The Impact Of Student Leadership In Classroom Management On Student Achievement
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The Impact Of Student Leadership In Classroom Management On Student Achievement The Impact Of Student Leadership In Classroom Management On Student Achievement Document Transcript

  • The Impact of Student Leadership in Classroom Management on Student Achievement Dissertation Submitted to Northcentral University Graduate Faculty of the School of Education In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN EDUCATION by JASON S. GORNTO Prescott Valley, Arizona June 2009
  • UMI Number: 3376763 INFORMATION TO USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. Broken or indistinct print, colored or poor quality illustrations and photographs, print bleed-through, substandard margins, and improper alignment can adversely affect reproduction. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if unauthorized copyright material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. UMI UMI Microform 3376763 Copyright 2009 by ProQuest LLC All rights reserved. This microform edition is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code. ProQuest LLC 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106-1346
  • APPROVAL The Impact of Student Leadership in Classroom Management on Student Achievement by Jason S. Gornto Approved by: UJaJtu^- Chair: Kellfey Walters, Ph.D. Member: Denise Geier, Ed.D. Member: Amy Peterson, Ed.D. &.2D. Ctf Date Certifiedjjy:^ V School D&an: Dennis J. Lessard, Ph.D. Date
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many people have influenced the journey that has led to this achievement. Some I have known my entire life and others I have only spoken with briefly. Each, though, has played an important part in my success. First, and foremost, to my wife, Denise for her support, motivation, and encouragement. She has taken on more than her fair share to allow me the time and space to move forward with this degree. To my parents, Bill and Linda, who instilled in me a desire to succeed. They taught me never to accept less than I want. They also taught me to be willing to work for what I want. To my brother, Troy, who taught me that being smart and educated are two different things. To my friend and colleague, Diane, for picking up the slack at school. Her sacrifices allowed me to complete this journey without losing my mind at work. To my dissertation chair, Dr. Kelley Walters, for fantastic guidance. Her feedback and advice was always timely and direct. Her encouragement and frankness helped make this journey less tedious. To my committee members, Drs. Denise Geier and Amy Peterson, for providing quick and precise comments. Their feedback was invaluable in this process. To my external reviewer and friend, Dr. Tom McKaig, for his feedback and encouragement. I appreciate his frankness now more than ever. To the administration and staff at the schools included in this study. Their flexibility and willingness to participate helped make my goals a reality.
  • Abstract Public schools across the nation are being held to higher standards of accountability. No Child Left Behind, Research Based Instruction, and similar initiatives are increasing the need for teachers to use proven and effective methodologies for teaching and managing classrooms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between a specific classroom management technique and student achievement and to determine whether including student leadership in the classroom management model has an effect on student reported success or grades. The researcher used a quantitative research design to investigate student leadership in classroom management. A random sample of students in grades 9-12 was culled from three high schools chosen from a convenience sample. These 102 students completed an online survey developed and piloted by the researcher. The survey asked participants to consider a class they had taken that included frequent student leadership and a course that included little or no student leadership. Student achievement was measured by letter grade and students' feelings of success. Survey results were analyzed to determine what effect, if any, student leadership in classroom management had on student achievement. Cross tabulation and paired sample t tests were used for analysis. Using a paired-samples t test, ^(98) = 5.83,/? < .001, students found their high-participation classes more interesting than their lower-participation classes. Paired samples t tests were also conducted to compare school grades between the high participation group and the low participation group. Differences were significant, t{99) = 4.82, p < .001. Further research is needed to identify which student leadership methods have the largest impact on student achievement. Additionally, further research may determine if student leadership is more effective in any particular subject area or
  • classroom setting.
  • Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Background and Significance of the Problem 1 Statement of the Research Problem 2 Research Questions 4 Research Assumption, Limitations, and Delimitations 5 Definitions of Key Terms 7 Summary 8 Chapter 2: Review of the Literature 10 Classroom Management 11 Student Leadership in Classroom Management and Instructional Methods 17 Student Leadership Development 23 Chapter 3: Research Methodology 31 Statement of the Research Problem 31 Research Questions 31 Research Setting 33 Chapter 4: Findings 499 Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations 633 References 70 Appendix A 755 Appendix B 79 Appendix C 80 Appendix D 81
  • Appendix E 82
  • LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Paired t Test 39 Table 2. Survey Question 1 50 Table 3. Survey Question 2 50 Table 4. Survey Question #3 51 Table 5. Survey Question #4 51 Table 6. Survey Question #5 52 Table 7. Survey Question #6 52 Table 8. Survey Question #7 53 Table 9. Survey Question #8 53 Table 10. Survey Question#9 54 Table 11. Survey Question #10 55 Table 12. Survey Question #11 55 Table 13. Survey Question #12 56 Table 14. Survey Question #13 56 Table 15. Cross Tabulation of Letter Grades Received 57
  • 1 Chapter 1: Introduction Public schools across the nation are being held to higher standards of accountability (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). Many states, including Indiana, are expecting educators to use new methods to increase student achievement. One recent area of focus has been the application of research-based instruction and methods in the classroom. Research-based instruction can focus on any topic within education. Standardized tests, curriculum development, differentiated instruction, remediation, inclusion, and other recent trends in educational research have led the way for improvements in classroom instruction. While the areas of curriculum development and standardized testing have received much attention, both classroom management and student leadership have been neglected (Posner, 2004). This chapter will provide an introduction to the study. The background and significance of the existing research problem will be outlined. Contemporary research will be cited that indicates a need for the present study. The research questions, along with assumptions, limitations, and delimitations will be identified and detailed. Operational definitions for student leadership, student achievement, and classroom management will be presented, as well. Background and Significance of the Problem No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Research Based Instruction, and similar initiatives are increasing the need for teachers to use proven and effective methodologies for teaching and managing classrooms (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between a specific classroom management technique and student achievement. The objective of this study was to determine whether
  • 2 including student leadership in the classroom management model has any effect on student reported success or grades. Determining the effect of this specific technique allows teachers to consider the benefits or drawbacks of using it in their own classroom. Current research in business shows a relationship between leadership and business success. Organizational theories and leadership theories have been researched widely with regard to best business practices for increased shareholder value (Northouse, 2007). Only recently have schools started to consider shareholders and outcomes in a similar sense (Hay & Dempster, 2004). Because this change of thinking is still evolving, little quantitative research exists that links student leadership to student achievement. This is particularly true at the high school level. Posner (2004) identified a great need for new research in student leadership. The author said, "Studies examining the impact of various leadership development programs and classes.. .would assist greatly in understanding just how leadership is developed" (p. 454). These suggestions for contemporary researcher indicate that a study of student leadership as part of classroom management and the effects on student achievement is necessary and relevant research. Statement of the Research Problem The objective of this study was to address research questions relating to student leadership and classroom management. Current research suggests that students would report higher grades and higher success in classes that include student leadership in classroom management. Current trends in education present a need for teachers to use research based methods in instruction and classroom management (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). Student outcomes are the gold standard of success in education and there is a lack of current research in this area (Hay & Dempster, 2004; Posner, 2004). Although
  • 3 business productivity is directly linked to leadership, there are few similar studies in education (Northouse, 2007). Classroom management and student leadership are topics for which little current research exists (Posner). Purpose Statement The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between student leadership as part of classroom management and student success. This study will provide high school teachers with research based data related to increasing student achievement. This quantitative study used an online survey to collect student responses to questions regarding the use of student leadership in classroom management and the students' grades and feelings of success in those classes. A random sample of students was selected from three high schools of a convenience sample. The population includes all high school students in grades 9-12. The geographic location of the sample population was north central Indiana. Specifically, students were asked to recall a course they had taken that included high levels of student leadership and respond to questions about it. Then students were asked to consider a course they had taken that included little or no student leadership and then respond to questions about that course. Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework for this study is based on the work of Li et al. (2007) and Dobinson (2001). The framework rests on the following idea: Teachers that employ more student leadership within their classes can increase student achievement of all students within that class. Dobinson's work shows that students can be active or passive in student leadership and still reap the benefits. Student leadership can be part of classroom management without a specific developed curriculum (Li et al.). This means
  • 4 that teachers do not need to study, develop, and implement a new system for classroom management or instruction. Using peer-to-peer interaction in instruction is much more effective than teacher-only instruction (Dobinson). Student leadership is any peer-to-peer interaction. Research Questions Current research illustrates the importance of student leadership, classroom management, and student achievement. This study seeks to connect these concepts and provide high school teachers with quantitative research to support student leadership as a classroom management technique for improving student achievement. 1. Does using student leadership in classroom management alter students' perceived success in that class? 2. Is there a relationship between the use of student leadership in classroom management and student reported grades? Classroom management textbooks rarely include references to student leadership (Kellough & Kellough, 1996; McLeod, 2003; Wong, 2004). Although many teachers may already use some forms of student leadership within their classrooms, this study could validate those methods. Further, for teachers who disregard the use of students as leaders within the classroom, this study could persuade them to include these methods as a research based instructional tactic designed to improve student achievement. This study contains the following hypotheses. Hypothesis 1: Students will report success in classes using student leadership as part of classroom management more often than in classes not using this technique. Hypothesis 2: Students will earn higher grades in classes using student leadership
  • 5 as part of classroom management than in classes not using this technique. Research Assumption, Limitations, and Delimitations These research assumptions are an inherent part of the research design. Every effort was made to ensure that results were reliable and valid. The researcher assumed that all participants completing the quantitative survey were forthright and unbiased in their responses. The researcher also assumed that every student has some level of active or passive experience with student leadership as part of classroom management. Further, the researcher assumed that students will have recognized student leadership in classroom management when it was present. Limitations existed within this study. The non-experimental nature of this study did not allow the researcher to determine cause and effect relationships. The data derived from these participants may not be wholly applicable to a larger audience. Further, this study only accounted for student perceptions of student leadership as part of classroom management. Some teachers may employ these methods in ways students are not directly aware. The type of demographic information collected does not allow analysis of variables such as socioeconomic status, race, and learning disabilities. Delimitations also existed within this study. Time and geographic constraints limited the participants to three high schools in northern Indiana. Another primary delimitation of this study was the ability of one researcher. One researcher was clearly limited in the amount of time and resources that were available. The participants were geographically close to the researcher's locale. This quantitative research study was conducted using student participants from three public high schools in north central Indiana; therefore the result may also be indicative of this population. The theoretical
  • 6 framework and operational definition for student leadership allow for any peer-to-peer interaction to be identified as student leadership. For this reason this study does not attempt to identify any specific strategy or method as superior. Additionally, the theoretical framework indicates that no formal program or plan of student leadership needs to be in place for student leadership to occur. Accordingly, the literature review does not focus on specific curricula for student leadership in classroom management. Although the researcher took great care to create an instrument that would encompass all student leadership activities in classroom management there may be other methods unaccounted for herein. Nature of the Study This quantitative study used an online survey to collect student responses to questions regarding the use of student leadership in classroom management and the students' grades and feelings of success in those classes. The researcher approached administrators at three districts: one rural, one small city, and one metropolitan. These three schools selected from convenience had policies allowing the administration to give permission for the students to participate in surveys. A random sample of high school students identified 50 students from each school. Using 50 participants from each school allowed for some non respondents while still ending with a final participant number of larger than 100. A sample size of 100 is sufficient for a large population (Alreck & Settle, 2007). A random sample increased the validity and accuracy of the data collected (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). The validity and accuracy of data collected from a truly random sample is preferred over other methods. To conduct this random sample a list of all current students at each school was used. A random number generator was used to
  • 7 determine the first participant and then an Nth name sampling procedure was used. Significance of the Study Classroom management and student leadership have been neglected in recent research (Posner, 2004). This study investigated the relationship between a specific classroom management technique and student achievement. Current research in business shows a relationship between leadership and business success (Northouse, 2007). Only recently have schools started to consider shareholders and outcomes in a similar sense (Hay & Dempster, 2004). Current research suggests that a study of student leadership as part of classroom management and the effects on student achievement is necessary and relevant research. Current trends in education present a need for teachers to use research based methods in instruction and classroom management (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). Student outcomes are the gold standard of success in education and there is a lack of current research in this area (Hay & Dempster, 2004; Posner, 2004). Definitions of Key Terms Words used throughout this study include student leadership and student achievement. Student leadership can take many forms and many definitions. Student Leadership. Student leadership can give students the chance "to practice a range of leadership skills in a supportive, learning and social environment" (Hay & Dempster, 2004, p. 141). Another explanation that can apply to students is that leaders "occupy positions of responsibility in coordinating the activities of the members of a group in their task of attaining a common goal" (Stogdill, 1974, p. 76). This study focused on classroom activities that gave students responsibility for other individuals. These activities were assigned by the classroom teacher. Therefore, each student had
  • 8 positional leadership within the classroom. Participants in the study defined these leadership activities which may include: taking attendance, passing back papers, or leading discussion. This study specifically excluded identifying leadership qualities of students and developing leadership within students. Student achievement. Student achievement, student success, and student grades are commonly used indicators in educational research (Smythe & Hess, 2005). For the purposes of this study, student achievement was synonymous with student reported feelings of success and student reported grades. Classroom management. Classroom management has been defined in many ways. Palumbo and Sanacore (2007) said that classroom management includes "helping students become academically engaged, organizing instruction to accommodate students' strengths and needs, and motivating students to be interactive during instructional activities" (p. 67). Using this wide definition of classroom management allowed a wide range of student responses and perceptions to be appropriate. A narrow definition may have limited or shown bias in relationship to student leadership in classrooms. Student perceptions of leadership. For the purposes of this study student perceptions of leadership in the classroom are limited to self-reported occurrences and frequencies in self-selected classes. Participants were free to choose from a provided list of 12 categories of student leadership in classroom management. The participants were also given the opportunity to enter qualitative information. Summary This chapter identified research questions, provided a background to the problem, and illustrated limitations, delimitations, and key definitions. An increase in
  • 9 accountability is forcing teachers and administrators to adapt. Research based instruction requires that classroom management methods and instructional methods be backed by research to ensure relevance and effectiveness. Although recent research has begun to focus on student leadership the attention has been primarily on college students. There is no empirical evidence to show that including student leadership as part of classroom management effects student achievement. This research fills a void in the existing body of scholarly work.
