Prospectus Presentation – Tameka Osabutey-Aguedje @ CEHD, Room 481
Feb 16 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

“How Principals Manage Time, Mindsets and Communities to Benefit Children of Poverty”

by Tameka Osabutey-Aguedje

As university professors and district leaders attempt to hire or coach leaders and teachers to work in high-needs schools, qualitatively examining successful characteristics that contribute to in-creased student learning outcomes from the stakeholders’ perspective is imperative. The purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of leadership in a high-needs, high-performing school through the voices of a principal, teachers, other leaders, and parents that interact within that context every day. The rationale for this study is to explore personalized descriptions of experiences that contribute to developing a learning culture in one high-needs school. The theoretical framework of Distributive Leadership Theory supports the use of the participant observer relationship, qualitative case study methods, and data collection and analysis procedures that will be utilized. The data collection will include personal interviews, document analysis, and intimate focus groups in one elementary school with a Georgia Reward School designation for high performance with at least 50% of its students eligible for Title I funding. The participants will be selected from 55 certified staff members in a suburban, east metropolitan Atlanta school of 750 students. This study will use the International School Leaders Development Network (ISLDN) High Needs School Group protocol, which assesses principals, staff members, governing board members, and parents to present a comprehensive detailed understanding of the factors at work in an individual school setting. The research will examine the importance of concisely outlining specific skills that are used to affect the school culture and foster high student achievement in a high-needs school. The results of this study can be used to contribute to the larger study implemented by the ISLDN, which has the over-arching goal of creating new theories.

Professional Development Wednesdays @ College of Education and Human Development, room 1030
Feb 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Educator Preparation Open Forum: “Times They Are A-Changing (Again): An Overview of the New Certification Rules from GaPSC”

Facilitator: Joyce Many

This forum will highlight new certification rules from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Following the overview, attendees are encouraged to share their experiences, concerns and/or questions.

This presentation will begin at 12 p.m. in the Forum (College of Education and Human Development, room 1030).

Dissertation Defense – Stephanie Beane @ CEHD, Room 409
Feb 17 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

“Describing healthcare service delivery in a Ryan White Program funded HIV clinic:  A Bayesian mixed-method case study”

by:  Stephanie Beane

This dissertation describes health care delivery in a Ryan White Program (RWP) HIV clinic, with a focus on medical home care, using the Bayesian Case Study Method (BCSM). The RWP funds medical care for uninsured HIV patients and Pappas and colleagues (2014) suggested enhanced HIV care build upon medical home models of care rooted in the RWP. However, little research describes how RWP clinics operate as medical homes. This study developed the BCSM to describe medical home care at a RWP clinic. The BCSM combines a case study framework with Bayesian statistics for a novel approach to mixed method, descriptive studies. Roberts (2002) and Voils (2009) used mixed-method Bayesian approaches and this dissertation contributes to this work. For this study, clinic staff and patients participated in interviews and surveys. I used Bayes’ Theorem to combine Interview data, by use of subjective priors, with survey data to produce Bayesian posterior means that indicate the extent to which medical home care was provided. Subjective priors facilitate the inclusion of valuable stakeholder belief in posteriors. Using the BCSM, posterior means succinctly describe qualitative and quantitative data, in a way other methods of mixing data do not, which is useful for decision makers. Posterior means Indicated that coordinated, comprehensive, and ongoing care was provided at the clinic; however, accessible care means were lower reflecting an area in need of improvement. Interview data collected for subjective priors captured detailed service delivery descriptions. For example, interview data described how medical and support services were coordinated and highlighted the role of social determinants of health (SOH). Namely, coordinated and comprehensive services that addressed SOH, such as access to housing, food, and transportation, were necessary for patients to focus on their HIV and utilize healthcare. This case study addressed a gap in the literature regarding descriptions of how RWP clinics provide medical home care. For domains with high posterior means, the associated interview data can be used to plan HIV care in non-RWP settings. Future research should describe other RWP HIV medical homes so this information can be used to implement enhanced HIV care across the healthcare system.

