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Increasing Inclusion and Reducing the Stigma of Special Needs in Latvia: What Can We Learn from Other Countries? . . . Zaiga Mikelsteins and Thomas G. Ryan


Increasing Inclusion and Reducing the Stigma of Special Needs in Latvia

What Can We Learn from Other Countries?

Zaiga Mikelsteins

Thomas G. Ryan

ABSTRACT: Latvia regained its independence in 1991 and has been slowly transforming the education system to meet the standards of the European Union (EU) and the Western world. Since regaining independence Latvia has started to integrate children with special education needs into regular schools and society; yet the process is quite restrained and measured, causing many to suggest that there must be a way and means to accelerate this process. If only Latvians could access and use practices found (Alberta) Canada or another inclusive country (Finland), that has successfully integrated students and adults with disabilities into school and society, to diminish Latvian problems such as life long dependency, poverty and social exclusion that adds to an already existing stigma of intellectual disability according to the European Union Monitoring and Advocacy Program (EUMAP, 2005). Stigma is the one issue that keeps surfacing as the key challenge for people with special needs in Latvia (Fine-Davis & Faas, 2014). ­Latvian society at present has minimal exposure and experience with children and adults with special needs, resulting in unawareness, avoidance, and a general misunderstanding of this population.

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The Problem with the Problem of Human Irrationality . . . John D. Eigenauer


The Problem with the Problem of Human Irrationality

John D. Eigenauer

ABSTRACT: Despite the widespread social harm that human irrationality causes, irrationality is not considered to be a social problem. This article explores why this is so, argues why irrationality is unlikely to be considered a social problem, and suggests that the best hope for reducing the social harms caused by human irrationality lies with the educational system.

KEY WORDS: irrationality, social problems


Human irrationality has been found to be the source of much societal harm. It affects medicine and healthcare via improper and incorrect diagnoses as well as harmful patient decisions (Croskerry, 2003; Groopman, 2007; Croskerry, 2014); it affects global finance by means such as overly optimistic growth assessments and ill-advised lending policies (Shiller, 2015); it affects personal finance through poor decision-making such as susceptibility to scams (Modic & Lea, 2013) and falling prey to the sunk cost fallacy (Garland & Newport, 1991; Arkes & Blumer, 1985); it affects the global environment when science is ignored, leading to policy decisions that discount the long-term dangers of matters such as global warming and species extinction (Berger, 2009); it affects legal proceedings and decisions by perpetuating injustice through personal prejudice and unjust sentencing (Benforado, 2015); it affects personal belief systems when people accept superstitions, homeopathic medicine, and conspiracy theories while rejecting scientific findings that contradict these beliefs.

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Ideology of Joyful Learning Through Play in Early Childhood Classroom in Hong Kong: Misconceptions or Paradoxes? . . . Grace Lau


Ideology of Joyful Learning Through Play in Early Childhood Classroom in Hong Kong

Misconceptions or Paradoxes?

Grace Lau

ABSTRACT: The ideological slogan of the latest drafted reform document for early childhood education in Hong Kong in July 2016 is, “Joyful Learning Through Play: Balanced Development All the Way.” Based on this ideological slogan, this article “Ideology of Joyful Learning Through Play in Early Childhood Classroom in Hong Kong: Misconceptions or Paradoxes?” discusses the myth and reality of play and its underlying child-centeredness philosophy in the early childhood classroom in Hong Kong. Practical examples would be drawn to compare with the literature review on play and the drafted reform document and to identify any misconceptions and paradoxes that exist. The findings and implications discussed would help readers look at the issue of equity and equality confronting religious-affiliated schools in Hong Kong if the play curriculum and its allied child-centeredness philosophy are to be applied in the reform process.

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Development of a Theoretical Model for Achieving Inclusion in Schools . . . Mario S. Torres Jr., Jean Madsen, Wen Luo, Yuhong Ji, and Elisabeth Luevanos


Development of a Theoretical Model for Achieving Inclusion in Schools

Mario S. Torres Jr.