  • 10 Chapter 2: Review of the Literature Educational leadership is a popular topic in research (Fullan, 2003). Most current research focuses on administrative leadership (Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005). A survey of research on the topic of student leadership as a part of classroom management shows a lack of attention to this topic. Further, there is little evidence of the effect of student leadership on student achievement. There is, however, research on classroom management, peer leadership in classrooms, student leadership development, and interest in student leadership research. Much of this related research hints that student leadership and achievement are related. Further, this research points to a need for quantitative research specifically linking student leadership and achievement. This chapter presents a review of recent research in the area of student leadership in classroom management. The first section focuses on classroom management; the affects of classroom management strategies on students, current methods and management models. Some of these models are teacher focused and others are students focused. The second section of this chapter focuses on including student leadership in classroom management and instructional methods. The relationship between classroom management and instructional methods will be examined first. Instructional methods that include components of student leadership will also be presented. The final section of this chapter presents research on student leadership. It begins by evaluating leadership models and methods of developing student leadership. Next, this section examines the role of student leadership in peer groups and attention is given to student leadership development research.
  • 11 Classroom Management In this section research focusing on the impact of classroom management on students is followed by studies on classroom management and management models for classrooms. The evaluation of models begins with a macro perspective and move to student focused methods and models. Teachers at every level of experience list classroom management as their number one concern (Arter, 2007). Classroom management is a vital key to student success and should be a teacher's first concern (Wong & Wong, 2004). There cannot be effective instruction without planning and structure. One veteran teacher said that classroom management is not just a "serious problem. Classroom management is everything" (Palumbo & Sanacore, 2007, p. 67). Palumbo and Sanacore used a case study of two teachers to examine the importance of classroom management on instruction. These two teachers taught the same grade at the same school with nearly identical demographics in the classroom. In the classroom of Teacher Y there was chaos. Instruction was stopped to address students that arrived late. Students that had been absent the day before had to wait for the teacher to find yesterday's worksheet and hand it out. Teacher X, however, "had none of these problems" (p. 68). Expectations were clear. The students began quietly working upon arrival to the classroom. Students that had been absent knew where to find yesterday's worksheets. Tardy students quietly came in and added their own name to the detention list on the board and then took a seat. Teacher X also used student leadership as part of classroom management. "A student took the attendance from a seating chart, and the teacher checked it later for accuracy" (p. 68). While the student was taking a responsibility for the class as a whole, the teacher was free to keep the class moving
  • 12 forward. This administrative task did not take away from instructional time. The researchers concluded: The four-minute difference in starting class every day in a forty-minute period represents 10 percent more instructional time over the school year. All other factors being equal, including motivation and engagement, this four-minute advantage would be enough to produce better student outcomes, (p. 68) The importance of time of task with students is echoed by other recent research as well. These findings of use of classroom time and the importance of classroom management are echoed by the findings of Pearce (2008). The impact of classroom management on students and teachers is addressed by Pearce in relationship to music classrooms. The author cited research studies that show classroom management is a reliable predictor of teacher success and longevity. This author explains the importance of maintaining momentum in a classroom and not allowing discipline and administrative tasks to stop the learning. Pearce stated, "Highly effective teachers jealously guard their student contact time and are constantly working to pack as much teaching as possible into each minute" (p. 29). This author acknowledges the importance of routine and suggests group learning along with holding the students to exceptionally high standards. Classroom management has been shown to directly affect students in many ways (Wong & Wong, 2004). Huang (2008) examined the relationship between classroom management and student depression. Although these findings are not contradictory to previous studies, the hypothesis takes the importance of classroom management in a different direction. This study was limited to Eastern cultures. Although there are significant cultural differences in education between the United States and Eastern Culture, these findings reiterate the relevance of classroom management and its important
  • 13 impact on students. The researcher begins by explaining some key differences in culture. Adolescent depression is a significant issue in Asia. Eastern educational systems give teachers "too many rights" (p. 271). The researcher wrote that students have a high degree of respect for teachers as a matter of culture. Further, teachers can easily put undue stress on students simply by creating unrealistically high expectations or even by withholding praise and attention. The research found that although teacher classroom management was not the primary influence on student depression, it was a significant contributor. The study also found a relationship between students' evaluation of classroom management and student depression. This clearly shows that classroom management has a significant and profound influence on students. Classroom management in gifted classrooms presents specific challenges different from traditional classrooms (Rayneri, Gerber, & Wily, 2006). These researchers assert that findings in traditional classrooms are not unilaterally applicable to all. The researchers in this study examined the classroom environment and learning style preferences of gifted students in middle school and the relationship and impact on performance levels. One relevant finding of this study was that, contrary to some existing research, gifted students showed a preference for learning with peers. The author holds that this may be an indication that student leadership can be effective in gifted classrooms. The researchers also found that gifted students should work hands-on as much as possible when learning about real-world issues. The overall findings of this study suggest that teachers of gifted students need to evaluate their classroom environment, procedures, and practices to encourage engaged learning to improve student achievement.
