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Volume 30, Issue 2, 2019

Co-Editors: Bob Ives, Rod E. Case, and Peter Cobin

ISSN: 2637-8965

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Factors that Predict ACT Science Scores from a Multicultural Perspective

Shihua Chen Brazill, Montana State University

Abstract: This study investigated predictors for ACT Science scores, a test used by many universities to rank applicants. This study utilized quantitative research methods using the Montana Office of Public Instruction’s GEMS (Growth and Enhancement of Montana Students) data set. All advanced statistical analysis was conducted using Stata software IC/15. This research is significant for increasing the representation of under-represented groups in STEM education because it helps clarify three important relationships: (1) How well do gender, race, and meal status predict 11th grade ACT Science scores; (2) How well does school size predict 11th grade ACT Science scores while controlling for gender, race, and meal status; and (3) How well does high school GPA predict 11th grade ACT Science scores while controlling for gender, race, meal status, and school size.

Reference: Brazill, S. C. (2019). Factors that Predict ACT Science Scores from a Multicultural Perspective.Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 1-16.


Literature Review of Adjunct Faculty

Kami J. Danaei, University of Wyoming

Abstract: Since the 1970s, higher education has become increasingly reliant upon adjunct faculty to fill gaps in class instruction, but institutions tend to offer adjuncts subpar professional support as compared to their full-time counterparts. To ensure students’ academic success, it is vital that adjuncts are provided resources, points of engagement that enable adjunct instructors to build collegiality, and meaningful professional development opportunities. The purpose of this literature review was to evaluate connections of professional development to adjunct faculty. The focus became adjunct professional development, specifically mentoring. Mentoring is one effective way to narrow the divide between tenured and adjunct faculty. This study highlights points of consideration and implications for mentoring programs within higher education and makes recommendations to higher education administrators.

Reference: Danaei, K. J. (2019). Literature Review of Adjunct Faculty. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 17-33.

Types of Research & Literature Informing our Practices in the Field of Intellectual Disability

MaryAnn Demchak, University of Nevada, Reno
Brianna Grumstrup, University of Nevada, Reno
Chevonne Sutter, University of Nevada, Reno
Andrea Forsyth, University of Nevada, Reno
Jill Grattan, University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract: This descriptive study focused on identifying types of research conducted in the area of intellectual disability (ID) and published in peer-reviewed journals identified from professional organizations, experts in the field, and databases. The most common research design implemented with IDEA-eligible individuals identified as having ID was single case research designs, specifically multiple probe and multiple baseline designs. Within journals targeting the area of ID, most publications were empirical studies of individuals with ID or other participants (e.g., parents, teachers). It is important to understand types of literature and research informing the study of ID to understand the evidence underlying our practices and policies. Increased numbers of high quality intervention studies are needed to inform the field.

Reference: Demchak, M., Grumstrup, B., Sutter, C., Forsyth, A. & Grattan, J. (2019). Types of Research 34& Literature Informing our Practices in the Field of Intellectual Disability. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 34-49.

Mentoring: Perceptions of Three Junior Faculty

Lindsay Diamond, University of Nevada, Reno
Paris Ryan, San Diego Community College District
Tara Beziat, Auburn University at Montgomery

Abstract: Mentoring is recognized as an effective way to support the development of junior faculty in higher education. Engagement in an informal or formal mentoring program will support the development of junior faculty on the path to tenure. Because the needs of individual faculty vary, many institutions of higher education have implemented formal mentoring programs. This study explored the perceptions of three junior faculty participating in university-based mentoring programs using a moderate approach to autoethnography. Results of a qualitative analysis of personal narratives indicates that the participants were engaged in formal and informal mentoring programs. This article describes the specific mentoring experiences of three junior faculty which support the need for mentoring programs and provides suggestions for junior faculty seeking mentorship.

Reference: Diamond, L., Ryan, P. & Beziat, T. (2019). Mentoring: Perceptions of Three Junior Faculty.Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 50-60.

Small-Town and Rural Idaho Elementary Teachers’ Desired Versus Current Use of Differentiated Instructional Practices

Amanda L. Eller, Idaho State University
Walter S. Polka, Niagara University
Rosina E. Mete, Niagara University

Abstract: As part of a 12-state nationwide study, elementary teachers in small-town and rural Idaho were surveyed regarding their actual use of differentiation versus their desired use of differentiation in the classroom across five teaching-learning behaviors: classroom expectations of students; student objectives; student evaluations; teacher communication and messages; and teacher objectives. The purpose of this research was two-fold: first to gather information about elementary teachers in rural and small-town Idaho and study that data individually; and second, to utilize the Idaho data in the nationwide study. This article discusses the results for the Idaho portion of the study, as well as the relation to trends emerging across other states in the study.

Reference: Eller, A. L., Polka, W. S. & Mete, R. E. (2019). Small-Town and Rural Idaho Elementary Teachers’ Desired Versus Current Use of Differentiated Instructional Practices. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 61-74.

Cooperating Teachers’ Perceptions of their Preservice Teacher’s Impact on Student Learning

Sarah J. Kaka, Ohio Wesleyan University

Abstract: This phenomenological study explored the research question: In what ways do cooperating teachers perceive that their preservice teachers impact student learning? The preservice teachers’ ability to impact student learning was rooted in Shulman’s pedagogical content knowledge framework and was defined as the ways in which preservice teachers use their pedagogical content knowledge to help students learn, understand, and improve. In depth interviews with eight K-12 cooperating teachers were conducted, and five major themes emerged when determining how preservice teachers impact student learning: creating relationships with students; providing feedback to students; being able to engage students; having good classroom management; and having a passion for teaching.

Reference: Kaka, S. J. (2019). Cooperating Teachers’ Perceptions of their Preservice Teacher’s Impact on Student Learning. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 75-90.

How Online Students Approach Bracketing: A Survey Research Study

Jennifer Weatherford, University of Wyoming
Debalina Maitra, University of Wyoming

Abstract: Graduate students in online educational research courses participated in a questionnaire about bracketing practices. Exploratory factor analysis led to the result that student researchers followed three approaches to their work: a) engaging strengths, b) being neutral, and c) honoring feelings. In a descriptive analysis of means, we found that students most strongly agreed that their personal interests inspired their research, that they had been frustrated by a research project, and that they questioned what they knew before they began a study. These responses led to recommendations that bracketing be formally taught and that associated practices be included in distance research courses.

Reference: Weatherford, J. & Maitra, D. (2019). How Online Students Approach Bracketing: A Survey Research Study. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 91-102.

New Teacher Mentoring and Teacher Retention: Examining the Peer Assistance and Review Program

Peter D. Wiens, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Annie Chou, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
David Vallett, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Jodi S. Beck, Old Dominion University

Abstract: The first years of teaching can be difficult for some teachers and substantial numbers of them leave the profession early in their careers. This attrition can be detrimental to student academic outcomes and financially damaging to school districts. One solution schools have implemented is peer mentoring teacher induction programs. The Peer Assistance and Review program (PAR) is one such mentoring initiative adopted by a group of schools in a large, urban school district in the Southwestern United States. Administrative data indicate that schools that implemented PAR saw decreases in new teachers leaving and teacher attrition overall.

Reference: Wiens, P. D., Chou, A., Vallett, D. & Beck, J. S. (2019). New Teacher Mentoring and Teacher Retention: Examining the Peer Assistance and Review Program. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 30(2), 103-110.