College of Education and Human Development

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This collection contains ETD documents from the College of Education and Human Development.


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    A Comparative Analysis of How Skills-based and Scenario-based Simulations Support Learning with EFAST as an Exemplar Skill
    (2015-12) Battista, Alexis; Kitsantas, Anastasia
    This study presents an investigation into how learning was supported in skills- and scenario-based simulations, and examines the influence of simulation context on the activities, guided participation, self-efficacy, and learning outcomes of student healthcare professionals. Using a mixed-methods comparative case study design, eight student healthcare professionals, naïve to ultrasound, were recruited to learn the Extended Focused Assessment using Sonography for Trauma (EFAST) exam. Following completion of a pretest evaluation of EFAST performance, students were randomly assigned to partake in either two skills-based or scenario-based simulation practice sessions. Qualitative data included video recordings of simulations, and student’s written reflections. Quantitative data included the EFAST self-efficacy scale and the Radiology Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (RAD-DOPS), which assessed students’ performance of the EFAST. Activity theory and guided participation informed analysis of students’ engagement during participation in skills-based and scenario-based simulations. Descriptive statistics were used to examine students’ performance on RAD-DOPS assessments and self-efficacy beliefs. Findings suggest that learning was supported in both simulation contexts when students, together with peers and faculty, engaged in clinically relevant activities, using culturally relevant tools and artifacts. The findings also suggest that students’ activities, guided participation, learning reports, and SE differed. All students reported learning the EFAST; however, scenario-based students reported learning about their role as member of the healthcare team, and how to integrate the EFAST into patient care. Students in skills-based simulations rated their self-efficacy for EAST numerically higher than did scenario-based students. Skills-based students were rated more highly on the posttest. Recommendations for practice are discussed.
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    Teacher Self-Efficacy during COVID-19: A Qualitative Study on Experienced High School Teachers
    Conley, Sarah; Sheridan, Kimberly
    In March of 2020, every teacher's career changed when the impact of COVID-19 prevented students from coming to school in-person. With the entire structure of education forced to change because of schools moving to online learning, Bandura's research on self-efficacy can provide insight to how individual teachers' self-efficacy beliefs adapted during COVID. This qualitative study focused on individual teacher's experiences involving the four sources that are known to impact self-efficacy, including mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and physiological state. Given that research has found educators at the mid-point of their career are typically at their highest levels of teacher self-efficacy beliefs, seven teachers with at least ten or more years of experience in a public high school were interviewed for this research. This study observed that each teacher was impacted to varying degrees in each of the four sources of self-efficacy over the two years, between March 2020 and June 2022. The most notable self-efficacy impacts among all participants were with mastery experiences, social persuasion, and personal physiological state, as many teachers struggled with the loss of student interaction while teaching online. This study's findings suggest that the amount of support from schools and leadership played a significant role in teachers recovering their self-efficacy beliefs during COVID. In addition, results found that teachers who had an adaptable growth mindset toward teaching were more likely to easily rebound from self-efficacy loss. Based on these findings, school districts should evaluate what kinds of support they provide to teachers, both pre- and post-COVID. Focusing on what teachers need most, considerations should potentially address emotional adaptability and wellness opportunities to help teachers not only recover from the lingering effects of COVID, but also the everyday changes they face in the classroom.
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    A Demographic Profile of Major League Soccer Metropolitan Communities
    Howard, Andre; McDowell, Jacqueline
    Major League Soccer is in the midst of a growing movement as a professional Soccer League in North America. With its growth in the sport, Major League Soccer has gone through the process of expanding the league from 10 cities back in the inaugural season of 1996 to 32 teams in North America, with the most recent expansion selection and approval by the league committee happening in late 2019. Using a collective case study approach, this study sought to gain a better understanding of the demographic factors that characterize the metropolitan areas surrounding Major League Soccer (MLS) teams. An understanding of commonalities and differences in characteristics across each site can be used to identify key factors that should be considered when selecting expansion cities.
