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This collection of theses and dissertation in BEARdocs contains selected theses and dissertations from Baylor University departments that offer graduate degrees. Please note that this is NOT a complete collection of Baylor theses. To search all Baylor theses, use OneSearch, the Baylor Libraries' online catalog.

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Now showing 1 - 20 of 3137
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    Can you see me now? The perceived impact of a virtual instructional coaching partnership applied through the lens of the partnership principles on first-year teacher professional growth : an explanatory sequential mixed-methods study.
    (May 2023) Layton, Tiffany D., 1973-; Kaul, Corina R., 1969-
    While coaching exists as a widely accepted employee development practice in the business world, the coaching mindset has not firmly taken hold in K–12 education. According to the 2015–2016 National Teacher and Principal Survey, the average percentage of public schools with at least one on-site instructional coach is 37% (United States Department of Education, 2016). In rural settings, the average percentage of schools with instructional coaches drops to 27% (United States Department of Education, 2016). Lack of instructional coaching creates a hardship for teachers as they remain subject to one-size-fits-all learning that does not meet their individual professional learning needs and goals. As Karlberg and Bezzina explained (2020), this hardship is especially true for first-year teachers. This explanatory sequential mixed-methods study aimed to explore coaches’ and teachers’ perceived impact of virtual instructional coaching partnerships on first-year teachers applied through the lens of the partnership principles. In the quantitative phase of this study, I surveyed first-year teachers and coaches participating in the Oklahoma State Department of Education First Class Program using two complementary surveys, the Teacher Reflection and Impact Survey and the Coach Reflection and Impact Survey (Yopp et al., 2010). I analyzed teacher and coach survey data at the mid-point and the end-point of the program. I also compared matched pairs of first-year teachers and instructional coaches who completed end-of-program surveys. Only one factor, Student-Centered Discussions, produced statistically and practically significant results. However, one additional factor, Impact of Coaching, resulted in practical significance. In the qualitative phase of the study, two teachers and their coaches who completed both the mid-program and end-of-program surveys participated in semi-structured interviews to share further insight into the impact of virtual coaching. The qualitative data revealed that six of seven partnership principles (equality, voice, choice, praxis, dialogue, and reflection) positively impacted virtual coaching partnerships. Additionally, mentoring and gratitude emerged as themes outside of the theoretical framework. When applied together, the identified partnership principles and student-centered discussions positively impacted first-year teachers’ professional growth.
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    Analyzing effectiveness of image repair theory through social media responses : a case study of Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders.
    (May 2023) Burkley Jr., Kerry, 1999-; Tefertiller, Alec C.
    The following study provides an analysis of user generated responses on social media reflecting a timeline of scandals that occurred in the last two years involving the Washington Commanders and their owner, Dan Snyder. The organization has experienced crises regarding workplace sexual harassment allegations, electronic mail containing verbal abuse, and mismanagement. Using the framework of William Benoit’s Image Repair Theory (IRT), this study seeks to measure the effectiveness of the Commanders response to investigations of their franchise amid a two year long organizational crisis through reactions to a statement reported on Twitter. Through a thematic analysis and analyzing the statement through Benoit’s five image repair strategies of 626 tweet reactions, the study concluded that the Commanders’ statement was ineffective in reducing offensiveness of their organization’s investigation and instead dealt more damage towards the organization’s image, as four themes regarding the Commanders’ image, reputation capital, and team ownership were concluded as significant, negative factors.
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    Exploring the principal perspective on teacher attrition in urban education : a single case study.
    (May 2023) Burroughs, Danielle L., 1982-; Shelton, Ryann N.
