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Educational Research: Theory and Practice

Volume 33, Issue 2, 2022

Editor: Bob Ives

ISSN: 2637-8965

Teacher Learning and Professional Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Descriptive Study

Mahmut Kalman — Gaziantep University, Turkey
Barış Kalender — Gaziantep University, Turkey
Burak Cesur — Gaziantep University, Turkey

Abstract: The present study aimed at revealing classroom teachers’ perceptions and experiences of their learning and professional development (LPD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional survey design was utilized. Three questionnaires and several open-ended questions were used to collect data from teachers. A total of 441 classroom teachers participated in the study from various provinces across Turkey. The results indicated that classroom teachers attempted to participate in LPD activities during the pandemic. A need-based perspective was adopted in teachers’ endeavors to enhance their LPD. Despite some challenges including the lack of technological means, infrastructural inadequacies, and negative psychological effects, the process was fruitful for most of the participating teachers.

Reference: 

Kalman, M.; Kalender, B. & Cesur, B. (2022). Teacher learning and professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic: A descriptive study. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 1-22.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

Play as a Medium for Children’s Learning from Parents’ Perspectives

Sara K. Moon-Seo — Rogers State University, USA
Sonya E. Munsell — Rogers State University, USA

Abstract: Parents are children’s first educators. Parents influence children’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development from an early age. This qualitative study explored parents’ perceptions of children’s play through semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and analyzed using open coding. Themes emerged related to the positive and negative aspects of play. Some of the positive aspects of play parents mentioned included play providing opportunities for exploration and creativity, social interaction, and a fun, worry-free, and relaxed learning context. Potential negative consequences of play included rough play leading to injuries. Other potential negative aspects of play parents mentioned were imitating bad behaviors during play and engaging in too much screen time play.

Reference: 

Moon-Seo, S. K. & Munsell, S. E. (2022). Play as a medium for children’s learning from parents’ perspectives. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 23-31.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

The Relationship among Reading, Math, and Science Achievement: Exploring the Growth Trajectories over Three Time Points

Holly Roof — University of Denver, USA
Lilian Chimuma — University of Denver, USA

Abstract: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education is considered critical and valid for the modern workforce which is strongly enveloped in technology. Therefore, it is imperative to reinforce science and math education and knowledge among students early in their educations. Despite this understanding, most research has focused on the importance of mathematics and emphasized its role in science education. Research highlights the relationships between math and science fluency in students’ education at a specific point in time (Fleischman et al., 2010). Furthermore, reading has been strongly linked to success in math and also science achievement. However, few studies have examined the relationships among reading, math, and science simultaneously. Given that research identifies reading as a strong predictor for both math and science, it is necessary to explore how ability and achievement in these two subjects is influenced by reading in the early years of school.

Reference: 

Roof, H. & Chimuma, L. (2022). The relationship among reading, math and science achievement: Exploring the growth trajectories over three time points. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 32-49.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

How Students at a University in Florida Experienced and Coped with COVID-Related Restrictions

Peter R. Reuter — Florida Gulf Coast University, USA
Bridget L. Forster — Florida Gulf Coast University, USA
Bethany J. Kruger — Florida Gulf Coast University, USA

Abstract: Colleges and universities worldwide were forced to introduce COVID-related restrictions and to transition to mainly distance (online) teaching and learning for Academic Year 2020/2021. There were questions as to how students would cope with these massive changes and how many would develop mental and emotional health issues with an impact on their personal well-being and academic progress. The current research used two anonymous student surveys to shed light on how students at a university in Florida experienced living and studying under COVID restrictions. The results indicate that the approach chosen by our university was overall appreciated by students and may have helped most of them to cope well under unprecedented circumstances. Students gave the university an overall positive rating for how it handled the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were equally satisfied with the teaching overall and faculty’s efforts to help them stay on track academically. Students also understood that the situation was unusual and very challenging for faculty and administration. However, respondents also felt that faculty and the institution in general were far less concerned with their mental and emotional well-being, and that not enough efforts had been made to proactively identify and connect with students who struggled with mental or emotional health issues. On a positive note, our study did not find an increase in depression and suicidal ideation. The results reported could be used to evaluate and improve mental health outreach at universities regardless of whether or not COVID-related restrictions will stay or be a thing of the past.

Reference: 

Reuter, P. R., Forster, B. L., & Kruger, B. J. (2022). How students at a university in Florida experienced and coped with COVID-related restrictions. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 50-63.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

The Hiring Preferences and Organizational Characteristics of Charter Schools: A Multiple Case Study Approach

Andromeda Hightower — University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA

Abstract: Charter schools experience higher than average teacher turnover when compared with traditional public schools, with organizational characteristics cited as one contributing factor. This paper seeks to better understand organization characteristics by examining charter school recruitment. Through a multiple case study context, hiring materials produced by large, multi-school charter school networks across the U.S. were examined using content analysis and domain-taxonomic-componential analysis. Findings revealed that teaching content effectively and determining results from data were the most common elements between cases, while “eliminate the gap” missions and giving/receiving feedback were the most different. Future implications for hiring and retention are discussed.

