Building the Foundation: Characteristics and Achievement Patterns of Three-Year-Olds’ Evolving Mathematical Knowledge
Alyssa Collins, Utah State University
R.J. Risueño, Utah State University
Daniel Sullivan, Dixie State University
License to Read: An Evaluation of Project Head Start’s Fatherhood and Child Literacy Program in Northern Utah
Jared Anderson, Weber State University
Rachel Fuller, Brigham Young University
A Case Study Investigating the Impact of a Summer MS to PhD Bridge Program on the Science Identities of Underrepresented Minority Students.
Mark Albrecht; Kristin Wilson-Grimes; Sennai Habtes, Southern Utah University
Katherine Safsten, Brigham Young University
Peyton Carter, Southern Utah University
Frost Mitchell, Utah State University
Evaluating the effectiveness of Comprehensive versus Risk-Avoidance Sexual Education Curriculum in Northern Utah
Alyson Rasmussen; Ellen Seely; Valentina Pastrana, Weber State University
Mandy Robison, University of Utah
Understanding Parental Attitudes toward Abstinence Based and Comprehensive based Sexual Health Topics in Northern Utah
Laura Pastrana; Alyson Rasmussen; Ellen Seely; Jeralyn Perkins, Weber State University
Climate Confusion in the Classroom; Perceptions, Methods, and Background of Utah Secondary Education Science Teachers
Tyler Hole, Weber State University
Edgar Judd, Southern Utah University
Jonathan Jacobs; Emily Hammond; Maggie Gunn, Brigham Young University
Jonathan Jacobs, Brigham Young University
Chad Talbot, Utah Valley University
Kathleen Fotheringham, Southern Utah University
Maggie Marchant, Brigham Young University
Grammatical and Narrative Content Adequacy in Story Retells Told by Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Before, During and After Narrative Instruction
Emily Kunz, Shea Long, Melany Reeder, and Brigid Crotty, Utah State University Education It has been proposed that asking a child to make up their own story, rather than to retell a story, is a more stringent test of narrative ability and may tax the linguistic system revealing weaknesses not apparent in less difficult contexts (eg., retelling stories). At least one study has shown that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience content-form tradeoffs as they master narrative discourse (DeLucchi, Fricke, Kaye, Crotty and Gillam, 2015). The content-form tradeoff was observed when children with ASD with typical grammatical skills and poor narrative proficiency were shown to experience significant grammatical difficulties as they mastered narrative discourse. The purpose of this study was to determine whether content-form trade-offs were observed in stories children with ASD were asked to retell. Five children with ASD ranging in age from 9-12 were asked to retell stories weekly, during a baseline and narrative treatment period over the course of 12-16 weeks. The stories were scored for grammaticality and narrative proficiency. Story retells were observed to be grammatical whether elicited during baseline, early, mid or later treatment sessions. Children with lower language skills experienced times when they were completely unable to recall a story, particularly early on in instruction, although when they did, they experienced good grammatical accuracy. Children with higher language skills were always able to remember parts of the story and were highly grammatical. The story model (retell) may make it less difficult for students with ASD to focus on and remember content while also maintaining grammatical accuracy.
Kristine Jolley, Brigham Young University Education This research-in-progress examines the role of action research in teacher movement toward reform-based mathematics education during a sustained professional development initiative. This initiative, which provided coursework for the Utah Elementary Mathematics Endorsement (UEME), was implemented as a Brigham Young University/Alpine School District partnership collaboration. Although the UEME is offered at several sites across Utah as a major state professional development initiative in mathematics education, our collaboration was unique in incorporating action research as a major component. We pose and seek to answer the following question: What happens to teachers’ knowledge and theories regarding reform-based mathematics education as they engage in action research on a reform-based mathematics education practice of their choice in their classrooms? We have examined data collected from three cohorts of participants over the 4-year duration of the grant; each participant was involved for 2 years. Of the 53 participants, 12 (4 from each cohort) were purposefully selected according to pre- and post-measures of participants’ mathematics beliefs, knowledge, and practice as well as the dimensions of gender, ethnicity, professional assignment, and years of teaching experience. Qualitative analysis of relevant data from these participants is contributing to our understanding of the role of action research in teacher movement toward reform-based mathematics education. We are currently writing the analysis section of a manuscript based on these data. Recognition of the need for improvement in mathematics teaching and learning is not new, yet implementing the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics adds a new layer of challenge. This in-depth study of action research as a professional development practice should inform decision-making regarding the inclusion of action research in subsequent Endorsement programs as well as in other professional development initiatives. Further, this study should add its own unique contribution to the research conversation on a broader scale.
