Sandra Simpkins Receives John Templeton Foundation Grant to Study Afterschool Activities Support of Character Development
Professor Sandra Simpkins has been awarded a John Templeton Foundation grant for her project: “Enduring Character Virtues: How After-School Organized Activities Support Character Development from Childhood through Young Adulthood.” Co-PIs are Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles and Professor Deborah Lowe Vandell.
Character virtues are necessary to “fulfill our potential as human beings” (Templeton, 2013). Developmental scientists argue that childhood and adolescence are critical times to foster these virtues. Is this true? And if so, what kinds of experiences are needed to facilitate acquiring these character virtues? We argue that organized after-school activities help keep youth on a virtuous path. Yet, little to no research exists onthese issues. Through this proposal, we will address two Big Questions: (1) What are the patterns and developmental trajectories of character virtues from childhood and adolescence and do they predict successful development in adulthood? (2) What aspects of youth’s organized after-school activities help support youth’s positive character virtue development? We will use cutting-edge statistics on two existing longitudinal datasets to answer these questions. We focus five specific character virtues that include aspects of moral and performance virtues: hard work, self-control, emotion regulation, prosocial behavior, and cooperative behavior. Our findings will chart changes in each of five specific character virtues and the interrelations among those virtues across the first three decades of life. Our findings will also describe which after-school activities are most impactful. The proposed project outcomes will build the field’s knowledge of youth’s character virtue development, influence best practices in organized activities, and help train the next generation of young scholars on character virtues. To ensure that findings will reach academic and practitioner audiences alike, the project outputs include a devoted website; fact sheets for practitioners, schools, and families; conference presentations; and journal publications.
About Professor Simpkins: Professor Simpkins studies how youth development unfolds over time and how the contexts in which youth are embedded influence their development. Her work strives to understand the unique role of SES, immigration, ethnicity, and culture in family functioning and youth development.
About the John Templeton Foundation: "The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. The Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and emergence to creativity, forgiveness, and free will. The Foundation encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as between such experts and the public at large. In all cases, the goal is the same: to spur curiosity and accelerate discovery." [Source: https://templeton.org/about/vision-mission-impactempleton.org/about/vision-mission-impactt]
Assistant Professor Constance Iloh is the 2018-2019 recipient of the distinguished UC Hellman Fellowship. Constance was selected from a large applicant pool across campus disciplines for this fellowship bestowed upon promising assistant professors showing great distinction in their field of research. This highly competitive fellowship program, established by the Warren and Chris Hellman family, supports the exemplary scholarship of junior faculty at the University of California. Each fellow is awarded up to $50,000 to support their research project proposal.
For her Hellman Fellowship, Constance will conduct a qualitative study on the trajectories and experiences of the growing "some college experience, no degree" adult student population seeking to return to higher education. This is a novel extension of her nationally-recognized research on the changing landscape of postsecondary education, college access, pervasive educational inequities, and the business of higher education.
Read more about Constance Iloh: http://www.constanceiloh.com/
On June 8, Jenel Lao, Director of SoE's Undergraduate Programs, congratulated the 32 undergraduates who had earned their Certificate in Afterschool and Summer Education (CASE) this academic year. To earn a certificate, a student completes six courses (24 units) and 70 hours of fieldwork in local afterschool programs. To date, the CASE program has certified 195 undergraduates.
The CASE program has been designed to blend theory, research, and practice. Through coursework, students learn the importance of and strategies for matching out-of-school academic and enrichment experiences with the interests, needs, and developmental level of program participants. From fieldwork experience, students gain valuable skills and knowledge and discover their capacity for helping others. The students' capstone projects summarize their observations and assessments of their onsite experiences.
CASE was introduced 11 years ago to train and certify UCI students to administer afterschool activities. Although the certificate program prepares undergraduates for part-time and full-time positions in afterschool and summer programs serving K-12 students, CASE attracts undergraduates from all majors and minors who wish to contribute to the wellbeing of area youth while realizing their own talents for education and service.
