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theoretical frameworks

Open Homework Posted by: anasa Posted on: 11/09/2020 Deadline: 2 Day

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By Friday (note this is a day later than uual) , post your initial response to the assigned discussion questions in the below Discussion Area. It is important to support what you say with relevant citations in the APA format from both the course materials and outside resources. Include the South University Online Library in your research activities utilizing not only the nursing resource database, but also those pertaining to education, business, and human resources.

No later than by the end of the week, review and comment on the discussion question responses posted by at least two of your peers. Be objective, clear, and concise. Always use constructive language. All comments should be posted to the appropriate topic in this Discussion Area.

Discussion Question

Visit South’s online library and review these two articles.

  • Connelly, L. M. (2014). Use of theoretical frameworks in research. MEDSURG Nursing, 23(3), 187-188.
  • Green, H. E. (2014). Use of theoretical and conceptual frameworks in qualitative research. Nurse Researcher, 21(6), 34-38.

Next, review the evidence you are collecting for your proposed study. Which theories have others cited? Are you seeing a common theme? Next construct a conceptual map p.  You can use Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint and include this as an attachment. Be sure you have defined the concepts and included relational statements.  I am really interested in you identifying theories used in work about your topic .

Provide constructive, supportive feedback to your classmates' posts

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Attachment 1


Beyond Marginality, pages 167–187 Copyright © 2019 by Information Age Publishing All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. 167

CHAPTER 10

A PROPOSITION FOR A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO

ADAPTATION AND A UNIFIED SENSE OF SELF

A Conceptual Framework in Educational Settings

Detra D. Johnson University of Louisville

Questions are often raised about how African American women educators are able to remain in the career despite challenges they face including sex- ism, racism, inequality, and indifference. In fact, it was from personal experi- ence in the PK–12 setting that I realized there were systemic, institutionalized problems that impacted teacher perspectives of teaching and retention of classroom teachers, particularly African American women teachers. I sought to conceptualize a study that was reflective of the unique experiences of Af- rican American women educators while being mindful that the need to in- crease the number of diverse teachers and administrators is critical because

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un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

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168  D. D. JOHNSON

American classrooms are increasingly becoming filled with students of color. However, most of the educators in these classrooms do not look like the stu- dents they teach and may not understand the communities they serve. After conducting research with African American women teachers to gain a deeper understanding about the dynamics of their perspectives, results from their particular experiences reinforced a social perspective that paralleled my own in my role as an African American woman educator (Johnson, 2015). Build- ing from those, this chapter proposes a holistic approach that reports how African American women teachers adapted through a unified sense of resil- iency and self-determination to remain in the career despite challenges and adversities in educational settings. The findings from this study can also help inform leadership preparation by illustrating how diverse school leaders and educators were able to promote racial and social justice as well as human rights opportunities for all students.

CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ADAPTATION AND A UNIFIED SENSE OF SELF

The conceptual model of a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self was developed as part of data analysis of hypothesized themes that were interpreted from interviews with research participants (Johnson, 2015). From this data analysis, Figure 10.1 represents this model from three African American women teachers’ perspectives that were collected, analyzed, and triangulated which led to this proposed model for educational leaders.

This study utilized themes that were derived from two theoretical frameworks. The theoretical framework of resilience was comprised of ten themes: deeply committed, enjoys change, bias for optimism, flexible locus of control, ability to control events, moral and spiritual support, positive relationships, education, efficacy, and leadership and role model. Schelvis, Zwetsloot, Bos, and Wiezer (2014) identified three dimensions of resilience as the following: the ability to change and adapt as necessary, the ability to recover quickly, and the ability to remain confident and vigorous after changes. This perspective also supports individuals’ need to develop ways to respond, monitor, anticipate, and learn when working as school leaders and educators. The resiliency framework connects and is interrelated to self-determination dimensions which are equally important for developing and sustaining school leaders.

There were four themes of self-determination that helped to develop the foundation for this emerging model. The themes or dimensions of self-de- termination were autonomy, self-regulation, psychological empowerment, and self-regulation. Authors Deci and Ryan (2002) reported that a coher- ent sense of self, that is a sense of wholeness and vitality, is an integration of both knowledge and experience. With the viewpoints of this integration

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  169

characterized by humanistic, psychoanalytic, and developmental theories, organismic metatheory can be used (Deci & Ryan, 2002). Moreover, the authors conclude that self-determination exists in a dialectic view that in- teracts between an active, integrating human nature and social contexts that could either inhibit or develop an individual (organism) active nature (Deci & Ryan, 2002). This organismic-dialectical perspective can either fa- cilitate or disrupt the promotion of healthy psychological and social devel- opment when one needs to adapt to challenges and adversities in life.

Grounded theory was used to present a “conceptually dense” (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000, p. 278) emergent theory of a holistic approach to adapta- tion and a unified sense of self. According to Whetten (1989), a complete theory must contain the following four essentials that include “what”—de- fines which constructs should be logically considered as part of the expla- nation of the phenomenon; “how”—pieces together how the constructs are related; “why”—understands what the underlying psychological, eco- nomic, or social dynamics are to justify the selection of constructs and the

Figure 10.1 Conceptual model of the holistic approach to adaptation and the unified sense of self for education leaders.

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un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

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170  D. D. JOHNSON

proposed causal relationship; and “when”—examines the appropriateness of the propositions’ definitions and explanations for application. The dis- tinct role of each theoretical framework was analyzed specifying the logical, deduced implications for research as a theoretical argument.

