Alumni Dissertation Projects
[Re]imagining Student Mathematical Engagement through Problem Posing Pedagogy
by Priyanka Agarwal
The study uses researcher-practitioner partnership (RPP) model to design, implement and examine math instructional lessons and pedagogy, centered on mathematical problem-posing (as against just problem-solving), in a predominantly working class Latinx neighborhood middle-school. This qualitative study has two goals: (1) understanding the challenges and affordances of establishing problem posing as a central feature of classroom instruction, and (2) identifying the ways in which problem posing promotes student engagement and learning. The findings will serve to provide preliminary ideas of problem-posing pedagogy’s potential to challenge the deeply-rooted discourse of poverty and deficits in education.
Designing After School Science Programs to Connect Schools, Homes, and Communities
by David Liu
The purpose of this study is to investigate how to develop science after school programs that support the deep and meaningful STEM engagement of girls of color. This project will focus on how to empirically test design features in a research practice partnership with a local school.
Participation in a Video Club: Influences on Teachers and Teaching, Students and Learning
by Tara Barnhart
This study investigates the critical discourses developed by high school science teachers engaged in a semester-long video club professional development series. The focus of the video club was to enhance participants’ abilities to facilitate students’ thinking and reasoning in science.
Appropriating and Enacting Literacy Teaching Practices in the Context of the Pathway Project Professional Development Program
by Huy Chung
In this study, I investigate the types of pedagogical tools middle school English teachers take up and adapt from literacy professional development. Moreover, I am also interested in how these tools shape their own learning as well as their students’ learning. Finally, I also seek to understand cognitive and contextual factors that may influence how teachers are enacting these tools in their classrooms.
Broadening participation in mathematics for students from non-dominant backgrounds: The relationship between teacher practice, noticing and pedagogical commitments
by Janet Garcia-Mercado
This study draws on the construct of teacher noticing to examine how teachers attend to and reason about classroom features that influence learning opportunities for non-dominant groups. Just as research examines how teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and identities influence their practice, I use the lens of noticing to explain the cognitive processes teachers use engaging in these teaching practices. Through this work, I seek to make explicit the noticing of secondary mathematics teachers and the relationship between their noticing, practices and pedagogical commitments.
Physical Therapist Students’ Clinical Reasoning and Characterizations of Practice
by Sarah Gilliland
This study investigates how doctor of physical therapy students engage in clinical problem solving. Specifically, I examine the types of problems students frame and solve during an encounter with a patient and how their perspectives on practice influence their clinical decision making.
A Model of Professional Development for Field-Based Teacher Educators: Addressing Historical Problems Through Local Collaboration
by Jessica Tunney
This dissertation examines a professional development intervention that brought together university supervisors of student teaching with partner classroom mentor teachers to develop a shared vision of mathematics instruction and shared approaches to mentoring pre-service teachers in the field. The study contributes to practice-based teacher education by offering a model design university-school collaborations aimed at supporting pre-service teachers in connecting learning across university and field site settings.
A Longitudinal Investigation of Beginning Teachers’ Conceptions and Enactments of Equity-Minded Mathematics Practices
by Cathery Yeh
This study examines the factors that impact the retention and attrition of culturally and linguistically diverse elementary school teachers and support or impede their development and implementation of reform-based, equity-minded mathematics practices.
Learning Affordances for Teachers and Students in a Summer Lab School
by Doron Zinger
I examine an alternative teacher certification program aimed at preparing primarily Latinx and African American teacher candidates for instruction in segregated urban schools. In this project I work closely with first year teachers as they prepare and begin teaching in their own classroom to identify ways of improving urban science teacher preparation and opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with and learn science.