Prospectus Presentation – Julian Rafferty McCullough @ CEHD, Room 977
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

“Correlates and Predictors of Anti-Transgender Prejudice”

by Julian Rafferty McCullough

Research investigating reasons for, or beliefs and values related to prejudice toward transgender individuals is in the early stages. This study examines correlates and predictors of anti-transgender prejudice. Previous research has found that individuals holding more traditional values may be more likely to hold negative attitudes toward transgender individuals (Nagoshi et al., 2008; Norton & Herek, 2013; Tebbe & Moradi, 2012; Tebbe et al., 2014; Tee & Hegarty, 2006; Warriner et al., 2013; Willoughby et al., 2010). Few studies have explored social identity factors and their relationship to anti-transgender prejudice. This study will examine measures of traditional values and beliefs, such as right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation, as well as social identity factors, such as intergroup contact, intergroup anxiety, ingroup identity, and contact apprehension toward transgender individuals. Hierarchical regression analysis will be carried out to determine predictors of anti-transgender prejudice, and the relationships between associated constructs.

Prospectus Presentation – Clifton Chestnutt @ CEHD Early Childhood & Elementary Education Library, 5th Floor
Feb 18 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

“Examining Elementary Math Teachers Knowledge and Implementation of High Leverage Teaching Practices”

by:  Clifton Chestnutt

Significant attention has been given to mathematics teaching and learning as demonstrated by national reform models such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards and national curriculum standards like the Common Core State Standards. This attention has place pressure to improve mathematics teaching and learning. In particular, many teacher education programs are beginning to focus on exposing pre-service teachers to High Leverage Teaching Practices in Mathematics. Research has demonstrated that the use of these practices in classroom mathematics instruction has a positive impact on student achievement. Although research has shown that High Leverage Teaching Practices have a positive impact on student achievement there has been limited research on in-service teachers’ use of these practices. Through teacher interviews and classroom observations this study will examine in-service teachers’ knowledge and implementation of High Leverage Teaching practices in the mathematics classroom and contribute to the limited research in order to contribute to the effective development lot elementary mathematics teachers.

Dissertation Defense – Brooks Lacey Peters @ CEHD Room 830
Feb 18 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

“The Effectiveness of a Social Thinking Curriculum in Facilitating Social Competence of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders”

by Brooks Lacey Peters

A lack of social competence is one of the primary characteristics of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This pervasive lack of social competence can cause individuals with ASD to struggle to develop meaningful social relationships with peers and adults across their lifetime. Thus, learning appropriate socialization skills is an essential component in the education of this population. The purpose of the current study was to provide an Initial investigation into the effectiveness of a comprehensive social skills training intervention on the social competence of young children with ASD using direct recording methods. Eight students with ASD between the ages of 5 and 7 years, with current placements in self-contained kindergarten or first grade classrooms in the public school setting participated in a 12 week intervention. The intervention implemented was The Incredible Flexible You: A Social Thinking Curriculum for Preschool and Early Elementary Years (Hendrix, Palmer, Tarshis, & Winner, 2013), a packaged, multi-sensory social skills training program developed to promote the social competence of young children with ASD, The intervention was presented daily for approximately 20 minutes in a small group school setting. Using a concurrent multiple baseline across participants single-case research design, the research study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program upon the participant’s positive social initiations, positive social responses, and active engagement during recess. Observational data were collected utilizing both a frequency behavior count system and a timed interval behavioral observation system. Additionally, data were collected via the Autism Social Skills Profile (ASSP; Bellini & Hopf, 2007) through pre- and post-intervention parent forms to determine the effects of the program on the overall social functioning of the participants. Procedural fidelity was collected throughout the research, and social validity was also assessed utilizing the Behavior Intervention Rating Scale (BIRS; Von Brock & Elliott. 1987). Overall, participants made slight gains in social competency, yet the data did not support a functional relationship between the intervention and the dependent variables. Individual participant progress was discussed in detail. Limitations of the study and implications for future research in social competency for young children with ASD were further discussed.

