The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. VI: Post-Secondary Education
The Refractive Thinker®: Press 2011
Number of Pages: 230


Summary

The Benefits of Collaborative Doctoral Research

Celebrate the diffusion of innovative refractive thinking through the writings of these doctoral scholars as they dare to think differently in search of new applications and understandings of post-secondary education.

•Dr. Elena Murphy presents the case for educators to use learning styles in the classroom for adult student success.
•Dr. Judy Fisher-Blando and Dr. Denise Land offer expertise about regarding the use of passion, differentiated learning, and management behavior to encourage the engaged learner.
•Dr. Rene H. Contreras demonstrates how the teacher-mentor develops the mentoring relationship and takes full responsibility for the student learning.
•Dr. Robert D. Hobbs reveals the latest research in neuro-, socio-, and psycholinguistics that indicates new curriculum and perspectives on education are required.
•Dr. Emad Rahim and Dr. Darrell Burrell offer expertise about perspectives on social, organizational, and cultural change in community service helping organizations.
•Dr. Gillian Silver and Dr. Cheryl A. Lentz explore the role of the student as a consumer learner as the model for post-secondary education further evolves.
•Dr. Richard Wolodkowicz examines the predictive value of seven leadership attributes in supervisors of employee-students seeking post-secondary education.
•Dr. Kerry Lynn Levett explores what students learn beyond the classroom in post-secondary education.
•Dr. Tom Woodruff appraises the entries of this anthology with a refractive lens of sustainable academic leadership and lifelong learning.

Unlike most academic books that merely define research, The Refractive Thinker® offers commentary regarding the state of post-secondary education from the perspective of multiple authors—each offering a chapter based on their specific expertise.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Retaining and Graduating Adult Students in Higher Education: Using Learning Styles to Increase Student Success
Higher education administrators have seen an increase in adult students pursuing a bachelor’s degree on college campuses. Although college administrators observe a trend in rising enrollment for adult students,administrators are still faced with the issue of students who drop out
of school before completing a degree. Student retention efforts are the responsibility of the higher education administration, faculty, and staff (Powell, 2003). Educational leaders become concerned when there is
an indication of high attrition rates, suggesting a need to examine program processes, curriculum delivery methods, or student support services within the institution. To make improvements toward increasing student retention, educational leaders need to be aware of the factors
that influence a student’s decision to complete a degree and why students depart from the college program without finishing their degree(Summers, 2003). This chapter discusses the research surrounding student retention and attrition in higher education. In addition, discussion
will focus on the use of learning style research in the classroom to retain students and enhance student success towards graduation. By understanding students preferred style for approaching tasks and learning, faculty can specifically accommodate students through modifications of instructional design.
Chapter 2: Passion: Management Behavior to Build an Engaged Learning Mindset
Faculty learning environment leadership has the capacity to encourage student engagement and motivation through combining leadership practice, student assessment, and curriculum differentiation. The outcome can mean significant student engagement and motivation toward an understood ability to achieve significant academic outcomes that matter to the student. Through a practice of faculty stewardship and servant leadership, faculty leaders can modify classroom environments to enable students to create self-driven mindset of learning initiatives that achieve identified measurable outcomes.
Chapter 3: Teachers as Mentors
According to, 1992 was the baseline year used to measure secondary student academic performance in the traditional academic disciplines. What was once considered the traditional curriculum such as to include subjects such as : reading mathematics, and science were de-emphasized in 1992? which resulted resulting in the further decline in student scores to further decline or have no significant change. Then during the Clinton Administration, a new social welfare state was created and a new social policy paradigm evolved in America’s education culture (Béland & Vergniolle de Chantal, 2004 ).

Béland and Vergniolle de Chantal (2004) stressed that since the early 2000s, historical institutionalism had contributed to the political and sociological analysis of public policy especially in the area of welfare state politics and post secondary education. The social welfare state occurred although voters approved billions in new monies that went into the education social welfare state . In addition to federal tax dollars, voters approved tax dollars from state lotteries, state income tax increases, state sales tax increases, property tax increases, and other forms of tax increases all targeted to improve America’s faltering education throughout America.
Chapter 4: Evidence of Multilingual Superiority
Research indicated that students in multilingual education in Europe and Asia outperform students in the USA (Schleicher, 2006; Jeynes, 2008). Immigrant and minority students in the USA lag in academic performance, and the education gap is growing between the economically advantaged and disadvantaged (Donlon, 2008). No other study has suggested multilingual education as a possible solution. Trilingual students outperform bilingual students who outperform monolingual students on cognitive tests (Bialystok, 2007; De Angelis, 2007; Safont, 2005).

