Tag Archive: EducationalPsychology

The relationship between self-determination, achievement goal orientation and satisfaction with the learning experience: Working with adult lifelong learners (Education Papers posted on May 13th, 2014 )

This exploratory study investigated how self-perceptions of self-determination and of achievement goal orientation were related to self-perceptions of satisfaction with the learning experience in a population of 495 adults engaged in non-formal lifelong learning through participation as amateur members of the United States Dressage Association. Multivariate statistics were utilized to investigate the effects of self-determination (autonomy, competence and relatedness) and achievement goal orientation (mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance) on self-reported satisfaction with the learning experience; the six satisfaction sub-constructs were opportunities to improve (knowledge and skill), release and diversion (from everyday life), Social aspects (interaction with others), (attitudes of) people in the organization, ease of participation (enrollment and attendance), and value for money (of membership and participation). Relatedness and autonomy positively predicted all six sub-constructs of satisfaction with the learning experience but competence only predicted opportunities to improve. Mastery-approach predicted satisfaction with people in the organization, and release and diversion; performance-approach, mastery-avoidance and performance-avoidance were not significant. Findings indicated that adults who select to engage in non-formal learning do not perceive such learning experiences to be focused on achievement of competence; participants placed a higher value on perceptions of belonging, and on autonomous participation. It is suggested that adult lifelong learners engaged in non-formal learning will be more satisfied with the learning experience when the organizational climate fosters relatedness and is autonomy-supportive thereby encouraging pursuit of individual interest.

Parent Perceptions of Early Intervention for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in South Korea (Education Papers posted on April 12th, 2014 )

Using an online survey, this study investigated when South Korean parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) recognize their child’s first symptoms of ASD, receive a diagnosis and begin intervention, as well as parents’ perceptions and needs for early intervention. One hundred and sixteen parents completed the online survey. Findings revealed that South Korean parents have a high level of recognition of the need for identification and early intervention. On average, parents recognized their child’s symptoms of ASD at a median age of 29 months; received diagnosis at 43.3 months; and began intervention at 39.7 months. In contrast to Western reports, 25.9% parents received intervention prior to diagnosis. Implications for South Korea in regard to services for young children with ASD are presented.

Development of the School Motivation and Learning Strategies inventory (Education Papers posted on March 27th, 2013 )

The goal of this project was to develop a self-report inventory designed to assess constructs associated with academic motivation and various learning strategies including study strategies, time management, organizational techniques, attention and concentration, writing and research skills, and test taking strategies. The School Motivation and Learning Strategies Inventory (SMALSI) was developed in two forms, Child and Teen, measuring 9 and 10 constructs, respectively. Following a survey of available literature, items were constructed, subjected to review and revision, and then field tested. Following analyses of internal consistencies, items were removed to improve construct coherence. Revised forms were prepared and administered to a standardization sample of 2921 students. Additional tests of internal consistency were conducted and final versions were prepared for publication. Analyses suggest adequate reliability for both forms of the SMALSI with great consistency across age, gender, and ethnicity. Validity was assessed for 23 students completing the SMALSI Child Form and 24 students completing the SMALSI Teen Form using the Behavior Assessment System for Children – Self-Report Profile. Student Liabilities scales were positively correlated with measures of emotional, academic, and Social maladjustment. In like form, Student Strengths scales were negatively associated with these measures. Interesting results were also obtained specifically regarding the relationship of depression to learning strategies. Validity was also assessed for 32 students completing the SMALSI Child Form and 53 students completing the Teen Form by obtaining Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores. Results for several of the constructs indicated small to moderate correlations in the expected direction. Guidelines for interpretation of the ten SMALSI constructs were presented along with suggestions for further investigation, including the use of clinical populations and standardized measures of achievement.

Development of the School Motivation and Learning Strategies inventory (Education Papers posted on March 27th, 2013 )

The goal of this project was to develop a self-report inventory designed to assess constructs associated with academic motivation and various learning strategies including study strategies, time management, organizational techniques, attention and concentration, writing and research skills, and test taking strategies. The School Motivation and Learning Strategies Inventory (SMALSI) was developed in two forms, Child and Teen, measuring 9 and 10 constructs, respectively. Following a survey of available literature, items were constructed, subjected to review and revision, and then field tested. Following analyses of internal consistencies, items were removed to improve construct coherence. Revised forms were prepared and administered to a standardization sample of 2921 students. Additional tests of internal consistency were conducted and final versions were prepared for publication. Analyses suggest adequate reliability for both forms of the SMALSI with great consistency across age, gender, and ethnicity. Validity was assessed for 23 students completing the SMALSI Child Form and 24 students completing the SMALSI Teen Form using the Behavior Assessment System for Children – Self-Report Profile. Student Liabilities scales were positively correlated with measures of emotional, academic, and Social maladjustment. In like form, Student Strengths scales were negatively associated with these measures. Interesting results were also obtained specifically regarding the relationship of depression to learning strategies. Validity was also assessed for 32 students completing the SMALSI Child Form and 53 students completing the Teen Form by obtaining Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores. Results for several of the constructs indicated small to moderate correlations in the expected direction. Guidelines for interpretation of the ten SMALSI constructs were presented along with suggestions for further investigation, including the use of clinical populations and standardized measures of achievement.

