Attributes of an effective elementary bilingual education program: an examination of administrator, teacher, and parent perceptions
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This study examined the perceptions of administrators, teachers, and parents regarding the attributes of an effective elementary bilingual education program. The following research questions were the focus of this study: (1) What are the perceived attributes of an effective elementary bilingual education program according to parents of elementary bilingual education students, elementary bilingual education teachers, principals of schools with elementary bilingual education programs, the district administrator of the bilingual education program, and the district superintendent? (2) How are the perceived attributes similar or different between administrators, teachers, and parents? Utilizing a qualitative multiple case study with a critical race theory approach, surveys, direct observations, focus group interviews, individual interviews, and document vii reviews were used to collect data in this research study. Open, axial, and selective coding were used to analyze the qualitative data that was collected. This study supported the majority of the components that made up the attributes of effective elementary bilingual education programs that have been identified through current research. These seven attributes included: (a) program articulation; (b) parental and community involvement; (c) district, school, and classroom climate; (d) quality people; (e) curriculum and instruction; (f) leadership, vision, and goals; and (g) organization, accountability, and assessment. This study also supplemented the existing research with additional themes that emerged from the individual interviews, surveys, and focus group interviews. These emergent themes included: (a) materials, (b) staffing, (c), translation of materials (d) funding, (e) socioeconomic status, (f) homework, (g) educational systems, and (h) class size. The perceptions of administrators, teachers, and parents are more different than similar regarding the most prevalent, confirming, and concerning attributes and emergent themes. However, the perceptions are more similar than different regarding the least prevalent attributes and emergent themes. The results of this study can assist educational leaders in the formulation of effective policy and practice to create equity and excellence for all students.