Winter 2013 Newsletter

Jacquelynne Eccles to Join School of Education as Distinguished Professor of Education

Faculty and Doctoral Students Present at 2013 AERA
2013 Meeting
San Francisco, California

Eighteen faculty members and 25 doctoral students will be presenting their research, serving as discussants, and participating in administrative meetings and graduate student seminars at the 2013 American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting April 27 through May 1 in San Francisco, California. The 2013 theme is "Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy, and Praxis."

Distinguished Professor Greg Duncan is an invited speaker for the Presidential Session "Well-Being of Children and Youth Living in Poverty." Associate Professor Gilberto Conchas, member of the AERA Books Editorial Board, will be participating in the Roundtable Session "Education, Governance, and Student Outcomes." Assistant Professor Tesha Sengupta-Irving is participating in the meeting of the International Relations Committee.

AERA 2013 Faculty and Student Presentation Titles and Abstracts

AERA Festschrift Honors Lifetime Contributions of Professor Michael E. Martinez
Michael E. Martinez
Michael E. Martinez

An AERA Festschrift will honor lifetime contributions of UC Irvine Professor of Education Michael E. Martinez during the 2013 Annual Meeting.

Professor Martinez will be honored for his commitment to advancing scholarly knowledge and for his untiring dedication to students and colleagues. During the UC Irvine June 2012 tribute to Professor Martinez, fellow professors, university administrators, current and former students, and representatives from outside educational institutions remembered Michael as a colleague, mentor, advisor, teacher, administrator, researcher, and friend.

During the Festschrift, Professor Emeritus Robert Calfee, Dr. Jeneen Graham, and Ph.D. Candidate Janice Hansen will announce the forthcoming publication of Professor Martinez's final book: Future Bright: A Transforming Vision of Human Intelligence (Oxford University Press, Summer 2013).

A scholarship has been established in Professor Martinez's honor, awarded yearly for oustanding contributions by a UC Irvine Ph.D. in Education student.

Faculty and Doctoral Students Present at Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Writing Students

Six School of Education professors -- AnneMarie Conley, Thurston Domina, Greg Duncan, George Farkas, Joshua Lawrence, and Deborah Lowe Vandell -- and four Ph.D. in Education students -- Weilin Li, Rahila Munshi Simzar, Emily Penner, and Cathy Tran -- presented at the 2013 Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Spring Conference in Washington, D.C.

Each year SREE employs a highly selective process to ensure that the invited research meets society standards for rigorously designed predictive and descriptive studies.

In keeping with the 2013 theme "Capitalizing on Contradiction: Learning from Mixed Results," faculty and students presented their design measurements and data analyses that informed their findings from their research on educational interventions and outcomes. 

Early Childhood Education: Approaches to Improving Implementation of Preschool Interventions

Effects of Head Start Hours on Children's Cognitive, Pre-Academic, and Behavioral Outcomes: An Instrumental Variable Analysis
Weilin Li, Ph.D. Student
George Farkas, Professor
Greg Duncan, Distinguished Professor
Deborah Lowe Vandell, Professor and Dean
Margaret Burchinal, Adjunct Professor 

Experimental Evidence on Distributional Effects of Head Start
Marianne Bitler, UC Irvine Department of Economics
Thurston Domina, Associate Professor
Hilary Hoynes (UC Davis)

Instructional Improvement - Reading Impacts: Differing Programs and Goals 

Word Generation Randomized Trial: Discussion Mediates the Impact of Treatment on Academic Word Learning
Joshua Lawrence, Assistant Professor
E. Juliana Pare-Blagoev (SERP Institute)
Amy Crosson (University of Pittsburgh)
Catherine Snow (Harvard University)

Instructional Improvement

Course Placement Influences on Student Motivation
Rahila Munshi Simzar, Ph.D. Student
Thurston Domina, Associate Professor
AnneMarie Conley, Assistant Professor
Cathy Tran, Ph.D. Student

Education Policy

Missing Data and Mixed Results: The Effects of Teach for America on Student Achievement Revisited
Emily Penner, Ph.D. Student 

Distinguished Professor of Education Greg Duncan served as discussant for the Instructional Improvement Symposium "Large-Scale Replication Research: Three Examples and the Issues They Raise."

