HOMELESSNESSAND THE EFFECTS ON STUDENT’s BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES IN THE SCHOOL SETTING An Action Research Project By Tiffany Green EDUC 702.22, Fall 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS • Abstract • Introduction • Statement of the Problem • Review of Literature • Statement of the Hypothesis • Methods • Participants (N) • Instrument(s) • Experimental Design • Procedure
TABLE OF CONTENTS • Results • Discussion • Implications • References • Appendix(ces) • Appendix A- Consent form • Appendix B- Pre-Student Survey • Appendix C- Teacher-Student Survey • Parent-Child Survey • Appendix E- Post Student Survey
Statement of the Problem • Homelessness is on the rise due to the economic recession affecting the nation. It is at its highest ever in NYC in over 25 years. As a result, there is an influx of individuals and families in the shelter system due to the lack of housing and financial resources (WWW.NYC.GOV) • School aged children lack the resources, support and services necessary to actively succeed in school and thus, their behaviors and attitudes are negatively effected by the lack of school advocates and parental involvement concerning their needs.
Theorists • Learning requires social interaction and collaboration. - J. Lave Hierarchy of Needs - A. Maslow
REVIEW OF LITERATURE: FACTS • Homelessness is a global problem that is growing and effecting the education of school aged children on a greater scale. There is a recurrent used for public shelters for 8,251 children in NYC linked to child welfare services. There is a need for community collaboration and increase in services. (Brodbar, Culhane, Metraux, & Park 2004) • Several cities have be noted as developing and implementing preventive strategies and activities for homeless youth in school. (DeSilva, Nabors & Proesher, 2001)
REVIEW OF LITERATURE • The issue of homelessness has created many behavioral issues and attitudes that have become challenges for students who are at a higher risk of emotional, physical and social problems. (Risko & Walker-Dalhouse, 2008) • Informational guides are provided to school officials on ways to educate and treat homeless students in the public school setting. (Seifert & Stauffer, 2000)
CURRENT STRATEGIES • Character Education implementation in classrooms have begun across the nation. (Brimi, 2009) • Counseling as a strategy for helping these students and ways to develop positive peer and staff interaction. (Daniels, 1995) • There is a link to the importance of dramatic role play in literature and expressing the emotions and imaginative play of homeless children in shelters. (Kraus, 2006)
CURRENT PRACTICES • With the use of technology students are able to engage in virtual problem solving strategies through role-play. This helps to develop skills in order to resolve problems. (Dracup, 2008) • Picture books encourage discussion about cultural and behavioral norms and great for role play and social interaction. They engage young readers to think critically, analytically and foster character education principles. (O’Neil, 2010)
Statement of the Hypothesis • HR1: Implementing character education lessons over a three week period three times a day for 30 minutes to 10 students at PS X who live in a NYC shelter will positively increase their behavior and attitudes towards learning in the classroom.
Methods • Participants (N): The students for this study were selected from an increasing number of homeless youth in the 4th grade at PS X in Brooklyn, New York. The population is 50% boys and 50% girls of either African American or Hispanic decent. Ten students were randomly selected from a list of homeless students and asked to participate in the study for a period of 3 weeks, 3 times a day for 30 minute intervals. In addition, each student’s classroom teacher as well as one parent was surveyed.
Instruments • Several measurement instruments will be used to determine the attitudes and behaviors of these 10 homeless students • Personal student surveys: Pre and Post • Teacher- student behavioral assessment survey • Parent- child behavioral assessment survey
Research Design • Single Subject Designs/Single Case Experimental: One Group Pretest-Posttest Design. • Single Group: Single group is pretested (O), exposed to a treatment (X), and posttested (O). • Symbolic Design: OXO
Threats to Internal Validity • History- Poor student attendance, constant lateness, illness or poor health, poor behavior, student outburst and disruption, child neglect in the home, drugs or alcohol abuse in home, unemployed parent(s). • Maturation- Lack of interest and engagement due to age and behavioral/emotional issues. Possible repetition of the fourth grade. • Testing- Familiarity with survey question content on both the pre-surveys and post-surveys could alter results. • Instrumentation- Both pre and post student and parent surveys will be distributed by the assigned forth grade classroom teacher of each student in the experiment. • Selection- Non random group selection. • Selection -Maturation Interaction- Students have different ages and gender
Threats to External Validity • Generalizable Conditions- Providing a safe and stable environment for this population of children in school will allow them to adjust to the teachers’ teaching style and implementation of character education on a daily basis. • Pretest-Treatment- The exposure of the presurvey to all of the participants (students, teachers and parents) will possibly yield inflated results after administering the post survey. • Selection-Treatment Interaction- The students were not randomly selected. They were chosen because of their homeless living situations. • Experimental Effects- Active elements: The researcher may have known prior history of homelessness from the teachers who noted students who were homeless more than once or for a longer period of time than their peers.
