Current Research

Engagement in Big “D” Discourses in a Living-Learning Community

While commonly accepted as a productive means of increasing student engagement with peers and faculty on college campuses, little is known about the nature of learning in thematic living-learning communities. A fine-grained analysis of students’ ways of talking, interacting, valuing, and use of artifacts will be used to construct an understanding of how students engage, or do not engage, in the university student Discourse.

 

Pre-service Teachers’ Development of Professional Vision

Effective teachers are constantly adapting their classroom practice to best meet students’ needs. However, it is difficult to adapt one’s classroom practices without first noticing the key features of classroom activity. This kind of noticing—professional vision—is   a cultivated skill that requires a combination of understanding theory and experience with practice. When theory-practice connections are not strong, teachers tend to fall back on “what works.” Demands to support pre-service teachers in developing stronger theory-practice connections are increasing, yet this is a challenging goal.

A week-long intervention requiring the creation and collaborative revision of multimedia artifacts was developed in efforts to provide pre-service teachers with opportunities to analyze classroom practice using learning theories.  Qualitative analyses were conducted to understand into how creation of multimedia artifacts can support pre-service teachers in connecting theory to practice and developing their professional vision. Findings suggest the process of creating and collaboratively refining multimedia artifacts in small groups improves pre-service teachers’ ability to articulate theory for action and provides opportunity for them to exercise their emerging professional vision.

 

“we do not learn for school, but for life”

Understanding first-year students' learning.