Recent Master of Arts in Teaching + Teaching Credential (MAT) graduates Katiana Harvey and Devon Zangger returned to the School of Education to host a brownbag lunch discussion for recently-enrolled MAT students.
Both teachers, who completed their MAT + Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at UCI in 2017, have been hired by schools in the Irvine Unified School District. Katiana is teaching fifth grade at Canyon View Elementary, where the principal is UCI graduate Christina Giguiere. Devon is teaching fourth grade at College Park Elementary.
The noontime discussion included information about balancing multiple tasks while in the program (course work, student teaching, job search), maximizing student teaching experiences, and identifying and negotiating employment opportunities.
About the 14-month MAT+Teaching Credential Program: http://education.uci.edu/mat-credential.html
“I see places where I can help, and I engage.”
Joel Medina bridges two of the multiple cultures present in Orange County. As a “tween” he is uniquely positioned to help individuals, create targeted programs, and influence policy. Joel chose UCI’s Master of Arts in Teaching+Teaching Credential to give him the resources he needs to achieve his goals as an educator.
My lived experiences have nurtured my interest in education. I grew up in Orange County. My father moved here when he was 17 to send money home to his family in Guerrero. He met my mother, an elementary school teacher, when she was waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant. Hence, I grew up the son of an interracial couple in one of the most conservative school districts in California.
Looking back now, I am more cognizant of the discrimination I experienced in school, but my parents put a lot of importance into education, and I did well enough to go to a four-year-college (UCSD) to study Political Science. Initially I wanted to become a lawyer and work in Educational Law, an emerging field at the time. However, when I graduated in 2011 with the intent to go to law school, something held me back. Something in me told me this wasn't the right path for me.
While considering my options, I decided to take advantage of graduating a semester early to travel and volunteer somewhere. When a friend recommended Wwoofing to me, I discovered that there was an art center in Peru that gave art classes to children in a small village in the Amazon. I contacted Wwoofing, thinking that I could get a new perspective on education by volunteering as a teacher; however, they were building a new art center at the time and needed help with the construction. We agreed to work together, so I flew down for three months of grueling physical labor. Once on site, I did manage to put together some semblance of an English class for local teens, and I had my first taste of school from the other side of the classroom.
When I returned to California, I was set on teaching abroad. At that time, the domestic job market for teachers was limited, so I reasoned I could at least get some teaching experience and an opportunity to travel and practice my Spanish by going back abroad. I took a TEFL certification course and secured a job teaching in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. My plan was to teach for a year in Peru, then move north teaching my way back to the States, but I was sidetracked starting a non-profit for environmental education in San Roque de Cumbaza, and then teaching in Cusco.
I didn't come back long-term to California until June 2015. My father's illness was my main motivation for returning, but I decided to make the best of the situation and pursue answers to the questions I had developed while teaching by enrolling in a graduate school education program. UCI’s 14-month Master of Arts in Teaching + Teaching Credential seemed like the obvious choice for me to get my credentials and master’s in teaching in one combined program.
While preparing my UCI application, I continued to seek opportunities to apply my skills and expand my experience. I started teaching for Building Skills Partnership, a non-profit association that gives classes to janitors of the SEIU Union. In this position, I teach ESL, environmental, and technology classes to janitors at their work sites. I also started teaching GED classes for Rancho Santiago Community College at a center for students affected by mental illness and GED classes in Spanish to local immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Just to keep myself busy to an extreme, I started substituting for Santa Ana and Orange Unified School Districts.
All of this work has kept me occupied and has deepened my awareness of glaring problems in K-12 and adult education. Discriminatory systems and inexperienced instructors create a cycle of poor education that keeps minority groups from advancing. I see places where I can help, and I am excited that my studies at UCI are providing me with resources to achieve my goals as an educator.
Last fall I was selected as a Mary Roosevelt Honor Scholar in Teaching and Learning. This is a high honor and an inspiration. Teaching isn't an easy profession for anyone, but it can be extremely fulfilling. To have someone recognize my work and respect my choice of profession is a true sign of appreciation. Mary Roosevelt is an inspiration to aspiring educators everywhere.
PhD candidate Brandy Jenner's third year research paper has been published in the Journal of Veteran Studies: "Student Veterans and the Transition to Higher Education: Integrating Existing Literatures."
Ms. Jenner, who is advised by Assistant Professor Rachel Baker, is specializing in Educational Policy and Social Context (EPSC). Her research interests include higher education access, persistence, and equity; education policy; higher education program evaluation; student veterans; and for-profit colleges and universities.
