Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Engagement in work: Case study of four schools in Suffolk County, New York
by Fox, Sean Bayles, Ed.D., St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services, 2013, 221; 3536246
Abstract (Summary)

The study was a qualitative case study on engagement in work in four schools in Suffolk County, New York. The purpose of this researcher was to investigate how school systems and educators engage students and adults in 21st Century education. The levels of engagement were examined using patterns of instruction, organization, governance, and accountability (IOGA), as identified in Frank Smith's (1991) Advocacy Design Center (ADC), and their relationship to adult work and the patterns envisioned for 21st Century schools. The conceptual framework used for this research was adapted from a 2011 study by Florence Simmons on "Presumed 21st Century Schools," and was an amalgamation of Smith's (1991) ADC model, Steinberg's (1998) 18 Questions, the Individually Guided Education (IGE) program of Popkewitz, Tabachnick, and Wehlage (1982), and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2002). Due to economic restrictions and financial frugality, budgetary shortfalls and excessive layoffs have left public schools with a deficiency of professional innovation as well as modern theory and practice. It is imperative that educators identify the exemplary school systems that are engaging students and adults in 21st Century education, and broadcast those patterns of success to schools in need of reform.

The research involved qualitative methods of analysis such as interviews, observations, focus groups, and artifact collection, and supported the use of Web 2.0 technologies through the collection of data. The IOGA (1991) was ascertained for each of the four schools, and the patterns were analyzed to determine to what extent each school supports 21st Century Skills and the essential elements of project based learning. Once patterns were identified, predominant cultures for each of the four schools became evident. Results of the study revealed that the four schools were predominantly 20th century technical/traditional across patterns of IOGA and were found to be deficient in the domains of 21st Century Skills and project based learning. Although none of the four schools was labeled definitively constructivist, several exhibited developing characteristics that indicated a natural progression toward such a culture.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Frank
School: St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Project-based learning, Student engagement
Publication Number: 3536246
ISBN: 978-1-267-92698-2
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