Mathematics and science acceleration in grade eight: School leaders' perceptions and satisfaction

Kenneth Graham, Fordham University


Shifts in attitudes regarding academic program accessibility to provide the most rigorous academic opportunities to all students will not occur smoothly without departmental level leaders who believe in the potential benefits of accelerating larger numbers of students. Without the support and the belief of the department level leadership, practices such as open enrollment and universal acceleration that target school equity will be doomed to failure. This study was conducted using a questionnaire developed by the researcher called the Perceptions of Acceleration and Leadership Survey. The survey was distributed to all math and science department leaders within a suburban region of New York. The survey sought to determine how the perceptions of acceleration, job satisfaction, self-efficacy, and role longevity for the department level leaders are impacted by their personal demographics, professional characteristics, and community characteristics. The study did not reveal any statistically significant differences among department level leaders' personal, professional, and community characteristics with respect to perceptions of acceleration. There were significant differences for job satisfaction, self-efficacy, and role longevity for several intervening and independent variables within the study. Statistically significant correlations were found between beliefs in college preparation and perceptions of acceleration as well as relationships with the community and perceptions of acceleration. The results indicate the importance of hiring department leaders who recognize the potential for accelerating more students, hiring more ethnically diverse candidates for these leadership positions, affording department level leaders with significant professional development, and evaluation of administrative structures to maximize student success.^

Subject Area

Education, Leadership|Education, Sciences

Recommended Citation

Graham, Kenneth, "Mathematics and science acceleration in grade eight: School leaders' perceptions and satisfaction" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3559255.