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College of Education

Oral Presentations

Brooke Armesto

Becoming Inclusive: A Collection and Analysis of the Perceptions of Newly Qualified General Elementary Education Teachers on their Preparedness for Teaching in Inclusive Settings

Education
Mentored by Dr. Meca Williams Johnson

The main research question this study will focus on is “How do newly qualified general elementary education teachers perceive their preparedness to teach in inclusive settings?’ After researching the literature on this topic, it has become clear that there is a need for more research regarding the preparedness of newly qualified general elementary education teachers (NQTs) to teach in inclusive settings. The goal of this study is to discover what areas teachers felt like they needed to build more proficiency in to successfully teach inclusion. To collect this information, 5 NQTs were interviewed, and their interviews were transcribed and coded to create common themes between participants. The results of this study indicated that NQTs felt they would be better prepared to teach in inclusive settings had they had more special education coursework and hands-on experiences in placements. The results from this research can be used to reform curriculum or requirements for bachelors of elementary education candidates in the coming years.

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Brooke Armesto

Transitioning to a hybrid model: Mathematics content courses for K-8 preservice teachers

Mathematical Science
Mentored by Dr. Heidi Eisenreich

Teaching changed dramatically after March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Due to the sudden shift to fully-virtual learning we had to drastically modify the format of our courses. The courses which will be the focal point of the presentation include the first two mathematics content courses for K-8 pre-service teachers: Foundations of Numbers and Operations and Foundations of Geometry. In this poster, we will share how our face-to-face class is normally taught, how the courses were adapted to become more conducive to online learning, and student comments from reflections at the end of the summer semester. We used a qualitative-narrative design to analyze data collected from those reflections to indicate activities and modes of instruction that were the most beneficial to our preservice teachers. We will also reflect on experiences which were least successful for students and offer suggestions to promote a more engaged environment.

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Katherine Fallon

Keeping our schools safe: Examining perceptions of crisis frequency and preparedness of educators in a statewide online charter school

Education- Leadership, Technology and Human Development
Mentored by Dr. Juliann McBrayer

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of crisis preparedness and frequency for educators in online platforms. This quantitative research study surveyed data from 143 online educators in the state of Georgia to evaluate and report their current perceptions of preparedness for in numerous crisis areas that impact K-12 students. The findings provided insight into the lack of feelings of very prepared for suspecting and responding to crisis, with 45.8% of educators noting they were “very prepared” in suspecting neglect, 47.6% in suspecting abuse, 53.1% in suspecting suicidal ideations, and 18.9% in homicidal ideations. Furthermore, educators lacked in feeling “very prepared” to respond to various traumatic experiences with 9.8% in feeling very prepared responding to an unexpected death of a student, 7.7% responding to unexpected death of a teacher, 18.9% responding to natural disasters, and 7.7% responding to terrorist threats. Findings suggest a need for further training in and planning for crisis management for online educators. Recommendations for future research include gathering data on a larger scope from online education professionals across the nation. With the 2020 health pandemic, this research is of utmost importance in maintaining safety in K-12 schooling.

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Donna Morris

“A Multimodal, Integrated Content-Area Literacy Lesson”

Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Mentored by Dr. Anne Katz

A goal of the graduate course, Approaches to Literacy Instruction, is to provide candidates with an overview of theories and frameworks in literacy education. Literacy theories introduced include new literacies, critical literacies, literacy and new technologies, multimodality, space/play/literacy, and the sociocultural theory. This framework of research, strategies, and techniques provides a platform for authentic literacy lesson planning in the secondary classroom setting. This presentation will focus on an integrated lesson plan around the book How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure (Rocco, 2020), designed while applying a specific literacy framework approach. Rocco’s book has descriptive images, an inviting style of writing, and emphasizes the diversity of people and skills that were necessary to bring technology and people to the moon. This book highlights topics such as women and African Americans working with space exploration/NASA, and the space race between countries. Blending these text characteristics with the multimodality framework enables the learner to make powerful connections. Multimodality is communicating using resources, such as words, sounds, images, and layouts to generate meaning (Larson & Marsh, 2015). Students are encouraged to read culturally responsive materials, write creatively, utilize artifacts, interact with technology, participate in text discussions, and think critically using the targeted vocabulary words and strategies throughout the course of their literacy learning.

