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1. Stanford Educator [2005] Online

Collection
Stanford Educator
The Stanford Educator is the School's alumni magazine.
Book
ix, 287 leaves.
SAL3 (off-campus storage), Special Collections
Book
xii, 297 leaves.
SAL3 (off-campus storage), Special Collections
Collection
Undergraduate Honors Theses, Graduate School of Education
This study examined the book selections of a population of emergent readers (n = 32; 15 male) and asked them to reflect upon their choices with the intention of cultivating a deeper understanding of what matters to children in their early reading experiences. The hypothesis tested was that ethnicity would emerge as a significant predictor of book selection and duration of interaction. Participants sat with an experimenter who showed them three books each featuring characters from diverse backgrounds (African-American, Hispanic, Caucasian). Children received brief summaries of each book (presented in counterbalanced order) and were instructed to choose the one they most wanted to look at. The experimenter was silent and recorded the child’s total time with the book as well as his or her total independent interaction times. Once finished children were asked and answered a series of questions evaluating what they found most important. No differences in selection based on ethnic background were observed. Agentive factors emerged as the most significant justifications for selecting books, and children routinely made connections to their personal lives (e.g. family, experiences, preferences), and children regularly used text as a substrate for reflection on experience and revelation-of-self. As children in early childhood are in the early stages of ethnic identity development it was likely that ethnicity was deemed irrelevant or at least secondary to immediate lived experiences in children’s literary engagement. Implications for authors, teachers, and parents are considered.
Collection
Undergraduate Honors Theses, Graduate School of Education
Objective: In this study I discuss how history textbooks used in the state of South Dakota over the last 30 years or so represent Native Americans. In order to determine whether Native Americans are represented accurately, equally, and respectfully in the texts I analyze five historical events involving the tribes of South Dakota in each textbook. Method: Through the use of textbook coding and word counts the textbooks are analyzed and discussed in terms of accuracy and overall content. Teacher interviews are also conducted to provide insight into how educators teach South Dakota Native American history. Participants in the interviews are asked about their use of textbooks in their classrooms and how they incorporate outside sources to help students grasp certain topics as they relate to Native Americans. Results: The text analysis shows that although more recent textbooks are more objective and “politically correct” in the names they use for Native American people and tribes, the textbooks have slowly decreased in their coverage of Native issues and events. The teacher’s interview showed a pattern that goes along with the inaccuracies in the textbooks. Teachers very rarely use only the textbooks as sources for information. Many use outside and supplementary sources to discuss topics surrounding Native tribes in the area. Conclusions: Within a classroom setting textbooks cannot be the only source of information for high school students. Teachers must incorporate supplementary sources and school districts need to provide more accurate representations of Native Americans. Textbooks cannot cater to one group or specific event in history, meaning it is up to schools to pick up where the textbooks leave off. Schools need to help bridge the gap between cultural respectfulness and educational responsibility as it relates to teaching about cultural groups who have had huge impact on history in order to further improve cultural relations and establish well educated and informed students.
Book
1 online resource.
Since the turn of the 21st century, the international aid community has embraced an unprecedented focus on education in situations of conflict and emergency. This dissertation argues that this growing global focus indicates a dramatic shift in how the world responds to humanitarian crises and how it envisions the role of education. It points to an earlier world in which humanitarian and development domains were more strictly divided and where education, though integral part of development, was not seen as a necessary social service to be delivered in times of humanitarian emergency. In three articles, the dissertation examines the factors that have facilitated today's unprecedented global mobilization around education in crisis settings, studies the striking expansion of a global network that has been integral to this mobilization, and investigates how global specialists experience their work in this emergent professional field.
Book
1 online resource.
