Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Using a Human Performance Technology Approach to Understand High School Graduation Rate Improvement
by Castilleja, Joseph R., Ph.D., Capella University, 2019, 156; 13808978
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative case study was designed to utilize theoretical frameworks based in the field of human performance technology as a means for understanding high school four-year graduation rate improvement. The literature recognizes theories based in the field of human performance technology as effective in improving performance in organizations across different industries. The literature also recognizes that some methods of human performance technology have been used in school improvement processes, but these methods are not yet widely adopted in kindergarten through Grade 12 education. The main research question that this study was designed to answer was, How does a high school principal specifically hired to improve the rate of which students graduate in four years, also called a turnaround principal, influence and manage such improvement? Three subquestions for this study included (a) how does an effective turnaround principal influence the sustainment of improved results? (b) how does an effective turnaround principal manage change during the improvement process? and (c) how do support staff, including vice-principals, school district officials, school counselors, and teachers, view the role of a turnaround principal in improving four-year graduation rates? This study also indirectly functions as a means for documenting a case study in which human performance technology methods were utilized to better understand school improvement. A two-step qualitative methodology was utilized in this case study. First, a qualitative survey was sent out to a school staff with the goal of identifying cases of success within the school. Using an impact model as a screening tool, survey participants were then selected to participate in one-on-one in-person interviews. The survey and interview data were transcribed and analyzed utilizing ATLAS.ti software. The case study sample for the surveys and interviews were inclusive of teachers, support staff, building principals, vice-principals, and district-level leaders in a school located in a rural community in the United States. The results of the study showed that a strong use of data and feedback, relationship building, and interrogation of systems of support within the school were effective processes utilized in the case study. The study results also indicated that the principal is a critical component to managing change throughout school improvement processes and that the staff perceived the principal as a critical part of the school improvement process. The study further indicated that sustaining improved results and future improvement are also careful considerations for principals leading school improvement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tiem, Darlene Van
Commitee: Johnson, Cynthia, Van Rekom, Petti
School: Capella University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Behavior engineering model, High school graduation, Human performance technology, Performance improvement, School improvement, Turnaround principal
Publication Number: 13808978
ISBN: 978-1-392-00884-3
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