Education, 2010
  • Education, 2010



    You Just Don’t Get Me: Research into Adolescent Groups, Cliques, and Subgroups
    Richard A. Broshious, Samuel Jones
    Mentor: Martha Michael

    Are teachers in classrooms aware of the groups, cliques, and subgroups that exist within schools? This study focuses on gaining a better understanding of teacher awareness of their students outside of the classroom. A better understanding of students outside of the classroom may allow teachers to improve their own work inside of the classroom. Those students enrolled in Education 221: Nature, Needs, and Development of Early Adolescent to Young Adult Students, were given the opportunity to observe teachers in their classrooms for a six-week period. The data were taken from observations, questionnaires given to both students and teachers, and one-on-one interviews. This presentation focuses on the differences between what students believe to be happening within their cliques and subgroups, and what educators believe.



    Does Literature Instruction Matter? A Study of Student Understanding of Indirect Characterization
    Ashleigh Diver
    Mentor: Cheryl DoBroka

    As social beings, we make assumptions about a person’s character frequently using much the same process an author does to create a fictional character. Understanding this relationship can help students make connections to literature. This study of 12 tenth graders compares pre-instruction and post-instruction understanding of an author’s use of indirect characterization in order to answer the question: Does literature instruction matter? During this two-week study an emphasis was put on instruction that connected to students’ life experiences and appealed to multiple intelligences. Quantitative baseline data were derived from responses on a diagnostic assessment asking students to identify two examples of indirect characterization in a brief narrative passage. These data were then compared with student ability to correctly identify five examples of indirect characterization in a novel after instruction. Analysis of the average percentage of correct responses from the twelve students indicates that the majority of students who participated in the study were able to identify more correct examples of indirect characterization after instruction. The data collected suggest that literature instruction that connects to student experience and appeals to multiple intelligences enhances student success in understanding and applying literature terminology.


    A Classroom Design for Progressive Essentialism
    Kathryn Dove, Kelsey Boyd, Kevin Gish, Hirofumi Ishida
    Mentor: Martha Michael

    The setup of a classroom plays a significant role in the learning process. It can have a profound effect on the organization and efficiency of any class. As a result, all teachers should carefully consider how the classroom is organized and arranged in regards to their teaching style and philosophy. Using the progressivist and essentialist philosophical theories and integrating various teaching methods, we developed a classroom model specifically designed to fit our desired teaching style. This involved further research to determine our classroom methods and procedures. The result is a classroom layout designed specifically for teachers with a progressivist/essentialist philosophy, as well as suggested classroom organization techniques and procedures. Regardless of one’s teaching style and personal philosophy, every teacher should give careful thought to the layout of their classroom and how it affects student action.


    Effects of Instruction: Making Sense of Cell Organization
    Kathryn Dove
    Mentor: Erica Brownstein

    Action research is an important tool in the classroom. It is designed to help teachers better understand and accommodate the needs of their students. The focus of this research was to determine the effectiveness of specific instruction methods in a sixth grade classroom. The topic covered during research was cell organization, found in the Ohio Academic Standards for sixth grade life sciences. Methods of instruction included note taking, hands on activities, and educational games. Different forms of writing included guided notes, graphic organizers, and free-write activities. A mixture of group work, individual work, and whole class activities were used. Pre-assessment slips were given before instruction to assess prior knowledge. Post-assessment exit tickets were identical to the pre-assessment slips, and were distributed after instruction was completed. Comparison of pre-test and post-test scores suggests that a significant amount of information was learned during the instructional period. The increase found between pre- and post-test scores was consistent across both classes used in the study. There is plausible evidence that varied, differentiated, and authentic instruction does make some form of difference in this particular classroom situation.


