Positive Effects of Extracurricular Activity on Academic Research Proposal

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Positive Effects of Extracurricular Activity on Academic Achievement in District of Columbia High Schools

"A good education ought to help people to become both more receptive to and more discriminating about the world: seeing, feeling, and understanding more...."

Laurent a. Daloz (20th century)

On Academic Achievement

The Alliance for Excellent Education (2008) reports that when students do not follow through with obtaining a good education and graduating from high school, they cost society money. In fact, the Alliance points out, students who drop out of school in Washington, D.C. cost the District of Columbia area millions in lost wages: "If the nearly 2,000 high school dropouts from the Class of 2008 had earned their diplomas instead of dropping out, the District of Columbia's economy would have seen an additional $504 million in wages over these students' lifetimes" (Alliance for Excellent..., 2008, Education News from...section). Currently, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education (2008), approximately 1.2 million students, 7,000 every school day-do not graduate from high school on time, which means that only about 70% percent of students earn their high school diplomas. Research reveals that students who spend participate in extracurricular activities are 43% more likely to stay in school.

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Students who do not participate in extracurricular activities are reportedly 49% more likely to have used drugs; 37% more likely to have experienced becoming a teen parent; 35% more likely to have smoked cigarettes; and 27% more likely to have been arrested than those students who participate in extracurricular activities one to four hours per week (the case for extracurricular...," 2008, Adolescent Time Use section)

1.2: Study Area

Declining Tax Base

Due to the district's declining tax base; the district's public schools are at a crossroads in finances. The Washington Post (2009, January 19) indicated that Fairfax, Montgomery, Prince George, Prince William, Anne Arundel, Loudon, Howard, Charles, Arlington, Calvert, St. Mary, and Alexandria counties, along with D.C. Public Schools face enormous budgetary burdens.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Positive Effects of Extracurricular Activity on Academic Assignment

The contemporary down turn in economic activity, which includes home sales slowed and declining value of existing homes, automobile sales, and job loss contributes to dwindling tax coffers. Consequently, as school systems cut spending, many of the extracurricular activities are cut or chopped down with the budget ax. Simultaneously, albeit, No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) standards continue to increase (NCLB, 2001). The need to improve academic achievement while struggling with continued budget limitations constitutes one pressing issue currently challenging school systems. Washington DC Public School system is one school system struggling with academic achievement under budgetary constraints. In the District of Columbia, 83.4% of students are African-American; 9.9% are Hispanic; 5.0% are White; 1.6% are Asian/Pacific Islander; and 0.1% American Indian/Alaskan Native (IES, 2007). The annual per-pupil expenditure is $13,780 for the District's students; ranking third nationally only to New York and New Jersey. Figure 1 portrays these demographics.

Figure 1: DOC Public School System District Demographics (Adapted from IES, 2007).

Low Rank, Yet Gains

Along with pressing budgeting challenges, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2007), the District of Columbia's eight graders rank last according to the proficiency index score. Nevertheless, the district had significant gains of 8% and 11% respectively on reading and math in the elementary level and 9% and 9% respectively gains in reading and math on the secondary level for the 2008 District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS, 2008). Although budget challenges face the District of Columbia Public Schools, however, none of the challenges are specific to this school district. Neither are a number of the solutions. In light of the current challenges in this area, the researcher proposes to explore a number of positive effects of extracurricular activity on academic achievement in the District of Columbia's high schools. Figure 2 portrays this information

Figure2: DOC Comprehensive Assessment System (Adapted from DC CAS).

District of Columbia School System

The school system in the District of Columbia serves approximately 68,000 students who attend 167 schools. The following portrays a summary of data relating to Washington D.C.'s public schools as of the 2002-2003 school year.

Total enrollment: 67,522

Number of facilities elementary schools: 101 junior high/middle schools: 9 senior high schools: 20 other: 6 educational centers; 20 special schools

Student/teacher ratio: 13.5: 1

Teacher salaries average: $53,194

Funding per pupil: $6,903 (Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2009).

