Dissertation Prospectus Presentation – Stacey French-Lee @ CEHD, Room 509
May 31 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

“A Critical Discourse Analysis of Middle Class African American Parent’s Racial Socialization Parenting Practices”

by:  Stacey French-Lee

This study uses Critical Discourse Analysis to analyze how middle class African American parents racially socialize their young boys (ages 3-5). The perceptions of African American boys and men within the U.S. call for an intersectional approach with researcher attention to child development, gender, and social class in addition to race. There are many studies that analyze African American boys based on their race, gender, and/or class (Battle, Alderman-Swain, & Tyner, 2005; Brittian, 2011; Cogburn, Chavous, & Griffin, 2011), which show that these social identities influence how children are perceived and educated in U.S. society (Battle, Alderman-Swain, & Tyner, 2005; Dowd 2013; Reynolds, 2010); however, few studies of African American boys use an intersectional approach. This study will examine the racial socialization practices of middle class African American parents whose sons have not yet started formal schooling. Of particular interest is how parents of African American boys understand the distinctive nature of their role in providing their sons with information about how they are perceived in society while at the same time ensuring that their sons maintain positive self-concepts. Though this practice is common amongst African American parents, little research exists concerning the unique practices that African American parents employ in racially socializing their sons during the period of early childhood (Howard, Rose, & Barbarin, 2013; Hughes et al., 2006).

To design this Critical Discourse Analytic study, I integrated Fairclough’s explanatory critique with thematic analysis. This design will allow me to explore African American parents’ racial socialization practices framed by critical race theory, intersectionality, and community cultural wealth. I will collect and analyze four types of data from five families over twelve weeks: a) semi-structured interviews, b) participant observation field notes, c) expanded field notes, and d) participant-selected photos and videos of the family’s home environment and other places participants identify as important to their racial socialization practices.

Dissertation Prospectus Presentation – Andrew Bryant Spires @ CEHD, Room 650
Jun 1 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

“Caring Mathematics Instruction: Struggling Students’ Co-constructed Stories”

by:  Andrew Bryant Spires

A student’s perception of being cared for in the classroom not only increases academic achievement, but also encourages the socioemotional growth necessary for adults to function well in a healthy democracy. There is considerable evidence to show the importance of students’ perceptions of caring instruction in the mathematics classroom; especially where students with a history of academic struggles in mathematics are concerned (Averill, 201 O; Eccles, 2004; Dever & Karabenik, 2011; Martin & Dawson, 2009; Muller, 2001; Riconscente, 2014). The growth of dropout rates through the United States and the increased number of “college preparatory” mathematics courses has made the gateway effect of mathematics education at the high-school level more prevalent in recent years. The most accurate predictor of high school completion is mathematics achievement in the grades 7- 9 (Bowers, Sprott, & Taft, 2012). The purpose of this study is to better understand perceptions of caring mathematics instruction of students with a history of academic struggles in mathematics through a narrative inquiry. Lakewood High School- a large, socioeconomically and racially diverse school in the southeastern United States- was chosen conveniently yet purposefully as the site of study. The participants will be four students in grades 9-11 who have a history of academic struggles in mathematics. Data collection will include intense and highly relational co-creation of stories by the researcher and participants through conversational interviews, researcher memory recreations, photographs, and other writings introduced throughout the conversations. This narrative inquiry allows for an alignment between the ethic of care being sought out through the lived experiences of the researcher and the participants in a way that pays special attention to “spaces that are marked always by ethics and attitudes of openness, mutual vulnerability, reciprocity, and care” (Ciandinin, 2013, p.200). This narrative inquiry will begin to fill the gap that exists between student and teacher perceptions of caring mathematics instruction. The goal of this study is to help teachers and students better understand each other and minimize the discrepancies of perceptions of care in the high school mathematics classroom.