This theoretical model can be defined as “a set of interrelated constructs, definitions, and propositions that presents a systematic view of a phenom- ena by specifying relations among variables, with the purpose of explain- ing and predicting phenomenon” (Kerlinger, 1986, p. 9). In comparison, Argyris and Schon (1974) have defined theory as “a set of interconnect- ed propositions that have the same referent—the subject of the theory” (pp. 4–5). Furthermore, LeCompte and Preissle (1993) reported, “theoriz- ing is simply the cognitive process into their minds helped to understand and perceive reality as the participants did” (p. 239). In this study, the expe- riences and the perceptions of the African American women teachers were described and explained at a concrete level.

Ultimately, through cross-case analysis, an understanding of the events was developed so that their experiences be related from the past to the present. Eventually, clustering and categorizing the events or concepts of my partici- pants’ voices through their stories created higher-order units that are known as constructs. Then, it was with these constructs their experiences of resiliency incorporated with their perceptions of the concept of self-determination that best describes the relationship between resiliency and self-determination. As the researcher, propositions of this phenomenon provided an explanation of relationship between resiliency and self-determination. Some of the themes of resiliency (autonomy, religion, and flexible locus of control) were related to dimensions of self-determination (autonomy, self-realization, self-regula- tion, and psychological empowerment). For example, numerous researchers have stated that there is a distinct association between an internal locus of control (i.e., autonomy) and resilience (Hodge, Danish, & Martin, 2012). At this point, the multiple propositions of relatedness between the themes of resiliency and self-determination provided the building blocks of an abstract theory for an emerging theoretical model for a holistic approach to adapta- tion and a unified sense of self. In order to better contextualize the model, I will review the context of the study and the model’s developmental back- ground, the model’s theoretical underpinnings, then conclude this chapter by discussing how the conceptual model of a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self might be used to inform educational leadership practice and policy research.

Context of the Study

In early August 1964, many African American teachers in a rural segregated school district in Texas prepared to enter into unknown

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  171

territories—desegregated schools. This historical event triggered emotions and professional decisions based on uncertainty and optimism for the few African American teachers who were allowed to continue to work in the community in which they had come to know and love. However, optimism and experience was not enough to sustain most African American teachers to remain in the career. Adversities and challenges during the transition of school integration became a new normal for teachers, in particular, African American women teachers. It was through their abilities to persist in the ca- reer that their perspectives became critical in the development of shaping their identities as school leaders.

For this research, a narrative and oral history inquiry technique pro- vided evidence of the lived experiences of three African American women teachers who, in their own voices, shared their stories and their percep- tions of resilience and self-determination in multicultural learning envi- ronments before, during, and after desegregation. Three African Ameri- can women teachers from a rural Texas school district participated in the study. A 37-question interview protocol modified from two original studies was used to answer the following three research questions: (a) What were the teaching experiences of African American women teachers in a rural Southern school district before, during, and after desegregation?; (b) What characteristics of resilience emerged as themes that influenced retention and longevity of African American women teachers in a rural Southern school district before, during, and after desegregation?; and (c) What char- acteristics of self-determination emerged as themes that influenced reten- tion and longevity of African American women teachers in a rural Southern school district before, during, and after desegregation? Interview data was transcribed and triangulated from the three individual interview sessions with the participants. Cross-case analysis was used to compare and contrast the individual participants’ cases that was grounded and authenticated in the context of the resiliency and self-determination theoretical frameworks.

Testing Resiliency and Self-Determination

Educator resiliency was developed and tested as a conceptual theoretical framework based on African American women teachers’ perspectives about desegregation and their decisions to remain in education for many years despite the adversities that they experienced (Johnson, 2015; Polidore, 2004; Taylor, 2009). In all three studies, African American women teach- ers were able to prevail in their profession through the lens of resiliency. From the three studies, ten characteristics of adult resilience were identi- fied as: positive relationships, deep commitment, bias for optimism, control of events, efficacy, education as important, religion, leader/professional,

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172  D. D. JOHNSON

enjoys change, and flexible locus of control (Johnson, 2015; Polidore, 2004; Taylor, 2009).

The research findings identified four dimensions of self-determination which aligned with the ten characteristics of adult resilience that correlat- ed with the research describing African American women teachers’ per- spectives about desegregation and their decisions to remain in the career (Johnson, 2015). The four dimensions of self-determination were identi- fied as autonomy, psychological empowerment, self-realization, and self- actualization. Consequently, adult resilience and self-determination both exhibited interrelated attributes that could impact and contribute to a teacher’s retention and career longevity. More so, these attributes helped to understand how the teacher remained in the career to promote racial and social justice for students, particularly African American students.

RESILIENCE AND SELF-DETERMINATION STUDIES

Limited research addresses African American teachers’ perspectives of race and diversity in rural educational settings or in schools dominated by stu- dents of color in rural school communities. Polidore (2004) and Taylor (2009) studied the topic of educator resiliency with African American wom- en teachers who served as teachers between the years of 1969–1976. Poli- dore (2004) gave voice to the experiences of African American women who taught during a critical period in America’s educational system. Likewise, Taylor examined the perspectives of African American women teachers re- lated to their teaching experiences and to the characteristics of resilience that influenced retention in a particular rural community before, during, and after desegregation (2009). The examination of the experiences of three African American women teachers in a Southern rural school district related to their stories and perceptions of teaching before, during, and af- ter desegregation, the characteristics of resiliency and self-determination, and the validation and elaboration of an emerging research model was the purpose of this study (Johnson, 2015).

