Recent Submissions

  • New DEEL Community Podcast: Episode 1

    New Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership (DEEL) Community (Temple University) (2020-07-20)
  • Bayesian analysis in educational psychology research: An example of gender differences in achievement goals

    Peterson, Steven K.; Kaplan, Avi; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2016-01-23)
    Much research in educational psychology concerns group differences. In this study, we argue that Bayesian estimation is more appropriate for testing group differences than is the traditional null hypothesis significance testing (NHST). We demonstrate the use of Bayesian estimation on gender differences in students' achievement goals. Research findings on gender differences in achievement goals have been mixed. We explain how Bayesian estimation of mean differences is more intuitive, informative, and coherent in comparison with NHST, how it overcomes structural and interpretive problems of NHST, and how it offers a way to achieve cumulative progress toward increasing precision in estimating gender differences in achievement goals. We provide an empirical demonstration by comparing a Bayesian and a traditional NHST analysis of gender differences in achievement goals among 442 7th-grade students (223 girls and 219 boys). Whereas findings from the two analyses indicate comparable results of higher endorsement of mastery goals among girls and higher endorsement of performance-approach and avoidance goals among boys, it is the Bayesian analysis rather than the NHST that is more intuitively interpreted. We conclude by discussing the perceived disadvantages of Bayesian estimation, and some ways in which a consideration of Bayesian probability can aid interpretations of traditional analytical methods.
  • The Emergence of Outreach Ambassador Role Identities in Undergraduate Engineering Students

    Garner, Joanna K.; Haas, Christine; Alley, Michael; Kaplan, Avi; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2018-12-17)
    One common form of outreach by colleges of engineering is the ambassador program, whereby students interact with middle and high school audiences in an effort to promote STEM-related career choices. Although the impact of such programs on K-12 students’ knowledge and attitudes has been examined, less is known about the impact on the ambassadors themselves. In this research study, we use multiple case study methodology to understand the development of the ambassador role and its emergence at an initial workshop in which undergraduate students learn to craft and deliver engineering-related outreach talks. Narrative data from interviews with a purposefully diverse sample of six participants allowed us to analyze emerging ambassador role identities using the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (Kaplan and Garner, 2017). Findings address three questions: (1) How do individuals’ existing role identities inform the motivation to become an ambassador? (2) How did the role of workshop participant shape the development of the ambassador role? (3) Which features of the training workshop promoted the formulation of an engineering ambassador role identity? Analyses revealed that the ambassador role identity originates from and was very much aligned with components of students’ other, pre-existing role identities. Also evident was a bridging sub-role of presenter, which was anchored in the action possibility of high quality technical communication. Theoretical and practical considerations for preparing undergraduate engineering students to take on an ambassador role are considered.
  • A complex dynamic systems perspective on identity and its development: The dynamic systems model of role identity

    Kaplan, Avi; Garner, Joanna K.; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2017)
    Current prominent models of identity face challenges in bridging across divergent perspectives and apparent dichotomies such as personal or social-collective, conscious or unconscious, and epigenetic or discursive-relational, and affording pursuit of research questions that allows integrative answers. This article presents a coherent theoretical perspective on the integrative nature of identity and its developmental mechanisms. Adopting the contextual social role as a primary unit of analysis, the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (DSMRI) conceptualizes role identity as a Complex Dynamic System (CDS) anchored in action that comprises the actor’s ontological and epistemological beliefs, purpose and goals, self-perceptions and self-definitions, and perceived action possibilities in the role. These system components are conceptualized as interdependent, and identity development is viewed as emergent, continuous, nonlinear, contextualized, and given to influences from within and without the system. The role identity itself constitutes an element within a multilevel hierarchy, which at the unit of analysis of the individual reflects a CDS of the multiple roles that constitute the person’s psychosocial identity. Identity development involves the formation and restructuring of relations within and among role identities through intra- and interpersonal processes that are mediated by sociocognitive and cultural means, and framed by the context as well as by implicit dispositions. The DSMRI provides a framework to conceptualize and investigate the nature of the identity system, its development, and the relationship between identity development and psychological functioning at different units of-analysis, across different developmental stages and contexts, and using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
  • Concept Mapping as a Mechanism for Assessing Science Teachers’ Cross-Disciplinary Field-Based Learning