    Teachers at all educational levels and disciplines are leaving the profession at a rapid rate across the United States with numbers increasing since the COVID-19 pandemic. Retention tools and strategies are critical to the success of a school and school district. The purpose of this single case study was to explore urban high school principals’ perceptions of why teachers leave the teaching profession and to identify the methods used by principals to retain teachers. I conducted this single case study to answer two research questions rooted in Frederick Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory. The research questions were first, according to urban high school principals, for what reasons do urban high school teachers leave the teaching profession? Second, what policies, procedures, or strategies do urban high school principals use to retain teachers? I collected data using semi-structured interviews with four principals, conducted a focus group discussion, and collected related artifacts. I analyzed the data using the data analysis spiral (Creswell & Poth, 2018). Analyzing the lived experiences of principals navigating teacher attrition allowed me to identify commonalities among their experiences, their perceived reasons for teachers leaving the profession, and the methods they used to retain teachers. As a result, I uncovered five findings. First, the principal participants in this study perceived compensation, performance pay, and workload balance as critical to teacher decisions related to remaining or leaving the profession in different ways. Second, the principal participants in this study identified leader support and relationships as reasons why teachers stay in the profession. Third, the principal participants in this study identified classroom management and negative student behaviors lead to teacher dissatisfaction. Fourth, the principal participants in this study recognized growth opportunities within the charter network as a reason teachers stay in the field. Fifth and finally, the principal participants in this study identified relationships as the leading retention strategy they used. This research benefits principals, district administrators, and teachers as it highlights principals’ perceptions related to teacher dissatisfaction and their perception of the necessity of building meaningful relationships with teachers to reduce attrition.
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    “I think I can, I think I can” : a case study that explores the perspective of single mothers and their ability to become self sufficient.
    (May 2023) Ormes-Ripley, Kandyce L., 1983-; Howell, Leanne.
    Single mothers continue to face barriers that prevent them from being self-sufficient. The lack of fundamental resources including education, childcare, housing, and mental health are primary concerns that create challenges for single mothers (Hirschl, 2015; Wester-Stratton, 2011; Baker et al., 2010; Lewis & Hayes, 2020; The Aspen Institute, 2021). Many programs are available to help single mothers; however, most focus on only one of the two areas of concern: economic or psychological self-sufficiency. The lack of literature on the influence of the combination of both support systems led to the need for this research study. In this qualitative descriptive case study, I explored the long-term impact of single mothers and their children when provided with bi-dimensional supports. I utilized five former participants of the Buckner Family Pathways program in Dallas, Texas. All five participants completed the program successfully and agreed to participate in a semi-structured interview and a focus group interview. I also analyzed documents and artifacts. The interviews and focus group drew detailed descriptions of participants’ lived experiences and provided rich insights into their struggles and their successes to self-sufficiency. I utilized the theoretical framework of Hong’s Psychological Self-Sufficiency to address the problem that too few single mothers are self-sufficient. Hong’s framework drove the primary and secondary research questions that addressed the concern of self-sufficiency within the single mother population. This research further supported Hong’s theory and provided evidence that single mothers are more likely to reach self-sufficiency when both economic and psychological support systems are present. Four key findings emerged from this research study. First, both financial and psychological supports are necessary elements on the journey to self-sufficiency. Second, barriers that single mothers face are related to both economical and psychological challenges. Third, sustainable self-sufficiency requires a mindset shift; and finally, Buckner Family Pathways is an impactful program for single mothers. These findings are important to community, organizations, and program leaders, researchers, and mothers and their children.
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    STEM integration in elementary classrooms : a quantitative study exploring impediments and improvements.