Resiliency is defined as “the process of, capacity for, or outcome of suc- cessful adaptation despite challenging or threatening circumstances” (Mas- ten, Best, & Garmezy, 1990, p. 425). Educator resiliency is symbolized by several aspects such as, deep commitment, enjoyment of change, positive relationships, bias for optimism, morale, and spiritual support, efficacy, flex- ible locus of control, and control of events (Day, 2008; Polidore, Edmond- son, & Slate, 2010; Taylor, 2013). However, a deeper understanding of Af- rican American women educators’ resiliency and self-determination could provide a foundation for career longevity and teacher effectiveness (Bobek, 2002; Gagne & Deci, 2005; Gu & Day, 2007; Kirby & Grissmer, 1993; Polidore

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  173

et al., 2010; Taylor, 2013) and an understanding of resistance to change and teacher burnout (Beltman, Mansfield, & Price, 2011; Malloy & Allen, 2007; Tait, 2008). Educator resiliency can allow school leaders and educators to persist through the many challenges and adversities they might face.

According to Deci and Ryan (2002), self-determination theory (SDT) assumes that humans have an innate, natural, and constructive tendency to develop an elaborate and unified sense of self. SDT acknowledges construc- tive tendency as being a crucial fundamental facet of human life. Self-deter- mination is defined as an innate, natural, and constructive ability to develop an elaborate sense of self (Deci & Ryan, 2002). Furthermore, understand- ing African American women educators’ resiliency and self-determination could possibly lead to further research that could assist in understanding what contributes to the career longevity of such teachers (Gu & Day, 2007; Kirby & Grissmer; 1993). In addition, self-determination is defined as an expression of personal agency that exemplifies one’s strengths, needs, pref- erences, and limitations to be able to evaluate their goals and options (Mar- tin & Marshall, 1995). According to Eisenman and Chamberlin (2001) and Whitney-Thomas and Moloney (2001), self-determination embodies the following internal characteristics: (a) a consciousness about oneself, (b) a belief in oneself, and (c) a feeling of empowerment. Self-determination behaviors include decision-making, problem-solving, support systems, and goal setting and attainment. Collectively, these characteristics could easily help to shape school leaders and educators throughout their careers in this ever changing landscape in education.

The findings from this study confirmed research findings and results from the previous studies that indicated several factors linked to teacher resiliency could be generalizable to a larger population of elementary teachers. Edu- cator resiliency theory was constructed by the following characteristics—re- ligion, flexible locus of control, optimistic bias, autonomy, commitment, change, positive relationship, education, and efficacy. Self-determination characteristics included autonomous functioning, self-regulation, psycho- logical empowerment and self-realization. Therefore, research findings in- dicated similarities in the previous research studies as well as new constructs of resiliency that correlate with the research literature on self-determination as a factor that contribute to teacher retention and career longevity. An emerging theoretical model of a holistic approach to adaptation and a uni- fied sense of self resulted from the data. The study suggested that this model could assist in educational learning environments for the recruitment, train- ing, and retention of teachers as well as provide a model for parents and educators to imitate resilience and self-determination themes as a coping mechanism for life’s challenges. As a template for mechanisms to defeat hardships, promote racial and social justice, and support human rights, this model can be viewed as appropriate and timely for shaping school leaders.

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174  D. D. JOHNSON

Both ecological and organismic dialectical perspectives assisted in the devel- opment of this holistic model for school leaders and educators.

LIMITATIONS OF CURRENT RESEARCH

Previous documented experiences of teachers have primarily focused on White teachers and have ignored the experiences of African American teachers. Searches of doctoral research revealed that no studies had exam- ined resilience and African American teachers which coincided with their voices, resiliency, and self-determination. Only recently have the experi- ences of African American teachers been included in the literature from which history has been written. The awareness of the memories included in scholarly research of both White and African American teachers’ memo- ries, voices, and experiences of historical events in order to extract an inter- pretation of the events requires a unique undertaking of exploration. How- ever, it is these teachers’ memories, perceptions, experiences, and voices that are essential to the destruction of institutional amnesia that marginal- izes individual memories.

By including the voices and experiences, African American women teachers’ individual memories will no longer be silenced through institu- tional amnesia. Much can be learned about the power of achieving your highest potential as a productive human being through resilience and self- determination through opportunities to gain deeper understanding of the perspectives of previously silenced voices. Even though African American women teachers shared the challenges and adversities of race, gender, and politics on their individual matriculation from classroom teachers at Black schools until their retirement as teachers and leaders from White schools, these unparalleled conditions did not deter them from becoming the strong and resourceful women that they were destined to become.

The stories told in their own individual voices can serve as a testimo- ny to the many victories and successes that they each have experienced both personally and professionally as African American women teachers. The teachers’ individual stories are inextricably linked to their communal and collective history. Through the conscious listening to the previously unheard and silenced voices, the social, cultural, and historical message of resiliency and self-determination now has a new image. The teachers’ perspectives and experiences inform and provide a more complete aware- ness and understanding about a hidden and unique phenomenon related to diverse school leaders and educators as they promote racial and social justice in our school systems.

This study recognized the challenges in the classroom at both all-Black and predominately White schools where teachers felt strongly that it was

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  175

necessary to systematically and personally process to overcome adverse situations by advancing the concepts of resilience and self-determination through the voices of teachers who chose to remain in the profession. The teachers’ willingness and cooperation to share their perspectives and expe- riences through this study provided an avenue and awareness to a part of educational history that is no longer hidden or silenced. It is for this that communities should be thankful for each teacher who was a pioneer in the desegregation process. Their voices will be heard and each individual who participated is no longer silenced by institutionalized amnesia. Help- ing educators and school leaders to develop positive responses, to become resilient, and to be self-determined in challenging situations in schools, may enhance the likelihood that educators will remain in the profession.

