Teaching and Learning

Jennie Kroeger

Faculty and student scholars from across the College of Education at Florida State University are conducting research addressing the theme of “Teaching and Learning.” Topics covered include how to improve teaching and teachers at both the K-12 and college levels, faculty-student interaction, teachers’ professional development, teaching strategies for different domains, student motivation, models of formative assessment, and learning strategies. Their work on these issues may affect teachers, students, and the institutions they belong to in the U.S. and around the world. Read on to learn more about our latest publications on these topics.

Adams, C. M., Lo, J. C., Goodell, A., & Nachtigal, S. (2017). Shifting pedagogy in an AP US government & politics classroom: A DBIR exploration of teacher growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 64, 79–92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.01.011

This paper evaluates the experiences of one teacher over four years while participating in a design-based implementation research (DBIR) project design to test a project-based learning (PBL) approach for a U.S. Government and Politics class. Results showed that the reflective and iterative nature of the DBIR effectively sustained the teacher’s professional growth and learning over that time. Read more.

Akiba, M. (2012). Professional learning activities in context: A statewide survey of middle school mathematics teachers. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 20, 1-34.

This study investigated the formal and informal professional learning activities of 577 middle school mathematics teachers in Missouri. Results showed that middle school mathematics teachers who responded to the survey spent the greatest amount of time involved in teacher collaboration, professional development programs, and individual learning activities. This is the case more so with teachers in high-poverty and diverse districts than with teachers in wealthier and less districts. Implications for district and school administrators were also discussed. Read more.

Arrastia, M., Jakiel, L., & Rawls, E. (2014). Reading across the content areas course: A case study of two secondary preservice teachers. Journal of Content Area Reading, 10, 95-119.

In this study, classroom observations, interviews, and final exam scores of two undergraduate preservice teachers were used to investigate how knowledge and beliefs of content area reading instruction developed and may affect their future practice. Results showed that preservice training on reading instruction must be highly explicit and overcome certain barriers by situating instruction in the context of teaching within a content area. Read more.

Arrastia, M., Rawls, E., Brinkerhoff, E. H., & Roehrig, A. D. (2014). The nature of elementary preservice teachers' reflection during an early field experience. Reflective Practice, 15, 427-444.

This study examined how 90 preservice elementary education teachers reflected on their future practice during observation assignments as part of a two-section field experience course. About a third of preservice teachers in the study showed increased complexity in their written reflections; however, only a fraction of preservice teachers ever demonstrated the deepest levels of reflection, including future-oriented reflection, in their writing. Additionally, those who did guided observations reflected at a higher level than those who did unguided observations. Read more.

Bahbah, S., Golden, B. W., Roseler, K., Enderle, P., Saka, Y., & Southerland, S. A. (2013). The influence of RET’s on elementary and secondary teachers' views of scientific inquiry. International Education Studies, 6, 117-131.

In this article, the authors investigated elementary and secondary science teachers’ conceptualization of scientific inquiry before and after participating in two six-week Research Experience for Teachers (RET) programs where they worked alongside scientists. Results showed both elementary and secondary teachers benefited from the RET programs, as their understanding of nature of scientific inquiry improved immediately following their completion. Read more.

Dennis, L., & Stockall, N. (2014). Using play to build the social competence of young children with language delays: Practical guidelines for teachers. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43, 1-7.

In this article, the authors highlighted strategies that can help early childhood teachers support children with language delays, using the context of play to improve social competence and social communications among children. Read more.

Guthrie, K. L. (2010). Reflective pedagogy: Making meaning in experiential based online courses. The Journal of Educators Online, 7, 1-21

In this study, the author explored students’ perceptions of meaningful learning after participating in two experimental online courses using qualitative surveys and interviews. Findings showed reflective pedagogies facilitated and extended students’ online learning significantly. Read more.

Piper, B., & Zuilkowski, S. S. (2015). Assessing reading fluency in Kenya: Oral or silent assessment? International Review of Education, 61, 153-171.