Raschelle Davis, Dixie State University Education The general populace in America has many misconceptions concerning space; this is due to lack of explicit, clear education. As children grow and observe the world around them they can create misconceptions about how things work. Research shows that this is particularly true when children are learning about space (Brunsell and Marcks, 2007). Many of these misconceptions can be corrected or avoided if the teacher has specific knowledge of the science content and how to teach it (Bulunuz and Jarrett, 2009). As a mother of a young boy I have been asked many questions about space and how it all works. I was never sure how I should answer those questions, since I did not fully understand how it worked myself. This past year I became involved in a NASA astronomy project in my teacher education program that teaches space science to students using a hands-on approach. During my first astronomy event I could not help but be amazed with the questions and the confusion that some of the students had about space while looking through the telescopes. This gave me the desire to learn more about space and teaching children about space. This research project explores children’s misconceptions about space, the problems with how children are currently being taught about space, and how students could more effectively be taught about space in order to reach clear understanding.
Bold Talk for a One-Eyed Fat Man: The Importance of Classic Western Literature in the Contemporary Classroom
Are classic, young-adult novels set in the American west a dead genre in the American classroom? Despite its historical impact on popular culture, young-adult novels set in the American west have seen a considerable decline in relevance in American public schools. While classic young-adult literature receiving heavy rotation in current young-adult classrooms, as well as young-adult literature published in the current century, may have its place, Western, young-adult literature published in the 1960’s and 1970’s should still be read, taught, critiqued and celebrated. The general argument against including western, young-adult literature on the reading lists of public schools in the western states, where, arguably they should be the most prevalent, is that the texts are significantly passé and therefore not relevant to contemporary secondary students. While the majority of criticism in favor of western literature is also dated, this paper makes the argument that although the texts and various criticisms may seem behind the times, it should also be taken into account that present-day society is remarkably similar to society when the texts were initially published. Interestingly, not only is present-day society similar to society in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, but a recent interest in regionalism as opposed to vast commercialism also seems to be making an impact on society. By presenting literature that draws attention to the history of a local area, a literary gap created by an interest in who we were as a society and where we came from may be filled. The research conducted takes the classic, western, young-adult novel, True Grit by Charles Portis and that text with a more popular and more contemporary novel, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It’s through this comparison we are able to appreciate and understand the relevance of classic Western literature in the contemporary classroom.
Nicolette Parrish, Dixie State University Education In a world where it seems nearly impossible for American Indian people to succeed, this presentation will draw upon first-hand interviews with terminal degree-holding American Indian women to demonstrate their successes, failures, resiliency, determination, and strengths in the face of an educational system that has historically been a source of pain and trauma for their communities. Indeed, the relationship between American Indians and academia has not always been a pleasant one. In 1879, Carlisle Indian School was the first Indian boarding school to be opened in the United States. The first boarding schools took American Indian children thousands of miles away from their homelands and forced them to live a foreign lifestyle. They were not allowed to speak their language or live by their traditional and cultural values. A new life was forced onto them and for years American Indians struggled to cope with that cultural and geographical dislocation. 135 years later, American Indians are still struggling to make a connection with the modern world and with their cultural world. It is rare to see an American Indian with a doctorate degree and it is even rarer for that person to be a woman. The quality of education and lack of resources on reservations often leaves American Indian children behind. For this reason, the aim of this project, to collect the oral histories from those that have overcome these obstacles in the face of so much adversity, is especially valuable.