THE HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ADAPTATION AND A UNIFIED SENSE OF SELF CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND

MODEL OF RESILIENCE AND SELF-DETERMINATION

As a researcher, the goal was to test the developed theory based on the re- search findings from the following and two other previous research studies (Johnson, 2015; Polidore, 2004; Taylor, 2009). The conceptual model of a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self was developed from the documented and analyzed data from each participant utilizing the theoretical model of resilience in education and self-determination frame- work (Polidore, 2004). Figure 10.2 represents the theoretical model used for resilience in education. The use of this model tested previous studies’ results with African American women teachers to be later used with a larger model of educational leaders. A new proposed theoretical conceptual mod- el would be asserted and such tests would be made with positive results. It can also be understood that it is proper expectation for scientific research to disconfirm a theory so that it can be replaced with a more suitable one.

According to Polidore (2004), each of the themes were based on research on the construct of resilience utilizing an ecological and development per- spective which provide the framework shown below. Providing a systemic view of resiliency through ecological and developmental perspectives rather than the unusual trait assessment of resilience was most appropriate (Polidore, 2004; Walsh, 2006). The supposition of the resiliency framework, typically attentive to children and adolescents, is that adults tend to develop resiliency through relationships over a lifetime. Walsh (1998) contends that when adults learn to cope and adapt through multiple processes rather than a fixed set of attributes, adult resiliency is developed. An ecological perspective acknowledges that adult learning is an evolving process that takes place over one’s lifetime and determines how well one is able to adapt

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176  D. D. JOHNSON

to external processes and environmental influences. Environment influ- ences include such dynamics as work, family, school, and/or larger social systems throughout an individual’s life span (Walsh, 2006).

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self conceptual model in educational settings which can provide a “big picture” to help understand the model as a point of reference. This conceptual model can serve as a bridge between the gap of theoretical models, resiliency and self-determination, and empiri- cal research as a method that proves practical for realistic application in the tasks of research. More so, the major purpose of this chapter is to strengthen and expand the conceptual framework/model for school leadership devel- opment so that it may have more utility as a research and intervention model for educators. Dubin (1978) stated that with this bridge “emphasis is put upon the traffic between theory and research and the essential links that maintain their constant interaction” (p. 2). This functioning bridge could be considered as an interaction between theory and research. The link or bridge between theory and research can be explained through illustrations or drawings to focus attention to the application of the theoretical construct

Developmental Perspective (Life Cycle)

Deeply Committed

Enjoys Change

Bias for Optimism

Positive Relationships

Education Important

Can Control Events

Flexible Locus of Control

Moral/ Spiritual Support

Resilient Educator

Ec olo

gical Perspective

Figure 10.2 Polidore (2004) graphic conceptualization of resilience in education theoretical framework. Source: Polidore (2004). Reprinted with permission.

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  177

model. Quite possibly one goal of scientific research and the justification for publication is the revision or modification in the structure of ideas which may encourage researchers to contribute or extend this conceptual model. An integrated model of resiliency and self-determination in education could provide a new perspective about recruitment, selection, training, and reten- tion of educators, particularly African American teachers and a model to un- derstand the multiple identities that shape school leaders.

The process of developing this conceptual model was similar to Dubin’s (1978) process that identified the following 8 steps: (a) developing the units or structure of the theory, (b) specifying the relationships among the units or structure of the theory, (c) determining the boundaries within which the theory functions, (d) illuminating the systems stars in which the theory is expected to function, (e) specifying the propositions or truth statements about how the theory is expected to operate, (f) characterizing the em- pirical indicators used to make the propositions testable, (g) constructing a hypothesis to predict the values and relationships among units, and (h) conducting research studies to test the predicted values and relationships (Chermack, 2005). Authors Sutton and Staw (1995) contend that empiri- cal evidence can play a pivotal and crucial role in confirming, revising, or discrediting existing theory and in the pursuit of developing a new theory.

After coding the data for units of meaning and then sorting the indi- vidual pieces of meaning into categories, the transcripts were revisited with an eye of identifying “recurring regularities in the data” (Merriam, 2009, p. 135) that could help organize the mass amount of information that had been collected. Once focused on the three distinct research questions as they related to the time periods covered in the study (before, during, and after desegregation), as a research, the process was to step back and view the data from a global perspective. The term “themes” was used to describe the patterns that were found repeatedly within the interview transcriptions. All hypothesized themes were interpreted in the interviews with the partici- pants. The themes were linked to the individual participants’ stories and voices even though their personal experiences were unique and specific to them. Over the course of several weeks, the initial list of themes was reduced into a more rigorous, shorter list of themes. The shorter list of themes included resiliency (autonomy, religion, flexible locus of control, and leader/role model) and themes of self-determination (autonomy, self-realization, self-regulation, and psychological empowerment). Each of these themes was prevalent across the research process.

Essentially, themes emerged to at least some degree of each phase of the research timeline; while participants worked as teachers in segregated schools, while their districts were implementing desegregation plans, and after the teachers worked in desegregated predominantly white schools. In the discussions below, each theme is explained in order to highlight how

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these patterns manifested across the data. However, it was important to be alert to the possibility that patterns would interconnect in the participants’ data that may differ from what was expected. Miles and Huberman (1994) described this encounter with the data as “following up surprises” (p. 270). A cross-case analysis was used to link the categories and to address the re- search questions to see what experiences they held in common. Descriptions and interpretation of the categories were aggregated based on the individ- ual teachers’ interview responses on a case by case basis. Identifying themes allowed a portrait to emerge from the essence of the teachers’ experiences and perspectives. Although the participants in this study discussed and re- lated information specific to a Texas school district, synthesizing the teach- ers’ voices and stories in this manner provided a means for other scholars to compare and contrast events and circumstances in other research sites.

