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Volume 31, Issue 2, 2020

Co-Editors: Bob Ives and Rod E. Case

ISSN: 2637-8965

Effective Strategies and Characteristics that Lead Native American Students to Complete Graduate Education

Ahmed Al-Asfour, Oglala Lakota College
Sandra White Shield, Oglala LakotaCollege
Sydney Freeman, Jr., University of Idaho

Abstract: Few studies have explored the success of Native American students in postgraduate degrees. To address this research gap in the literature, the current study examines the success of Native American students pursuing master and doctoral degrees. This study drew on the Graduate Student Inclusion and Success model to identify effective strategies that lead to graduate student inclusion and success. Additionally, a hermeneutic phenomenology qualitative approach was used. Ten in-depth semi-structured interviews were also conducted using thematic analysis. The themes identified from data were Personal & Educational Goals, Family Matters, Financial Support, and Finding a Mentor. The results of this study have significant implications for higher education institutions, legislators, and other stakeholders that want to increase the participation rate of Native American students in graduate programs.

Reference: Al-Asfour, A., Shield, S. W. & Freeman, Jr., S. (2020). Effective Strategies and Characteristics that Lead Native American Students to Complete Graduate Education. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 32(1), 1-16.

Race and Gender Factors in ACT English and Composite Scores

Shihua Chen Brazill, Montana State University

Abstract: This study utilized quantitative research methods using the Montana Office of Public Instruction’s Growth and Enhancement of Montana Students (GEMS) data set. This quantitative research is important because it provides insight on the following relationships (1) Is there a statistically significant difference among students from different races on their mean 11th grade ACT English scores?; (2) Is there an interaction between gender and race on students’ mean 11th grade ACT English scores?; and (3) Is there a statistically significant difference among American Indian students mean ACT composite score from their Junior to their Senior year.

Reference: Brazill, S. C. (2020). Race and Gender Factors in ACT English and Composite Scores. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(2), 17-28.

Advice from Former Department Chairs: Qualitative Perspectives

Michael W. Firmin, Cedarville University
Matthew W. Shinkle, Cedarville University
Samantha B. Kohli, Cedarville University
Sydney L. Dosier, Cedarville University
Ling-Ruey Chaung, University of Missouri

Abstract: In the present phenomenological qualitative research study, we conducted interviews with 14 professors whom returned to full-time faculty positions after having served in department chair positions at a Midwest, comprehensive, private university. Interviews explored the professors’ experiences as they reflected on their time working as chair, and we asked them for advice they would share with aspiring, future department chairs. Three themes emerged from analyzing the transcripts of our semi-structured interviews: transparency in leadership, advice regarding the difficulty of organizing unpredictable situations, and the chair role of being a temporary facilitator. The present study provides insight to current faculty members who have potential interests in pursuing future department chair roles. Many new department heads receiving little training, development, or mentoring prior to receiving their first chair appointment. Consequently, hearing the perspectives of former chairs can help shorten the new chairs’ respective learning curves and may potentially facilitate the new chairs’ own successful tenures.

Reference: Firmin, M. W., Shinkle, M. W., Kohli, S. B., Dosier, S. L. & Chaung, Y. (2020). Advice from Former Department Chairs: Qualitative Perspectives. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(2), 29-40.

Quiet Students’ Experiences with the Physical, Pedagogical, and Psychosocial Aspects of the Classroom Environment

Ann Medaille, University of Nevada, Reno
Janet Usinger, University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract: The classroom environment can be highly social, a situation which may prove challenging for students with quiet tendencies. This qualitative study focused on the perceptions of 10 self-identified quiet college students through an analysis of their first-hand accounts of their experiences in postsecondary classrooms. This study found three major themes: (1) attempting to minimize noise, interactions, and distractions, (2) struggling to outwardly express engagement, and (3) fear of social judgment. This study suggests that quiet students may be deeply affected by the physical, pedagogical, and psychosocial aspects of classroom environments. Thus, instructors may need to give attention to ways that they can adjust the classroom environment to help quiet students learn at their best.

Reference: Medaille, A. & Usinger, J. (2020). Quiet Students’ Experiences with the Physical, Pedagogical, and Psychosocial Aspects of the Classroom Environment. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(2), 41-55.

Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching a Multicultural Education Course: From Safe Space to Brave Space for a Community of Learners

Shihua Chen Brazill, Montana State University

Abstract: The article focuses on pedagogical strategies for multicultural education courses, with a focus on creating brave space for a community of learners. The study explains how to design and implement effective practices to create the brave space that is vital to a multicultural education course. Brave space is crucial because of the sensitivity of the topics covered, such as identity, intersectionality, cultural humility, social justice, and Indian Education for All.

Reference: Brazill, S. C. (2020). Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching a Multicultural Education Course: From Safe Space to Brave Space for a Community of Learners. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(2), 56-71.


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