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Principal Penikas Earns Doctorate

Earlier this year, Principal Darius Penikas earned his Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision from St. John’s University. His dissertation was titled The Impact of Blended Learning on Student Outcomes and Teacher Perceptions. Dr. Penikas’ research included examining a k-8 school that adopted a rotational blended learning initiative. This learning style, which blends face-to-face interaction with the use of media, promotes personal development, social engagement, and teamwork through collaborative classroom projects.

Dr. Penikas came to several conclusions through his dissertation. He found that educators interviewed in the study believed that blended learning produced happier students and an overall better learning environment. He also found that blended learning provided educators with a higher level of knowledge about the specific academic progress and overall academic and personal realities of their students. Students were also found to be more active and involved during class, and peer collaboration, teacher-student interaction, and individual engagement with academic material increased significantly.

 “Conducting research and continuing to engage in the academic realm was a very inspirational and nourishing experience, and I learned a tremendous amount that is applicable to my role at Molloy,” said Dr. Penikas. “With the rapid pace of change and evolution in our society, studying trends in k-8 education is crucial to having leading-edge programs in secondary education. For Molloy to continue to be a top school, we need to understand how grammar school students’ experiences are changing as well as the different skills they are coming to us with. Once we understand that we can provide a curriculum that will help these students elevate to an even higher level and help them to be successful in college and professionally.”

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