    (May 2023) Neuman, Erika Y., 1979-; Kaul, Corina R., 1969-
    As the need for a STEM-literate workforce grows, educators must prepare to develop STEM-literate thinkers. American educators must modernize teaching practices and utilize the best research-based STEM pedagogy. STEM education can no longer be a novelty or supplement to classroom instruction, and this is especially true in elementary classrooms. Early exposure to STEM and the need for quality STEM instruction is imperative to capitalize on the innate curiosity and creativity of young learners. However, elementary educators are generalists and are not adequately trained to teach integrative STEM. Furthermore, state testing and lack of materials and funding make integrative STEM and other innovative teaching practices next to impossible. Elementary teachers need to be efficacious in STEM content and supported in integrating STEM instruction in their classrooms. This quantitative study utilized a cross-sectional survey to identify the teaching self-efficacy of elementary educators in elementary classrooms and identify variables that might predict their STEM instruction. I used an online survey for data collection to access a broad range of data, including teaching self-efficacy in mathematics and science, student technology use, STEM instruction, 21st-century learning attitudes, and interest in STEM-related professional development. Bandura’s self-efficacy theory was the theoretical framework used for this study. This theoretical framework asserts a teacher’s self-efficacy beliefs are related to the effort they invest in teaching, the goals they set for their students, and their perceived capability to learn new instructional strategies. Based on the results of this study, participants’ self-efficacy in teaching mathematics and science has very little relationship with interest in STEM-related professional development. Collectively, mathematics teaching self-efficacy, science teaching self-efficacy, student technology use, and hours of STEM-related professional development are statistically significant predictors of a teacher’s STEM instruction score. Student technology use is the most prominent individual predictor of a teacher’s STEM instruction score. To bring about positive change in elementary STEM instruction, administrators must promote integrative STEM professional development, professional development leaders must make learning opportunities purposeful, classroom teachers must embrace integrative STEM instruction as a teaching method, and educators in preservice teacher programs must expose integrative STEM to aspiring teachers as often as possible.
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    The use of a short-cycle formative assessment observation protocol to investigate alignment between a secondary science teacher’s beliefs and practices : a narrative inquiry study.
    (May 2023) Tedeschi, Joey, 1992-; Pratt, Sarah Smitherman.
    Many secondary science educators within the United States describe a feeling of disconnect between their teaching beliefs and instructional practices. Whether dissonance stems from high-stakes testing or contention among colleagues regarding best instructional practices, this tension can influence how an educator constructs their classroom environment. Irrespective of an educator’s instructional approach, there should be alignment among learning target, learning theory, and pedagogical practice. Short-cycle formative assessment enactment within the classroom can be used as a tool to investigate the congruence between an educator’s beliefs and practices, facilitating the implementation of instructional adjustments that mitigate an educator’s feeling of disconnect. I conducted a narrative inquiry study to investigate how one educator’s assessment perceptions provide insight into the alignment between their beliefs and practices. Data sources included interviews, observations, field notes, reflective discussions, and other artifacts. I applied the crossdisciplinary framework (Kirshner, 2016) as a theoretical framework lens to evaluate the appropriate alignment among learning targets, learning theories, and pedagogical practices. I utilized the AssessToday Short-Cycle Observation Protocol (Eddy & Harrell, 2013) as a tool to investigate the congruence of educator beliefs and practices. Three main findings resulted from this study. First, beliefs on best instructional practices and assessment approaches can shift based on specific learning targets. Second, educators can use AssessToday (Eddy & Harrell, 2013) as an effective tool for reflecting on the congruence among learning targets, beliefs, practices, and assessments. Third, adding assessment and reflection to the crossdisciplinary framework (Kirshner, 2016) helped an educator alleviate feelings of disconnect between their beliefs and practices by identifying instances of misalignment and making instructional adjustments toward realignment. These findings contribute to the field of secondary science education, as the results support an effective process for science educators to not only identify potential misalignment between their beliefs and practices but also to make adjustments that can mitigate feelings of disconnect originating from that misalignment.
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    The path to teaching emergency medical services : a multiple case study of paramedic educators’ preparatory experiences.
    (May 2023) Tilden, Leah M., 1978-; Shelton, Ryann N.
    Quality education requires quality educators (Filgona et al., 2020; Gibbs & Coffey, 2004; Martino, 2021), and many post-secondary educators are not adequately prepared to teach informal pre-service experiences to shed light on how those experiences prepared them to teach adult learners. Knowles’ (1973, 1980) principles of andragogy provided the foundation for the theoretical framework for this study, which specifically focused on three of the six principles of andragogy: self-directed learning, prior life experiences, and intrinsic motivation. I selected eight paramedic educators from across the United States to participate in the study. Each participant completed a questionnaire and participated in a semi-structured interview. I also collected artifacts including job descriptions, resumes, and sample lesson plans from each of the participants to triangulate the data. I reviewed the transcripts for accuracy and coded the data based on the principles of andragogy. Finally, I conducted a within-case and cross-case analysis and uncovered five findings. Five themes emerged from the data. First, paramedic educators desire to improve the quality of paramedic education for paramedic students. Second, paramedic educators are motivated by previous positive education experiences of their own. Third, paramedic most educators believe they lack pre-service preparation. Fourth, paramedic educators believe provider experience gives educators subject matter confidence. Finally, paramedic educators report ongoing mentorship as in-service development is essential to the success of paramedic educators.
