Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D

Committee Member

Gerard Babo, Ed.D

Committee Member

Hansel A. Perez, Ed.D

Keywords

extended, learning, time, day, turnaround, title I

Abstract

Abstract

Research suggests that regular participation in programs that provide academic and social activities contribute positively to children’s academic and social development (National Education Association, 2004). However, existing literature on teachers’ and parents’ views on extended learning time is limited. A lot of emphasis has been placed on after-school programs for three primary reasons. First, attendance in after-school programs can provide children with supervision during a time when many might be exposed to and engage in more anti-social and destructive behaviors. Second, after-school programs can provide enriching experiences that broaden children’s perspectives and improve their socialization. Third, after-school programs may help to improve the academic achievement of students who are not achieving as well as they need to during regular school hours.

Many children, especially those from poor and minority families, are placed at risk by school practices that are based on a sorting paradigm, in which some students receive high-expectation instruction while the rest are relegated to lower quality education. The role of home-based or neighborhood-based activities for children under the supervision of parents has declined, and the role of structured, school-based activities under the supervision of professionals has increased. A large part of this can be explained by the growth in single-parent households and families in which both parents work full time. For children who face academic and/or behavioral issues that hinder their success during regular school hours, the after-school hours can be a time to attempt to eliminate these barriers, improve education, and expose them to new experiences they would otherwise never had been exposed to. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore middle school teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of extended learning time.

This case study employs a semi-structured interview as the main tool for data collection from the participants. Utilizing a case study approach brings a humanistic point of view to the field of education, one that is not simply bound in numbers and statistics. Krathwohl (1998) describes semi-structured interviews as having prepared open-ended questions and a predetermined order. The interview questions were designed to allow participants a means as well as a tool to express their opinions and beliefs on extended learning time. This study employs a purposeful sampling procedure. Krathwohl (1998) states that purposive sampling is a common and important tool in which individuals are chosen to fulfill a purpose and is “most often used in qualitative research to select individuals or behaviors that will better inform the researcher regarding the current focus of the [case study]” (p. 172). In this case, subjects were selected based on the grade levels that were preselected by the principal to participate in extended learning time.

If you must be vague, you are only given license to do so when you can talk about orders-of-magnitude improvement. There is a tension here in that you should not provide numbers that can be easily misinterpreted, but on the other hand, you do not have room for all the caveats. Principals should have the opportunity to tailor the extended learning time to meet the needs of the students. No longer are community schools housing local students and families; now with the Newark One, where students are being bused from near and far, principals face a challenge in how to better equip the teachers with the necessary tools to educate students. Policy and educational leaders are promoting and funding opportunities for expanded learning time as a key strategy to address opportunity gaps that torment high-poverty schools (National Center on Time and Learning, 2013). If school leaders want to implement extended learning time, then it needs to be clear across the board, with parents, teachers, and community stakeholders being made aware of the policy and held accountable.

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate adopted bills calling for National Extended Learning Time. Schools adopting extended learning time expand the amount of time students spend in school by lengthening the school day and/or year. Through the extended learning time initiative, schools agree to increase learning time for their students by at least 30% in exchange for an increase in their state per-pupil funding. According to Ricci (2000), providing curriculum-related, real-life opportunities for students that allow them to apply their skills can be challenging. Warren (1999) and Moores (1999) state that working with community volunteers provides students with positive role models, but also gives them the chance to see themselves as productive citizens. This provides students a chance to dive into their community as more than just observers and gives them more control over their experience and learning. When students feel in control, they are less likely to give up that control to other environmental hazards. As Moores (1999) states, it enables the [students] to develop confidence in their abilities to be successful.

 
 

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