Welcome to WestCollections Repository

The repository is a service of the Western Connecticut State University libraries. Research and scholarly output included here has been selected and deposited by the individual university departments and centers on campus.

Recent Submissions

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    Perceptions of Students of Color Enrolled in a Pre-Service Teacher Education Program
    (2024-04-03) Colonel, Jessica A.
    This study was used to explore the college experiences of students of color in an education program at a public university in the Northeast. More than ever, there is a need for teachers of color due to the continuous increase of students of color in the country. This study followed an exploratory qualitative case study research design. Data were collected during the Spring 2023 semester. The sample included 20 full-time undergraduate education students who self-identified as Asian American, Black/African American, or Hispanic/Latino at a teacher education university in the Northeast. The instruments included a student demographics questionnaire and an open-ended interview. A thematic analysis approach was used to analyze the data. Five themes emerged from the data: Characteristics of Educators of Color, Education Career Motivators, Education Program Pros, Career Deterrent for an Education Major, and Ideas to Recruit and Retain Pre-service Teachers of Color. The results of this study provided suggestions to recruit, support, and retain students of color in teacher education.
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    Perceptions of Black and Latino High School Males Regarding their Attitudes Towards Schools and of Hopefulness
    (2024-01-26) Billy, Antoine
    The purpose of the study was to discover and give voice to the perceptions of Black and Latino adolescent males regarding their school attitudes (attitudes toward school, attitudes towards teachers, motivation/self-regulation, goal valuation, and academic self-perception) and their level of hope (agency and pathways) for the future. This mixed methods study used an explanatory sequential approach to understand the quantitative and qualitative data. The results of a multiple linear regression revealed that four independent variables: motivation/self-regulation, agency, attitudes towards teachers, and pathways, R = .729, R2 = .532, F(4, 242) = 68.256, p < .001, effect size = 1.137, large, predicted academic self-perception. Qualitative themes included the following: intrinsic motivators support overall success, students want to be supported by educators to succeed, role models are essential, and schools should offer courses, clubs, and career tracks that will interest students. These results should be used to construct a positive school culture and inform teaching practice.
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    (inter-) Connected: A Case Study of School-Home Communication in the Age of Social Media
    (2020-05-21) Gati-Tisi, Samantha
    The advent of social media has, in many ways, changed the way people communicate with one another as it has added a real-time component and multiple platforms from which people can communicate. School districts are not exempt from the evolution of communication into the digital realm. Districts have an obligation to maximize their home-school communication and interactions with stakeholders in positive ways that seek to build rapport and trust with community members. Therefore, this case study sought to understand the ways that stakeholders including school district administrators, Board of Education members, and parents utilized social media to communicate policy and procedures--both formally and informally. Of particular interest, were the types of topics that are raised by parents on social media and how these become manifest as issues that the school district must address. Findings revealed that while the school district had a desire to communicate efficiently and accurately with stakeholders, administrator’s varying levels of comfort and knowledge base regarding effectively utilizing social media meant that it was inconsistently utilized for communication. To ensure social media is used effectively districts must create policies regarding communication within the district and maintain consistency of use across schools and stakeholders. Moreover, findings showed that social media groups promote a sense of belonging and community for users. These spaces give voice to community members who might not otherwise be heard and provide the opportunity for inclusive and meaningful discourse from peers. However, not having policies to explicitly oversee the use of social media as way to communicate with the public leaves implementation up to the discretion of the individual school administrator, which leads to inconsistencies in communication strategy across a school district.
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    An Exploration of Therapy Dogs in Educational Settings as Described by Multiple Stakeholders
    (2022-04-25) Moyer, Laura A.
    In education, therapy dogs are used in a variety of manners, such as, but not limited to, reading assistance programs, stress reduction visits, or welcome ambassadors after community trauma. This study was designed to explore multiple perspectives about the reasons for and interactions with therapy dogs in educational settings. The research questions were: (a) How are therapy dog programs or visits operationalized in educational settings? (b) What are the experiences of students and educators who engage in therapy dog programs or visits? The participants included representatives from nationally-recognized therapy dog programs, therapy dog handlers, site coordinators, and students. The qualitative, multi-case study design compared the perspectives of how and why therapy dogs are employed in educational settings, and what the participants described as their sense of interaction with therapy dogs. The findings suggested that therapy dog programs or visits contributed to positive academic and social or emotional needs of students.
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    Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of an Affective, Formative, and Data-Driven Feedback Intervention in Response to Mixed-Reality Simulations
    (2022-03-02) Mendelson, Eric J.
    Educators and researchers have long contemplated the most effective ways to provide feedback to students, to build sustainable feedback practices, and to establish feedback literacy. While a considerable amount of research, theory, and practical approaches exist to support the effect of formative feedback practices, less research exists on the impact of affective elements related to feedback. This study set out to explore pre-service teachers’ perceptions of a feedback intervention that included affective, formative, and data-driven aspects. A mixed-reality simulation environment was selected as the context for the study, and eight pre-service teachers performing in the simulation were selected as participants. This qualitative multicase study included three rounds of simulations, feedback interventions, and interview questioning. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis framework. Findings showed that the application of confirmation, empathy, and reciprocity in the feedback intervention prompted the development of helping relationships that promoted personal growth. The Humanistic work of Rogers became a useful framework for these emergent findings. In addition, findings included participants’ preferences for formative feedback over data-feedback, particularly formative feedback that introduced engaging language, purposeful organization, and details and examples. Lastly, findings revealed participants’ perceived personal growth in feedback literacy, especially in regards to managing emotions and committing to the feedback process.