2014 Cohort

  • Akua Appiagyei:  aappiagyei1@student.gsu.edu
  • Andrea Kiel:  akiel@student.gsu.edu
  • Andrew Spires:  aspires1@student.gsu.edu
  • Demetria Bacchus:  dwilson56@student.gsu.edu

    Each year more than half of the Black males al a southeastern middle school score below the
    benchmark of the mandated STAR mathematics
    pre-assessment. These scores reflect the similar statistics for the nation regarding Black males
    who do not achieve above the benchmark scores of various assessments (Ravenel, Lambeth, &
    Spires,2014). The purpose of this study is lo examin e the effect of the Redbird Mathematics
    (Redbird) software on the mathematics achievement of sixth grade Black males. Redbirdis a
    personalized learning tool that allows students lo work al their own pace without peer pressure and
    lo master mathematicalcontent with a personalized course of study (http://redbirdlearnlng.com).

    This quasi-experimental comparaitve study will compare the STAR mathematics pre- and
    post-assessmentdata of sixth grade Black males from the 2014 lo 2015 school year to the STAR
    mathematics pre- and post-assessment data of sixth grade Black male studen ts in the 2016 to 2017
    school year. The comparative analysis will be used to assess the effectiveness of Redbirdon the
    mathematci al proficiency of Black male middle school students.

    The significanceof lhe research is to inspect Redbird’simpact as ,t is implemented within one of
    lhe largest school distnctsm the southeastern part of lhe United States. The research question for
    this study is: What is the effect of Redbird Mathematics on the mathematics achievement of sixth
    grade Black males using the STAR assessment?
    Keywords: Achievement gap, Black males, Mathemaitcs education, and Redbird mathematics Reference:
    Ravene,l J., Lambeth, D.. & Spires, B. (2014). Effects of personalized programs on mathematical
    achievement Scores for Fourth-Grade Students.
    I-Man ager’sJournal on School Educational Technology, 10(1), 8.
    Redbird Advanced Learning, (2016). Retrievedfrom http://redbirdlearning.co

  • Felicia Baiden:  fbaiden1@student.gsu.edu
  • Frank Jones:  fjones10@student.gsu.edu
  • Geoff F. Clement:  gclement3@student.gsu.edu

    Exploring the Influence of the Singapore Modeling Method on Prospective Elementary Teachers’ Arithmetic and Algebraic Problem-Solving SkillsOne potential means of developing mathematical knowledge for teaching and mathematics self-efficacy of prospective elementary teachers is through the Singapore Modeling Method, which has proven to be a promising pedagogical tool.

    The Singapore Modeling Method is a pictorial method used to solve arithmetic and algebraic word problems. With this method, students use rectangular bars to represent either known or unknown quantities in a wide variety of problem-solving situations. The widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in the United States provides an unparalleled opportunity for systemic change in mathematics education. Central to successful implementation of these standards are well-qualified teachers of mathematics, with university courses serving as a chief context for the development of needed teacher competencies such as content knowledge, problem-solving skills, and productive beliefs. Thus, this study explored the influence of the Singapore Modeling Method (Ministry of Education [MOE], Singapore, 1997) on elementary teacher development in a university mathematics course. It was guided by the following three research questions: (1) Does prospective elementary teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching change during a number and operations course that uses the Singapore Modeling Method? (2) Do prospective elementary teachers’ mathematics self-efficacy beliefs change during a number and operations course that uses the Singapore Modeling Method? and (3) How do prospective elementary teachers describe changes in their mathematical knowledge for teaching and mathematics self-efficacy beliefs during a number and operations course that uses the Singapore Modeling Method? Using the Singapore Modeling Method intervention in the context of arithmetic and algebraic problem- solving content, this study explored if changes occur in prospective elementary teachers’ mathematics content knowledge and mathematics self-efficacy beliefs. The context of this study was an Early Childhood and Elementary Education (ECEE) Foundations of Number and Operations class at a large, urban university in the southeastern U.S. Participants included 33 students who were completing the course as a requirement for their major in ECEE. Explanatory mixed methods were employed, with quantitative data collected via a content knowledge assessment, problem-solving assessment, and self-efficacy beliefs survey administered before and after the Singapore Modeling Method intervention. The qualitative data were intended to illuminate the findings of the quantitative data, with data collected via student artifacts (e.g., classwork, homework, and test responses) and semi-structured individual interviews of a random sample of six students conducted after participation in the Singapore Modeling Method intervention and after the pretests and posttests. The findings of this study provided insights into the effectiveness of the Singapore Modeling Method as a means of elementary teacher development in university mathematics courses.
    Key words: elementary education, mathematical knowledge for teaching, mathematical problem solving, mathematics content courses, mathematics self-efficacy beliefs, mixed methods, picture algebra, prospective elementary teachers, Singapore box diagramming method, Singapore Modeling Method, strip diagrams, tape diagrams, differentiated instruction, representations, thinking blocks

  • Justin Spurley:  jspurley@student.gsu.edu
  • Kimberley Latchman:  klatchman1@student.gsu.edu
  • Aaron Mullins:  lmullins3@student.gsu.edu
  • Lisa Stone:  lschooler1@student.gsu.edu
  • Nicola Gayle:  ngayle2@student.gsu.edu
  • Natasha Ramsay-Jordan:  nramsayjordan1@student.gsu.edu
  • Sharhonda Davies:  sdavies5@student.gsu.edu
  • Siri Olson:  solson7@student.gsu.edu

    Special education teacher attrition is a widespread problem in the United States (Billingsley 2005; Boe, 2006; Duffy & Forgan, 2005). Although researchers have explored factors that increase special education teacher retention, such as increased involvement from administrators, more time for collaboration with general education teachers, and limits on caseloads to maintain appropriate work loads, the perspective of experienced special education teachers in small primary schools (schools with fewer than 500 students serving pre-kindergarten through third grade) has received little attention. Small schools have many advantages, but special educators in small schools face some particular issues, including the fact that they have few special education colleagues, must often work with students and teachers in multiple grade levels, and their caseloads increase throughout the year as many students become eligible in the early grades. A case study has been designed to gain the perspectives of special education teachers regarding the factors contributing to their decisions to stay in small schools. This inquiry is intended to fill the gap in the retention literature by surveying and interviewing special educators and administrators working in small schools. The primary research question is: From the perspective of experienced special education teachers working in small PK-3 schools, what kinds of organizational and individual characteristics affect their decision to continue teaching special education in the small school environment?
    INDEX WORDS: special education, small schools, attrition, retention

  • Todd Wass:  twass1@student.gsu.edu