In my three-article dissertation, Concerning the Other: Empathic Discourse in Worldwide, National, and Student-Authored Textbook Historical Narratives, I explore how textbook authors empathize with marginalized groups. My data includes approximately 1,000 textbooks published from 1910 to 2010 from over 100 countries around the world, 50 U.S. textbooks published from 1860 to 2015, and over 100 digital history textbook chapters produced by approximately 250 students in three different U.S. high school settings. My first study begins at the global level. I use descriptive statistics to analyze the extent to which textbook authors empathize with discuss minorities, women, immigrants and workers. I measure where and when textbooks mention these marginalized groups as having rights and experiencing discrimination or oppression, themes which some previous scholars conducting cross-national research have called the valorization of diversity (Ramirez, Bromley, and Russell 2009). While previous cross-national research documents a linear expansion of all these variables from the mid-20th century onwards, I find that this expansion was preceded by an earlier expansionist wave beginning in the 1920s, which was followed by a receding wave during the mid-20th century before slowly rising again thereafter. I posit that the first wave can be explained by incipient global rights discourse that emerged in the aftermath of World War I and retracted after World War II as a reaction against Communism. For my next study, I shift to the national level and qualitatively examine the differing ways U.S. textbook authors compassionately discuss dominant groups vis-à-vis marginalized groups. I analyze how these authors construct historical narratives that engage a reader, such as their use of active versus passive writing style. Although textbook authors, in general, write in an increasingly distant manner over time, I find they are more likely to write about the suffering of minorities in a distancing way compared to dominant populations. I argue that textbook authors, traumatized by the Civil War in which white Americans committed violence against other white Americans, used alter their use of linguistic valence to highlight the suffering of Whites and downplay hardships experienced by Blacks and Native Americans in order to cement white unity among their readers. I use a similar methodology for my final study, where I narrow in to the local level to analyze students as the agents of historical production. Visiting two public high schools in the Bay Area of California and one private high school in North Carolina, I examine the extent to which high school students empathically portray the experiences of different marginalized groups when given free reign to create their own digital history textbook chapters. Although I find that students use the affordances of digital technology to create empathic narratives in novel ways, students still internalize the distancing writing convention of traditional textbooks authors while similarly being more likely to write empathically about dominant elites as well as groups in which they identify. Overall, I hope my research demonstrates to textbook writers and social studies teachers alike that history textbook authors can unconsciously entrench a lack of concern for the experiences of marginalized groups through both their writing content and style, and that writing styles can be just as important as content in influencing how readers might empathize with both the historical and contemporary experiences of marginalized groups.
Book
1 online resource.
This dissertation seeks to explain whether and how technology could be better utilized to support learning by underserved students. It affords readers with actionable information about optimizing technology to support learning by underserved students in US public schools. The sum total of these learnings, read against the backdrop of our history, tells a grim story about the likelihood of an equitable school system fueled by technology. While this illusion plays a role in structuring the conversation about of what is possible in American education, in reality, the potential for technology to systemically improve equitable access to high quality education is profoundly limited by the constraints of our fundamentally broken school system.
Book
1 online resource.
Spatial inscriptions of information--visualizations--can be a great asset to problem solving. Calendars and Cartesian graphs are two examples of visualizations that reorganize non-spatial information (temporal and quantitative) into a visual format. People readily rely on these visualizations to plan and see patterns, which intuitively attests to their value. Pre-made visualizations, however, are not always available. As we document here, people can produce their own as needed, even for novel tasks, yet they often do not. This is a problem of transfer, where people have the requisite knowledge and skills but they do not spontaneously apply them when it would be appropriate to do so. We provide four hypotheses that might explain a lack of transfer. Three studies examine whether and when people spontaneously visualize and how to encourage the transfer of visualization to a novel problem. In the first study, we demonstrate that people infrequently visualize spontaneously on a project scheduling task that is similar to what one might find in a project management textbook. We show that performance on the project scheduling task without a visualization is poor. We also find that just seeing visualizations that reveal information not obvious in a table format will not support spontaneous transfer to a spatially-based problem or a temporally-based problem. In the second study, we teach participants explicitly to make a visualization for a spatially-based network problem. We see that people can make sense of a matrix in answering questions about a spatially based problem. We also find that seeing a visualization of that problem helps people to correctly use that visualization to answer questions. Therefore, the lack of visualizations in Study 1 was not due to participants not understanding the problem or not being able to interpret a visualization. Finally, we find that even though people can read and make visualizations for a spatially-based problem, this does not transfer to a temporally based problem. In the third study, we teach participants explicitly to make a visualization for a spatially-based network problem again. We also introduce a task between the spatially-based problem and the temporally-based problem that has both spatial and temporal surface features. The participants who received this "bridge" task spontaneously transferred visualization on the temporally-based project scheduling task.
Book
1 online resource.
