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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.
ItemBehavioral Pedagogies and Online Learning(Hedgehog Publishers, 2022-10)Behavioral Pedagogies and Online Learning is a collaborative effort that started with a teaching conference aimed at providing support for teachers in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dedicated colleagues presented evidence-based practices in teaching and their experiences. The positive feedback encouraged us to compile this book that now gathers more contributors. Many of the chapters elaborate on the adaptation of behavior-analytic approaches to online instruction, including topics such as building equity for diverse student learners, universal design for learning, and creativity. Given the generality and relevance of the topics, we have compiled what we consider is a revitalization of behavioral instruction toward online education. ItemEXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCIENCE TEACHERS’ EPISTEMOLOGY AND SELF-EFFICACY ON SCIENCE INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES AND CONCEPTUALIZATION OF STUDENT RESEARCH EXPERIENCES ROOTED IN THE NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS(2022-05-19)Teachers’ values, beliefs, and self-confidence are critical components of decisions educators make every day. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between secondary science teachers’ epistemology and self-efficacy on science instructional practices and conceptualization of student research experiences rooted in the Next Generation Science Standards. A mixed methods explanatory sequential design was utilized by administering the Science Teachers’Beliefs About Science (STBAS), Self-Efficacy to Teach Science in an Integrated STEM Framework (SETIS), and the Science Instructional Practice Survey (SIPS) to secondary science teachers. A follow up semi-structured interview was administered to gather an understanding of the conceptualization of science instructional practices related to student research experiences.Quantitative findings that emerged were that the SETIS total significantly predicts SIPS critique.The combination of predictor variables did not contribute significantly to SIPS instigating, SIPS data, SIPS modeling, SIPS traditional, and SIPS prior. Qualitative findings that emerged were that teachers conceptualized science instruction as a learner centric classroom environment that engages students, while recognizing student apprehension in exploring the nature of science. Teachers’ prior educational and professional experiences expand their skill set and influence beliefs despite the challenges of limited funding, time, and mandated curriculum. Additional findings that emerged were a description of how teachers’ conceptualization of scientific knowledge represents a paradigm shift occurring in science education as teachers use creative, inclusive instructional strategies to ensure that all students achieve higher order thinking skills at a high level of rigor. Teachers promote student engagement in authentic science practices that resemble the practices of professional scientists and act as guides to knowledge acquisition, whereas a subset of teachers may lack full understanding of the difference between authentic student research and library-based research.Qualitative findings informed how secondary science teachers conceptualized student research experiences in the classroom. The study expanded upon the understanding of the interactions between secondary science teachers’ epistemology, self-efficacy on science instructional practices, and conceptualization of student research experiences rooted in the Next Generation Science Standards. ItemThe Impact of Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Instructional Practices for English Language Learners: A Mixed Methods Approach(2022-02-22)This mixed-methods study examinedthe impact of teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and instructional practices when teaching English Language Learners(ELLs). The researcher utilized an integrated mixed-methods design. Quantitative and qualitative data were sequentially collected, concurrently analyzed, and triangulated. First, quantitative data were gathered with Research Question 1:To what extent and in what manner do teachers’ self-efficacy (efficacy in student engagement, efficacy in instructional strategies, and efficacy in classroom management), and instructional strategies (student-directed instruction, direct instruction, promotion of student thinking, and academic performance feedback) predict teachers’ adaptive instruction in K-12 classrooms that include ELLs? A sample of 126 experienced K-12 Connecticut educators completed (a) a demographic survey, (b) a teachers’ self-efficacy survey and (c) a classroom strategy scale. A stepwise multilinear regression procedure determined that (a) academic performance feedback, (b) efficacy in student engagement,(c) student-directed instruction, and (d) direct instruction significantly correlated with adaptive instruction. Second, qualitative data were obtained from ten participants (from the quantitative sample),who self-rated as having high self-efficacy and classroom strategy use.Research Question 2 inquired:For K-12 teachers with high self-efficacy and frequent usage of a variety of instructional strategies, how are these strategies used to support English Language Learners? Specific strategies and adaptive instruction using a culturally relevant pedagogy, technology, and appropriate feedback were identified. The triangulated results revealed that when leadership provided professional learning, an inclusive curriculum, and collaborative time, it positively impacted teachers’ self-efficacy to instruct English Language Learners. ItemAn Evaluation of Heat Shock Protein Expression in the Blood Cells of Free-Living Common Loons (Gavia Immer)(2022-08-15)Common loons in the northeastern United States are subjected to a wide variety of environmental and anthropogenic stressors. Many of the biomarkers currently used to assess individual or population health of common loons are influenced by capture and handling, therefore there is a need to develop new biomarkers of physiological condition that can aid in the management of this species. Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) is a stress protein found within the red blood cells of many vertebrates that has been used as a biomarker of general stress in avian species. The objective of our study was to evaluate the use of HSP70 as a potential intracellular biomarker of physiological condition of loons from across New England. We collected blood samples from adults and hatch-year chicks across Maine, New York, and Massachusetts during the 2021 breeding season, and measured indicators of stress at the circulatory (% hematocrit, plasma glucose, blood mercury), immune (heterophil to lymphocyte ratio), and cellular level (hemoglobin and HSP70 protein expression). Our results revealed that: (1) HSP70 is present in the red blood cells of common loons; (2) HSP70 expression does not vary significantly with age or sex; (3) HSP70 expression does not appear to be correlated to blood mercury levels, and (4) there is a trend that higher expression of HSP70 in blood cells may be associated with anemia in common loons. Together, the evidence we present suggests that HSP70 should be further investigated as a potential blood biomarker of physiological condition in loons when combined with other measurable factors of environmental and anthropogenic stress. ItemThe Role and Impact of School Resource Officers in Connecticut: A Report Completed for the General Assembly Judiciary Committee(Western Connecticut State University, 2022-12-01)
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