Scholarly Works, School of Education

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Research articles, presentations, and other scholarship


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  • Structural Impediments Impacting Early-Career Women of Color STEM Faculty Careers
    Woods, Johnny C.; Lane, Tonisha B.; Huggins, Natali; Leggett Watson, Allyson; Jan, Faika Tahir; Johnson Austin, Saundra; Thomas, Sylvia (MDPI, 2024-05-28)
    Women of Color faculty continue to experience many challenges in their careers, especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. As such, more research is needed that considers structural issues inhibiting their success. Using structuration theory and critical race feminism as a conceptual framework, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 faculty and administrators in STEM departments at higher education institutions to investigate their perceptions of structural impediments impacting early-career Women of Color STEM faculty careers. Our findings revealed the need to establish policies that are clear, documented, and transparent. Additionally, incremental approaches to tenure and promotion evaluations should be reconsidered, especially when this approach may position Women of Color faculty to appear as if they are underperforming, when the opposite may be true. Furthermore, as higher education institutions endeavor to diversify the professoriate, this study is significant in enabling institutions and STEM departments to be aware of systemic issues confronting them to make significant inroads in retaining and advancing Women of Color faculty in these disciplines.
  • Whiteboarding: A Tool to Improve CS1 Student Self-Efficacy
    Chapin, John; Bowen, Bradley (ACM, 2023-12-05)
    Many students struggle in Introductory Computer Science (CS1) and fail or drop out of the class. A lack of CS self-efficacy - the belief that the individual can complete a task - is frequently the cause of this failure to succeed in CS1. Solutions have been proposed to improve student self-efficacy in CS1. Unfortunately, a lack of self-efficacy in CS1 classes is still a problem. This study examines a pedagogical tool, whiteboarding, and its effect on student perception of self-efficacy during the programming problem-solving process for novice programmers. Whiteboarding refers to students using whiteboards during the CS problem solving process. Focus group sessions, researcher notes, and memos were used to collect qualitative data. The whiteboarding intervention was conducted in two AP CS A classes during the first four weeks of the year. Seventeen 10th-grade students participated in the focus groups. Three focus groups of four students and one focus group of five students were conducted at the end of the intervention. These findings indicate that whiteboarding can be a vital tool that increases student self-efficacy by improving their success at programming activities, increasing collaboration and feedback, and providing an active, positive learning environment that holds students accountable for their work. The themes that emerged from the focus group sessions were: Engagement with the Problem, Engagement with Others, and Engagement with the Environment. Teaching success in the CS1 classroom requires student self-efficacy. This study highlights a teaching pedagogy that CS1 educators can implement to increase student self-efficacy.
  • Windows, mirrors, and doors into Mexico: Children’s literature reflecting Mexican and Mexican-American Voices
    Pennington, Lisa K.; Fortune, Donna J. (Texas Council for Social Studies, 2021-07-01)
  • Exploring the role of instructional leaders in promoting agency in teachers' professional learning
    Robertson, Dana A.; Padesky, Lauren Breckenridge; Thrailkill, Laurie Darian; Kelly, Avia; Brock, Cynthia H. (2023-12-22)
    This qualitative study used structural analysis of conversational episodes and content analysis to examine how two instructional leaders fostered teacher agency and collaboration in planning ongoing structures and content during a yearlong professional learning experience in one elementary school. Framed within a theory of agency, we found a merging of insider and outsider knowledge in the interactions between university partners and the two leaders of the English language arts leadership team that occurred across time, that agentive discourse was topically coherent among the leadership team as a collective group, and that the collective group maintained reflective and forward-looking common professional learning goals. We argue that meaningful professional development contexts position all participants in ways that value and trust their individual contributions and prompt them to act agentively to meet individual learning goals while maintaining a focus on the school’s collective goals.
  • Disrupting single narratives through the power of story
    Allen, Amy E.; Kavanagh, Anne Marie; ni Cassaithe, Caitriona (Information Age Publishing, 2023-12)
  • Historical narratives and place-based education as a catalyst for social change
    Allen, Amy E. (Information Age Publishing, 2023-12)
  • A critical examination of Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the west
    Allen, Amy E. (Information Age Publishing, 2023-12)
  • A Portrait of Rural Social Studies Teachers (and their students): Demographics and Implications for Professional Development
    Allen, Amy E.; Williams, Thomas O.; Hicks, David (2023-12)
    In this study, we first provide a snapshot of key demographics and characteristics of social studies teachers in a rural setting based the 2017-2018 National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) restricted use data file from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), administered by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES). Second, we look at some key implications based on specific insights from the data, including recognition of the change happening in the demographics of rural communities and a need for sustained PD about teaching students with diverse identities.
