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CASTL Work-in-Progress Meetings Fall 2013

The CASTL Work-in-Progress meetings are a regular forum in which graduate students, postdocs and faculty across disciplines present their research ideas, plans, methods, and results for the purpose of getting feedback, and are open to the public.

Next Meeting
Friday December 6th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100 (FREE PARKING)
Presenter: Carol Paxton
Topic: Principal and Teacher Collective Efficacy Beliefs and the Leading Together Professional Development Program
(See below for more information)

Fall 2013 Schedule

Friday September 6th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
2200 Old Ivy Way, Conference Room

Presenter(s): Multiple
Topic: Overview of CASTL Research Projects
Abstract: This meeting will provide an overview of research being conducted at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. Join us for this introduction to various projects! Research projects to be discussed:

  • Preschool Relationships Enhancement Project (PREP)
  • MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science Efficacy Trial, Supporting Change in Teacher Practice Through Coaching and Coursework
  • Learning to Objectively Observe Kids (LOOK)
  • WINGS for Kids, Data for Us: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the WINGS Socioemotional After-School Program
  • Math and Science Achievement Gaps of Minority and Disadvantaged Students: The Role of Developmental and Environmental Influences from Nine Months to 8th Grade
  • Testing the Integration of an Empirically-Supported Teacher Consultation Model and a Social-emotional Learning and Literacy Intervention in Urban Elementary Schools
  • English Learners in Fifth Grade Math Classrooms
  • 2013 Update from the UVA Social Development Lab
  • MyTeachingPartner-Secondary in an Independent School Setting
  • Responsive Web Design: Considering Opportunities for CASTL Research
  • Methodological Research Topics

Friday September 13th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Claire CameronPresenter 1: Dr. Claire Cameron

Topic: SREE Run-Through: Nonlinear Gompertz Curve Models of Achievement Gaps

Abstract: In this WIP, I would like feedback on my slides for a fall SREE conference presentation. This study assessed three types of nonlinear growth curves in two large longitudinal datasets (ECLS-K and NLSY) to explore achievement trajectories in mathematics and reading from school entry through middle school. Results from the best fitting, Gompertz curve models are reported in terms of inter-individual difference parameters that represented total growth, rate of approach (approach to total growth), and timing of accelerated growth. With some exceptions, the pattern of parameter estimates was generally consistent across the two data sets. The fastest rates of approach occurred for both mathematics and reading before third grade. Demographic predictors of the three parameters of change confirmed SES and race/ethnic gaps that widen over time in both subjects; and a female advantage in reading and a male advantage in mathematics. Inconsistencies point to differences in sample, test, and cohort, which can help inform the study of systematic disparities in education research.


Jamie DeCosterPresenter 2: Dr. Jamie DeCoster

Topic: Using pre-existing Python functions to make your life easier.

Abstract: The SPSS Python extension allows researchers to incorporate Python programs in their SPSS syntax. Python brings a large number of new capabilities to SPSS, such as the ability to write analysis templates that are applied to several different variables, to have dynamic syntax where the analyses performed later vary depending on the results of earlier analyses, to automatically perform analyses on any datasets or spreadsheets found in particular directories, and to extract data from SPSS output to be saved in other data sets. However, not everyone has the time or interest to learn to program in Python. In this presentation, we will discuss how novice users of SPSS syntax can easily use Python functions written by other people. We will also have an overview of several functions that Jamie has written and has made publicly available, including functions that:

  • Convert SPSS data sets to MPlus

  • Convert Excel data sets to SPSS

  • Merge all SPSS data sets found in a particular directory

  • Automatically write Mplus programs to perform CFAs

  • Automatically write Mplus programs to perform path analyses

Friday September 20th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Presenter Amir G. François1: Amir Francois

Topic: Dissertation Paper Idea - "When is the Environment Just Right? Understanding Intergroup Contact, Social Cognition, and Multicultural Competence Development."

