School Climate, Student Morale, Technology Integration Term Paper

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¶ … School Climate, Student Morale, Technology Integration and Student Performance: Implications of Research in Existing Linkages

The objective of this work is to research Achievement gaps and low student performance, School climate and moral, and technology integration and to discover if any links exist between these three elements and if so what those links are and how they affect and interact with one another in terms of student achievement.

The methodology of this research will be through review of available academic, peer-reviewed literature as well as through data obtained via surveys of students in relation to their morale, the level of technology integration at their school and the school climate in relation to the student's morale. The surveys will be anonymous thereby allowing the student to be uninhibited in the provision of their answers to questions on the survey form. The research will be qualitative based on the measurement of the gathering of facts through the use of review of literature and student's answers to the survey's that are to be given. Measurements will be related to the student's grades and their reports of self-esteem, or lack of it, and the school climate and technological integration in relation to the students' grasp of this technology and their confidence in their adeptness within that technological environment. Hudson's Index of Self-Esteem will be utilized in measuring the self-esteem of students

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Term Paper on School Climate, Student Morale, Technology Integration and Assignment

This research will be limited in that the information from surveys will only come from one school although several classes will be involved in the survey. Another limitation in the research is that the information will be of a reactive nature. Although the students will not know specifically what the survey is centered around, they will however be of the understanding that something is targeted in terms of information being sought thereby making all the information within the survey of a reactive nature. Because the surveys will be anonymous, should any data be left off of any survey sheet there will be no other chance for completion and therefore will represent 'missing data' in the course of the research in this study. Secondary sources will also be utilized in this research in the form of the student report cards from their school as well as any class accomplishment or achievement reports relating to their use of technology and specifically the use of computers in the classroom.

Literature Survey

In the report of an action Research Study, Scott Hopsicker, a social studies teacher at a New York High School and he was well liked however on 53% of his students passed the Regents exam. (NY standardized test that is required) and due to concern about his students he approached the assistant principle that then referred him to the library media specialist Bob Berkowitz. The curricular was redesigned to one that was characteristic of information-based problem solving. The results were that 91% of Mr. Hopsicker's students passed the Regent exam showing 'dramatic improvement'. (Berkowitz, 2001) Ferdi Serim (2002) writes that "Technology is the Big Bank that has propelled literacy into an expanding universe....[and] the challenge to 'everyday people' to keep up with this expansion can only be met through development of a framework for Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Literacy, such as that proposed in Digital Transformation, and the resulting research based interventions."

Educational Testing Service's publication states that the definition of ICT literacy is "using digital technology, communications tools, and/or networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society." Further stated is that "... technology skills are only a first step in assuring all our children become proficient information and technology users. (Educational Testing Service ICT Literacy, 2005)

Also necessary are information literacy skills such as:

Task definition -- the first step in the information problem-solving process is to recognize that an information need exists, to define the problem, and to identify the types and extent of information needed.

Information seeking strategies -- Once the information problem has been formulated, the student must consider all possible information sources and develop a plan for searching.

Location and access -- After students determine their priorities for information seeking, they must locate information from a variety of resources, access specific information found within individual resources, and evaluate the quality of resources.

Use of information -- After finding potentially useful resources, students must engage (read, view, listen) the information to determine its relevance and then extract the relevant information.

Synthesis -- Students must organize and communicate the results of the information problem-solving effort.

Evaluation -- Evaluation focuses on how well the product meets the original task (effectiveness) and the process of how well students carried out the problem-solving process (efficiency).

As noted in the 1999 National Research Council report Being Fluent with Information Technology, the "requirement of a deeper understanding than is implied by the rudimentary term "computer literacy" motivated the committee to adopt "fluency" as a term connoting a higher level of competency. People fluent with information technology (FIT persons) are able to express themselves creatively, to reformulate knowledge, and to synthesize new information. In research of school climates and its' relationship to student confidence and achievement stated is, "While this has a certain common sense appeal, examination of the research reveals that there simply is no reliable relationship between school size and curriculum quality

Increases in the size of very small schools are associated with greater curricular gains than increases in the size of larger schools" (Monk 1992, as cited by Cotton, 1996). Further noted is the fact that, " Evidence of increases in social bonding to teachers and school, self-esteem, academic self-concept, locus of control and sociocentric reasoning suggest that [small alternative] programs can respond constructively to students' underlying needs.(Rutter, 1988, as cited by Cotton, 1996) Relating to student's self-confidence is stated that, "Foster and Martinez's observations about students' perceptions of themselves is borne out by Grabe (1981), Rutter (1988), and Stockard and Mayberry (1992) (Cotton, 1996). These researchers have found that both personal and academic self-regard are more positive in smaller schools. Closely related to this are the findings on the quality of the interpersonal milieu in these environments." Agreeing with this conclusion are W.J. Fowler, W.J., Jr., and J.H. Walberg, in the work entitled "School Size, Characteristics, and Outcomes." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 13/2 (Summer 1991): 189-202 who makes examination of data from approximately 300 public secondary schools in New Jersey for the purpose of identification of relationships existing among schools and characteristics of pupils and school outcomes. Stated is that, "Large school size was negatively related to student achievement, participation in school activities, satisfaction, attendance, feelings of belonging, and school climate. (Fowler & Walberg, 1991) Also stated in the study is that there is a stronger sense of self-efficacy among staff and students in small schools. (Berling and Cienkus, 1989; Rutter, 1988, Stockard and Mayberry, 1992, as cited by Cotton, 1996)) Finally stated in relation to integration of curricular subjects in classrooms is that, " in terms of instructional approaches and strategies, teachers in small schools/units are more likely to form teaching teams, integrate their subject-matter content, employ multiage grouping and cooperative learning, and use alternative assessments. There is also, in these schools and units, a greater emphasis on learning which is experiential and relevant to the world outside of school (Fouts 1994; Kershaw and Blank 1993; Nickle 1994; Raze 1985; Rutter 1988; Walberg 1992, as cited by Cotton, 1996). Finally stated by Cotton (1996) is, "innovative teaching and learning strategies have also been used to improve student attitudes, such as utilizing technology in the classroom or using hands-on constructivist-type activities."

The International ICT Literacy Panel states that, "just as reading instruction needs to be considered in the broadest sense as teaching information processing skills and math… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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