Skip to main content

________________________________
Presenting at a future CASTL WIP meeting:

If you are interested, please contact Erik Ruzek at eruzek@virginia.edu

________________________________

Questions:
Please contact castl@virginia.edu

CASTL Work-in-Progress Meetings Spring 2015

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

Wednesday April 22nd, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200  
Presenter: Lindsey Hepler
Title: Move This World Program Evaluation: Finding Alignment with the Professional Development Framework

See below for more details.


Spring 2015 Schedule

Friday January 30th, 2015, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200 

Presenter: Laura Tortorelli
Title: (Con)text matters: reader, text, and task factors in developmental reading   

Abstract:
My talk presents three studies on reading rate, a popular measure of reading fluency using the RAND model of reading comprehension (RAND Reading Study Group, 2002) as a conceptual framework. Using reading rate as a quantitative measure of reading fluency, these papers highlight how the reader, text, and task factors outlined in the RAND model interact in an iterative process that shapes reading development over time. Paper 1 looks at how genre affects reading rate by providing reading rate norms in expository text and comparing them to published norms established in narrative text. Paper 2 looks at the variability of skills in children designated as slow readers under those established norms, and paper 3 establishes a predictive model of reading rate that accounts for both reader and text factors. 


 

Wednesday February 4th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Erik Ruzek
Title: How teacher emotional support motivates students: Testing self-determination theory in the classroom

Abstract: 
Teacher emotional support is viewed as a pillar of high quality instruction, and a broad base of evidence links teacher-provided emotional support to students’ motivation and engagement. In this study we seek to understand why students in emotionally-supportive classrooms report higher motivation than their peers in less supportive classrooms. To do this, we turn to self-determination theory, which in prior research finds that satisfaction of three need-based components—autonomy, relatedness, and competence beliefs—are keys to understanding students’ motivation and engagement. But unknown is whether autonomy, relatedness, and/or competence experiences in the classroom are key mechanisms mediating associations between teacher emotional support and students’ motivation and engagement. In this presentation I will present results of a study that tests this multilevel mediational process, using short-term longitudinal data from observations of middle and high classrooms and student reports of their experiences in these classrooms. Implications of this work and future directions will be explored.  


Wednesday February 11th, 2015, 12:30-1:30 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter:
Title:

Abstract:


Wednesday February 18th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Jaclyn Russo 
Title: Children's Social-Emotional Comprehension: The Need for a Multi-Method Assessment Approach

Abstract:

The healthy development of children’s social-emotional learning skills has recently gained increased attention in both the education, and policy arenas (Dusenbury, Weissberg, Goren & Domitrovich, 2014). Particularly, the development of reliable and valid assessments of social-emotional learning skills has emerged as a critical factor in the establishment of effective interventions for children, with the best practice including both direct assessment, and teacher report (Denham, 2006). The development of these assessments is as pertinent as ever with research indicating that social-emotional skills and academic performance operate in concert with one another (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor & Schellinger, 2011). A current challenge is how to interpret data from different measures that theoretically are measuring similar constructs related to social-emotional learning. This talk will present data from Phase II of the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Project (VKRP). Specifically, I will explore the data obtained from two separate social-emotional learning assessments that use different methods of assessment—teacher report and direct assessment. I will describe the ways in which these measures provide similar and unique information about children’s social-emotional skills. Specifically, examine the extent to which each of these variables are related to other areas of school readiness, the extent to which the variability within each assessment can be explained at the classroom level and thus subject to teacher bias.  Additionally, potential classroom and teacher characteristics that may be systematically influencing these ratings will be explored. Implications of this work, as well as input for future directions will be discussed.


Wednesday February 25th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Christine Rubie-Davies
Title: Working with teachers to raise student achievement: A teacher expectation intervention

Abstract:
Christine Rubie-Davies will present a brief history of the teacher expectation field showing how the research developed from the initial Pygmalion study of Professor Robert Rosenthal.  She will show how research focused on teacher beliefs that moderate teacher expectation effects has proven fruitful. Christine will introduce the concept of high and low expectation teachers and show how her findings related to these teachers led to a large scale teacher expectation intervention project. Student math achievement data and teacher qualitative data from the first year of this three-year project will be reported.

Christine Rubie-Davies is a Professor in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand.
 