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    Intercultural Competence in Secondary Education: An Examination of Practice
    (2022) Eisenberg, Rebecca; Mattix Foster, April
    This case study explores the experiences of graduating seniors’ perceptions of their intercultural competence (IC) and the role their schooling played in its development. The teaching of skills and knowledge related to IC, such as adaptability, flexibility, empathy, and cultural knowledge, are of increasing importance given the globalization of the world. Its importance in education is recognized in higher education, as well as in private industry and federal government bureaucracies. However, it is increasingly recognized that teaching IC to students prior to college is important for them to become more global citizens and ethnorelative in their knowledge and skill set. The study took place in Beaverton School District (BSD) in Beaverton, Oregon which is a major suburb of Portland and the third largest school district in Oregon. Data collected included participants taking Mahon and Cushner’s Inventory of Cross-Cultural Sensitivity, semi-structured interviews and document analysis to create thick descriptions of participants’ educational experiences.An iterative, open, and emic coding process of the multiple points of data collected yielded substantial themes in the learning of IC in school settings. Findings included that students come to school with a wealth of life experiences impacting their ability to grow and hone their IC skills, behaviors, and knowledge. Schools impact a student’s ability to move from ethnocentrism to ethnorelativsm through formalized lessons, informal learning opportunities, relationship building, and establishing positive and accepting learning environments. The findings of this study are significant to academics and practitioners alike, as it offers actionable items based upon participant experiences, as well as suggestions for further studies that will elucidate clear pathways towards creating IC-rich curriculum and learning opportunities in educational settings.
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    Perceived Impact of Global Online Teacher Professional Development for English as a Foreign Language Educators of Young Learners
    (2022) Kim, Woomee; Shin, Joan K
    This dissertation presents a research study that was conducted to understand the perceived impact of a global online teacher professional development (OTPD) program in the field of English language teaching (ELT), specifically for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) educators of young learners. In this case study, EFL teachers’ change/growth in knowledge, beliefs and instructional practices were examined based on their participation in an 8-week Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL) Global Online Course between April to May 2020. This study also explored how these participating English language educators applied the course content to their local settings, despite the challenges especially in the midst of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Primary data collected include two sets of semi-structured interviews, first in June 2020 to understand the perceived impact as soon as the course ended, as well as 12 weeks after in October 2020, in order to look for evidence of sustained learning from the course. Other data such as pre- and post-course assessments, online interactions through assignment posts, and voluntarily submitted artifacts such as demo teaching videos and images of student work samples were also collected and examined for analysis. Desimone’s (2009) core features for effective professional development model was used for etic analysis and emergent themes were sought through emic analysis to understand the TEYL OTPD participants’ experience and perceived impact. Findings from etic analysis indicated that the English language educators participating in this study perceived the presence of the core features of effective PD and reported on all aspects of the desired outcomes from TEYL OTPD. Expansion of Desimone’s (2009) model is proposed for the OTPD context, based on themes emerging from emic analysis. The emergent themes that led to the design elements for effective OTPD are: 1) scaffold the learning through online course organization; 2) provide rich and open education resources; 3) engage the learners through multimodal ways of learning; 4) promote active learning through modeling, reflection, and interaction; 5) achieve group cohesion from the start to build and sustain social presence; 6) take advantage of the scalable and quality asynchronous learning; 7) take an asset-based, democratic approach to collective participation; and 8) require the course developers to include cascading as an OTPD component. Practical and research implications have been drawn to inform the fields of OTPD and ELT.
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    Faculty agency and the internationalization of higher education: A case study of one university in Pakistan
    (2022) Lebron, Jennifer L; Lester, Jaime L
    This dissertation describes how faculty use their agency to make meaningful decisions in their careers within the context of internationalization. The author uses a faculty agency framework that positions internationalization as a sociocultural structure that influences faculty members’ identities and the organizational contexts in which they work, shaping how they use strategic actions and perspectives to navigate their daily work lives and career goals. The study uses a private university in Pakistan as a case study, with document analysis, interviews, and teaching observations as the primary data collection methods. The author finds faculty members’ agency behaviors can be organized into three interrelated and overlapping categories in response to internationalization: localized behaviors, aspiring behaviors, and internationalized behaviors. Each of these agency responses impact faculty members’ teaching and research responsibilities separately. Findings from this research can be used to understand how to uncover and contextualize faculty members agency within larger global social forces and help administrators and others provide better support to faculty within the context of organizational goals.