Experiences of six adolescents diagnosed with nonverbal learning disability syndrome (Education Papers posted on March 27th, 2013 )

This study was designed to describe, analyze, and interpret the experiences of individuals with Nonverbal Learning Disability syndrome NVLD). Using indepth phenomenological interviews, six participants in grades 9 through 12, ages 15 to 18, were given the opportunity to discuss their experiences of coping with the disability of NVLD. This study was guided by the primary question: How did these individuals diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disability syndrome cope with their disability throughout the elementary, middle, and high school years? The supporting research questions were: What interventions were implemented at home? What interventions were implemented at school? Which interventions do they believe worked and which did not? Why? The participants in this study were selected via a private neuropsychological practice in Colorado Springs and a private school in Denver. The interviews took place in a 1 to 3 week time frame during spring 2005. I interviewed the participants one at a time, then connected their experiences and checked their comments against each other in order to develop patterns and themes. With the completion of this study, more is known about how individuals cope with NVLD. The overarching theme for coping was the support these individuals received from their parents. Support from the schools was also an important piece of the coping process for the participants. The implementation of specific interventions helped the participants in this study to be successful in the educational setting and at home. Finally, the participants believed an optimistic attitude helped them cope with their disability. By understanding what these individuals go through on a daily basis, the study results can be shared with others who could benefit from the information. The results will be shared with the participants from this study, as well as school psychologists, other school personnel, and parents.

A descriptive study describing the emotional intelligence abilities of superintendents and identifying the personal and professional strategies they utilize to develop and maintain high levels of emotional intelligence (Education Papers posted on March 27th, 2013 )

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the emotional intelligence abilities of superintendents who were identified as having high emotional intelligence based on the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test MSCEIT) Mayer, Salovey, Caruso 2002). The four branch areas of emotional intelligence used for this study were: perceiving emotions, using emotions to facilitate thought, understanding emotions, and managing emotions in a way that enhances personal growth and Social relations. This study also sought to identify personal and professional strategies superintendents utilize to develop and maintain high levels of emotional intelligence. Methodology. A descriptive research design utilizing a mixed methods approach, which included both quantitative and qualitative data, was conducted with eight superintendents who were identified and selected through a nomination process. Findings. An average ability in emotional intelligence is adequate for success as a superintendent. Overall superintendents had an average ability to perceive, to respond, and to manipulate emotional information. The profile scores of emotional intelligence abilities of the superintendents were variable. Conclusions. Based on the MSCEIT, average scores for emotional intelligence are adequate for being perceived as a successful superintendent. While higher scoring superintendents used more types and a larger number of strategies to develop and maintain emotional intelligence than lower scoring superintendents, they all demonstrated sufficient strategies to be perceived as successful. Each superintendent used their strength areas of emotional intelligence abilities to enhance their leadership and made up for their weaker areas in other ways. Thus, there is no one dominant combination of strengths that make the difference between success and failure. The range of scores in the profiles indicates there are many ways to lead successfully. Recommendations. Provide learning opportunities through staff development, workshops, and seminars for educational leaders to build awareness and increase emotional intelligence abilities and skills. University leadership preparation programs should include the study of emotional intelligence as a key component. Both current and new superintendents should have personal coaches or mentors to assist them in developing a personal plan that stresses balance and emotional intelligence skills. Further research is advised that includes replicating this study by expanding the population and sample size.

A vision of school psychology for the future: What is our charge (Education Papers posted on March 27th, 2013 )

Research indicates that school psychologists have spent the majority of their time conducting educational assessments for special education despite more expansive training. This study investigated barriers within the field of school psychology that have precluded the field from moving forward toward a strength-based Social emotional learning approach rather than continue to identify children using a deficit approach. This study investigated the role of school psychologists from multiple perspectives of key stakeholders in education. An interpretive, multiple case study design was used to describe the role of school psychologists, to identify a vision for the future of school psychology, to identify barriers to change and to discover possibilities for a new paradigm within the field. Fifteen in-depth interviews were conducted primarily within a suburban school district in Colorado. The findings confirmed that school psychologists continue to engage primarily in the testing role. They have not undertaken broader roles in education within the school environment because they are primarily fulfilling legislative mandates for special education. It was interesting to find that few people within education know what a school psychologist does, especially among the senior administrators including the superintendent and school board members. Although many of the stakeholders in education wanted the school psychologists to undertake the broader role this was not done due to resistance to change on the part of the school psychologists, rigid interpretation of special education laws, payment by the departments of special education, lack of strong drivers for change, and lack of awareness of the roles of school psychologists by the key senior administrators at the local, state and federal level. The overall recommendation of many was that school psychologists should have broader representation at the local, state and federal levels and should undergo additional training so that they can be better viewed as the key people who would be able to implement general education prevention initiatives, such as Social Emotional Learning. Overall, school psychologists are viewed as key individuals who can and should have a broader role in affecting change within the schools.