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    Mission critical : a qualitative study on improving graduation success for first-generation, Black students at public universities.
    (May 2023) Hubbard, Michael P., 1962-; Ray, Brandi R.
    The United States is the wealthiest nation on the planet yet thirty-seven million live in abject poverty (International Monetary Fund, 2022). The Black community, which represents 8.5 million of this population, is experiencing a perpetual cycle of poverty and the lowest reported family income compared to other racial or ethnic groups (Caliendo, 2021; Creamer et al., 2022). These inequities perpetuate long-reaching problems in society including limiting the workforce, expanding wealth gaps, growing public health concerns, and even the criminal justice system (Chetty et al., 2020; Peterson & Mann, 2020). To break the cycle of poverty and prevent secondary societal ramifications, education is key (Allen et al., 2018; de Brey et al., 2019). While universities successfully attracted first-generation Black students, graduation rates for this group are the lowest of all student populations (Annalakshmi & Venkatesan, 2018). One factor, the hidden curriculum, which includes all unwritten rules, policies, and procedures of academic institutions (Pratt et al., 2019) creates and perpetuates social inequities, especially for Black students (Orón Semper & Blasco, 2018). This qualitative single case study with embedded units gave voice to the first-generation, Black students at a public university. Through focus groups and interviews, participants offered first-hand experiences of navigating hidden curricula. Student observations and record reviews offered additional context to further understand this complex problem. Through qualitative analysis of the data, themes emerged illuminating three findings impacting first-generation, Black student graduation rates. The first finding is that the students did not feel understood by university faculty or staff, therefore they did not feel like they belonged. Next, the students expressed a need for support systems throughout their post-secondary education journey. Finally, campus culture must align with the needs of the students to prevent cultural dissonance. These findings should provoke interest in university policymakers responsible for funding and managing campus culture as well as those responsible for student recruiting and retention. As future inbound students shift toward first-generation, minority students, college policymakers must consider changes to the improve graduation rates of first-generation, Black students.
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    Exploring elementary special educators' self-efficacy related to behavior data collection for behavior reduction before and after peer coaching : a multiple case study.
    (May 2023) Willmore, Sarah E., 1994-; Shelton, Ryann N.
    This study addresses the problem surrounding low educator self-efficacy for data collection and behavior reduction strategies among elementary special educators. Educators working with students who present behavior challenges do not feel a strong sense of self-efficacy when it comes to data collection and behavior management. Due to this, educators are considering altering student placement for more restrictive settings. One opportunity for specialized professional development that offers one-to-one learning opportunities related to data collection and behavior reduction strategies is peer coaching. In this study, I utilized a multiple case study approach to investigate educator experiences with a peer coaching program for data collection and behavior reduction strategies. The purpose of this study was to explore how elementary special educators describe their self-efficacy related to behavior data collection for behavior reduction before and after coaching and to explore their related experiences with peer coaching. I held coaching appointments with four educators who taught students with disabilities who exhibit challenging behaviors. I used questionnaires, interviews, field notes, and a written reflection from each participant to investigate participants’ experiences with peer coaching. There were five findings in this study. First, participants highlighted the importance of individualized feedback for personalized growth. Second, the participants described the benefits of collegiality and accountability through the peer coaching program. Third, participants discussed having feelings of apprehension prior to participating in the study. Fourth, participants discussed the benefits of this program utilizing their learning preferences. Lastly, two participants mentioned imposter syndrome, and discussed how participation in this study aided with eliminating those feelings. This study has implications for special educators and special education coaches or administrators. This study revealed the impact of peer coaching on special educators struggling with feelings of low self-efficacy by providing a collaborative partnership with a peer to discuss practices and improve data collection and behavior reduction strategies. Rather than providing large-scale professional development on broad topics, districts should consider providing peer coaching opportunities with special educators who previously reported having low self-efficacy in data collection and behavior reduction strategies so that they receive individualized education on content that is relevant to their classrooms.