Multilingual students in higher education outperform other students (Jessner, 2008) and third language learning enhances and reinforces previous languages learned as long as those languages are supported (Cenoz, 2009; Riemersma, 2009). The purpose of this dissertation synopsis is to highlight the current education literature and the data outcomes of the perspectives of researchers involved in sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, and interdisciplinary investigations that led to tools for increasing student performance and a new model of education incorporating the possibility of multiple language learning. Recommendations for better support of the languages of minorities while increasing communicative abilities of all students could guarantee a brighter future for individuals, communities, and the global society.
Chapter 5: A Contextual Applied Research Analysis of Negative Public Perceptions
Human service and non-profit organizations play a pivotal role in community aid and development. This role has become more critical in times of economic hardship, when the community is in need of support and assistance. This paper provides an applied research analysis of the origin and use of the term “ghetto” by clients and employees in four community centers in Syracuse, New York, that service clientele of low socioeconomic status. The paper explores and develops methods to counteract this organizational stereotype, which is critical because public perception and credibility can influence whether people in the community use the services of these organizations. The goal of this analysis is to provide solutions that can positively influence practices in human service organizations in urban settings.
Chapter 6: The Consumer Learner: Shifts in the Teacher/Student Relationship: Student as Customer
This chapter addresses the shifts which have led to the notion of the contemporary student as a customer. This work is an excerpt of Emerging Expectations of a Customer Service Mentality in Post-Secondary Education, a Pensiero Press (winter 2011) publication by Dr. Gillian Silver and Dr. Cheryl Lentz. The discussion concentrates on how, throughout the past two decades, the rise of the adult learning model has removed educational access barriers and enabled more individuals from diverse backgrounds—including women, minorities, full-time employees, and students returning to complete unfinished degrees. This multi-faceted transformation has provided myriad opportunities for those balancing the demands of family, work and community to experience intellectual growth and program achievement. Subsequently, certain variables have led to a cultural shift from a literature and conceptually centric focus to one in which students are becoming consumer learners. An understanding of learners consuming knowledge and the product of education symbolizes the diverse vantage points of the adult education community and the process of seeking, evaluating, applying, and challenging knowledge.

Three unique perspectives from which to consider the complex requirements of learners, the institutional demands for efficiency and cost-recovery, and the practice obligations of professional educators, are offered. Care has been taken to explore the environment in which the authors find themselves as a result of both their teaching and student experiences. The intention has been to do conduct this examination with balance and fairness, rather than prejudice or from the sensibilities of only one of the three partners involved in the institution-student-educator partnership.
Chapter 7: A Leader’s Influence on Employee-Students Seeking Post-Secondary Education
This quantitative research study was conducted to discover leaders’ impact on employees’ intention to leave their employer. The goal was to examine seven leadership attributes in supervisors of employee-students seeking post-secondary educations while employed, and determine the predictive value of these leadership attributes with regard to intention to turnover. The leadership attributes examined were (a) authenticity and trustworthiness; (b) change agent; (c) charisma; (d) communication; (e) learner; (f) mentor; and (g) visionary. In addition to the seven qualities, a logistic regression analysis tested a general lack of leadership and four factors created through a factor analysis. While individual leadership qualities are not predictors of employee intention to turnover, the broad concept of leadership is a statistically significant predictor of employee intention to turnover. Within the four factors, the factor of Learner was also a statistically significant predictor of employee intention to turnover. Employee-students are more likely to leave a leader lacking leadership qualities and are more likely to remain with a leader supportive of education and personal growth and development.
Chapter 8: Assessing for Meaning Outside the Classroom
Exploring what students learn in college has sparked a revolution in practice within post-secondary education and research that has been fueled by both demands for external accountability and the internal desire to improve the student experience. However, even after several decades of intense scrutiny, clearly discerning the student learning experience remains an enigma for both scholars and practitioners. The elusiveness encompassing student learning in post-secondary environments is partially due to the vast number of variables and combinations of variables that influence student learning, both in aggregate, and at the individual student level. Colleges and universities have engaged in both assessment and research exploring what students are learning. Despite decades of attention from Astin, Kuh and Associates, Pascarella and Terenzini, little scholarly attention has been paid to what students are learning outside of the classroom in programs, events, and experiences intentionally designed to elicit a learning response from students (ACPA & NASPA, 2004). This chapter will explore how students make meaning of their intentional out-of-class learning experiences by briefly reviewing prominent literature related to the topic, overview a recent study by Levett (2011), and concluding with suggestions for practitioners in post-secondary educational environments.