Dissertation Defense – Sharissa Y. Semour @ CEHD, Room 481
Feb 19 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am

“Teacher Retention: Behaviors of Principals Influencing Teachers in Schools as Part of GA Vision for Public Education”

by: Sharissa Y. Semour

Once considered managers of school buildings, principals have moved into the role of instructional leaders, charged with putting student learning first in their realm of daily responsibilities. The concept of transformational leadership helps foster the development of a school culture that includes student-centered interactions, an underlying sense of social stability, and student learning at its core. Principals lead their staffs in a multitude of ways. The extent of principal effectiveness as ‘1t relates to retaining teachers in school buildings is in need of exploration. Four issues related to principal effectiveness are addressed in this dissertation: (a) educational leadership theory, (b) organizational culture in schools, (c) teacher mobility, and (d) effects of teacher mobility on school culture. Teacher retention at the local school builds stronger communities simply by fostering relationships that enable problem solving among colleagues, students, and parents. This dissertation looks at the role of the principal in developing a healthy school culture in order to provide descriptions of leadership practices, so their value can be assessed and debated. Data collection consisted of sixteen semi-structured interviews that constitute the source of this instrumental case study. By interviewing system leaders in two distinctly different districts and examining the perceptions of teachers in those districts, the researcher was able to understand the effects of the Georgia Vision Project on teacher retention at the local school level. Data analysis resulted in the central categories: respect, support, relationships, recognition, open door policy, and encouragement as ways in which principals can influence retention.


Dissertation Defense – Rhonda Kemp Webb @ CEHD Room 608
Feb 19 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

“Red, White, and Black: The Meaning of Loyalty in Georgia Education”

by Rhonda Kemp Webb

Vladimir Lenin’s ascendancy to power began the Moscow based Communist International (Comintern) that quickly organized affiliate groups in countries around the world. The Communist Party USA was formed in 1919 as part of the Comintern’s effort to have “workers of the world unite.” The Comlntern’s influence extended beyond labor and at its Sixth World Congress in 1928 announced an initiative known as the Black Belt Self-Determination Thesis. Through legal defense and the organization of sharecroppers’ unions the Comintern intended to alleviate the oppression blacks were enduring at the hands of whites in the American South.

An analysis of the historiography of communism in the United States reflects the changing tenor of uncertainty and fear that gripped Americans when it came to radical ideas contrary to the democratic tradition. Historians tend to agree that the Party’s efforts in the African American community had minimal impact. However, the calibration used by scholars to measure “impact” should be adjusted to look beyond changes in Communist membership numbers and whether the lives of blacks in the South improved. My focus in this study is the peripheral impact the efforts of the Communist Party had on Southern white segregationists who began to equate racially liberal actions with subversive activity.

This dissertation includes an analysis of the blurring of subversion and race among segregationists and how education in Georgia was affected. Chapters focus on the formation of the Communist Party’s Black Belt Self-Determination Thesis and how it was carried out in the American· South, national efforts to combat communist infiltration through loyalty oaths and textbook reviews, and the evolution of civic and democratic education initiatives In social studies. Georgia’s scandalous episode of the early 1940s involving Eugene Talmadge’s manipulation of the state’s educational system is presented as an example of how the concepts of subversion and racial liberalism were equated in an effort to maintain segregation in the state. The overall objective of the research is to establish ways in which the Red Scare and Cold War eras impacted social studies education in Georgia from the 1930s through the 1960s.

