Date of Award

4-17-2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Tricia J. Stewart, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Pauline E. Goolkasian, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Jody S. Piro, Ed.D.

Abstract

For more than 100 years the United States has invested funds into public high schools and career technical centers to support youth workforce development, yet little research is represented in the literature on this area. This is especially true for problem-solving confidence and problem-solving styles for teachers and students. The purpose of the study was to explore traditional high school and technical high school settings through the lens of teacher and student problem-solving confidence and problem-solving styles. Problem-solving, as a 21st Century Skill, is recommended for both teachers and students to improve outcomes in the classroom, and similar to career technical centers it is not well represented in the literature. In this study, data from three instruments were collected from a total of 70 teachers for one instrument, 55 teachers for another instrument, and 221 students for both instruments in two types of high schools: a traditional high school and technical high schools in the northeastern United States. Data were collected from the Problem-Solving Inventory (PSI) for problem-solving confidence; VIEW: An assessment of problem-solving style (VIEW) for problem solving style; and a researcher created demographic questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and multiple linear regression (MLR) were used to answer the research questions under study. The results demonstrated no statistically significant differences for teachers on the PSI subscales or dimensions of VIEW. However, teachers at traditional high schools self-reported slightly lower Problem-Solving Confidence and they shared the same problem-solving styles as teachers in the technical high schools according to mean scores for both the PSI and VIEW. A statistically significant difference was found for students based on high school setting according to the PSI, with technical high school students demonstrating more Problem-Solving Confidence, less avoidance to problem-solving, and better control of emotions while problem-solving. Students at the technical high school also preferred the problem-solving style of Person over Task from VIEW’s dimension designated as Ways of Deciding

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