CIBER: Faculty Development in International Business Globalization Workshops @ Georgia State University Buckhead Center
Jun 2 – Jun 5 all-day


Dissertation Prospectus Presentation – Tommy Jolly @ CEHD, Room 650
Jun 2 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

“Peer Tutoring in a High School Writing Center: A Phenomenological Study”

by:  Tommy Jolly

College-level writing center scholarship is an ever-increasing field of study (Murphy & Sherwood, 2011; Fitzgerald & lanetta, 2016). Over time, high school writing centers have been established, often based on college-level writing center research (Feis & Wells, 2011). The problem, however, is that there is little, if any, empirical research studying the high school writing center and the experience of tutoring in one. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore the experience of peer tutoring in a high school writing center. This study will address the following questions:

  • How do high school peer tutors articulate their Identities as peer tutors?
  • How do high school students make meaning of the peer tutoring process?
  • How does a high school writing center (HSWC) facilitate this process?

Writing center theory (Bruffee, 1964/1995; Lunsford, 1991/2011; Vandenberg, 1999/2011) and hermeneutics (Gadamer, 1975) will provide a theoretical framework for considering this experience. After a review of the literature surrounding both college- and high school-level writing centers and peer tutoring, the researcher will also review the principles of hermeneutical phenomenology as the study of lived experience as a text to be interpreted (Van Manen, 1990). In the planned study, the researcher will collect data through writing protocols, video elicitation, and interviews with participants who have volunteered as peer tutors in an HSWC. Analysis will take a hermeneutical and phenomenological approach (Gadamer, 1975; Van Manen, 2014; Grbich, 2013), analyzing and coding transcripts of the data sources as texts open to interpretation and containing distinct themes. The findings will clarify how much the HSWC peer tutoring experience is comparable to peer tutoring in a college-level writing center, adding a more nuanced understanding of high school peer tutoring as a distinct phenomenon worthy of further study.

Proposal Submission Deadline – Sources of Urban Educational Excellence Conference 2016
Jun 3 all-day

Sources of Urban Educational Excellence Conference 2016
Proposal Submission Deadline: June 3, 2016

The 11th Annual Sources of Urban Educational Excellence Conference conference committee invites proposals on all topics related to the theme, “Breaking (The Neutral) Ground: Collaboration, Negotiation and Celebration in Urban Education.”

The conference committee welcomes proposals that examine the different aspects of urban education from a variety of perspectives. Thus, the conference seeks to not only highlight the research and perspectives of higher education faculty and scholars, but also strongly encourages submissions from pre-service and in-service educators, graduate students, activists, policy makers, artists, business and industry members, and community workers interested in forging a positive educational agenda in urban schools. While all proposals of quality are welcome, especially encouraged are those that specifically address this year’s theme – Breaking (The Neutral) Ground: Collaboration, Negotiation and Celebration in Urban Education.

The 2016 theme calls attention to the need for “controversy with civility” where individuals and organizations can come together in a communal space to discuss and/or hash out sometimes difficult conversations that impact urban education. It draws upon the history of neutral grounds in New Orleans; large tracts of grass-covered land that run between streets and neighborhoods throughout the city. It is believed that these neutral grounds (also known as medians) once served as spaces for the city’s various racial and ethnic groups to meet outside of their segregated communities. Thus, neutral grounds were places where groups with different values, beliefs, worldviews and norms could learn ways to value each other and “break new ground” towards enlightened understanding, informed action, conscious resolution and critical reflection. In the same light, the 11th Annual Sources Conference endeavors to serve as a neutral ground where urban education collaborations, conflicts/negotiations and celebrations can be addressed in a solutions-focused context.

All proposals must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 3, 2016. 

For details on the types of presentations accepted and how to submit proposals, visit

Dissertation Prospectus Presentation – Siri Olson @ CEHD, Room 509
Jun 13 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

“Special Education Teacher Retention in Small Schools”

by:  Siri Olson

Special education teacher attrition is a widespread problem in the United States (Billingsley 2005; Boe, 2006; Duffy & Forgan, 2005). Although researchers have explored factors that increase special education teacher retention, such as increased involvement from administrators, more time for collaboration with general education teachers, and limits on caseloads to maintain appropriate workloads, the perspective of experienced special education teachers in small primary schools (schools with fewer than 500 students serving kindergarten through third grade) has received little attention Small schools have many advantages, but special educators in small schools face some particular issues, including the fact that they have few special education colleagues, must often work with students and teachers in multiple grade levels, and their caseloads increase throughout the year as many students become eligible in the early grades. A mixed-methods case study has been designed to gain the perspectives of special education teachers regarding the factors contributing to their decisions to stay in small schools. This inquiry is intended to fill the gap in the retention literature by surveying, observing, and interviewing special educators working in small schools. The primary research question is: From the perspective of experienced special education teachers working in small K-3 schools, what kinds of organizational and individual characteristics affect their decision to continue teaching special education in the small school environment?