Abstract: In this WIP, I would like to receive feedback on the proposal idea for the third paper in my upcoming dissertation. The study uses data collected from the Curry Participant Pool with pre-service teacher participants to explore the connections between current and past experiences of intergroup contact and their relation with multicultural competence. Currently the methodological approach being considered is a path analysis to understand the strength of the relationships between features of intergroup contact (i.e., quality and frequency), social cognitive mediators (i.e., ethnocultural empathy and intergroup anxiety), and multicultural competence constructs (i.e., multicultural efficacy and/or multicultural attitudes). The contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954) posits that as optimal conditions for intergroup contact are reached, more favorable and positive intergroup attitudes and behaviors will develop within the participating groups. This study hopes to test this hypothesis and also explain the "black box" of how and when these positive benefits occur by understanding the social cognitive and environmental/ecological variables within the self-reported experiences of the study participants.


Manuela Jiménez HerreraPresenter 2: Manuela Jimenez

Topic: Implementation fidelity and cognitive challenge in a coaching intervention.

Abstract: In this WIP I will be presenting the latest results of analyses regarding coaches' fidelity and cognitive challenge in the prompt writing phase of MyTeachingPartner. The data for this study comes from the NCRECE project.  I will presenting some descriptive information of coaches' fidelity and cognitive challenge, and analyses regarding the relation between these two constructs and teacher change in analysis, self-efficacy and practice as measured by the CLASS after participating in the intervention. I will like general feedback regarding the setup of the paper and the analyses presented.

Friday September 27th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
Bavaro Hall, Rm. 306, the CLIC (ON-GROUNDS)

Christopher A. HafenPresenter: Chris Hafen

Topic: How Do I See You and How Far Will You Go?  Teacher Perceptions of Secondary School Students Behavior and Future Educational Attainment

Abstract: I am at the early stages of analyzing data on teacher perceptions of students in their classroom.  The data consists of some behavioral items such as "Johnny has trouble working well with peers" and "Johnny defies or refuses your requests", as well as an item about future educational attainment "How far in school do you expect Johnny to go?".  In this presentation, I will present preliminary data around descriptives and correlations for these items, as well as some exploration of potential moderators (gender, ethnicity).

Friday October 4th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Presenter: Sadie Hasbrouck

Topic: The Internalizing Behaviors of Latino Preschoolers: A Comparison Using a Nationally Representative Sample

Abstract: The prevalence rate of internalizing behaviors of Latino preschoolers will be examined. In addition, parental and child characteristics, and SES will be explored as possible predictors of both the general population and Latino preschoolers' internalizing behaviors.

Friday October 11th, 2013, NO MEETING - Reading Days

Friday October 18th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Micela LeisPresenter(s): Micela Leis

Topic: Building Trust Through Leading Together

Abstract: In this WIP I will be presenting on a pilot study of Leading Together (LT), a new intervention designed to enhance the adult community in schools, and build trust between principals and teachers. This intervention was piloted with ten schools during the 2012-2013 school year. We are currently working on analyzing interview data from these ten schools in order to understand how Leading Together is being implemented in schools, and what trust between teachers and principals looks like in schools with different degrees of implementation. I will present our initial codes for examining LT implementation. I would like feedback and/or advice on how to categorize levels of implementation, and sort schools into these different categories.

Friday October 25th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
Bavaro Hall, Rm. 306, the CLIC (ON-GROUNDS)

Jason T. DownerPresenter: Jason Downer

Topic: Using Video-based Coaching to Support the Implementation of a Social-emotional Learning and Literacy Intervention in Urban Elementary Schools

Abstract: The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect, & Resolution) is a social-emotional learning and literacy program with evidence of impacts on teacher behavior and student outcomes from a previous randomized controlled trial. This initial RCT also indicated great variability in the extent to which 4Rs teachers implemented lessons, and student impacts were notably small. Therefore, with partners at Fordham University and Morningside Center, we secured IES Goal 2 funding to modify MyTeachingPartner, a video-based coaching approach, so that it could be used to enhance teachers’ effective implementation of 4Rs.  A quasi-experimental design was used to set up a comparison between 35 New York City elementary school classrooms participating in a pilot of 4Rs+MTP and a previous cohort of classrooms that received 4Rs only. Initial results will be presented with questions for the group about ways to solidify the propensity matching approach prior to writing up results for submission to a journal.