  • Pre-service teachers' understanding of sacrificial listening as a pedagogical framework
    Allen, Amy E.; Engelhardt, Mason; Stewart, Carey (Routledge, 2023-10-26)
    Listening is necessary for effective learning. Unfortunately, outside of comprehension tasks, listening is rarely emphasized as a key component of classroom instruction. This study considers a specific type of listening, sacrificial listening, theorized to help to bridge cultural, political, and religious divides by emphasizing understanding and unfamiliar voices. In this qualitative, arts-based research study, found poetry is used to investigate preservice teachers (PST) understandings of sacrificial listening as a pedagogical tool, including their consideration of its key components and applications to practice in the elementary classroom. While PST do appear to understand the power of sacrificial listening in reducing misunderstandings between unfamiliar voices, findings from this study also confirm what is already known about teacher education: there is an explicit need for teacher educators to intentionally work with PST on how to take an abstract theory and apply it to practice in concrete ways.
  • “We don’t know enough about it”: Student Perceptions of Judaism as a Race, Religion, or Ethnicity
    Allen, Amy E. (Taylor & Francis, 2023-05-11)
    This study was designed to explore elementary students’ existing religious literacy about Judaism alongside how they respond to a series of lessons about Judaism that utilize a picture book text set and discussion-based teaching strategies. Participants in the study were third-grade students at a private Christian school in the South. Data was collected via recorded observations, analytic memos, field notes of the recorded observations, and student work. Results indicate that students entered the unit with little to no religious literacy about Judaism. Through participation in the lessons, students gained religious literacy about the Jewish religion, thinking critically about Judaism in relation to their own religious beliefs. They also responded in ways that indicate a humanizing connection between the students and the culture they are investigating.
  • Instructional Designers as Organizational Change Agents
    Bond, Mark Aaron; Lockee, Barbara B.; Blevins, Samantha (Educause, 2023-10-31)
    Systems thinking and change strategies can be used to improve the overall functioning of a system. Because instructional designers typically use systems thinking to facilitate behavioral changes and improve institutional performance, they are uniquely positioned to be change agents at higher education institutions.
  • Motivational climate predicts effort and achievement in a large computer science course: examining differences across sexes, races/ethnicities, and academic majors
    Jones, Brett D.; Ellis, Margaret; Gu, Fei; Fenerci, Hande (2023-11-13)
    Background: The motivational climate within a course has been shown to be an important predictor of students’ engagement and course ratings. Because little is known about how students’ perceptions of the motivational climate in a computer science (CS) course vary by sex, race/ethnicity, and academic major, we investigated these questions: (1) To what extent do students’ achievement and perceptions of motivational climate, cost, ease, and efort vary by sex, race/ethnicity, or major? and (2) To what extent do the relationships between students’ achievement and perceptions of motivational climate, cost, and efort vary by sex, race/ethnicity, and major? Participants were enrolled in a large CS course at a large public university in the southeastern U.S. A survey was administered to 981 students in the course over three years. Path analyses and one-way MANOVAs and ANOVAs were conducted to examine diferences between groups. Results: Students’ perceptions of empowerment, usefulness, interest, and caring were similar across sexes and races/ ethnicities. However, women and Asian students reported lower success expectancies. Students in the same academic major as the course topic (i.e., CS) generally reported higher perceptions of the motivational climate than students who did not major or minor in the course topic. Final grades in the course did not vary by sex or race/ethnicity, except that the White and Asian students obtained higher grades than the Black students. Across sex, race/ethnicity, and major, students’ perceptions of the motivational climate were positively related to efort, which was positively related to achievement. Conclusions: One implication is that females, Asian students, and non-CS students may need more support, or different types of support, to help them believe that they can succeed in computer science courses. On average, these students were less confdent in their abilities to succeed in the course and were more likely to report that they did not have the time needed to do well in the course. A second implication for instructors is that it may be possible to increase students’ efort and achievement by increasing students’ perceptions of the fve key constructs in the MUSIC Model of Motivation: eMpowerment, Usefulness, Success, Interest, and Caring.
  • Preparing the Expert Novice: Preservice Teacher Thinking and Efficacy in Inquiry Design
    Brugar, Kristy A.; Allen, Amy E.; Roberts, Kathryn L.; Ratcliff, Kamrin; Capps, Caitlin (SAGE, 2023-11)
    In this study, we share the understandings and the reflections of preservice teachers as they engage in focus group interviews about inquiry in social studies, generally, and their reactions to publicly available Inquiry Design Model blueprints. These preservice teachers first discussed their understanding of inquiry, which was rooted in their university coursework. They then described their self-efficacy for implementing inquiry, generally, and the IDM blueprint, specifically, in their current field placements and future classrooms. This envisioned implementation often involved adaptations of the blueprints. Our goal in this research was to reconsider how preservice teachers experience and learn about social studies inquiry and, as a result of these experiences, whether and how they see themselves implementing social studies inquiry with students. This study can inform teacher educators to proactively address common barriers and better support preservice teachers.