    The Ins and Outs of Inclusion
    Ashlea Hull
    Mentor: Susan Blough

    Inclusion is an increasingly popular trend in education that involves bringing students with disabilities into the regular classroom for instruction. Inclusion presents benefits and disadvantages dictated by legislature and current research, which prompted educators and administrators to analyze effective methods for implementing inclusion. To gain insight into inclusion, 32 articles were reviewed for this project. The literature ranged from education journal articles to current reports of teachers’ experiences. There is not one universal definition or method for implementing inclusion that is accepted by all. The inclusion program must be tailored to meet each child’s needs. The benefits and disadvantages that inclusion offers schools and students must be stated. It is the responsibility of the school to determine the appropriate method of implementation. The information found through this research is necessary for all teachers as inclusion becomes more popular. Regular education teachers are going to have special education students in their classrooms and need to be prepared for that challenge.


    Effects of Music on Journal Responses
    Paul Lindberg
    Mentor: Cheryl DoBroka

    Personal Journal Entries are an excellent practice for developing student writing skills. However, in the urban school setting, many students are not motivated to complete assigned journal responses, or complete them appropriately. This study was conducted in an urban sophomore level English class. In this study, an assigned journal prompt requiring students to make an emotional/personal connection with Sharon Draper’s novel, Tears of a Tiger, is compared with a similar prompt that incorporates music as an avenue for strengthening the required emotional/personal connection. A class list was generated showing the grades for these two prompts, also detailing how many students completed these prompts and how many did not. This information was averaged to generate an overall class score for each prompt. Journal Entry 1 (no incorporated music) received an overall score of 39.64% while Journal Entry 2 (music incorporated) received an overall score of 66.79%, suggesting that incorporating music into a journal response assignments increases motivation for completing responses, as well as for completing them appropriately.


    Ultimate Toss Test
    Jordan Montel, Katie Krantz
    Mentor: Jennifer Faison-Hodge

    The type of practice schedule for students and athletes is key to success in their motor learning and sport performance. Therefore coaches, trainers, and educators need this information to make effective use of their practices. The purpose of the study was to determine whether variable practice is more effective than constant practice. Specifically for this study, we compared a novice underhand throwing task with variations in distance, weight, and practice using a tennis ball, basketball, and miniature soccer ball. The data for this study were collected using observations, questionnaires, and document analysis. The results of this research identified performance differences in the blocked, constant, random, and variable practice sessions. Participants used both recall and recognition schemas. Results did not show a difference in success between college athletes and non college athletes. Results focused on the differences in success within each practice trial and showed similarities with previous studies reviewed. It is important that coaches, trainers, and educators continue to use various practice schedules to enhance sport performance and learning.


    Assessment Preferences Among Students and Teachers
    Stacey Rauch
    Mentor: Jim Wightman, Martha Michael

    In the field of education, the assessment of student achievement can be gathered using many different methods. As humans are capable of forming opinions, students and teachers have their preferences when it comes to methods of assessment. Many K-12 assessment methods are based on preparing students for achievement tests. It is important to know the assessment forms that students prefer and integrate them with assessments that are needed to pass achievement tests. The goal of this research is to determine the assessments that are favored by students and teachers. Students and teachers filled out a survey about which method of assessment is preferred and provided reasons for the preference. It is expected that students and teachers have different preferences when it comes to being assessed. Many students dislike standardized testing and, therefore, they would dislike classroom assessments based on these tests. Teachers may prefer standardized testing forms of assessment to prepare students for the achievement tests. This research provides a comparison for student and teacher preferences of assessment and then facilitates integration of the two to ensure student achievement.


    Pedagogical Relevancy in Principal Elementary Core Reading Programs
    Marisa Williams
    Mentor: Charles Devor

    Future educators are presented with myriad instructional strategies to use in the classroom. These strategies include differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, and use of technology. However, integrating these strategies into a reading curriculum may be overwhelming for novice elementary teachers, especially during a time when such an emphasis is placed on a strong and effective reading classroom. This study evaluated three elementary (K-6) core reading programs based on their inclusion of current research-based instructional strategies, as well as the strength and quality of their teacher instruction. A content analysis was conducted of the three reading programs, each a product of one of the leading American educational publishers: Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and McGraw-Hill Education. I hypothesized that all three reading programs are successful in their inclusion of the aforementioned instructional strategies, but sufficiently lack teacher-friendly instructional material. The strengths of each reading program are highlighted, and possible solutions to the problem of insufficient teacher instruction are addressed.