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    The perceptions of organizational culture in the community corrections profession : a quantitative study.
    (May 2023) Hernandez, Deana, 1986-; Davis, Brenda K., 1971-
    Despite efforts to implement and adopt effective supervision practices that construct long-term sustainable and effective community corrections systems, agencies struggle with internal organizational factors that impact the effectiveness and, subsequently, public safety (Baker et al., 2015; Kras et al., 2021; Viglione, 2019; Wilson et al., 2022). Too often, leaders overlook the organizational factors that formed the current organizational culture, which leads to ineffective staff behavior norms. In researching this problem, I discovered two main concerns. The first concern is the need for more research and acknowledgment to study organizational culture in the community corrections profession. The second concern is the disconnect between management and non-management staff perceptions of the expected staff behaviors and the organizational culture factors that led to the creation of a passive defensive operating culture. I used a causal-comparative quantitative research design with the How Culture Works theoretical framework in this study. The theory asserts that the different perceptions of organizational factors develop the expected behavior norms staff adapt to fit in and succeed in the organization and that the development of different expected behavior norms leads to defensive cultures. Therefore, I used the Organizational Culture Inventory to focus on three determinations. First, to determine the current organizational culture style of the participants. Second, to determine the current organizational culture style by organizational level, management, and non-management. Finally, to determine if there is a statistically significant difference between the perceptions of the current organizational culture between management and non-management participants. Descriptive analyses showed that the primary organizational culture style for the sample of participants is passive defensive. In addition, the primary organizational culture style for management participants was also passive defensive. However, the primary organizational culture style for non-management participants was constructive. Thus, the comparative analyses showed a statistically significant difference between management and non-management perceptions of the constructive, passive defensive, and aggressive defensive culture styles. Implications of these findings relate to governing bodies, professional leaders, and researchers associated with the community corrections profession.
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    Perceptions of gender norm stereotypes and the decision to report military sexual trauma : a multiple case study of enlisted Army National Guard service members.
    (May 2023) Waterman, Sarah R., 1994-; Shelton, Ryann N.
    Gender norm stereotypes in the Army National Guard continue to perpetuate a masculine narrative, often deterring enlisted service members from reporting incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment. This qualitative case study explored Army National Guard enlisted service members’ experiences with gender norm stereotypes and explored enlisted service members’ perceptions of how gender norm stereotypes influence an enlisted service members decision to or to not report incidents of military sexual trauma (MST). The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore Army National Guard enlisted service members’ perceptions of gender norm stereotypes and how these perceptions could potentially affect an enlisted service member’s decision to or not to report incidents of MST through the lens of social role theory (Eagly & Wood, 2012). I purposefully selected the four participants in this study using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. I recruited participants first through a recruiting email and a questionnaire. From the questionnaire, I selected 4 participants who met inclusion criteria. Following, I conducted semi-structured interviews with the participants and collected related artifacts. There were five key findings in this study. First, male service members were identified to serve in roles that were more physical, while females were identified to serve in more technical roles. Second, service members had differing experiences with discrimination while serving in the Army National Guard, based on gender and differing displays of emotion. Third, participants believe that a non-supportive environment in the Army National Guard potentially creates space for incidents of MST. Fourth, there is a fear of retribution amongst service members for reporting MST. Fifth and finally, there is an inherent gender role status, as there are more males in positions of power than there are females. This study emphasizes the need for Army National Guard program reform and a culture shift within the Army National Guard to encourage reporting incidents of MST.
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    Arkhē : for mezzo-soprano, tenor, double bass, percussion, and electronics.
    (May 2023) Winningham, Max, 1997-; McAllister, Scott.
    In this composition for two voices, double bass, percussion, and electronics, two individuals regard the night sky and experience disparate internal reactions to its expanse. Unlike many other pieces for more than one voice, these two characters never interact directly. Instead, their words and worldviews are juxtaposed to create a composite meaning from their feelings of fear and wonder towards the cosmos.
