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ERIC Number: ED532127
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 219
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-3369-2
ISSN: N/A
Elementary & Middle School Teachers' Use and Perceptions of School Connectedness Strategies
Vidourek, Rebecca A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati
A sizeable percentage of US youth engage in risky behaviors which result in extensive preventable morbidity and mortality. School connectedness is the leading school-based protective factor against youth engagement in risky behaviors including violence, suicide, and substance abuse. A comprehensive review of the literature found no published study which examined elementary and middle school teachers' use of school connectedness strategies and perceived needs regarding school connectedness. The purpose of this study was to fill such gaps in the research and examine Ohio elementary and middle school teachers' use of school connectedness strategies and their perceived confidence, benefits, and barriers in using these strategies. A four page, 105-item survey was completed by 419 elementary and middle school teachers via SurveyMonkey. Results indicated that teachers frequently used strategies to positively connect students to school. Teachers also reported having confidence in their abilities to positively connect students to school. Teachers cited many benefits to school connectedness including increasing academic achievement and student self-esteem. The most common barriers to positively connecting students to school included lack of time and focus on achievement testing. The present study found that teachers with high confidence in their ability to positively connect students to school used school connectedness strategies more frequently than teachers with low confidence in their ability to positively connect students to school. Teachers who felt positively connected to their students used connection-building strategies more frequently and felt more confident in using such strategies than teachers who did not feel positively connected to students. Teachers who reported that connection-building was a school priority used strategies significantly more frequently, felt significantly more confident in using such strategies, and perceived fewer barriers to positively connecting students to school than did their counterparts. Elementary school teachers used school connectedness strategies significantly more frequently and reported significantly higher levels of confidence in using such strategies than did middle school teachers. Three in four teachers reported interest in obtaining additional information on school connectedness. The present study lends some evidence that a train-the-trainer model may be effective for increasing teachers' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding school connectedness. Such findings support the case for schools to establish connection-building as a leading school priority. In addition, middle school teachers may benefit from specific educational programs or trainings on using school connectedness strategies as well as the importance of positively connecting students to school. Finally, since most teachers were interested in receiving additional school connectedness information, teacher workshops and seminars may prove beneficial to increasing their overall knowledge and self-efficacy in performing connection-building strategies. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio