Selected school principals perceptions of adjustment and academic concerns of highly mobile student populations: A comparative study of migrant student and military mobile student populations

Joan Lucia Montgomery, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

This study compared perceptions of school principals on adjustment and academic educational needs of highly mobile students, where highly mobile includes migrant students and students who are of military families. Leithwood and Aitken (1995) reported that schools in general experience an inordinate amount of pressure stemming from justifiable concerns that the potential of students were not being maximized and the methods used were ineffective. These concerns, coupled with the element of student mobility, further complicate the principal's ability to alleviate the negative adjustment experiences and academic failures that are frequently experienced by students in new educational settings. As educational policies are developed, it is important for school principals to plan strategically to address the adjustment and academic concerns that impact the educational needs of all students. ^ The participants in this study were 151 public school principals who service military dependent youths and 195 public school principals who service migrant students in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, and New York. The data has indicated that the perception of principals serving migrant students on academic and adjustment concern, has experienced a marginal shift. ^ Upon juxtaposing this information with the principals serving military dependent youths, it was found that a substantial change in perception existed. The differences in perception of principals serving migrant students compared to principals serving military dependents on adjustment and academic concerns were found to be equally significant. The analysis of data by principals by grade level yielded that no levels of significance were noted in the K–5 th grades group on adjustment or academic concerns. A marginal level of significance was found in the 6th–8th grades group on adjustment concerns and a highly significant level was indicated on academic concerns. A highly significant level was indicated on adjustment concerns for 9–12 grades, with no level of significance being indicated for academic concerns. No differences in perception were indicated between groups of respondents on adjustment and academic concerns. No differences were indicated within groups for 6th–8th grade and 9th–12th grade principals. A significant difference was noted for K–5th principals on adjustment and academic concerns. An interesting finding evolved from evaluating the perception of public school principals on academic and adjustment concerns of highly mobile students in that the location of principals had no significant bearing on their responses. ^ The results of this study have indicated that further examination into the perception of principals is warranted to determine the level of change in problematic areas that have been noted in the literature as inhibitors of student adjustment and academic success. As principals evolve into the assessment phase of their individual reform initiatives, they must evaluate if adjustment and academic concerns have been addressed for unique populations such as highly mobile students. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Guidance and Counseling

Recommended Citation

Joan Lucia Montgomery, "Selected school principals perceptions of adjustment and academic concerns of highly mobile student populations: A comparative study of migrant student and military mobile student populations" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. Paper AAI3027012.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI3027012

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