    Garner, Joanna K.; Kaplan, Avi; Hathcock, Stephanie; Bergey, Bradley W.; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2019-07-11)
    Two common goals of science teacher professional development (PD) are increased content knowledge (CK) and improved readiness to teach through inquiry. However, PD assessment challenges arise when the context is structured around inquiry-based, participant-driven learning, and when the content crosses scientific disciplines. This study extended the use of concept mapping as an assessment tool for examining changes in the content knowledge of 21 high school science teachers who participated in a field-based environmental science summer institute. The scoring rubric focused on documenting concepts, links, and map organization and scope in an attempt to capture development of cross-disciplinary knowledge in ways that correspond with theories of expertise development. The analysis revealed significant gains from pre-PD to post PD maps in the sophistication of links between concepts and in the number of additional, participant-generated scientifically valid concepts. Relative to the initial maps, post PD maps also manifested more complete clustering of concepts. Findings are discussed in reference to previous studies on teachers’ learning and implications for future research using concept mapping as a means of assessing teacher PD.
  • The conceptualization of costs and barriers of a teaching career among Latino preservice teachers

    Bergey, Bradley W.; Ranellucci, John; Kaplan, Avi; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2019-07-16)
    We investigated the perceived costs and barriers of a teaching career among Latino preservice teachers and how these men conceptualized costs relative to their race-ethnic identity, gender identity, and planned persistence in the profession from an expectancy-value perspective. We used a mixed-method approach that included a content analysis of open-ended survey responses to identify salient costs and barriers and non-metric multidimensional scaling (MDS) of participants’ responses to quantitative scales to capture phenomenological meaning of perceived costs, collective identity constructs, and planned persistence in the profession. Participants identified a range of drawbacks and barriers of a teaching career including concerns about job demands, work conditions, teacher preparation demands, emotional costs, social status, and salary, among other concerns. The MDS map for the whole sample suggested race-ethnic and gender identity were closely associated with status, salary, and morale; maps also provided insight into phenomenological meanings of different types of costs and cost measures. MDS maps for individual students demonstrated substantial diversity in individual meanings that are lost in group-level analyses. Results are discussed with attention to theoretical and practical implications for understanding and supporting men of color entering the teaching profession.
  • Disability identity and use of services among college students with psychiatric disabilities

    O'Shea, Amber; Kaplan, Avi; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2018)
    With the increasing number of undergraduate students with psychiatric disabilities enrolling in college, and the disproportionately high attrition rates in this group, the current study aimed to understand these students’ experiences and identify barriers that they face in higher education contexts. Specifically, whereas past research suggests that students’ endorsement of a “disability identity” impacts the proactive utilization of valuable academic accommodations and promotes students’ academic success, little is known about the meanings that underlie students’ disability identity and how it is formed, shaped, and maintained within the college context. The current phenomenological study investigated the processes by which 5 undergraduate students with psychiatric disabilities in a large public research university made meaning of their disability, and how their disability identity motivated their use of disability support services. The analysis of a series of interviews with each student highlighted the dynamic nature of students’ disability identity and its formation through interactions with others and through participation in various activities and experiences in the college context.
  • A complex systems perspective on policy standards for teacher learning and development

    Garner, Joanna K.; Kaplan, Avi; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2020-09)
    In the United States, the Interstate Teacher Assessment Consortium (InTASC) Standards and Learning Progressions inform pre-service teacher curricula and in-service teacher professional development and evaluation policies (Council of Chief State School Officers, CCSSO, 2013). We apply a complex dynamic systems (CDS) lens to analyze the Standards document’s ontological assumptions about the nature of teaching and teachers’ professional learning. Our inductive and model-guided content analysis revealed that the Standards’ representation of effective teaching highlights the contextual and iterative, feedback-driven nature of teacher learning and change. Teachers’ learning is described as non-linear and as requiring qualitative reconfigurations of expertise. The development of critical teaching dispositions reflects processes typically associated with identity system exploration. These ideas are congruent with complex dynamic systems theories of teachers’ learning and identity formation such as the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (DSMRI). We derive two conceptual behavioral landscapes for teachers’ practices and for their means of learning. We close by proposing that the findings underscore the importance of partnerships among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in the use, application, and revision of policy.
  • Intervening in student identity in mathematics education: An attempt to increase motivation to learn mathematics

    Heffernan, Kayla; Peterson, Steven; Kaplan, Avi; Newton, Kristie J.; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2020-06-07)
    Students’ relationships with mathematics continuously remain problematic, and researchers have begun to look at this issue through the lens of identity. In this article, the researchers discuss identity in education research, specifically in mathematics classrooms, and break down the various perspective on identity. A review of recent literature that explicitly invokes identity as a construct in intervention studies is presented, with a devoted attention to research on identity interventions in mathematics classrooms categorized based on the various perspectives of identity. Across perspectives, the review demonstrates that mathematics identities motivate action and that mathematics educators can influence students’ mathematical identities. The purpose of this paper is to help readers, researchers, and educators understand the various perspectives on identity, understand that identity can be influenced, and learn how researchers and educators have thus far, and continue to study identity interventions in mathematics classrooms.
  • The role of context in educational RCT findings: A call to redefine “evidence-based practice”