Procedures • Action Researcher spoke with assistant principle about potential intervention strategy • Ten fourth- grade homeless students were recommended • Pre-Student survey administered immediately • Parent-Child survey sent home and returned • Implementation of character education intervention • Post- Student and Teacher-Student survey given • Analysis of results by Action Researcher
Pre-Student Survey Results Frequency Chart Mode = 2 (Agree)
PARENT- CHILD SURVEY RESULTS Frequency Chart Mode= 2 (Agree) and 3(Disagree)
POST-STUDENT SURVEY Frequency Chart Mode= 3(Disagree)
Post-Student Survey Results Frequency Chart Mode=3 (Disagree)
TEACHER SURVEY RESULTS Frequency Chart Mode= 1 (Strongly Agree)
CORRELATION DATA Frequency Chart RXY=0.174964
CORRELATION DATA Frequency Chart RXY= 0.086146
Discussion • The results indicate that the implementation of character education in the classroom yielded slightly positive results as supported by available research. • Feedback to the Action Researcher from both the student and teacher surveys determined that they both agreed that the strategy was effective. • With increased time and daily practice character education can be incorporated in the school environment to promote social interaction and positive behavior modification.
IMPLICATIONS • The research suggest that with more time given, the lessons of character education could have a more effective and long term effect on students and teachers. • In addition, more research needs to be done show how character education would be implemented, modified and evaluated for the special needs population. • Does socio-economic status and parental educational level have and effect on character education of a student?
References • Alvarez, C., Claro, S., Gomez, F., McFarlance, A., & Nussbaum, M. (2009). Technology as Small Group Face-to-Face Collaboration Scaffolding. Computers & Education, 52(1), 147-153 • Beckingham, B., Butler, D., Jarvis-Selinger, S., & Novak-Lauscher, H. (2004). Collaboration and Self Regulation in Teacher’s Professional Development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(5), 435-455 • Bogart, J. & Zeldin, S. (1990). Education and Community Support for Homeless Children and Youth: Profiles of 15 Innovative and Promising Approaches. Policy Studies Associates, 42 • Brimi, H. (2009). Academic Instructors or Moral Guides? Moral Education in America and the Teacher's Dilemma. Clearing House, 82(3), 125-136 • Da Costa Nunez, R. (1994). Meeting the Educational Needs of Homeless Children and Families. Social Work in Education, 16(1), 21-30 • Daniels, J. (1995). Humanistic Interventions for Homeless Students: Identifying and Reducing Barriers to their Personal Development. Journal of Humanistic Education and Development, 33(4), 164-72 • DeSilva, M., Nabors,L., & Proesher, E. (2001) School-Based Mental Health Prevention Activities for At Risk-Youth. Child & Youth Care Forum, 30(1), 3-18 • Dracup, M. (2008). Role Play in Blended Learning: A Case Study Exploring the Impact of Story and Other Elements.Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24(3), 294-310 • Dupper, D. & Halter, A. (1994). Barriers in Educating Children from Homeless Shelters: Perspectives of School and Shelter Staff. Social Work in Education, 16(1), 39-45 • Ferguson, D. (2000). Re-examining At Risk. Curriculum Administrator, 36(9), 79-84
REFERENCES • Garofano-Brown, A, Minton, C.B., Ray, Dee C., & Schottelkorb. (2010). Single-Case Design in Child Counseling Research: Implications for Counselor Education.Counselor Education & Supervision, 49(3), 193-208 • Goossens, F. & Olthof, T. (2008). Bullying and the Need to Belong: Early Adolescents’ Bullying-Related Behavior and the Acceptance They Desire and Receive from Particular Classmates. Social Development, 17(1), 24-46 • Hall, R.A. (2007). Homeless Students and the Public School System. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 73(3), 9-12. • Holt, Melissa K., Kaufman Kantor, G., Finkelhor, D. (2009). Parent/Child Concordance about Bullying Involvement and Family Characteristics r elated to Bullying and Peer Victimization. Journal of School Violence, 8(1), 42-63 • Howard, E. & Prince, D. (2002). Children and Their Basic Needs. Early Childhood Education Journal, 30(1), 22-31 • Hvezda, J., Lester,D., Plourde,R. & Sullivan, S. (1983). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Psychological Health. Journal of General Psychology, 109(1), 83-86 • Kraus, J. (2006). Playing the Play: What the Children Want. Language Arts, 83(5), 413-21 • Moore, Jan. (2005). Unaccompanied and Homeless Youth Review of Literature. The National Center for Homeless Education. 30 • Nurss, J. (1993). More than Babysitting: A Homeless Children’s Day Shelter Program. Children Today, 22(2), 7-9 • O’Neil, K. (2010). Once upon Today: Teaching for Social Justice with Postmodern Picturebooks. Children’s Literature in Education, 41(1), 40-51 Park, J.M., Metraux, S., Brodbar, G., & Culhane, D.P. (2004). Child Welfare Involvement among Children in Homeless Families. Child Welfare, 83(5), 423-436
REFERENCES • Perks, C. A. (1999). Get a Life!. Teaching Pre K-8, (30)1,74-76 • Seifert, E. & Stauffer, C. (2000). Homeless, Not Hopeless. An Informational Guide for School Personnel: Understanding and Educating Homeless Students. ERICEBSCOhost, 47 • Sinatra, R. (2007). Literacy Success with Homeless Children. The Journal of At Risk-Issues, 13(2), 1-9 • Walker-Dalhouse, D., & Risko, V.J. (2008). Homelessness, Poverty and Children’s Literacy Development. The Reading Teacher, 62(1), 84-6.