Read more: Making the CASE for Estracurricular Education
At UCI's 2018 commencement ceremonies, the School of Education celebrated successful completion of degree by 313 Bachelors of Arts in Education Sciences, 130 Masters of Arts in Teaching+Credential, and 12 PhDs in Education.
The Graduate Hooding Ceremony for UCI's 12 PhD candidates was held on Saturday, June 16th at 4:30 pm in UCI's Bren Events Center. Dominique Ingato, doctoral candidate in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, was the student speaker.
Commencement ceremonies for 313 graduates from the School's Bachelor of Arts in Education Sciences program and 130 graduates from the UCI Master of Arts in Teaching+Teaching Credential were held in the Bren Events Center on Sunday, June 17th at 4:00 pm. Featured speaker was Michl Binderbauer, PhD, President and Chief Technology Officer of TAE Technologies.
The 130 Master of Arts in Teaching graduates had earned both their master's degree and their single subject or multiple subject teaching credential in 14 months.
Sixty-eight of the 330 Bachelor of Arts in Education Sciences graduates received Latin Honors - 15 with Summa Cum Laude; 18 with Magna Cum Laude; and 35 Cum Laude. Fourteen bachelor students were initiated into Phi Beta Kappa.
The 4-year CalTeach Science and Mathematics Program graduated 10 with a STEM bachelor's degree plus a California Teaching Credential. Four CalTeach students received their bachelor's degree in Chemistry, three in Biology/Education, two in Mathematics, and one in Earth System Science.
At the 2018 Annual Phi Beta Kappa Initiation Ceremony on Thursday, June 14, the Phi Beta Kappa Executive Board, Keynote Speaker and Phi Beta Kappa member Chancellor Howard Gillman, and Phi Beta Kappa Alumni of Southern California inducted 14 new members of UCI's 2018 class who are receiving their bachelor's degree in Education Sciences. The new members are Rita Barber, Aaron Barlin, Kimberly Haagenson, Alexandra James, Beatruce Kug, Melisa Lu, Marvin Luu, Wanyi Ma, Jessica Mena, Isabella Mendoza, Ana Miguel, Caitlyn Morgan, Kerri Soriero, and Yinuo Su.
Graduate Aaron Barlin received an additional honor: the 2018 Graduate Study Award, conferred by the PBK Board and the PBK Alumni of Southern California and presented by PBK Treasurer Gwendolyn Black, Senior Associate Director of the UCI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and PBK President Ken Janda, Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, during the initiation ceremony.
Aaron earned his bachelor's degree with a dual major in Education Sciences and English. His degree was awarded magna cum laude with a Specialization in English for Future Teachers. During his time at UCI, Aaron has been an active proponent of educational opportunities for all students and was a driving force behind the introduction of the newly-formed Club Lightbulb.
Read more about Aaron Barlin: http://education.uci.edu/ucisoe_news/barlin
Assistant Vice Chancellor Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio Awarded UCI Staff Assembly 2018 Excellence in Leadership Award
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Educational Partnerships at UCI’s Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP), Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio, has received the UCI Staff Assembly 2018 Excellence in Leadership Award. This is the highest honor given by the Assembly. The award is given for exceptional performance in three critical areas of leadership: collaboration, employee engagement, and innovation. Dr. Reyes-Tuccio received her honor at the June 12 Awards Ceremony held at UCI’s Student Center.
Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio Excellence in Collaboration
When it comes to enabling students to achieve the American dream, no university matches UCI according to The New York Times. That UCI for two consecutive years has topped the New York Times’ College Access Index of U.S. universities based on its commitment to economic diversity is in large part a result of the collaborative leadership of Dr. Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio. As Assistant Vice Chancellor for Educational Partnerships, she invests time to build relationships and forge partnerships across boundaries at UCI, and externally with school districts, community colleges, community partners business partners, and parents, to empower community students through creating educational programming and opportunities that align with UCI’s values. With extensive skills in community outreach, Dr. Reyes-Tuccio is a firm believer in equity and access and supporting the educational aspirations of all young people. The collaborative work of Dr. Reyes-Tuccio, educational partners, community partners (including Edison International, Tiger Woods Foundation, United Way, and Girls Leading Our World), and CFEP staff prepares over 12,000 K-12 students (and their teachers and parents) each year for success in higher education. Under Dr. Reyes-Tuccio’s leadership, CFEP has supported over 600 Dreamers who have proven they deserve a place at the table. CFEP built the first model Food Pantry in the nation battling food insecurity for students who put their education above their basic needs. Working together, Dr. Reyes-Tuccio, CFEP, and CFEP partners have not only prepared underrepresented minorities and first generation students for college but also prepared them with the social and cultural capital to thrive and succeed in college.