Logan Carter, Southern Utah University Education Many students learn best from hands on activities. I myself have had several experiences that have led to deeper understanding and growth. I have participated in many scientific extra-curricular activities such as the SUU Science and Engineering fair, The International Science and Engineering fair, and NCSSSMST conventions. Throughout all of these I gained a deeper understanding of scientific concepts. To test the hypothesis that learning in elementary school students may be affected positively by experiential learning because it engages them in whole brain learning, I have designed an engaged learning set of activities. I will test these activities on approximately twenty students between the ages of nine and eleven at North Elementary School. I will measure how students respond to a set of experiential learning activities through pre and post-activity assessments. For example, we will learn about parental care in amphibians, specifically Alytes spp. -the midwife toads. Male midwife toads wrap the fertilized eggs on their legg’s and care for them until they hatch. The activity would be to split the students into groups and making one group gives the other group the eggs (balloons on a string) to the other group to simulate caring for them. That group would then race to a finish line with the balloons around their legs, making sure not to break any of the eggs. The students with the most unbroken eggs would be awarded a prize for parental care. Experiential learning is an effective way for students to gain knowledge.
Lauren Ezzell and Lauryn Chapman, Snow College Education Most secondary level public schools have school counselors. However, the actual responsibilities of counselors are seen differently by people. There are studies demonstrating the perspective of principals’, teachers’, and counselors’. Yet, little attention is paid to the parents’ perspective and no attention to the students’. That’s why the research, Perceptions of School Counselor’s Responsibilities, is important. Surveys were distributed to high school students and parents throughout Utah. Surveys asked what were the counselors’ three main jobs. The majority of responses were: scheduling, ACT prep, graduation requirements. Participants were asked if there were jobs their counselor was supposed to do, but wasn’t, and what service they would like them to provide. Data was analyzed using SPSS to determine correlative trends then compared to the Utah Model for Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling. College students were also surveyed to determine their understanding of the counselors’ job. Students were asked two questions: What is the job of the college counselor? and What is the job of the college advisor? Responses were coded into five categories: knew job of counselor, knew job of advisor, unaware of difference, knew both, and didn’t know either. Results show when problems arise students confide in teachers instead of counselors, although parents thought differently. When asked what job counselors should do, the majority said emotional/wellness counseling. Results compared to the Utah Model, showed ‘Guidance Curriculum’ was given 3% (students) and 2% (parents) but the state gives 22%. Responses of college students showed only 5% knew the jobs of both the counselor and advisor, and only 15.1% of students knew the job of counselor. As a result, individuals are unsure of the school counselors’ job, which leads to the counselors being viewed as glorified registrars. This research could have lasting impacts on not only schools, but also individual students.
Erika Longino, University of Utah Education DesignbuildBLUFF is a development program wherein graduate architecture students apply custom designing and construction skills to make homes for Navajo families and individuals in need. 39% of the Utah reservation is under the poverty line and the whole Colorado Plateau is in an ecologically vulnerable position. There is clear evidence that water tables are dropping and native biodiversity is suffering because of anthropogenic climate change. Therefore, the human communities in the region are especially needful of proper infrastructure for sustainable development. DesignbuildBLUFF provides diverse services to many groups. The aim of this investigation is to map a framework for sustainable expansion and overall systematic improvement. The investigation will eventually produce a document outlining the inputs and outputs of DesignbuildBLUFF, environmentally and socially. Ecological components like soil quality, solar potential, rainfall, and plant inventory are noted and analyzed quantitatively. Social impacts are gathered using interviews and census data. The data is pulled together in a cohesive, aesthetic map and used to plan DesignbuildBLUFF’s trajectory. The document will provide a clear framework for acknowledging and eliminating unnecessary features, reducing the ecological footprint of the organization, and improving important social relations. This document is not a definitive “master plan”, rather it provides the necessary data and suggestions for growth that take into account whole systems thinking.