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    Wonder Matters for Education: Movements in Theory, Methods, and Practice
    (2022) Byers, Christie; Gilbert, Andrew
    The idea that wonder matters for education may seem obvious, as wonder is commonly associated with children’s delight in noticing and exploring the new. Focused attention on wonder in education theory and practice, however, has been minimal. The premise explored in this dissertation project is that an onto-epistemological tension between the nature of wonder and its relation to knowing, and the nature of knowing as promoted in schools resides at the heart of this problem. Further, the nature of knowing as promoted in schools reflects the dominant logics structuring western culture, logics contested for their limited perspectives on who and what matters, how knowledge is produced, and deficit views of difference. These same problematic logics work to regulate what counts as legitimate knowledge in the realm of education research itself, thus limiting the ways wonder has been studied. While wonder is receiving renewed attention for its educational value, and various strategies are being developed toward promoting wonder in schools, this project works to highlight how this onto-epistemological tension needs to be explicitly addressed alongside these efforts, if a focus on wonder in education is to be sustained. The central claim in this work is that the complexity of wonder and its relationship with knowing requires a matched complexity in the conceptual resources from which we make sense of it. The three manuscripts in this dissertation explore this issue through the development of experimental inquiry approaches and an expanded conceptualization of wonder inspired by relational process-oriented ontology. Working with the accounts of preservice teachers who navigated completing wonder assignments in a science methods course over time, wonder became analyzable as an attunement and thresholding phenomenon sensitive to the dynamic interplay between two co-composing dimensions of everyday events: the dimension of already formed structures and actualized beings, and the dimension of relational beings in the process of in-forming. The work of coming to conceptualize wonder in this manner is depicted in three manuscripts. The first manuscript, Still joy: A call for wonder(ing) in science education as anti-racist vibrant life-living employs the technique of poetically juxtaposing resonant snippets from theory, data, texts, conversations, photos, and a tragic cultural event to explore how under the influence of settler-colonial logics, both wonder and Black life, despite each involving generative and joyful movements, are deemed to be out-of-bounds and in need of being regulated and policed. The second manuscript, Wonder and the sensation of relation: An empirical exploration into the processual nature of wonder explores how a perplexing quality detected in the accounts of the preservice teachers initiated a turn to relational process philosophy for its vigorous and complex theorization of events. I demonstrate how working with these concepts led to the development of a more-than-representational analytic technique, poetic thresholding, and metamodeling of wonder as a thresholding process concerning affective attunement to an open and dynamic field of emerging relations. The third manuscript, Working for wonder in education: Lessons from preservice teachers’ experiences with wonder assignments in a science methods course is framed as a response to a call for a focus on teachers as critical actors in the promotion of wonder in schools The experiences of preservice teachers as they engaged with wonder assignments over time was documented and analyzed. Three key events were identified and re-presented, exposing a central epistemological tension between the transmission of a ‘right answers’ mode of knowing promoted in schools, and the creative and relational process of (be)coming-to-know involved in wondering. The aim of these three papers is to open up more expansive possibility thinking about wonder and education, while emphasizing the imperative of exposing and interrogating the onto-epistemological tension lurking at the heart of the matter.