  • 14 In contrast to some previous research Eshel and Kohavi (2003) believe that other variables in the classroom affect student achievement. One area of particular focus in classroom management methods is classroom control (Eshel & Kohavi). Their research sought to identify a link between perceived classroom control, self-regulated learning strategies, and academic achievement. "It was hypothesized that student mathematics achievement would be contingent on the combined effects of teacher and student control" (p. 249). Classroom management and processes were found to be related to academic achievement. The study also suggests that self-regulated learning would benefit from a coaching mentality for improved success. The author posits that this study furthers the evidence that teachers and students may benefit greatly from more student control and responsibility in the classroom. Some other recent research delineates the idea that control is paramount. Giving students more control does not mean the teacher is out of control. Magableh and Hawamdeh (2007) investigated the role of accountability in discipline in classroom management of beginning teachers. They also applied specific methodologies to these situations. The researchers identified discipline strategies in two categories: proactive strategies and strategic procedures. The study acknowledged the importance of effective classroom management and its effect on student achievement. The study also discussed the importance of instructional time that can be lost to poor classroom management. The researchers briefly compared the effectiveness of four management models: the Discipline Model, the Traditional Model, the Effective Management Model, and the Reality Therapy Model. The Discipline Model focuses on the teacher and his right to teach in a classroom
  • 15 free of disruption. In this model good behavior is rewarded and poor behavior is punished. The Traditional Model relies specifically upon monitoring unwanted behavior. The Effective Management model is teacher focused. This model focuses on the teacher's behavior and reactions to students as a beginning point for classroom management. The Reality Therapy Model is student based. This methodology puts the duty on the teacher to meet the needs of the students. The study found that different teachers used different strategies to achieve similar results. The researchers concluded that personality of the teacher, personality of the students, and other unknown factors can influence which methods are most appropriate and most effective in any classroom setting; that there is not one correct answer for classroom management. Student focused models of classroom management and instruction are gaining popularity (Gureasko-Moore, DuPaul & White, 2007). In their recent study the researchers examined self-management of classroom preparedness and homework and applied these concepts to adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The study cited the regularity with which students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder showed up for class unprepared. The researchers identified specific behaviors such as tardiness, homework completion, and organization. The researchers used a program specifically designed to give these students the necessary skills to be responsible for themselves in this type of classroom setting. The study found that these students improved on these specific behaviors after completing the training. Once these students had the necessary tools they were willing and able to take responsibility for their work and place in the classroom. This leads the author to believe that some students may not inherently have the necessary skills to benefit from student leadership as part of
  • 16 classroom management. Recent research by Buchs, Butera, and Mugny (2004) suggested that student focused learning may positively affect student achievement. In their study of college students published in Educational Psychology the researchers compared student groups working on a project. Members of one group were all provided with identical information while the experimental group members were supplied with interdependent complementary information. After reviewing the information the groups completed a task. The study found that "performance was favored when students worked on complementary information" (p. 291). Students with identical information did not perform as well as those students forced to rely on one another for success. The researchers warned that peer learning must be well constructed to be effective. Some students in this study felt academically threatened when others in the group challenged them. This phenomenon only appeared in the group with identical information. In the absence of this threat students performed much better with interdependent information. In contradiction to much research a body of knowledge also exists in contemporary classroom management literature that seems to overlook the relevance of student leadership. In her book published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, McLeod (2003) explained the key elements of classroom management for teachers. McLeod is an international consultant in classroom management. The author highlighted the major components of classroom management within three sections: time and classroom space, student behavior, and instructional strategies. Most of the 206 pages explain traditional strategies for maintaining order, organization, and control. McLeod gave one sentence to student leadership as part of
  • 17 classroom management. "Implementing a system of student helpers also saves time and teaches students the real life skill of accepting responsibility for doing ajob" (p. 34). This sentence recognized the validity of student leadership activities as part of classroom management. This book does not explain specific methods of including student leadership as a classroom management technique. Nor does this book include student leadership as a method for instruction. This book is indicative of classroom management texts and it is important to notice that student leadership is a missing component. These studies indicate a strong relationship between classroom management techniques and student achievement. Moreover, the research indicated that students tend to increase performance as classroom management increases student focus. The interdependence of student resources suggests that student leadership as a part of classroom management may, in fact, improve student achievement. Student Leadership in Classroom Management and Instructional Methods Student leadership can be part of classroom management and skill building tasks for students (McLeod, 2003). In the book Key Elements of Classroom Management: Managing Time and Space, Student Behavior, and instructional Strategies, the author noted the importance of using student leadership: Implementing a system of student helpers also saves time and teaches students the real-life skill of accepting responsibility for doing a job.. ..Certainly, student-helper roles require more monitoring in the elementary grades, but middle and high school students can do these jobs independently, (p. 34) The author goes on to explain the real-world skills and responsibilities learned by students when they are given tasks. She reiterated the dual-purpose for using student leadership: keeping classroom management running smoothly, and teaching students via
  • 18 these tasks. Fencl and Scheel (2005) researched the effects of various teaching strategies on course climate and student self-efficacy. The participants in this study were college students enrolled in non-major physics courses. They determined that "self-efficacy is key predictor of achievement" (Fencl & Scheel, p. 20). These researchers identified specific strategies that increased self-efficacy. Cooperative learning, which includes student leadership, was the most identified method to increase self-efficacy. The effects of these teaching strategies were found to have an effect on students' self-efficacy regardless of previous experiences or past test scores. This study however, did not specifically explore collaborative learning throughout the four sources of efficacy. The researchers concluded that teachers who use these types of strategies within their classrooms will have a positive effect on students' self-efficacy and will reap the benefits of the outcomes associated with higher self-efficacy in students. The authors then urged more research between teaching methods like collaborative learning and student outcomes. This type of research "may shed additional light on questions regarding the importance of student attitude for learning" (Fencl & Scheel, p. 23). The effect of classroom support on the achievement trajectory of elementary students was examined by Pianta, Belsky, Vandergrift, and Morrison (2008). The researchers discussed the dynamic change in accountability in recent years and cite a significant change in focus of educators to use research driven methods to increase achievement. This nonexperimental, longitudinal study tracked students from 54 months of age to fifth grade. Standardized test scores over time were compared with the students' exposure to positive emotional interactions as well as exposure to math and literacy. The
  • 19 researchers found that: Overall, the reading and math achievement results, at least in third and fifth grade, call attention to the potential importance of the general emotional climate of the classroom and the specific social-emotional experiences children have with teachers within the classroom, (p. 377) This research underscores the important impact of classroom climate and its relationship to positive increases in achievement. Classroom management includes instructional methods that effect student achievement. Peer-to-peer interaction as part of a lesson is a component of student leadership. Dobinson (2001) published research that most closely parallels the research conducted within this paper. Dobinson used ESL students to evaluate the retention of new vocabulary taught by a teacher in comparison to new vocabulary taught primarily through peer-to-peer interaction. Retention was measured by a written test given two weeks and then again at four weeks after the exercise introducing the new vocabulary. Peer-to-peer interaction was significantly more effective than teacher-only instruction. The researcher also reported that students that did not overtly participate in the peer-to-peer interaction still benefited from it. Students who learned the material in a peer-to-peer setting retained the more new vocabulary than in a teacher-only setting regardless of whether they were active or passive in the classroom. Student leadership in classroom management can take the form of peer-to-peer education, group work, and student involvement in instruction and administration. Maon, Hughes, Konrad, Neale, and Wood (2004) investigated the involvement of students in individualized education program meetings. Approximately 300 students representing varied learning disabilities participated in the 16 studies included in this analysis of existing literature. The researchers found that many more students are able to participate
  • 20 in individualized education program meetings than are currently participating. Further, the study suggested that although the participation may have little or no effect on the direction of the meeting, the goals set, or the expectations placed on the student, it can be a useful tool. The researchers recommended using these meetings as a learning experience for these students. Social skills, meeting etiquette, and responsibility for one's own education can be used as lessons for students. Stevens (2007) analyzed some common problems with peer-to-peer instruction and presented readers with suggestions for successful group interactions. This author warned of unequal workloads and inconsistent grading issues that can plague group settings. The first point of guidance is for teachers to give students the necessary tools to be successful. These tools may include hard-copy sources, but also certainly include technology. The second caveat to avoid is inconsistency in grading. The author explained that teachers may not be aware of how much or little a particular group member contributed to the overall finished product. Stevens suggested using some system of grading that includes peer evaluations and input. One specific suggestion is for the teacher to give a base grade worth 75 percent of the projects total and "then allow students to rate each other for the remaining part of the grade" (p. 88). Student input is vital for fair grading and successful peer-to-peer interactions. Another method of including student leadership as part of classroom management is to employ peer tutoring. Kamps et al. (2008) examined class-wide peer tutoring within middle schools. Over a three-year period 975 students in 52 middle school classrooms participated in this mixed-design study. The researchers cited increased expectations for student achievement as well as the need for empirically validated methods as reasons for
  • 21 conducting the study: It is imperative that the field produce empirically validated interventions containing effective instructional features that promote safe, structures classroom environments with acceptable levels of student productivity and appropriate classroom behavior, (pp. 119-120) Prior studies reviewed by the researchers illustrate faster acquisition of new knowledge and higher retention of information for student involved in peer tutoring over those involved in traditional instruction. This study focused specifically on middle school students in urban areas. The researchers found that class-wide peer tutoring improved student achievement in reading and social studies. Although this study is limited to urban middle schools, it echoes other findings of peer interaction in relationship to achievement. Veerkamp, Kamps, and Cooper (2007) published a related study specific to using class-wide peer tutoring in middle school classrooms focused on reading skills. Three general education sixth grade reading classes were included in this study. Some students were exposed to traditional teacher-led classroom instruction, some to class-wide peer tutoring, and some to class-wide peer tutoring that included a lottery system of rewards. The lottery system allowed students participating in exemplar tutoring to receive a ticket. The tickets were placed in a bowl and weekly drawing winners could choose a prize. The results of this research indicated that class-wide peer tutoring is effective in increasing performance on weekly tests for vocabulary and comprehension. The classes exposed to class-wide peer tutoring with the lottery reward system showed even greater improvement in these areas. Other recent research presents similar findings. Hancock (2004) published his research on the motivation and achievement of students exposed to cooperative learning
  • 22 and peer orientation. This study was isolated to 52 graduate students at one public university. Newly enrolled graduate students were exposed to high peer orientation or low peer orientation. These students were then evaluated throughout the semester for levels of motivation and achievement. The results of this study revealed that students with high peer orientation were significantly more motivated than the students with low peer orientation. The differences in student achievement between the two groups were statistically insignificant in this study. Student leadership can take many forms as part of classroom management and instruction. Peer mentoring, peer tutoring, student-led instruction, classroom management tasks, and collaborative learning can all be considered types of student leadership. Although many studies have focused on fact-to-face interaction the use of technology in the classroom can facilitate student leadership activities as well. Shell et al. (2005) investigated the effect of collaborative learning communities supported with computer technology in a high school setting. This two year study included students at two high schools and included 746 students in the first year and 946 in the second year. The results of this research revealed: Students in classes where computer supported collaborative learning communities were more fully established reported more knowledge building goals and activities, more question asking, and high perception of collaboration with fellow students. Students' reports of knowledge building, strategic learning, and perceptions of the classroom were also associated with their classroom achievement, (p. 327) Arendt and Gregoire (2006) focused their research on leadership and group work in family and consumer science courses at the college level. This qualitative study brings up controversial issues associated with group work, a frequently component of student leadership. Issues regarding grading, unequal participation, and the chance of group-think
