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Faculty Research

Faculty members in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction are involved in the following research projects:


Teaching in the Middle East: The Transition. An in-progress ethnographic study.
Authors Anderson, S., Harris, S., Gentry, J.  (2010).
Topic One professor's transition from university teaching in Texas to university teaching in United Arab Emirates.
Nature Qualitative Ethnography
Application Cultural Diversity
Use This study will be submitted for presentation and publication at an international conference on diversity.

Long Term Effects of College Students' Literacy Experiences on Current College Textbook Reading Attitudes and Achievement.
Authors Gentry, J. , Graves, I., Miller, R., Staples, M., and McGregor, J. (2009).
Topic The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of past reading experiences on college students' attitude towards expository text and Exit level Reading Achievement scores (using either Nelson Denny Reading Test and /or Literacy Histories completed in (RDG 351) class and Textbook Reading Attitude Survey (Gentry, Lamb & McGregor, 2009).
Nature Mixed Design
Application The information can be used to influence professors' instruction with textbooks.
Use This study will be submitted for presentation and publication at an international conference on college reading.

The Impact of Smart Board and Digital Storytelling Assistive Technologies while Utilizing the Language Experience Approach on Elementary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Authors Gentry, J., and Lindsey, P. ( 2010).
Topic The purpose of this study is to determine how the use of Smart Board technology supports literacy development experiences for a group of elementary students with autism spectrum disorder.
Nature Qualitative
Application The study's conclusions can be used to determine the best way to utilize assistive technology to improve literacy skills and experiences of students with ASD.
Use This study will be submitted for presentation and publication at an international conference on Special Education or Autism.

MASK: Motivation through Avatar Skills and Knowledge. (tentative title)
Authors Graves, I., Gentry, J., Ziaeehezjeribi, Y., Calahan, A., Harris, S . (2010).
Topic Video games and learning
Nature Qualitative/Anecdotal
Application Teaching/Learning
Use This study will be submitted for possible journal publication.

Accessing levels of learning: The unwritten rules. An in-progress study.
Authors Harris, S., MacLachlan, C. (2010).
Topic How to teach children from low-socioeconomic cultures
Nature Strategies for teaching and learning based on experience and research
Application Cultural diversity
Use This study will be submitted for presentation and publication at an international conference on diversity.

American education paradigm shift: The real agenda no one talks about. (tentative title)
Authors Harris, S., MacLachlan, C. (2010).
Topic The transformation over the past few decades in the nation's education bureaucracy as driven by the hidden political agenda and how this affects educators.
Nature Book manuscript in progress
Application The affect of the national agenda on beginning teachers
Use This manuscript will be submitted for possible publication.

Supervision & Mentoring Practices of Alternative Certification Programs in Texas. (tentative title)
Authors Larmer, W., Harris, S. (2010).
Topic A look at the state of ACPs in Texas.
Nature Quantitative/qualitative/anecdotal
Application Teacher preparation
Use This study will be submitted for presentation at a state-level teacher preparation conference.

Online Learning in the Public School Classroom
Authors Sopko, D., Becker, M.
Topic Participating students enrolled in EDU 538 will select a published WebQuest and use the WebQuest with students in a classroom setting. Participants will answer open-ended questions concerning the integration of WebQuest into the curriculum.
Nature Qualitative research
Application The purpose of this study is to explore how educators use WebQuest to integrate technology in public school classroom.
Use Participants may gain insight into how this use of technology, WebQuest, can benefit their instruction, the curriculum and student learning.

Cell Phones and Formative Assessment
Authors Roberts, M., Lamb, H.
Topic Tarleton State University teacher candidates enrolled in EDU320 and local public school students participate in various forms of formative assessment with the assistance of cell phones.
Nature Qualitative research
Application The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of cell phones in formative assessment of student learning.
Use At the conclusion of the study, results will be shared with university instructors and public school educators.

Articles in Progress


(Title Pending)
Authors Taylor, D., Hawke, L.
Topic Student teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of feedback on their reflections of teaching.
Descriptive Reflection on teaching is highly recommended for all teachers. How do student teachers perceive the effectiveness of their mentors' feedback on their reflective practice?
Use Potentially to improve communication between student teachers and mentor

(Title Pending)
Authors Taylor, D., Hawke, L.
Topic Teacher effectiveness
Descriptive A several stage research project beginning with how do principals define an effective teacher, particularly in reference to Tarleton graduates.
Use Ultimately, an instrument may be developed which will help to evaluate holistic teacher effectiveness

(Title Pending)
Author Taylor, D.
Topic Parent participation in the IEP development process.
Descriptive Directly related to special education, as the IEP process is one of the basic components of special education.
Nature Quantitative and descriptive
Use Research will be used to better understand the barriers to parent participation and to ultimately develop teaching/training modules to increase parent participation.

(Title Pending)
Author Graves, I.
Topic Video games to support learning in K-12.
Descriptive A study on using video games to support reading instruction. While researchers have used commercial, off-the-shelf video games, they have also used a National Science Foundation and MacArther Foundation interactive simulation called Quest Atlantis.
Nature Qualitative and Qualitative (mixed methods)

(Title Pending)
Author Graves, I.
Topic The effects of using Avatars to motivate learning K-12
Descriptive Investigation into the effects of Avatar usage as an avenue for identity formation in the classroom.
Nature Qualitative
Use Results will be used to support reading acquisition in schools as remediation for struggling readers or peripheral participation.

(Title Pending)
Author Graves, I.
Topic Response to Intervention (RTI) in Fifth Grade Reading Classrooms.
Descriptive To determine how Response to Intervention (RTI) is working in local public schools in the region in support of the Effective Schools Project outreach program.
Nature Qualitative and Quantitative
Use Directly effects the nature of Reading Assessment in the local community.

(Title Pending)
Authors Sopko, D., Lemmons, K.
Topic The Effectiveness of an International newcomer Academy's Program in Meeting the Needs of Students with Limited Formal Schooling
Nature Quantitative and qualitative data collection procedures from teachers at the International Newcomers Academy.
Application The purpose of this study is designed to identify teacher competencies in working with undereducated students, successful strategies used with undereducated students as well as attitudes regarding the effectiveness of INA's newly implemented program for Preliterate English language learners (PELL).
Use This study will help inform practitioners and other educators who work with first and second year immigrants with two or less years of formal schooling prior to entering U.S. schools about the effectiveness of practices used at INA.

(Title Pending)
Author Worrell, P.
Topic Integrating technology, pedagogy, and content for learning for teachers and how to appropriately and consistently measure both teacher and student technology knowledge and skills.
Nature This research is both qualitative and quantitative in nature.
Application The purpose is to determine "best practice" strategies for using the technology and games (that our K-12 students use daily) within the context of our curriculum goals in order to optimize student learning experiences.