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Posts Tagged ‘research’

Participatory Action Research in a Pandemic

Revolutionizing Education

Christine Gentry
The culminating course of the NYU Teacher Residency focuses on a year-long participatory action research (PAR) journey residents take with a small group of students. PAR is a collaborative, iterative process of inquiry and action in response to an organizational or community problem. Residents and their students work as a team to identify a problem of practice, research that problem of practice, craft action and data collection plans, implement those plans, and then evaluate their impact through analysis of gathered data. In presentations at the end of the course, residents reflect on the entire process and how it helped develop student agency, advocacy, and voice as well as their own leadership. It is the faculty’s hope that during the PAR journey, residents practice radical listening and how to be mindful learners and leaders.

In March 2020, COVID-19 entered the residents’ PAR experience like a wrecking ball. I gathered with the other PAR instructors to decide how we were going to adjust the project for our residents, considering the radical change in access both to physical spaces and to the students in the PAR teams. We ultimately decided to offer the residents two choices: a reflective path, in which they could craft a presentation on their team’s original plan and the progress they were able to make pre-COVID, and a virtual pilot path, in which they could adjust their projects to the virtual space we all suddenly found ourselves in. Understandably, most residents chose to pursue the reflective path, but one resident, Lorraine Zhong, and her team of students chose to continue their project virtually. Her project is a model for how the PAR instructors in the NYU Teacher Residency will be approaching the project this year, with COVID-19’s grip still firmly on our schools. Her journey is a beautiful example of the transformative power of PAR—its ability to strengthen relationships, build student investment, and spark meaningful change—even in the face of this new and terribly difficult time for our schools.

I’ll let her take it from here.

The Longevity of Education Deans

Shelley B. Wepner & William A. Henk

The professional literature on the lifespan of education deans in their positions indicates that they serve in the role four to six years on average. We discovered a similar finding when we conducted a study through AACTE about education deans’ perceptions of essential characteristics for contributing to their success. More than two-thirds had been in their current position for five years or less (Wepner et al., in press). By the same token, though, we found that one-third of the education deans stayed in their positions much longer. These findings piqued our interest in the construct of longevity in the education deanship and inspired us to conduct a qualitative study, with the assistance of AACTE, of the factors contributing to the length of time education deans remain in office. 

We believed that the construct deserved study because endurance in this demanding administrative capacity would presumably exert an impact on the welfare of schools and colleges of education. In a related vein, resilience as an education dean would seem to signify a reasonable indicator of sustained effectiveness, while brevity in the job might suggest the reverse. We also pursued the construct with the understanding that the roles and responsibilities of education deans, while resembling other academic deans, do present some markedly unique challenges that might affect longevity, and that there would be value for those in positions to affect education deans’ tenures positively, whether central administrators, peers, faculty or staff, to better understand the factors that promote longevity.        

Tips for a Successful JTE Editorship Proposal

After a highly successful tenure, it is time for Michigan State University to hand over the reins of AACTE’s premier publication to a new campus-based team. The Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) is a 120-page refereed scholarly publication on teacher education policy, practice, and research. It is published five times each year; the editors typically receive more than 800 articles annually, of which about 40 are published.

The JTE editor is responsible for editorial administration of the journal. This includes receiving and screening manuscripts; coordinating the blind peer-review process; substantive editing; working with authors on revisions; selecting and organizing final articles for each issue; writing an editorial; and transmitting print-ready issue copy to SAGE Publications, Inc., which provides copy editing, layout, and printing services for the journal and manages its subscription, distribution, and marketing activities.

Proposals to serve as the editorial team for JTE are due on October 1 (see this blog post for more information and a link to the RFP).

If you plan to submit a proposal, what should you be considering? A successful proposal will provide comprehensive answers to the following key questions:

How Two Professors Helped Secure Flint Water Crisis Settlement

Bill Therrien and Gail LovetteThis article originally appeared in the University of Virginia’s UVAToday online news magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Two University of Virginia professors who played a significant role in this week’s Flint, Michigan, water crisis lawsuit settlement are being applauded around the country.

Gail Lovette and Bill Therrien, professors in UVA’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, worked pro bono on the case for nearly four years, analyzing how increased exposure to lead in Flint’s municipal water supply affected children’s learning.

On Thursday, they saw their work pay off in the form of a $600 million settlement with the State of Michigan and other defendants that includes at least $9 million in new funding for special education programs in Flint Community Schools and surrounding school districts that educate special education students who were on the Flint water lines.

Lovette and Therrien called the result a “testament to the people of Flint.”

“Parents and teachers—some at potential great risk because they were still employed by the schools—stood up for their community’s children and students,” Therrien said.

The two professors were part of the litigation efforts of the ACLU of Michigan, the Education Law Center and the New York-based global law firm White and Case. They spent time in Flint, speaking with educators and families and reviewing documents associated with the schools and districts.