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    The hurting hero and the camouflaged consort : a qualitative collective case study to identify limitations to help-seeking behaviors among active-duty enlisted servicemembers and their spouses at Goodfellow Air Force Base.
    (May 2023) Hidalgo, Erica, 1978-; Howell, Leanne.
    The interconnectedness of military work and military life results in unique inhibitors to help-seeking behaviors for military personnel and their spouses. The purpose of this qualitative collective case study was to shed light on perceived elements that contribute to limiting help-seeking behaviors among active-duty enlisted servicemembers and military spouses in the U.S. military across a multitude of help-providing agencies. Highlighting inhibitors to the complex, multi-faceted problem of help-seeking in this population is a step toward curbing the military suicide epidemic, which has been on the rise over the last two decades and peaked at 28.7 deaths per every 100,000 personnel in 2020 (Defense Suicide Prevention Office, 2020). The theoretical framework undergirding all aspects of this research was Homans’s (1958) social exchange theory. There were three literature review focus areas formed to understand elements that contribute to active-duty enlisted servicemembers’ and military spouses’ decisions to seek help. The three literature review focus areas were military culture and military image, the importance of organizational trust and reciprocity, and the impacts of stress. This study answers the following primary and sub-research questions: What are the experiences of active-duty enlisted servicemembers and military spouses in regard to seeking help at a military help agency? The two sub-questions presented were: What is the perceived impact of seeking help on an active-duty enlisted servicemember’s or military spouse’s self-identity? What is the perceived impact on a military member’s career when an active-duty enlisted servicemember or military spouse seeks help? I employed three data collection methods to collect qualitative data to better understand help-seeking behaviors in the military. I collected data from eight participants comprising two cases, the first of which was comprised of former active-duty enlisted servicemembers and the second of which was comprised of spouses of active-duty enlisted servicemembers. My research unveiled eight research findings, seven of which served as unique inhibitors to help-seeking in the U.S. military.
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    Understanding the roles of psychological safety, team learning, and functional backgrounds for cross-functional product development teams : a convergent mixed methods study.
    (May 2023) Underwood, Cristen Jonassen, 1980-; Davis, Brenda K., 1971-
    Cross-functional teams in new product development bring together members of different departments and functional backgrounds to improve efficiency, collaboration, and speed-to-market (Majchrzak et al., 2012; Slepian, 2013). The evidence shows that for members of multidisciplinary teams, psychological safety facilitates effective problem-solving and the opportunity for members to learn from mistakes (Edmondson, 2019; Harvey et al., 2019). Product development requires innovation and creativity, and the combination of psychological and team learning behaviors allows for team members of diverse backgrounds to work together to effectively complete the product development process (Cauwelier et al., 2016; Han et al., 2019; Kark & Carmeli, 2009; Liu & Keller, 2021). This convergent mixed methods study focused on understanding the roles of psychological safety, team learning behaviors, and functional backgrounds on cross-functional product development teams. I collected data using the questionnaire variant of a convergent mixed methods design; the participants (n = 52) were all in the product development field with cross-functional team experience. The questionnaire contained three quantitative instruments with open-ended qualitative questions that coordinated with the construct measured in each instrument. I present the quantitative instrument data first, then the qualitative, open-ended question data, and finally, the mixed methods integration. I found a strong correlation between psychological safety and team learning, a moderate correlation between psychological safety and functional backgrounds, and a weak to moderate relationship between team learning and functional backgrounds. I also found that the duration of time that the participants were at their companies did not significantly affect their instrument scores. In investigating the open-ended questions, I created codes and categories from the data. From the categories, 11 themes emerged that influenced the development of psychological safety, team learning, and functional background understanding for the study participants. Finally, I present the integrated data to enhance knowledge of group members’ experiences within cross-functional teams.
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    The only person in my way is me : a multiple case study exploring the perspectives of experienced school principals regarding the perceived impact of executive coaching.
