Q Dissertation: Lopienski on educational leaders’ understandings of career readiness

Lopienski, Sarah A. (2016).  How do educational leaders understand career readiness: A Q-methodological study.  Doctoral dissertation, Department of Educational Studies, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Abstract: The journey to understanding career readiness has never been more difficult for today’s Kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) educational leaders. In this study, data was analyzed using Q-methodology which discovered three factors holding five interpretable viewpoints. K-12 educational leaders not only presented an understanding about career readiness as developing the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities to compete in the 21st century global economy, but also identified with aspects of vocational psychology’s perspective of career including self-awareness, making meaning in one’s life, and having a drive and desire to succeed. Data interpretation and analysis emphasized the need for K-12 educational leaders to re-create K-12 school culture by developing students who are employable while strategically positioning each student’s unique life stories to find purpose and meaning in life.
Sarah A. Lopienski <slopienski@gmail.com> is Vice President of School Operations, Educational Empowerment Group <http://www.edempowerment.com>, Akron, OH, U.S.A.

Phrarach Panyaraksee on expected and actual roles of Thai Buddhist monks

Phrarach Panyaraksee [Veeraves Pacharoen] (2010, June). Expected and actual roles of Thai Buddhist monks affecting adherents’ religiosity [in Thai]. Doctoral dissertation, Pathumthani University (Administration Development), Thailand. 219 pp.

Abstract: The objectives of this research are to study (1) Buddhist adherents’ opinions about the expected and actual roles of Buddhist monks and (2) whether adherents’ satisfaction with Buddhists’ and monks’ mannerisms affects their religiosity. The researcher employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods and Q methodology to analyze adherents’ concept of religiosity. An in-depth interview of five adherents was initially used to obtain the adherents’ conceptualization of all the variables used in the study and the findings were used to develop a questionnaire to be pretested, modified, and used to collect data from 1,004 Buddhist adherents in Bangkok. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze the conceptual framework, using a LISREL software program. For Q methodology, the concourse provided the basis for a Q sample of 34 statements, which were ranked by 30 Buddhist adherents and later analyzed by the PQMethod program.
It was found that adherents expected monks to have a good secular and moral education, to observe strict religious precepts, and to be kind to humankind. The actual roles included religious propagation through the mass media, persuading people to donate to help those in trouble, creating auspicious items to raise temple-support earnings, promoting moral teachings in schools, praying and meditating, and constructing large and magnificent permanent religious artifacts. The reported improper roles of monks included various activities considered inappropriate, such as illegal activities, shopping in department stores, participating in political activities, fixed standing to obtain people’s “merit-making,” earning from tattooing and lottery-number guessing, and alcohol consumption. [Making merit in Thai Buddhism refers to doing good things, such as providing food for monks, praying, and engaging in other activities that bring merit to the donor.]
With respect to satisfaction with monks’ behavior, adherents expressed this through the praising of monks, indicating their willingness to serve them in time of need, observing religious precepts, making merit with the monks, doing anything to protect and support religious activities, and being a religious person.
Regarding the use of Q methodology to study the concept of religiosity, the patterns of adherents’ religiosity consisted of four categories (factors): observing the principle codes, having faith in religious principles, studying and observing the precepts, and protecting Buddhism.
Quantitative data analysis also showed that adherents’ religiosity was influenced both directly and indirectly by their biosocial characteristics and their expected roles of Buddhist monks, more than by the actual behavior of certain monks that indirectly influenced adherents’ religiosity.
Consequently, it was recommended that the Synod Council of the National Buddhism Bureau for monk administration make policies and take measures to improve monks’ roles and render them consistent with adherent’ expectations and Buddhist precepts.

Phrarach Panyaraksee is the royal title of the author, whose given name is Veeraves Pacharoen. He is a high-ranking Buddhist monk in Thailand. His co-advisors were Suchart Prasith-rathsint and Kanikar Sookasame of Pathumthani University. Other members of the examining committee included Sundat Sermsri (Mahidol University), Prasarn Boonsopart (Ramkhamhaeng University), and Palapan Kumpan (National Institute of Development Administration). Dr Sookasame is co-author (with Sasitorn Suwannathep) of Variety of innovative research methods: Q methodology: A scientific study of subjectivity (concepts, theory and application) [Thai] (Bangkok: Samlada Publishing, 2007). Phrarach Panyaraksee is the author of a forthcoming Q study to appear (in Thai) in the Journal of Administration Development Research.