Are school systems ready to reopen this fall?

Dwayne Ray Cormier

This article originally appeared on the Virginia Commonwealth School of Education website and is reprinted with permission.

As public school systems across the country are readying plans to reopen — in some fashion — this fall, a new study at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is investigating the preparedness of two school districts within the greater Richmond area amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study, “Exploring PreK-12 Public School Systems’ Pandemic Preparedness During COVID-19 School Closures,” is led by Holmes Scholar alumnus Dwayne Ray Cormier, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Foundations of Education in the School of Education and a visiting iCubed scholar.

“I wanted to see: what do the protocols and processes look like?” Cormier said. “And I then want to see if there’s anything we can learn that can be shared throughout the state or throughout the country that would help schools prepare.”

COVID-19 Hit Students with Disabilities, Their Families, and Their Teachers Hard: Here’s How We Can Prepare Principals to Help

Teacher with students running in hallway behind her

Inclusive leadership is better for schools, teachers, and all students. Every student deserves to attend a school led by a principal with the skills, knowledge, and training to promote equity for all students, including students with disabilities. Yet, general education teachers and school principals report being underprepared to effectively serve students with disabilities. Only 12 percent of a nationally representative sample of school principals and only 17 percent of general education teachers report feeling well prepared to serve and teach students with disabilities.

Support for Preparing Inclusive School Leaders During COVID-19

While the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted education for all students, students with disabilities face unique challenges in transitioning to remote learning and in their eventual transition back to the classroom. Like the pandemic and the systemic racism plaguing our nation, inequitable access to effective school leadership is more prevalent for underserved populations, including students with disabilities. A recently released brief from CCSSO, the CEEDAR Center, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders highlights key recommendations, examples, and resources to support educator preparation programs (EPPs) and Deans of Education in addressing the pressing challenges for school leaders posed by the COVID-19 crises.

How Poverty is Measured Matters for School Funding and Services

Group of children from various ethnicities

Learning Policy Institute’s (LPI) new study, Measuring Student Socioeconomic Status: Toward a Comprehensive Approach, discusses the limitations of the popular measure and examines alternatives for state policymakers who are seeking to accurately count students from low-income families.

“Changing how we measure and address student poverty is more important than ever,” said LPI Senior Researcher Peter Cookson, who authored the study. “A shift away from the [federal Free and Reduced-Price Lunch] FRPL [program] measure was already long overdue and taking place in some states. This takes on deeper urgency now as learning for a generation of students has been upheaved by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accurately measuring family incomes is necessary if policymakers are to allocate school resources that meet the educational needs of students.”

Submissions Due for AACTE Dissertation Award

2021 AACTE Awards Banner

The deadline for the AACTE 2021 Outstanding Dissertation Award is quickly approaching. Have you or someone you know recently completed a prize-worthy doctoral dissertation related to educator preparation?  If so, applications are being accepted through our online submission system until August 21.

This award recognizes excellence in doctoral dissertation research (or its equivalent) that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. Overseen by AACTE’s Committee on Research and Dissemination, this award includes a $1,000 cash prize, as well as special recognition at AACTE’s 73rd Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA, February 26 – 28, 2021.

Reflecting on Benefits of Editing the Journal of Teacher Education

JTE banner

The Michigan State University (MSU) College of Education has served as editorial home of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) for almost six years. With the editorship have come benefits, both to the editorial leaders and to our college. To handle the large number of manuscripts that come to JTE each year, we recruited a team, with four faculty co-editors (all at MSU), a half-dozen or so faculty associate editors (some at MSU, some at other institutions), and a part-time staff member as managing editor. We also had a rotating annual appointment of a junior faculty member as assistant editor, and two part-time graduate assistants.

As a part of the editorial team, faculty members contributed to scholarship on teacher education by making decisions and providing guidance to authors, both of which ensured that the publications in JTE were substantial contributions to the field, using high quality scholarship to address important issues. Editorial team members also had opportunities to participate in writing the editorials included in each issues—editorials that were then frequently cited by other scholars.

VCU Hosts Holmes Scholars Fall 2020 Research and Mentorship Summit

VCU Holmes Scholars 2020 Research and Mentorship Summit

The Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Education is sponsoring a  two-day research and mentorship summit on August 13 and 14 designed for historically underrepresented schools and colleges of education Ph.D. student, as well as M.Ed. students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. The summit will offer resources and professional development to facilitate students’ success as doctoral students who will be positioned for tenure track faculty positions. Students will have opportunities to discuss and better develop their research and scholarship interests and skills, learn strategies for success, and network with other underrepresented minority graduate students and faculty. 

Register in advance for the virtual (via Zoom) VCU Fall 2020 Research and Mentorship Summit.

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