1. A Study of the Factors Related tothe Academic Achievement of 8th GradeLimited Proficient StudentsIn A Major Urban School DistrictA Dissertation ProposalPresented byRebecca DuongDissertation CommitteeWilliam Allan Kritsonis, PhD., ChairDavid Herrington, PhD., MemberDonald R. Collins, PhD., MemberDr. Solomon Osho, Ph.D., MemberNovember 19, 2008
2. Proposal FormatI. IntroductionII. Background of the ProblemIII. Purpose of the StudyIV. Research QuestionsV. Review of LiteratureVI. Research Design
3. IntroductionNCLB legislation requires all students enrolled inpublic schools be proficient in Math and Reading by2014.In Texas, TAKS proficiency standards must be metby all groups including Hispanic LEP students, howwill schools be ready?
4. IntroductionIn Texas there is a increase of more than 55% ofHispanics making up the overall population ofmiddle school public school enrollment in 2007.(National Center for Education Statistics. 2007)Research stresses the importance of recognizing LEPstudents in middle school come with uniquestrengths, challenges, and needs.
5. Background of ProblemAdministrators and teachers face new challenges aschanging demographics have Texas educators andleaders finding new ways to implement federal andstate policies concerning LEP (Limited EnglishProficient) education (Gulla, 2003).
6. Background of the ProblemPublished studies and state reports in Texas discussthe implications of the increasing rate of illiteracy inthe Hispanic community due to dropout rates inmiddle and high school.According to Rumberger and Lamb (2003),“Understanding why students drop out of school is adifficult if not an impossible task because, as withother forms of educational achievement, it isinfluenced by an array of individual and institutionalfactors” (p. 147), factors which are school andindividual related.
7. Statement of the ProblemAs a result of the dropout rate of Hispanics, manyTexans are not fully able to participate in theemerging new economy because of limited literacyskills, limited English-speaking skills and a generalneed for other basic skills (Haynes, 1998; Jones,2001).There is a need to determine if 8thLEP Hispanicstudent’s perceptions of school factors and/orindividual factors may affect their academicachievement.
8. Purpose of the StudyThe study has a threefold purpose.First, its seeks to determine school factors that effectthe academic achievement of 8thgrade Hispanic LEPstudents.Second, it seeks to determine individual factors thateffect the academic achievement of 8thgrade HispanicLEP students.
9. Purpose of the Study (cont.)Finally, it seeks to identify how these identifiablefactors are perceived by Hispanic limited Englishproficient 8thgrade middle school students aspositively influencing their academic achievement.
10. Research Questions1. Is there a significant relationship between thestudents’ academic achievement and theirperceptions of the importance of a positive schoolclimate?2. Is there a significant relationship between thestudents’ academic achievement and theirperceptions of the importance of a positiveclassroom environment?
11. Research Questions (cont.)3. Is there a significant relationship of the students’academic achievement and their perceptions of theimportance of LEP instruction?4. Is there a significant relationship of the students’academic achievement and the students’ motivationto achieve?5. Is there a significant relationship of the students’academic achievement and the students’ socialgoals?
12. Research Questions (cont.)6. What is the relationship of the students’ academicachievement and the combined responses to theirperceptions of the importance of:– school climate– classroom environment– quality of LEP instruction– motivation to achieve– individual social goals
13. Research Questions (cont.)7. What relationships exist between the students’personal background and demographiccharacteristics and their perceptions of theimportance of:– school climate– classroom environment– quality LEP instruction– motivation to achieve– individual social goals
14. Null HypothesisH01: There is no statistically significant relationshipbetween the students’ academic achievement andtheir perceptions of the importance of a positiveschool climate as measured by the AcademicAchievement Survey .H02: There is no statistically significant relationshipbetween of the students’ academic achievement andtheir perceptions of the importance of a positiveclassroom environment as measured by the AcademicAchievement Survey .
15. Null HypothesisH03: There is no statistically significant relationship ofthe students’ academic achievement and theirperceptions of the importance of LEP instructionasmeasured by the Academic Achievement Survey .H04: There is no statistically significant relationship ofthe students’ academic achievement and the students’motivation to achieve as measured by the AcademicAchievement Survey .H05: There is no statistically significant relationship ofthe students’ academic achievement and thestudents’ social goals as measured by the AcademicAchievement Survey .
