Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



Few evaluation-based studies of the LSU Coastal Roots™ program have been conducted over the 14-year life of the project. Teacher participant numbers and the scope of the program have grown since its inception, changing the face and shape of the program in each manifestation. A goal free approach to a mixed methods evaluation was employed to meet the exploratory nature of the investigation and to remain open to the myriad of possibilities within the program as it exists today. The exploratory sequential design employed qualitative methods in the early stages of the project through the collection and analysis of interview data. Themes developed from this qualitative strand were used in generating the quantitative component’s survey instrument. The survey instrument was piloted, refined, and deployed online to the entire population of Coastal Roots™ teacher participants. Data collected from this strand of the evaluation was analyzed independently and in conjunction with the qualitative data collected in the early stages of the project in order to generate an image of the program that possesses both breadth and depth. Teacher implementation of the Coastal Roots™ program varied greatly across schools and parishes. Teacher interest and focus in implementing the program varied across purposes of science inquiry, skill development, curriculum use, and student development. As Coastal Roots™ moves into the next phases of program activity, program definition and evolution should embrace and build on participant values, develop using the best practices exemplified by participants, and should work to mend the gaps defined by participants as hindrances to their work. Recommendations and suggestions for future practice stemming from this evaluation include a strengthening of program standardization and centralization, teacher-tested resources, focus on networking, and the development of areas stressed as central by participants.



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Committee Chair

Krisanna Machtmes