Asst. Professor
AnneMarie Conley

Assoc. Professor
Thad Domina

Distinguished Professor
Greg Duncan

George Farkas

Joshua Lawrence
Asst. Professor
Joshua Lawrence

Deborah Lowe Vandell
Professor & Dean
Deborah Vandell

Weilin Li
Weilin Li
Ph.D. Student

Emily Penner
Emily Penner
Ph.D. Student

Rahila Simzar
Rahila Simzar
Ph.D. Student

Cathy Tran
Cathy Tran
Ph.D. Student


UCI Writing Project Prepares for 35th Summer Offering Programs for K-12 Students and Veteran Teachers
Austin Displays UCIWP Porfolio

The UCI Writing Project, the longest-running Writing Project among the 10 UC campuses, is entering its 35th summer of offering programs for K-12 students and veteran teachers.

Summer Youth Programs

This summer K-12 students will be able to choose either the Young Writer’s Workshop and/or the Young Math & Science Workshop, and an Afterschool program in Arts, Sports Fitness, or Lego Engineering Projects. As Writing Project Division Manager Annie Wong explains,

We enroll an average of 2,500 students each summer. Many return each year as they progress through the grades, and some come in groups from as far away as Jincheon-gun, Korea. Over the course of three weeks our students practice the six traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and writing conventions. Their written products, which they share in peer writing groups, range from descriptive “I Am” poems, to Memory Snapshot narratives based on a favorite photograph of a person, place or event, to travel brochures, and essays about everyday heroes. 

One parent wrote of her child’s experience,

This amazing three-week program has allowed my son to express himself through different writing techniques, all while having a blast at the same time. You really captured his imagination!

All workshops are delivered by California-certified teachers and often utilize team-teaching. According to Associate Program Manager Tracy Gov,

An advantage for Summer Youth teachers is that the team-teaching environment fosters creativity and the extended time period (2.5 hours per day) enables teachers to experiment with multiple genres of writing and to focus on revision.

The student teacher ratio is generally 17:1, and students are grouped according to age bracket. All workshops meet the University of California standards for youth education and are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Summer Workshops for Teachers

The Writing Project also provides professional development for teachers. Each year more than more 500 teachers enroll in the Writing Project’s workshops for teachers. This summer two workshops are being offered: (a) Implementing 6 Traits Writing Assessment in the Primary Classroom, and (b) Aligning ELA Instruction to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). 

Summer Institute for Teachers

A third component of the UCI Writing Project is the Summer Institute for Teachers. According to Director/Associate Professor Carol Booth Olson

The Summer Institute is an intensive four-week, 100-hour seminar designed to help veteran teachers (elementary through university) develop techniques for teaching listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking to their students, enhance their own abilities as writers, and impart what they have learned to other teachers in their own subsequent in-service workshops.

In the last 34 years, the UCIWP has trained more than 860 teachers from 85 school districts and 13 colleges and universities.

The Writing Project has received two awards from the National Council of Teachers of English for outstanding educational research and the Alan C. Purves Award for research judged as likely to have the greatest impact on educational practice.

Summer registration forms and additional information are available at:

Fulbright Teacher Returns to England for 35th Annual Fulbright Conference
Kim Burge
Kimberly Burge

“ArtsBridge America: Bridging Gaps in Arts Education for 17 years” was the title of the presentation delivered in London by SoE Lecturer and former Fulbright Exchange Teacher Kimberly Burge for the October 2012 35th Annual Fulbright Association Conference: Fulbrighters Minding the Gaps (and Bridging Them)! Upon her return to UC Irvine, Dr. Burge shared her thoughts about the Fulbright gathering.

Kimberly Burge, Ed.D., March 2013

Having been a Fulbright exchange teacher to England in 1975-76, I viewed the conference as a “homecoming” of sorts. Surely, over time London has changed in many ways. There are “modern” new buildings everywhere along the Thames, including the Hotel Pestana where the conference was held; electric cars are prevalent; and the people on the bustling streets, in restaurants, and in shops are young and lively. (I wondered, were we ever that young?) In many ways London has not changed: the British Museum surely qualifies as one of the “wonders of the world,” the black taxicabs and red double decker buses are everywhere, and Big Ben still sounds the hour.