Jean Madsen

Wen Luo

Yuhong Ji

Elisabeth Luevanos

ABSTRACT: School systems are in the midst of dealing with changing demographics. It is assumed schools play an important role in addressing the varying educational, cultural, and social needs of an increasingly diverse group of members (Holme, Diem, & Welton, 2013). In response authors reviewed multiple inclusive models and frameworks relevant to schools with changing demographics. The scale was based on three meta-constructs: leadership capacity, organizational justice, and performance outcomes. The School Inclusion Survey used in this study employed robust scales to ascertain inclusiveness. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and Cronbach’s α for subscale reliability, in addition to confirmatory factor analysis, were employed to evaluate the construct validity of the inclusion model. While the school inclusion model is exploratory, it is believed schools can use this tool to gauge organizational inclusiveness and develop strategies to address gaps or weaknesses to address the needs of their changing demographics.

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To Brevet or Not to Brevet: Lebanon Contemplates Abandoning the Middle-Secondary Examination . . . Tharwat Dabaja and Barend Vlaardingerbroek


To Brevet or Not to Brevet

Lebanon Contemplates Abandoning the Middle-Secondary Examination

Tharwat Dabaja

Barend Vlaardingerbroek

ABSTRACT: The Lebanese government in 2016 was presented with a proposal to abandon the middle-secondary Brevet examination. The Brevet acts as a filter for the upper secondary tier and channels considerable numbers of students into technical/vocational education. This article discusses the likely impact of the abolition of this public examination and presents data compiled from a survey of student views. The authors argue that the fundamental problem plaguing Lebanese education is its poor articulation with the labor market and warn against abolishing the Brevet unless the move is part of a package of reforms aimed at rectifying this dysfunctional interface.

KEY WORDS: curriculum-based external examinations, Lebanon, Brevet, transition to higher education, transition to employment

Curriculum-based external examinations are a feature of many of the world’s school education systems. Internationally recognized among these examinations are the French Baccalauréat and the English A-levels, and their numerous clones throughout the francophone and anglophone worlds. Conventionally, both the French and the English systems have had such examinations at the end of the elementary cycle, at the juncture between lower secondary and upper secondary school, and at the culmination of high school. The traditional function of these examinations has been to filter and channel students. They also have quality assurance and standards monitoring functions (Abu-Alhija, 2007; Bishop, 1997, 1998, 1999; Vlaardingerbroek & Taylor, 2009). However, given the increasing participation rates at post-elementary level, loss of job opportunities for unskilled youths, raising of minimum school-leaving ages, and growing demand for tertiary education, a process of what Vlaardingerbroek and Taylor (2009) have called “bottom-up erosion” (p. 339) often sees the demise or weakening of first the end-of-elementary examination, and then the middle-secondary examination system.

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Invited Paper

Applying Implementation Science to the Development of a Self-Regulation Intervention for Students with Significant Behavior Problems

A Proactive Approach

Donna Spencer Pitts

Michelle M. Cumming

Ann P. Daunic

Alyssa L. Scafidi

Stephen W. Smith

Kristen M. O’Brien

Courtney E. Allen

ABSTRACT: The effective use of evidence-based practices in educational settings is an ongoing concern, and there is growing consensus that desired outcomes are achieved only when programs are implemented thoughtfully and thoroughly. To encourage the integration of research findings into interventions that are feasible and usable within authentic settings, researchers in the field of implementation science have identified key drivers that promote effective implementation. We assert that educational researchers must incorporate core components of implementation science as they develop interventions and not just at the implementation stage. In this article, we provide an account about developing and piloting a self-regulatory intervention for adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders, through the lens of implementation science. We introduce the intervention, outline the implementation framework that guided our development work, provide examples of barriers encountered, and discuss how we used implementation drivers to analyze and make adjustments to the curriculum for successful delivery.

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A Review of Interventions to Increase Behavior-Specific Praise

Andrew Markelz

Mary Catherine Scheeler

Jonte C. Taylor

Paul J. Riccomini

ABSTRACT: Classroom management is important for student achievement and teachers’ well-being. Research supports behavior-specific praise (BSP) as an evidence-based practice of classroom management, however, its reliable use by teachers remains elusive. A literature review was conducted to identify interventions designed to increase teachers’ use of BSP and the effects of mastery training on maintenance results. Twenty empirical studies, involving special-education and general-education teachers, were analyzed. Findings identify training, performance feedback, self-monitoring, and tactile prompting as interventions to increase teachers’ use of BSP. Participants who were trained to mastery demonstrated higher and more stable BSP rates during maintenance. Results suggest interventions countered suppressing contingencies of BSP such as insufficient opportunities to practice, lack of reinforcement, and cognitive overload.

