Top News

•  School of Education presents Baylor signs to three Midway ISD Professional Development Schools
•  Two SOE Teacher Candidates Honored as “Exemplary”
•  SOE prof Dr. Brooke Blevins featured in Wacoan
•  SOE Preservice Teachers Receive State Scholarships
•  Education Will Be Focus of New Living-Learning Center
•  Search Committee Selected for SOE Dean Search
•  SOE Grad Named Regional Superintendent of the Year
•  Texas Private School Teachers and Administrators Gather at Baylor
•  Video: Students "Dig" University for Young People!
•  SOE Dean Jon Engelhardt Announces Retirement
•  SOE Grad Awarded Big 12 Post-Graduate Scholarship
•  Two SOE Alumni Honored by Waco ISD
•  Scenes from the “Celebrating Exceptional Stars Gala” for BARC and CARE
•  Baylor Regents Approve Formation of College of Health and Human Sciences
•  Baylor SOE Candidates Work with Hillcrest GT Students
•  Dr. Susan Johnsen Receives Prestigious Award from Council for Exceptional Children
•  SOE “Connecting Content” Project Featured on Waco PD Website
•  May 10 Gala will Benefit Autism Services and Research
•  SOE Puppet Masters Featured in Waco Tribune-Herald
•  Two Memorable Teachers/Mentors Honored by Baylor School of Education
•  Baylor School of Education Honors Outstanding Seniors
•  SOE Grad Student Elected to AERA Graduate Student Council
•  Baylor School of Education and Midway ISD announce two new Professional Development Schools
•  Baylor SOE Students and Programs Receive Statewide Recognition
•  Longtime HHPR prof inducted into SWC Hall of Fame
•  SOE Seniors Try to Solve Real-Life Teaching Problems Through Research
•  Baylor University and McLane Children’s Scott & White Partner to Open Center for Developmental Disabilities
•  Journalist Says the System, not the Teachers, Should be Blamed
•  Superintendent Partnership with Baylor SOE Receives Statewide Recognition
•  Goodloe signs “Before Brittney” at Baylor Bookstore
•  Action Research Symposium for Teaching Interns on April 1
•  HHPR Chair Dr. Paul Gordon Releases Research on Teen Obesity and Health Risks in The Journal of Pediatrics
•  Animal-Assisted Therapy Volunteers Visit HHPR Class
•  School of Education Professor Dr. Tony Talbert Honored for Qualitative Research
•  Journalist Ron Berler to speak March 26
•  Baylor Round Table visits SOE
•  Team led by SOE's Dr. Trena Wilkerson wins national award
•  Mock Interviews Prepare Teacher Ed Seniors for Professional Careers
•  SOE Graduate Dub Oliver Named President of Union University
•  SOE Grad Speaks in Baylor Chapel
•  SOE Professor Leads Local Settlement House Effort
•  Citizenship Goes Digital: SOE Researchers Find Online Gaming Effective in Teaching Civics Education
•  Expert on John Dewey to Speak at School of Education Feb. 6
•  School of Education's BARC Hosts Meeting of Special Needs Service Providers
•  School of Education Hosts Regional TAFE Conference
•  SOE Grad Brings Art to Students
•  School of Education Sophomore Earns Spot on Mexican U-20 National Soccer Team
•  HHPR Chair Dr. Paul Gordon Named to Expert List
•  Five SOE students earn All-America Football Honors
•  SOE Grad Robert Durón Assumes Leadership Role at TASB
•  A Farewell to Floyd Casey Stadium:
•  Baylor Professor Named State Advocate for the Gifted
•  Baylor SOE Professor Elected to National Board
•  Veterans, advocates lobby for improved education benefits
•  Baylor SOE Grads Present Research at CSOTTE
•  SOE Hosts Alumni for Homecoming
•  SOE Alums Heed the Call to Zambia
•  School of Education Professor Earns Faculty Member of the Year Award at Education Conference
•  Ted Powers Receives Prestigious Award for Excellence and Leadership
•  School of Education Welcomes Scholarship Donors
•  Baylor student gives life to stranger
•  Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation to Host Sports Medicine Lecture
•  Faculty kids embracing home life on Baylor campus
•  Meet Student Needs by Understanding Their Lives First
•  Talking to Teens 101 for Parents
•  Lindale assistant superintendent named president-elect for TEPSA
•  SOE Grad Lifts Special Needs Students to New Heights
•  Disc Golf Tourney Benefits the BARC
•  iEngage Civics Camp a Rousing Success
•  Waco ISD & Baylor University Celebrate PDS Schools
•  'Pomp' traditions endure at graduation
•  Baylor SOE and WISD mark partnership
•  Educator found new path to aid community
•  Baylor considering online courses, degree programs
•  Baylor's Teacher Education Program Spotlighted
•  Baylor SOE Alum Named Key Communicator
•  Waco anti-poverty leadership unclear
•  Healthy meals or physical activity?
•  Baylor students see value in unpaid internships
•  Baylor SOE Alums Tapped as Teachers of the Year
•  HHPR Master's Candidate receives Fulbright Scholarship
•  Teacher Ed Grad flying high as F-16 pilot
•  SOE Grad's 'Texas-sized' treehouse near Mart opens new television series
•  Baylor Alums Get a Fixer Upper
•  Teaching in Thailand Provides Insight for SOE Grad
•  19 Foods That Boost Health and Happiness
•  Richardson ISD selects Richardson High's new principal
•  SOE Recognizes and Awards Seniors
•  Summer Mission: Baylor Grad Student Leading Teachers Into China
•  Baylor Candidates Partner with Wester Middle School...Virtually
•  Baylor campus moved by memorial
•  Local Schools Rally to Help West ISD
•  Baylor to host 'Celebrating Exceptionalities' benefiting autism
•  The Science of Wondering: Fifth Annual Action Research Symposium
•  Rampant Cheating in Universities Will Be the Focus of a Baylor University Study
•  Shields Appointed to TASB Supplemental Employee Benefits Board Texas Association of School Boards
•  "Girl Rising" Film Recognizes Girls' Fight for Education
•  Baylor SOE grads: Making the Grade
•  Waco hotels, eateries expect boost from NCAA tournament
•  Delivery service a pick-me-up for Baylor students, downtown denizens