In-depth experiences and perceptions of teachers who taught before, during, and after desegregation was shared through a unique inquiry told in their own voices and through personal and professional stories. Their ex- periences and perceptions were collected, analyzed, and triangulated which led to an emerging theoretical model for a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self. Figure 10.3 represents the model which revealed nine themes from Polidore’s (2004) and Taylor’s (2009) theoretical model of adult resilience with the efficacy theme added. Figure 10.4 presents their model with the added theme of leadership and role model. The themes of resiliency were deeply committed, enjoys change, bias for optimism, flex- ible locus of control, ability to control events, moral and spiritual support, positive relationships, education, and efficacy.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND MODEL VALIDATION AND IMPLICATION

With the increasing demands and stressors from our national-, state-, and local-level accountability policies and standards, educational leaders are of- ten overwhelmed and challenged to remain in the education profession. Theoretical construction serves as the approach between theory and re- search in which either could provide definitive answers to society’s practical and sensible ideas. The following serves as a recommendation of examples of how stakeholders including policymakers, school leaders, and teachers can effectively employ the resiliency and self-determination conceptual framework in schools based on leadership policies.

Policy makers should take a systematic view at teacher hiring, induc- tion, training, and retention processes that includes programs that can ef- fectively recruit and hire teachers that exhibit characteristics of resiliency and self-determination. Teacher recruitment and hiring are complicated

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  179

practices in which pre-employment or university-based programs may not be sufficient in providing the appropriate and significant knowledge and skills required for successful and sustainable teaching. Effective recruit- ment of educators who are resilient and self-determined can improve the performance of beginning teachers which decreases the loss of teachers and increases student achievement (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011).

When school district leadership policies and policy makers focus on teacher support that assist teachers with developing a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self for professional learning, teaching, and teacher leadership development opportunities which improves qual- ity and positively impacts student learning. Policy makers should consider the conceptual framework as a reliable approach and as a valuable com- ponent that creates resilient and self-determined educators. For example,

Developmental Perspective (Life Cycle)

Deeply Committed

Enjoys Change

Bias for Optimism

Positive Relationships

Efficacy

Education Important

Can Control Events

Flexible Locus of Control

Moral/ Spiritual Support

Resilient Educator

Ec olo

gical Perspective

Figure 10.3 Polidore (2004) and Taylor (2009) graphic conceptualization of resilience in education theoretical framework. Source: Taylor (2009). Reprinted with permission.

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180  D. D. JOHNSON

leadership policy and policy making stakeholders should incorporate the resiliency and self-determination model as part of the interview protocol or guidelines that considers state required, highly qualified teacher expecta- tions. Another example for policy makers and school leadership policies would be to strategically plan for the costs associated with return on invest- ments for induction or teacher development programs for new teachers. Several studies have calculated that between 40% and 50% of new teachers leave within the first 5 years of entry into teaching.

By creating policies utilizing the resiliency and self-determination con- ceptual framework directed at new teachers through formal induction, mentoring, and tiered credentialing, the goal of retaining teachers ensures teacher effectiveness, warrants school leadership accountability, endorses student learning, and minimizes hiring costs. Carver and Feiman-Nemser

Developmental Perspective (Life Cycle)

Deeply Committed

Enjoys Change

Bias for Optimism

Positive Relationships

Leader and Role ModelEfficacy

Education Important

Can Control Events

Flexible Locus of Control

Moral/ Spiritual Support

Resilient Educator

Ec olo

gical Perspective

Figure 10.4 Johnson (2015) addition to the existing model of Polidore (2004) and Taylor (2009) graphic conceptualization of resilience in education theoretical framework. Sources: Polidore (2004)and Taylor (2009). Adapted with permission.

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  181

(2009) report that long-term investment including professional develop- ment in purposeful policies which support teacher recruitment, hiring, training, and retention for teacher development are positively linked to gains in student achievement. When school districts utilize the constructs of the conceptual framework of a holistic approach to adaptation and a uni- fied sense of self that incorporates the themes of adult resilience and self- determination, they may find that their teachers could experience more professional, personal, and social success. On the same note, school dis- tricts should look for and consider this conceptual model when consider- ing recruitment, training, and retention of school leaders.

The theory behind induction holds that teaching is complex work; pre- employment teacher preparation is not really sufficient to provide all of the knowledge and skills necessary to successful teaching. A significant portion of training can only be acquired on the job. The goals of the support programs are to improve the performance and retention of beginning teachers—not only to prevent the loss of high-quality teachers; but to improve teacher ef- fectiveness and to develop human capital an asset with the goal of improving student learning and academic success. (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011). Utilizing this conceptual model provides a nexus that supports the retention of class- room teachers. Teachers and school leaders could use the model as a method to identify those characteristics necessary to remain in the career.

By understanding, the processes of resiliency and self-determination, that is the ability of adapting to adversities and challenges through problem solv- ing, the implications for teachers with the help of school leaders, would be to learn how remaining confident and committed to their work increases their intentions to remain in the career. The processes of resilience and self-deter- mination practiced through the understanding of a sense of autonomy (con- trol events), efficacy (psychological empowerment), self-realization (religion or spirituality), and self-regulation (flexible locus of control) when innova- tively linked, creates a level of synergism that helps teachers persists through demanding and potentially problematic circumstances. More so, school lead- ers should consider potential sources of support for new teachers—hiring practices, relationships with colleagues, and curriculum—all found within earlier research, to influence new teacher satisfaction with their work, their sense of success with their students, and their eventual retention with their teaching career (Johnson, Kardos, Kauffman, Liu, & Donaldson, 2004). This discovery implies that by having a clearer understanding of resiliency and self-determination factors as a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self could influence teachers and school leaders to increase teacher retention and decrease teacher turnover.