To address concerns about student veterans, including lagging BA attainment and troubling drop-out rates, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners would benefit from a more in-depth understanding of the processes student veterans undergo as they transition out of the military and into higher education. This paper synthesizes the literature related to the transition processes and post-secondary experiences of student veterans, nontraditional students, first-generation students, and under-represented minority students in order to identify points of convergence and divergence. These disparate literatures all recognize that the transition to higher education provides additional challenges, relative to the challenges faced by traditional students; however, over the past several decades a growing body of literature points to co-identity organizations – organizations that are centered around one aspect of a student’s identity – as one factor that has potential to ease adjustment to higher education. By integrating existing research focused on the groups of students noted above with the burgeoning literature on student veterans, future researchers can conduct more informed research, and policy-makers and administrators can be empowered to create more effective policies and programs.
Newly-arrived faculty member Shane Goodridge, PhD, is presenting at the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools 2017 Conference, July 30 through August 1. The title of his presentation is "Exploring the DNA of the American Charter School Movement."
Abstract of Presentation
Over three million children in the United States are currently enrolled in charter schools, with increasing enrollments despite strong evidence of academic gains. This historical analysis moves beyond a focus on academic outcomes and traces the success of the charter school movement, in part, to the foundational premise of restoring agency to educational stakeholders. State mandated schooling was a counterintuitive feature of American policy that chafed against the founding ideals of the Republic and gradually engendered resentment amongst mostly white conservatives. Concurrently, in the aftermath of Brown, factions of African American policy makers began to look for equitable educational alternatives. The unlikely alliance of these two antithetical constituencies resulted in the creation of a unique- albeit fragile- coalition and the passing of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and paved the way for the nation’s inaugural charter school policy passed in Minnesota in 1991.
About Shane Goodridge
Dr. Goodridge has recently joined UCI's School of Education from his previous position as Assistant Dean, Trinity College, Duke University. He has taught in public and private schools in Canada, the U.S., and the United Kingdom. He is an educational historian interested in how broad shifts in the American narrative have influenced the creation and implementation of education policy at both the state and federal levels. Currently, he is focused on exploring the place of school choice in general, and charter schools in particular, in American policy and history.
"Obesity and Social Marginalization: When do Organized Activities Promote or Hinder Peer Relationships?"
Ettekal, A. V., Simpkins, S., & Schaefer, D. (July 2017). Obesity and social marginalization: When do organized activities promote or hinder peer relationships? Applied Developmental Science. DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2017.1329013
Overweight youth are often socially marginalized and have fewer friends than their non-overweight peers. Participation in organized activities may be one way to promote friendships for overweight youth. In this study, we used a large nationally representative sample to test whether two aspects of participation promoted friendships, namely the number of activities and the social acceptance of activity co-participants. In contradiction to our hypotheses, participating in activities with high socially accepted peers was associated with significantly fewer friendships over time for overweight adolescents. Conversely, there were small differences between overweight and non-overweight adolescents’ friendships when they participated in activities with low socially accepted co-participants. Our findings provide new insight that activities may not be universally beneficial for overweight adolescents’ peer relationships. We discuss the various peer mechanisms that explain why certain types of activities predict these friendship patterns for overweight youth.
Connor, C. M., Mazzocco, M. M. M., Kurz, T., Crowe, E. C., Tighee, E. L., Wood, T. S., & Morrison, F. J. (July 2017). Using assessment to individualize early mathematics instruction. Journal of School Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2017.04.005
Accumulating evidence suggests that assessment-informed personalized instruction, tailored to students' individual skills and abilities, is more effective than more one-size-fits-all approaches. In this study, we evaluate the efficacy of Individualizing Student Instruction in Mathematics (ISI-Math) compared to Reading (ISI-Reading) where classrooms were randomly assigned to ISI-Math or ISI-Reading. The literature on child characteristics X instruction or skill X treatment interaction effects point to the complexities of tailoring instruction for individual students who present with constellations of skills. Second graders received mathematics instruction in small flexible learning groups based on their assessed learning needs. Results of the study (n = 32 teachers, 370 students) revealed significant treatment effects on standardized mathematics assessments. With effect sizes (d) of 0.41–0.60, we show that we can significantly improve 2nd graders' mathematics achievement, including for children living in poverty, by using assessment data to individualize the mathematics instruction they receive. The instructional regime, ISI-Math, was implemented by regular classroom teachers and it led to about a 4-month achievement advantage on standardized mathematics tests when compared to students in control classrooms. These results were realized within one school year. Moreover, treatment effects were the same regardless of school-level poverty and students' gender, initial mathematics or vocabulary scores.