Stephanie Tuccio-Reyes Excellence in Employee Engagement
Dr. Reyes-Tuccio’s leadership not only achieves student success outcomes but also creates opportunities for CFEP staff to achieve professional and educational growth. Her record in this area is exemplary. She instills a culture of pursuing higher education by example and, as a result, an entire generation of CFEP staff alumni are pursuing or have earned their doctorate and master’s degrees in educational administration and educational leadership, all while working under Dr. Reyes-Tuccio. She is particularly gratified that many staff members have moved on from CFEP to become deans and similarly high-level administrators at other institutions of higher education.
UCI’s recent Gallup Staff Engagement Survey results revealed that CFEP staff felt that the CFEP mission or purpose makes them feel their job is important and that they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day. Dr. Reyes- Tuccio saw the unit’s already strong engagement index (4.15 out of 5) as an opportunity to further engage and empower CFEP staff by allowing every CFEP staff member to gain personal insights on strengths and greatest talents by completing the CliftonStrengths online talent assessment. At CFEP, achieving and learning are standout themes.
Beyond the learning mindset, Dr. Reyes-Tuccio bolsters employee engagement through CFEP Wellness and CFEP Financial Wellness initiatives. Build-a-salad days fill the CFEP refrigerator with mason jars for an entire week! Even as CFEP merged with the School of Education last month, staff were fully engaged in an open and collaborative process charted together. This alone speaks volumes to the shared vision and values she continuously instills.
Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio Excellence in Innovation
CFEP's goal to have a college degree in every home in Santa Ana by 2020 – seemingly unattainable – has a pathway known as the Santa Ana Promise. The Promise signed by Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana College, Cal State Fullerton, and UCI is a reality as a result of the innovative leadership of Dr. Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio and strategic partners to develop an educational contract that advances 6th graders with their parents through college-bound activities that guarantee transfer admission to CSUF or UCI.
This past Fall 2017, Dr. Reyes-Tuccio led UCI efforts to partner with Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) to formalize the Anaheim Pledge, a similar though not identical, seamless system of educational contracts with aligned expectations from the earliest years of a child. The Anaheim Pledge bridged new relationships with Fullerton College and Cypress College, and the City of Anaheim and lays out a six- year plan for every AUHSD student to be college and career ready. Unique in this contract is the city’s commitment to offering mentorships that prove transformational not only for the students, but also for business and community leaders. There is a focus on developing transferrable skills such as the 5 Cs (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and compassion) that are emphasized for success in adult life.
The Santa Ana Promise and Anaheim Pledge are the clearest examples of the innovative and creative leadership of CFEP Assistant Vice Chancellor Dr. Stephanie Reyes.
Chancellor Howard Gillman and Assistant Vice Chancellor Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio
Assistant Professor Emily Penner has been named a 2018 National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. She, and Assistant Professor Di Xu who also has been named a 2018 Fellow, are among the 30 selected nationwide for this prestigious honor.
Dr. Penner's study is titled "Before & After School: Using Administrative Records to Support Teacher Recruitment & Retention."
Teacher turnover costs districts across the country $2.2 billion annually, costs which are disproportionately borne by districts serving low-income students. Moreover, turnover negatively affects school climate and harms student achievement. Using novel school-district human resource data linked with IRS records, I provide policy-relevant insights into how districts can address turnover. These data include teachers from a large urban district and an entire state in the Western United States, allowing for an investigation of the dynamics of turnover in both high cost-of-living urban areas and rural school districts over the past fifteen years. I first examine the economic and residential transitions of former teachers. This will help districts understand whether teachers leave for better economic opportunities, particularly in high-cost, urban and remote, rural areas. To better understand teacher mobility, I also consider the role that residential relocation, housing costs, and partner/spouse job changes play in these transitions. I also use machine learning techniques to code unique applicant essay data to examine whether applicants who express particular attitudes are more likely to remain teachers for longer. This study will help school districts across the country better target their limited resources at more effective recruitment and retention strategies.