In recent decades, the share of ethnically and linguistically diverse children enrolled in schools in the United States has exponentially increased. Despite the growing representation of ethnic minority and dual language learner (DLL) children, there is persistent evidence of early vocabulary gaps between low-income and DLL children and their higher-income and language majority peers. In addition, teachers hold diminished perceptions of ethnic minority and DLL children's academic skills. In three papers, this dissertation examines aspects of ethnic and linguistic minority children's classroom experiences that hold implications for children's vocabulary development and teachers' perceptions of their executive functions (EFs). Two papers utilize the nationally representative Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) to examine how the languages used by teachers and peers can promote preschoolers' English vocabulary development while supporting their Spanish vocabulary development. In the first paper, I examine whether the languages used for instruction and the proportion of DLLs in the classroom are associated with DLLs' English and Spanish vocabulary development. Findings hold implications for the optimal balance of English and Spanish for instruction, as well as the composition of classrooms for DLLs. In the second paper, I consider the association between peers' vocabulary ability and DLLs' English and Spanish vocabulary development. I also examine whether these associations vary by DLLs' initial vocabulary skills. Findings hold implications for the creation of mixed ability classrooms and the value of peer-to-peer interactions in preschool. Finally, in the third paper, I examine teachers' perceptions of elementary students' EFs. I test whether teachers' ratings of students' EFs vary systematically as a function of students' gender, ethnicity and English Language Learner status, while controlling for a direct assessment of students' EFs. Moreover, I examine whether these associations change between the fall and spring. Teachers' perceptions of students' executive functions could hold ramifications for students' academic trajectories, and may contribute to minority students' overrepresentation in school discipline and special education. Implications for practitioners and policy-makers are discussed in each paper.
Book
1 online resource.
Abstract: Over the past fifty years, researchers have shown that quality early learning opportunities can provide a myriad of positive, long-term benefits to individuals. In response to this encouraging evidence, many states and localities have established their own prekindergarten programs. Though enrollment in early childhood education programs has been increasing, inequities exist in the early childhood education market. Disadvantaged students are less likely to enroll in formal programs, or tend to enroll in programs that produce fewer academic benefits. This dissertation seeks to provide evidence on how to offer quality early learning opportunities for all students. The first paper explores the role of folding prekindergarten programs in to the larger K-12 system. To this end, I compare short term literacy outcomes of students in San Francisco who attended a new prekindergarten program called Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to students who attended programs in the city's universal prekindergarten market. I find that former TK students outperform their peers on a variety of pre-literacy skills in the fall of kindergarten and that, for English Language Learners (ELLs), those advantages remain in the fall of first grade. The second paper looks at the effects of older peers on the English language development of ELLs in kindergarten and first grade. These benefits are also concentrated on Chinese students, Latino students, and ELLs, which is consistent with the notion that folding prekindergarten programs into the K-12 system can mitigate the sorting of students to less effective programs. ELLs are one of the fastest growing subgroups in the United States. As schools grapple with a growing ELL population, practitioners must make decisions on how they will distribute ELLs in their classrooms. I find that that a one-month increase in peer age increases the literacy skills of ELLs by 0.052 standard deviations. There is little heterogeneity in results by ethnicity and language pathway. However, females and the youngest students in the sample benefited the most. These results indicate that ELLs benefit from exposure to more advanced peers and tracking ELLs in ways that limit their exposure to such peers may be depriving them of the educational benefit of peer effects. The last paper, coauthored with Erin M. Fahle, Susanna Loeb, and Benjamin N. York, investigates how we can help parents support the academic development of their children at home. Past research has demonstrated the success of texting programs that provide parents of prekindergarteners tips on what they can do at home to build the literacy skills of their children. This study looks at whether the effectiveness of these programs can be improved by personalizing and differentiating the text messages. Results indicate the children in the personalized and differentiated group were 50 percent more likely to move up a reading level compared to children in the general text messaging group and the control group. These results indicate that interventions that do not match the difficulty of the task to the ability of the recipient may be muting any potential gains. In total, this dissertation looks at three levers policymakers can pull to improve education in the early years: (1) designing prekindergarten programs within schools, (2) allocating peers within classrooms, and (3) instituting programs that help parents support the development of their children at home. Improving the educational achievement of children will require coordination at all three levels and this dissertation indicates that thoughtful efforts at each level can produce learning gains in children.
Book
1 online resource.