    Kaplan, Avi; Cromley, Jennifer; Perez, Tony; Dai, Ting; Mara, Kyle; Balsai, Michael; 0000-0002-2898-0085; 0000-0003-0778-7478 (2020-05-20)
    In this commentary, we complement other constructive critiques of educational randomized control trials (RCTs) by calling attention to the commonly ignored role of context in causal mechanisms undergirding educational phenomena. We argue that evidence for the central role of context in causal mechanisms challenges the assumption that RCT findings can be uncritically generalized across settings. Anchoring our argument with an example from our own multistudy RCT project, we argue that the scientific pursuit of causal explanation should involve the rich description of contextualized causal effects. We further call for incorporating the evidence of the integral role of context in causal mechanisms into the meaning of “evidence-based practice,” with the implication that effective implementation of practice in a new setting must involve context-oriented, evidence-focused, design-based research that attends to the emergent, complex, and dynamic nature of educational contexts.
  • Momentary Student Engagement as a Dynamic Developmental System

    Symonds, Jennifer E.; Kaplan, Avi; Upadyaya, Katja; Salmela Aro, Katariina; Torsney, Benjamin M.; Skinner, Ellen; Eccles, Jacquelynne S.; 0000-0002-2898-0085 (2020-01-02)
    In this theoretical statement we answer the call for increased scientific precision in research on student engagement, by providing a conceptualization of student engagement as a dynamic developmental system occurring across momentary time in classrooms. Momentary student engagement can be summarized as the situated, embodied, affective-motivational experience of integrated mental-physical activity in a task. In the statement we describe how momentary student engagement comprises parts (emotion, motivation, mental action, and physical action), structure (coactions between parts) and process (how parts and the whole develop through a sequence of engagement triggers and non-linear action). We discuss how researchers can conceptualize and study momentary student engagement at the microlevel grain sizes of agent (individual student), task (individual academic tasks) and time (momentary), providing a contrast to research on other forms of engagement occurring at higher level grain sizes (e.g., engagement with schooling as a macrolevel process). We overview methods of studying momentary student engagement complexity, emergence and dynamics, and end the statement by discussing how researchers can use the momentary student engagement perspective to enhance student engagement interventions.
  • Disengaged and Nearing Departure: Students at Risk for Dropping Out in the Age of COVID-19

    Antoni, Jennifer; 0000-0001-8238-560X (2020-09-18)
    In this article, the author examines the turbulence of the current educational context in light of COVID-19 and the associated school closures, for disengaged, older students nearing the end of their high school journeys. She provides concise overviews of the way high school dropout problem has been conceptualized, the theoretical framework of turbulence theory, and the relevant challenges and barriers that disengaged, older students at risk for dropout/pushout are currently experiencing. She asserts that even with established supports in place, more attention is needed to developing approaches that consider the turbulence that older students experience nearing high school departure during this period of school closure and remote instruction. The author offers vignettes, both from her own experience as a school counselor and one from another educators about what this turbulence looks like for vulnerable students and families. She concludes by offering recommendations for further supporting older, disengaged students at-risk for pushout or dropout.
  • What journalists retweet: Opinion, humor, and brand development on Twitter

    Molyneux, Logan; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2014-09-25)
    Using Twitter, journalists may pass along comment from other users without, at least ostensibly, taking accountability for that message. Minimizing responsibility and editorial oversight, as is the case with retweets, allows a different view of individual journalists as gatekeepers. Through a qualitative textual analysis, this study finds that journalists are challenging norms of objectivity and independence on Twitter. Journalists frequently pass along subtle interpretation and analysis rather than strong opinions. Many retweets are humorous, sometimes even at journalism’s expense. Journalists also retweet many messages about themselves, working to build a personal brand and relationships with their audience. Implications for journalists, their industry, and the audience are discussed.
  • Fact Checking the Campaign: How Political Reporters Use Twitter to Set the Record Straight (or Not)

    Coddington, Mark; Molyneux, Logan; Lawrence, Regina G.; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2014-07-01)
    In a multichannel era of fragmented and contested political communication, both misinformation and fact checking have taken on new significance. The rise of Twitter as a key venue for political journalists would seem to support their fact-checking activities. Through a content analysis of political journalists’ Twitter discourse surrounding the 2012 presidential debates, this study examines the degree to which fact-checking techniques were used on Twitter and the ways in which journalists on Twitter adhered to the practices of either “professional” or “scientific” objectivity—the mode that underlies the fact-checking enterprise—or disregarded objectivity altogether. A typology of tweets indicates that fact checking played a notable but secondary role in journalists’ Twitter discourse. Professional objectivity, especially simple stenography, dominated reporting practices on Twitter, and opinion and commentary were also prevalent. We determine that Twitter is indeed conducive to some elements of fact checking. But taken as a whole, our data suggest that journalists and commentators posted opinionated tweets about the candidates’ claims more often than they fact checked those claims.
  • Branding (Health) Journalism: Perceptions, practices, and emerging norms