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    Cultivating Assessment Knowledge, Perspectives, and Competencies of Early Childhood Education Preservice Teachers
    (2022) Yun, Sehyun; Kidd, Julie K
    Learning to use assessment for diverse young learners is a challenging process. Early childhood education preservice teachers (PSTs) are required to learn how to design and implement assessments that are meaningful, appropriate, and fair to all children. This study investigates how an early childhood education assessment course involving coursework and field experiences influenced PSTs’ knowledge, perspectives, and competencies regarding the assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) children.A qualitative case study was conducted to offer “an in-depth description and analysis of a bounded system” (Merriam, 2009, p. 40). Seven PSTs were selected for this study through purposeful sampling (Flyvbjerg, 2006; Patton, 2015; Reybold et al., 2013). PSTs were enrolled in a 3-credit masters-level assessment course in an ECE program at a university in the mid-Atlantic region. The course required a 15-hour field experience where the PSTs completed a self-selected set of five assessments to gain insight into one child’s development across developmental domains. Data were collected from each participant through a questionnaire, semi-structured interview, and artifacts produced by PSTs as part of the course experiences. This study provides valuable insights into the importance of providing coursework and field experiences designed to develop PSTs’ equitable assessment practices for young children who bring cultural and linguistic diversity to the classroom. While engaging in the coursework and field experiences, the PSTs in this study developed and (re)shaped their assessment perspectives by learning various assessment purposes and methods in early childhood education. Additionally, the PSTs considered individual children’s linguistic and cultural experiences and interests when implementing assessment during their field experiences, especially, with children from diverse backgrounds. By utilizing their newly gained assessment knowledge and skills with CLD children, PSTs increased their confidence in assessment and developed their professional roles as assessors. Their growth in confidence as assessors encouraged novice teachers to continue to expand, improve, and refine their assessment practices. The findings presented in this dissertation have implications for teacher education programs on ways to support early childhood education PSTs as they prepare to use fair and equitable assessment with children who bring diverse cultural and linguistic knowledge into the classroom.
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    Exploring Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Feedback Practices
    Bontrager, Bailey J; Bontrager, Bailey J; Miller, Angela
    Feedback has long been viewed as an important component in classrooms where teachers and students engage in learning activities. Early research into the influence of feedback on mathematics achievement demonstrated that students performed better when given feedback that included specific information that identified errors and detailed why an answer is correct, as opposed to simply indicating an answer is correct or incorrect. Since these early studies, researchers have continued to investigate the characteristics that make feedback most effective in mathematics classrooms. Despite the availability of literature and evidence that teachers can be taught how to implement effective feedback practices, there is evidence that “traditional” feedback practices continue to be used in mathematics classrooms. One reason for the continued use of traditional feedback strategies in mathematics classrooms could be the lack of guidance and effective training of these particular practices. The present study explores the processes middle school mathematics teachers’ experience while determining feedback for students. The study revealed feedback is a multifaceted process that middle school mathematics teachers are concerned with on a regular basis. Several themes and a theoretical construct were developed that speak to specifics regarding what teachers consider and how they determine feedback for students. Common methods of communication and delivery of feedback were identified as well. Educational implications were discussed regarding teacher preparation programs and professional development to support teachers’ learning effective feedback strategies.
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    Educational Pathways for Military Veterans Transitioning Into Information Technology and Cybersecurity-Related Career Fields
    (2022) Hamilton, Andrew; Chen, P. Daniel
    The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences and motivational factors that influenced educational and career decisions of United States military veterans who transitioned out of the military and into an information technology (IT)-related career field. The study investigated the reasons veterans decided to pursue IT-related careers, the reasons they selected their educational programs to gain entry into the field, how they described their experiences within those programs, and how satisfied they have been during the entry-level phase of their career. Veterans who served in IT-related career fields during their time in the military were not included in this study. This case study presents the perspectives of 12 veterans who successfully transitioned out of the military, completed one of several educational pathways, and attained their goal of working in an IT-related career field. Several findings emerged as a result. Veterans who participated in this study were satisfied with their decisions to pursue careers in the IT workforce. They approached career transitions from different situations, and those situations influenced the decisions they made and pathways they pursued to find success. The participants based their decisions to pursue their overarching goal of working in an IT-related career on internal or value-based motivations; however, when selecting an educational pathway to attain that goal, they deliberately considered the practicality of their circumstances. In addition, participants attributed part of their success to personal motivations, helpful strategies, and external support. Ultimately, future transitioning veterans can learn several lessons from these findings regarding career assessment and counseling, considerations for pathway selection, and elements of success.
