Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Antony D. Norman (Director), Aaron Hughey, Kenyetta Martin, and Pamela Petty
Educational Leadership Doctoral Program
Doctor of Education
The purpose of this study was to explore ninth grade teachers’ perspectives’ of a small learning community and its impact on student connectivity, transition and dropout. The following overarching research question framed this study: (Given the 15-year history of this freshman academy, what are the teachers’ perspectives on the impact of a small learning community on ninth grade transition? (a) What are teachers’ perceptions of how the freshman academy affects students’ sense of interpersonal connectedness? (b) What are teachers’ perceptions of how the freshman academy affects students’ sense of physical and emotional safety? (c)What are teachers’ perceptions of how the freshman academy affects students’ academic commitment? (d) What are teachers’ perceptions of how the freshman academy affects student dropout?
Findings revealed the teachers’ perspectives included that the ninth-grade academy provided a catalyst for community, eased transition, and allowed for academic flexibility, commitment, and common collaboration by proximity. Additionally, the vision of rigor, relevance, and relationships was fostered inside of the small learning community. Finally, findings revealed that teachers were supportive of the interventions to give students a sense of belonging and safety by encouraging ninth-grade students to persist to graduation. Overall findings suggested a consistent, caring, and committed perspective from teachers throughout the small learning community.
Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Secondary Education and Teaching
Richey, Brittany, "School Connectedness: Teachers’ Perspectives on the Effects of a Small Learning Community on Ninth-Grade Student Transition And Dropout" (2019). Dissertations. Paper 161.