Dissertation Defense – Kelly Scarborough @ CEHD, Room 481
Feb 19 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

“Leadership in High Poverty, High English Language Learner Schools as Part of Georgia’s Vision for Public Education”

by: Kelly Scarborough

The Hispanic population is growing rapidly nationwide. School districts across the country are faced with the challenge of guiding these learners to high levels of success. The primary focus of this dissertation addresses the implementation in the state of Georgia of the Vision Project, which is titled A Vision for Public Education, Equity and Excellence. This project is designed to build trust and support for public education across the state, to ensure meaningful engagement within communities, and to provide rewarding educational experiences for all Georgia’s students. A secondary focus for this dissertation assesses perceptions of school leadership practices in high poverty, high “English Language Learner (ELL)” school districts. The literature review includes perceived practices that have informed (a) types of leadership teams, (b) parent involvement, (c) professional development of leaders and teachers and

(d) instructional practices for high ELL schools. An instrumental case study was used to examine how specific school districts were implementing the Vision Project’s recommendations to improve public education. The focus was on leaders in high poverty, high English Language Learner schools; their concerns and perceptions of practices that have informed student learning. Two “Tier 1″ districts were selected by utilizing the Vision Project Executive Director as an Informant with regard to which districts were implementing the project with fidelity in the 2014-15 school year. A constructivist view and a general inductive approach was used to guide the process used to identify themes in this study. From the qualitative data four themes emerged: (a) the ways formal leadership teams are organized (b) professional development of teachers and leaders, (c) instructional strategies utilized to teach ELL students, and (d) leaders’ perceptions and approaches to parental Involvement in high poverty schools. Additionally, connections to areas of the GA Vision Project were noted in both School District A and School District B. This study contributes to the field of education by giving educational leaders in high poverty, high ELL schools support for planning, developing, and implementing instructional vision in their workplace and communities.

Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Center Speaker Series @ CEHD room 915
Feb 19 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Researchers will discuss topics related to intersectionality and stress on Friday, Feb. 19, from 1-3 p.m. in room 915 as part of the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Speaker Series.

The College of Education and Human Development’s Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma, and Resilience is to facilitate multidisciplinary approaches to produce compelling models for understanding and coping with stress that can be applied to real-world settings, such as education, parenting, couples and families, military and sports. The purpose of the speaker series is to provide a series of talks that can catalyze research collaboration and community partnerships. These talks focus on topics that align with our core interest in basic and applied research on stress in a variety of contexts.

For more information, visit http://cps.education.gsu.edu/research/stress-center/speaker-series or contact Ken Rice at kgr1@gsu.edu.

Dissertation Defense – Felecia Spicer @ CEHD, Room 481
Feb 19 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

“School Climate, School Culture, and the Role of the Principal”

by:  Felecia Spicer

When the principal focuses on creating a culture and climate conducive to learning and social interaction, the school is more likely to be perceived as successful by its teachers students. The purpose of this case study was to assess to what degree the Georgia Vision Project influenced school climate and student achievement in high implementation districts. Specifically, this study examined the speech, actions, and motivations of principals’ in an effort to establish steps for principals to follow to create a positive climate. The actions of principals from their own view and the perspective of those around them were studied at two schools in two different school districts. How is a positive learning environment created where teachers feel confident in their work? A general inductive approach was chosen to focus on the realities of the participants within the school districts in order to understand their perceptions of what the principal does to impact the school culture. An Instrumental study design allowed for an in-depth look at the Vision Project’s overall impact on a school implementing the recommendations with fidelity with a specific focus on school culture, school climate, and the role of the principal. By interviewing system leaders in two distinctly different districts and considering the perceptions of teachers in those districts, the researcher was able to understand the effects of the Georgia Vision Project on the impact the principal has on the overall climate of the school. An analysis of the data collected found the following attributes to be the most impactful to the overall school climate: (a) strong leadership skills that emphasize professional learning communities, (b) the ability to build relationships with all stakeholders, (c) a focus on student learning, (d) care and concern for staff members, (e) the ability to provide support and to be supportive, (f) the confidence to build trust, and (g) the capacity to develop and sustain a clear vision. The findings of this study are useful to school leaders working to build a positive school climate where teacher efficacy is increased and student achievement fortified.