Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-20-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

William Boozang, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Belle Booker, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Brianna Parsons, Ed.D.

Keywords

parents, Catholic school, religious schools, nonreligious schools, communication, leadership, school choice, vouchers, spiritual growth

Abstract

“Though Many We Are One” is one of the mottos of a Catholic school system and is the foundational statement to what Catholic school stand for in the Diocese of the Midwest (pseudonym). My dissertation explores why parents choose alternative education in a Catholic schools. Catholic schools provide the student with the guidance and the ability to grow academically, spiritually, and emotionally. I analyzed the viewpoints of parents, administrators, and pastors within selected Catholic schools in the diocese to determine if there are similar foundational statements among multiple Catholic schools or if each school stands for something entirely different. Interviews and focus group discussions were used to understand parents’ perspectives. This study expands on Vygotsky’s theory that “the environment in which children grow up will influence how they think and what they think about” (p. 2). Students placed in an environment where a family are present in a child’s life, addressed by their name and their needs met, and the values and moral system taught in Catholic schools is an intricate part of the daily lessons taught. The overall themes include experiences of Catholic school parents, the importance of Catholic schools, and upholding the future of Catholic education.

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