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    Exploring the Complexity of U.S. Language Teachers' Identity Development Through the Lenses of Marginalization, Privilege, Empowerment, and Immunity
    (2022) Tokarczyk, Laura; Haley, Marjorie
    This study is an exploration of who teachers of languages other than English in the United States are becoming as professionals in this historically marginalized discipline. Despite advances to support language teachers within the profession, there is a dearth of research investigating whether and how in-service language teachers sustain professional expertise, enact ideals, and legitimize their knowledge amid ubiquitous marginalizing discourses and practices. In the present study, the author draws on a transdisciplinary framework of language teacher identity; the intersectionality of marginalization, privilege, empowerment, and social identities; and the novel construct of language teacher immunity to quantitatively and qualitatively explore the factors that converge in the identity development of 167 K-12 U.S. language teachers. Findings show that half the sample is marginalized and disempowered, but the other half is not. Respondents’ perceptions of marginalization and privilege are tied to the ideological (de)valuation of language education in local social activity, indicating language teachers are constrained when they are devalued and disempowered by local stakeholders, but can thrive when valued and supported. Findings also validate social identities (linguistic identities, most especially) as factors of (dis)empowerment in teachers’ identity development, but in ways that both support and refute existing literature. A cluster analysis revealed six distinct language teacher immunity archetypes that profile the positive and negative ways in which the respondents in this study orient themselves to the language-teaching profession. Productive immunities associate with higher levels of empowerment and lower levels of marginalization, while maladaptive immunities associate with lower levels of empowerment and higher levels of marginalization, underscoring the role that context plays in immunity development. However, the analyses also emphasize teachers’ subjective perceptions as equally influential to their professional identity development as the environments in which their identities are being (de)constructed, (un)supported, and (dis)empowered. Findings indicate that future language teacher identity research should increase focus on languages other than English, explore transactional factors that link individuals to context, and incorporate more quantitative and mixed-methods approaches that explore large-scale patterns and complement the primarily qualitative corpus of existing research. Implications for practice include mediating language teachers’ critical language awareness and awareness of their own social positioning with the aim of nurturing productive immunities, as well as developing stakeholders’ awareness of the role they play in marginalizing or supporting language teachers in doing their jobs.
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    A “Process That Never Ends”: Parents’ Experiences Navigating a Public Preschool Lottery
    (2022) Redford, Jeremy; Vesely, Colleen
    The current study examined how families navigated the rules and admissionsrequirements of Washington, DC’s common enrollment lottery for public preschool. Informed by ethnography and case study methods, multiple in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with two Black mothers and one White mother over the course of a year to understand their processes for navigating the school lottery. Despite the lottery telling parents to rank schools in the order of their preference, informal rules were identified via lottery preferences and prior waitlist information. Race shaped participants’ school search processes as well, with both Black mothers indicating concerns regarding how some schools would treat their children. While all three participants reviewed DC data on waitlists, school quality, and academic curriculum, they still relied heavily on information from other parents to get specific experiences about schools. Despite an abundance of research supporting the importance of early childhood education on later outcomes, the mothers in this study downplayed the importance of preschool, perhaps in response to the level of effort expended on the lottery process. Their focus for the most part was on the later elementary years and beyond. Quantitative data on school demographics, waitlists, and school ratings are also analyzed to show how school- and ward-level structural constraints informed mothers’ processes. The study occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a unique opportunity to show how families adjusted to school decisions during this historic event. By the last interview— about one year after the study began—all three mothers were participating in the lottery again.
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    Alternative Route Programs and Special Education Teacher Preparation
    (2022) Day, Jamie; Nagro, Sarah
    In the United States, there exists a chronic shortage of qualified special education teachers to provide instructional services to students with disabilities. One policy solution developed to increase the number of qualified teachers is Alternative Routes (ARs), which are broadly defined as nontraditional and accelerated preparation paths to obtain a teaching license. In this exploratory sequential mixed methods dissertation, I investigate (a) empirical research conducted from 2005-2021 on alternative route programs within special education teacher preparation; (b) the role of linguistic diversity in alternative route programs by examining the experiences of multilingual paraprofessionals advancing their careers to become special education teachers; and (c) the national trends associated with the evolution of alternative route programs and the characteristics of state alternative pathways that are inclusive of special education teacher preparation. Findings reveal that alternative route programs preparing special education teachers are on the rise within the United States, but they vary on their preparation requirements. Implications for future research and policy recommendations needed within the recruitment and preparation of special education teachers will be discussed.