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Yolanda Surrency

Mothering Through My Pain

Curriculum Studies and Sociology
Mentored by Dr. Delores Liston

Black women’s voices and historical contributions have been dismissed, and even excluded, making it difficult for their cultural knowledge to be transmitted to future generations.  Black women battle with an unsettled consciousness from subscribing to the normalization of what dominant culture defines as good mothering.  This study uses Black feminism to examine single Black mothers who navigated the negative images of the welfare queen and the matriarch.  This narrative study used Black feminism to examine the stories from single, Black mothers and their daughters.  The purpose was to investigate Black mothers and their daughters lived experience to understand their struggles and resistance.  Purposeful sampling was used to select seven single, Black mother-daughter dyads, both agreeing, to participate in the study.  The participants answered semi-structured questions.  Using Black feminism as a guide to explore participants’ stories, the researcher identified that Black women may shift through the childhood, teen, and womanhood stages.  In each stage, the mother-daughter shared oppressions presented noticeable changes in their mother-daughter relationship.  The analysis further revealed that a single, Black mother-daughter dyads managed their household through various levels of interdependence as the daughter aged.   

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Diamond Roberts

Community Literacy in Focus

Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Mentored by Dr. Anne Katz

READ 3231, Early Language and Literacy Development, is designed to help pre-service teachers understand the foundations of literacy and provide techniques that can be taken into the classroom to help students from all developmental levels thrive. Students were provided with authentic opportunities to practice applications of these strategies, both in the classroom, as well as with families and schools in our community. During the class, we participated in a community-based research project where we exchanged place-based short stories with a group of local middle school students inspired by the mentor text Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in 10 Blocks, a book by Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Methods included a reader and writer self-study, chapter journal reflections, video conferences, and student writing debriefs. We also created literacy letters and activities for the families of Wesley Community Center. Despite the pandemic, pre-service teachers were able to connect with the community in a meaningful way and build a portfolio of literacy activities and methods that can be taken into our classrooms upon graduation. These experiences have helped us build a foundation of self-efficacy that will support us as we move into the next chapter of our lives.

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Alexandria Sledge-Tollerson

Alexandria Sledge-Tollerson

A Family Literacy Project and Place-Based Writing Initiative

Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Mentored by Dr. Anne Katz

With the support of Dr. Katz, my classmates and I (who were enrolled in the course “Early Language and Literacy Development” during Fall 2020) were provided with the knowledge and tools to develop future students who use language for creative expression. We participated in two meaningful experiences that connected us with students and families to encourage literacy development in the classroom and at home. The first was a virtual experience that linked us with middle schoolers as we dove into the book, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, written by the current National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature. In this research project, we were able to share and reflect with middle schoolers about personal experiences through writing conferences and consider our own development as future literacy educators through self-study. We were able to see how we can all relate in some way, as discussion like this brings out powerful stories. The second experience enabled us to create our own “Family Literacy Project” to be given to families at a local community center. This project was dear to my classmates and I because it provided an opportunity for us to reflect on the content that we had learned throughout the semester in order to create a meaningful family literacy project to donate during these difficult times. These experiences have made me confident in my future career as a teacher, as it has helped me re-consider how we approach literacy in our daily lives.

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Poster Presentations

Lauren Akers

Exploring Factors that Influence Teaching Moves and Rationales in Preservice Elementary Mathematics Teachers

Education
Mentored by Dr. Montana Smithey

The goal of the research is to better understand the relationship between pre-service teachers questioning, decision making practices, and the factors that may influence them such as mathematics anxiety, beliefs about mathematics, content knowledge, and executive function. We anticipate collecting data from up to 50 pre-service teachers prior to enrollment in a mathematics methods course. Once recruited, they will participate in 3, two-hour sessions where they complete a variety of interviews, surveys, and assessments. There will be a variety of instruments used to collect data. Quantitative measures include a survey to evaluate general math anxiety, math teaching anxiety, and beliefs about teaching and learning. We also plan to use a program, ACE, to evaluate executive function of the participants. Math content knowledge will be evaluated through a quiz designed by the lead researchers. Qualitative measures include interviews with participants while they evaluate sample student work and then giving rationales for questions they are asking. This study is in early stages, therefore we have no conclusions. Our hope is to draw relations between factors mentioned above and use the findings to help those in the education program at Georgia Southern make instructional decisions. 

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Last updated: 4/13/2021