In this dissertation, I investigate three barriers that students in China face when pursuing higher education: the unequal distribution of college enrollment quotas, the complexity of the college application process and financial constraints. These barriers exist worldwide, but the unique characteristics of the Chinese higher education system make China a valuable case study for extending our current understanding of the three topics. In China, enrollment quotas are determined and imposed on students by colleges and governments. The college application and admission process are centralized and complicated, which further create more constraints and uncertainty on students' college choices. Finally, as with other non-developed countries, students' financial needs are difficult to identify and address. In the first paper, I focus on provincial inequalities in higher education in China, which is related to how universities allocate enrollment quotas to provinces. Using national college admission data from 2005 to 2011, I investigate provincial disparities in college enrollments and the changes in the gaps over these years. Furthermore, from the perspective of the changing dynamics among the central government, local government and universities, I explore the reasons behind the changing distribution of admission quotas over the seven years. Results suggest that provincial disparities in the access to higher education did exist in China, but have decreased. Universities' reliance on local government and their preference for high achieving students can partially explain the regional differences. On average, universities allocate about two-thirds of their admission seats to their local province and allocate more seats to provinces from which they can recruit high achieving students. When universities' reliance on provincial funding decreases, universities decrease their preferences for local students and increase their preferences for high achieving students. In the second paper, I explore the differences in college admission and enrollment outcomes, as well as the application behaviors, between students with high and low socioeconomic status (SES). I also investigate how patterns in application behaviors, admission, and enrollment outcomes change at different levels of uncertainty, which is measured by whether students know their CEE score or not at the time of filling the application form. Results show that compared with high SES urban students, low SES rural students are less likely to be admitted by universities. Conditional on admission, low SES rural students get admission from and enroll in less selective colleges. These differences can be attributed to students' application behaviors: in the college application process, high SES students submit more applications and apply to colleges that they have a higher chance of gaining admissions. Furthermore, students' college admission and enrollment outcomes, as well as application behaviors differ by the risks they face at the time of submitting application forms. With high uncertainty (students fill application forms without knowing their CEE scores), high SES students do not differ significantly from low SES students in admission and enrollment outcomes, as well as the application behaviors. With lower uncertainty (students fill application forms after knowing their CEE scores), high SES urban students are more likely to get admission from and enroll in more selective universities, suggesting that low uncertainty benefits high SES urban students. In the third paper, I investigate the effects of providing financial aid on three student outcomes: (a) performance measured by their class rank; (b) plans to go to graduate school, and (c) expected monthly wages. Impacts of financial aid on the latter two outcomes are seldom explored in the higher education literature. In addition to studying the correlation between receiving financial aid and these three outcome variables, I adopt an instrumental variable approach to estimate the causal relationship between receiving financial aid and the outcome variables. Furthermore, I investigate the correlation between the amount of financial aid and the outcome variables. The results indicate that, while receiving any type of financial aid and the amount of financial aid significantly correlate with students' class rank, plans to go to graduate school, and expected monthly wages, a causal relationship only exists between receiving needs-based aid or loans and the expected monthly wages.
Book
1 online resource.
Across three papers, I examine the influence of school-related factors on student outcomes in Brazil. In the first and second papers, I investigate the effects of teachers' contractual ties with the school on different outcomes. Two aspects of contractual ties were considered: 1) whether teachers hold a permanent or temporary contract, and 2) whether they work at a single or multiple schools during the week. In Brazil, a large proportion of teachers work on temporary contracts and at multiple schools. However, little is known about the educational implications of these contractual arrangements. My dissertation work aims to address this gap. The first paper makes causal inferences about the impact of permanent and single-school teachers on teacher-student relationships and student performance. Analyses use unique administrative and test data from Sao Paulo, Brazil. To account for nonrandom sorting of students and teachers across schools and classrooms, I use a cross-subject analysis with student-fixed effects. Results show that single-school and permanent teachers have a positive and significant impact on teachers' provision of support and academic feedback. Permanent teachers also have a positive effect on student achievement. However, findings indicate that the effects of teachers' contractual ties are smaller for students at higher risk of school failure. The second paper builds on these findings and explores whether teachers' contractual ties affect school dropout. This study uses extensive data from Brazil's Census of Basic Education over four academic years (2011-2014) and employs two classes of fixed effects models based on school-grade-year variation. Results are mixed. School dropout rates are 0.5 to 1 percent lower when students are taught exclusively by single-school teachers; however, dropout rates are 0.4 to 0.8 percent higher when students are taught by permanent teachers. The third paper extends the research on socioeconomic achievement gaps by looking at the extent to which inequality in test scores explains attainment gaps in Brazil. This study draws on Boudon's (1974) theoretical model of inequality in educational opportunity to estimate the primary effects of social background on high school graduation: that is, the proportion of the overall inequality in high school completion associated with the socioeconomic test score gap between students from low and high social backgrounds. Analyses are based on administrative and test data from Sao Paulo and use a decomposition technique for non-linear probably models. Results indicate that the test score gap in middle school is associated with half of the overall socioeconomic inequality in high school graduation. These primary effects are similar to those estimated for the U.S. This is a contribution to previous studies of primary effects, which are based primarily on data from European countries and the United States.
Book
1 online resource.
In recent decades, the advancement of computing technologies has resulted in a proliferation of new educational resources -- from computerized learning software to fully online courses, offered free of charge and available to anyone with Internet access. While excitement around the new technologies has ebbed and flowed, there is no slowdown in the creation of computerized and online teaching products, many which target disadvantaged populations, including those in lower income countries. However, little rigorous evidence exists about whether online and distance instruction is effective these settings where student needs may differ considerably from those in higher income nations, where most research in this area is conducted. My dissertation offers some of the first evidence in this area of inquiry through three field experiments on the use of online and distance-learning instruction in two lower-middle income countries, Ghana and Mongolia. I begin by examining the demand among Ghanaian educators for online sources of professional development and identifying barriers for effective implementation. I then investigate the effectiveness of a blended online instructional pilot in STEM courses in Mongolia and finally evaluate an interactive model of distance learning in Ghanaian primary schools that could represent the future of online learning.
