In this study, the researchers examined the conditions under which a school can create and enact effective shared vision. A method of triangulation was used to find schools that identified as having strong shared vision, and that were open to discussing their conditions. Two focus groups were interviewed, and commonalities in underlying conditions were identified through keyword searches and a thematic analysis. Both schools revealed common themes that were categorized as Transformational Leadership, Distributed Leadership, Collaboration and Values. The researchers also noted the interplay between formal and informal leadership rather than a top-down or bottom up approach to creating and enacting vision. The researchers concluded that recreating the ideal conditions does not ensure effective vision, it simply sets the scene for success if pursued.
This action research explores social and emotional learning (SEL) programming in the elementary classroom, with a focus on mindfulness practices. Factors affecting implementation of mindfulness programming were investigated by interviewing six administrators and six teachers at five elementary schools. Qualitative data was collected and analyzed in categories of program differentiation, participant responsiveness, training and expertise, collaboration and challenges. Program implementation occurred though a combination of direct and indirect approaches correlating with current research in mindfulness programming. The primary drivers of implementation were intensive collaborative supports, direct teaching of mindfulness skills with a primary focus on MindUP™ curriculum, and teacher and administrator adoption of the personal and professional practices of a mindful educator. The Zones of Regulation™ was discovered to be a foundational cornerstone providing a common language and self regulation framework. Mindfulness practices provided students with the tools to navigate through the zones of regulating mind and body, significantly increasing interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, resulting in an increased sense of social and emotional wellbeing.
In the Coquitlam school district, International students arrive in great numbers and contribute a substantial amount of money to the district (Kuehn, 2012). But what is happening to them after they arrive? At such a vulnerable time in their lives, these young people are uprooting their lives and travelling across the world alone. The bulk of research surrounding international students focuses on those enrolled in post-secondary schooling. This research focuses on the stressors in the lives of International students in the Coquitlam high school system. A series of 4 focus groups were conducted to interview 12 students of Chinese or Korean heritage. The students ranged in age from 15 to 18 years old and all attended the same high school in the Coquitlam school district. The interviews were transcribed and the results were compiled to represent the voice of these 12 students. Subjects came to Canada eager to further their education but most were concerned with forming new friendships. After a transition described as confusing, challenging and lonely many struggled to forge meaningful relationships. Their friendships were almost exclusively with International students of the same age, from the same country, who arrived in the same year. Participants indicated that students born in Canada or those with landed status rarely befriended them. It was also noted that students did not turn to school counselors for support. Participants made several recommendations to ease this transition for future International students.
A mixed methods research design was used in this study to explore how mentoring learning teams in the Coquitlam School District affect the self-efficacy and professional growth of new teachers. This was of high importance to the researchers as new teachers are expected to be capable of assuming the same full-time teaching responsibilities as their senior colleagues, meet the demands of multiple learning abilities and face an uncertain future with regards to their career path without the necessary supports in place to assist and develop them as effective teachers in the profession (Fantilli & McDougall, 2009). Thereby, the study was chosen for its ability to examine the level of significance new teachers place on themes such as professional growth, stress management, sense of belonging, networking, collaboration and instructional strategies. By analyzing these themes the researchers were able to gain insight into how mentoring learning teams influenced the self-efficacy of new teachers over the course of 8 months.
Information was collected and analyzed from an initial and a final questionnaire, with 48 and 34 participants respectively, and from 9 additional interviews. Results from the questions were analyzed and compared using a two tail t-test of unequal variance, while the remainder of the questions were grouped according to their themes and ranked by their order of importance. Professional growth was ranked number one, followed by teacher culture, mentoring supports, and instructional strategies. The data strongly indicated that mentoring was beneficial for the participants and that they valued networking, not feeling alone and sharing stories/experiences. Participants also reported higher feelings of confidence, lower levels of stress and an increased commitment to the profession as a result of belonging to a mentoring learning team.
Researchers touting the benefits of formative assessment and criterion-referenced assessment rubrics agree that there is no simple, single method for converting student achievements to letter grades. Rubric conversion methods vary considerably in purpose and design and present a challenge for teachers when reporting student progress via formal report cards. In British Columbia, the Ministry of Education’s policy on reporting students’ progress and the BC Performance Standards’ (BCPS) suggested CRA rubrics and language provide direction but also create additional complexity for teachers’ practices when needing to convert student achievement to letter grades. The central question in this research is “How do middle school teachers in School District 43 use the BCPS suggested CRA rubric language and matrix while needing to meet Ministry guidelines for student progress reporting?” The study also aims to discover how middle school teachers use rubrics toward formative and summative assessment for, as and of student learning while promoting a focus on learning rather than letter grades.