  • 23 should be considered when including student leadership in classrooms. These items would apply to high schools as well as the college setting cited in the study. Cautions regarding a leader doing most of the work or too many leaders in a group are also addressed. The qualitative nature of the study includes a smaller sample size and has limited generalizability. This study is important as it points to a need for additional quantitative research in the area of student leadership. Student Leadership Development Although educational leadership is a topic typically reserved for administrators, leadership roles can be engaged by anyone within the school culture, including students (Wallin, 2003). Students are expected to enter the workforce, college, and community with some leadership skills in place. Having quality leadership experiences during elementary, middle, and high school allows students to "transition into the community and into the world of work and adult responsibility" (Hay & Dempster, 2004, p. 1). Within this section the topic of student leadership, definitions and development are examined. Hay and Dempster (2004) published on the topic of student leadership development through general classroom activities. These researchers hold that teachers are not fully aware of the need and impact of embedding student leadership activities into their daily classroom plans. Teachers frequently believe that student leadership development has to be a separate curriculum from their general education. The researchers developed and tested an imbedded leadership curriculum to work in tandem with a general classroom curriculum. They then evaluated the effects on students and perception of teachers. The findings indicate that this type of leadership curriculum can
  • 24 be effective. Further, teachers indicated that all students were given the opportunity for leadership roles, not just those with access to extracurricular activities. The researchers concluded that "facilitating students' leadership development directly and indirectly helps communities, societies, families, and industries that these future adults will inhabit. Student leadership has to be nurtured and should be a goal of a progressive education system" (p. 144). Student leadership as part of collaboration is the subject of a literature review published by Bergen (2004). Bergen cited the growing emphasis on accountability and student achievement as the reason for increased interest in student leadership in schools. The primary focus of the paper is the need for a sense of community. The author holds that students cannot work effectively in peer-to-peer tutoring, collaboration, or student leadership roles until they feel connected to others in the classroom. The author suggested focusing on building a sense of community first, and then focusing on collaborative learning and student leadership methods. Davison (2007) investigated the relationship between teacher leadership style and student leadership ability and the effects on student achievement. This study focused on high school instrumental classrooms. Achievement, for this study, was defined as band festival ratings. This study is particularly relevant as music classrooms rely on student leadership more often than average classrooms (Dunaway, 1987). The researcher identified some key elements for effective student leadership development that include teacher modeling of good leadership. The research also stressed the importance of the teacher passing the responsibility of leadership to the students and holding them accountable. The results indicated that teachers that possessed strong facilitative
  • 25 leadership tendencies "reported stronger student leadership tendencies" from their students (p. 4). There was no identified relationship between leadership styles and band festival ratings. One specific aspect of student leadership in research literature is self-leadership. Self-leadership is the process of self-influence that effects direction and aggressiveness in goal attainment (Garger & Jacques, 2007). These researchers suggested that before self- leadership can change or grow that an evaluation must be completed. The researchers hold that awareness of self is a vital component of self-leadership and that an assessment of current skills provides a beginning point for growth. The authors constructed a conceptual model to evaluate the effects of self-leadership on college students' performance. Self-leadership was assessed using a Likert scale based survey instrument and student achievement was evaluated based upon grade point average. The researchers found that transformational self-leadership was positively correlated with grade point average. Further finding indicate that passive/avoidant self-leadership was related to lower grade point average. The researchers also found indications that leadership style may parallel self-leadership. Li et al. (2007) found student leadership developing in fourth-grade classrooms. The researchers recorded 12 discussion groups in 4 fourth-grade classrooms. The discussion groups were recorded and later coded for leadership actions performed by students within each group. The actions were categorized into one of five identified leadership functions: turn management, argument development, planning and organizing, topic control, and acknowledgment. A dominant leader was identified in half of the observed groups. All but one of the groups shared leadership functions among members
  • 26 to some degree. In a key finding the researchers reported that the "frequency of leadership moves increased with the progression of the discussions, suggesting that the emerging leaders were learning how to lead" (p. 75). These findings show that student leadership can develop unassisted. This illustrates that a formal student leadership curriculum does not need to be present for student leadership to develop. Teachers do, however, play a role in student leadership development. Chapman, Toolsie-Worsnup, and Dyck (2007) investigated the effects of student leadership in schools. The researchers began by analyzing current research and defining student leadership. They point to a need for more research on the subject and illustrate the changing nature of all types of leadership. Participative leadership and distributed leadership are emerging as new norms. Student leadership is just beginning to be linked to academic achievement. The results of this study showed a strong correlation between teacher attitudes toward student leadership and student leadership development: Results of the study showed that if educators did not have a belief in the potential of leadership for all students, conditions were not constructed for leadership to occur. Though most educators provided opportunities for all student populations to practice leadership, by differentiating the tasks and expectations, 11% to 36% of teachers felt that not all students could or should lead. (p. 2) These results warn that teachers must be vigilant in constructing leadership opportunities to ensure equitable opportunities for all students. Lagesten (2007) developed, implemented, and evaluated a student leadership program for an elementary library. The process began by creating a sense of community. Students were given t-shirts and name tags to help build group identity. Formal training gave the students the necessary tools to be effective in their assigned leadership roles. The mixed-methodology indicated that students felt a sense of community and pride in
  • 27 their leadership tasks. Additionally, the library reported an increased number of checkouts than a similar library in a different school. The author reported that the students were partners in the education process and shared the responsibilities for part of their education. Student perceptions of leadership in college were the focus of research conducted by Logue, Hutchens, and Hector (2005). This study endeavored to describe the subjective experiences of six participants from a large, southeastern university. Although the small number of participants limits the study the findings mirror similar studies. Student interviews revealed that college students may "experience leadership differently based on the organization and its cultural context" (p. 403). The researcher suggests that college students be given some training or guidance before choosing organizations with which to affiliate. The Journal of College Student Development published a study by Thompson (2006) in which the researcher identified the strongest influences on student leadership process development at the college level. The researcher presented a body of research that indicated students' attitudes prior to entering college play a large role in leadership interests during college years. For this study the researcher used third and fourth year students at a private liberal arts institution; 809 students participated. The instrument used was a web-based version of the LABS-III that was available to the participants online for 10 days. The researcher reported findings that indicate the "strongest contributing college resources to students' belief systems regarding leadership in the current study were interactions and experiences with faculty, administrative support staff, and peers" (p. 346).
  • 28 Shertzer et al. (2005) investigated college student perceptions of four dimensions of student leadership: importance of leadership, perception of self as a leader, expected importance of leadership after college, and importance of group work to a leader. The authors cited many benefits of student involvement in an educational setting: Involvement helps connect students to their institution, and fosters many positive relationships and learning opportunities not available within the classroom. The benefits of student involvement can be substantial. Students who become involved in one organization or activity often become involved in others, and develop increasing pride in their institution, (p. 85) The differences between the industrial paradigm and post-industrial paradigm are also defined and evaluated. The post-industrial paradigm focuses on relationships, change, and leadership availability applied to the research proposed herein. The authors also disagreed with some of the findings of Posner. Shertzer and his colleagues found significant differences in leadership perceptions with regard to demographics. This paper presents issues to consider. The relationship between leadership and demographics as well as sense of self as a leader will need consideration in the proposed research. Posner (2004) designed a student leadership development instrument to fill a void in education research. He posited that leadership is skill that must be taught and practiced and that an educational setting is the appropriate place for this learning. Of 68 leadership instruments evaluated by Posner only two were specific to student populations. The application of Posner's instrument at the college level was revealing. Student leaders, for example, did not change leadership behavior regardless of the presence or absence of compensation. Further, gender, race, age, and semester in school did not relate to leadership practices. Students returning to positions of leadership from a previous year,
  • however, exhibited better leadership practices. The lack of recent and relevant studies at the college level indicates that this is an under researched subject. The development of this instrument by Posner shows, however, that it is a subject of interest. Another recent study focused on evaluation of a specific leadership development program. Chan (2003) investigated the effectiveness of the Chinese University Creative Leadership Training Program (CLTP) on students in Hong Kong. The study included 116 Chinese high school age students and assessed their leadership characteristics and levels of divergent thinking. Although the study is severely flawed, the results are in line with similar studies. The study concluded that the CLTP participants increased in confidence measures related to communication, public speaking, regulating emotions, and social problem solving. The study had several flaws. Students not participating in the CLTP were not assessed. The CLTP participants were assessed repeatedly within a 6 week period. The measurement instruments were translated into Chinese and adapted to fit the study without a pilot study. Summary and Conclusion This chapter highlighted recent research in the area of student leadership in classroom management. Related research falls into three categories. The first section focused on classroom management. The second section of this chapter focused on student leadership in classroom management and instructional methods. The final section of this chapter presented research on student leadership. An evaluation of this current research demonstrated a clear gap in existing knowledge. Only one study directly links student leadership to classroom management and student achievement. In addition to the absence of this type of research, there are specific indications
  • 30 from recently published researchers encouraging others to expand the existing body of knowledge. These authors acknowledged the existing works and focus on gaps therein. "Abundant evidence of an extensive literature on general adult leadership exists" (Dempster & Lizzio, 2007, p. 278). There is a need for more research in student leadership and achievement, especially at the high school level. "Literature is scant on student leadership" (Chapman, Toolsie-Worsnup, & Dyck, 2006). Dempster and Lizzio (2007) asserted that a waning interested in civic participation is a reason for the decline in interests in community leadership and urge more research. Other researchers also point to a need for research in student "perceptions of the classroom environment, and the relationship to achievement levels" (Rayneri, Gerber & Wiley, 2006, p. 115). Dobinson (2001) suggested new research focus on student leadership in specific environments of adolescents. Kamps et al. suggested research related to classroom participation, a part of student leadership in classroom management. Posner (2004) identified a great need for new research in student leadership. The author says, "Studies examining the impact of various leadership development programs and classes.. .would assist greatly in understanding just how leadership is developed" (p. 454). These suggestions for contemporary researcher indicate that a study of student leadership as part of classroom management and the effects on student achievement was necessary and relevant research.
  • 31 Chapter 3: Research Methodology Statement of the Research Problem The objective of this study was to address research questions relating to student leadership and classroom management. The researcher believed that students would report higher grades and higher success in classes that included student leadership in classroom management. Current trends in education present a need for teachers to use research based methods in instruction and classroom management (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). Student outcomes are the gold standard of success in education and there is a lack of current research in this area (Hay & Dempster, 2004; Posner, 2004). Although business productivity is directly linked to leadership there are few similar studies in education (Northouse, 2007). Classroom management and student leadership are topics for which little current research exists (Posner). Research Questions Current research illustrates the importance of student leadership, classroom management, and student achievement. This study seeks to connect these concepts and provide high school teachers with quantitative research to support student leadership as a classroom management technique for improving student achievement. 1. Does using student leadership in classroom management alter students' perceived success in that class? 2. Is there a relationship between the use of student leadership in classroom management and student reported grades? Classroom management textbooks rarely include references to student leadership (Kellough & Kellough, 1996; McLeod, 2003; Wong, 2004). Although many teachers
  • 32 may already use some forms of student leadership within their classrooms, this study validates those methods. Further, for teachers who disregard the use of students as leaders within the classroom, this study illustrates the importance of including these methods as a research based instructional tactic designed to improve student achievement. This study contains the following hypotheses. Hypothesis 1: Students will report success in classes using student leadership as part of classroom management more often than in classes not using this technique. Hypothesis 2: Students will earn higher grades in classes using student leadership as part of classroom management than in classes not using this technique. Current literature clearly illustrates a need for research of student leadership and student achievement in secondary schools. This study helps identify the relationship between student leadership in classroom management and student achievement by building on existing findings of the importance of these factors in educational settings. Research Method and Design The researcher approached administrators at three districts: one rural, one small city, and one metropolitan. These three schools selected from convenience had policies allowing the administration to give permission for the students to participate in surveys. The research was conducted in one phase at each of the three schools included. The study included: one rural school; North Miami High School, one town school; Peru High School, and one urban school; Kokomo High School. Participants were randomly selected from the entire student population in grades 9-12. A random sample of 50 students from each school, for a total of 150, was asked to complete the survey. In total, 102 students participated in the survey. The survey instrument collected quantitative data.