Wednesday March 4th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Bavarro Hall, Rm 306


Presenter: Claire Cameron
Title: Learning in the age of information overload: Implications for children, classrooms, and scholars

Abstract:
Early childhood scholars in the 21st century have a lot on their plates. They must continue to study the precise mechanisms that underlie school readiness while also learning to engage with the diverse communities who support children. In this presentation, Dr. Cameron uses the theory of cognitive load, which acknowledges human capacity and limits for learning novel tasks, to understand early childhood development and scholarship. She first describes her research on the interrelated cognitive processes that are associated with children’s school readiness; and her work documenting the importance of classroom organizational strategies in learning environments. Finally, she explores how scholars who strive to ensure children’s healthy development might increase the effectiveness of their efforts. 

 


Wednesday March 11th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Hank Murrah
Title: Converging Evidence on the Importance of Early General Knowledge for Later Reading Achievement

Abstract:
This presentation will focus on the preliminary results from a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of Core Knowledge Charter Schools in Colorado.

 


Wednesday March 18th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter:
Title:

Abstract:


Wednesday March 25th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Ann L'Hospital

Abstract:

All professional development interventions want teachers to change their practice. Yet, coaches' experience and research suggest that some teachers aren't "ready to change," and these teachers (and their students) miss out on the benefits of proven strategies. My clinical and research interests intersect as I seek to understand the variance in teachers' readiness to change and what coaches do to increase teachers' motivation to use strategies. I will discuss two efforts underway to study these questions in the context of the LOOK Consultation study: first, applying the Readiness to Change measure (developed by Curry student Amy Roberts), and second, developing a conference coding measure. Participants at this WIP will be asked to share feedback about theories and practical suggestions to guide my coding of teachers' readiness and coaches' readiness-supportive behaviors in conferences.

Wednesday April 1st, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Chris Hafen
Title: Attachment in Secondary Classrooms: Measuring the Student Perspective as a Moderator of MyTeachingPartner Impacts

Abstract:
We will be presenting work in which we attempt to establish whether a set of items originally intended to capture student reports of the classroom climate can be used to capture students’ attachment to their teacher and other peers.  We then will link these attachment constructs to student motivation, engagement, and achievement throughout a school year.  This analysis is conducted within the context of a randomized control trial that is known to have had significant intervention (MyTeachingPartner) effects on teacher’s CLASS scores and student achievement (Allen et al., 2011).  Our final aim is to determine whether the attachment constructs we created moderate the impacts of the intervention on student motivation, engagement, or achievement.  

 

Wednesday April 8th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Amy Roberts
Title:: Exploring Teacher Depression, Emotional Support, and Children’s Social-Emotional Development in Head Start

Abstract:
High quality preschool experiences, especially those characterized by high quality teacher-child interactions, are important for young children’s development. However, previous research has shown that teachers who feel more depressed are less likely to effectively interact with children, which may detrimentally impact development. Little is known about how teacher depression relates to teacher-child interactions and children’s social-emotional development specifically in Head Start. As a result, we utilized the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) survey to explore the extent to which teachers’ depression related to the quality of teachers’ interactions, specially their provision of emotional support, and the extent to which depression related to children’s social-emotional development. We also explored questions of mediation and moderation which I will further discuss during my presentation. 

 

Wednesday April 15th, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Carolina Melo
Title: Teacher Child-Interactions and Bilingualism as predictors of Children’s Executive Functions

Abstract:
An important predictor of school success is Executive Function (EF) skills. These skills that rest in the prefrontal lobe of the brain are: cognitive flexibility, planning, working memory, inhibitory control, decision-making, conflict monitoring, and set-shifting (Zelazo, Carlson, & Kesek, 2014). Some studies have linked teacher-child interactions in the classroom to EF (Rimm-Kaufman, Curby, Grimm, Nathanson, & Brock, 2009; Williford, Whittaker, Vitiello, & Downer, 2013a). This study intends to explore the relationship between the quality of teacher-child interactions and EF, and replicate findings from previous studies that have linked them, while also exploring the nature of this relationship by including bilingualism as a moderator.

Wednesday April 22nd, 2015, 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Ruffner Hall, Rm 200

Presenter: Lindsey Hepler (Curriculum and Training Specialist at Move This World)
Title:  Move This World Program Evaluation: Finding Alignment with the Professional Development Framework

Abstract:
Move This World is a global non-profit focused on social and emotional learning. MTW harnesses the power of creativity to reduce fear, build trust, and inspire change. In 2015, Move This World is transitioning from a direct service model to a professional development model. Through “transformation teams”— small groups of teachers and school leaders—entire schools are exposed to Move This World’s unique approach to SEL. This research project seeks to revise MTW’s monitoring and evaluation practices to align with the program model changes. The goal is to create a framework that can be scaled up to a large-scale, quasi-experimental program evaluation within the next three years.

 

 

 

Connect With Us On: