Educational Research: Theory & Practice

Volume 31, Issue 3, 2020

Co-Editors: Bob Ives and Rod E. Case

ISSN: 2637-8965

What Happens in Student Teaching, Stays in Student Teaching: Variability of Practice in Similar Residency Settings

Brian Eberhard, Black Hills State University
Melanie Reaves, Montana State University

Abstract: In this study, we closely followed two teacher candidates (Scott and Dan) and their mentors through their student-teaching residencies using the following two questions to guide our investigation: (1) what did teaching look like in Scott’s and Dan’s classrooms? and (2) how did key student-teaching residency structures and forces enable and constrain Scott’s and Dan’s teaching practices? Using cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) as a theoretical lens, we found that although both candidates were given marks of proficient to excellent on the formal student-teaching assessments, the social and cultural complexities in their contexts held significant supports for professional growth for one candidate and hinderances for the other. This holds implications for teacher preparation programs with regard to program and candidate evaluation.

Reference: Eberhard, B. & Reaves, M. (2020). What happens in student teaching, stays in student teaching: Variability of practice in similar residency settings. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 1-17.

Research and Journal Publications in the Field of Deafblindness: What Designs & Literature Inform our Practices?

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

Abstract: This descriptive study identified types of articles published, and research designs used, in 37 peer-reviewed special education journals. A total of 4,854 articles published from 2012 through 2017 were examined to determine types of articles and research methods informing policy and practice during the 6-year period and contributing to identification of future research needs. Similar numbers of qualitative designs, single case research designs, and other quantitative designs were implemented with IDEA-eligible individuals identified as deafblind (DB). Fewer than half of these studies identified were intervention studies. Knowing types of articles and research informing the field is needed to understand the evidence underlying our practices and policies. Increased numbers of high-quality intervention studies be conducted to inform the field.

Reference: Sutter, C., Demchak, M., Forsyth, A., Grattan, J. & Grumstrup, B. (2020). Research and journal publications in the field of deafblindness: What designs & literature inform our practices?. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 18-35.

Student and Faculty Satisfaction: Can Distance Course Delivery Measure Up to Face-to-Face Courses?

Suzanne Young, University of Wyoming
Mary Alice Bruce, University of Wyoming

Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to examine higher education undergraduate student, graduate student, and instructor preferences and satisfaction for various modes of course delivery. Instructors and students in a College of Education who had participated in courses using face-to-face, video-conferencing (Zoom), online, and hybrid deliveries were asked to complete an online survey. Face-to-face and online courses were the most preferred delivery modes. Not surprising, participants indicated the most satisfaction with face-to-face courses; but of the distance delivery modes, participants were least satisfied with online courses. When considering the enrollment trends of higher education and the long-term impact of COVID-19, declines in campus enrollment and increases in distance enrollment, Zoom and hybrid course deliveries may be the mode of distance education for the future.

Reference: Young, S. & Bruce, M. A. (2020). Student and faculty satisfaction: Can distance course delivery measure up to face-to-face courses? Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 36-48.

The Concerns-Based Adoption Model and Strategic Plan Evaluation: Multiple Methodologies to Understand Complex Change

Kate Olson, Jeffco Public Schools
Katie Lannan, Jeffco Public Schools
John Cumming, Jeffco Public Schools
Heather MacGillivary, Jeffco Public Schools
Kevin Richards, Jeffco Public Schools

Abstract: Many school districts utilize a strategic plan to implement their district vision to accomplish goals important to their students, stakeholders, and community at-large. Often, however, school districts use student outcome data as the main success indicator of their strategic plan. This summative approach fails to capture interim successes, cannot inform ongoing implementation and midcourse corrections, and fails to identify the nuances and challenges inherent in complex change processes. This paper uses the Concerns-Based Adoption Model, collecting survey and qualitative interview data, to inform the implementation of a school district’ s strategic plan. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model offers multiple methods to inform ongoing implementation instead of sole reliance on student outcome, culture, or climate data.