  • 33 A random sample of high school students provided 50 students from each school. Using 50 participants from each school allowed for some non-respondents while still ending with a final participant number of larger than 100. A sample size of 100 is sufficient for a large population (Alreck & Settle, 2007). A random sample increased the validity and accuracy of the data collected (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). The validity and accuracy of data collected from a truly random sample is preferred over other methods. To conduct this random sample a list of all current students at each school was used. A random number generator was used to determine the first participant and then an Nth name sampling procedure was used. The researcher retained copies of written permission from each superintendent involved in the study. Students at each school had an equal opportunity to be selected to participate. The online survey clearly explained that students' participation was completely voluntary and that there were no incentives to participate and no punishments for declining. The students may have chosen to quit the survey and return to class at any time they chose. Additionally, students were not asked to enter any specifically identifying information, thereby ensuring their anonymity. Because student reported grades have been shown to be reliable there was no need collect identifying information (Smythe & Hess, 2005). At the conclusion of the data collection from participants at each of the three schools the data was downloaded from the password-protected account on the secure server to the researcher's computer. Research Setting The setting for this proposed study included students enrolled in public schools in Indiana in grades 9-12. This total population, as of 2006, was 310,520
  • 34 (SchoolDataDirect, 2008). These students were distributed in 252 high schools (Indiana Department of Education, 2009). Three specific schools were included in this study. To ensure a diverse and representative population in the sample, one metropolitan district, one town district, and one rural district were used. The population in this study presented some specific challenges. This was a large population with very specific demographics. Different districts had different procedures for granting permission for research studies of students. For these reasons a mixed approach was used. Schools that were included in the study were from a convenience sample. When a random sample is difficult or impossible to reach a convenience sample may be used (Alreck & Settle, 2004). Participants The population for this study was public school students in grades 9-12. Available data from 2006 shows this population to be 310, 520 (SchoolDataDirect, 2008). For this study the researcher approached administrators at three districts: one rural, one small city, and one metropolitan. These three schools selected from convenience had school district by laws and policies in place allowing the administration to give permission for the students to participate in surveys. The superintendents at each district had discretion to approve surveys that meet their districts' ethical guidelines without school board approval. Including participants from a wide range of public school settings will allowed comparisons between school sizes. This also widened the applicability of the results. Once three district superintendents had given approval for the research to be conducted the researcher contacted the school principals at each high school to arrange for sampling and testing. The guidance department at each school was involved to provide a complete listing of students in grades 9-12. A random sample increased the
  • 35 validity and accuracy of the data collected (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). The validity and accuracy of data collected from a truly random sample is preferred over other methods. To conduct this random sample a list of all current students at each school was used. A random number generator was used to determine the first participant in each list. Then an Nth name sampling procedure was used. The total number of students on each list provided to the researcher was divided by 50 and that number was rounded to the closest whole number. After locating the beginning name from the random number generator the Nth name number was used to continue through the list. A random sample of high school students identified 50 students from each school. Using 50 participants from each school allowed for some non-respondents while still ending with a final participant number of larger than 100. The nature of the study did not require parental consent be obtained for students under the age of 18. Parents were notified in advance through each school that a study was going to be conducted and a random sample of students would be included. The parents were provided with contact information if they chose to opt-out of participation. Additionally, each school district had individualized requirements for obtaining permission to survey students. The researcher preliminarily and informally spoke with administrators at three schools meeting the criteria of this study. These administrators, and their school board policies, indicated that the superintendent of each district has the ability to approve surveys. The questions in the survey were not controversial or sensitive and the researcher did not anticipate any significant problems obtaining permission to conduct the study. Of the 150 requested students, 102 participated. Of these participants 43.6% were
  • 36 from the rural school, 38.6% were from the small town school, and 17.8% were from the urban school. Males made up 45% of participants with the remaining 55% identifying as females. Freshman accounted for 30.7%, sophomores for 26.7%, juniors for 22.8%, and seniors made up 19.8% of the sample. This data is representative of the population. Materials/Instruments This study used the Student Leadership Survey. This survey instrument was developed by the researcher. The construct validation process started with qualitative inquiry and moved to quantitative inquiry. To begin, the researcher conducted informal interviews with 21 students from a convenience sample. The researcher took notes on the types of activities students identified as student leadership. Next, the researcher conducted informal classroom observations in a variety of subject areas. The operational definition of student leadership for this study says that student leaders "occupy positions of responsibility in coordinating the activities of the members of a group in their task of attaining a common goal" (Stogdill, 1974, p. 76). This definition was the framework used to create a list of activities from these classes. Next, the researcher conducted formal student interviews and the transcripts were analyzed using Conceptual Analysis. Although somewhat subjective, the following steps were taken to increase validity (Colorado State University, 2008). The level of analysis was individual words, not phrases. An interactive set of categories allowed flexibility as the transcripts were coded. Individual words were coded for frequency in these interviews. Coders were permitted to generalize a great deal. Translation was acceptable for slang or colloquial words. The primary task was to identify the number of positive or negative words associated with using or not using student leadership as part of classroom
  • 37 management. The secondary task was to identify types of student leadership activities identified. Other words were deemed irrelevant. Coding was done by hand for these interviews. This data was used to create a preliminary written survey instrument. This preliminary survey instrument was administered to a small convenience sample of 5 participants. Using paper copies of the survey each participant answered the questionnaire and were encouraged to include qualitative information in the margins. At the completions of the survey participants were informally asked to provide qualitative feedback on the survey. Specifically, participants were asked to explain their understanding of student leadership activities. This new data was used to create the survey instrument used in the pilot study. Before proceeding with the current study a pilot study was conducted to verify the validity and accuracy of the instrument. The pilot study used a convenience sample of 10 students from the small town school. These students were asked by the researcher to complete the survey online and then participate in a recorded focus group discussion of the survey. The students completed the survey in the same format and setting as the actual study. Students then participated in a group discussion led by the researcher. In this discussion each question was read aloud and students were asked to comment and the meaning, clarity, and understanding of the question. There were two identified deficiencies in the pilot survey: one spelling error and one item that was unclear. Two participants did not realize the second set of questions was referring to a different class. All participants were asked how this could be stated more clearly. The students suggested adding a separate page to the survey that clearly explains the next set of questions is
  • 38 about a different class. This change was made, along with the spelling correction. No other problems were identified. The participants articulated a clear understanding of the survey questions as they related to the theoretical framework. The final instrument began with three demographic questions. These questions collected data regarding: school attended, grade level, and gender. The next set of questions asked participants to consider a course they have taken that included high levels of student leadership. Students were then asked to identify which subject area the class best fits. This question helped ensure that students are focused on a specific class. This increases the validity of the study. The survey then continued to collect data on student feelings of interests, perception of student leadership activity frequency, feelings of success, and final grade in that course. Next the survey instrument asked the participants to consider a class they have taken that used little or no student leadership. The same questions used in the previous section of the survey were asked again in reference to the class that included little or no student leadership. Paired-samples t tests were conducted to evaluate the construct validity of the 12 leadership items in the questionnaire. Construct validity demonstrated if there was a significant difference between the two groups of classes for each item in the questionnaire. The group of classes perceived to allow frequent student leadership and participation was referred to as Group 1. The group of classes perceived to allow little or no student leadership and participation was referred to as Group 2. Significant differences between the two groups of classes were demonstrated for 9 of the 12 items in the questionnaire. Students passed back papers, Students helped take attendance, Students demonstrated something for the class, Students explained something for the class,
  • 39 Students led discussion, Students worked in Groups, Students helped teacher with equipment, Students worked with other students 1-on-l, and Other student participation demonstrated significant results. Internal consistency reliability and factor analyses were then conducted on the nine items that were shown to discriminate between the two groups of classes. Table 1. Paired-samples ?test comparisons of individual items Question Trade and grade homework Students collected papers Students passed back papers Students helped take attendance Students demonstrated something for class Students explained something for class Students led discussion Students worked in groups Students taught a lessson Students helped teacher with equipment Students worked with other students 1 on 1 Mean for class positively perceived 2.23 2.39 2.50 2.06 2.69 2.76 2.33 3.72 1.62 2.91 3.13 Mean for class negatively perceived 2.37 2.22 2.18 1.62 2.03 2.22 1.95 2.84 1.43 1.94 2.51 t value t{99) = -.82 /(99) = 1.07 t(99) = 2M <99) = 3.12 t(99) = 5.00 ^(99) = 4.26 <99) = 2.51 /(97) = 6.18 r(98) = 1.65 /(99) = 6.56 f(98) = 4.90 Significance p = A p = 29 /? = .04 p<m /?<.001 £<.001 p = S p < .001 p = A0 /?<.001 /?<.001 Significant? No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Other student 3.00 2.00 r(73) = 6.54 /X.001 Yes participation or
  • 40 leadership To demonstrate internal consistency reliability, each group of nine items was analyzed for its alpha coefficient. Cronbach's alpha for Group 1 was .70. Cronbach's alpha for Group 2 was .83. Additionally, a factor analysis was conducted to develop and validate the variable constructs in the questionnaire. For Group 1, three components were found with eigenvalues greater than 1. As there were no steep drops in the Scree plot after the first factor, the questionnaire for Group 1 was analyzed in terms of three factors. The three factors consisted of the following questionnaire items: Factor 1. Alpha = .62 Students helped take attendance and Students helped teacher with equipment; Factor 2. Alpha = .68 Students passed back papers, Students demonstrated something for class, Students explained something for class, and Students led discussions; Factor 3. Alpha = .63 Students worked in groups, Students worked with other students 1 on 1, and Other student participation or leadership. Figure J. Scree plot indicating component analysis for Group 1, classes perceived positively in terms of student participation and leadership.
  • 41 Scree Plot Component Number For Group 2, three components were found with eigenvalues greater than 1. A relatively moderate drop was found in the Scree plot after the second factor. Analyzing the questionnaire in terms of two factors produced the following: Factor 1. Alpha = .71 Students passed back papers and Students helped take attendance; Factor 2. Alpha = .75 Students demonstrated something for class, Students explained something for class, Students led discussions, Students worked in groups, Students worked with other students 1-on-l, and Other student participation or leadership. The questionnaire item, students helped teacher with equipment, loaded equally on both factors. Figure 2. Scree plot indicating component analysis for Group 2, classes perceived negatively in terms of student participation and leadership.
  • 42 Scree Plot Factor Number Because the evidence for more than one factor in either Group 1 or Group 2 is weak, the scale is presented in terms of one factor for both Group 1 and Group 2, including 9 of the 12 items that were originally included in the questionnaire. Procedures This study used a questionnaire (see Appendix A) administered to a random sample of high school students in districts chosen by convenience. The study was administered online as every school has computer labs with Internet access. Because the participants typically use the Internet in this setting the use of online questionnaires is acceptable (Alreck & Settle, 2004). The guidance department at each school was involved to provide a complete listing of students in grades 9-12. A random sample
  • 43 increased the validity and accuracy of the data collected (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). The validity and accuracy of data collected from a truly random sample is preferred over other methods. To conduct this random sample a list of all current students at each school was used. A random number generator was used to determine the first participant in each list. Then an Nth name sampling procedure was used. The total number of students on each list provided to the researcher was divided by 50 and that number was rounded to the closest whole number. After locating the beginning name from the random number generator the Nth name number was used to continue through the list. A random sample of high school students identified 50 students from each school. Using 50 participants from each school allowed for some non-respondents while still ending with a final participant number of larger than 100. The nature of the study did not require parental consent be obtained for students under the age of 18. However, parents were notified in advance through each school that a study was going to be conducted and a random sample of students were be included. The parents were provided with contact information if they chose to opt-out of participation. Once a time and location were agreed upon by the school administration and researcher the participants were notified of their selection for the survey via office pass. These passes were filled out in advance by the researcher or school staff and were delivered to the participants by typical building procedures. The researcher was present in the computer lab and had the survey loaded to the beginning consent page for each participant. The researcher secured the lab during the duration of the survey implementation to ensure that only selected participants had access to the lab and that participants were not assisted, coerced, distracted, et cetera. Participants signed in on a
  • 44 sheet for school attendance purposes and then proceeded to a prepared computer to complete the survey. The participants remained anonymous with regard to data collected. The researcher maintained the sign in list of participants in a secure location for thirty days for reference had the school required proof of a student's whereabouts. The survey instrument did not ask any information that would identify a specific participant. The survey software within SurveyMonkey did not record any identifying information from the participants. The survey responses were maintained on a password-protected secure computer server. The survey was designed by the author and underwent a pilot study to ensure accuracy and validity. The methodology for the pilot study included ten students from the town district high school. Students were selected from a convenience sample. Participants completed the survey in the same manner the final sample completed the survey. Immediately after the conclusion of the survey the students participated in a group discussion. This discussion was recorded. The researcher moderated the group. The questions for this pilot study interview group asked students about clarity of questions, choices, and assumptions of definitions of student leadership and classroom management. These responses were used to make minor changes to the survey instrument before the commencement of the quantitative survey of the larger sample. Once the pilot study was completed the survey was adjusted to ensure high validity and reliability. The author did not encounter significant issues with non respondents. The incentive of leaving the classroom to complete this survey may have been enough to ensure high numbers. One ethical concern is that students may have felt pressured to participate because the survey happens within the structured school day.