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    Merging the Silos to Support Students: Education Leadership, Special Education, and Applied Behavior Analysis
    (2022) Stanley, Jared Lee; Biggs, Regina D
    Numerous challenges, complexities, and considerations are associated with delivering Special Education supports and services. To meet the needs of students with disabilities (SWDs) in a school setting, a multidisciplinary team needs to work together closely. To create a functional foundation for collaboration, membership should include a special education teacher, school administrator, and behavior specialist. Unfortunately, these three professionals often neglect to collaborate or coordinate services, which creates an imbalance of support and power. In addition to these team members, behavior specialists or Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are typically utilized in school settings, working with students identified exhibiting emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) among other disabilities. Although the techniques employed by BCBAs traditionally are used to address student behaviors, they can also be utilized to enhance staff performance through organizational behavior management (OBM). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the implications of OBM techniques used by education leaders, behavior analysts, and special education teachers within the public-school context. The study utilized a multiple baseline design across participants, with a sample size of five education support professionals (ESPs) within a school for students with EBD. This study utilized an intervention package of (a) positive reinforcement, (b) a token economy system, and (c) visual feedback to increase the percentage of positive praise delivered by ESPs to students. Additionally, this research explored if using applied behavior analysis (ABA) to modify staff behaviors indicated a relationship with student performance and perceptions from participants on this approach to increasing performance.
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    Using Computational Modeling To Estimate Changes In Joint Reaction Forces In The Knee Of Symptomatic Osteoarthritis Participants Using A Gait Retraining Intervention With Real-time Biofeedback
    (2022) Prebble, Matthew; Eddo, Oladipo
    This dissertation evaluates the effect of gait modifications on the joint reaction forces (JRF) estimated via computer simulation using the OpenSim software tool. Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a common and progressive condition that can lead to the need for a full or partial joint replacement. Identifying interventions that can slow the progression of the disease can help improve the quality of life and reduce impairments to activities of daily living in those diagnosed with knee OA. Modified gait interventions are a common approach that seek to reduce the loading in the knee joint, and significant research has demonstrated gait modifications’ effect on the knee adduction moment (KAM) and knee flexion moment (KFM). The KAM and KFM are common surrogate measures of joint loading and many gait interventions have been shown to reduce KAM and/or KFM. Recent advances in computer technology have enabled more efficient and practical use of simulation for estimating the joint reaction forces in the knee during a variety of tasks, such as walking and running. These approaches are often validated using data from subjects with instrumented knee implants and their accuracy and use have been growing. This dissertation covers 3 independent studies that sought to estimate the effect of gait interventions on the JRF in the knee. The first study used existing data published in the biomechanics community, via the Grand Challenge Competition to Predict in Vivo Knee Loads, to validate the use of the Lerner knee model in participants implementing 2 common gait interventions: the medial knee thrust (MKT) and the lateral trunk lean (LTL). The second study built on the first and implemented the simulation approach in 20 healthy participants who performed 3 gait modifications: the toe-in gait (TIG), the MKT, and the LTL. The final project of this dissertation research was a 10-week randomized controlled trial (RCT) that used real-time biofeedback (RTB) to implement the LTL in participants diagnosed with medial compartment knee OA. The results of this work validated the use of the Lerner knee model in modified gait, such as MKT and LTL. They also provided evidence to suggest that the LTL may not be as effective as previously thought at lowering the JRF in the medial compartment of the knee. Further work is needed to validate these findings and directions of future research are also discussed.