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Effects of a Modified Daily Progress Report for Check In/Check Out at the Elementary Level

Courtney A. Dexter

Kathy L. Ruhl

Douglas D. Dexter

ABSTRACT: In an effort to examine a way to modify check in/check out (CICO) to enhance effectiveness, the current study assessed changes to the daily progress report (DPR) component. A multiple-baseline-across-participants design was used, with three sets of student/teacher pairs in an elementary school, to examine how modifying the DPR to reflect specific, positively worded, operationalized behaviors impacts the DPR as a visual prompt for student behavior and teacher feedback. Results indicate all teachers demonstrated increased levels of behavior-specific feedback, with three demonstrating an improved affirmative to corrective feedback ratio. All students demonstrated a reduction in problem behaviors and increased exhibition of prosocial behaviors. Furthermore, students and teachers rated the modified DPR as effective and easy to use. Implications for practice and implementation guidelines are also discussed in this article.

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Effects of Classwide Interventions on Computational Fluency

A Synthesis of the Literature

Lauren E. Cozad

Paul J. Riccomini

ABSTRACT: Learning and applying mathematics requires a seamless blend of critical knowledge of concepts, vocabulary, procedures, computation, and problem solving. Students with mathematics difficulties struggle early and often with many of these ideas, but frequently experience difficulty developing computational fluency. Mathematics classrooms are becoming more and more diverse, often requiring teachers to implement interventions with many students. Classwide intervention (e.g., programs that allow differentiation for an entire class of students) is one avenue by which students are able to acquire, increase, and maintain fluency. The body of research on classwide interventions targeting computational fluency is reviewed. Findings indicate that classwide interventions are effective in increasing computational fluency among students both with and without mathematics difficulties. Implications for practice and future research are presented.

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Reading and Understanding Informational Text Using the Listen-Reread-Adapt and Answer-Comprehend (LRAAC) Intervention

Is Fluency Enough?

Christine E. Neddenriep

Natalie D. Rose

Kali J. Olson

Shawna P. Loniello

Celine M. Santos

Stephanie L. Koenigsman

Jenna M. Mathew

ABSTRACT: How can students’ understanding of informational text be improved? Is fluency alone sufficient to improve their comprehension of informational text? The Listen-Reread-Adapt and Answer-Comprehend (LRAAC) intervention combines a repeated readings intervention with listening passage preview as well as a question-generation intervention to improve students’ reading fluency and comprehension of informational text. Three third-grade students were included in the intervention. Using a multiple-baseline design across participants, the effects of the fluency intervention were evaluated alone and then in combination with the comprehension intervention on participants’ number of words read correctly per minute and the percentage of the passage the participants comprehended per minute. A functional relation was established between the participants’ increased fluency and the implementation of the repeated readings intervention with listening passage preview. With the addition of the question-generation intervention, participants demonstrated improved understanding of informational text as well. In addition, students reported satisfaction with the intervention indicating that they learned strategies that were helpful and useful to them in the classroom. Limitations and implications for practice with regard to the use of the LRAAC intervention are discussed.

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Toward a theory of Engaged School Leadership: Positive psychology and principal candidates’ sense of engagement and their preparedness to lead engagement


Karen Stansberry Beard

Toward a theory of Engaged School Leadership

Positive psychology and principal candidates’ sense of engagement and their preparedness to lead engagement

Abstract: This study explored principle licensure students’ sense of engagement, program effectiveness, and preparedness to lead engagement focused on academic achievement. Data analysis using attributes of effective preparation programs, and positive psychology constructs (e.g., flow) found Goal Achievement, Commitment, and Accomplishment significantly related to flow. Flow was significantly related to Engagement, while Care was significantly related to Commitment and Coping. Perhaps more significantly, the findings yielded seven characteristics of Engaged School Leadership Theory (ESTL) development. Adding to both principal preparation and positive psychology literature, this study offers conceptual understandings toward an emerging theory of Engaged School Leadership.