    (May 2023) Saddler, Ashlee, 1978-; Howell, Leanne.
    School principals serve as fundamental leaders in the educational system. These leaders are essential in ensuring that students in PK-12 schools receive high-quality instruction to prepare them to contribute as productive citizens in society. Principals have many responsibilities, including the critical task of developing teachers and educating students. Within the educational landscape, principals’ duties are immense and complex; therefore, it is essential to prepare them to effectively lead on the campuses where they serve. The United States has experienced an increase in principals leaving the profession. While several factors contribute to principal turnover, one key component is the lack of job-embedded professional development. Experienced principals, which I define as those who have been in their roles for four years or more, need job-embedded professional development to meet their professional needs. Experienced principals often lack specific, intentional, targeted, and differentiated professional learning. This study aimed to examine executive coaching to provide targeted, precise, and meaningful professional development to experienced principals. In exploring the problem, I conducted a multiple case study with the purpose of examining how principals with at least four years of experience perceive the impact of executive coaching on their self-efficacy as leaders. I aligned this study to a theoretical framework centered on self-efficacy. In alignment with the theoretical framework, data collection occurred through semi-structured individual interviews, a focus group interview, and written reflection from participants. This study’s methodology provided an opportunity to understand the perceptions of principals who were engaged in executive coaching and how they perceived how executive coaching impacted their efficacy as a principal. This study’s findings indicated an increase in the perceived self-efficacy of experienced principals after participating in eight executive coaching sessions. Specifically, I found that principals who received executive coaching experienced stronger leadership skills. This study also found that executive coaching provided a safe space for principals to be vulnerable. Finally, the study revealed that executive coaching provided principals with a validation of their experiences as school leaders.
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    Student interactions with peers and their influence on first-semester GPA.
    (May 2023) McDowell, Kristen M., 1994-; Sriram, Rishi.
    This study focuses on the extent peer interactions in first-year college students affect their first-semester GPA by utilizing the Academic, Social, and Deeper Life Interactions Instrument to measure the experience of college students through their interactions with peers (Sriram et al., 2020a). I created a structural equation model to illustrate the pathways of relationships between the latent variables—Academic Interactions with Peers, Social Interactions with Peers, and Deeper Life Interactions with Peers—to the dependent variable of GPA. The social interaction's direct path to deeper life interactions was significant (β = .66, p < .001). The academic interaction's direct path to deeper life interactions was also significant (β = .22, p < .002). Deeper life interactions had a direct effect on GPA that was significant (β = .24, p < .01). This is the first study to demonstrate that peer interactions—and in particular deeper life interactions—positively influence GPA.
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    A case study : elementary teachers’ perceptions of play-based learning on students’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.
    (May 2023) Amberson, Mindi M. 1982-; Howell, Leanne.
    Play-based learning is an opportunity for holistic student development. Yet, too few opportunities for play-based learning currently exist in public elementary schools across the United States despite the benefits linked to the intentional use of play-based instruction. This case study identified elementary educators’ perspectives on the benefits of play-based learning and the barriers to its use. An extensive literature review was completed to identify themes in the current research. I used four conceptual domains, supported by Ginsburg (2007) and visualized by The Strong Museum (courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York) as the lens to conduct to this study. Play influences children’s development in four conceptual domains: physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. The data analysis consisted of five steps, ending with visuals showcasing result findings. The research findings provided strong evidence from participants about the benefits of play-based learning opportunities for student growth in the noted four conceptual domains. Ten themes were identified that supported benefits in each domain. In the social domain, impact was noted in areas of diversity and relationships. In the emotional domain, recognition of emotions and regulation of emotions emerged as impacted areas. In the physical domain, motor skills, classroom behaviors, and healthy habits were identified Last, in the cognitive domain, content knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving skills were identified as areas of impact. The findings also provided four themes as evidence for barriers with play-based learning opportunities. These four thematical barriers identified were professional development, funding, time, and limited space. There were two emerging themes identified in the research, expectations, and engagement Each finding is important to next steps in education. Implications and recommendations for this research are important to educational decisions and advocacy moving forward to impact educators’ ability and willingness to utilize play-based learning and promote optimal student development. Stakeholders in education are given support through this research for such advocacy. Through a collective voice, this research increases potential opportunities for play-based learning to move forward in its impact on student development.