Book
1 online resource.
An important institutional and societal dilemma is how to notify people when they are not meeting performance standards, such as in placing people on a probationary status at school or work. A critical and underappreciated aspect of this dilemma, this dissertation suggests, is that people commonly understand themselves to be in relation with valued institutions that structure their lives. Notification that one is not meeting standards, especially when the notification comes from a valued institution itself, may place this relationship at risk. Insofar as the relationship is valued and experienced as a sense of belonging, notification may lead people to feel ashamed, be concerned that they are stigmatized, and ultimately withdraw from the context, even when that is not adaptive and not what institutional actors intend. Across nine studies, I examine these processes within the context of college students being placed on academic probation. College administrators overwhelmingly reported that they intend probation to both inform students of unsatisfactory performance and support them in remedying it. Students readily identified the first intention from typical probation notification letters but not the second. Consistent with the theory that placement on probation functions a threat to a valued relationship, students who had previously been placed on probation described the probation process as characterized by feelings of shame and stigma. They articulated experiencing worries about belonging and devaluation and identified the probation notification letter as a salient aspect of their experience. Is it inevitable that probation notification letters elicit high levels of shame and stigma? No. Across diverse student samples, "psychologically attuned" probation notification letters designed to explicitly address concerns about belonging and devaluation reduced students' feelings of shame, concerns about stigmatization, and intentions to withdraw from college relative to typical probation notification letters. Can psychologically attuned probation letters to also improve students' academic outcomes in addition to their psychological outcomes? A randomized field intervention with five cohorts of students being placed on probation yielded some, but inconsistent, evidence that they may. A design process to develop contextually specific psychologically attuned probation letters is discussed.
Book
1 online resource.
Children's self-regulation and social competence are widely recognized as a developmentally salient, interrelated set of skills that set the foundation for positive relationships with peers and teachers. Growing evidence suggests that children who can pay attention, inhibit impulses and interact appropriately with adults and peers are better poised to take advantage of learning opportunities in the classroom. Warm, sensitive, and supportive interactions with adult caregivers, both at home and at school, play a central role in shaping children's socio-emotional development. This dissertation examines children's self-regulation and social adjustment across early and middle childhood in the context of three types of adult-child interactions: (1) positive parent-child co-regulation, (2) parent emotion socialization practices, and (3) teachers' EF-related classroom behaviors and scaffolding practices. The first paper compares the methodological differences of employing dynamic, micro-social and global measures of positive co-regulation (PCR) as unique predictors of children's behavioral and social adjustment in the early school context. Micro-social PCR independently predicted fewer externalizing and inattention/impulsive behaviors in school. Global PCR did not uniquely relate to children's behavioral and social adjustment outcomes. Findings illustrate the importance of using dynamic measures of PCR based on micro-social coding to further understand how the quality of parent-child interactions is related to children's self-regulatory and social development during the transition to school. The second paper explores how the process of early school adjustment is not the same for all children by examining the interplay of early child emotional behavior problems, parent emotion socialization practices, and gender in predicting teacher-child closeness. I find that higher relational aggression was linked to closer teacher-child relationships for all children of parents who employed minimization as an emotion socialization practice. These findings contradict prior research linking supportive emotion socialization practices (e.g., empathy, comforting) to socio-emotional competence and unsupportive practices (e.g., minimization, punishment) to poor school adjustment. Together, results from this paper have implications for improving children's classroom experiences by identifying parent emotion socialization and gender as contexts for understanding child emotional behavior problems in relation to teacher-child closeness. The third paper introduces the Teachers' Displays and Scaffolding of Executive Function (T-DASEF) Protocol as a new classroom observation coding system for measuring how teachers display EF-related behaviors and scaffold students' EF skills in elementary school classrooms. I describe the processes of developing the T-DASEF protocol and evaluating the reliability of the dimensions derived from the protocol. I also examine the validity of measures of teachers' EF-related behaviors and scaffolding practices in predicting direct assessments of students' fall and spring EF skills. Findings indicate that the dimensions from the T-DASEF protocol reliably captured teachers' EF-related difficulties and scaffolding practices. Teachers' tendencies toward impulsive, distracted, or disorganized behaviors independently related to students' EF skills in the fall, but not in the spring. By comparison, teachers' cognitive flexibility and planning/organization scaffolding emerged as unique predictors of students' spring EF skills. These findings have implications for using ecologically-valid, observational measures to provide teachers with important feedback on their EF difficulties and how to improve scaffolding of students' EF-skills. Together, these papers advance our conceptual and methodological understanding of the role of adults' caregiving and teaching behaviors in supporting children's self-regulatory and social development in schools. Through this dissertation, I use a multi-method approach to offer new insights into the quality of the interactional processes through which adults support or undermine children's positive school adaptation throughout elementary school.
