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Transforming an especially challenging urban school against the odds : a multivariate statistical analysis of student perceptions

The aim of this four year longitudinal study was to identify the contributory factors that brought about rapid improvement in an especially challenging urban school. A two-phase sequential mixed-method strategy was used to identify underlying statistically derived factors within a post-positivist paradigm In phase I, Principle Components Analysis was used to reduce an initial 90-item questionnaire, administered to 302 students, to identify a three factor multilevel school improvement model that comprised 17 sub-factors. The derived factors were: i. leadership at the whole school level; ii. teaching and learning in the classroom and iii. the development of students and teachers as part of a unified learning community. During phase II, Principle Axis Factoring, Multiple Regression and MANOVA were used to test the hypothesis that 22 school improvement variables, derived from a review of the 3 factors and 17 sub-factors from phase I, did in fact comprise a single coherent school improvement model with 3 levels. A detailed analysis of the perceptions of 104 students, gathered via a 22-item questionnaire, yielded a coherent model based on 4 factors (levels) that were interpreted as: context; leadership; learning & teaching and ethos & relationships. In addition, 22 sub-factors were identified within the model. The statistical findings were triangulated with the literature, external documentary evidence about the school and focus group interviews with a stratified random sample of students, parents and teachers. This thesis proposes a new dynamic multilevel rapid school improvement model together with a new paradigm for schools operating in challenging urban contexts.
Date January 2009
CreatorsCross, Philip
PublisherUniversity of Greenwich
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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