Shayla Miller, Dixie State University Education My research focuses on the positive side effects of using models and representations to facilitate student learning in the classroom. The science lesson was taught and recorded to a class of thirty students. The students made visual models/representations of their knowledge about ecosystems from the lesson taught. Test scores were improved, and the information was proven to stay in long term memory according to end of level testing.
Amber Christensen, Weber State University Education Session Title Women and nutrition in the back country: How their calorie intake and calorie expenditure affect their body composition while backpacking Summary Abstract This study examines the factors that influence change in women’s body composition while backpacking through a mountainous terrain. To see the changes and why they happened, pre- and post- data was collected to measure body composition while participants filled out food logs to generate calorie intake and calorie expenditure. Full Abstract Women are becoming more frequent in the back country as the benefits of nature are becoming more known. Since men have dominated the outdoor world, there is more research conducted on men in the outdoors than there are on women. Nutrition research in the back country is also a new research subject that is gaining interest. Adding women, nutrition, and the back country for research is a topic that not many have touched on. Why is this all relevant and what could it mean? From looking into women and their nutrition in the back country, we can get an inside look at what changes their bodies are making and what factors are causing these changes. During this study women over the age of 18 enrolled in a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course of their choice went into the back country of Wyoming for thirty days. Before they left for the back country, pre-tests were recorded of their body composition using Weber State University’s Bod Pod which recorded lean muscle masses and body fat masses. During their expedition they were asked to keep a food log. Their leaders recorded their distance traveled during each day which was then calculated into energy expenditure. Upon returning, post-tests were recorded using the Bod Pod to compare results between before and after. Measurements and data have been collected on these women as well as their food logs. A conclusion will be made from analyzing the data from both Bod Pod measurements and the food and nutritional intake vs energy expenditure. Currently the process of entering this data is underway and will be completed within the coming months. Once this data is entered and analyzed with the results from the Bod Pod, conclusions can be made to determine if these women received adequate calorie intake to at least match calorie expenditure and what affects their nutrition intake had on changes to their body composition. Measurable Outcomes 1. Changes in body composition; lean muscle mass vs fat mass. 2. If calorie intake was sufficient to support calorie expenditure. 3. Nutritional value of the foods consumed and how they affected performance.
Claudy Eckardt, Weber State University Education Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States. Statistical facts show that one third of U.S. children, between the ages of 2-19, are obese. A common health risk found in children who are overweight is that they will continue to stay overweight throughout the course of their lifespan. Long-term health consequences of obesity only to be found in adults have become more prevalent in children as well. Prevention is the key to reducing this dangerous epidemic and its consequences. The purpose of this study was to investigate children’s knowledge on the causes and consequences of being overweight. This study used a qualitative research method. Two participants were interviewed for case studies. Both participants were between the ages of 8 and 11 and were from different ethnic backgrounds. Each child was given nine questions to answer. Each child was given an adequate amount of time to thoroughly understand each question and respond. Interviews lasted between five to ten minutes. Parental consent was given before the interview process. Results showed that the participants were exposed to the risk factors of obesity. Each child demonstrated a clear understanding that obesity has negative health consequences and expressed preventative measures as well. Furthermore the participants proved that obesity was not only limited to the school or home environment but multiple environments.