Effects of innovation versus efficiency tasks on collaboration and learning (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )

What makes for a naturally productive collaborative task? Some researchers have suggested that optimal tasks for productive collaboration are ill-structured and allow for exploration and construction of multiple possible solutions e.g. Cohen, 1994). Others have suggested that tasks should have one solution and be well-defined such that everyone can agree on their answers e.g. Steiner, 1972). In a search for a way to reconcile this dilemma and begin to answer the driving question, two dimensions, innovation and efficiency, were examined for their effects on collaboration and learning in two experiments with university students. Innovation involves the use of prior knowledge to construct solutions to unfamiliar problems. The goal is to prepare students to perceive and appreciate how an expert solution works when they receive instruction on it. Efficiency involves being given the canonical solution and then having an opportunity to practice it. The goal is to promote speed and accuracy in applying the expert solution. These dimensions were recently found to be informative to the field of transfer. Transfer is the generalization of learning from one situation to another. Schwartz, Bransford, and Sears 2005) suggested that optimal instruction for promoting transfer involves cycles of innovation and efficiency, rather than just one or the other approach. Thus, they described them as complementary components for promoting thorough understanding. For the two experiments reported here, it was hypothesized that tasks with an innovation component would yield more productive interactions and learning than tasks with strictly efficiency components. The first experiment involved concept-mapping of the relationship between cholesterol and the circulatory system. The second involved learning the chi-square formula. Results of the first study indicated that Innovation dyads collaborated more than Efficiency dyads. Results of the second revealed that the Innovation condition scored significantly higher on transfer problems, and Innovation dyads showed the greatest performance on a novel measure of preparation for future learning Bransford & Schwartz, 1999). The strongest indicator that tasks with innovation components might naturally support collaborative learning came from the finding that Innovation dyads exceeded nominal dyads mathematically modeled dyads based on individuals scores) on the novel measure.

Japanese moral text comprehension: An exploratory study (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )

This exploratory study examines the moral theme comprehension ability of Japanese third and fifth grade elementary school students in comparison to Japanese university students. The findings add international support to the work of Narvaez, Gleason, Mitchell and Bentley (1999) as well as Bock (2004) and show developmental differences in moral theme comprehension even after accounting for reading ability and the use of grade level texts. Unique to this study, the quantitative data also show significant same-age differences that may be attributable to prior exposure to the moral stories. Further study is merited to assess the role of prior exposure and moral theme comprehension especially among younger elementary school students. Qualitative data collected from the 162 participants suggest a Japanese cognitive framework that may differ from current models used in Western research and should be further analyzed in collaboration with Japanese cognitive psychologists. Discussion of the general findings provides lessons to be learned from Japan for Western character education specialists as well as curriculum development specialists. In addition, although the level of moral theme comprehension among Japanese youth is quite high, Japanese educators can further develop their own course of study by employing pedagogical practices currently found in the Western research literature. Implications from the study suggest that future avenues of research concentrate on the role of autonomy, integrity, the formation of a moral identity, and actual theme construction from a cross-cultural perspective.

The First Step to Success program: Implementation effectiveness with Turkish children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )

This study evaluated the efficacy of the First Step to Success Early Intervention program on alleviating Social-emotional and behavioral problems in Turkish children identified with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and the collateral effects of this intervention on the behaviors of the teachers, parents, and the overall classroom environment. Participants were four, 7 year old first grade students in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. The design was a single subject multiple baseline across groups design. Dependent measures included: behavioral observations of academic engagement behavior, teacher ratings on the Teacher Report Form (TRF), parent ratings on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), teacher ratings on the ADHD Rating Scale-IV, teacher ratings on the Teacher Ratings of Behavior, and semi-structured interviews with participant teachers and parents. Findings from the study revealed that all participant children displayed increased levels of academic engagement behavior with the introduction of the program and at three months follow-up. Study results also showed that all participant parents and three teachers reported substantial decreases on participant children’s Social emotional problems, and problem behaviors. Limitations of the study and implications for future research and practice are presented.