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Dissertation: An Exploratory Study of Student and Teacher Perceptions on Student Motivation and the Teacher-Student Relationship

An Exploratory Study on Student and Teacher Perceptions on Student Motivation and the Teacher-Student Relationship

By Angela Buckler


Student motivation is a strong contributing factor to student success in the classroom and is significantly impacted by the teacher–student relationship. To further the understanding of these concepts, this study utilized interviews, the Motivational Development Inventory (MDI), and the Teacher–Student Relationship Scale (TSRS) to explore the relationship between student motivation and the teacher–student relationship in elementary-aged children. Through a dependent t test, this study analyzed the relationship between student and teacher perceptions of student motivation as measured by the MDI, in which a statistically significant relationship was found at motivation Levels 1 and 3. Another dependent t test studied the relationship between student and teacher perceptions of the teacher–student relationship as measured by the TSRS and found no significant relationship. Finally, a Spearman rank-order test was conducted between student motivation and the teacher–student relationship, and the only correlation that was found was between motivation Levels 3 and 4. The present study provides several suggestions for educators to improve education practices for elementary teachers interested in the subject of this study. The research also includes implications for future research to expand the scope of this exploratory study.


Dissertation: Validating a Safety Culture Instrument

Validating a Safety Culture Instrument

By Wendy L. Harris


This report details an evaluation of the validity and reliability of an existing framework that was used as a survey instrument to help individuals assess their group’s safety culture maturity. The study begins by outlining the issue of occupational incidents and their impacts to society and individuals. An overview of the existing framework and modification into an instrument is included. An introduction and overview of the safety culture concept is provided referencing current literature. Participants, mostly manager level employees of an undisclosed global oil and gas services organization, were attendees of a 2-day training session. More than 800 surveys were originally included in the analysis, following the completion of the questionnaire as a posttraining activity. The report identifies the quantitative study methodology including exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Results are presented including a newly identified model, identification of 3 factors, goodness-of-fit indicators, and reliability statistics. Discussion provides interpretation of the potential model and how the factors may interact to impact an organization’s safety culture. Recommendations for future research and current practice are provided with respect to the results. Potential limitations of the study are also introduced.

Dissertation: Faith and Christian College Operations: Understanding and Managing The Influences That Topple Christian Colleges

Faith and Christian College Operations: Understanding and Managing the Influences that Topple Christian Colleges

By Brian H. Crouse


Countless authors, theologians, and Christian educators have weighed in regarding the secularization of American higher education. Through nearly 380 years of historical examples, Christian mottos, missions, and reputations were once at the heart of American higher educations. However, overtime, those foundations were replaced with other nonreligious ideals, philosophies, and ideologies. In today’s highly competitive and consumer-driven society, can modern-day influences impact Christian colleges in similar ways? This study extrapolated historical and empirical evidence that Christian college operations today are in a similar battle as were Christian college academics over 50 years ago. The study connects with Christian college leaders to develop a theory of principles and practices of Christian college operations.


Dissertation: An Investigation of the Relationship Between Teacher Perception of School Environment and School Suspensions

An Investigation of the Relationship Between Teacher Perception of School Environment and School Suspensions

By DeNise Brock


This study aims to determine if a statistical significant difference exists in group means between middle school teachers’ perception of their school environment based on school suspension rate. The School as a Caring Community Profile—II A Survey of Student, Staff, and Parents (SCCP-II), developed by Lickona and Davidson (2003) at the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs, was distributed to 265 teachers from six middle schools in the Prince George’s County Public Schools system. The SCCP-II measures school climate as a caring community. The six middle schools were divided into three groups representing different levels of student suspension rates. Group A schools each reported a student suspension rate between 7% and 9% for the 2007-2008 school year. The schools in Group B each reflected a suspension rate between 13% and 14%. Finally, Group C schools each reported a higher suspension rate that fell between 20% and 22%. Descriptive as well as inferential statistics were used to analyze data. Mean, median, and mode data were examined for general tendencies in responses. Six one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) tests were conducted to examine differences between group means. Noddings (2002) purported caring to be a major approach to character education initiatives. This study supports the need for the implementation of character education programs that hold caring at the helm of the curriculum as an effective tool for promoting positive student behavior. The examination of mean, median, and mode data as well as the data results from each ANOVA suggest Group C has the lowest perception of their school as a caring community and Group B has the highest perception. The data from Group A mirrors Group C data results in many areas. The question remains: What truly constitutes a caring school?

Ed.D. Dissertation: Examining the Relationship Between Cultural Awareness and Multicultural Self-Efficacy in Community College Instructors

Examining the Relationship Between Cultural Awareness and Multicultural Self-Efficacy in Community College Instructors

Maria L. Lawson-Davenport


Community college instructors face a growing diversity in their classrooms today. In order to effectively reach all their students, community college instructors must practice culturally relevant teaching and attain cultural proficiency. Cultural awareness and multicultural selfefficacy are constructs that can assist community college instructors in reaching these goals. This study utilized the Cultural Awareness Inventory and the Multicultural Efficacy Scale to determine correlations among cultural awareness and multicultural experience, efficacy, and attitude. This study analyzed the correlation between cultural awareness and multicultural selfefficacy in full-time community college instructors at Tidewater Community College in Virginia. The results of a Pearson product moment correlation indicated that there was a positive correlation between cultural awareness and multicultural self-efficacy. Additionally, this study examined if cultural awareness was a predictor of a community college instructor’s multicultural self-efficacy. The results of a bivariate linear regression indicated that cultural awareness predicted multicultural self-efficacy. It also examined the influence of the demographic variables of age, gender, years of teaching experience, discipline taught, educational level, cultural awareness, and multicultural self-efficacy in community college instructors. The results of a one-way analysis of variance of the five demographic variables found that educational level was the only statistically significant variable. Based on the results of this research, professional development at the community college level can be designed to improve the cultural awareness and multicultural self-efficacy of instructors.