Faculty Research News Archives

Rocco Cottone, Professor of Counseling and Family Therapy

Rocco Cottone, has completed work on the 4th edition of his ethics text, entitled Ethics and Decision Making in Counseling and Psychotherapy, to be published by Springer Publishing in the Spring of 2016.

Dr. Alina Slapac, Associate Professor, Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

Thanks for the continuous support for KDP. We had a great time at the Convo, in the picture with the Executive Director and the KDP President, with my colleagues in the international committee and with the international guests from Nigeria and Taiwan.  We returned with 2 chapter awards and 2 individual awards. Brandon Bishop, the KDP president also presented with me and by himself in the Story Slam session. It was a productive and exciting trip! We are planning a fundraising event soon, 9 for Nigeria to help the schools in Nigeria.

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Dr. James Shuls, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Dr. James Shuls will be presenting a paper at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management’s conference on teacher pensions. I will also be chairing a session on teacher pensions. The title and abstract of my paper is below:

Examining Inequities in Teacher Pension Benefits

From funding to teacher quality, inequities exist between school districts. This paper adds to the literature on inequities by examining the impact of pension plan formulas on pension benefits. Using data from the salary schedules of 464 Missouri school districts, this paper analyzes how various final average salary calculations would impact the benefits of teachers in different districts. All of the schools in this analysis belong to Missouri’s Public Employee Retirement System, which is a defined-benefit pension plan. A teacher’s benefit in this plan is based on her years of experience and her final average salary. The system uses a three-year final average salary calculation. This captures salaries when they are most inequitable, at the end of the schedule. When more years of service are used in the final average salary calculation, inequities in benefits are reduced, but not eliminated.

Dr. Keith Miller, William R. Orthwein, Jr. Endowed Professor of Life-Long Learning in the Sciences, Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

Keith Miller (Orthwein Professor for Lifelong Learning in the Sciences) and Amber Bell-Christian (Ed Collabitat) are working together on several projects for outreach. A few recent and upcoming events are:

  1. Recently we finished a two part robot programming workshop for middle school students and their parents. We used several different kinds of robots, finishing with the NAO robots. These were two Sunday afternoon sessions, held at the Collabitat. There will be more of these coming up.
  2. Last week we put on an exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center’s annual “Spooktacular” event.  We let kids control a Vgo telepresence robot, and an R2-D2 toy. We exhibitted a skeleton robot that plays a tune when someone walks by, and did a “slow race” to see how fast 8 different liquids took to dissolve a piece of candy corn.
  3. This week Tuesday, we will start a weekly programming class at the Ferguson Public Library.
  4. This week Friday, we will have another exhibit at the Science Center, this time for the monthly First Friday event. The theme this month is “False Reality – Illusions, Oddities and Tesla.”  We will be showing people optical illusions (including a hologram device), topology puzzles, and other STEM related oddities. Keith will also introduce the 10pm movie: The Prestige.

Dr. Cody Ding, Professor, Educational Psychology, Research and Evaluation

The Education in Practice are preparing a doctoral cohort of students who will focus on Data analytic for organizational improvements & effectiveness.  Education/business data Analytics is the intersection of business and technology, offering new opportunities for a competitive advantage. It unlocks the predictive potential of data analysis to improve organization performance, strategic management, and operational efficiency. It is designed for experienced professionals established within analytical roles who help drive strategy through utilizing data, called education/business reform by data.
The mentor team includes:

  • Cody Ding, Professor of Measurement and Assessment
  • David Kimball, Professor of Political Sciences, Director of Graduate Studies
  • Deborah Balser, Associate Professor, Director of Public Policy Administration
  • Hung Gay Fung, Endowed Professor of Finance
  • Natalie Bolton, Assistant Professor

Sherman, H., Hickman, C., Basile, C. (2015). Transforming educator preparation programs and perspectives. World Universities Forum, 8(2), 22-28.

Dr. Marvin Berkowitz is a member of the National School Climate Council (NSSC) and co-author.