Kassandra Sqrow, Weber State University Education Opportunities for children to interact and connect to the natural environment through play are declining. The benefits of outdoor play are well documented (Little and Wyver, 2008) and show the important role it contributes to healthy child development. Yet, fears and anxieties parents have about the outdoor environment are the most potent forces that prevent parents from allowing their children to play outdoors (Furedi, 2002; Louv, 2006). Identifying the beliefs and attitudes parents have about outdoor-based play can provide valuable insights for recreation and youth professionals to understand how to encourage outdoor play in families. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore parents’ perceptions on factors that constrain or facilitate the level of outdoor play that they encourage in their children. Parents with children ages 4 to 10 years old were recruited through a local school to participate in focus groups. Research participants were asked about their perceptive on the role outdoor-play has on their child’s development and characteristics of outdoor play spaces that influence the level of outdoor play their children engage in. Data will be analyzed by identifying recurring themes and patterns of parents’ perceptions and factors that influence the level of outdoor-based play in their child’s life. The data for this study is currently being collected and will be analyzed by November 2014. Implications for practice will be discussed.
Content-Form Trade-offs in the Spontaneous Stories Told by Chi ldren with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Implications for Assessment and Instruction
Samantha DeLucchi, Telesha Fricke, Kamilla Okey and Brigid Crotty, Utah State University Education Children with ASD often experience marked difficulty achieving proficiency in narration, and often require explicit instruction to learn this important discourse skill. The present study was designed to extend the work of Colozzo et al., 2011 by examining the relationship between content and form in the narratives of school-age children with ASD as they participated in a narrative intervention program to improve their knowledge of story structure and ultimately, to improve their ability to create coherent, organized narratives. Children received two, individual, 50-minute intervention sessions weekly for a period of about 7 – 11 weeks. Children were asked to make up their own stories once weekly. These stories were scored for narrative proficiency and for grammatical accuracy. Findings revealed that prior to beginning narrative treatment, all of the children’s grammatical accuracy was high while their narrative proficiency scores were low. In the first weeks of treatment, all children experienced a significant decrease in grammatical accuracy (<70%), however their narrative scores were observed to increase. Narrative proficiency scores continued to increase and become stable for all children. Interestingly, grammatical accuracy returned to normal (90% or greater) during the last weeks of intervention as children’s narrative proficiency became stable. The findings from this study support the presence of a content-form tradeoff, as children learn difficult linguistic skills, other skills that are ordinarily stable, may fluctuate until the new skill is mastered. The absence of grammatical errors may not be taken as an indication that the student is proficient in constructing a coherent, organized narrative. Further implications are discussed.
Improving the Use of Mental State Verbs by Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Two Narrative Production Tasks: Story Retelling and Spontaneous Story Generation
Mary Ann Hammon, Sydney Sneddon, Madeline Williams and Brigid Crotty, Utah State University Education Children diagnosed with ASD often experience marked difficulty in the comprehension and production of narrative discourse that extends well into their adolescent and adult years (7, 8, 9, 10). These narrative difficulties appear to be linked directly to the core symptoms of ASD that manifest in failure to plan using information from multiple sources, a hyper-focus on details at the expense of gist-level propositions and limited use of mental state and causal language to encode goals and motivations of characters (11). Theory of Mind (ToM) accounts propose that a core deficit in ASD is an inability to infer the emotional or mental states of others. Deficits in ToM have been shown to significantly impair one’s ability to engage in ongoing social interactions and to develop the linguistic knowledge (e.g., mental state and causal language) necessary for understanding the relationship between events in discourse (9). Mental state and causal language is necessary for the establishment of a causal framework to link story grammar elements together. The overarching goal of this project was to test whether a program designed to teach narrative language skills was effective for increasing the use of mental state and causal language for children with high functioning autism (ASD). A multiple baseline across participants study was conducted with 5 children with ASD (ages 8-12). Intervention was provided for two 50-minute individual sessions per week for a total of 21-33 sessions (depending on the student). Children’s spontaneous stories and story retells, collected weekly, were analyzed for the use of mental state and causal language before, during and after intervention. All of the children made clinically significant gains after participating in the instruction, with clear changes in the use and complexity of mental state verbs during both types of narrative production tasks (story retell, spontaneous generation). The gains were maintained after intervention was discontinued.