INDEX WORDS: special education, small schools, attrition, retention

Glorious HAIR and Academic Identities @ College of Education & Human Development, Room 150
Jun 18 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

The Department of Middle and Secondary Education (MSE) invites you to participate in our one-day conference on Glorious HAIR and Academic Identities, Saturday June 18, 2016 from 8:30 – 5:00 in room, 150 CEHD.


HAIR by Keynote Speaker: Dr. Tarika Sullivan (MSE CEHD 2015 Graduate)

Our Glorious HAIR conference provides an opportunity for critical scholars and educators to gather together to have serious celebratory conversations around all aspects, dimensions, and types of hair in all its multifarious and glorious manifestations from critical sociocultural, historical, current and future theorized perspectives.

These conversations are meant to be celebratory and liberating.   This gathering is inclusive to people of all genders, races, ages and abilities and for those with and without HAIR. We welcome all HAIR types!

Abstract (25 words) and Proposals with references (250 words) should be emailed to by no later than May 11, 2016. EXTENDED to May 22.

FORMATS: Posters, Papers, Colloquia, HAIR SALON, Video, VISUAL, SPOKEN Word, DANCE, DRAMA


The five themes to be featured at this conference are:

  • Historiography: Cultural and personal history of hair.
  • Hair and Semiotics: Creative expression, ideology, resistance, and empowerment.
  • Hair and Children: Children’s literature and children’s social/emotional development.
  • Perception and Misperceptions about hair: Hair and the construct of beauty, professionalism and hair.
  • Hair in Context: Religion, and spirituality, hair and aging, and body hair.

Please submit the following:

A. Form: Please submit as a SEPARATE file from the rest of the proposal.

  1. Presentation Title: Provide a session title as it should appear in the program.
  2. Lead Presenter: List name, title, institution, office telephone and e-mail.
  3. Co-Presenters: List name, title, institution, office telephone and e-mail.
  4. Biography: Include a brief 50 word biography for lead presenter & co-presenters

B. In a Separate File

  1. Theme: Select one from the previous section. Sessions will be organized across the conference by thematic strand(s) for 30 minutes per session. Please state the strand for your proposal.
  2. FORMATS: Posters, Papers, Colloquia, HAIR SALON, Video, VISUAL, SPOKEN Word, DANCE, DRAMA. Please indicate the format for your session.
  3. Proposal for your Presentation: Write a description that outlines what you will do and/or say (maximum 250 words with references).
  4. Abstract/Summary for Conference Program: Write 25 words that will appear in the conference program. Describe the content of the session to aid attendees in selecting topics relevant to their interests. Proposals which do not include this summary or go beyond the 25 word limit will not be considered. Summaries may be edited by the Program Committee prior to the conference.
  5. Technology Needs: Must be furnished by the presenters or prearranged with the Steering committee.

*The lead presenter will be notified of acceptance or rejection by May 31, 2016. It is the responsibility of the lead presenter to forward all correspondence to his/her co-presenters. Only presenters pre-registered for the conference by June 6, 2016 will be listed in the program. A $10.00 cash contribution is requested from each presenter on the day of the conference to cover basic conference costs. We encourage attendees to bring a paper bag lunch.

Registering for the Conference

If you wish to register for the conference please send the following information to our email address: A $10.00 cash contribution is requested from each registrant on the day of the conference to cover basic conference costs. Please bring a paper bag lunch.




Please indicate:   Faculty Staff Student Other – Please fill in a descriptor



Come and Join Us!


hair-steering hair-steering2 steering committee

Steering committee: Dr. Gertrude Tinker Sachs, Ms. Stacey French Lee, Mr. Darius Evans, Dr. Vera Stenhouse, Dr. Barbara Meyers, Ms. Monashae O’Neill, faculty, staff and doctoral students of MSE, ECEE, CEHD.