phenomenon. By recognizing the various interpretations of reality that participants in a research study may experience, a more thorough understanding of participant experiences may be achieved. The core tenets of experiential education and experiential learning as underpinnings of innovative pedagogy are based on participants experiencing and interacting with their environments or realities and from these, co-constructing their personal experiences (O’Steen, 2000). Moreover, this particular ontological view lends itself well to studying innovative, engaging, pedagogical theories within the philosophy of experiential education (e.g., servicelearning, problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning


Journal Article
TL;DR: This paper used Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a lens to examine and explain the athletic and academic experiences of diverse student athletes at Predominately White Institutions (PWI's).
Abstract: Many athletic departments within Predominately White Institutions (PWI’s) have a culmination of competition, academic support, and an abundance of campus support. With this, comes an expected tradition of athletic prestige. Winning athletic contests is culturally derived attitude. At the same time, improving academic motivation and success of student athletes should be an equally important, culturally derived attitude as well. Given the need to improve academic outcomes of diverse student athletes, the emphasis to improve holistic development is imperative in encouraging academic growth while leading student athletes to recognize, understand, and analyze social situations. This study highlights a diverse group of student athletes at PWI’s, and their motivational factors that influenced academic and athletic outcomes. This study also utilizes Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a lens to thoroughly examine and explain the athletic and academic experiences of diverse student athletes at PWI’s. The necessary tenet within CRT in order to explore this study is the interest convergence principle. Introduction Athletics, coupled with academic preparedness and growth, has the potential to benefit student athletes in areas far beyond their respective playing careers. The visibility of not only these student athletes, but their collegiate institutions as well, increases the drive and motivation to succeed in athletic endeavors as well as attend these prestigious institutions. As the visibility and exposure of the athletic world continues to grow, the relationship between athletic prowess and academic excellence has caused the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to modify numerous academic requirements for institutions accountability. Although many institutions, athletic personnel, and student athletes adhere to many academic requirements, there are still institutions that continue to perpetuate systematic and institutional practices that produce to low academic performance outcomes from Black/diverse student athletes. There is a vast amount of literature highlighting the relationship between athletics and academics. However, the unequal representation of the two within athletic departments at highly visible collegiate institutions, demands immediate analysis, considering that both play a critical role in the lives of student athletes beyond their careers. Much of the research in regards to connecting athletics and academics revolves around Black and diverse, revenue producing (i.e. football, men’s and women’s basketball) student athletes. However, at many institutions, a diverse student athlete population dominates athletic departments. In order to enhance the holistic development of the total student athlete population, the constant critique of these individuals must be analyzed consistently. Edwards (1986), and many scholars since, have enlightened and informed the public on the mobility aspirations of Black athletes and other racially diverse athletes as well. The emphasis of winning in athletic departments is seemingly far ahead that of academics importance, which in turn causes discourse in the total YEARNING FOR EXCELLENCE Journal of Research Initiatives 2 measurement of success. As collegiate athletic programs generate revenue, increase visibility, recruit students, and receive alumni support-to-support athletic departments (Beamon, 2008; Donnor, 2005; Upthegrove, Roscigno, & Charles, 1999), these athletic departments turn into progressive, professional plantations with an expected outcome of athletic success and prestige. Winning numerous games and leading athletes to and through their lifelong goals of being a professional athlete is indeed great for athletic departments and the student athletes they service, however, in order to improve academic success rates within a diverse student athlete population, institutions should work to prepare these individuals for their futures after expired eligibility. If athletic departments are to change the academic outcomes of Black/diverse student athletes, then they must be able to recruit and obtain academically motivated student athletes as well as employees that understand the goal of a meaningful education. Although there is literature in regards to Black and diverse athletes, the research that specifically concentrates on the motivations of this population and how it relates to academic performance has received little attention. Critics have argued that revenue generating sport within the NCAA serve as training and recruiting agencies for professional sports organizations. Therefore, these institutions encourage student athletes to direct their primary attention to performing well at their sports in deference to doing well academically (Snyder, 1996). This perceived lack of motivation; often reflected in a general “misidentification” with school and reduces academic performance (Snyder, 1996; Snyder & Spreitzer, 1992). In other words, Black and diverse student athletes seem less willing to become motivated to transfer their athletic motivation into academic motivation (Simons, Van Rheenen, & Covington, 1999). However, after processing their college careers after their eligibility expires, African American student athletes have to face reality and conclude that competitive athletics will no longer be a part of who they are or what they do. Motivation has the ability to influence specific goals of students, more specifically, Black and diverse student athletes; it helps them acquire knowledge, develop social qualities, increase initiation, improve performance and develop a