Syntactic Complexity and Narrativ e Competence for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Balancing Complexity with Content in Spontaneously Generated Stories
Mercedes Sanford, Ryan Pearson, Kate Summers, and Brigid Crotty, Utah State University Education Deficits in complex syntax may not be apparent in stories that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) create on their own. That is, in self-generated stories, complex syntactic forms are not obligatory in order to get the “message across.” However, in order to create complex stories, those that contain complicating actions and events, complex sentences are unavoidable. Although children with ASD have been said to have typical syntactic skills, it is possible, that this is due to a preference for syntactically simple utterances. The purpose of this study was to examine the syntactic complexity of stories created by 5 children with ASD as they participated in an intervention to improve their narrative skills. Stories were elicited once weekly from single scene picture prompts; recorded, transcribed and then coded for narrative proficiency and syntactic complexity. Results indicated that during baseline when children were not receiving instruction, their self-generated stories contained more simple sentences (75-100%) that contained one main verb as compared to complex sentences (0-25%) that contained two or more main verbs. Their narrative skills during baseline were judged to be below average. Over the course of instruction, children’s narrative skills and their use of complex sentences increased in a similar pattern. Individual differences were observed in the impact that this pattern of change had on children’s verbal fluency and grammaticality. These differences will be discussed in terms of a cognitive load hypothesis.
The Relationship between Narrative Proficiency and Syntactic Complexity of Story Retells Elicited from Children with ASD
Taylor Anderson, Megan Israel Sen, Amy Nielsen, and Brigid Crotty, Utah State University Education Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been shown to use substantially more simple sentences as compared to complex sentences in their spontaneously generated narratives (Sanford, Pearson, Summers, Crotty and Gillam, 2015). However, Sanford et al., showed that children with ASD began to use substantially more complex sentences in their stories during and after narrative treatment (>50%). It is possible that children with ASD may experience greater difficulty using complex sentences in stories they must generate than in retelling stories they have heard. The purpose of this study was to examine story retells of 5 children with ASD before, during and after narrative intervention for syntactic complexity. Results indicated that during baseline when children were not receiving instruction, their story retells contained more simple sentences than complex sentences. The use of complex sentences was observed to increase as children became more proficient in their narrative production skills. When compared to stories children generated on their own (spontaneous stories), the story retells contained more complex sentences overall, but were often associated with less verbal fluency particularly as children were mastering narrative skills. The findings will be discussed in terms of trade-offs in verbal fluency, grammaticality and the use of complex sentences during different stages of narrative proficiency as a function of initial language knowledge.
Jadyn Naylor, Michael Jensen, and Kevin Duncan, Utah State University Education From 2007-2008 the United States and the rest of the world suffered the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression, a period which has been termed the “Great Recession”. This occurred when, as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis, residential and business investment declined, leading to the collapse of several major financial institutions and significant disruption in the flow of credit to businesses and consumers. The contraction of GDP growth and record unemployment that followed inspired congress to pass TARP in 2008, authorizing the US government to purchase $700 billion worth of “troubled” assets. In 2009 President Obama passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to boost demand for goods and services and create jobs. On top of these legislative measures, the Federal Reserve lowered the federal funds rate to nearly zero, to increase liquidity, and gave banks $7.7 trillion in emergency loans to promote market trust. These responses have been said to reflect the federal government’s faith in Keynesian economic theories, theories which encourage government manipulation of currency and interest rates to counteract fluctuations in the economy. Trust in markets to correct themselves is all but nonexistent at the federal level. Whether or not this distrust is justified is the subject of our research. Previous research has found that economic freedom is positively correlated with increases in wealth, education, health, and political freedom. With our research we hope to determine if and how economic freedom affects the speed and robustness with which an economy recovers from economic downturns. Because the United States government is based upon the ideas of federalism, economic policies vary from state to state. We will use this property to our advantage for our research, comparing each state’s level of economic freedom to various measures of that state’s economic health. These data will be analyzed before, during, and after the recession. Our hypothesis is that states with higher economic freedom rankings recovered from the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 more quickly than states with lower economic freedom scores. To determine the level of economic freedom in each state, we will be using the Economic Freedom of North America ratings published by the Fraser Institute each year. The Fraser Institute measures the extent to which the policies in each state promote or limit economic freedom based on the state’s size of government, tax code, and labor market restrictions. The Fraser Institute does this at both a sub-government level and an all-government level, giving each state two rankings. We will be testing our hypothesis against both rankings. Our methodology is to compare these rankings to several economic variables: Real GDP, percentage unemployment, and number of jobs created per capita. We will be using periodic measurements of these data across time, from 2006 – 2013. In examining the relationship between these variables and the Fraser Institute’s economic freedom rankings we expect to determine whether there is any correlation, at the state level, between economic freedom and quality of economic recovery, and if there is, to determine the nature of the correlation.
