Shane Goodridge, Assistant Teaching Professor, has an article accepted for publication in The Journal of Policy History: "Tracing the Historical DNA and Unlikely Alliances of the American Charter School Movement."
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 across racial and ideological contexts. 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 the Brown decision, 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.
On March 16, the UCI CalTeach Science & Math Program hosted a get-to-know-UCI visit for area community college students considering a transfer to UCI to earn a STEM bachelor's degree+teaching credential.
As part of their visit the students from Santa Ana, Saddleback, colleges toured the UCI campus, the CalTeach center, and UCI's esports facility. During lunch at the Anteatery, Dean of Education Richard Arum, Dean of Physical Sciences Ken Janda, and Director of Teacher Education Virginia Panish explained the benefits of a UCI CalTeach degree, and a panel of current CalTeach students shared why they chose the UCI CalTeach program. Panel members included Shantel Lopez (Math, 2019), Amylene Cabrera (Math, 2019), and Donovan Dragon (Biology/Education, 2019, transfer from IVC & Saddleback Colleges).
CalTeach is a unique academic program jointly sponsored by the Schools of Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Education. CalTeach students can pursue a STEM degree in biology, chemistry, earth system science, environmental science, math, or physics at the same time earning their California Secondary Teaching Credential.
Members of UCI's Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP) introduced 1000+ Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) kindergarten students to Peter the Anteater and UCI at the 25th annual KinderCaminata, held Friday, March 16th at Santa Ana College.
KinderCaminata, a partnership between SAUSD and Santa Ana College, is designed to provide an early college experience where kindergartners explore and learn about different career possibilities and the importance of attending college. "It's their first college tour," said Paola Sotelo, CFEP Coordinator of Community College Programs.
The event features a series of activity booths where students participate in hands-on demonstrations and view exhibits introducing them to career opportunities that require a college education. At the CFEP booth the students were asked questions about Peter, UCI's mascot, and then created an ant, Peter's dinner, using construction paper, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. Students ended their booth visit with a brief lesson in signaling UCI's zot-zot-zot slogan and left with their ant in a EAOP (Early Academic Outreach Program) bag.
Both EAOP and CFEP's Transfer Prep Program coordinated booth operations. CFEP volunteers included Transfer Prep Program Student Coordinators Lynda Dubon-Chavez, Angel Sanchez, Gabriela Campos, and Gilberto Pozos-Avila; EAOP Director Ashley Cheri; and Paola.
The KinderCaminata is one of many activities that CFEP has developed over its past 20-year collaboration with Santa Ana College and SAUSD.
"Dynamics of Classroom Motivation: Teacher Enthusiasm and the Development of Math Interest and Teacher Support"
Dr. Anna-Lena Dicke, Associate Project Scientist, has published with colleagues in Learning and Instruction: "Dynamics of Classroom Motivation: Teacher Enthusiasm and the Development of Math Interest and Teacher Support."
Interest is important for successful student learning, but little is known about the developmental dynamics between interest and social support in classrooms. Based on the stage-environment fit theory, this study investigated the interrelation of developmental changes in student class-level interest and perceived teacher support in mathematics classes over one school year after the students transitioned to secondary school. We also examined how teacher-reported enthusiasm was related to these changes. Data of 1000 students (53.6% male) and their classroom teachers (N = 42), who were surveyed at the beginning of Grades 5 and 6, were analyzed. The results showed a significant decline in class-level mathematics interest and perceived teacher support. Teacher-reported enthusiasm buffered the decline in class-level mathematics interest. When including bidirectional relationships between perceived teacher support and the students’ interest, perceived class-level teacher support in Grade 5 positively predicted the change in student interest and, thus, buffered the decline.
Lazarides, R., Gaspard, H., & Dicke, L. (2018). Dynamics of classroom motivation: Teacher enthusiasm and the development of math interest and teacher support. Learning and Instruction. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2018.01.012
Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959475217303729
"To the Means and Beyond: Understanding Variation in Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Emotional Support"
The article "To the Means and Beyond: Understanding Variation in Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Emotional Support" (Learning and Instruction) is now available online. Authors are PhD alumni Katerina Schenke, Erik Rusek, and Arena C Lam; Stuart Karabenick (University of Michigan); and SoE Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles.
Student perceptions of the classroom environment are used as a policy-relevant marker of teacher quality. Yet the influences on students' perceptions are less well understood. We examined (a) whether individual-level factors (achievement goals, perceptions of their previous classroom, and teacher ratings of ability) were associated with students' perceptions of teacher emotional support, and (b) whether classroom observations of teacher unfairness/unfriendliness predicted systematic within-classroom variation in students' reports of emotional support. Multilevel analysis of 1303 students in 80 7th grade mathematics classrooms indicated that students' perceptions of their 6th grade teacher, mastery orientation, and the teacher's perceptions of ability predicted end-of-the-year perceptions of emotional support. Although the observed level of teacher unsupportiveness did not predict mean-level of emotional support, students' perceptions of their teachers were more variable in classrooms observed as higher in unfairness/unfriendliness. Investigating heteroskedasticity highlights the importance of using methods for understanding variability in students' perceptions of the classroom.
Schenke, K., Rusek, E., Lam, A. C., Karabenick, S. A., & Eccles, J. S. (2018). To the means and beyond: Understanding variation in students’ perceptions of teacher emotional support. Learning and Instruction, 55, 13-21.
