Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Cell phone, cell phone policy, principal, high school, personal electronic device
As cell phone use has become commonplace in society, school leaders have debated the positive and negative impacts of permitting cell phone use in schools (Kiema, 2015). In 2015, New York City public schools removed their cell phone ban for 1.1 million students (Allen, 2015). A reason for reversing the ban was that the policy had a disproportionate impact on low students who were more likely to have their cell phones confiscated because of metal detectors in the schools they attended (Allen, 2015). The New York City cell phone ban also proved extremely difficult to consistently and effectively enforce (Allen, 2015).
Students in France ages 15 years and younger were banned from bringing cell phones to school in 2018 (Busby, 2018). French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer cited public health concerns over excessive screen time use and decreased socialization for children (Wamsley, 2017). Parent groups who opposed the ban pointed out the problems associated with keeping phones out of schools, such as equitably enforcing the policy and lack of parent support (Wamsley, 2017).
Research findings suggest banning cell phone use increases student achievement, for example a study of English public high schools found an improvement in student performance on standardized test scores in schools which banned the use of cell phones (Beland & Murphy, 2015). The study asserted that banning cell phones had the greatest impact on the academic performance of low-achieving students and no significant impact on the scores of higher achieving students (Beland & Murphy, 2015). Research is limited measuring the impacts of different types of cell phone use policies.
The conceptual framework of the study was derived from research conducted by Obringer and Coffey (2007) who surveyed high school principals in the United States designed to determine principals’ perceptions of school cell phone policies, cell phone use by teachers and school safety issues involving the use of cell phones. The study replicated and, in some cases, modified survey questions from the Obringer and Coffey study in order to compare findings with the Obringer and Coffey study.
The purpose of the study was to determine Minnesota high school (Grades 9-12) principals’ perceptions of the effectiveness of their school districts’ cell phone policies and their perceptions of the impact of teacher and student cell phone use in the classroom on student learning. The results of the study are intended to be used to assist school principals and other policy makers in the formulation of policies regulating the use of cell phones in schools.
Holler, David, "Cell Phones in Minnesota High Schools: Principals’ Perceptions of Impact and Policy" (2019). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 52.