    Molyneux, Logan; Holton, Avery E.; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2014-04-30)
    Observational studies of journalists on social media platforms suggest that journalists are beginning to develop personal brands using social media. Similar studies suggest that journalists covering specialty areas such as health are more likely to experiment with and adopt new forms of practice that break with the traditional tenets of journalism. Through interviews with such journalists, this study explores the perceptions, practices, and drivers of personal branding among journalists. Findings indicate journalists are squarely focused on branding at the individual level (rather than branding the organizations they work for). Journalists cite technological and cultural changes in the profession as giving rise to personal branding. They also describe the tension they feel between their obligation to uphold the traditional tenets of journalism and their perceived need to incorporate more branding into their practice, especially on social media platforms. The findings indicate that journalists may be changing the fundamental elements of branding in at least one way, exchanging the differentiation between themselves and their content for the mutual sharing and co-creation of content with their colleagues and audience.
  • Identity lost? The personal impact of brand journalism

    Holton, Avery E.; Molyneux, Logan; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2015-11-03)
    Researchers have explored the role of organizational and personal branding in journalism, paying particular attention to digital media and social network sites. While these studies have observed a rise in the incorporation of branding practices among journalists, they have largely avoided questions about the implications such shifts in practice may have on the personal identities of journalists. This study addresses that gap, drawing on interviews with 41 reporters and editors from US newspapers. The findings suggest that as reporters incorporate branding into their routines, they may feel as though they are sacrificing the ability to simultaneously maintain a personal identity online. For their part, editors seem to sympathize with journalists’ loss of personal identity but defer to organizational policies.
  • Tweeting Conventions: Political journalists' use of Twitter to cover the 2012 presidential campaign

    Lawrence, Regina G.; Molyneux, Logan; Coddington, Mark; Holton, Avery E.; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2013-09-20)
    This study explores the use of Twitter by political reporters and commentators—an understudied population within the rapidly growing literature on digital journalism—covering the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions. In particular, we want to know if and how the “affordances” of Twitter are shaping the traditional norms and routines of US campaign reporting surrounding objectivity, transparency, gatekeeping, and horse race coverage, and whether Twitter is bursting the “bubble” of insider talk among reporters and the campaigns they cover. A sample derived from all tweets by over 400 political journalists reveals a significant amount of opinion expression in reporters' tweets, but little use of Twitter in ways that improve transparency or disrupt journalists' (and campaigns') role as gatekeepers of campaign news. Overall, particularly when looking at what political journalists retweet and what they link to via Twitter, the campaign “bubble” seems at the moment to have remained largely intact.
  • Reporters' Smartphone Use Improves Quality of Work

    Molyneux, Logan; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2014-09-01)
    A survey of U.S. newspaper reporters and editors found that journalists with smartphones are more likely to produce multimedia, including audio, video and photo content; however, many complain that smartphones keep them tethered to their work seven days a week.
  • Mobile News Consumption: A Habit of Snacking

    Molyneux, Logan; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2017-06-16)
    This study investigates news consumption on mobile devices with the goal of identifying where mobile devices fit into people’s media repertoires and how consumption patterns on them are different from those on other platforms. Results suggest that mobile devices are almost always used along with other platforms for getting news, that news sessions on smartphones are shorter than on other platforms, and mobile news consumption happens more times per day and is spread throughout the day. Implications for the study of news consumption, news producers, and consumers are discussed.
  • How journalists engage in branding on Twitter: individual, organizational, and institutional levels

    Molyneux, Logan; Holton, Avery E.; Lewis, Seth C.; 0000-0001-7382-3065 (2017-04-18)
    In a social media age, branding is an increasingly visible aspect of identity construction online. For media professionals generally and journalists especially, branding on spaces such as Twitter reveals the complicated set of forces confronting such public-facing actors as they navigate tensions between personal disclosure for authenticity and professional decorum for credibility, and between establishing one’s own distinctiveness and promoting one’s employer or other stakeholders. While studies have begun to reveal what journalists say about branding, they have yet to provide a broad profile of what they do. This study takes up that challenge through a content analysis of the Twitter profiles and tweets of a representative sample of 384 U.S. journalists. We focus on the extent of branding practices; the levels at which such branding occurs, whether to promote one’s self (individual), one’s news organization (organizational), or the journalism profession at large (institutional); and how other social media practices may be related to forms of journalistic branding. Results suggest that branding is now widely common among journalists on Twitter; that branding occurs at all three levels but primarily at the individual and organizational levels, with organizational branding taking priority; and that time on Twitter is connected with more personal information being shared.

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