  • 45 This was addressed within the introductory pages of the survey to ensure students were aware of their rights and options. This survey was designed to collect quantitative data for analysis. The three leading demographic questions helped determine the students' age, gender, and school size. Questions 1-2, 6-7 helped determine knowledge of the issues. Awareness and knowledge should be determined first before further data can be collected (Alreck & Settle, 2004). This increased validity of responses. These questions ensured that the student is focused on a specific class. All courses offered at the schools available for sampling fit into one of these categories. Questions 2, 4, 7, and 9 used a Likert scale. Using a Likert scale allowed data to be compared between participants. Likert scales are powerful and accurate (Alreck & Settle). Questions 3 and 8 used a linear, numeric scale. Using an equal interval scale allowed the data to be collected uniformly (Alreck & Settle, 2004). Question 10 used an implicit scale. This standard grading scale is part of the culture of schools and is commonly understood by the participants. Using quantitative research increased replicability through a highly structured methodology. Using a sufficiently large sample size increased reliability. Errors in coding were mitigated by using Internet based survey software that collects data for analysis. This eliminated the process of reading, interpreting, and imputing data into data analysis software. These methods increased validity of data. Students, however, had the opportunity to add qualitative information at the end of this survey. Very few chose to do this. This qualitative data was used to indicate areas of further research. This study assumed students have had experiences in a variety of classrooms that use varied classroom management techniques and that students were cognizant of these techniques.
  • 46 At the conclusion of the data collection from participants at each of the three schools the data was downloaded from the password-protected secure server to the researcher's computer. The researcher's computer was not networked with other computers and was taken offline during the data analysis process to ensure security of the process. The data was electronically analyzed using SurveyMonkey and SPSS. Data was first analyzed to determine frequency of demographics including school, gender, and grade level. Data was then analyzed to determine the relationship between student reported grades, student reported success, and student leadership in classes. The data was also analyzed to determine if there is a relationship between the frequency of student leadership and the subject area. Methodological Assumptions, Limitation, and Delimitations These research assumptions are an inherent part of the research design. Every effort was made to ensure that results were reliable and valid. The researcher assumed that all participants completing the quantitative survey were forthright and unbiased in their responses. The researcher also assumed that every student has some level of active or passive experience with student leadership as part of classroom management. Further, the researcher assumed that students will have recognized student leadership in classroom management when it was present. Limitations existed within this study. The non-experimental nature of this study did not allow the variables to be unequivocally linked. Time and geographic constraints limited the participants to three high schools in northern Indiana. The data derived from these participants may not be applicable to a larger audience. Further, this study only accounted for student perceptions of student leadership as part of classroom management.
  • 47 Some teachers may employ these methods in ways students are not directly aware. Another primary limitation of this study was the ability of one researcher. One researcher was clearly limited in the amount of time and resources that were available. A second and related limitation is that of geography. The participants were geographically close to the researcher's locale. This quantitative research study was conducted using student participants from three public high schools in north central Indiana. The sample size of 100 was large enough to represent the population. Ethical Assurances The non-experimental nature of this study implies that there were very few ethical concerns present. The subject matter was non-controversial and participants were at minimal risk for choosing to reveal their answers to the questions within the survey. Using a survey to collect quantitative data further mitigated the risk to participants. Northcentral University required this research to be approved by the Internal Review Board. Further, each individual school district had policies in place to review research prior to student participation. The researcher retained copies of written permission from each superintendent involved in the study. Students at each school had an equal opportunity to be selected to participate. The online survey clearly explained that students' participation was completely voluntary and that there were no incentives to participate and no punishments for declining. The students may have chosen to quit the survey and return to class at any time they chose. Additionally, students were not asked to enter any specifically identifying information, thereby ensuring their anonymity. The researcher's contact information was also available via the administration office for each district.
  • 48 Summary No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Research Based Instruction, and similar initiatives are increasing the need for teachers to use proven and effective methodologies for teaching and managing classrooms (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). This study was designed to investigate the relationship between a specific classroom management technique and student achievement and to determine whether including student leadership in the classroom management model has any effect on student reported success or grades. Determining the effect of this specific technique allows teachers to consider the benefits or drawbacks of using it in their own classroom. This study used a theoretical framework based on the work of Li et al. (2007) and Dobinson (2001). The framework rests on the premise that teachers that employ more student leadership within their classes can increase student achievement.
  • 49 Chapter 4: Findings Overview The findings in this chapter were derived from the Student Leadership survey developed and piloted by the researcher. The research was conducted in one phase at each of the three schools included. The study included: one rural school; North Miami High School, one town school; Peru High School, and one urban school; Kokomo High School. Participants were randomly selected from the entire student population in grades 9-12. A random sample of 50 students from each school, for a total of 150, was asked to complete the survey. In total, 102 students participated in the survey. The survey instrument collected quantitative data. This instrument was developed by the researcher and pilot tested before implementation of the full study. This survey also included options for the participants to explain further. Few participants chose to use these options and the data collected from those responses will be used in discussion to support the quantitative findings. The quantitative survey was designed to answer two research questions. Question 1: Does using student leadership in classroom management alter students' perceived success in that class? Question 2: Is there a relationship between the use of student leadership in classroom management and student reported grades? Findings The survey instrument was delivered electronically through SurveyMonkey. Overall, there were 102 participants representing three high schools; one rural school, one town school, and one urban school. Analysis of the quantitative data was completed using a Likert scale through the SurveyMonkey interface and SPSS. A cross tabulation was also used determine if significant variances existed between the demographic groups. The
  • survey focused on three areas of data: demographic information, student perceptions of a class with high levels of student leadership, and student perceptions of a class with low levels of student leadership. Demographic information was collected in the first three questions of the instrument. Table 1 shows the first demographic questions revealed that of 102 total participants 43.1% of responses came from the rural school, 38.2% of responses were from the small town school, and the remaining18.6 percent of responses came from the urban school. Table 1. School Attended Which school do you attend? Answer Options North Miami Jr/Sr High School Peru High School Kokomo High School Response Frequency 43.1% 38.2% 18.6% answered question skipped question Response Count 44 39 19 102 0 The overall sample size meets the expectations of the researcher as outlined in Chapter 3. The next two demographic questions focus on gender and grade level. This information helps ensure the validity of the random sample and may be useful in deeper analysis of the data. Of the 101 participants that completed this item 46, or 45.5%, were male and 55, or 54.5%, were female, as demonstrated in Table 2. These totals are acceptable for a random sample.
  • 51 Table 2. Gender What is your gender? Answer Options Male Female Response Frequency 45.5% 54.5% answered question skipped question Response Count 46 55 101 1 Table 3 indicates the grade level distribution of the participants. Freshmen made up 30.4%, sophomores 26.5%, juniors 23.5%, and seniors 19.6%. The variance between grade levels is minimal and insignificant. Table 3. Grade Level What is your grade level? Answer Options 9th/Freshman lOth/Sophomore llth/Junior 12th/Senior Response Frequency 30.4% 26.5% 23.5% 19.6% answered question skipped question Response Count 31 27 24 20 102 0 Participants were asked to identify a class they have taken that included high levels of student leadership. Figure 4 shows which subject areas student chose. Physical education (22.5%) and Science (21.6%) were most frequently identified for including student leadership and. Business (2%) and Industrial Technology (3.9%) were the least frequently identified subjects for high levels of student leadership. There is a clear divide in the types of courses most often identified as including frequent student leadership and those rarely identified in this table.
  • 52 Table 4. Subject with Frequent Leadership Think of a high school class you have taken that included frequent student participation and student leadership. Which choice best describes the subject area of this class? Answer Options English/Language Math Science History/Social Studies Business Fine Arts Family &amp; Consumer Science Industrial Technology Physical Education Response Frequency 18.6% 12.7% 21.6% 5.9% 2.0% 7.8% 4.9% 3.9% 22.5% answered question skipped question Response Count 19 13 22 6 2 8 5 4 23 102 0 Table 5 shows that 69.3% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they were interested in the course with high levels of student leadership. Disagree or Strongly Disagree was selected by 13 participants. Of the 101 respondents to this question, 18 indicated a Neutral reaction to the statement of interest. Table 5. Interest in Class with Frequent Leadership Please make a selection to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt interested in this class. Answer Options Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Response Frequency 5.9% 6.9% 17.8% 46.5% 22.8% answered question skipped question Response Count 6 7 18 47 23 101 1 Participants were asked to identify the frequency with which specific student leadership activities occurred in the class each student previously identified as including high levels
  • 53 of student leadership. Table 6 shows the results. Table 6. Occurrence of Activities in Class with Frequent Leadership Please indicate how often each activity occurred in this class. If an activity happened daily, make a selection from the right. If an activity never happened, make a selection from the left. Answer Options Trade & Grade Homework Students collected papers Students passed back papers Students helped take attendance Students demonstrated something for the class Students explained something for the class Students led discussion Students worked in groups Students taught a lesson Students helped the teacher with equipment Students worked with other students 1-on-l Other Student Participation or Leadership Never 46 37 32 48 21 16 32 3 61 16 9 17 Rarely 16 22 20 24 21 23 27 10 25 23 15 10 Sometimes 22 17 23 13 35 35 26 23 10 32 40 27 Often 7 18 21 7 19 25 11 40 2 16 30 14 Daily 11 8 6 9 6 3 6 24 3 15 8 15 Response Count 102 102 102 101 102 102 102 100 101 102 102 83 Tables 7 and 8 show participants answers to feelings of success and grade received in the identified class. When participants were asked to what degree they agreed they felt successful, 82.2% agreed or strongly agreed. This strongly contrasts the 8.9% of participants that indicated they disagreed with the sentence: I felt successful in this class. Table 8 shows that 49% of participants received an A, 39.2% received a B, 2.9% received a C, and 8.8% received a D or F in the class with high levels of student leadership. These findings indicate that not all students reporting they received an A agreed they felt successful. Overall, students reported high levels of interest and high grades in classes identified as including frequent student leadership. These findings are significant and help answer both research Question #1 and Question #2.
  • Table 7. Success in Class with Frequent Leadership Please make a selection to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt successful in this class. Answer Options Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Response Frequency 1.0% 7.9% 8.9% 52.5% 29.7% answered question skipped question Response Count 1 8 9 53 30 101 1 Table 8. Grade in Class with Frequent Leadership Which option best fits the grade you received in this class? Answer Options A B C D F Response Frequency 49.0% 39.2% 2.9% 7.8% 1.0% answered question skipped question Response Count 50 40 3 8 1 102 0 The survey then asked participants to think of class they have taken that included little or no student leadership. The students were asked to identify the subject area of the course. Figure 9 shows the participant responses. Math and English were identified by 56% of respondents as having little or no student leadership. Three of the four most identified subjects were identical to those also identified as frequently using student leadership. This is significant and will be discussed later in this chapter.
