"The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy" was the theme of the 2014 American Educational Research Association's April 3–7 annual conference in Philadelphia, Pa.
Current research activities in ENHP closely align with this theme. Presenting this year were:
– Associate Professor Kevin Ball and Dean Ralph O. Mueller on "Translational Research in Education: A Framework for Effectively Teaching Introductory Courses in Educational Research"
To frame pedagogical introductions to education inquiry we argue for utilization of a new translational research paradigm, “translating research from practice, to theory, and back”. Our translational research model borrows and expands upon the successful 30-year history of translational approaches to applied health research. Of major precedence in our model for education is the concept that discovery can occur anywhere, from the perspectives of community (Practice) or the academy (Theory). Two cyclical pathways serve to integrate the perceived hard and soft science paradigms. The pathway originating from Theory endorses (quasi) experimental testing, and the equal pathway originating from Practice embraces that community engaged research findings often instigate growth in theory and new rounds of testing. Formally, practitioners and scholars are recognized as a continuum of learners in pursuit of knowledge in which those with specific skills can find their place to best contribute and achieve advances for all. Through this framework of translational research for community engagement, we pose that students of educational research will become better prepared to appreciate the wonderful myriad of research design and statistical tools that await them.
– Assistant Professor Renee Greenfield on "Linguistically Diverse Students and Special Education: A Mixed Methods Study of Teachers’ Coursework, Attitudes, and Practice"
Using a sequential explanatory research design, this study examined the language attitudes and coursework histories of 69 inservice teachers. A subsample of nine teachers responded to a dilemma about a linguistically diverse student. Quantitative analyses revealed that teachers who completed language coursework reported strong positive language attitudes, compared to teachers without this coursework. Qualitative analyses, however, demonstrated a range of teachers’ desirable practices. Collective analyses of data indicated that teachers’ positive language attitudes are predictive of desirable practices. The interactions between teachers’ reported knowledge, attitudes, and practice in two domains – language and special education – inform teachers’ professional practice. Findings suggest that teachers’ actual professional practice is inextricably linked to and contextualized in classroom, school, and/or district structures.
– Assistant Professor Kenny Nienhusser on "Learning From Microaggressions: Examining the College Choice Process from the Perspectives of Undocumented Students"
The issue of undocumented students' college access has gained the attention of education scholars in recent years. Several scholars have examined the role of educational policy and educational institutional agents in creating opportunities or barriers in this population's postsecondary education access. However, little is known about how undocumented students experience instances of discrimination and prejudice during the college choice process. The authors utilize the racial microaggressions framework developed by Derald Wing Sue to describe how undocumented students react and respond to episodes of microaggression during their college choice process.
In addition to those presentations, Department of Education Chair Joan Pedro chaired a session and conducted a business meeting of the Portfolio and Reflection in Teaching and Teacher Education (PRTTE) Special Interest Group (SIG). Pedro is continuing as chair of this SIG through 2015.