Dissertation Defense – Jearl Nix @ College of Education, room 630
May 12 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Looking at the Past: Eighth Grade Social Studies Teachers and Historical Visual Texts
by Jearl Nix

Teachers in the 21st century are faced with students who are mass consumers of visual texts via social apps on smart devices, media on television, and information in textbooks. Teaching students to analyze and question visual texts may help them construct meaning and critique what they see. Yet, very little is known about teachers’ pedagogical decisions when planning and teaching with visual texts. This study attempted to fill that gap. The purpose of this study was to explore how eighth grade history teachers utilize historical visual texts in their classrooms. Three eighth grade history teachers participated in this study.

Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews, teacher analyses of visual texts, video recorded lessons, teacher reflections, and analysis for historical thinking and visual literacy components. Data obtained in this study addressed the following questions: How do teachers analyze a historical visual text for use in the classroom? What previous experiences do teachers utilize when planning to teach with a historical visual text? What do teachers’ reflections of a video recorded lesson reveal about the teachers’ instructional experiences with historical visual texts? What do video analyses of teachers utilizing historical visual texts reveal about teachers’ historical thinking and visual literacy pedagogical decisions?

The results of this study indicated that the participants lack formal learning and prior experiences in teaching with historical visual texts. Yet, the participants reported that their lessons in this study were engaging and meaningful for students. Findings from this study suggest that historical visual texts can be effective in the teaching and learning of history.

Prospectus Presentation – Jennifer Pinkett Smith @ College of Education, room 481
May 14 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Bullying in Middle Schools: A Case Study Investigating School Personnel’s Perception of Bullying
by Jennifer Pinkett Smith

Repeated instances of bullying plague our schools and immobilize the learning environment for many students. Dissimilar views of policies related to bullying make it difficult for school personnel to intervene on the victim’s behalf. The purpose of this study is to identify the perceptions that school personnel have about bullying and intervention policies and procedures associated with bullying in their schools. The proposed qualitative case study will examine how policies and practices, as set by school leaders of two private middle schools in the metro Atlanta area impact school personnel’s efforts to intervene in bullying.

The research questions to be addressed are: What are school personnel’s perceptions of policies and procedures as they relate to bullying and how school personnel’s perception of bullying impacts their efforts to intervene? Participants for the study will include middle school principals, counselors and teachers. Data will be collected through interviews, a research journal, and artifacts which include: document and content analysis. Implications for future research may include school-wide policy evaluation and implementation of professional development aimed at bullying intervention. Additionally, schools may consider instituting anti-bullying programs that promote awareness of bullying.

Prospectus Presentation – Tuba Angay-Crowder @ College of Education, room 650
May 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

L1  and L2 Doctoral Students’ Co-Constriction of Meaning at the Literacy Events of GCLR Web Seminars
by Tuba Angay-Crowder

The real world of discourse, being complex, unpredictable, and dynamic with the diverse communicational channels and media, necessitates that both L 1 and L2 learners learn the multiplicity of texts, and master emerging genres in their disciplines (Cope & Kalantiz, 2000; Molle & Prior, 2008; Tardy, 2008). However, issues arise about how students produce and interpret these texts in a particular sociocultural institutional context, and how they learn the related new, emerging literacies and genres around text production (Hyland, 2000; Lea, 2007; Lea & Jones, 2011; Prior. 1995, 2004). Little is known about how students, particularly the ones in post-secondary education, establish the required intertextual connections among different modes of texts (written, oral, visual etc.) in education (Belcher & Hirvela, 2008; Elbow, 1991; Seloni, 2012; Warren, 2013; Weissberg, 2006).

Therefore, the purpose of my study is to examine howL 1 and L2 doctoral students use intertextual connections as opportunities of creating meaning and significance during the literacy events of Global Conversations and Literacy Research (GCLR) web seminars. Drawing upon microethnographic discourse analysis, more particularly the constructs of intertextuality (Bioome, & Carter, 2013), I investigate the following questions a) How are the L 1 and L2 students engaged in intertextual practices in the literacy events of GCLR web seminars? b) How does the use of intertextuality contribute to L 1 and L2 students’ academic literacies? This study sets out to explain how L 1 and L2 navigate through intertextual connections as they shape the literacy events of the GCLR.

The participants will be attendees of the GCLR web seminars. I will recruit two L 1 and two L2 doctoral students who are actively involved in the web seminar and have different first languages (e.g., Korean, English, Chinese). Data will draw upon interviews, chat transcriptions, and video recordings of the web seminars, and screenshots from the web seminars (visuals). Data collection and analysis, which will be conducted via Nvivo for Mac, will begin in September 2015, and continue through December 2016. Microethnographic discourse analysis will provide how the participants enact critical agency in meaning making, and how this process contributes to their academic literacies at web seminars.