  • 55 Figure 9. Subject with Infrequent Leadership Think of a high school class you have taken that included little or no student participation or student leadership. Which choice best describes the subject area of this class? Answer Options English/Language Math Science History/Social Studies Business Fine Arts Family &amp; Consumer Science Industrial Technology Physical Education Response Frequency 21.0% 34.0% 13.0% 16.0% 3.0% 7.0% 2.0% 3.0% 1.0% answered question skipped question Response Count 21 34 13 16 3 7 2 3 1 100 2 Table 10 demonstrates that 38.8% of participants disagreed with the statement: I felt interested in this class. In contrast only 7.4% of students indicated they strongly agreed with the same statement. These numbers show that students were significantly less interested in classes they identified as including little or no student leadership. Table 10. Interest in Class with Infrequent Leadership Please make a selection to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt interested in this class. Answer Options Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Response Frequency 20.2% 18.1% 34.0% 20.2% 7.4% answered question skipped question Response Count 19 17 32 19 7 94 8 Table 11 shows student perceptions of frequency of student leadership and
  • 56 participation in identified courses. These results show far less use of student leadership in classroom management. Methods such as trade & grade homework, students collected papers, and students worked in groups were nearly identical in frequency between classes that did and did not include high levels of student leadership and participation. This indicates that these methods may not be effective in increasing student success. Table 11. Occurrence of Activities in Class with Infrequent Leadership Please indicate how often each activity occurred in this class. If an activity happened daily, make a selection from the right. If an activity never happened, make a selection from the left. Answer Options Trade & Grade Homework Students collected papers Students passed back papers Students helped take attendance Students demonstrated something for the class Students explained something for the class Students led discussion Students worked in groups Students taught a lesson Students helped the teacher with equipment Students worked with other students 1-on-l Other Student Participation or Leadership Never 45 38 38 69 40 33 47 19 68 46 27 38 Rarely 11 25 22 12 28 30 24 19 24 28 21 15 Sometimes 21 21 26 7 23 22 21 29 6 14 33 12 Often 8 9 12 5 7 12 3 25 1 10 10 7 Daily 15 7 2 5 2 3 5 8 1 2 8 4 Response Count 100 100 100 98 100 100 100 100 100 100 99 76 Next, participants were asked how much they agreed with the statement: I felt successful in this class. Figure 12 shows the student answers. Agree or strongly agree was selected by 42.4% participants. Students indicated 27.3% of the time that they did not agree. This difference of 15.1% is statistically significant as it varies from the expected standard distribution (Alreck & Settle, 2004) Table 12.
  • 57 Success in Class with Infrequent Leadership Please make a selection to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt successful in this class. Answer Options Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Response Frequency 12.1% 15.2% 30.3% 30.3% 12.1% answered question skipped question Response Count 12 15 30 30 12 99 3 The final item for participants asked them to indicate the grade they received in the class with little or no student leadership. An A was received by 30%, a B by 31%, a C by 26%, and 13% received a D or an F. Students felt much less successful and achieved at a lower level in this class than in the class with high levels of student leadership. Table 13. Grade in Class with Infrequent Leadership Which option best fits the grade you received in this class? Answer Options A B C D F Response Frequency 30.0% 31.0% 26.0% 7.0% 6.0% answered question skipped question Response Count 30 31 26 7 6 100 2 When you factor the 9 questions into 2 factors (leadership vs. participation) and compare the means of the two kinds of classes, the results are: Leadership factor: mean difference (on a Likert scale of 1 to 5) = .48, t{99) = 5.07,p < .001. Participation factor: mean difference (on a Likert scale of 1 to 5) = .82, t(J) = 7A0,p < .001. Combining the two factors: mean difference (on a Likert scale of 1 to 5) = .66, /(71) = 7.31, p < .001.
  • 58 This confirms the validation performed earlier at the individual item level (where 3 items were eliminated and 9 were retained). When items are combined, there remain differences between Group 1 and Group 2 that are significant. Paired samples t tests were conducted to compare school grades between the high participation group and the low participation group (combining all 9 items into one score). Differences were significant, ^(99) = 4.82, p < .001. Using standard GPA measurements (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=l, F=0), mean grade for the high-participation class was 3.29, or a B+, (standard deviation .90), and mean grade for the low participation class was 2.72, or a B- (standard deviation 1.15). For the low-participation classes, there were no significant differences in the participation scores based on the type of classes, F(74) = .42, p = .64. For the high-participation classes, differences between the types of classes were significant, F(72) = 2.76, p = .01, partial eta squared (f) ) = .24, which is by convention considered to be a large effect size. The most significant differences are with business, where participation and leadership were significantly stronger than in the other classes, and with history/social studies, where participation and leadership were significantly less than in the other classes. Here are the differences: Business vs. English/language: Business vs. Family & ConsumerSci: Business vs. Fine Arts: Business vs. History/SocSt: Business vs. Industrial Tech: Business vs. Math: Business vs. Physical Education: Business vs. Science: p = .004 p = .003 /? = .013 p = .000 (present this asp < .001) p = .065 (not significant) p = .0l0 p = .003 p = .003 History/SocSt vs. Business: p = .000 (present this asp < .001) History/SocSt vs. English/language: p = .02l
  • 59 History/SocSt vs. Family & ConsumerSci: p — .287 (not significant) History/SocSt vs. Fine Arts: p = .012 History/SocSt vs. Industrial Tech: p = .004 History/SocSt vs. Math: p = .005 History/SocSt vs. Physical Education: p = .027 History/SocSt vs. Science: p = .031 Significant differences were found in the level of interest in the two groups of classes. Using a paired-samples t test, /(98) = 5.83,/? < .001, students found their high- participation classes more interesting than their lower-participation classes. Analysis and Evaluation of Findings The findings are based on the survey data collected from 102 high school students in three high schools in Indiana. The quantitative survey was designed to answer two research questions. Question 1: Does using student leadership in classroom management alter students' perceived success in that class? Question 2: Is there a relationship between the use of student leadership in classroom management and student reported grades? The response rate per school district is inversely related to school population. There response rates were: Kokomo High School, 38%; Peru High School, 78%; North Miami High School, 88%. The researcher attributes this variance to school procedures. The rural school had a very relaxed culture. The superintendent and high school principal were the primary contacts and personally handled the details pertaining to this school. The town-sized school had more procedural steps to gain access to participants. The principal handled some details and a technology aid assisted. The urban school had the largest student population. The researcher worked with the principal, the secretary, a guidance secretary, and guidance counselor, and two technology aids. The researcher
  • 60 concluded that more structured cultures may inversely affect participant response rate. Table 4 and Table 9 show some of the same types of classes identified as including both high and low amounts of student leadership. The researcher anticipated that required classes such as English, math, science, and history may have more frequent responses than elective classes such as Fine Arts and Industrial Technology. Every student in high school takes these classes regardless of grade level, ability, or interest. Courses in elective areas such as Fine Arts and Industrial Technology may rarely be chosen because of the small percentage of students electing to take those courses. Table 5 shows that 69.3% of students strongly agreed or somewhat agreed they felt interested in the class with high levels of student leadership. This number stands in stark contrast to the 27.6% that strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that they were interested in the course that included little or no student leadership. This may indicate that the use of student leadership in class increases student interest. A cross tabulation of letter grades received is shown in Table 14. This table shows that high levels of student leadership are indicative of higher grades when compared to low levels of student leadership and grades. Table 14. Cross Tabulation of Grades Which option best fits the grade you received in this class? (low student leadership) Answer Options A B C D F Which option best fit this class? (hig A 18 16 11 2 2 B 10 13 15 2 0 s the grade you rec h student leadershi C 1 0 0 1 1 D 1 2 0 2 2 eived in P) F 0 0 0 0 1 Response Frequency 30.0% 31.0% 26.0% 7.0% 6.0% Response Count 30 31 26 7 6
  • 61 answered question 100 The findings of the survey indicate the inclusion student leadership as part of classroom management increases student success over classes that utilize little or no student leadership. Dobinson (2001) established that peer-to-peer interaction increases student learning and retention. This study helps back those findings. Eshel and Kohavi (2003) also found that student control plays an integral part in student success. Participants indicated that in classes that include student leadership most often half of the leadership activities were occurring often or daily. In evaluating student responses, 82.2% of participants agreed or strongly agreed they felt successful in these classes. In contrast, participants indicated that 83.3% of these student leadership activities occurred rarely or never in classes that use little or no student leadership. In these classes only 32.4% of students agreed or strongly agreed they felt successful. Student success may also be measured using student reported grades. Above average grades of A or B were reported by 88.2% of participants in classes that used frequent student leadership. Only 61% of students reported above average grades in classes that used little or no student leadership. The mean grade for the high-participation class was 3.29, or a B+, while the mean grade for the low participation class was 2.72, or a B-. The facility with which participants identified classes that included high levels of student leadership shows that teachers are regularly using student focused models of classroom management and instruction. These findings are in line with Gureasko-Moore, DuPaul and White (2007). Summary
  • 62 Including student leadership in classroom management increases student success and student grades. The results of this study indicate that certain student leadership activities increase success with increased use. Student participation in such seemingly innocuous leadership as collecting or passing out papers contributed to student success. Students of both genders, in any grade level 9-12, and at rural, town, and urban schools experienced increased interest, success, and grades as student leadership in classroom management increased. Although no single method or frequency of student leadership in classroom management has been shown to increase student success this study shows that use of any leadership activity can help.
  • 63 Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations Overview Accountability in public schools across the nation is increasing the need for educators to use new methods to increase student achievement (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). One recent area of focus has been the application of research-based instruction and methods in the classroom. Chapter 2 highlighted recent research in the area of student leadership in classroom management. Related research falls into three categories: classroom management, student leadership in classroom management, and instructional methods. Each of these topics has been shown to have some impact on student achievement. An evaluation of current research demonstrates a clear gap in existing knowledge. Only one other study directly links student leadership to classroom management and student achievement. Classroom management and student leadership have been neglected in recent research (Posner, 2004). This study investigated the relationship between a specific classroom management technique and student achievement. Current research in business shows a relationship between leadership and business success (Northouse, 2007). Only recently have schools started to consider shareholders and outcomes in a similar sense (Hay & Dempster, 2004). Current research suggests that a study of student leadership as part of classroom management and the effects on student achievement is necessary and relevant research. The researcher approached administrators at three districts: one rural, one small city, and one metropolitan. These three schools selected from convenience had policies allowing the administration to give permission for the students to participate in surveys.
