An investigation of the Co-nect Model of reform at two Mississippi elementary schools

Martha Jane McLarty

Abstract

This case study investigated the Co-nect Model of reform at two Mississippi elementary schools. In particular, the study investigated whether the reform model (Co-nect) was being implemented as the developers intended; the teachers', principals', and facilitators' attitudes toward the model; the perceptions of the quality and degree of professional development associated with Co-nect; and the teachers' methods of instruction and how these changed as a result of the implementation of the model. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected, analyzed, and interpreted. The research methods used in this study included document examination, interviews, surveys, field observations, and comparisons of indicators (i.e., attendance and behavior referrals and test data) to show if there was an increase in student achievement. The investigation provided a number of interesting findings of the Co-nect Model of reform. These findings were that both staffs of the schools studied had the opportunity to observe the model in practice. However, there were differences of opinion about the adequacy and quality of training provided by Co-nect before implementation; teachers, principals, and Co-nect facilitators all had positive feelings about the Co-nect Model and the effect it has on student achievement. At the implementation of the model there were not good baseline data. The state testing had changed, and certain indicators were not kept for comparison to show if there was growth. The professional development and its presentation have helped the staff to learn new skills; and they, in turn, have worked to implement it into their instruction. The methods of instruction are changing. A major consideration of the difference in the change of teaching methods is related to the time the schools have with the model. However, the consistencies between the two schools are the positive attitudes about the changes the teachers are making and the increased interest of the students.