Students Present Graduate Research at Conference
Seven students in the Graduate Special Education Program and four students in the Graduate Program in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education presented their research papers and posters at the College at Brockport 2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference on April 14. Their presentations were part of an education panel.
Ashlea Dancer presented “Pets in the Classroom,” a poster that reviewed the effects of having pets in the classroom. She highlighted the influence pets have on the dynamics of both the classroom environment and possibilities of curriculum enhancement. In addition, she analyzed the effects pets have on individual students in the classroom. Her analysis offered tips on selecting the appropriate pet for a classroom, and explored different types of animal-assisted therapy that can be used to aid in students’ growth and development.
Alicia DiNottia’s poster was entitled “Multicultural Education.” It described how multicultural education is an ongoing approach to seek out why things are the way they are, and to get students involved in discussing and exploring critical issues. She analyzed the different approaches teachers can use to help make students more aware of diversity. Her analysis showed that multicultural education should be incorporated in daily instruction for students to really understand and discuss issues.
Michelle Miley’s poster presentation, “Positive Behavioral Supports,” reviewed the use of positive behavioral support (PBS) in an educational setting. PBS encompasses a proactive and individualized approach to teaching and behavior in which evidence-based practices and data-based decision-making are used to prevent problem behavior from occurring. In her presentation, Miley illustrated the philosophy behind PBS, interventions and strategies that are utilized in the three tiers of intervention, the relationship between PBS and academics, and the effectiveness of PBS in different school settings.
Mayra Ortiz presented her paper entitled “Culturally Responsive/ Multicultural Education.” Her paper identified the many facets and importance of a multicultural/culturally responsive education, and discussed how multicultural education today strives to instruct teachers as to the ways in which culturally and linguistically diverse students learn and function in order for them to receive and experience the most diverse and culturally rich learning possible.
Michelle Witz presented “Should Special Education Teachers Use the Push-In or Pull-Out Model for Instruction?” In her presentation, Witz identified two teaching models that can be used with students who have specific learning needs. She discussed positive research-based strategies that a special education teacher can use while engaging in the push-in and/or pull-out model. In addition, she addressed what type of teaching model students prefer to engage in using her research that has in fact shown that students do have a preference of where and from whom they receive instruction.
Makenzie Tuchrelo presented a poster entitled “Special Education and Higher-Level Mathematics,” which described the different challenges that exist within special education and higher-level mathematics. The findings resulted from research-based interviews with secondary mathematics teachers, administrators, and counselors, and show how many students with disabilities are participating in Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2 Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus classes. In addition, Tuchrelo’s research shows results of some different reasons why students may be lacking the appropriate access to higher-level mathematics classes. She recommended different strategies that could help students with disabilities succeed in higher-level mathematics classes.
Mark Pincelli’s “Post School Outcomes for Students with Intellectual Disabilities” presentation explained what the post-school outcomes are for this population of students and how schools are preparing them for success. He explored how teachers and families can ensure that certain indicators pointing to student success after graduation are all being achieved. Those indicators include transition planning, family involvement in transition planning, and students having learned self-determination skills.
Maia VanBeuren presented “Students’ Faltering Interest in Science in High School and Beyond: What Causes Many Students, Especially Females, to Disconnect,” which investigated the cause of students’ disinterest in the sciences at later grades. It examined the connections between high school students’ past and present experiences with science and their attitudes towards the subject. In addition, the paper looked at the role gender plays in building a science identity and forming attitudes about science. By looking at what makes students, especially females, falter in pursuing science at higher ages, this paper makes suggestions of what educators can do to encourage positive experiences in science classes.
Andrew Brolsma presented “The Effects of PBIS on a Special Education School.” His paper identified the effects that Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) have on a special education school. Brolsma compiled data over two school years (before and after) to compare student behavior, reading state assessments, and math state assessments for this project.
Christopher Grayeski’s paper, “A Middle School Case Study: The Effect of Parental Influence on Student Motivation and Achievement in the 8th Grade Science Classroom,” examines the potential connection between parental influence and student motivation and achievement in the middle school science classroom. He used survey data collected from current middle school students to establish any correlations between how students perceive their family’s influence, and how motivated and successful they are in their current science course.
And George Flevares presented a poster, “English Language Learners and Math Word Problems,” which details the responses of adolescent English language learners to math problems of varying length and difficulty. In addition to the number of correct solutions, the data included background information on the students, such as the number of years they had English instruction, as well as what math courses they had taken.
The inaugural Master's Level Graduate Research Conference featured work by students across the disciplines from Brockport and other universities in upstate New York and nearby southern Ontario, Canada.