Lewin on stakeholder perspectives concerning prevention of childhood obesity

Alexandra C. Lewin (2009, January). Whose responsibility? The role of the federal government in preventing childhood obesity: Perspectives of organizations, congressional staffers, and parents. Doctoral dissertation, Cornell University.

Abstract: This dissertation examined three stakeholder groups and their perspectives about the role of the federal government in preventing childhood obesity. The three stakeholder groups included organizations involved in childhood obesity, U.S. Congressional staffers working on health and agriculture policy, and low-income African-American parents of elementary school children in Washington, DC. Frequently at the core of the debate over the role of the federal government is the notion of personal responsibility � whether preventing childhood obesity is limited to individual decisions, whether there might be larger systemic issues that shape individual behavior, and when it may be the government�s responsibility to protect our children�s public health. The research completed to date has focused more on either the media�s use of the personal responsibility frame and public opinion studies that have gathered only a general understanding of individual support for/against pre-selected obesity frames and policies. The underlying perspectives shaping opinions, and the values and subjectivity embedded within these debates and policy options, have been sparsely documented. Rather than view nutrition as objective, where policy outcomes are the result of pure scientific debate, this research considers the policy process itself and within it the nuanced opinions, strategies employed, and values invoked by these three sectors. A discourse analysis to define and examine interpretive packages was completed to examine organizations� press release language in response to one or more of the four obesity-related Institute of Medicine reports. A Q study, using statements largely from the aforementioned press releases, and follow-up interviews, were completed with individual Congressional staffers. A Q study was also completed with each parent, and follow-up focus groups were completed with groups of parents. Two interpretive packages, with two sub-emphases, emerged from the organization study. The Multiple Responsibility package contained both Political Responsibility and Everyone�s Responsibility sub-emphases. The Self-Reliance package contained both Self-Regulation and Consumer Sovereignty sub-emphases. The Congressional staffer Q study revealed three perspectives: Government Action Advocates, Select Government Action Advocates, and Personal Responsibility Advocates. The Parent Q study also revealed three perspectives: Parents + Specific Government, Parents + General Government, and Government + Other.

Alexandra Lewin received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 2004 and a Masters in Public Administration from the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs in 2005. Her thesis focused on the impact of different sugar trade policies on least-developed countries. As part of her MPA, she attended Cornell-in-Washington and worked as an Agriculture Fellow in the U.S. Senate. She is currently a Nutrition Policy Fellow at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

McCauley on clinical laboratory science student preparedness

Georgia A. Lawver McCauley (2008, June). Perceptions of clinical laboratory practitioners of clinical laboratory science student preparedness for the workplace: A Q methodological study. Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral University (Prescott Valley, AZ).

Abstract: The purpose of the Q methodological study was to investigate and evaluate the viewpoints of clinical laboratory science (CLS) practitioners about the preparedness of the clinical laboratory science student for the workplace. Q methodology is a research design that provides a foundation for the systematic study of subjectivity. The study provided the CLS educators with the opportunity to see the efficacy of CLS curricula as perceived by employers. Clinical laboratory employers and educators are concerned about the escalating nationwide shortage of clinical laboratory workers. The shortage is compounded by fewer graduates of accredited clinical laboratory science programs and changes in the clinical laboratory workplace environment. The combined efforts of laboratory administrators, educators, and professional organizations will be required to address the staffing crisis in the laboratory profession. Educators in accredited programs will need to adjust curricular paradigms to address the new standards for the work environment, laboratory administrators must actively support the clinical practice component of education, and members of clinical laboratory professional organizations must promote and support the clinical laboratory science profession. The study identifies workplace competencies needed by entry-level clinical laboratory science professionals in the contemporary clinical laboratory workplace.

Georgia McCauley <mccauley@wssu.edu>is Assistant Professor (Hematology) in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, School of Health Sciences, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem NC.