16. Null HypothesisH06: There is no statistically significant relationship ofthe students’ academic achievement and thecombined responses to their perceptions of theimportance of:school climateclassroom environmentquality of LEP instructionmotivation to achieveindividual social goals
17. Null HypothesisH07: There are no statistically significant relationshipsbetween the students’ personal background anddemographic characteristics and their perceptions ofthe importance of:school climateclassroom environmentquality of LEP instructionmotivation to achieve individual social goals
18. Theoretical Frame of ReferenceSchool ClimateResearchers have identified the following characteristics thatinfluence school climate: Safe and orderly environment (Murphy, 1989; Jones, 2001) Opportunities for student participation and leadership(Rumberger et al., 2000; Wynne, 1980) High expectations for students (Edmunds, 1979; Rumberger etal., 2000) Student-staff cohesion and support of differences (Wynne,1980; Martinez, 2001)
19. Theoretical Frame of ReferenceClassroom EnvironmentPiaget’s theory of a constructivist framework will beused in this investigation to describe a positiveclassroom environment(Fogarty, 1999; McMullen, 2004).
20. Theoretical Frame of ReferenceQuality of LEP InstructionLEP instruction improves the education of LEPchildren, by assisting them to learn English and meetchallenging state academic content and studentacademic achievement standards(Cummins, 1980; 1981; 1996; Jones, 2005).
21. Theoretical Frame of ReferenceMotivation To AchieveMotivation plays a fundamental role in a students’achievement ability(Brophy, 1985; Dörnyei, 1994; Holden, 2001).
22. Theoretical Frame of ReferenceIndividual Social GoalsLearning to socialize is a natural step towards socialdevelopment also an important factor forassimilation into society(Deci & Ryan, 1985:116; Matthews, 2003).
23. Academic Achievement of 8th Grade Hispanic LEP StudentsBased on School and Individual Factors
24. Significance of the StudyDevelop an awareness of the perceptions of factorsthat will positively or negatively affect the academicachievement of middle school 8thgrade Hispanic LEPstudents.Determine which school and individual factors arepositive impacts on 8thgrade Hispanic LEP students’academic achievement while impacting future policydecisions related to services to LEP students inmiddle school.Ultimately influence program decisions to maximizethe learning outcomes of 8thgrade Hispanic LEPstudents.
25. Assumptions Data gathered from the participants will be factual. LEP students participating will be classified as 8thgrade LEP students in school currently enrolled. LEP students who participate in the personalessays and questions will be truthful and objectivein their responses. Responses in the study will be accurately recordedand appropriately coded. Results of this study will help school leaders tomore effectively implement federal and statepolicies concerning LEP (Limited EnglishProficient) education.
26. Limitations of the StudyResearch will reflect one urban school district inTexas.Data collected will be obtained from five middleschools within the selected urban school district.
27. Chapter IIReview of Literature
28. School FactorsSchool Climate-Characteristics of schools can affect and help define the climate ofthe school.-Researchers have identified the following characteristics thatinfluence school climate:*Safe and orderly environment(Murphy, 1985; Knippel, 2001)*Opportunities for student participation and leadership(Rutter et al., 1979; Wynne, 1980; Matthews,2004)*High expectations for students(Edmunds, 1979; Rutter et al., 1979, Sykes, 2001)*Student-staff cohesion and support of differences(Wynne ,1980; Matthews, 2006)
29. School FactorsClassroom Environment-Piaget’s theory of a constructivist framework will be used in thisinvestigation to describe a positive classroom environment.-A constructivist framework encompass around a curriculumdesign consisting of discovery learning (Fogarty, 1999; Ewing,2005).-In a constructivist classroom, learning is not simply taking in newinformation as it exists eternally, it is the natural, continuousconstruction and reconstruction of new, richer, and morecomplex and connected meanings by the learner (Poplin, 1988;Jones, 2003).
30. School FactorsQuality of LEP Instruction-LEP instruction improves the education of LEP children inassisting them to learn English and meet challenging stateacademic content and student academic achievement standards(Cummins, 1980; 1981; 1996; Rocha, 2003)-This research will track Reading TAKS scores of participating8th grade LEP Hispanic students who are enrolled in ESLclassrooms after their 3rd year of enrollment in public school.-Quality LEP instruction involves the development andimplementation of language educational instructional programsand academic content instruction in a middle school setting.
31. Individual FactorsMotivation to Achieve-Intrinsic motivation takes into account expectancy of the outcomeas well as the incentive value of success (Connell, 1984; Ewing,2001). For example, when the student feels responsibility andcontrol over the learning situation; the student will do what isnecessary to be academically successful.-Student take ownership in their learning. Learning in theclassroom becomes goal structure and provides groupcohesiveness.For example, students who need extra help are supported by themore proficient students who assist their classmates, buildingmotivational self determination and learning autonomy (Brophy,1985; Dörnyei, 1994;Holden, 2004).