  • 64 A random sample of high school students identified 50 students from each school. Using 50 participants from each school allowed for some non-respondents while still ending with a final participant number of larger than 100. A sample size of 100 is sufficient for a large population (Alreck & Settle, 2007). A random sample increased the validity and accuracy of the data collected (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). The validity and accuracy of data collected from a truly random sample is preferred over other methods. To conduct this random sample a list of all current students at each school was used. A random number generator was used to determine the first participant and then an Nth name sampling procedure was used. The objective of this study was to answer research questions relating to student leadership and classroom management. Current research suggests that students would report higher grades and higher success in classes that include student leadership in classroom management. Current trends in education present a need for teachers to use research based methods in instruction and classroom management (Hardman & Dawson, 2008). Student outcomes are the gold standard of success in education and there is a lack of current research in this area (Hay & Dempster, 2004; Posner, 2004). Although business productivity is directly linked to leadership there are few similar studies in education (Northouse, 2007). Classroom management and student leadership are topics for which little current research exists (Posner). The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between student leadership as part of classroom management and student success. The results of this study provide high school teachers with research based data related to increasing student achievement. This quantitative study used an online survey to collect student
  • 65 responses to questions regarding the use of student leadership in classroom management and the students' grades and feelings of success in those classes. A random sample of students was taken from three high schools of a convenience sample. The population includes all high school students in grades 9-12. The geographic location of the sample population was north central Indiana. Specifically, students were asked to recall a course they had taken that included high levels of student leadership and respond to questions about it. Then students were asked to consider a course they had taken that included little or no student leadership and then respond to questions about that course. The theoretical framework for this study is based on the work of Li et al. (2007) and Dobinson (2001). The framework rests on the following idea: Teachers that employ more student leadership within their classes can increase student achievement. Student leadership can be part of classroom management without a specific developed curriculum (Li et al.). This means that teachers do not need to study, develop, and implement a new system for classroom management or instruction. Using peer-to-peer interaction in instruction is much more effective than teacher-only instruction (Dobinson). Student leadership is peer-to-peer interaction. The survey was designed by the author and underwent a pilot study to ensure accuracy and validity. Errors in coding were mitigated by using Internet based survey software that collects data for analysis. This eliminated the process of reading, interpreting, and inputting data into data analysis software. These methods increased validity of data. At the conclusion of the data collection from participants at each of the three schools the data was downloaded from the password-protected secure server to the researcher's computer. The data was also analyzed to determine if there is a relationship
  • 66 between the frequency of student leadership and the subject area. The researcher retained copies of written permission from each superintendent involved in the study. Students at each school had an equal opportunity to be selected to participate. The online survey clearly explained that students' participation was completely voluntary and that there were no incentives to participate and no punishments for declining. The students may have chosen to quit the survey and return to class at any time they chose. Additionally, students were not asked to enter any specifically identifying information, thereby ensuring their anonymity. The non-experimental nature of this study did not allow the variables to be unequivocally linked. Time and geographic constraints limited the participants to three high schools in northern Indiana. The data derived from these participants may not be applicable to a larger audience. Further, this study only accounted for student perceptions of student leadership as part of classroom management. Some teachers may employ these methods in ways students are not directly aware. A second and related limitation is that of geography. The participants were geographically close to the researcher's locale. This quantitative research study was conducted using student participants from three public high schools in north central Indiana. The non-experimental nature of this study implies that there were very few ethical concerns present. The subject matter was non-controversial and participants were at minimal risk for choosing to reveal their answers to the questions within the survey. Using a survey to collect quantitative data further mitigated the risk to participants. Northcentral University required this research to be approved by the Internal Review Board. Further, each individual school district had policies in place to review research
  • 67 prior to student participation. The researcher retained copies of written permission from each superintendent involved in the study. Students at each school had an equal opportunity to be selected to participate. The online survey clearly explained that students' participation was completely voluntary and that there were no incentives to participate and no punishments for declining. The students may have chosen to quit the survey and return to class at any time they chose. Additionally, students were not asked to enter any specifically identifying information, thereby ensuring their anonymity. The researcher's contact information was also available via the administration office for each district. Research Question #1: Does using student leadership in classroom management alter students' perceived success in that class? This question can be answered by comparing Table 7 with Table 12. Students reported success in classes that included high levels of student leadership 82.2% of the time. This is more than double the 32.3% of students reporting success in classes that included little or no student leadership. 2. Is there a relationship between the use of student leadership in classroom management and student reported grades? This question can be addressed by comparing Table 8 and Table 13. Students reported above average grades in courses that included high levels of student leadership 90% of the time. Only 61% of students reported above average grades in classes that included little or no student leadership. Student perceptions of student leadership may not be accurate. Although research has shown that student reported grades are accurate there is no empirical proof that
  • 68 student perceptions of classroom management are consistent with reality. The schools included in this study are from north-central Indiana. These physical limitations may render the data inadequate for transference to other states or regions. This research helps fill a void in current research. The importance of classroom management has been well documented. The effects of leadership on productivity are well founded in business but research falls short in applying leadership to classrooms and education. The study builds on existing leadership research, classroom management research, and peer-to-peer education research to give teachers practical and applicable methodology to include in classroom management to increase student success. Recommendations The results of this study are in line with existing research and indicate clear benefits of student leadership as part of classroom management. Teachers in any subject area can increase their students' success by incorporating frequent student leadership into their classroom management. This study does not identify which student leadership activities are most effective in increasing student achievement. There are indications that students were more interested in and felt more successful when many methods were used with high frequency. The researcher recommends that teachers include multiple methods of student leadership as part of classroom management. Additionally, the researcher urges teachers to use these daily when possible. Future research is vital to expand on the findings of this study. The limited geography and time constraints limits the applicability of the results. Further studies could reveal which leadership methods have the most impact on student achievement. An
  • 69 experimental study or qualitative study could delve deeply into student motivation, learning style preferences, and other variables out of the researcher's control. Specifically, further research could identify which methods of student leadership are most effective in increasing student achievement and at what frequency these methods should be included to maximize the benefits to students. Additional research may also include teaching style, teacher leadership style, and learning styles of students. Conclusions The purpose of this study was to answer the following research questions relating to student leadership and classroom management. Research Questions: 1. Does using student leadership in classroom management alter students' perceived success in that class? 2. Is there a relationship between the use of student leadership in classroom management and student reported grades? The findings of this study indicate the including student leadership should be an integral part of a teacher's classroom management. In evaluating student responses 83% of participants agreed or strongly agreed they felt successful in these classes. Above average grades of A or B were reported by 88.2% of participants in classes that used frequent student leadership. Teachers in every subject can include methods of student leadership in classroom management to increase student success and student grades.
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  • 75 Appendix A Thank you for logging in to complete this short questionnaire. This survey will ask you about student participation and student leadership in classes you have taken before. Your answers are important and will help teachers find better ways to teach. This survey is anonymous. You are not required to take this survey and you may quit and return to class at any time. Your principal and teachers will not see your individual answers. Please take your time and answer each question as completely and accurately as you can. There is no time limit. Demographic Variables: 1. Which school do you attend? a. North Miami High School b. Peru High School c. Kokomo High School 2. What is your gender? a. Male b. Female 3. What is your grade level? a. ^/Freshman b. lO^/Sophomore c. ll^/Junior d. ^/Senior Questionnaire: 1. Think of a high school class you have taken that included frequent student participation and student leadership. Which choice best describes the subject area of this class? a. English/Language b. Math c. Science d. History/Social Students e. Business f. Fine Arts g. Family & Consumer Science h. Industrial Technology i. Physical Education 2. Please pick a letter to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt interested in this class.
  • 76 a. Strongly agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly disagree 3. Please indicate how often each activity occurred in this class. If an activity happened daily, pick a number from the right. If an activity never happened, pick a number from the left. Never Trade & Grade Homework Students collected papers Students passed back papers Students helped take attendance Students demonstrated something for the class Students explained something for the class Students led discussion Students worked in groups Students taught a lesson Students helped the teacher with equipment Students worked with other students 1-on-l Other Student Participation or leadership If you chose "Other" please explain: 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Daily 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4. Please pick a letter to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt successful in this class. a. Strongly agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly disagree Which option best fits the grade you received in this class? o A a. b c. A B C
  • 77 d. D e. F 6. Think of a high school class you have taken that included little or no student participation and student leadership. Which choice best describes the subject area of this class? a. English/Language b. Math c. Science d. History/Social Students e. Business f. Fine Arts g. Family & Consumer Science h. Industrial Technology i. Physical Education 7. Please pick a letter to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt interested in this class. f. Strongly agree g. Agree h. Neutral i. Disagree j . Strongly disagree 8. Please indicate how often each activity occurred in this class. If an activity happened daily, pick a number from the right. If an activity never happened, pick a number from the left. Never Daily Trade & Grade Homework Students collected papers Students passed back papers Students helped take attendance Students demonstrated something for the class Students explained something for the class Students led discussion Students worked in groups Students taught a lesson Students helped the teacher with equipment Students worked with other students 1-on-l Other Student Participation or leadership 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
  • 78 If you chose "Other" please explain: 9. Please pick a letter to show how much you agree or disagree with this statement: I felt successful in this class. a. Strongly agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly disagree 10. Which option best fits the grade you received in this class? a. A b. B c. C d. D e. F 11. Additional Comments: Thank you for completing this survey. Your answers are important and we appreciate your time.
  • 79 Appendix B Peru Community Schools Administrative Center 35 W. Third St. Peru, Indiana 46970 (765) 473-3081 Fax (765) 472-5129 January 30, 2009 Mr. Jason Gornto Teacher Peru High School Jason: Thank you for sharing your dissertation survey with me yesterday. You have ray permission to work with Principal Chuck Brimbury to administer your survey to Peru High School students. As you mentioned in our meeting yesterday, it is important students understand the survey is voluntary and their responses will remain anonymous. Good luck in completing your doctoral studies!. Sincerely, /? ^—C Andrew T. Melin Superintendent
  • Appendix C °«tc« * « * KOKOMO-CENTER TOWNSHIP CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL CORPORATION MR. CHRISTOPHER A. HIMSEL, SUPERINTENDENT chintsel @kokomiwchoois.com Board of School Trustees Joe Dunbar President Jim Callane Vice President Marsha Bowling Secretary Cristi Brewer- Allen Trustee Harold Canady Trustee Wayne Luttrell Trustee Karen Soabe Trustee February 23, 2009 Mr. Jason Gornto Peru Community Schools Peru, IN 46970 Dear Jason, It was nice meeting you the other day and learning about your dissertation study. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I approve the distribution of surveys to a select number of high school students per Board policy and IRB approval. Please work with the Kokomo High School principal, Dr. Doug Arnold, to finalize details for the data collection process. Respectfully, Christopher A. HirrtseJ Superintendent kd cc: Dr. Doug Arnold 100 W. LINCOLN ROAD, POB 2188 KOKOMO, IN 46904-2188 PHONE 765 455-8000 FAX 765 455-6851 Our mission is to provide s quality education for all students in a safe and secure environment.
  • 81 Appendix D March 19, 2009 Reference: Jason S. Gornto IRB: 2009-03-05-046 Dear Dr. Kelley Walters, Dissertation Chair: On March 18, 2009, Northcentral University approved Jason's research project entitled, The Impact of Student Leadership in Classroom Management on Student Achievement. IRB approval extends for a period of one year and will expire on March 17, 2010. Please inform the NCU IRB when the project is completed. Should the project require an extension, an application for an extension must be submitted within three months of the IRB expiration date. In the interim, if there are any changes in the research protocol described in the proposal, a written change request describing the proposed changes must be submitted for approval. Sincerely, Dr. Chris Cozby IRB Committee Chair Northcentral University
  • 82 Appendix E Parents: Next week your student may be selected to take a short online survey about student leadership. This survey will be anonymous. If you do not want your son/daughter to participate in this survey please contact jgornto@peru.kl2.in.us