Book
1 online resource.
This dissertation is the result of a personal quest to figure out what would make real net positive change in schooling: What would it take to shift our schooling system so that it genuinely empowers individuals as positive changemakers in their lives, and also fosters a thriving democracy? The overriding argument made is that if we wish to make this shift, we need systems change. Systems change requires we: 1) take a systems perspective; 2) discern the correct purposes for schooling; 3) define our shared aims or vision; and, 4) develop a deep understanding of human flourishing, societal thriving, and their relationship to schooling. This dissertation aligns with these steps and is organized as follows. 1. Introduction: Schooling as a System The introduction considers why schooling needs to be examined from a systems-perspective. Drawing on work in ecological and organizational systems, it outlines how a systems-perspective is different than most current perspectives on education, why this is important for thinking about schooling, and what theory suggests is needed to shift a system. 2. Clarifying the Purposes: A Meta-framework for the Purposes of Schooling The second chapter asks: 1) What are the different purposes of schooling and how are they related?; and, 2) Which purposes should be used to organize the actual practice -- the organization, structure, and pedagogy, of schools? This chapter offers a new way of thinking about the role of schooling in society by presenting a comprehensive meta-framework for the purposes and aims of schooling. It argues there are four core purposes for schooling - Individual Possibility, Social Possibility, Social Efficiency, and Individual Efficiency, which can be mapped onto a 2x2 matrix, with axes: 1) Intrinsic—Instrumental; and 2) Individual--Collective. To thrive as a democracy the aims for organizing the practice of schooling should be rooted in the intrinsic purposes - Individual and Social Possibility. However, most research, reform, rhetoric, and policy in the U.S. frames the purpose as instrumental Individual Efficiency, which, if not addressed, will undermine society's ability to evolve and thrive as a democracy. Intrinsic purposes are inherent to the actual practice and experience of schooling. When aims arising from the instrumental purposes are used to organize the structure, process, or practice of schooling, it thwarts the ability of a society to progress and thrive, in part because it limits the likelihood of anomalistic thinking and thereby decreases the overall ecological diversity of our society. Decreased diversity means limited protection to environmental changes or threats (I use these terms broadly to include cultural, social, technological, natural environment, or economic forces). The meta-framework for the purposes of schooling can be used to help discern the implicit assumptions in arguments and debates about potential school reforms, programs, policies, and research. The chapter concludes by applying the framework to two current movements in education: the standards movement and school choice movement. 3. Defining the Aims: Toward a Shared Vision Chapters 3 and 4 present the empirical research conducted on the aims for schooling: 57 in-depth interviews with students, parents, and educators across two very different school communities: St. John's College Preparatory (St. John's), a private Catholic school serving a largely high-income community, and John Lewis Middle School (JLMS), an urban public school serving a majority middle to low-income community. The analytical questions make explicit each participant's implicit "theory of change" for schooling. I started by asking about life aims -- what makes a good life, now and in the future? -- then asked about the role they would ideally like school to play in their lives, and finally whether they thought schools would do this. This research adds depth and nuance to previous research on ideas about the purposes of schooling. What participants talked about as the ideal role for their schools is considerably more nuanced than the typical "Prepare for a job, " "Prepare as a citizen, " "Prepare with academic skills" that previous survey research has asked about. My analysis suggests that what participants want for children's lives, now and in the future, and from their schools, includes a breadth of areas not frequently discussed in current debates about schooling. Furthermore, participants' answers similar to one another, and fit broadly with the Aristotelian ideas of flourishing or, eudaimonia -- i.e. to live well, be well, and do well. However, while there was broad consensus about what it meant to live a good life and the role of school in creating it, a clear divide emerged between school contexts about opinions of whether each school would do this -- St. John's participants overwhelming said "yes, " while JLMS participants largely said, "no". This finding contributes to the conversation about equity in schooling, and the chapter concludes with a discussion about implications for how we define equity (as empowering experience rather than attainment), and the role of schooling in creating a democratic society. 