National School Climate Council (2015).  School climate and pro-social educational improvement: Essential goals and processes that support success for all.  Teachers College Record, Date Published: May 05, 2015 http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17954, Date Accessed: 5/19/2015 6:10:25 PM

Background/Context: Educators have written about and studied school climate for 100 years. School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of people’s experiences of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.  However, school climate is more than individual experience: It is a group phenomenon that is larger than any one person’s experience. A sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and learning necessary for a productive, contributive, and satisfying life in a democratic society. This climate includes norms, values, and expectations that support people feeling socially, emotionally, and physically safe. People are engaged and respected. Students, families, and educators work together to develop, live, and contribute to a shared

school vision. Educators model and nurture an attitude that emphasizes the benefits of, and satisfaction from, learning. Each person contributes to the operations of the school and the care of the physical environment. School climate refers to spheres of

school life (e.g. safety, relationships, teaching and learning, the environment) as well as to larger organizational patterns (e.g., from fragmented to cohesive or “shared” vision, healthy or unhealthy, conscious or unrecognized). These definitions were collaboratively developed and agreed upon at a consensus-building meeting of national practice and policy leaders organized in April 2007 by the National Center for Learning and Citizenship, Education Commission of the States, and the Center for Social and Emotional Education.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: This article examines the relationship between school-climate-related research findings on the one hand and educational policy, school improvement practice, and teacher education on the other.

Research Design: This article uses several research methods to understand the current state of school climate research, policy, practice, and teacher education: historical analysis, a review of the literature, a national State Department of Education policy scan, and a national survey (N = 40) of building, district, and state educational leaders about school climate measurement and improvement practices.

Findings/Results: A review of the literature reveals that a growing body of empirical research indicates that positive school climate is associated with and/or predictive of academic achievement, school success, effective violence prevention, students’ healthy development, and teacher retention. There is a glaring gap between these research findings on the one hand, and state departments of education, school climate policy, practice guidelines, and teacher education practice on the other.

Conclusions/Recommendations: We detail how the gap between school climate research, policy, practice, and teacher education is socially unjust and a violation of children’s human rights. We now have research-based guidelines that predictably support positive youth development and student learning. If we do so, we are supporting children, educators, parents, communities, and the foundation for democratic process, but as a country, we are not doing so. Our children deserve better. A series of detailed recommendations are suggested for policy makers, practice leaders, and teacher educators to narrow this gap and support student’s healthy development and capacity to learn.

Dr. Judith Cochran collaborated with Forest Park Community College students, administrators and instructors so that my graduate students in Teaching Basic Reading Skills to Adult Learners could test and develop summer literacy programs for FPCC students. This joint project was a meaningful and relevant experience for my UMSL students and Forest Park Community College instructors.

Dr. Judith Cochran submitted a TED talk for Fulbright Alumni on June 4, 2015. This presentation ” Education as a Contributor to Conflict in the Middle East” will reach current and past Fulbrighters throughout the world. It will also be used to demonstrate the impact of the Fulbright program to national and international settings.

RITE provided native Chinese-speaking UMSL students as math tutors to the Chinese Immersion School Charter School , Fall 2014. Spring 2015, English language tutors were placed in the Chinese Immersion School. One hundred and fifty K-3 students were tested by a RITE tutor. From these test results, the principal and literacy coach selected students to be tutored. Another tutor developed a new reading tutoring program  added to the RITE’s Blueprint  for Reading Success. K-3 students using French, Spanish and English literature books. The reward for the students who read the English book well was to have the tutor read the same book in French or Spanish. Reading gains in English for tutored students averaged six months gain in three months of tutoring.

Mishra, J. (2015). How the brain reads music: The evidence for musical dyslexia. The Conversation.

4/8/15 http://theconversation.com/how-the-brain-reads-music-evidence-for-musical-dyslexia-39550  Republished as “Is there such a thing as musical dyslexia?” in Newsweek on 4/18/15 http://www.newsweek.com/there-such-thing-musical-dyslexia-323003

James V. Shuls & Julie R. Trivitt (2015) Teacher Qualifications and Productivity in Secondary Schools, Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform, 9:1, 49-70, DOI: 10.1080/15582159.2015.998964

This study examined the relationship between observable teacher characteristics and productivity as measured by an increase in student achievement on a standardized test using a value-added approach. This analysis focused on teachers of algebra, geometry, and 11th grade English Language Arts in Arkansas. The authors generated a value-added score at the school-course level and attributed that score to each teacher of that course in the school. The authors then regressed observable teacher characteristics on the value-added measure. The authors found no evidence that teacher certification route affects student tests scores, but found that higher ability math teachers do lead to higher scores.

Coker, A.D. & Majuta, A. R. (2015). Teaching Group Counseling in Botswana:  Two U.S.-Trained Counselors Discuss Experiences and Share Cultural Considerations for Practice.  Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 40, 102-116. Doi:10.1080/01933922.2014.992506.