Dr. Penner's research focuses on educational inequality and K-12 education policy, and considers the ways that districts, schools, and teachers can contribute to or ameliorate educational inequality. She is currently involved in projects examining teacher recruitment and retention in constrained labor and housing markets, how school sorting processes affect student opportunities to learn, and how educator-initiated curricula that center the cultural and historical experiences of traditionally marginalized students impact student outcomes [from https://naeducation.org/2018-naed-spencer-postdoctoral-fellows/].
"The Power of the Field Placement: Exploring how the Field Placement Classroom Setting Affects Novice Teachers’ Learning to Teach"
Presenters: Yongyin Zhu, Oral Presentation
Research Title: The Power of the Field Placement: Exploring how the Field Placement Classroom Setting Affects Novice Teachers’ Learning to Teach
Faculty Advisor: Hosun Kang
Clinical experiences are a crucial part of preservice teachers’ preparation experiences. However, the teacher education community struggles to figure out where to place preservice teachers during the preparation period in order to best support their learning. This study investigates the role of feedback in facilitating preservice teachers’ learning to teach—one key feature of field placement setting that affects preservice teachers’ learning. Employing a qualitative study methodology, this study analyzes the type and nature of feedback a preservice teacher received, and how the feedback related to a preservice teacher’s learning to teach. The results showed that feedback played two important roles in helping preservice teachers learn to teach: a) expanding repertories of teaching (e.g., technique, skills and strategies); b) problematizing existing views and practices of teaching and learning. The implications for designing productive clinical experiences are discussed.
Presenters: Alondra Villegas, Algrae Gorospe, Vanessa Comia, Poster Presentation
Research Title: Impact of Peer Interaction on Students' Intellectual and Behavioral Development and Engagement
Faculty Advisor: Hosun Kang
Mentor: David Liu
This study explores students’ behavioral engagement by examining the interactions and participation of students and afterschool educators in an out of school setting. Drawing from the Productive Disciplinary Engagement (PDE) theory proposed by Engle and Conant, this study looks at interactions of student during on topic and off topic task engagement. Data was collected from a year-long fifth-grade afterschool science program over eight sessions and a total of 24 hours of video recording of student interactions. Using MAXQDA software, videos were segmented into 15 seconds and were coded for either on topic engagement (e.g., student to peer interaction, student collaboration) or off topic codes (e.g., no interaction, misbehaving) with 82% interrater reliability among three coders. Our findings suggested an increase in peer to peer interaction created more opportunities for students to be involved in classroom activities as the focus was to increase collaboration among groups. This implies that if the class is structured where there is less interaction between peer and staff, there will be a greater peer to peer interaction.
Presenter: Mohammed Tourchian, Poster Presentation
Research Title: Motivational Intervention for Children with ADHD
Faculty Advisor: Susanne Jaeggi
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. Children who demonstrate these symptoms of ADHD tend to demonstrate what is known as a “fixed mindset.” Typically, children who believe that their cognitive abilities are fixed typically have lower self-efficacy, avoid challenging cognitive tasks, are less persistent when tasks become difficult, and endorse performance rather than mastery goal orientations. While certain pharmacological and behavioral interventions exist, this intervention specifically targets the motivational issues associated with ADHD— mindset, self-efficacy, and persistence—which may lead to increased motivation and academic success. The intervention is carried out over a span of six sessions, where the participating children are randomly assigned to either the motivational intervention (experimental) or the study skills intervention (control). Results are quantified by means of a pre-test and post-test, in which participants complete surveys and tests of persistence. Preliminary data analysis of our survey data suggests that while children in the experimental group are not more likely to improve on self-reported consistency of effort, they are more likely to improve on self- reported perseverance of effort as compared to their peers in the control group.