4. Schooling for Flourishing Individuals and a Thriving Democratic Society: A Model Chapter 5 presents a new model for thinking about the relationship between schooling and society and, in particular, how to think about schooling as a way to foster individual flourishing and a thriving democratic society. This model provides a necessary conceptual bridge between existing theories within philosophy, sociology, and social psychology. The main contribution is to bring these different perspectives together in one model, thereby putting them in conversation with one another and providing a more holistic theoretical view than currently exists in literature, research, or practice. The intention behind the model is to connect our aims (creating good lives) with our ideal role for schooling and a deeper understanding of what flourishing means. While the current narrative about school reform focuses on the extent to which schools develop specific competencies and skills (i.e. "learning"), I argue we must take a broader view. As a collective, we want to create a society in which everyone is able to flourish. Here, flourishing is defined as being able to make choices about their life paths that are aligned with their beliefs and values (their own unique constellation of preferences), and are able to work with others to change the options available to them if needed or desired. This requires a society in which all citizens: a) have fully developed the three components of agentic action (capacities, character, and beliefs); b) are afforded the freedoms necessary to make choices; and, c) have their basic core needs met (physiological and social psychological). Furthermore, if we are to create a thriving democratic society, we must consider how we will practice democracy in schools. 5. Conclusion The dissertation concludes with a summary of the lessons from this work. I argue that one of the most fundamental shifts overall is that of "asking better questions" in education. We need more beautiful questions in research, reform, and policy -- questions that shape new positive visions and expand our notion of what is possible.
Book
1 online resource.
This dissertation adds to the literature on Latinas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Furthermore, it is one of the few studies to focus on Latinas in STEM in graduate school and in the workforce. Each of the three qualitative studies in this dissertation uses academic resilience as a framework to explore Latinas' journeys through the STEM pipeline, identifying protective factors or sources of support and the risk factors or challenges they encountered. In the first study, twenty Latina graduate students were interviewed about their experiences from early childhood through their time in graduate programs in STEM fields. The participants were master's or doctoral students at the same private elite university at the time of the interviews. The following were some of the major themes that were identified: earliest STEM experience, special teachers and mentors, community college experiences, decision to attend graduate school, familismo, graduate school faculty advisors/mentors, sense of belonging, and ethnic/cultural identity. The findings point to four potential areas for intervention. In the second study, twelve Latinas were interviewed about their academic and career trajectories in STEM fields. The participants had received their doctoral degrees or were employed in STEM fields at Research I institutions. Some of the risk factors or challenges that these women faced included: their families' gendered expectations, undocumented status, inaccessible research advisors, and cultural taxation. The protective factors or strengths and support systems that helped participants overcome these challenges included: family support, undergraduate research experiences, and access to academic mentors and diversity offices. In addition to the risk and protective factors identified, the Happenstance Learning Theory is used to describe participants' academic and career paths in STEM. The third study examined Latinas' experiences with microaggressions and discrimination in STEM fields and explored how experiences varied by skin tone and field of study. This study combined the participant samples of the first two studies and included analysis of survey data and interview responses. Survey results indicated that participants with lighter skin tones reported fewer experiences with microaggressions. In addition, women in science fields reported fewer microaggressions than the women in engineering fields. Responses to microaggressions included ignoring the events, confronting the offender, and relying upon protective factors such as external sources of support. Findings draw attention to colorism and phenotyping as barriers to success in STEM fields. Together, the three studies in this dissertation confirm previous findings about Latinas in STEM fields and identify new risk and protective factors.
Book
1 online resource.
