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Editor: Christopher A. Was, Ph.D.

Staff Members’ Perceptions of Student-Veterans’ Transition at a Public Two-Year and Four-Year Institution

Howard R. D. Gordan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Heidi Schneiter, College of Southern Nevada
Ross Brayant, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Vanessa Winn, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Valarie C. Burke, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Tracy Johnson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Abstract: The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore staff members’ perceptions of student veterans college experiences at a 2-year and a 4-year institution. This study was guided by Schlossberg’s Theory of Adult Transitions. Purposive sampling was used to identify 640 participants for the study.  Respondents indicated that their campus should add more support services for student- veterans. Staff members rank the following as major problems that the Department of Veterans should be responsible for when helping student-veterans with selected problems: military- related physical injuries, PTSD, and talking about their military experiences. A majority of the respondents reported that they would be willing to participate in a seminar about student-veterans and military culture.

Reference: Gordon, H. R. D., Schneiter, H., Bryant, R., Winn, V., Burke, V. C., & Johnson, T. (2016). Staff members’ perceptions of student veterans’ transition at a public two-year and four year institution. Educational Research: Theory & Practice, 28(1), 1 – 14.


The Next Generation: Investigating the Impact of Student-Centered and Standard Lecture Pedagogy on Millennial Pre-Service Teachers

Lori Howe, University of Wyoming
Ann Van Wig, University of Wyoming

Abstract: In the history of public education in America, standard lecture format has dominated classroom pedagogy, casting students in the role of passive absorbers of information, while teachers have been viewed as the undisputed locus of all knowledge and authority in the classroom (Burgan, 2006; Kruidenier & Morrison, 2013; Liu, Lin, Jian, & Liou, 2012). In the 21st century, however, constructivist pedagogy, which locates students at the center of their own educational paradigm, increasingly takes center stage (Kane, 2010; Moje, Young, & Readence, 2000; Sharan, 2015). This descriptive research study queried 36 pre-service teachers (elementary and secondary) on their educational history, teacher training pedagogy, and their pedagogical beliefs. Our purpose in conducting this study was to examine how millennial, pre-service teachers’ educational backgrounds and teacher training program pedagogies intersect to influence their own pedagogical beliefs. All the participants were enrolled in a foundational class in educational psychology; a required course in teacher education. The Likert and open-ended question survey consisted of 20-items. Findings suggested pre-service teachers believe students learn best through student-centered pedagogy.

Reference: Howe, L., & Van Wig, A. (2016). The next generation: Investigating the impact of student-centered and standard lecture pedagogy on millennial pre-service teachers. Educational Research: Theory & Practice, 28(1), 15-21.


Assessing Students’ Use of Metacognition during Mathematical Problem Solving Using Smartpens

Lililan L. Chimuma, University of Denver
Iris DeLoach Johnson, Louisiana State University Shreveport

Abstract: This mixed methods study explored the pre and post use of metacognitive problem solving skills of 15 undergraduate students enrolled in a mathematics class in a Midwestern university. Participants’ progress in their metacognitive self-talk and group-talk was monitored as they used Pulse® Smartpens to simultaneously capture their writing and spoken words that occurred during problem solving. Results of paired t-tests yielded statistically significant differences in participants’ mean pre- and post-performance on the complete Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI), and on regulation of cognition MAI items. Participants’ self-talk and written solutions improved after gaining metacognitive awareness, yet apprehension about revealing cognitive inadequacies hampered capture of authentic self-talk.

Reference: Chimuma, L. L., & DeLoach Johnson, I. (2016). Assessing students’ use of metacognition during mathematical problem solving using Smartpens. Educational Research: Theory & Practice, 28(1), 22-36.


Facilitating Greater Instructional Differentiation Via Research-based Teacher Reflections and Site-Based Procedural Guidelines

Walter S. Polka, Niagara University 
Monica Jo VanHusen, Colonial Forge High School
William M. Young, Oglala Lakota College
Kurt J. Minervino, Buffalo City Honors School

Abstract: This article is designed to facilitate guided teacher reflections about teaching-learning practices so that more educators recognize and appreciate that they already employ many constructivist strategies, techniques, and activities on a frequent basis. And, that the most appropriate consultants to help them become even more constructivist teachers may be their colleagues who work daily in the classrooms at the same school site.

Reference: Polka, W. S., VanHusen, M. J., Young, W. M., & Minervino, K. J. (2016). Facilitating Greater Instructional Differentiation Via Research-based Teacher Reflections and Site-Based Procedural Guidelines. Educational Research: Theory & Practice, 28(1), 37 – 52.


Beating the Odds: Communities of Practice Supporting a Student Teacher with Special Needs

Gary P. Moser, Alpine School District and Utah Valley University
Ann C. Sharp, Utah Valley University
Mi Ok Kang, Utah Valley University
Aaron O’Brien, Self-Employed

Abstract: This is a case study about the experiences of a student teacher with anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder (ADD) in a traditional teacher education program. This study tracks the student teacher’s progress from his initial unsuccessful placements in fieldwork and student teaching through marked improvement after reassignment to a school with a highly supportive and inclusive environment. Using theories established in communities of practice literature and relying on ethnographic observations and interviews for our data collection and analysis, we provide an in-depth portrayal of the efforts of the communities of practice, carefully highlighting the roles of the participating teacher education communities of practice that had led him toward his academic and professional success. We conclude that student teaching is a social act which occurs within various communities of practice. When these communities worked together to build an inclusive academic and professional environment, a student teacher with special needs made significant improvement in teaching and became a full member of the communities of professional and academic practice.

Reference: Moser, G. P., Sharp, A. C., Kang, M. O., & O’Brien, A. (2016). Beating the Odds: Communities of Practice Supporting a Student Teacher with Special Needs. Educational Research: Theory & Practice, 28(1), 52 – 69.


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