The purpose of my visit was not to reminisce but to address the Fulbright conference theme: Fulbrighters in Action. My presentation focus was ArtsBridge America, a program founded on the UC Irvine campus as ArtsBridge in 1997 by the then Dean of the School of the Arts, Jill Beck. 

Dr. Beck had a vision that was unique for UC Irvine at that time and that was to reach out to K-12 schools through undergraduate and graduate student scholars in the arts. The ArtsBridge program recruited top student dancers, painters, musicians, and dramatists; provided some basic training in how to work with K-12 students; and then paired these talented college students with classroom teachers in developing and implementing curriculum that supported learning to solve problems through the arts with additional attention to language arts learning.  As part of their experience, the ArtsBridge scholars collected and analyzed data on the language arts development of their students.

Complete Article

Ph.D. Student Cathy Tran Researches Game Interaction in Norway as NSF Nordic Scholar
Cathy Tran
Cathy Tran
Ph.D. Student

With support from the Research Council of Norway through a National Science Foundation fellowship, Ph.D. student Cathy Tran is spending half a year in Norway, where she co-designed game simulations at the University of Oslo for the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology’s latest installation on energy of the future. Carnival-themed, each booth’s game features an energy source such as ocean waves, wind, and sun. 

This spring Ms. Tran is analyzing how visitors interact with the games to explore how different features of games facilitate different types of interactions—behaviorally, cognitively, and emotionally—for those with different motivational patterns. This builds on her current research of exploring the untapped value in adopting motivation theories to inform the design of educational technology. In her work in Norway, she is exploring why students whose primary aim is to learn and understand think and act differently from those who focus mostly on competition in collaborative museum settings with game-based activities. In doing so, she uses self-reports to identify students with different motivational patterns and video analyses to understand how learners’ motivational profiles relate to their interactions with other visitors as well as with the digital game and hands-on features.

This summer Ms. Tran will be presenting her findings from this work at the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference and the Games, Learning, and Society Conference, both in Madison, Wisconsin.

In addition to research, she has also experienced other Nordic-esque adventures, including watching the live announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize, cheering at the Nordic World Cup for ski jumping, and eating reindeer (very common in Norway). 


Ph.D. Student Mary Cashen Reports on Experiences as Visiting Student Scholar at the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research
Mary Cashen
Mary Cashen
Ph.D. Student

Ph.D. in Education student Mary Cashen decided to pursue doctoral work in part because of the large and growing achievement gap that exists between children from high- and low-income families throughout all levels of education. From her personal experience, she recognizes that this achievement gap, in conjunction with varying educational expectations, impacts high school course selection and post-secondary decisions about school and work. Now in her fourth year of study, Ms. Cashen is focusing her dissertation work on these issues as she researches access and equity for marginalized youth in the transition from high school to college or the workforce. One particular interest is the role of vocational training in high school.

During fall quarter 2012, Ms. Cashen was awarded a visiting graduate student scholar position at the University of California, Davis Center for Poverty Research to join an interdisciplinary team of researchers. She summarizes her experiences in Davis as follows:

Ann Huff Stevens and Marianne Page founded the Center for Poverty Research in September 2011 with core funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is one of three federally designated centers whose mission is to facilitate non-partisan academic research on poverty in the U.S., disseminate this research, and train the next generation of poverty scholars. 
During my tenure at the Center for Poverty Research, I participated in a three-day poverty retreat in Lake Tahoe, attended a quarter-long graduate course on Poverty and Public Policy, and received mentorship from Center affiliate Kimberlee Shauman. The quarter-long experience enabled me to focus on issues of poverty in my own field of educational policy, and also expand my professional network with scholars in sociology and economics at UC Davis and other visiting graduate student scholars from across the country.
My experiences in Davis resulted in a new research collaboration that continues on beyond fall quarter of 2012. I attend poverty center events that enhance my research, including a day-long conference on the Role of Community Colleges in Workforce Development for Low-Skilled Workers, while continuing to develop my dissertation, "Sex, Class, and the Evolution of Career and Technical Education" with advisors George Farkas and Thad Domina.

Students and Faculty Present at Society for Research in Child Development


The School of Education seeks to promote educational success and achievement
of ethnically and economically diverse learners of all ages
through our collective research, teaching, and service activities that foster learning and development
in and out of school.