A Phenomenology of Teacher and Parent Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Schools: Working Toward a Shared Vision
School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Primary Subject Area
Education, General; Education, Elementary; Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Philosophy of; Education, Sociology of
correlates, Edmonds, effective schools, Larry Lezotte
Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
Sroufe, William, "A Phenomenology of Teacher and Parent Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Schools: Working Toward a Shared Vision" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 707.
Research conducted at schools that have outperformed their counterparts points to specific characteristics that make them successful. These characteristics brought about the development of the effective schools correlates by Ronald Edmonds (1979). Various people from across the United States and in various occupations perceive these correlates differently (Sorenson, Goldsmith, Mendez, & Maxwell, 2011). Effective school research focuses school improvement on the variables that are within the control of educators and have the greatest potential to impact student achievement (Vaughn, Gill, & Sherman, 2009). Research surrounding effective schools concentrates on the seven effective school correlates: (a) clear school mission, (b) high expectations for success, (c) instructional leadership, (d) frequent monitoring of student progress, (e) student time on task and an opportunity to learn, (f) safe and orderly environment, and (g) home-school relations (Berdsell & Sudlow, 1996). In this study, I questioned teachers and parents at elementary schools in rural Virginia using open-ended questions about the perceived effectiveness of schools. The study found that the perceptions of parents and teachers were both similar and different, depending upon their perspective. Five themes emerged from the research a) communication, good home-to-school relationship; (b) parental involvement; (c) high expectations; (d) instructional leadership; and (e) school safety. All five themes correspond with existing correlates of effective schools. This study was intended to help start a dialogue between parents and teachers about the importance of the correlates of effective schools.
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