sense of discipline. Furthermore, motivation and its usefulness in predicting athletic and academic success for African American student athletes continues to generate thought provoking discussions as well (Sellers, Chavous, & Brown, 2002). Specifically, motivation can be a useful predictor in both athletic and academic success. Nonetheless, several student athletes are committed and motivated to succeed athletically and academically. These students do not have the fear of failure and are persistent through hard times (Snyder, 1996). They have a strong sense of self-worth and believe they have the ability to compete physically and intellectually, and expect to succeed and take pride in their academic achievements (Snyder, 1996). These students have a history of strong academic performance which reinforces their feelings of self-worth and gives them confidence in their ability to succeed academically (Snyder, 1996). Motivation A continuous and consistent question arises when analyzing the Black/diverse individual within the United States of America; this question is “Are they motivated to succeed?” This question arises even more so when it comes to the Black/diverse student athlete. Although the literature in regards to how Black and diverse student athletes are motivated is growing, the existing literature in regards to these students primarily focuses on their perceived deficits. For instance, the literature in regards to this population often references a lack of willingness to participate in academics, intellectual inferiority, or the lack of interest (Simons, Van Rheenen, & Covington, 1999; Snyder, 1996; Snyder & Spreitzer, 1992). Coupled with this, YEARNING FOR EXCELLENCE Journal of Research Initiatives 3 there also is not much literature that highlights the motivations of Black/diverse student athletes; only generalities and of course, low expectations. Therefore, the only belief that people in positions of power tend to rely on is what is commonly written about them; along with the perceived notions of these individuals, which further leads to low expectations. Therefore, organizing literature that highlights the positive motivational factors of student athletes is necessary, but at the same time, a challenge due to the stigma, status, and partially due to the topics motivation researchers have chosen to pursue in regards to these individuals. In other words, the willingness on behalf of scholars and educators to critically observe, focus, and disseminate information on the positive motivation factors as it represents this population, is indeed minimal. It is apparent that the literature highlights many perceived negatives from Black/diverse students and student athletes. Additionally, the existing literature also lacks the need to address the common practices that lead to low expectations and expected outcomes of this population. The common result of low academic standards and results from certain individuals is not due to intellectual incompetence or deficient learning skills, but rather the low expectations that are placed on them by either themselves, their surrounding network, or society itself. Accordingly, within American society, Black and diverse people are deemed and recognized primarily as athletes and entertainers, but rarely as academicians or scholars. Furthermore, these same individuals generate millions of dollars for their respective institutions, only to recognize that their academic achievements is with doubt, hesitation, and resentment. These student athletes are questioned for their academic ability, whereas they are seen as individuals who would not have been admitted into college without physical giftedness (Solórzano, Allen, & Carroll, 2002). As a result, the academic expectations for these students are relatively low from peers and others surrounding them in a campus environment (Steel, 1997). With these statements and expectations comes belief, and ultimately the focus on positive motivation deteriorates over time. However, many student athletes combat these stereotypes and beliefs by exemplifying high levels of motivation, high standards, and are highly motivated to succeed academically. Although sparse, disproving intellectual stereotypes has surfaced throughout the literature and research for Black/diverse student athletes as well. For that matter, the majori

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Digital Commons as discussed by the authors is a collection of the Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research (EER), Educational Leadership, Educational Methods Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration, Elementary Education and Teaching Commons, Special Education and teaching Commons, and the Student Counseling and Personnel Services Commons.
Abstract: Follow this and additional works at: http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri Part of the Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Commons, Educational Leadership Commons, Educational Methods Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, Elementary Education and Teaching Commons, Special Education and Teaching Commons, and the Student Counseling and Personnel Services Commons

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a largely empirical study which examines the experiences of, and issues faced by seven postgraduate research students in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University.
Abstract: There has long been a tradition of international students studying in the United Kingdom. Despite a dip in the most recently published statistics, Indian students continue to make up a high proportion of UK’s international student population. The majority of Indian students are multilingual and this raises potential problems for them with regards to academic writing, such as grammar, structuring, and vocabulary. This article presents a largely empirical study which examines the experiences of, and issues faced by seven postgraduate research students in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University. Samples of academic writing of each participant were analysed and semi structured interviews were also conducted with the participants. Lessons from these experiences, such as the difference between participants’ actual and perceived academic writing ability, and the tendency of some students to think in their native language and then translate their thoughts into English, are discussed and proposals made as to how multilingual students can be better supported in their academic writing within the Faculty.