SOE Seniors Try to Solve Real-Life Teaching Problems Through Research

April 3, 2014

Action Research-MainWhich is better for learning — small groups or full-classroom instruction? Does individual teacher attention really improve a struggling student’s reading? How do you get rambunctious boys to behave?

Those were just a few of the questions that Baylor School of Education (SOE) seniors tackled as part of the 2014 Action Research Symposium. After designing and implementing research projects in the classrooms where they are teaching as full-time interns, one hundred Baylor seniors presented their findings on April 1.

The teaching interns worked with mentor teachers in their classrooms to develop and implement the research, and many of those mentors were on hand at the Symposium, along with school principals and the superintendents from area districts.

Senior intern Alexa Samuel researched a question that her principal at Connally Elementary suggested. She studied the difference in learning provided by whole-class instruction or small groups working at stations.

“In one class, I did only small groups, and in another I did whole-group instruction for four straight weeks,” Samuel said. She gave a pre-test and a post-test and took notes during the four-week fifth-grade math unit on measurement. While she found little difference in the overall results, there was a big difference depending on the particular math topic. “Anything having to do with area or perimeter did better in groups, and I think it was because they had been exposed to it before,” Samuel concluded. “But I would want to test that out more.”

Action Research-SecondaryDanielle LaCoste also studied small groups of fifth graders; she was an intern at River Valley Intermediate in Midway ISD. LaCoste measured both test results and confidence level through two different kinds of groups. In one classroom, she paired high-achieving students with mid-level ones and mid-level ones with lower achievers. But in the other room, she paired students of similar abilities.

While all students gained confidence, LaCoste found that mixed groups provided more learning. In the mixed-ability groups, LaCoste said, “The higher-level students really stepped up into the teacher role, and as they explain the subject, they learn more.”

LaCoste said she frequently assigns partner work, so she studied something she was curious about. That’s the point of the Action Research Symposium and the reason it’s called “The Science of Wondering,” said SOE dean Dr. Jon Engelhardt — for students to pursue something they are wondering about.

“Action Research is a form of professional development,” Engelhardt said. “You don’t depend just on a workshop offered by the school district. You are your own best professional development manager, and you do that by studying your own performance, asking questions, and wondering about something. Then try to answer that question with good experiments, comparisons, or close observations.”

Dr. Doug Rogers, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the SOE, said the research project is a capstone experience for seniors. “Action research is the essence of what we expect of them as professionals — to study their own practice,” he said.

While many students conducted whole-classroom experiments, Stephanie Limes at Hillcrest Professional Development School (PDS) in Waco ISD focused on individual students with reading problems to see if her attention would make a difference. One student, who had limited English proficiency, sounded like a proficient reader, Limes said. “He had voice inflection and intonation,” she noted, “but it was really hard for him to recall the facts.” After Limes spent one-on-one time with him and provided incremental reading goals, his content recall improved, she said.

Limes’ mentor teacher, Dr. Bianca Ochoa, said this student is an avid reader now. “He was doing everything to look like he was reading, but now he is really a reader,” she said. “And it just gives you chills.”

A couple of SOE interns zeroed in on classroom problems dealing with boys. Senior Jenna Zerebny, who taught at Spring Valley Elementary in Midway ISD, said that upon entering her first-grade classroom, “The first thing I noticed was the large amount of talkative boys.” So Zerebny designed a seven-week study to see if “brain break” activities would improve the boys’ behavior. She alternated weeks providing a short three-to-five-minute activity or not providing it. “I found that taking at least one brain break per day both increased the engagement of the students and decreased the negative behavior,” she said. “I also saw that it improved as we went along; I got better at it.”

Kevin Sikes, an intern at Robinson High School, also noticed a negative dynamic among some boys in his classroom. “Every class has it — the buddies who want to sit together,” he said. So Sikes created a seating chart that put the five boys in opposite corners of the room. “On average, grades went up 12.9 percent after the seating chart change,” he said. “So we’ve been using the seating chart ever since.” —Meg Cullar

For more photo, click the images below:

Action Research 2014

Action Research-1
Action Research-2
Action Research-3
Action Research-4
Action Research-5
Action Research-6
Action Research-7
Action Research-8
Action Research-9
Action Research-10
Action Research-11
Action Research-12