32. Individual FactorsSocial Goals-Learning to socialize is a natural step towards social developmentand also an important factor for assimilation into society (Deci& Ryan, 1985:116; Griddings, 2005).-According to Gusman (1996), "Everything in the classroomrevolves around relationships and nothing else." When studentsbuild relationships with each other, his or her influence on eachother becomes evident.For example, norms, beliefs, and attitudes of the group within theschool community can range from the type of clothing the groupwears, the type of music they listen to, and eventually theirattitude towards academic success (Gusman, 1996).
33. Chapter IIIMethodology
34. Research DesignResearch Method Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used inthis investigation. Components of the study (survey and two-part essay response)will be designed to identify whether school and individualfactors will influence 8thgrade Hispanic LEP student’sacademic achievement.
35. Research DesignQuantitative: To measure the relationship between student academicachievement and the three school factors selected for this study:school climate, classroom environment, and languageinstruction-Pearson correlation for school climate and ReadingTAKS scores will be utilized. To measure the relationship between student academicachievement and individual factors selected for this study:motivation to achieve and personal social goals-Pearsoncorrelation for individual factors and Reading TAKS scores willbe utilized.
36. Research DesignQualitative Two-part essay responses will be collected from participants. Emergent themes will be used to identify common factors that8thgrade Hispanic LEP students’ perceive as affecting his/heracademic achievement.
37. Subjects of the StudyQuantitative Sample/QualitativeSample: Student information will be obtained for 150 8th grade LEPHispanic students within a major urban school district. Five middle school buildings with varying academicachievement levels of 8thgrade LEP Hispanic students willparticipate in the study. Data will be gathered from 8thgrade LEP Hispanic students inmainstream classrooms who have been in enrolled in publicschool for more than three years.
38. Instrumentation The questionnaire on the Academic Achievement of 8th gradeHispanic LEP students consists of 52 items divided into fourmajor sections. Part I “General Information,” consists of itemsassessing the participant’s student identification number,gender, age, parental level of education, and socioeconomicstatus (eligibility for free or reduced lunch). Part II of the questionnaire, “Your School and Classes,”consists of questions #6-31 measuring the participant’sperceptions of the importance of school climate, classroomenvironment, and language instruction. Part III of the questionnaire, “You and Your Friends,” consistof questions #32-51 measuring the participant’s perception oftheir motivation for attending school and their socialmotivation.
39. Instrumentation The two-part essay question consists of a hypothetical questionthat describes a student’s friend who did not speak English andwas coming to the United States to study in the same school ashis or her friend. The first part of the question asks therespondent to tell his or her friend about: a) their school, b)what he or she had to do to be academically successful, c) anddescribe the quality of classroom instruction. The second partof the question asked the respondent to describe to their friend:a) why the respondent like or dislike the school, b) how theirfriends in school are.
40. InstrumentationQuantitative Data:Student Survey utilizing a5 point Likert scale-Part IQualitative Data:Demographic dataOpen-ended essayquestions for studentsto answer-Part II
41. Validity and Reliability The research results will be dependent upon the researcher’saccuracy to depict the meaning of the participant’squestionnaire responses. The results which emerge from data analysis will be tested forplausibility and conformability. Participants’ questionnaires and results will be privatelyexamined by the researcher in order to secure credibility,transferability, and dependability of the procedures andfindings.
42. Data Collection Surveys will be given to participants. Information and duedates will also be included. Responses will be coded to assure identity protection. Data from the survey will be placed in tables and graphs. Data from the district and respondents will be secured for sevenyears.
43. Data AnalysisQuantitative Data: Pearson correlations will be used tocalculate the research questions inthe study. Correlations will be evaluated withtwo-tailed tests with the .05 level ofsignificance. Scale scores will be calculated fromthe respondent’s questions. Scale score of respondent’s surveyas well as 2008-2009 Reading TAKSscores of each participant will bedescribed as interval scalevariables. Results of study will be reportedusing descriptive statistics,including frequencies andpercentages.Qualitative Data: Two-part essay response Essay responses transcribed Data analysis include coding,generating categories, and writtensummaries. Emergent themes Cross-check findings withQuantitative data.
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50. Quote“One person seeking glory doesn’taccomplish much. Success is the resultof people pulling together to meetcommon goals.”(John Maxwell p. 27, 2001)