Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A mixed methods approach to examining an Advanced Placement program in one Connecticut public school district
by Docimo, Chelsey L., Ed.D., University of Bridgeport, 2013, 406; 3570678
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this eleventh grade Advanced Placement (AP) program study was to determine factors associated with AP placement and subsequent student performance. This research was considered to be a mixed methods case study with elements of arrested action research. One hundred and twenty-four students, four guidance counselors, three AP teachers, and one administrator provided information used to determine if a problem existed in terms of the influx of students into the AP program without a comprehensive set of research-based supports designed to assist struggling students. Student data included instrument measures, structured written response questions, and secondary source information which was obtained from 124 eleventh grade students in 11 different AP classes between these two comprehensive high-schools in this district. Secondary source data was used to gauge academic ability and preparedness which included collecting: Preliminary Standardized Achievement Test (PSAT) scores, cumulative Grade Point Averages (GPAs), AP final class grades, and AP exam scores. All 124 students also completed three self-report measures designed to gauge test anxiety, academic locus of control, and executive functioning. These students also wrote brief responses to five structured written response questions that were aligned to the self-report measures. Four counselors, three AP teachers, and one administrator were interviewed to better understand their views concerning current AP placement practices and strategies used to support academically at-risk and traditionally underserved students. The analyzed data was then used to create a Professional Development (PD) Module inclusive of feasible and low-cost strategies to improve AP grades and exam scores. This PD Module was subsequently implemented for a short duration in three AP classrooms as the first cycle in an action research project. The three AP teachers were then interviewed in order to garner feedback and ideas on how to improve this PD Module.

Keywords: Advanced Placement (AP), Preliminary Standardized Achievement Test (PSAT), cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), test-anxiety, academic locus of control, executive functioning, case study, arrested action research, mixed methods, Professional Development (PD)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Richmond, Afrah
School: University of Bridgeport
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gifted Education, Special education
Keywords: Academic locus of control, Advanced Placement, Connecticut, Cumulative grade point average (GPA), Executive function, Preliminary Standardized Achievement Test (PSAT), Professional development, Test anxiety
Publication Number: 3570678
ISBN: 978-1-303-16279-4
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