Reference: 

Hightower, A. (2022). The hiring preferences and organizational characteristics of charter schools: A multiple case study approach. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 64-79.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

Using Visual Displays to Improve Classroom Thinking

Gregory Schraw — University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA
Aaron S. Richmond — Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA

Author Note: This manuscript is published by Dr. Gregory Schraw posthumously. He was a mentor, friend, and scholar who unequivocally supported NRMERA and its students. Please consider donating to the Dr. Gregory Schraw Student Fellowship Award.
Abstract: The overarching goal of this review article is to discuss and provide evidence of ways that visual displays can be used to improve classroom thinking skills. Specifically, we attempt to first, provide a synthesis of the relationship among visual displays, visual literacy, and visual thinking. Second, we review the relatively scant educational interventions used to improve the use of visual displays. Third, we discuss five ways that visual displays improve the efficiency and depth of cognitive processes, thereby enhancing the use of thinking skills. Fourth, we review research which illustrates how visual displays improve classroom thinking and deeper learning. Fifth, using the most current research, we provide a template for integrated instruction intervention for using visual displays in the classroom. This template includes the use of complementary domain-general and domain or task-specific strategies and a 12-step computer-based tutorial sequence suitable for middle school and high school students.

Reference: 

Schraw, G., & Richmond, A. S. (2022). Using visual displays to improve classroom thinking. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 80-102.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

Decision-Based Learning: A Journey from Conception to Implementation to Iteration

Heidi A. Vogeler — Brigham Young University, USA
Kenneth J. Plummer — Brigham Young University, USA
Lane Fischer — Brigham Young University, USA
Ashton L. Plummer — Brigham Young University, USA

Abstract: Pedagogical methods for graduate-level statistics courses have rarely focused on the pursuit of conditional knowledge or the ability to choose which concepts/procedures are relevant given a specific research situation. However, utilization of an innovative approach called decision-based learning (DBL) not only provides students with the conceptual, declarative, and procedural knowledge of traditional statistics courses, it also demystifies the process of gaining conditional knowledge; thus decreasing “statistics anxiety.” This study examined the impact of a DBL course on students’ ability to select appropriate statistical methods based on the wording of story problems, and specifically looked at pre-post differences. Participants were graduate students enrolled in an introductory statistics course who completed a combination of a pre, and post, and follow-up interviews. Interviews were coded and scored based on students’ ability to correctly identify statistical methods, run and interpret statistical output. Results indicated that students’ conditional knowledge increased significantly from pre- to post- to follow-up (effect sizes of 0.63 to 0.64). This compares favorably with the range of effect size increase from published studies of other innovative approaches (0.21 to 0.52). Results also showed nominal conditional knowledge decay, suggesting that DBL can be an effective and efficient means of teaching introductory graduate-level statistics. Implications for other disciplines are noted.

Reference: 

Vogeler, H. A., Plummer, K. J., Fischer, L., & Plummer, A. L. (2022). Decision-based learning: A journey from conception to implementation to iteration. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 103-115.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

Access to Academic Intensity through Advanced Placement and Concurrent Enrollment: Statewide Evidence from Colorado

Grant Clayton — University of Colorado Colorado Springs, USA
Marah C. Guzman — University of Colorado Colorado Springs, USA

Abstract: Advanced Placement (AP) is traditionally used to provide rigorous secondary coursework and provide potential postsecondary credit for secondary education students. One of the criticisms of AP is the difference in access across schools. Concurrent enrollment (CE) offers similar opportunities to AP but has been theorized to provide greater access. This study explores the probability of a high school in Colorado offering any AP or CE courses or a given AP or CE course using multiple years of statewide, school level data. The likelihood of a school offering AP is largely driven by having a sufficiently large population of high achieving students and the affluence of the surrounding community. In contrast, schools are more likely to offer CE if they are less wealthy, distant from urban centers, or charter. By serving schools traditionally unlikely to offer AP, CE expands access to advanced academic opportunities.

Reference: 

Clayton, G., & Guzman, M. C. (2022). Access to academic intensity through advanced placement and concurrent enrollment: Statewide evidence from Colorado. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 116-131.

License: Attribution 4.0 International

The Case for Empathy as a Standard for Principal Certification

Brian Coppess — Western Colorado University, USA

Abstract: Although empathy is cited as a favorable leadership disposition in research, school principals are typically unsure about the role of empathy while performing their duties. Through a review of literature, this paper discerns specific strategies that should diminish principals’ confusion about empathy and lead to more empathic, inclusive school leaders and schools.

Reference: 

Coppess, B. (2022). The case for empathy as a standard for principal certification. Educational Research: Theory and Practice, 33(2), 132-140.

License: Attribution 4.0 International