Carol Connor Publishes with Colleagues: "The Effects of Dialect Awareness Instruction on Nonmainstream American English Speakers"
Lakeisha, J., Terry, N. P., Connor, C. M., & Shurita, T. T. (June 2017). The effects of dialect awareness instruction on nonmainstream American English speakers. Reading and Writing. doi: 10.1007/s11145-017-9764-y
The achievement gaps between poor and more affluent students are persistent and chronic, as many students living in poverty are also members of more isolated communities where dialects such as African American English and Southern Vernacular English are often spoken. Non-mainstream dialect use is associated with weaker literacy achievement. The principal aims of the two experiments described in this paper were to examine whether second through fourth graders, who use home English in contexts where more formal school English is expected, can be taught to dialect shift between home and school English depending on context; and whether this leads to stronger writing and literacy outcomes. The results of two randomized controlled trials with students within classrooms randomly assigned to DAWS (Dialect Awareness, a program to explicitly teach dialect shifting), editing instruction, or a business as usual group revealed (1) that DAWS was more effective in promoting dialect shifting than instruction that did not explicitly contrast home and school English; and (2) that students in both studies who participated in DAWS were significantly more likely to use school English in contexts where it was expected on proximal and distal outcomes including narrative writing, morphosyntactic awareness, and reading comprehension. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
The UCI School of Education celebrated an impressive number of 442 graduates during UCI's 2017 Commencement Ceremonies at Bren Events Center on June 17 and 18.
Three hundred and twenty-four (324) graduating seniors were awarded their Bachelor of Arts in Education Sciences (BAES). During their studies, which focus on an academic approach to the science of education, students had selected one of four domains: Human Development, Learning, and Cognition; Societal and Policy Contexts Affecting Education; Media and Communication Systems for Learning; or Educational Research and Evaluation. Three of the graduates received their degree summa cum laude; ten were awarded magna cum laude distinction, and 27 graduated cum laude.
BAES Commencement Photographs
Among the graduating seniors receiving their BAES degree, 25 also earned a Certification in Afterschool Education (CASE), and an additional 15 graduated from the UCI CalTeach Math and Science program, earning their STEM degree + Teaching Credential in four years.
UCI CalTeach Reception
One hundred and two (102) candidates completed their Master of Arts in Teaching + Teaching Credential (MAT). Fifty-one (51) of the graduates pursued a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and 51 received a Single Subject Teaching Credential - 20 in English, 10 in mathematics, nine in social science, seven in science, two in art, two in world literature, and one in music. The program's bilingual MAT graduates have been hired at dual immersion schools in Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, and Pasadena.
MAT Commencement Photographs
Sixteen PhD in Education students received their doctoral degree during the 2016-2017 academic year, completing requirements in one or more specializations: Learning, Teaching, Cognition, and Development (LTCD); Educational Policy and Social Context (EPSC); and Language, Literacy, and Technology (LLT).
PhD Commencement Photographs
Congratulations to our new UCI School of Education Alumni.
McClelland, M. M., Tominey, S. L., Schmitt, S.A., & Duncan, R. (2017). SEL interventions in early childhood. The Future of Children (Special Issue: Social and Emotional Learning), 27(1), 33-47.
Young children who enter school without sufficient social and emotional learning (SEL) skills may have a hard time learning. Yet early childhood educators say they don’t get enough training to effectively help children develop such skills.
In this article, Megan McClelland, Shauna Tominey, Sara Schmitt, and Robert Duncan examine the theory and science behind early childhood SEL interventions. Reviewing evaluation results, they nd that several interventions are promising, though we need to know more about how and why their results vary for different groups of children.
Three strategies appear to make interventions more successful, the authors write. First, many effective SEL interventions include training or professional development for early childhood teachers; some also emphasize building teachers’ own SEL skills. Second, effective interventions embed direct instruction and practice of targeted skills into daily activities, giving children repeated opportunities to practice SEL skills in different contexts; it’s best if these activities grow more complex over time. Third, effective interventions engage children’s families, so that kids have a chance to work on their SEL skills both at school and at home. Family components may include teaching adults how to help children build SEL skills or teaching adults themselves how to practice and model such skills.
Are early childhood SEL interventions cost-effective? The short answer is that it’s too soon to be sure. We won’t know how the costs and bene ts stack up without further research that follows participants into later childhood and adulthood. In this context, we particularly need to understand how the long-term benefits of shorter, less intensive, and less costly programs compare to the bene ts of more intensive and costlier ones.
Note: The Future of Children is a collaboration of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. Their mission is to translate the best social science research about children and youth into language accessible to the media, policymakers, advocates, practitioners, grant-makers, and the educated public. All Future of Children publications can be downloaded for free from our website and may be reprinted or redistributed at no charge: http://www.futureofchildren.org/.
Three School of Education professors have been awarded grants from UCI's Center for Demographic & Social Analysis (C-DASA). C-DASA, a focal point for a host of population-related research activities at UCI, provides grants to encourage multi-disciplinary projects, collaborative studies, grant proposals, and faculty research.
Professors and Grant Titles
Professor George Farkas: Reading One-to-One in the Santa Ana Schools (SAUSD): An Implementation Study
Assistant Professor Jade Jenkins: Local Immigration Enforcement Policies and Early Education Participation of Hispanic Families
Assistant Professor Emily Penner: Culturally-Relevant Pedagogy across Contexts: A Multi-Site Evaluation of Ethnic Studies