Date

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

First Adviser

White, George P.

Other advisers/committee members

Sperandio, Jill; Beachum, Floyd D.; Linton, Dale B.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the transference of a U.S. model of accreditation to K-12 national schools outside of the U.S. The study examined the perceptions of school leaders, teachers, and parents toward accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) in five Latin American, faith-based schools. Within the literature, the study was positioned among the broad concepts of globalization and education, accountability and quality assurance, accreditation, and the Latin American educational context. While much has been written about each distinct concept, no study has joined them as a theoretical framework to analyze the transference of an accreditation model to national schools in Latin America.This study employed mixed methodology of the convergent design. The Accreditation Survey Instrument assessed stakeholder perceptions on five factors of accreditation: value and purpose, accreditation process, accreditation status, change agent, and school improvement. The survey was sent to the entire population of stakeholders (n=1,485) in five ACSI accredited schools and yielded a 25% response rate. One leader, teacher, and parent from each school (n=15) participated in interviews, which were structured to gather perceptions on the impact and appropriateness of the transferred model. MANOVA revealed significant differences in stakeholders' mean scores on all factors except accreditation status. Post hoc tests revealed teachers held more positive perceptions than parents on four factors. Leaders were more positive than parents on one factor. There were no significant differences between leaders and teachers. Two coders analyzed the rich qualitative data using conventional and summative content analysis. Themes emerged from each interview question. School improvement was the most common theme across questions. Five overall findings emerged from the study. While all stakeholders held positive perceptions toward ACSI accreditation, there were significant differences between stakeholder groups. Stakeholders perceived accreditation had a positive impact due to visible changes, higher quality, and more quality assurance. Stakeholders felt the transferred model was appropriate but needed further contextualization. Stakeholders confirmed schools selected accreditation for various reasons. The findings of the study contribute to the existing literature on educational transfer and the limited literature on accreditation for K-12 schools outside of the U.S.

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