Key Words: Engaged School Leadership Theory, Principal Preparation, Positive Psychology, Flow, Engagement, Program Effectiveness, Mixed Method Research, Mixed-Method Sequential Explanatory Design

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Black Masculine Caring and the Dilemma faced by Black Male Leaders


Lisa Bass

Kendrick Alston

Black Masculine Caring and the Dilemma faced by Black Male Leaders

Abstract: The status of Black males in schools and society continues to be concerning, as Black males appear to fall behind other groups in almost every arena, particularly educationally, socially, and professionally. Yet despite their social standing, Black male administrators are often placed in, and have taken on, the charge to serve in high need schools where they oversee the education of Black males and other disadvantaged students. Therefore, there are many Black male students who have Black male administrators. This places them in a position to make a difference in lives of the Black male students and the other students they serve from less privileged backgrounds. This conceptual article discusses the professional challenges faced by Black male leaders and how they choose to lead schools despite these challenges. Tenants of the Black Masculine Caring (BMC) framework are introduced which illuminate ways in which Black male administrators practice interpersonal and institutional care, and how the way they care for students impacts school culture and climate. This article contributes to the literature on school leadership, as all school leaders, regardless of their race, or the race of their students, are expected to maintain positive school cultures and climates in which students are emotionally supported (Blankstein, 2004; Murphy and Torre, 2014). Implications for educational administrators are discussed.

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The Role of Trauma in Leadership Socialization


Noelle W. Arnold

Azadeh F. Osanloo

René O. Guillaume

Christa Boske

Wendi Miller-Tomlinson

The Role of Trauma in
Leadership Socialization

Abstract: There is fertile ground to expand the ideas of resilience and growth as two important skills in leadership (Bell, 2009). Little research has examined how trauma and violence are reappropriated in post-trauma contexts. In fact, resiliency and adaptive strategies often influence life and career choices (Wolin & Wolin, 1993). Although this literature base has grown, little attention has been paid to the long-term impact of IPV on battered women’s career development and stages. This article examines the influence of life trauma on the socialization and practice of two Black female principals. Their responses to pain, suffering, trauma, and violence highlight women’s agency and their ability to create their own good from pain (Mitchem, 2002).

Key Words: Trauma, Violence, Social Cognitive Career Theory, Educational Leadership, Leadership Socialization

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Special Issue Introduction: The Psychology of Educational Leadership


Karen Stansberry Beard

Noelle Witherspoon Arnold

Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas

Special Issue Introduction

The Psychology of Educational Leadership

While there are many definitions of leadership, one implicit theme across all is the importance of psychological phenomena and processes in leading and following (Bell, 2003). Considerable research has been devoted to explicating the traits and characteristics of individual leaders; however, less has been devoted to leadership in context and as existing in an ecology of its own (Witherspoon Arnold, forthcoming). For example, this leadership ecology is influenced by how leaders make meaning of their leadership and the effectiveness of their leadership in and across contexts (Beard, 2015; 2016). The complex and demanding role of leadership requires examination of the employment of psychological levers, buffers, and mediators that impact leadership understandings, behaviors, and practices.

Personality models represent a standardization of leadership and have largely failed (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011) to inform or predict leadership effectiveness. Stodgill’s (1948) predictive indicators of leadership were found to be unpredictable when testing could not control for context. Moreover, Strodbeck and Mann’s (1956) subsequent research revealed that the meanings associated with standardized leadership concepts was highly variable. While psychology has expanded beyond the “great man” ideas of leadership, field educational leadership has moved more slowly than other fields in exploring the psychology of leadership and practice in context. While educational leadership has explored leadership as a negotiation of epistemologies, ontologies, and axiologies, and not a static end result (Witherspoon & Taylor, 2010), it has not systematically assessed the variations in leadership across educational ecologies.

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Diversifying Approaches to Educational Leadership: The Impact of Tradition in a Changing Educational Landscape


James S. Wright

Noelle W. Arnold

Muhammad Khalifa

Diversifying Approaches to Educational Leadership

The Impact of Tradition in a Changing Educational Landscape

In their 2007 article, Pounder and Johnson addressed the need for the discipline of Educational Administration to link more qualitative works to quantitative works and critical and social justice frameworks to the traditional ones, to help dispel the notion that the Educational Leadership/Administration discipline “is narrow in its theoretical and methodological foci” (p. 271). While the strong history of objective and positivist research in our discipline and its impact on our field is acknowledged, the question remains: is that enough? In our answer to that queston, we argue for more epistemological and theoretical diversity, namely explorations of approaches that center on leadership frames that have academic but also socioemotional outcomes for students. It is also important for an educator to know that the needs of students include material emotional, social, and psychological concerns (Dei, 2003). This theoretical article utilizes Pounder and Johnson’s (2007) challenge to diversify frames and research approaches in Educational Administration and discusses humanities based approaches. We also discuss socioemotional (Social Emotional Learning: SEL) outcomes for each frame and approach (Osher et al., 2016). We end with implications for the field.

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