Out-of-School Influences on Learning and Instruction

Jennie Kroeger

Faculty and students from across the College of Education at Florida State University are conducting research focused on out-of-school influences on learning and instruction. Their work on these issues highlights important considerations for teaching and learning in whatever contexts it occurs, both in the U.S. and around the world. The wide range of topics covered include grief among U.S. college students, parenting challenges of gifted children in Italy, teachers' use of social media, economic relevance of instruction, and the effects of state and federal policy on teachers and students. Read on to learn more about our latest publications on these topics.

Cox, B. E., Reason, R. D., Nix, S., & Gillman, M. (2016). Life happens (outside of college): non-college life-events and students' likelihood of graduation. Research in Higher Education, 57, 823'844. This study examined three types of non-college life events'financial disruption, a family or friend's death, and similar family distressful situations'and how they might predict the likelihood of students' graduation. Using longitudinal data from 3,914 racially diverse students (997 White, 1,051 Black, 915 Hispanic, and 951 Asian) across 28 academic institutions, researchers found that major life events were both common among students (over 52%) and negatively affected their graduation rates. Implications for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers were also discussed. Read more.

Cox, B. E., Dean, J., & Kowalski, R. (2015). Hidden trauma, quiet drama: The prominence and consequence of problematic grieving among college students. Journal of College Student Development, 56(3), 280-289. In this article, two independent but complementary studies on college students showed that a larger portion than reported do experience grieving as a result of the death of a loved one, that said grieving has short and long-term academic consequences, and finally that there are a number of factors that keep these students from seeking assistance. The authors also provided suggestions for academic institutions. Read more.

Gawlik, M. A. (2015). Are you leaving?: A case of succession in the Willow Tree Charter School. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 18, 167-175. This case study looks at the retirement of a small urban charter school principal to explore ideas pertaining to how leadership changes could affect teachers and students in Florida's charter schools. The author also included an activity where administrators and teacher leaders in training can develop an exit strategy, a hiring plan, and an entry plan that better serves the goals and ensures the success of a charter school. Read more.   Hanley, A.,

Roehrig, A. D., & Canto, A. (2015). States' expressed vs. assessed education goals in the era of accountability: Implications for positive education. The Educational Forum, 79, 130-147. This paper argues that changing educational priorities coming from state and federal policies (such as the No Child Left Behind) often results in stakeholders' (e.g., teachers) beliefs about the purposes of education being at odds with states' expected student outcomes, limiting individual and social growth. The authors also discussed what other educational goals, beyond accountability, should be part of a 21st century education. Read more

Kellison, T., & James, J. D. (2011). Factors influencing job satisfaction of student employees of a recreational sports department at a large four-year public institution: A case study. Recreational Sports Journal, 35, 35-4. This study looked at the job satisfaction among part-time students who worked at a recreational sports department at a large, public research university. Using the Collegiate Recreational Sports Student Employee-Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (CRSSE-JSQ), the researchers surveyed 135 students and found significant relationships between gender and satisfaction with pay rate, supervisor job responsibilities and satisfaction with the organization, and program area and satisfaction with pay rate. Statistical analyses showed that program area, the type of work, good feelings about organization, effective supervisor, relationships with coworkers, and presence of core values are all significant predictors of job satisfaction among student workers. The authors also discussed how satisfaction in the workplace might contribute to overall students' well-being. Read more.

Renati, R., Bonfiglio, N. S., & Pfeiffer, S. (2016). Challenges raising a gifted child: Stress and resilience factors within the family. Gifted Education International, 33, 145'162. In this article, the authors address the gap in the literature regarding parenting challenges of gifted children. Based on a risk and resilience model, the authors used semi-structure interviews with 49 Italian parents of gifted children to identify sources of stress. Results showed that lack of parenting alliance, difficulties managing family routines, challenges handling sibling relationships, and less-than-adequate family communication were all key stressors. The implications of the findings for clinical practice were also discussed. Read more.

Stewart, T. & Boggs, G. L. (2016). Critical digital literacies and school reform: Urban teachers' civic action, heteroglossia, and emerging dialogue structures. This study shows urban teachers challenging the view in education reform of teachers' role being static and limited to teacher quality. Using data from a variety of social media and public web blogs, the authors argue that urban teachers use critical digital literacies to assert a stake in the education reform debate, changing educational policy from what it has been traditionally a monologue into a dialogue. Read more.

Yeo, L.S., & Pfeiffer, S. (2016). Counseling gifted children in Singapore: Implications for evidence-based treatment with a multicultural population. Gifted Education International, 1-12. doi: 10.1177/0261429416642284. This article aims to add to the research literature on Singapore's gifted children population, which is not widely studied. In addition to drawing from clinical research, the authors use their own expertise on Asian culture and on gifted children to propose an evidence-based counseling model that is not only theoretically sound, but locally relevant. Read more.