John Lorz, Utah Valley University Education How about a 20% increase in the class average on the mid-term exam compared with the previous two academic years of the same course? In this session two students share their experiences as (newly piloted) peer mentors in a low-performing, upper division genetics class. Student attitudes towards genetics improved and both mid-term and final grades increased by double-digit percentages. Not only did these peer mentors increase student success, but also experienced a personal developmental opportunity in preparation for graduate school, including this conference presentation and an anticipated peer-reviewed publication to follow.
How a Small Group of Middle School Students Engaged with Data and Evidence While Addressing a Local Water Quality Issue
David Turner, Utah State University Education Problem based learning is an approach to education where students develop solutions to authentic problems (Hmelo-Silver, 2004) with support from scaffolding (Wood, Bruner, & Ross, 1976; Reiser, 2004). Computer based scaffolding helps students organize thoughts and arguments while solving problems (Belland, Glazewski & Richardson, 2008). We examined how students from one small group constructed order in their interactions and arguments as they solved an environmental issue using a stakeholder lens.
Kristin Murphy, Utah State University Education Past research shows that parents interact more positively with their children and use more supportive language during play than during teaching interactions (Kwon, Bingham, Lewsader, Jeon, & Elicker, 2013). Children with normal language development tend to have parents who use more language supporting speech, (Vigil, Hodges, & Klee, 2005) than parents of children with language delays. The specific research question addressed in this study is: Do maternal (maternal depression, education levels, parenting stress) or child factors (language development, social-emotional development) influence maternal language behaviors in teaching and play contexts?
Tyler Mathis, Brigham Young University Education We need to improve our educational system through giving our teachers more chances to be given constructive feedback through teacher evaluations. As teachers receive feedback and are put through effective teacher evaluations their performance will improve and the upcoming generation will be more educated. This will greatly beneficial to the future of our society as a whole. Teacher evaluations is an important topic to raise awareness of to help produce effective and beneficial teaching to the upcoming generation. The topic I will address is how we can make teacher evaluations more effective by exploring ways to quantitatively measure teachers’ effectiveness through examining student gains. I will also examine why implementing teacher observations will be an asset to teacher performance and a necessity in teacher evaluations.
Jonathan Welling, Brigham Young University Education The demographic shift of Mexican immigrants within the public school system in the US has created a great need for teachers to better understand the expectations that immigrant families bring with them from their education system in Mexico. This research provides contextual information to educational stakeholders in the US to better accommodate to the needs of immigrant students from Mexico. This study explores the norms, roles and expectations of teachers, parent and students in the education system in Irapuato, Mexico. Data was collected from observations and interviews with teacher, parents and students from three different public high schools in Irapuato, Mexico: CBTis- a technical school, The Official Preparatory School of Irapuato- a standard public school and SABES- a small rural school. Analysis was done using a systematic approach of open coding to identify emergent themes. Preliminary results provide contextual information explaining the expectations parents hold for the teachers in Irapuato, Mexico. The data is valuable in understanding the norms, expectations and perceived roles held immigrant Mexican families. Applications of this data may be used to facilitate both collaboration between teachers and Mexican immigrant parents and the adjustment of immigrant students to a new educational system.