Appendix A: Consent Form • Dear Principal, • I am writing to inform you that I am completing my graduate work in the Childhood Education Program at Brooklyn College and I am interested in performing an action research project at your school for the completion of my Masters degree in the Fall 2010. The purpose of my research is to determine the attitudes and behaviors of homeless students in the public school setting. My research will require me to work with a controlled group of 20 homeless 4th grade students over a course of 3 weeks 3 times a day for 30 minute periods. I will be using detailed personal surveys from these students, their parents and their teachers as my instrument of measurement. This attempt will help me to gather the most accurate information about student attitudes and behaviors toward school and the services that can be render to help them achieve. • All of the results obtained from the participants will be keep private and anonymous. The results gathered will help me get a clearer look into the minds of homeless students and make an attempt at getting the personal services that they need to succeed in school and ultimately in life. • As a result I am asking for your permission to carry out my action research project at your school during the new 2010 school year in September. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation and support in this matter. Please contact me if you have any questions. • Sincerely, • Tiffany Green
Appendix B: Student Survey • (To be given to all 20 participants prior to action research) • Directions: Please write the number on the line that matches the most accurate statement. • Part A: Demographics • Gender: (1) Male (2) Female ____ • Age: (1) 7 years old (2) 8 years old (3) 9 years old (4) 10 years old ____ • Race: (1) Caucasian (2) African-American (3) Hispanic • (4) Asian (5) Mixed Heritage (6) Other ____ • Number of people in the household (including yourself): • 2 people (2) 3 people (3) 4 people (4) 5 or more people ____ • Part B: Personal Feelings • Directions: Please write the number on the line that matches how you feel about the statement. • 1 2 3 4 • Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree • I like going to school. ___________ • My teacher makes me feel safe in school. ___________
Student Survey (cont’d) • I think that I am a good student. ___________ • I feel good about myself. ___________ • I get along well with my teacher and classmates. ___________ • I like where I live. ___________ • I like to talk about my feelings. ___________ • When I get mad I misbehave. ___________ • My parents help me with my homework. ___________ • I am respectful and fair to others. ___________
Appendix C:Teacher-Student Survey • Teacher-Student Behavioral Assessment Survey on Attitudes and Behavior • (To be given to the teacher of all 20 participants prior to action research) • Directions: Please write the number on the line that matches the most accurate statement. • 1 2 3 4 • Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree • I know the signs of a struggling student. _______ • I talk to all my students individually for at least 5 • minutes a day every day. _______ • I am an advocate for character education and teach it in my classroom every day. _______ • I have tried to create a classroom that is safe and comfortable for my students • to learn and share their feelings. ________
Teacher-Student Survey (cont’d) • At least 25% of my students are homeless. _______ • My students are fair and respectful to their peers and towards adults. _______ • I encourage parent and/or family involvement. _______ • Overall, my class is well- behaved. _______ • I attend school workshops to learn how to assess my student’s behaviors. _______ • I collaborate with other teachers and school officials such as counselors to • share ideas and intervention techniques. _______ • My students never fight or argue. _______ • I have seen great improvement in the behavior and interaction of my students. _______ • My students have learned to practice self control and redirect their maladaptive • behavior. _______ • I am a great model for the principles of character education. _______ • I inform my student’s parents of the benefits of character education. _______
Appendix D: Parent-Child Survey • Parent-Child Behavioral Assessment Survey on Attitudes and Behavior • (To be given to the parent of all 20 participants prior to action research) • Directions: Please write the number on the line that matches the most accurate statement. • 1 2 3 4 • Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree • I am involved in the education of my child. ______ • I have an open relationship with my child’s teacher. ______ • My children are well behaved. ______ • I talk to my child about his/her feelings and how to deal with themwithout • arguing or fighting. ______ • I teach my children principles of fairness and respect. ______ • I have gotten good reports about my child’s academic and behavior from their • teacher. ______
Parent-Child Survey (cont’d) • My child and I have a great relationship. ______ • I encourage my child to stay in school and pursue his/her • goals in life. ______ • My children do not fight with or argue with their peers. ______ • My children do not fight or argue with each other. ______