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors evaluated the effectiveness of the direct reading instruction program for special education students by using data collection modules, progress monitoring, and assessment, and found that students with reading comprehension problems were more likely to fail to reach grade-level expectations.
Abstract: Reading was one of the areas targeted by most states for assessment because it not only is a critical area in academics, but also an area where most students were not showing gains. The National Education Association (NEA, 2004) prescribed reading as the catalyst for both learning and achievement. Reading difficulties typically being in the primary grades and become more profound by the time a child reaches high school (Fisher & Frey, 2007). However, questions regarding how exactly to formulate, deliver, sustain, and manage secondary-level interventions remain to be addressed, as do issues of validation, school resources, and cost (Kamps & Greenwood, 2005). New state and federal mandates are holding all students and educators to higher academic standards. Schools are becoming more inclusive and more collaborative despite existing organizational barriers that often interfere with effective practice. Introduction No Child Left Behind prompted states to look into their methods and resources for teaching in order to close achievement gaps for all students. The populations that were specifically targeted by NCLB were low socioeconomic groups and children with disabilities who typically experienced poor assessment results when compared to so-called traditional students from moderate socioeconomic backgrounds. Children who do not acquire appropriate reading skills in the formative years face poor trajectories in latter grades and well into their adult lives. The goal of this research study was to monitor the effectiveness of the direct reading instruction program for special education students by using data collection modules, progress monitoring, and assessment. Poor reading ability and disabilities can significantly impact an individual throughout their entire life (Connor, Alberto, Compton & O’Connor, 2014). Although direct instruction models have been proven to work for children with reading comprehension (Ryder, Burton & Silberg, 2006) if followed explicitly, it was not immediately clear how the results are broken down among key demographic groups, including exceptional children. This research study identified the target populations, implemented the instructional program, and examined the results. Review of the Literature Decades of research has been dedicated to understanding the struggling reader (Richards, 2008). Despite the teachers’ best efforts and the willingness of students to learn, students continue to struggle with reading comprehension (Beck, McKeown, Hamilton, & Kucan, 1998). This can be even more complicated for students who have been identified as special needs and who have historically not had much success in the classroom. The role of the classroom teacher is becoming even more multidimensional as teachers are being asked to accommodate for students with more diverse academic and behavioral needs in the general education setting. Educators have debated for decades about the best way to teach reading. While school systems revamp curriculum, habitually replace programs that have not been implemented for more than a year or two, and make feverish attempts to interpret No Child Left Behind, students Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 continue to fall short of grade-level expectations. To further compound the issue, increasing numbers of students with disabilities are now receiving a large percentage of their instruction within the context of general education (cited by Rea, McLaughlin, & Thomas, 2002). As a result, curriculum is needed that is both stable and diverse in order to meet the needs of all students. Literacy skills are critical components needed for students to access the general curriculum and succeed academically (Harris, 2007). Literacy, as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics (2013), is based on one’s ability and proficiency to use written information. The Pros and Cons of Reading Programs The National Reading Panel (2004) recognized that recommendations for instructional strategies must be evidence-based. Students in this study were enrolled in the direct reading instruction program because of their low state testing scores and their historical failure to reach grade-level expectations in reading. Factors identified as barriers to student success are marginal or low expectations, uninspiring and a restricted curriculum that emphasizes rote learning and skill-and-drill, a complete disconnect from the general education curricula, and negative student attitudes resulting from academic failure and stigmatizing segregation (Rea, McLaughlin, & Thomas, 2002). Student Lexile Levels The pretest given to students in the program was used to determine their Lexile levels. According to MetaMetrics (2014), the Lexile is a scientific approach to reading and text measurement. The Lexile measure is a reading ability or text difficulty followed by an “L” (e.g., 850L). Lexiles provide more than a way to pick the right book for students to read. They are a powerful tool for targeting. Lexiles range from below 200L for beginning readers and text to above 1700L for advanced readers and text. Students’ education status (regular education vs. special education) was not given any consideration when determining level, so it was possible for a student to receive special services and have a high Lexile score. Individualized Instructional Support Although the program was designed for students who were Level 1 and 2 based on Lexile score results, there were some exceptional students who were allowed into the program with readability at beginning stages. This proved even more challenging because of the individualized aspects of the program. Resource materials were incorporated that would accommodate these particular students individually and increased opportunities for one-on-one support were included into the instructional day as much as possible. Once students were tested and scored on their initial placement test, the data was used to arrange them in groups according to their areas of weakness and strength. The groups started out homogeneous, where all Level 1 students (Lexile 200-450) were grouped together, Level 2 students (Lexile 400-700) were grouped together, and Level 3 students (Lexile 600-900) were grouped together. The small percentage of students who placed on Level 4 (Lexile 800-1100) was included with the Level 3 groups. After two weeks, data was analyzed and students were regrouped according to their areas of need. For example, students