Education in Egypt  by Judith Cochran, (Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group) Routlege Library Education, 2015.

Challenges to Democratic Governance in Developing Countries, ISBN: 978-3-319-03142-2 (Print) “Limitations of Middle Eastern Educational Systems in Democratic Governance,” Judith A. Cochran, Springer Publishers, 101007/978-3-310-0314309.

Cochran, J., “The Education of Syrian Refugee Children,” Middle East Institute,August, 2014. http://www.mei.edu/content/at/education-syrian-refugee-children

Here is a direct quote from the release by Routledge about my Education in Egypt book. ” We’re pleased to highlight a selection of the latest Middle East and Islamic studiens paperbacks, available as part of the Routledge Paperbacks Direct Programme. This initiative provides the opportunity to buy topical books that represent the best of our cutting-edge hardback publishing in a paperback format and price.

Wendy Saul, the Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker Endowed Professor of Education, received the UM System President’s Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement.

Mark Pope, professor of Counseling Education, was appointed Curators Professor.

Millington, M.J., Jenkins, B.C., & Cottone, R.R. (2015). Finding the family in rehabilitation counseling. In M.J. Millington & I. Marini (Eds.), Families in rehabilitation counseling: A community-based rehabilitation approach. NY: Springer.

Sullivan, C., & Kashubeck-West, S. (2015). The interplay of international students’ acculturative stress, social support, and acculturation modes. Journal of International Students, 5, 1-11.

The Interplay of International Students’ Acculturative Stress, Social Support, and Acculturation Modes
Christopher Sullivan, PhD
Susan Kashubeck-West, PhD
University of Missouri St Louis (USA)

This study examined the relationship between acculturation modes (assimilation, integration, separation and marginalization), social support, and acculturative stress in undergraduate and graduate international students (N=104) at a medium-sized public university in the Midwestern United States. The study found that international students with broad-based social support and an Integration approach to acculturation experienced lower levels of acculturative stress. Implications for more effective counseling with international students are addressed.

Presentation by Helene J. Sherman  March, 2015

Las Vegas National Technology & Social Science Conference
National Social Science Association
Las Vegas Meeting March 29-31, 2015

Title of Presentation: 
Investigating Impact  and Beliefs of Elementary School Teachers That They “Are Not  a Math  Person.”

Abstract: Elementary Level teachers often lack confidence in teaching mathematics. Reasons for these concerns, their lasting  student  impact  and suggestions for improving attitudes will be discussed.

Impact on Student Learning

The Department of Educator Preparation, Innovation, and Research offers an innovative Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree for educational professionals and working teachers. Graduate students choose the UMSL College of Education for its convenience, flexibility, and unparalleled access to a distinguished faculty in a wide variety of research fields. The hallmark assessment for the M.Ed. in Elementary, Secondary, or Special Education is the Action Research Project in which students identify focused questions, collect and analyze data, and review scholarly literature within a situated context with the mission of improving learning outcomes. Their data-driven findings and insights are shared in a public forum. One M.Ed. graduate recorded a significant impact in this way:

According to the data gathered, there was an increase from an average grade of 64% to an average of 84%. I believe this increase was due to the increased attention I gave to listening comprehension skills after seeing the results of the chapter one test… Reading comprehension was another category that has improved from the comparison of the two chapter tests. From the chapter one summative assessment, the students’ average grade rose to an 18%. I believe this increase was due to supplementing the students with reading comprehension activities after the first summative assessment.

Huang, H., & Kashubeck-West, S. (2015). Exposure, agency, perceived threat, and guilt as predictors of PTSD in veterans. Journal of Counseling & Development, 93, 3-13.

Exposure, Agency, Perceived Threat, and Guilt as Predictors of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans
Hsin-hsin Huang and Susan Kashubeck-West

Using a sample of 289 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, this study examined the contributions of combat exposure, agency, perceived threat, and guilt to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Regression analyses indicated the four variables (together with demographic variables) accounted for 79% of the variance in PTSD symptoms. Guilt was the most important predictor. In addition, guilt mediated between exposure and PTSD symptoms, perceived threat and PTSD symptoms, and agency and PTSD symptoms. Implications of these findings are discussed. Keywords: PTSD, combat exposure, perceived threat, guilt, military veterans

Pope, M. (2015). Career intervention: From the industrial to the digital age. In P. J. Hartung, M. L. Savickas, & W. B. Walsh (Eds.), APA handbook of career intervention (pp. 3-19). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (Lead chapter)