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    A phenomenological study of the lived experiences of teachers who implement outdoor/environmental education within a K-12 setting
    (2022) Dean, Steph N.; Gilbert, Andrew
    Despite significant physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits, outdoor and environmental education (OEE) is not regularly implemented within a K-12 setting. Yet there are some teachers across the United States who have embraced OEE in a thoughtful and innovative way, successfully overcoming noteworthy barriers. The goal of this study was to understand the experiences of these teachers in order to advance the field of OEE. Using a phenomenological approach, I interviewed twelve educators who regularly implement OEE within the context of a typical school day. I analyzed over sixteen hours of interview transcripts as well as participant-submitted photographs. Four main themes (threads) emerged from the phenomenological data, shedding light on how K-12 teachers experience OEE: (1) a navigation of shared agency, (2) a harmony between freedom and structure, (3) a contextualization of integrated learning, and (4) a collective joy and wonder. The detailed participant narratives that highlight these themes will resonate with school districts, administrators, and preservice teaching programs moving towards OEE implementation. The findings from this study add to the preexisting understanding of OEE’s complexities, offering stories, imagination, and a pathway into understanding the lived experiences of educators who teach in, for, and about the outdoors. The phenomenological insights within this dissertation can lead towards OEE as a more prevalent approach to K-12 learning.
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    Examining the Role of Home Culture Connectedness and Societal Attitude in Chinese International Students’ Acculturation process in U.S. Universities
    (2022) Zhang, Peng; Mattix Foster, April
    This dissertation responds to a need in exploring the role of home culture connectedness in Chinese international students’ psychological and sociocultural adaptations, which is overlooked in the deficit-thinking-oriented acculturation approach. The purpose of this study is to examine the moderating role of Chinese international students’ home culture connectedness in psychological adaptation and sociocultural adaptation. In addition, given the significant shift in societal attitude toward China and Chinese students in the U.S. at the time of this study, this dissertation aims to explore the role of perceived societal attitude as the macro context in the hypothesized model of home culture connectedness during acculturation. Two hundred and six (N = 206) Chinese international students studying in 32 universities or colleges across the U.S. participated in an online survey. Using two multiple regression analyses, the study revealed a moderating role of home culture connectedness in the relationship between host culture connectedness and psychological adaptation, but no moderating role of home culture connectedness in the relationship between host culture connectedness and sociocultural adaptation was identified. In addition, the findings indicated that the perceived societal attitude, measured by perceived social discrimination, had significant negative relationships with psychological adaptation and sociocultural adaptation. Furthermore, the perceived social discrimination moderated the relationship between host culture connectedness and psychological adaptation, as well as the relationship between home culture connectedness and sociocultural adaptation. These findings implied recommendations to help Chinese international students’ psychological adaptation and sociocultural adaptation when home culture connectedness and perceived societal attitude as moderators in the acculturation, especially during a health crisis, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.
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    Examining the New Literacies Pedagogies of Secondary English Language Arts Teachers
    (2022) Stephens, Madelyn; Zenkov, Kristien
    This qualitative study highlights the practices of current secondary English language arts teachers who graduated from the teacher education program at George Mason University to address the following research questions: (1) To what extent and in what ways do English language arts teachers who graduated from one teacher education program that focuses heavily on New Literacies pedagogies incorporate New Literacies pedagogies into their current practice? (2) How do these teachers use digital technologies in their literacy instruction, according to their own narratives? This work is grounded in the sociocultural view that literacy is deictic and situated; modes of communication are not stagnant and vary across contexts. Data collection included an iterative series of three interviews each with seven teachers (21 interviews total). The analytical process consisted of open coding, which led to the development of categories and themes. The data indicate that teachers engage students in New Literacies pedagogies to an extent, but not necessarily with intent. Teachers also incorporate digital technologies into their teaching, though mainly in ways that are technological, rather than curricular. Finally, this research explores several ways that the teachers are enabled to and restricted from engaging students in New Literacies pedagogies. A major implication is that teacher educators need to enable future teachers to authentically integrate New Literacies pedagogies with more traditional literacy instruction. Additionally, both policymakers and administrators must work to create contexts in which teachers are treated as intellectuals, giving them the autonomy to enact New Literacies pedagogies.