Teachers play an important role in the development of our children and future productive citizens in this country. The strategies and processes in the recruitment, training, and retention of teachers and school leaders

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182  D. D. JOHNSON

could greatly impact student outcomes and school effectiveness. Adminis- trators should encourage teachers to not only provide responsive pedago- gy; but they should also encourage teachers to be great leaders and positive role models. When school districts utilize the constructs of the theoretical model of a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self that incorporates the themes of resilience and self-determination, they may find that their students could experience more academic and social success.

Recruiting and training teachers and school leaders is crucial in the de- velopment of students to meet the changing needs of our society. School districts should recruit school leaders and teachers who exhibit not only the qualities of an effective teacher/leader, but they should recruit teachers/ leaders who exhibit characteristics of a resilient and self-determined teach- er/leaders. Teachers and school leaders can be trained to look for and to nurture resiliency and self-determination in all students, especially students of color, students with learning and physical disabilities, and students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Unfortunately, teacher retention continues to be one of the nation’s most significant struggles in education. Three out of five teachers leave the career within the first 5 years in the profession due to factors including recruitment, hiring, and training practices as well as the lack of support (Darling-Hammond, 2001; Ingersoll & Strong, 2011). Those familiar with this train of thought may be interested to know that high quality teacher induction practices of selecting and training teachers who exhibit resiliency and self-determination could po- tentially improve educators professional learning, teaching effectiveness, and leadership capacity. Both teachers and principals could significantly benefit from communicating the conceptual framework for resiliency and self-deter- mination as a strategy for improving teacher performance, increasing teacher retention, providing professional and personal well-being, transmitting a posi- tive culture on the campus and within the educational system, and satisfying district requirements and state mandates (Glassford & Salinitri, 2007). For example, teacher performance could be improved when principals are aware of teachers’ characteristics of self-efficacy, particularly when they are teaching in high need areas. Teachers who exhibit high levels of self-efficacy are more than likely to remain on campus rather than transfer or leave. Principals can use this aspect of resiliency to empower teachers support and motivate other teachers to stay when they might consider leaving.

Utilizing a holistic approach to adaptation and unified sense of self dur- ing challenging situations helps to ensure successful professional learn- ing, teaching, and intentions to remain in education. Schools and school districts that are struggling academically should not also be faced with the struggle of retaining teachers. Ingersoll and Smith (2003) agree that high quality teacher support could cut teacher turnover dramatically. For instance, SDT conceives that school environments that support teachers’

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  183

needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness will enhance teachers’ commitment, engagement, and intentions to stay in the career (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Resiliency advances that high levels of positive self-efficacy, au- tonomy, and constructive views of education also stimulates teachers’ will- ingness to remain in the career. For example, incorporating high quality professional development that does not narrow teacher professional discre- tion, focus on lower-order learning, conflicts with building or constructing flexible learning opportunities, or stifles autonomy help to influence teach- ers’ professional learning, teaching, and leadership opportunities (Achin- stein, Ogawa, & Speiglman, 2004). Consistent with the framework, it seems clear that resiliency and self-determination suggests that teachers’ inten- tions to stay in the career could improve with organizational conditions such as effective and quality professional development and encouraging leadership behaviors.

More so, universities could use the constructs of the conceptual model to effectively train teachers and school administrators to be resilient and self-de- termined leaders and role models in the classroom and on campuses. Univer- sities could use the constructs of the theoretical model of a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self to effectively train teachers to be resilient and self-determined leaders and role models in the classroom. Effec- tively trained teachers modeling resiliency and self-determination could have a domino effect for successful schools and successful students. The attributes of resiliency and self-determination should be a part of the development of productive and successful students. Over time, the synergy of this approach will help develop self-determined and resilient citizens.

The knowledge of the experiences and perspectives shared between the African American women teachers as participants and me as the researcher becomes an opportunity for growth in cultural knowledge, understand- ing, and education that can benefit a wider audience outside the African American community. Hopefully, this research will contribute to scholarly work about public school teachers that highlights the intersections of race, gender, and politics as they pertain to public school teachers, particularly African American teachers. It is my intention to bring about the opportu- nity for increased educational and cultural discourse from my participants who shared their experiences and memories specific to them because of the historical era through which they lived and worked. This historical era was essential in what they experienced and the impact of race, gender, and the social, political, and cultural nuances of recruiting, training, and retain- ing of African American teachers. A discussion of the implications of the conceptual model of a holistic approach to adaptation and a unified sense of self was viewed as the possible needs of the learning community that includes teachers, administrators, and universities. With the increasing de- mands and stressors from our national, state, and local level accountability

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184  D. D. JOHNSON

policies and standards, teachers are overwhelmed and challenged to re- main in the teaching profession.

As a result of this study and the lack of scholarly research related to the phenomena of resiliency and self-determination, the following recommen- dations would be beneficial for scholars to continue the research initiated in this inquiry:

1. Conduct more in-depth research focused on one or more selected participants from this study as a documentary.

2. Conduct quantitative analysis of the information collected in the study to aggregate the data on multiple levels and to provide thicker descriptions.

3. Conduct interviews with other African American women teachers who left school districts with similar characteristics to those in the study to determine if their experiences were transferred to other school districts.

4. Conduct interviews of other stakeholders who were present dur- ing the same time period that the three African American women teachers worked in the school district (include African American men, White women, White men, and any other races/ethnicities who were teachers and administrators).

5. Conduct research on African American women teachers’ experi- ences in suburban school districts during the same time period.

6. Conduct case study research of the lives and experiences of African American women teachers in both segregated and desegregated schools located in small communities elsewhere in the country to help fill the gap in literature.