The three methodological papers in this dissertation apply novel or recently developed statistical models to improve our understanding and use of educational test scores. The first paper explores the use of diagnostic classification models to validate scores on a multiple-choice test written to be more instructionally useful to teachers. The second paper describes a novel application of hierarchical logistic regression that allows researchers to formally test and quantify variation in item bias across different test administrations. The third paper presents an improved method for obtaining estimates of test score distributions for small groups when only aggregate proficiency data are available. Paper 1 uses a generalized diagnostic classification model (GDCM) to provide validity evidence for a test measuring student misconceptions in middle school geometry. The test is an example of a "distractor-driven" test that includes selected-response questions with systematically written incorrect response options, and is intended to provide teachers with an efficient means of obtaining instructionally useful information about their students' reasoning, including whether students may be reasoning with common misconceptions that could interfere with their learning. This paper illustrates how graphical and numerical results from the GDCM can be used to evaluate current uses of the test and to guide future test development. The discussion considers both the strengths and limitations of applying the GDCM framework to this type of distractor-driven test. Paper 2 proposes a new approach for studying variation in differential item functioning (DIF) across test administrations. DIF analyses, which can help identify biased test items, are widely used in test development and validation to ensure that test scores are fair for all test-takers. Research in social psychology and related fields suggests that contextual features of test-taking environments may adversely affect some test-takers' performance, which could lead to variance in DIF across test administrations. Most commonly used DIF detection methods assume DIF is constant across test administrations, an assumption that could lead to incorrect or incomplete inferences in the presence of such heterogeneity. This paper proposes a novel use of hierarchical logistic regression (HLR) models to detect both DIF and DIF variance across test administrations. A real data analysis and a simulation study are used to demonstrate and evaluate the proposed model. The results show that the HLR model has good Type I error and statistical power rates when testing for DIF variance, and provides a more accurate test of uniform DIF than the standard logistic regression DIF model in the presence of DIF variance. Paper 3 describes an improved method for analyzing test score data presented as aggregate proficiency data. Aggregate proficiency data indicate the number of students in different schools or demographic groups scoring in each of a small number of ordered performance levels. These data do not include complete information about the full test score distributions and are of limited applicability for many statistical analyses. However, they are often the only source of data available to those addressing important questions about differences in educational achievement outcomes across groups. Heteroskedastic ordered probit (HETOP) models can be used to recover estimates of means and standard deviations of the full test score distributions, but may yield biased or very imprecise estimates when group sample sizes are small. This paper describes a pooled HETOP model that pools data across grade levels to improve small-sample estimates. Two simulation studies demonstrate that the pooled HETOP model can reduce the bias and sampling error of test score standard deviation estimates when group sample sizes are very small. An analysis of real test score data finds that the pooled HETOP model assumptions are plausible and therefore supports the use of the model in applied settings.
Book
1 online resource.
External college outreach programs are increasingly conceptualized in policy and practice as catalysts for reform of school-based college preparation and advising services. In addition to directly serving a cohort of students, these programs are increasingly positioned in schools and articulate an active agenda to influence how schools prepare students for postsecondary pathways. Yet, despite their wide scope and growing policy attention, there are many open empirical questions regarding external college outreach program, particularly with respect to their role in shaping school practices. One mechanism that may be at work and is worth exploring is knowledge sharing between external programs and their partner institutions. Given their specialized focus on the college search and application process, one way programs may catalyze school change is by sharing their expertise. A dominant thread of the literature on organizational change also posits that organizations learn through entry of "new" knowledge from external sources, further underscoring the need to empirically identify the knowledge sharing mechanism in schools with external partners. My dissertation begins to address the gap in the literature on external college outreach programs, by exploring if and how external programs and school staff share knowledge or information related to the college search and application process. To investigate information sharing in schools with external college outreach programs, I designed a comparative case study of four New York public high schools with at least one external college advising program. The schools varied in terms of the number and structure of other external programs at the school site and common indicators of college-going norms, such as graduation rate and college enrollment. The data for this study include semi-structured interviews and focus groups with a total of 78 participants across the four schools. In addition, in this study I took a social network point of view and administered a network questionnaire to all program and school staff participants. The relational perspective allows me to identify and explore the linkages between individuals necessary for knowledge transfer. The analysis presented in this dissertation offers an empirically grounded description of knowledge sharing in schools that partner with external college outreach programs. The data reveal a wide breath of information related to the college search and application process and a largely central role for external program staff in managing the flow of this information. External program representatives emerge as key stakeholders for transmitting updates, coordinating advising and school activities, and collaborating with colleagues. The data also characterize school staff as repositories of valuable insights about students and the school, yet show how dissemination of this information is related to their position in the network. Overall, the analysis presented in this study suggest the potential for centrally positioned program and school staff to not only share their expertise but also retrieve and integrate knowledge held by their peripherally positioned colleagues. The data also reveal important cross-case differences that draw a connection between existing college-going norms and knowledge sharing among stakeholders. The data indicate that in schools with more cohesive college-going norms, central program and school staff have a comparatively wider reach. These schools, the data reveal, are physically and formally structured in ways that are conducive to information sharing. Moreover, the cohesive college-going norms present at these schools, the data suggest, are associated with stakeholders' ability to maintain a largely positive interpersonal dynamic at the school. The analysis presented in this study furthers our understanding of college outreach programs by illustrating their role in motivating information flow relevant to the college search and application process in their partner schools. Moreover, the findings presented in this study suggest a broader conceptualization of school staff, not only in terms of their immediate job functions, but also in terms of the advantage -- or disadvantage -- that their relational position offers for influencing information flow in their respective schools. The findings presented in this study also have important implications for policy and practice; most notably, by highlighting the relationship between network position and information sharing, this study supports efforts to strategically position external program representatives centrally among school staff, irrespective of their immediate focus on student-facing services.

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