  • Historically Native American Fraternities and Sororities (HNAFS): Women Reclaiming Space for Native Students in Higher Education
    Peters, Brian; Hunt, Brittany; Faircloth, Melissa; Mcmillan, Ashley (IAP, 2023)
  • Searching for safe space: Student veterans' uneven pathways to STEM careers by race
    Hunt, Brittany; Lim, Jae Hoon (Begell House, 2023)
    As the student demographics of higher education in the United States continue to diversify, as well as the United States military, the enrollment numbers of student veterans of color are on the rise. And while higher education has served as a space of knowledge, community, and self-discovery for many students, it maintains itself as primarily a space of White hegemony which has been the cause of persistent difficulties and traumas for students of color, whilst maintaining comfort and homogeneity for White students. This study focuses on the identity and relational experiences of three graduate student veterans, one White male, one White female, and one Black male, in their higher education journey as student veterans. This work examines the ways that the military and higher education provide privileged and normalized spaces of safety and belonging for Whiteness–even if these spaces are more haphazard for White women–while marginalizing Blackness by posing enormous challenges to Black veterans trying to find a support system on campus.
  • Behold the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how to keep pace with workplace competencies in an ever-changing world of work!
    Mukuni, Joseph (IntechOpen, 2023-10-30)
    In recent years, the workplace has been changing constantly in terms of the nature of work and the processes, tools, and competencies required to support sustainable productivity and competitiveness of enterprises. The factors responsible for this change include massive technological innovations, demographic changes, and unforeseen circumstances such as the COVID -19 pandemic. These changes in work have exacerbated the alignment of skills supply and demand, putting pressure on providers of education and training to reform their curriculum content to include the in-demand technical and socioemotional competencies and the signature pedagogies best suited for the ever-changing curriculum content. This chapter identifies the Fourth Industrial Revolution with its attendant digital innovations as one of the key causes of change and proposes some pedagogical approaches to the teaching and learning of in-demand skills. The suggested pedagogies shift the burden of skills acquisition from the instructor to the learner through learner-centered methodologies that prepare students for lifelong learning, problem-solving, and interdisciplinary collaborative searches for solutions to unforeseen challenges associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution innovations.
  • Impact of a regional community of practice for academic developers engaged in institution-level support for SoTL
    Lukes, Laura A.; Abbot, Sophia; Henry, Dayna; Wells, Melissa; Baum, Liesl M.; Case, Kim; Brantmeier, Edward J.; Wheeler, Lindsay (Routledge, 2023-04)
    Academic developers play a key role in advancing instructor engagement in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) at their higher education institutions, but face structural and epistemological isolation. To leverage the knowledge and experience of developers leading SoTL efforts at their respective institutions, a group of academic developers co-created a regional community of practice (CoP) centered on developing evidence-based strategic plans and programming models to advance SoTL at their. We describe the development and outcomes of this regional CoP. Future directions for the use of such a regional CoP model to collaboratively develop cross-institutional offerings are also discussed.
  • Using Motivational Theories to Study Imposter Phenomenon Among Academics
    Taasoobshirazi, Gita; Hord, Amy; Vaughn, Ashley; Treadaway, Hailey; Johnson, Marcus Lee (2023-05-01)
    The present study analyzes Imposter Phenomenon (IP) through the lens of three different motivational frameworks. Expectancy Value Theory, Attribution Theory, and Self-Determination Theory were used to study IP among academics. With 72% of participants experiencing frequent or intense IP levels, IP was prevalent among those sampled. Females experienced higher IP than males, although race and first-generation status did not significantly impact IP levels. Post docs had higher IP scores than tenured faculty and full-time non-tenured faculty had higher IP scores than tenured faculty. Younger academics had higher IP scores. Analyses of the motivational frameworks showed significant differences by IP level.
  • Validating a measure of motivational climate in health science courses
    Jones, Brett D.; Wilkins, Jesse L. M.; Schram, Ásta B.; Gladman, Tehmina; Kenwright, Diane; A. Lucio-Ramírez, César (2023-08-02)
    Purpose: The aim of the study was to examine the validity evidence for the 19-item form of the MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation Inventory (College Student version) within health science schools in three different countries. The MUSIC Inventory includes five scales that assess the motivational climate by measuring students’ perceptions related to five separate constructs: empowerment, usefulness, success, interest, and caring. Background: The 26-item form of the MUSIC Inventory has been validated for use with undergraduate students and with students in professional schools, including students at a veterinary medicine school, a pharmacy school, and a medical school. A 19-item form of the MUSIC Inventory has also been validated for use with undergraduate students, but it has not yet been validated for use with medical school students. The purpose of this study was to provide validity evidence for the use of the 19-item form in heath science schools in three different countries to determine if this version is acceptable for use in different cultures. If validated, this shorter form of the MUSIC Inventory would provide more differentiation between the Interest and Usefulness scales and could reduce respondent fatigue. Methodology: Cook et al’s [1] practical guidelines were followed to implement Kane’s [2] validity framework as a means to examine the evidence of validity through scoring inferences, generalization inferences, and extrapolation inferences. Students (n = 667) in health science schools within three countries were surveyed. Results: The results produced evidence to support all five hypotheses related to scoring, generalization, and extrapolation inferences. Conclusions: Scores from the 19-item form of the MUSIC Inventory are valid for use in health science courses within professional schools in different countries. Therefore, the MUSIC Inventory can be used in these schools to assess students’ perceptions of the motivational climate.