7. Examine the impact of desegregation of the African American community (students, parents, and stakeholders).

8. Examine the re-segregation within urban, suburban, and rural school districts.

9. Examine the impact of recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of African American teachers after desegregation.

These studies would contribute to the emerging model of a holistic ap- proach to adaptation and a unified sense of self as a conceptual framework and model of resilience and self-determination to help shape school lead- ers specifically by looking at the experiences that mirror the theoretical frameworks of resiliency and self-determination.

SUMMARY

Rarely have the voices of those who have been marginalized or devalued been included in the strategies to transform school districts to address the

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A Holistic Approach to Adaptation and a Unified Sense of Self  185

issues and challenges faced by teachers in public schools across the country. The African American women teacher participants from this study were able to adapt and to develop a unified sense of self to resist the oppression of the social and historical politics that hid and masked persistent preju- dices, discrimination, and social injustice that each of these women teach- ers encountered and endured as they transitioned before, during, and after desegregation in a Southern rural school district in Texas. These experi- ences help to support a comprehensible conceptual framework/model of resiliency and self-determination that seeks to identify and articulate the underlying psychological and developmental mechanisms that underpin optimal human functioning, adaptation, and positive psychosocial develop- ment required for today’s school leaders. Today’s and tomorrow’s school leaders must be able to employ and utilize the practical outcomes of this model to examine the direct measures of ecological and organismic-dia- lectical perspectives that affect school leadership development, which in turn will provide important information about how practitioners can adapt, modify, and improve the quality of educational leadership programs. We need to conduct theoretically driven causal inferences regarding school leadership. Therefore, this template is offered as a conceptual model of school leadership development that focuses on racial and social justice as a potential theoretical framework to guide such research.

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Taylor, J. L. (2009). The teaching experiences of African American women before, during, and after desegregation, in the rural south: A narrative inquiry through the lens of resilience and Black feminist theory (Doctoral dissertation). Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing. (UMI No. 3362001)

Taylor, J. L. (2013). The power of resilience: A theoretical model to empower, en- courage and retain teachers. The Qualitative Report, 18(35), 1–25. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol18/iss35/2

Walsh, F. (1998). Strengthening family resilience. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Walsh, F. (2006). Strengthening family resilience (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford

Press. Whetten, D. A. (1989). What constitutes a theoretical contribution? The Academy of

Management Review, 14(4), 490–495. Whitney-Thomas, J., & Molony, M. (2001, Spring). “Who I am and what I want”:

Adolescents’ self-determination and struggles. Exceptional Children, 67(3), 375–389.

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Attachment 2


Research Roundtable Lynne M. Connelly

Use of Theoretical Frameworks in Research

R eaders of research reports probably have noticed some studies explicitly name a theory that guided the research and some do not. It is not always clear in reports what role the theory or theoretical framework played (or did not play) in the research. In this issue, Parker (2014) outlined a study about decision making by medical-surgical nurses when they activate rapid response teams. In the report, in the section called "Nurse Decision Making," the author concisely discussed theories of deci­ sion making and the models of decision making that oth­ ers have used to examine the topic with nurses. In addi­ tion, Parker used an instrument to measure decision mak­ ing based on these various decision-making models. This report is a useful example of how theory guides research and also makes sense of the subsequent findings.

What Is a theory? First, various terms are used to refer to the theoretic

basis of a study, including theory, theoretical framework, conceptual framework, and models. Theory is a set of inter­ related concepts (or variables) and definitions that are formed into propositions or hypotheses to specify the relationship among the constructs (Creswell, 2013). A for­ mal theory is well-developed and is useful to predict behavior or outcomes. A theoretical framework or con­ ceptual framework is less formal and typically less devel­ oped than a formal theory. Such a framework often is use­ ful when exploratory work is being done to expand the theoretical ideas. A conceptual model usually is focused more narrowly and structured more loosely than theories, and does not link concepts (Polit & Beck, 2014). For example, the Lauri and Salantera (2002) instrument is based on a model that describes how nurses make deci­ sions but does not predict how effective each type is in making decisions. For the purposes of this column, I use the general word theory to encompass all these terms.

In simple terms, a theory is a representation of a por­ tion of reality that helps us make sense of complex phe­ nomena. It is not the reality itself; it is a tool for better understanding. Theories are not right or wrong but some theories offer a better fit for particular situations. Each theory can provide a different lens for looking at a prob­ lem, allowing it to be examined from different perspec­ tives for full understanding of all its facets (Reeves, Albert, Kuper, & Hodges, 2008).

Lynne M. Connelly, PhD, RN, is Associate Professor and Director of Nursing, Benedictine College, Atchison, KS. She is Research Editor for MEDSURG Nursing.

MEDSURG nursing . May-june 2014 • Vol. 23/No. 3

Theory in a study can be stated clearly or it can be implied (Bond et al., 2011). For example, in physiological studies, the framework usually is drawn from current understanding of physiology and pathophysiology. It often is presented as the state of science in a particular area. In more abstract areas of research, specific theory can be useful to frame the problem, develop an interven­ tion, and guide the research study.

A theory about a phenomenon, such as nurse decision making, parsimoniously explains how nurses make deci­ sions in the practice setting. Each theory will have a num­ ber of interrelated concepts. Concepts are abstract repre­ sentations of specific parts of the theory (Polit & Beck, 2014). In the Parker (2014) study, the decision-making models described how different people have different ways of making decisions. Some people are intuitive deci­ sion makers, some are analytical decision makers, and others use both types of decision making. While it can seem even more complex, this concise depiction helps us understand the process of making a decision and measure how each nurse in a study normally makes decisions.