Friday November 1st, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Erik RuzekPresenter(s): Erik Ruzek

Topic: Why won't my teacher help me? Exploring variability in teachers’ responsiveness to student help seeking within classrooms.

Abstract: Research on teacher responsiveness to student help seeking often assumes that teachers respond to student requests for help similarly for all students. Using student survey data from 571 upper elementary students in 50 different English Language Arts classrooms, my collaborators and I examine this basic assumption of prior research. Analysis is ongoing, and we will share and solicit feedback on some of the directions we are taking this work, but preliminary results suggest that students in the same classroom can have very different perceptions of how responsive their teacher is to their requests for help. We will examine some of the concurrent indicators and associated outcomes of differential patterns of teacher responsiveness to student help seeking.

Friday November 8th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Amir G. François

Presenter: Amir Francois

Topic: Creating Climates for Positive Intergroup Perceptions: Multilevel Modeling in American High School Settings.

Abstract: In this WIP, I would like feedback on the second paper of my dissertation which is concerned with the physical structure and social-emotional climate of schools and their role in creating settings in which students can be empowered or disempowered to participate in their surroundings. The structure of the school, student perceptions of the school, and student characteristics and demographics all conspire to create the interracial/interethnic climate that all students must learn, interact, and hopefully grow within. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to estimate both individual- and school-level factors that contribute to students’ perceptions of interracial friendliness and racial/ethnic conflict in the school environment. Preliminary results suggest different ecological level factors are associated with either positive or negatively valenced perceptions.

Friday November 15th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Sonia Q. Cabell

Presenter: Sonia Cabell

Topic: Preschool Shared Reading and Children’s Language and Literacy Development

Abstract: The ways in which teachers read aloud to children during the preschool years can have a powerful impact on children’s development of important language and literacy skills. In particular, the extra-textual talk that surrounds the book reading experience can serve as an important mechanism for building vocabulary and print knowledge. This study examines the relations between the extra-textual talk that occurs during shared book reading and gains in children’s skills during the pre-kindergarten year. The Systematic Assessment of Book Reading (SABR) was used to measure teachers’ use of literal and inferential talk, as well as talk about the features of print. We attempt to replicate and build on prior validation studies of the SABR. During the presentation, I will share our preliminary findings, with questions for the group on possible next steps for analyses.

Friday November 22nd, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
Bavaro Hall, Rm. 306, the CLIC (ON-GROUNDS)

Presenter: Manuela Jimenez

Topic: What do coaches actually do in a coaching conference?

Abstract: In this WIP I will be presenting some initial descriptives from the coding of conferences between coaches and teachers in the context of an intervention aimed at supporting teachers in their implementation of a social-emotional learning curriculum in elementary grades. I will present information about coaches' implementation of features related to the coaching's theory of change, and teachers' engagement in the process. Since this paper it's in a very early stage, I am interested in feedback regarding possible approaches.

Friday November 29th, 2013, NO MEETING: Thanksgiving Break

Friday December 6th, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
350 Old Ivy Way, Ste. 100

Carol LC Paxton

Presenter: Carol Paxton

Topic: Principal and Teacher Collective Efficacy Beliefs and the Leading Together Professional Development Program

Abstract: Problem solving and decision making become more effective when teachers and principals in a school share the perception that their group efforts will result in positive student outcomes. Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy (2000) call this collective efficacy. Leading Together (LT) is an adult social and emotional professional development program that is designed, in part, to improve collective efficacy in schools. This work-in-progress meeting is intended to solicit feedback for next steps as we share preliminary teacher and principal survey and interview data from  the first year of implementation of LT in ten schools.  We will share overall baseline and end-of-year collective efficacy scores, as well as subscale results and interview comments, as a basis for a discussion of patterns in our data.



Presenting at a future CASTL WIP meeting

If you are interested, please contact Sonia Cabell at



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Previous CASTL WIP Meetings:

Spring 2013

Fall 2012


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