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College of Education

Faculty Spotlight Seminars

Faculty Spotlight Seminars provide monthly opportunities for faculty to share their research and other activities with colleagues and receive their feedback. The seminars are informal discussions that enable department members to be more aware of what their colleagues are involved in, while also opening up numerous opportunities for collaboration. These presentations are also offered to members of our Professional Development School partnerships.

April 2017
Dr. Deepak Subramony
Evaluating the K-State College of Education's Alternative
e-Textbook Initiative

In 2012 the Kansas State University College of Education (COE) launched an initiative to support the development of open alternative electronic textbooks (e-texts) by COE faculty for implementation within their respective courses. Since the launching of this initiative, the COE has funded the development and implementation of multiple e-texts across several semesters, to the tune of around $77,000. This study was commissioned by COE Dean Debbie Mercer with the aim of evaluating the impact of this initiative upon the teaching.

February 2017
Dr. Spencer Clark
Thinking About Preservice Teachers’ School Experiences Before Teacher Education: The Possibility of a Different Lens to Engage in Teacher Preparation

Dr. Clark discussed an unexpected finding from a longitudinal study, which involved students in his methods courses and related practicum experiences. He shared some key differences he found between preservice teachers who had experience in schools prior to teacher education and preservice teachers who did not. Preservice teachers who had prior experiences in schools were enabled and constrained in different ways than their classmates who entered teacher education with only their “apprenticeship of observation” (Lortie, 1975). His research has implications for how we engage students in the process and purpose of teacher education, and our own MAT program.

January 2017
Dr. Suzanne Porath
A Powerful Influence: An Educator Professional Online Book Club

Educators are developing broad Personal Learning Networks (PLN) through social media such as Twitter, Google+ and blogs. These social media platforms allow teachers to virtual visit other classrooms, seek advice from mentors, and find support from colleagues. This case study investigated the use of social media to conduct a voluntary, online professional book club for educators. This study sought to understand the motivation of the participants, the self-reported levels and ways of participation, and the perceived benefits and challenges of participation.

December 2016
Dr. Ruth Gurgel
Humans, Not Heroes: Teachers' Implementation of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in Music Classrooms

The purpose of this study is to document pedagogical practices of nine music educators in the United States who maintain proportionate membership of minoritized populations in their classrooms and align their practices with the six prongs of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) as described by Gloria Ladson-Billings. Using the methodology of collective case study, seven undergraduate music education majors join me as researchers. After transcribing and analyzing the collected data, each undergraduate student will write a narrative portrait of one teacher's practice that will become a book chapter in the resulting publication. This collection of case studies will provide counterstories to the dominant discourse of music teaching, thereby challenging hidden pedagogies and white privilege.

November 2016
Dr. Socorro Herrera
Implementing the Biography Driven Instruction Model

Dr. Herrera shared her model for biography driven instruction (BDI). Teachers in select schools of the Shawnee Mission district are learning this method as means to enhanced effectiveness with CLD students. The model's emphasis on strategies will be highlighted. Final discussion will explore the pivotal role of appropriate dispositions as essential to effectiveness with CLD students taught via BDI and related models of culturally responsive pedagogy.

October 2016
Dr. Julie Thiele
Student Impacts of Inconsistent Grading Policies and Teacher Practices

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of grading policies on students’ mindsets. The findings of this quasi-experimental, causal comparative survey research study demonstrated no statistically significant differences between the mindset levels of students from schools with a myriad of traditional and standards based grading practices. Further analysis revealed inconsistencies between student perceptions of the teachers’ grading practices and the schools’ grading policies.

September 2016
Dr. Sally Yahnke
Meeting Life Literacy Skills for Children and Youth in Family and Consumer Sciences Classrooms

This presentation focused on almost 30 years of data to determine the challenges individuals and families face in living their day-to-day lives. Data collection involved focus groups from two midwestern states and included data from individuals from the ages of 16-80 plus years. Each individual was asked to respond to 6 challenge questions. Conclusions from the study are: (1) Time Management, Money Management and Communication skills emerge as three overall themes community members face in each of the six challenge areas. (2) Few technical skills (How to) were identified by the participants. (3) The challenges faced by the participants family and work lives revolve around communicative and emancipative skills. (4) There is little, if any difference in the challenges individuals and families face over almost 30 years.

February 2016
Dr. Brad Burenheide
Return to the Classroom: Testing the Personal Practical Theories
of an Education Professor

Dr. Burenheide has established a long-term research experience with Rock Creek High School. In his session, he shared how the experience was established, what he did during it, and problems and pitfalls from the researchers point of view.

January 2016
Dr. Lotta Larson
Exploring Affordances of Digital Reading Devices in K-12 Classrooms

Dr. Larson's research agenda explores new literacies and ways teachers can integrate technology to enhance teaching and learning. In particular, she examines how digital reading devices and other forms of tablet technologies can be used in K-12 classrooms to support reading comprehension, engage and motivate students, and create strategic readers of digital texts.

November 2015
Dr. David Allen and Dr. Lori Goodson
Distance Supervision: Exploring Models to Meet Stakeholders’ Needs

Drs. David S. Allen and Lori Goodson discussed their research project investigating distance supervision models through the use of contemporary technologies (SWIVL Robot, Zoom Conference Software). They are working with approximately 12 school districts in Kansas and beyond, providing virtual supervision for student teachers. Also involved in the project are two College of Education Clinical Instructors, Dr. Twyla Sprouse, USD #383 Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools, and Allison Rothwell, USD #475 Geary County Public Schools. Rothwell is based in Denver, Colorado, while supervising students in Kansas for a flipped-classroom approach to supervision.

October 2015
Dr. Paul Burden
Publishing a Textbook

Actions to prepare a book proposal were reviewed. The first step is to consider issues such as: writing what you know about, having sufficient time to write, the markets and audience for the book, the competing books, and authoring or co-authoring. The next step to get started involves deciding on the type of book you would like to prepare, identifying potential publishers, developing a book proposal and sample materials, and sending the book proposal to a publisher. Finally, typical content included in a book proposal was identified and described.

September 2015
Dr. Thomas Vontz
Scholarly Editing: The Encyclopedia of American Governance

Since 2012, Dr. Vontz has been working on a five-volume, 750 entry encyclopedia – the Encyclopedia of American Governance. As Executive Associate Editor, he worked with the Editor-in-Chief and other Associate Editors to select entries, craft scope statements, identify related terms, as well as edit original and revised manuscripts. In addition, the Editor-in-Chief and he prepared an introduction and annotated a few original documents that are frequently mentioned throughout the encyclopedia (i.e., Federalist #51). The Encyclopedia of American Governance was published by Cengage in 2016.

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