who needed more help on main idea were grouped together and students who needed help on compare and contrast were grouped together. It was important to note that those students who came into the program receiving special education services made up were over 50 percent of the Level 1 groups. Program Components In its final report, the NEA’s Task Force on Reading (2008) conceptualized that a complete reading program was simultaneous with a balanced diet. The direct instruction model Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 (See Figure 1) used for this program consisted of rotations where students cycled through three areas of focus: independent reading, small group instruction, and computer-based activities during a 60-minute period. Independent Reading Self-selected reading is designed to encourage students to engage in and practice reading behaviors (Mahlberg, 2012). Students were placed with text that is grade-level and reading level appropriate. Students read for 20 minutes a day and filled out reading logs that documented the number of pages read and provided an opportunity for them to make notes about their reading. A four-point rubric scale was used to determine whether reading log entries sufficiently detailed what was read. Most students spent very little time reading independently because, as struggling readers, they were reluctant to do so. Repeated efforts were made to encourage the selection and completion of the books from the reading library, but these efforts were met with resistance. Students failed to document their reading, often had to be redirected for talking during this time period, and received a low-score when taking quizzes related to their books. The researcher generated questions about the novels students read as a means of further assessing comprehension. Students’ abilities to connect to the literature are often indicative of their ability to comprehend the text (Olukolu, 2013). Students responded to both literal and inferential questions, higher order thinking skills established to meet 21 century learning goals based on state standards (Thurlowe, 2010), basal reading series, and standardized tests. The following skills were emphasized: vocabulary development, main idea, plot, theme, characterization, and literary analysis. Those students who did read during the allotted time experienced success on their quizzes and tended to take more quizzes as a result. Small Group Instruction Small group instruction produced larger effect sizes on reading than individual instruction or classroom instruction, albeit in an unanticipated fashion (National Reading Panel, 2000). Each reading lesson was preceded with the students being given background information pertaining to the stories from the lesson. The building of related background information was done to for the purpose of building student schema for reading. The small group component encouraged interaction among students that was facilitated through discussions, guided work periods, and independent work sessions. Modeling was done to demonstrate how the assignment was to be worked through and completed. . Computer-Based Activities Students used the computers as part of their instructional rotation cycle. Computer-based activities focused on three areas: reading decoding, reading comprehension and word study. Based on their results from the

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explored teachers of students with low incidence disabilities who like students with a diagnosis of autism, present unique teaching challenges to educators and found that diversity, knowledge and flexibility emerged as important variables for professional development experiences.
Abstract: Open interviews were conducted with a special education teacher and a general education teacher. The overall guiding question was to provide elucidation of what is needed in a professional development program to meet the needs of both the general and special education teachers who teach children with a diagnosis of autism in an inclusive setting. Overall, the themes of diversity, knowledge and collaboration emerged as important variables for professional development experiences. Furthermore, in-depth knowledge and flexibility arose as important qualities of the facilitator of a professional development experience. Implications are a set forth for the expansion of the study and additional research on what is inclusion. Introduction Let me begin with how I became interested in the topic of professional development for both general and special educators of children diagnosed with autism. The foundation of my interest stems from several different personal life experiences. I am first and foremost a parent of a child diagnosed with autism. I use the additional wording in the preceding sentence because it is not just the first experience it is the most important one to me. The importance of this topic is not a fleeting fascination. It is a quest to help my daughter and those who are like her. Unlike the education system that searches for equality, I search for “best.” My search for “best” continued as a middle school teacher of children diagnosed with autism. Each day I was presented with the challenge of educating my students in the classroom and helping them to be successful in the general education classroom. Moreover, my mother has been an educator for over twenty-six years, the first thirteen years were in special education and within those past twenty-six years, we have had many conversations discussing what information teachers need to meet the needs of children diagnosed with autism both in general and special education classrooms and how to relay that information to the educators. Within these professional and personal experiences, I have gained some insight into an area of concern for both general and special education teachers. With the movement towards inclusion of children diagnosed with autism, both general and special education teachers are questioning how they can best meet the needs of children diagnosed with autism both inside and outside of the resource room and how teachers can work together to meet these needs. The focus of my study is to explore how I can create a professional development experience that will address both general educators and special educators’ needs in supporting inclusion for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. I believe that by human exploration of the problem of integrating students with autism in a general education classroom, we can begin to see patterns emerging that will guide our path to the elucidation of effective professional development experiences addressing inclusion for students with autism. I believe that through human exploration of the topic, starting with interviews of some of the individuals that inclusion