Reference: Olson, K., Lannan, K., Cumming, J., MacGillivary, H. & Richards, K. (2020). The concerns-based adoption model and strategic plan evaluation: Multiple methodologies to understand complex change. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 49-58.

Dual Credit Financing: Friend or Foe?

Kathryn Starkey, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Abstract: This study sought to uncover insight into dual enrollment funding policies and procedures for institutions and their school district partners. Through a social constructivist lens, this phenomenological research study investigated the experiences of first-year, full-time students that had participated in a regional comprehensive university in the west, as seven students participated in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative results yielded implications for practice to improve orientation, staff training, transparency in funding processes, better advising, and funding improvements for school district agreements. The analysis also yields avenues for future research to further delve into dual credit funding policies and ameliorate the limitations in the current study.

Reference: Starkey, K. (2020). Dual credit financing: Friend or Foe? Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 59-73.

Leveraging Tutorial Instructional Software to Enhance Classroom Mathematical Discussions: An Exploratory Mixed-Methods Study

Katie L. Anderson-Pence, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Jennifer A. Tygret, Illinois College
Lauren Crocker, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Abstract: Using a convergent parallel mixed methods design, this exploratory study examined mathematics lessons in two third-grade classrooms to analyze the mathematical classroom discourse when using tutorial instructional software. A chi-square test for independence revealed statistically significant correlations between teachers use of the focusing and revoicing talk moves and student discourse levels of generalization and justification. The qualitative analysis found two major themes: (1) responsive teaching with technology, and (2) using digital representations to question students. From this analysis, the Facilitating Mathematical Discourse with Technology framework emerges connecting three key elements of instruction with technology: the students, the teacher, and the instructional software. The relationships among these elements illustrate the classroom interactions when using technology to enhance classroom mathematical discourse.

Reference: Anderson-Pence, K. L., Tygret, J. A. & Crocker, L. (2020). Leveraging tutorial instructional software to enhance classroom mathematical discussions: An exploratory mixed-methods study. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 74-93.

The Application of Geographic Information System (GIS) in Academic Success Center (ASC) of a Medium-sized Liberal Art University

Xiao Yuan, Niagara University

Abstract: This research paper demonstrates the distribution and change of students’ geographic origin in the Academic Success Center of a liberal art university from academic year 2015 to 2017. GIS (Geographic Information System) is used as the research tool, and maps are produced in accordance with the count of participants’ home address zip code. Results imply that school districts, college recruitment offices and other centers or departments can attain straightforward images of the geographical distribution of their students. This research gives valuable insights on how educational researchers or administrators can use the GIS for recruitment and marketing purposes.

Reference: Yuan, X. (2020). The application of geographic information system (GIS) in academic success center (ASC) of a medium-sized liberal art university. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 94-100.

Coping with COVID

Sonya E. Munsell, Rogers State University
Lori O’Malley, Rogers State University
Christi Mackey, Rogers State University


The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented amount of change to the daily lives of individuals around the world. Stay at home/safer at home measures have drastically limited individuals’ face to face contact. College students have had to quickly adapt to new modes of instruction, including various forms of distance learning. Many colleges have yet to make final decisions regarding how instruction will be delivered in the coming semester. The uncertainty COVID-19 brings in regard to daily living and higher education pursuits may lead to a variety of negative outcomes for college students, including increased stress and anxiety and decreased academic performance. The current research examines how undergraduate students attending a small college in the Southwestern United States are coping with the pandemic compared to the general adult population. 289 participants completed survey items related to coping, hope, and personality. Results reveal that college students employ significantly more maladaptive coping strategies than the general population in response to the stress surrounding the pandemic. Additionally, they have significantly lower levels of hope and possess lower levels of conscientiousness, emotional engagement, and openness to new experiences. The results of this study have important implications for higher education institutions, who should take these findings into consideration as they make plans for the coming academic year.

Reference: Munsell, S. E., O’Malley, L. & Mackey, C. (2020). Coping with COVID. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 101-109.

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