Figure 3 denotes the location of the District of Columbia.

Figure3: Location of the District of Columbia (Washington, District of Columbia, 2008).

Research Questions and Hypothesis

The researcher plans to address the following six research questions during the course of the forthcoming study:

1. What effect does athletic participation have on student GPAs?

2. What effect does athletic participation have on student DC CAS math scores?

3. What effect does athletic participation have on student DC CAS English Reading scores?

4. What effect does music participation have on student GPAs?

5. What effect does music participation have on student DC CAS math scores?

6. What effect does music participation have on student DC CAS English Reading scores?

Answers to the six designated research questions will in turn contribute to the determination of the proposed study's hypothesis, which purports: When eighth grade students regularly participate in athletics and/or music, then the students' GPAs will reflect improvements in other areas of study.

Significance of the Study

As the proposed study will address concerns which affect students who will grow to be tomorrow's community, state, national, and global leaders, the researcher asserts the value of the proposed study's focus to be worth much more than mere monetary measures. Those who serve in positions to educate students may benefit from the understanding regarding extracurricular activities the proposed study will relate. In addition, the students taught by the instructors who may better appreciate extracurricular activities, as a result of this study will likely benefit in time, if/when opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities increase for them.

1.3: Proposed Dissertation Structure

Organization of the Study

The following titles portray the proposed chapters which will comprise the body of the dissertation:

Chapter I: Introduction

Chapter II: Review of the Literature

Chapter III: Methodology

Chapter IV: Analysis

Chapter V: Summary Conclusions, and Recommendations

Chapter I: Introduction

Chapter I introduces the proposed dissertation's focus, communicates the core of the problem the researcher plans to explore, presents the study' problem statement, denotes the research questions to be addressed, along with relating the proposed study's hypothesis.

The introduction section also stresses the significance of the study, and briefly explains the research methodology the researcher plans to utilize to determine the validity of the study's hypothesis.

Chapter II: Review of the Literature During Chapter II of the proposed study, the researcher plans to present a myriad of information accessed from credible sources, which will include peer reviewed journals; magazine and newspaper articles; books; Web-based publications; etc. relevant to the research focus. The researcher plans to utilize approximately 100 sources during the research process; with approximately 25 of these sources presented during this proposal. Synthesized information presented during the literature review chapter will support the questions the proposed study plans to answer, as well as contribute to the decision of whether or not the proposed study's hypothesis proves to be valid.

Chapter III: Methodology Chapter III of the proposed study will discuss the research strategy (general approach) the research plans to adopt, which will also include appropriate justification. The proposed methodology chapter will:

Detail how the researcher plans to implement the research strategy in regard to the proposed research;

Relate particular technique(s) the researcher plans to utilize; including justifying the appropriate proposed technique(s) for the research strategy the researcher plans to adopt.

Plan for potential problems that may arise when the researcher administers the technique(s), as well as identify specific strategies to minimize any potential problems.

Limitations the proposed study will be limited to the tenth grade students in the first semester of school year 2008-2009.

One hundred and fifty students will comprise the control group of students not involved in any extracurricular activity and one hundred and fifty students will make up each of the two experimental groups, one of athletes and one group of music students.

Chapter IV: Analysis During Chapter IV, along with analyzing data retrieved from the accessed literature, the researcher will also evaluate results from test results from questionnaires student participants will complete.

Chapter IV: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations Chapter IV of the proposed study will explicate findings the researcher will retrieve from the compiled information/data from the literature review and questionnaire. The final chapter will also present a synopsis of relevant findings from researched information and relate the researcher's concluding thoughts. In addition, based on researched findings, the researcher plans to proffer pertinent recommendations gleaned from the study for future prospective research.

1.4 Aim and Objectives

Study Aim

The primary aim for the proposed study will be to explore a number of positive effects of extracurricular activity on academic achievement in the District of Columbia's high schools. The proposed study will also determine the validity of the proposed hypothesis, noted earlier… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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