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    Quit anytime : when you think you're in control.
    (May 2023) Gilly, Mitchell T., 1999-; McAllister, Scott.
    Quit Anytime is a new American Musical written by Mitchell T. Gilly, Emily Arden Seggerman, and Emilia Getzinger. The musical centers around the topic of addiction as it focuses on three individuals who suffer from different forms of it. Each character is in a different stage of life from one another to emphasize the point of ‘anyone can suffer from anything at any time.’ The first of the three characters is a seventeen-year-old boy, Jack Darrell, who is currently a senior in high school. He and his best friend, Keegan, drink excessively during the show, but Jack takes the situation too far when he steals liquor from Keegan’s parents. The second character to be focused on is seventy-two-year-old Eliana Zlatic. She is the representation of what modern day video gaming addicts will likely grow up into if they don’t moderate their own gaming. Eliana accidentally pushes her own daughter out of her life because she spends so much time playing video games. The final addict to be featured is twenty-five-year-old Lily Morrison. Lily struggles with a severe porn addiction but refuses to acknowledge it despite it having drastic consequences with her current romantic partner. The entire musical focuses on the relationships between each addict and their friends and family by showing how addiction can impact them.
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    Hispanic popular culture : a proposal to incorporate it and use it as a didactic tool in the Spanish heritage classroom.
    (May 2023) Torres, Yulissa, 1998-; Climent-Espino, Rafael, 1977-
    Using the critical language and cultural awareness approach as a theoretical framework, this thesis demonstrates how Hispanic popular culture (HPC) reinforces the motivation of heritage students, helps them become more culturally competent, and teaches them about the diversity and representation of the Hispanic world. HPC has historically been omitted from Spanish heritage textbooks used in the U.S. I analyze four texts where HPC is practically nonexistent in these materials. In a series of surveys distributed to heritage students at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels of Spanish, I verified that all respondents demand HPC. To fill this gap, I propose three didactic units at each level that uses HPC as a didactic tool to help students reflect critically on diversity in Latin America. Students were then asked to answer a questionnaire that reflected how HPC motivated them to continue learning about current issues in the Hispanic world.
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    “Lithuanian is the English” : how language policy and ideology condition internationalization by mediating access to spaces of opportunity and community at a Lithuanian University.
    (May 2023) Hoye, Kathleen A. R., 1990-; Alleman, Nathan F., 1975-
    The purpose of this study is to understand how the language ideologies embedded within de jure and de facto language policies inform and relate to the socialization and language practices of graduate students, faculty, and administrators of a prominent Lithuanian university. Few studies have explored how language policies and language practices shape the socialization experiences of graduate students, faculty, or administrators. Little is known about how these dynamics change in post-Soviet and minoritized-majority language contexts, such as Lithuania where the national language has substantial symbolic and communicative power. This study integrates a symbolic interactionist theoretical perspective with the glonacal agency heuristic as a framework to understand how faculty, graduate students, and administrators negotiate the complex and sometimes contradictory relationship between language policies and language practices in ways that influence interpersonal interaction and communication. The findings from this study demonstrate that national and institutional de jure policies effectively regulated the languages of core academic activities, and indirectly functioned as gatekeeping mechanisms that maintained the Lithuanian-dominant demographics of academic faculty by perpetuating privileged employment pathways. Furthermore, the findings show how faculty, administrators, and graduate students exercised their agency to engage in language practices in spatially and socially dynamic ways, allowing them to strategically capitalize on the benefits of using English in selected “international” spaces and activities that aligned with their motivations and institutional incentives, while also maintaining the existing linguistic hierarchy that privileged Lithuanian in most local social, academic, professional spaces. Lastly, this study’s findings reveal how these circumstances contributed to asymmetrical socialization, with access to information, resources, and opportunities that privileged the experiences of Lithuanian-speakers, compared to their non-Lithuanian speaking counterparts.
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