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    Revealing hidden figures: Critical analysis of girls and women of color in STEM picture storybook
    (2022) Jackson, Talisa J; Peters-Burton, Erin
    The more individuals consume media that portray people who participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as white and able-bodied men, the more likely individuals within STEM communities will only recognize those who fit that image as belonging there, thereby alienating individuals who do not fit the portrayed media image (Carlone & Johnson, 2007; Farland-Smith et al., 2017; Rawson & McCool, 2014). Additionally, reports indicate a lack of diverse representation in children’s literature (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 2018; Huyck & Dahlen, 2019). Specifically, girls and people of color are significantly less likely to be portrayed as participating in STEM in children’s literature (Farland-Smith et al., 2017; Kelly, 2018). While many researchers have explored the representation and misrepresentations of girls and people of color within children’s literature (Campbell et al., 2016; Gooden & Gooden, 2001; Yoo-Lee et al., 2014), few have examined the intersectionality of the two, the representation of girls and women of color within children’s literature (Brooks & McNair, 2015; Muhammad & Haddix, 2016). Moreover, most research analyzing the representation of diverse characters participating in STEM in children’s literature has been limited to the presence or lack of diverse characters. It does not explore the portrayal of diverse characters participating in STEM (Farland-Smith et al., 2017; Kelly, 2018). Utilizing critical race theory, I conducted a critical content analysis of children’s literature to answer the following question: How are girls and women protagonists of color portrayed participating in STEM in children’s picture storybooks intended for grades K–3? Findings suggest that in children’s literature published from 2016 to 2020, little diversity exists regarding the appearances of women and girl protagonists of color (i.e., skin complexions, hair texture, and hairstyles) as well as their STEM experiences, with many portrayed as outcasts exhibiting signs of brilliance while burdened with the task of overcoming oppression by dominant ideology through their perseverance.
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    The Role of Self-Efficacy, Effort, and Achievement Goal Orientation on Strength Training Performance in Division 1 Track and Field Athletes
    (2022) Biscardi, Lauren; Stroiney, Debra
    Self-efficacy and achievement goal orientations are predictors of affect, behavior, and performance in sport and exercise. These traits contribute cognitively to subjective exercise experiences, which are important for promoting behavior in the training environment. The purpose of this study was to: (a) examine the relationships between daily effort, task-specific self-efficacy, and perceived performance with positive well-being and psychological distress following a strength training workout, (b) examine the relationship between effort and perceived performance for the squat, bench press, and Olympic lift tasks, and whether trait achievement goal orientations and self-determined motivations impacted these relationships, (c) determine whether variations in daily perceptions of stress and recovery impacted task-specific self-efficacy at the beginning of a strength training workout. Data was collected from 29 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 track and field athletes in a pre-season training block via electronic survey. Demographic data, 3 x 2 achievement goal orientations and self-determined motivations were collected once prior to the training block. Perceptions of stress, recovery, and task-specific self-efficacy were collected prior to each training session. Perceptions of effort, performance, and subjective exercise experiences were collected after each training session. For each research question, multilevel modeling explained variance within and between individuals. Daily measures were nested within trait measures. Findings were as follows: (a) At the day-level, increases in perceptions of effort and performance related to positive subjective exercise experiences. In addition, when self-efficacy was low, higher efforts and perceptions of performance mitigated negative subjective experiences. Athletes higher in trait self-efficacy reported more positive responses to training sessions. (b) Increases in daily effort were related to higher perceptions of performance. For the squat task, athletes with mastery-approach orientations showed a stronger relationship between daily efforts and perceived performance. The effort-performance relationship did differ between athletes for the Olympic lifts, but 3 x 2 goal orientations could not explain this difference. (c) Perceived stress moderated the relationship between perceived recovery and self-efficacy for a workout, bench press, and Olympic lift task. The relationship was significant on days athletes had average or above average stress levels, and non-significant on low stress days. In conclusion, increased perceptions of recovery, effort, performance, and self-efficacy can enhance psychological responses to strength training sessions in college athletes. Findings are discussed in relation to practical recommendations for coaches in the strength training environment.