In this article, the authors used data from the Primary Math and Reading Initiative (PRIMR) to investigate whether literacy tests for Kenyan students should be administered orally or silently. They found that students’ scores in oral reading and silent reading tests were not significantly different from each other; however, oral reading tests were more useful for understanding students’ reading comprehension skills, making them the better choice. Read more.

Reason, R., Cox, B., Lutovsky Quaye, B., & Terenzini, P. T. (2010). Individual and institutional factors that encourage faculty to promote student encounters with difference in first-year courses. Review of Higher Education, 33, 391-414.

In this article, the authors wanted to identify factors that may affect faculty’s frequency and type of interaction with mostly first-year students outside the classroom. Using a large dataset of 2,853 faculty members across 45 campuses, the authors found that—as far as meaningful interactions—who the faculty member was in terms of race, gender, etc., mattered much less than said faculty member’s pedagogical practice (in-class discussions, student presentations, active learning). Read more.

Root, J.R., & Browder, D. M. (2017). Algebraic problem solving for middle school students with autism and intellectual disability. Exceptionality. doi:10.1080/09362835.2017.1394304

In this article, the authors evaluated the effects of a promising instructional approach, modified schema-based instruction (MSBI), to enhance the mathematical problem-solving skills of students with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability (ASD/ID). Findings showed MSBI improved mathematical word problem solving and mathematics vocabulary in all three students, in addition to moderate success with students’ generalizing solutions. Implications for teaching practice were also discussed. Read more.

Rutledge, S.A., Cohen-Vogel, L., Osborne-Lampkin, L., & Roberts, R. (2015). Understanding effective high schools: Evidence for personalization for academic and social emotional learning. American Educational Research Journal, 52, 1060-1092. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831215602328

In this article, the authors examined four urban high schools in Florida during a year-long case study to identify characteristics of school effectiveness. They found that, for the two higher performing schools in the sample, instructional quality was not the defining factor, but rather the presence of deliberate programs, structures, and practices that catered to their students’ academic and social learning needs. Read more.

Southerland, S. A., & Scharmann, L. C. (2013). Acknowledging the religious beliefs students bring into the science classroom: Using the bounded nature of science. Theory Into Practice, 52, 59-65.

In this article, the authors explored the benefits of emphasizing the limits of scientific knowledge while supporting students’ alternative worldviews, including religious beliefs. They suggest that such framework is preferable to restricting science instruction to scientific topics alone. Read more.

Shute, V. J., D'Mello, S. K., Baker, R., Bosch, N., Ocumpaugh, J., Ventura, M., & Almeda, V. (2015). Modeling how incoming knowledge, persistence, affective states, and in-game progress influence student learning from an educational game. Computers & Education, 86, 224-235.

In this paper, the authors investigated the relationship between knowledge, persistence, affective states, in-game progress, and learning outcomes using an educational game, Physics Playground. Results showed pre-test and student performance were the best predictors of learning outcome. Authors also discussed next steps in the design of effective learning environments in games. Read more.

Whitacre, I. (2017). Prospective elementary teachers learning to reason flexibly with sums and differences: Number sense development viewed through the lens of collective activity. Cognition and Instruction, 36, 1-27. doi:10.1080/07370008.2017.1394303

In this article, the author documented improvement in prospective elementary teachers’ number sense in terms of the evolution of collective classroom activity with a focus on strategies and discourse. The results show how activity developed from using standard algorithms by default to reasoning flexibly about whole-number place value, addition, and subtraction. Read more.

Whitacre, I., Azuz, B., Lamb, L. L., Bishop, J. P., Schappelle, B. P., & Philipp, R. A. (2017). Integer comparisons across the grades: Students' justifications and ways of reasoning. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 45, 47-62.

In this article, the authors systematically studied how 160 students across grades 2, 4, 7, and 11 reasoned about and justified integer comparisons, especially comparisons involving negative numbers. Findings showed trends across grade levels, especially increased flexibility with grade level in reasoning about integers in terms of order (position on the number line) and magnitude (relating integers to amounts in various contexts). There appears to be no single explanation for how students reason about integers. The authors proposed a framework, based on children’s responses, that could help improve mathematics instruction of integers. Read more.