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Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Beatrice Lingenfelter

Second Committee Member

Donald Larsen

Third Committee Member

Steve Farrar

Abstract

If a school is valued, it will inspire pride of ownership among students, staff, and community members. A sustainable campus beautification effort can be a source of inspiration. The purpose of this study was to determine if campus beautification projects made a positive impact on student behavior and academic performance. This study was based on qualitative research methods. Theoretical applications compared the results of a case study involving five middle/junior high schools in Region VI of the Statewide System of School Support for the Delta/Sierra Region. Interviews measured the perceptions of one administrator and three teachers at each school site. Interview responses were coded and analyzed to discover emerging themes in the data. In general, the teachers and the administrators agreed that campus beautification projects had positively impacted student behavior and academic performance. Teachers stated that involving students in the process of improving the quality of their school environment taught pride of ownership, community spirit, and leadership skills. Students who took part in campus beautification continued to seek experiences in campus improvement. Administrators reported a positive change in student behaviors and that beautification experience benefited students from all academic levels and behavioral backgrounds. The majority of the interviewees expressed that students benefited most directly from campus beautification. Others stated that the staff was most positively affected. In either case, interviewees' overall perceptions were that campus beautification improved student behavior and academic performance. Campus beautification projects should be investigated at every school level. Projects provide a simple solution to the rising problem of aging school facilities. Schools should pursue campus beautification as a means of improving staff and student morale. District office and site administrations should support beautification efforts and allow students the opportunity to improve their campus environment. Schools should enlist parents and community members to participate in beautification projects. Recommendations for further study include the impact of beautification at the elementary and high school levels, on urban, suburban and rural schools, and into how school administrations and district administrations can best support beautification efforts.

Pages

174

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