Browsing Teaching, Learning, Policy & Leadership Theses and Dissertations by Subject "Academic achievement"
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ItemExploring the Relationship Between Personal Motivation, Persistence, and Resilience and Their Effects on Academic Achievement Among Different Groups of African-American Males in High Schools(2005-05-05) Salley, Linda Delois; Weible, Thomas D; Education Policy, and Leadership; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This study investigated the extent to which differences in motivation, persistence, and resilience exist among academically achieving African-American males enrolled in high school in a mid-Atlantic suburban public school system. The research questions sought to identify quantitative and qualitative variables that might contribute to academic success. The two groups of participants in this study were tenth and eleventh grade African-American males enrolled in the general curriculum or in honors and/or advanced placement classes. All participants were maintaining a 2.5 grade point average and all high schools in the district were represented in the study. The Achievement Motivation Profile instrument was administered to 140 academically achieving African-American males. Ten percent of the sample population responded to twelve interview questions. The study tested three research hypotheses: (1) there are no statistically significant differences in the mean levels of motivation between two groups of African-American males with different academic achievement records; (2) there are no statistically significant differences in the mean levels of persistence between two groups of African-American males with different academic achievement records; (3) There are no statistically significant differences in the mean levels of resilience between two groups of African-American males with different academic achievement records. T-tests and analysis of variance were used to make comparisons between the two groups. Findings from the current study revealed no statistically significant differences in means in motivation, persistence and resilience. Four themes emerged from the interviews of African-American males enrolled in honors or advanced placement high school classes. These themes were: (1) determined and persistent parental engagement; (2) setting limits and discipline; (3) child-focused love, support, communication and modeling; and (4) community connectedness and resources. Suggestions are made to replicate the study in an urban setting, again using African-American male honors and general curriculum students; to replicate the study in a rural area where three groups of African-American male students are identified: honors, general, and a group who are performing poorly in the general curriculum.; and to replicate the study using African-American females as the subjects in a similar environment. Additionally, it is important to continue searching the literature for an instrument more sensitive to differences between levels of motivation, persistence and resilience than the Achievement Motivation Profile. ItemDe Facto Bilingual Education: The Role of Home Language Support in the Academic Achievement of Dual Language Learners(2020) Guzman, Natalia; MacSwan, Jeff; Curriculum and Instruction; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Despite a clear finding that immigrant children in bilingual education programs outperform children in English-only instruction, little is known about the underlying causes of this effect and the variability in the results. This study seeks to understand cases in which bilingual students with emerging English skills appear to experience success or rapid academic gains in English-only classrooms in the apparent absence of home language support in school. Using a sample of 2,428 Spanish-speaking bilingual students in 438 schools from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011), multilevel models are employed to integrate multiple sources of data from parent interviews, self-administered teacher surveys, school administrator questionnaires, and one-on-one student assessments. Drawing from research on family language policy, which focuses on how bilingual families manage and use languages, and on theories of bilingual education, this study shows that the academic support that parents provide using the home language gives bilingual children background knowledge or a network of contextual clues that helps them navigate English-only classrooms. This background knowledge gained through parental support in the home language allows bilingual learners with the lowest level of English proficiency to score higher in mathematics in English-only environments during the kindergarten year in the same way as home language support contributes to children’s success in bilingual and dual language programs. This finding is an empirical verification of what has been called “de facto” bilingual education, a situation in which an emergent English learner succeeds in an English-only classroom due to parental academic support in the home language. In addition, this study shows that the parents’ preference for a home language does not jeopardize the English language attainment of young children upon entry to kindergarten. These findings are of great significance to educators, policymakers, and researchers who strive for equitable educational practices that support the inclusion of all students in the classroom, as they provide a context for understanding oft-reported immigrant successes in English-only classrooms as “de facto” bilingual education provided by parents at home. ItemReframing Responsibility for Academic Success: A Causal Model Measuring the Impact of Student Attributes in the First Year of College(2006-09-07) Murray, Michele C; Milem, Jeffrey F.; Education Policy, and Leadership; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The purpose of this single-institution study was to investigate the predictive power of student attributes in a path analytic model for academic success in the first year of college. Student attributes were defined as academic self-concept, social self-concept and self-determination; academic success was measured by cumulative college grade point average. The conceptual model tested in this study blends psychological theories of student attributes with Astin's (1991) input-environment-outcome (I-E-O) model, a sociological model of college impact. Using descriptive and path analytic techniques, this study contributes to assessment philosophy by demonstrating that student attributes predict academic success beyond what can be explained by prior achievement and involvement. By examining the contributions of student attributes to academic and social involvement and to subsequent achievement, this study describes higher education as a partnership between student and institution for which both have responsibility. The findings of the study suggested at least through conclusions. First, accounting for student attributes contributes to an understanding of academic success. Rather than focus on the institution's responsibility to engage students, this study demonstrates that academic and social involvement and achievement are products, at least in part, of students' academic self-concept and self-determination. Second, results from this study indicate that measurable change in student attributes occurs during one year, a portion of which is attributable to students' academic and social involvement. These findings substantiate previous research on the impact of involvement on students' personal development (Astin, 1994; Berger & Milem, 1999) and affirm the benefits of college attendance. Third, this study demonstrates that the effects of the environment within the classic I-E-O model (Astin, 1991) are mediated through academic self-concept. These findings reframe responsibility for student success by highlighting students' dispositions toward the academic enterprise as the strongest predictor of involvement and success. Consequently this study offers a different perspective of students' academic and social involvement. Rather than referring to involvement as an indication of the environment (Astin, 1994; Kuh, 1991), this study suggests that involvement behaviors are a measure of students' responsibility toward their collegiate experiences. The findings of this study have implications for future research, practice, and policy.