Education, 2013
  • “I will never be the same”: Exploration of Impact of Intercultural Service Learning Projects on Pre-Service Teachers’ Professional Dispositions and Implications for Teaching for Social Justice
    Kayla Brockhoff, Shannon Duncan
    Mentor: Olga Shonia

    Freire (1997) promotes the notion that teacher preparation programs should provide situational learning experiences. Such experiences should expose and allow teacher candidates to view their world through multiple realities and cross-cultural and socially-just lenses (Quezada & Alfaro, 2007). Service learning has proven to be an effective way to engage with issues of social justice, to create such situational learning. The intercultural student teaching program at Capital University challenges its pre-service teacher candidates to engage in host nation communities beyond their school placements. When student teachers engage in community-based service learning projects, they move beyond the safety net of their classrooms and schools to develop connections with individuals and organizations which they may not have considered otherwise (Stachowski, 2008). Collected data from five case studies of student service learning projects will provide an exploration of the ways to create situational learning and learning through service. Best practices, benefits, and limitations of these experiences will be discussed. These findings contribute to understanding of social justice on a global scale, and have implications for future program development and internationalization efforts as students reflect on how their teacher education and personal experiences have shaped their vision of teaching for social justice.

    A Comparative Study of the Education Systems in the United States to Korea and Finland
    Megan Creasap
    Mentor: Sally Creasap

    The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 promotes the idea of a standards-based accountability system for education in the United States. The idea behind standards-based education is that setting high standards and establishing measureable goals leads to improved student outcomes in education. Despite over a decade of emphasis on accountability measures, the United States still lags behind many other countries with respect to individual student outcomes. One source of comparison across countries is the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which measures 15 year old students’ literacy abilities in reading, mathematics and science. First administered in 2000, it has since been administered every three years. While the United States continues to fair in the middle of the pact, Finland and Korea consistently maintain the top spots. A thorough review of literature and data analysis provides the framework for a comparative study of educational systems in the United States, Finland and Korea. The findings shed some light as to why such discrepancies exist with respect to student outcome for these countries.

    A Unique Experience in All of Ohio at the Franklin Juvenile Detention Facility
    Daniela Gaspari-Foley
    Mentor: Martha Michael

    Since 2005, Capital University, Department of Education, through its Special Education Program prepares detainees at the Franklin Juvenile Detention Facility for a better future. This program is funded by the university and private donations. It is the only college in Ohio engaged in such a program. Twelve students at Capital University tutor an equal number of tutees to help them pass their General Education Degree. The goal is to obtain progress in academic performance while developing empathy and pro-social skills in a restrictive environment. My presentation is a case study of a 14 year old girl who was deficient in mathematics. We met for 30 minutes each week for five weeks from October 16 to November 15, 2012. Pre- and post-test data demonstrated a gain of 1½ years of academic achievement from this intervention. This program verifies the Capital University motto “Transforming Life Through Higher Education.”

    Let the Walls Tell the Story: Capital University Students’ PhotoVoice Experiences in Today’s Classrooms
    Taylor Gingery, Anastasia Peltomaa
    Mentor: Olga Shonia

    This project is built around the idea of importance of global education, emphasizing understanding and appreciation of different cultures and points of view as essential elements of global competence. Schools and curriculum do not exist in vacuums: the journey of establishing a multicultural learning community takes time and effort. It involves reading about other countries, developing relationships with community members and organizations. It also means developing a physical environment in a classroom that celebrates cross-cultural learning and global awareness, because walls teach too, albeit indirectly. A group of Capital University students looked at several schools in Franklin County, representing students of different socioeconomic statuses and demographics. The students utilized PhotoVoice data collection technique taking photos of classroom physical environments (NOT students), to see how the idea of cultivating global community is being implemented (e.g., are there world maps, international current event bulletin boards, displayed student work pertaining to their cultural and family heritage, etc.). PhotoVoice has several goals, one of which is to enable people to record and reflect their community’s strengths and concerns thus promotclaytoning critical dialogue. The results of using PhotoVoice technique in 10 different schools are presented, followed by implications of this research.

    Prevention Programs in Place for LGBTQ Youth Bullying in Central Ohio
    Lauren O’Hare
    Mentor: Martha Michael

    To stop bullying is nearly impossible, but learning ways to prevent it or address it in one’s classroom is practical and extremely necessary (Katz, 2010). In the schools, teachers are faced with bullying, and most do not act upon it because they simply do not know what to say or do. Preventative programs for bullying of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning) youth is the focus of this descriptive research. Using interviews of administrators from random samples of schools with 7th graders, results target what is occurring in junior or middle high school settings in Central Ohio for prevention programs. The following components reflect questions answered: First, if national programs for prevention of LGBTQ bullying have been used as models, which ones have been used and why (which will also include modifications school districts describe); Second, if programs do not exist specifically for bullying of LGBTQ students, what is in place; and Third, if nothing is in place for the prevention of bullying for LGBTQ students, reasons given will be listed. Using preventative measures designed by already established effective programs for school personnel may save lives and prevent hate crimes that injure the emotional safety of students in schools.

    Does Cause-Effect Instruction Make a Difference?
    Matthew Smetanko
    Mentor: Cheryl DoBroka

    One urban eighth grade classroom of struggling readers was studied to determine how well struggling readers can effectively analyze interaction between individuals, events, and ideas in a text as described by the Common Core standards for reading informational text (RI A.7.3). Students received direct instruction in both a large group and small group setting in several methods, including locating signal words or phrases, of recognizing cause and effect in a nonfiction text. A pre-assessment measuring whether students were able to recognize signal words and cause-effect relationships in a text was administered, and an identical assessment was administered after instruction pertaining to a different text. Quantitative analysis indicates gains in student ability to recognize signal words and cause-effect relationships. Qualitative analysis demonstrates new manners in which students were able to interact with the text to determine cause and effect. The research indicates several instructional practices such as rereading and direct instruction both as a class and individually may have been effective, but a lack of providing clear expectations may have led to student disengagement. The research further implies that the educator should expand instructional strategies to incorporate student-student interaction and should provide clear expectations for students.

    The Effect of Differentiated Instruction on Mastery Learning of Nouns
    Katherine Spencer
    Mentor: Cheryl C. DoBroka

    The present research explored the implementation of differentiated instruction by incorporating instruction for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners and studying the instructional effect on the level of student achievement with noun recognition, in an eleventh grade, urban English class. The diversity of the wider school population was directly represented in this classroom, including at least six different races and a variety of learning styles. Students’ learning needs were accommodated through PowerPoint presentations with visuals, lectures, and a noun scavenger hunt, with an objective of teaching all students to identify nouns in a written text. Data were collected quantitatively through a pre-test consisting of five carefully constructed model sentences in which students identified all nouns, and a post-test asking students to identify all nouns in a set of popular song lyrics. Qualitative data were collected through observation, close examinations, and comparisons of independent practice exercises. Both sets of data were used, ultimately, to assess the students’ levels of mastery with noun recognition and analyze the achievement gap before and after differentiated instruction occurred. Analysis of the assessments indicated that the strategy of effective differentiated instruction resulted in a higher mastery level and a narrower achievement gap among these diverse students.