For the 5th year, Parenting OC, with support from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, has solicited nominations for selection to the top 25 teachers of Orange County. This year, over 150 principals and administrators submitted nomination essays. Lisa Tarkoff, selected as a "Top 25 Orange County Teacher" for 2018, is a middle school teacher at Red Hill Lutheran School in Tustin and a UCI Writing Project Fellow.
From Parenting OC (March 2018)
As a middle school language arts teacher, Lisa Tarkoff expects her students to write arguments based on strong evidence and logical reasoning, addressing alternate points of view and presenting the facts clearly. After reading Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", her eighth graders held a Mock Trial to use all of the skills they learned in studying argumentation, crafting their cases and presenting the trial to a jury of fifth grade students. Through these lessons, students have designed and presented science lab remodel proposals, raised funds for an Automatic External Defibrillators, and created Public Service Announcements that raised over $3,000 for the Orange County Rescue Mission.
"One of the primary ways that I continue to develop myself as an educator if through my fellowship with the UCI Writing Project. Through this, I am continually able to study research-based teaching methodology and apply my knowledge to the classroom," said Tarkoff. "Additionally, I am able to bring my knowledge to other teachers at my school so that they can apply proven methods to their classrooms. At the root of this is my desire to provide my students with the best, most engaging classroom environment possible, nurturing the same growth mindset in them that I strive to foster in myself."
"Looking Beyond Academic Performance: The Influence of Instructor Gender on Student Motivation in STEM Fields"
PhD student Sabrina Solanki (first author) and Assistant Professor Di Xu have authored an article in American Educational Research Journal (AERJ): "Looking Beyond Academic Performance: The Influence of Instructor Gender on Student Motivation in STEM Fields."
Recruiting more female faculty has been suggested as a policy option for addressing gender disparities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields given its ability to engage female students through a role model effect. While a small but growing body of literature has examined the role of instructor gender at the higher education level, it typically focuses only on academic outcomes. This paper utilizes a unique data set that includes not only information about student course performance in STEM but also a number of motivation-related measures. We find that having a female instructor narrows the gender gap in terms of engagement and interest; further, both female and male students tend to respond to instructor gender. We conclude by discussing the policy implications of these findings.
Solanki, S. M., & Xu, D. (March 2018). Looking beyond academic performance: The influence of instructor gender on student motivation in STEM fields. American Educational Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831218759034
During the third and final workshop in the School of Education's 2017-2018 series "Research-Based Strategies to Enhance Learning for All Students", Carol Ann Tomlinson, from the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, led an interactive presentation of major themes from her updated publication How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms.
Over 100+ Southern California educators - classroom teachers, master teachers, resource teachers, preservice teachers, student teachers, graduate students, UCI Writing Project fellows, and education administrators - explored elements and attributes of quality differentiation and participated in small group discussions of ways in which teachers can address academic diversity.
To introduce discussion topics, Professor Tomlinson shared classroom videos and teacher lesson plans rooted in practice and practicality. Topics included:
The School of Education will be offering another series of interactive workshops for educators during the 2018-2019 academic year. Information will be available in September 2018.
"A Universal Child Allowance: A Plan to Reduce Poverty and Income Instability Among Children in the United States"
Distinguished Professor Greg Duncan has published with colleagues in Journal of the Social Sciences: "A Universal Child Allowance: A Plan to Reduce Poverty and Income Instability Among Children in the United States."
To reduce child poverty and income instability, and eliminate extreme poverty among families with children in the United States, we propose converting the Child Tax Credit and child tax exemption into a universal, monthly child allowance. Our proposal is based on principles we argue should undergird the design of such policies: universality, accessibility, adequate payment levels, and more generous support for young children. Whether benefits should decline with additional children to reflect economies of scale is a question policymakers should consider. Analyzing 2015 Current Population Survey data, we estimate our proposed child allowance would reduce child poverty by about 40 percent, deep child poverty by nearly half, and would effectively eliminate extreme child poverty. Annual net cost estimates range from $66 billion to $105 billion.
Shafer, H. L., Collyer, S., Duncan, G., Edin, K. Garfinkel, I., Harris, D., Smeeding, T. M., Waldfogel, J., Wimer, C., & Yoshikawa, H. (2018). A universal child allowance: A plan to reduce poverty and income instability among children in the United States. Journal of the Social Sciences, 4(2), 22-42.
Professor Sandra Simpkins has authored a chapter with colleagues David Schaefer and Andrea Vest Ettekal in the new book Social Networks and the Life Course: "Can Extracurricular Activities Reduce Adolescent Race/Ethnic Friendship Segregation?"
High school extracurricular activities (ECAs) can bring diverse adolescents together and promote friendships that reduce outgroup prejudices. This chapter examines two seemingly contradictory processes and explain how, in fact, they can occur in tandem. At the macro level, ECAs can promote homophily (i.e., in-group friendship) by homogenizing the pool of available friends, whereas at the micro level, ECAs can decrease the relative salience of attributes such as race/ethnicity during friend selection. The analysis presented in this chapter uses data on friendships and participation in 30 ECAs from 108 schools in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. It is found that around 60% of the ECAs were more homogenous than the broader school context in which they are embedded. On average, ECAs did not predict preferences for homophily, but did predict the frequency of cross-group friendships. ECAs may thus provide many of the desired benefits of integration despite not producing short-term changes in friendship preferences.
Shafer, D., Simpkins, S., Ettekal, A. V. (2018). Can extracurricular activities reduce adolescent race/ethnic friendship segregation? In D. F. Alwin, Felmless, D. H., & Kraeger, D. A. (Eds.). Social Networks and the Life Course. New York: Springer.