Dissertation - Public Access
Ed.D. Doctor of Education
Dr. Norm Weston
The purpose of this case study was to better understand the reasons behind the apparent continued success of a blended learning educational model in place since 2012 in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ). Using a mixed methods approach, data were gathered and analyzed from a variety of records, reports, and other documentation that included: diplomas awarded, courses taken, course completion, enrollment trends, student mobility rates, GED testing information, and special education student enrollment and performance. Data were also gathered through classroom observations and individual and group interviews with the IDJJ district superintendent, principals, and teachers at six different IDJJ facilities. Findings were that implementation of a blended delivery model in the IDJJ sites corresponded with significantly increased traditional diploma and GED graduation rates, as well as perceptions of teachers and administrators of their increased efficacy, satisfaction, and ability to meet the unique needs of incarcerated youth. These findings are particularly important given the correlation between educational achievement and recidivism. Findings also indicated great promise for using blended learning to address the challenges related to transience, special education needs, and a student’s history of school difficulties and failure that pose potential roadblocks for so many incarcerated youth. It was concluded that the success of the IDJJ Blended Learning Model is due to a uniquely designed student-centric approach to learning that is characterized by four personal practices: perceptions, pathways, partnerships, and progress. Recommendations flow from these findings.
Sonnenberg, John, "Educating Incarcerated Youth In Illinois: A Blended Learning Model" (2017). Dissertations. 233.
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