effects, we can begin to construct meaningful Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 2 professional development experiences. Through the parental lens, at times I may look only towards the needs of the students, overshadowing the needs of the educator. However, I must construct a framework of belief that the two are one and that the needs of the educator are a direct result of the needs of the students, to provide an unbiased articulation of the educator's views. I triangulated the results of the interviews with the results of the observations to attempt to remove the bias from my interpretation of the interviews. Moreover, I examine the results of my findings alongside the findings of several other pieces of relevant literature to provide an additional interpretive lens to my findings. I have chosen three studies to provide an additional interpretive lens to my findings. West, Jones, and Stevens (2006) examines fourteen teachers of students with low incidence disabilities attending graduate courses and examines their thoughts on both personal learning experiences and continued professional development. I chose this particular article to review for several reasons. First, the article examined teachers and their insight as to what they found to be effective for them within their own professional development learning experiences. Second, this article explored teachers of students with low incidence disabilities, who like students with a diagnosis of autism, present unique teaching challenges to educators. West et al. (2006) use the theoretical approach of appreciative inquiry (AI). Some relevant themes emerged from this study relating to professional development. One theme that emerged was the relevancy of learning from others, for example, other parents, students, and colleagues. Additionally, the researchers discovered that teachers valued ongoing continual collaboration. Moreover, teachers valued mediated learning where the mediator had the ability to motivate, which included the mediator’s expertise the in the content of the information. The author’s (West et al.,2006) justify the choice of conducting a qualitative study by their theoretical approach with the goal of understanding what is success and wherein lies the potential for professional development within the vision of practicing teachers. I believe the article provides a good basis for examining what is effective in professional learning experiences. The information was useful to me in providing a basis of what teachers find effective in professional development, and it provides a lens of which to examine teacher interview data. The article by Dymond, Gilson, and Myran (2007) investigates school and communitybased services for children with autism and makes recommendations based on their findings for improving those services in the state of Virginia. They examined the data from 886 surveys of parents of children with ASD living in the state of Virginia. The survey was to examine perceptions of parents of children with ASD about available services and recommendation on how to improve the services. An advisory panel composed of 20 stakeholders from across Virginia that had expertise in autism created the questions on the survey. Data was analyzed using a mixed method of qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. The authors used the qualitative approach to examine patterns that emerged from the data. Dymond et al. then followed this qualitative approach with a quantitative approach to verify the finding by determining an unduplicated count of the frequency and percentage of respondents who provided a recommendation within each theme because sometimes within a theme a related response within the same theme that could be coded in more than one category. Dymond et al. (2007) found that more and better services were needed for children with ASD. The authors made recommendations to improve services, train an individual that works with children with ASD, increase the funding for services, staff development and research, and create appropriate school placements for children with ASD. The information provided in this Journal of Research Initiatives Vol. 3 No. 1 November 2017 ISSN: 2168-9083 digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri 3 study provides suggestions to make effective changes in services for children with ASD. The findings gave me a glimpse through a parental lens such as my own as to what is needed in the area of services, which includes staff development and school placement for children with ASD. The article by Coffey and Obringer (2004) explore possible supports that could be used to educate and socialize school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. The authors were exploring possible educational and community supports to help individuals with autism succeed in both educational and community settings by interviewing the parents who have two sons on the autism spectrum. The family had two children with autism, and the authors acknowledged this as a rare phenomenon; however, they considered the family to have successfully integrated both children into their school and community. Because of the families success in integrating their children into both the school and community they believed they could obtain useful information to serve as perhaps one model of inclusion for students with autism. Using a semistructured interview with each parent, the authors discovered emerging themes for school, and community inclusion that the parents agreed on and the authors found areas of disagreement. The authors provide a base of information to which others can use and build upon in future research. I believe it is to be assumed by the reader that educators need to look to the families for the answers as to what leads to successful inclusion in school and community for students diagnosed with autism. Coffey and Obringer (2004) display their compatible and divergent themes in written bulleted form. Each bullet contains a brief description of the information the authors obtained through the interview. The information was then placed in the category of areas of disagreement or areas of agreement. Based on this information the authors make some suggestions to promote successful inclusion of children with autism in school and the community. The authors make many conclusions based on the interviews with the two parents. A few examples are encouraging home visits by teachers, having a small class size, utilizing university students for community and academic support, and peer group support. In my study, I examine professional development as a means to meet the needs of educators who teach children diagnosed with autism. I want to examine the needs of educators in a general education classroom and a special education classroom. I want to c