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Perceptions of teachers regarding high school personalization programs

Jacqueline Edna Ash, Johnson & Wales University


A student centered, personalized learning environment is a prerequisite for student learning (Sizer, 2004). Research indicates that students who are connected to school have higher academic performance and better school attendance (Klem & Connell, 2004). The percentage of disengaged high school students in the United States is at an alarming rate of 60% (Blum, 2004). The current high school reform movement has recognized the need to connect students to their schools by ensuring that every student is known well by at least one adult (Breaking Ranks II, 2004). The purpose of this mixed-method multiple case study was to investigate teachers' perceptions of the impact of their schools' personalization program on student performance. The study investigated the key components that factor into the design, implementation, and continuation of an effective high school personalization program. Teachers from two public high schools in one southern New England urban district participated in this project. The sample is comprised of teachers (N=57) who responded to a survey questionnaire. In addition, a subset of teachers (n=8) participated in one-on-one interviews. Data from the surveys were analyzed using mean, frequencies and percents. Interview data were analyzed to develop and report themes to assist in the survey data interpretations. The results of this study indicate that teachers believe that a well designed personalization program can positively affect student performance. The study revealed that in order to have a viable program, strong communication must exist between the teachers, central administration, and the Department of Education. Both central administration and the Department of Education must not only articulate their requirements but they must allow each individual school the latitude and opportunity to design a personalization program that reflects the school population. These findings validated the information found in the literature on personalizing the high school experience for all students. The results outlined in this study may play a crucial role in helping school leaders recognize the importance of relationship building in relation to student performance and the steps to building an effective personalization program.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Ash, Jacqueline Edna, "Perceptions of teachers regarding high school personalization programs" (2007). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3270291.