Guiding Research A theory should not be added to a study because the

researcher was told in school that a theory is needed for a research study. A clear connection should exist among the theory, the problem or phenomenon being studied, and the research method. For example, Parker (2014) used an instmment developed by Lauri and Salantera (2002) based on the various models of decision making. Using a valid instmment based on theory allows the researcher to make comparisons between the results of different studies that otherwise could not be made if the researcher used a separate instmment. In addition, when conducting the study, the researcher also is testing the theory to determine if it works in the study population.

In Parker's (2014) study, a factor analysis showed items measuring analytic decision making correlated with each other and intuitive decision-making items correlated with each other; however, each of these did not correlate significantly with the other type. In other words, intuitive items were connected with other intuitive items, but not with analytic items. The same is tme for analytic items. This supports the validity of the instmment and also sup­ ports the theory that guided development of this instru­ ment. When we review the results, then, we can have some confidence they are measuring aspects of the theo­ ry appropriately. In addition, investigators should make connections between their results and the theory clear in

187

Research R oundtable

their discussion of the findings. They should relate their results to other research in which the theory was used. Parker compared his results to results by Lauri and Salantera (2002).

In another example, Yoder (2005) described how the Roy Adaption Model was used in several studies: a study of quality of life in patients with cancer, a study of exer­ cise intervention in patients with cancer, and another study of clinical outcomes in patients with burns. Yoder presented figures outlining each aspect of the theory and how each aspect was measured. Each of the studies pro­ vided results helpful to patients, but they also provided support for the Roy Adaptation Model. The figures in this article are useful examples of how to make clear connec­ tions between concepts within a theory or model and the measurement instruments. This can be particularly useful in research proposals.

Theory also is used to guide the development of effec­ tive interventions for patient care. In this case, theorists may use both theory and empirical results to suggest one variable (the intervention) can have a positive effect on another variable (e.g., a person's behavior or physical outcome). If a theory indicates, for example, that teach­ ing a patient about his or her disease will improve self­ management, then we could conduct an intervention study to test that proposition. Theory also may provide us with other variables that can moderate this effect (Polit & Beck, 2014).

O t h e r Issu es

When research results are not what were expected, two reasons are possible: either the research design or measure­ ment of variables was flawed, or the theory guiding the research did not fit the situation or population. In the case of an inappropriate theory, the researcher may be able to suggest modifications to the theory. The modifications then would need to be tested. Useful theory is refined by this iterative process (Johnson & Webber, 2010).

In qualitative research, theory can have several purpos­ es. General theories, such as interactionism and critical theory, can be used to guide qualitative research (Reeves et al., 2008). These are theories that conceptualize how we should study phenomena (Polit & Beck, 2014; Sandelowski, 1993). On the other hand, qualitative inves­ tigators often want to generate rather than test theory based on what they find with their particular informants. Prior to and during data collection, researchers often avoid substantive theory about the specific phenomena to prevent being influenced by prior theorizing about the topic. Thus, the theory generated in qualitative research is grounded in data that come from directly observing and talking to the participants (Creswell, 2013).

This short column can not cover all the nuances of theory and research. Readers can refer to the references cited or to a good research textbook to obtain more infor­ mation. Because theory is important to conducting and understanding research findings, readers should under­ stand what theory is and how a researcher can use it effec­ tively to guide a study. i ’»:i

REFERENCES Bond, A., Eshah, N., Bani-Khaled, M., Hamad, A., Habashneh, S.,

Kataua’, H..... Maabreh, R. (2011). Who uses nursing theory? A univariate descriptive analysis of five years’ research articles. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 25(2), 404-409.

Creswell, J.W. (2013). The use of theory. In J.W. Creswell (Ed.) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.) (pp. 51-76). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Johnson, B.M., & Webber, P.B. (2010). An introduction to theory and rea­ soning in nursing. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Lauri, S., & Salantera, S. (2002). Developing an instrument to measure and describe clinical decision-making in different nursing fields. Journal of Professional Nursing, 18(30), 93-100.

Parker, C.G. (2014). Decision making models used by medical-surgical nurses to activate rapid response teams. MEDSURG Nursing, 23(3), 159-164.

Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2014). Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: Wolter Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Reeves, S„ Albert, M., Kuper, A., & Hodges, B.D. (2008). Why use theo­ ries in qualitative research? BMJ, 337, 631-634.

Sandelowski, M. (1993). Theory unmasked: The uses and guises of the­ ory in qualitative research. Research in Nursing and Health, 16, 213-218.

Yoder, L.H. (2005). Using the Roy Adaptation Model: A program of research in a military research service. Nursing Science Quarterly, 18(A), 321-323.

M E D S u R G

Persistent Differences Found in Preventive Services Use w ith in the U.S. Population

Large differences in adult use of preventive serv­ ices persisted from 1996 through 2008 across popu­ lation groups defined by poverty, race/ethnicity, insurance coverage, and geography. Researchers examined trends in five preventive services: general checkups, blood pressure screening, blood choles­ terol screening, Pap smears, and mammograms.

Among the population of nonelderly adults (ages 19-64 years), the proportion of the population having a general checkup increased 1.1% from 1996/1998 to 2007/2008; the proportion of those with blood cholesterol screening within the prior 5 years increased by 8.2%. In contrast, the percentage of the population having blood pressure screening or mammograms (among women) increased mod­ estly between the first pair of time points, but remained essentially constant thereafter. Finally, the percentage of women having Pap smears increased modestly (by 2.1%) from 1996/1998 to 2002/2003, but decreased by about a percentage point subsequently to the end of the study period.

More details are in Abdus & Selden (2013). Preventive services for adults: How have differences across subgroups changed over the past decade? Medical Care, 51(11), 999-1007. EB3I

188 MayJune 2014 • Vol. 23/No. 3 MEDSURG UXJHSIMG,

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