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AERA Presentations by Baylor SOE Faculty & Grad Students [05/17/2018]


Educational Psychology doctoral student Rachel Renbarger (left) presented at AERA with faculty members Dr. Tracey Sulak and Kristen Padilla-Mainor.

Baylor School of Education faculty and graduate students were well represented at the recent AERA (American Educational Research Association) Annual Meeting, help April 13-17 in New York City. Presentations and other leadership roles included the following entries.


Engaging the Middle: Action Civics as Citizenship Education for Young Adolescents”

Michelle Bauml, Texas Christian University
Brooke Blevins, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction
Karon Nicol LeCompte, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction
Kathy Wigtil, doctoral student C&I
Cameron Dexter Torti, master’s student C&I

Abstract: This study explores how young adolescents define citizenship and advocacy as a result of their participation in an action civics inquiry project during 5-day summer civics camps. Participants were interviewed three times over the course of the camp about citizenship, advocacy, and action civics topics. Findings suggest that participants were capable of learning and articulating civic knowledge related to participatory and justice-oriented citizenship. However, participants failed to recognize that they were behaving as engaged citizens while carrying out their action civics projects.

“Limitations Faced by Administrators Implementing Safety Policy in Schools”

Tracey Nicole Sulak, Baylor SOE Educational Psychology
Nicole O’Guinn, doctoral student EDP
Kristen Padilla-Mainor,Baylor SOE Educational Psychology
Rachel L. Renbarger, doctoral student EDP

Abstract: The purpose of the current study is to explain some limitations school administrators encounter when implementing safety policies in schools. Data were obtained from the 1998 through 2010 collections of the Survey on School Crime and Safety (n = 12,974). Thirteen variables measuring limitations related to safety and crime policy implementation were used to construct latent variables for local/district limitations and federal/state limitations. The model for total sample demonstrated the overall goodness of fit. Limitations on policy implementation vary according to demographics of the school, crime rates, school size, and the year the survey was taken.

“Small Sample Parameter Recovery in Sigmoidal Structured Latent Curve Models: A Simulation Study”

Kevin Wells, PhD ’17
Tracey Nicole Sulak,Baylor SOE Educational Psychology

Abstract: This simulation study examined sigmoidal structured latent curve models under conditions with small sample sizes and large numbers of repeated measures to provide evidence of acceptable parameter estimate bias for a future applied study. Sigmoidal models using the generalized logistic function were generated using the first order Taylor series approximation method detailed in Browne and du Toit (1991). Convergence rates, parameter estimate bias, and standard error bias were examined. Manipulated design factors for this study include sample size (25, 50, 75), the number of repeated measures (18, 36, 52), and the amount of growth measured (70%, 80%, 90%). Results and implications of the findings are discussed.

“The Origins and Importance of the Collegium”

Cara Cliburn Allen, doctoral student, Educational Leadership

Abstract Excerpts:
In contemporary organizational analysis, the collegium is seldom considered apart from the development of institutional archetypes. But the history of the collegium in Europe and the United States offers perspective on the reasons why a strong collegial tradition has not developed in the United States and on the particular value of the collegium today. In this conceptual historical analysis [8], we review primary and secondary texts to develop an argument about the origins and forms of the collegium. . . The roots of the faculty collegium took their clearest form in twelfth century Parisian university, where masters entered a collective and exclusive membership based on a shared recognition of expertise [1]. Prospective faculty were vetted through a process known as inception. Those receiving certification gained the right to contribute to the collective knowledge of the group [9]. . . Despite these early ideals and in contrast to the myth of the free scholar, the collegium in many European countries was either monitored or controlled by state or religious entities [10]. . . The form of the professoriate in the United States was heavily influenced by the centralized administrative control that was hybridized from Scottish and English models [11]. . . . The proliferation of institutional types, and later, faculty demographics and labor categories has subsequently challenged the potential cohesion and shared purpose offered by the collegium. . .The frequent isolation faculty experience may not simply be a matter of uncivil behavior, but of a collective faculty tradition that never fully took root in the United States. Understanding the origins and development of the faculty profession in America can inform contemporary conversations about the basis of faculty membership in an era of increased faculty differentiation.

“Collegial Experiences and Expectations of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty”

Nathan Alleman,Baylor SOE Department of Educational Leadership

Abstract Excerpts: Given the context for collegiality and importance of the collegium established through the session introduction and first paper, the objective of this paper is to examine the collegial expectations and experiences of NTTF currently. . . . Utilizing a qualitative interpretivist perspective that capitalizes on previously established conceptual or empirical work [14], we examined the collegial expectations and experiences of full-time, NTTF. . . Data collection took place at two 4-year institutions (1 public comprehensive and 1 private research university) with 38 individuals who were employed in full-time instructional faculty roles. Participants were selected for their position in one of four general academic areas (humanities, social sciences, STEM, professions), and for longevity of service (at least three, and preferably six years at the same institution). Single interviews of 60-120 minutes were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed through Nvivo 10 ethnographic software. . . . NTTF expect to be socially included, given a voice in departmental decision-making, recognized for their contributions, and share the load of departmental service with colleagues regardless of employment terms or rank. . . . NTTF participants were split over which differences were matters of employment justice and which were merely reflective of different employment roles. . .. The study concludes by questioning the fitness of collegiality as traditionally conceived, in the present era of diversified faculty roles. We argue for a renewed valuation of the collegium as a shared identity and set of responsibilities that transcends labor differences.

“Developing Civic Competence Through Action Civics: A Longitudinal Look at the Data”

Brooke Blevins, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction
Karon Nicol LeCompte,Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction
Tiffani A. Riggers-Piehl, Kansas City

Abstract: This paper describes student outcomes from participating in a week-long out-of-school action civics program designed to increase students’ civic and political competence and engagement. Using analysis from four years of survey data, this paper presents findings related to changes in students’ civic competence as a result of participating in the program, including findings related to both first time and repeat campers.

“Mentors, Self-Efficacy, or Professional Development: Which Mediate Job Satisfaction for New Teachers? A Regression Examination”

Rachel L. Renbarger, doctoral student EDP
Brenda Davis, doctoral student EDP

Abstract: Research has shown that new teachers have struggles in the classroom, leading to high attrition rates for this population. Factors such as job satisfaction, self-efficacy, and mentorship programs have all been found to impact teacher attrition. This paper aims to examine the relationship between these variables along with another common issue teachers face: barriers to professional development. Using multiple regression, results indicate a positive relationship between job satisfaction and both self-efficacy and the presence of a mentor and a negative relationship between barriers to professional development and job satisfaction. Limitations, implications, and recommendations are discussed.

“El Pueblo Unido: University Faculty and Student Activism in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s Coyuntura Estudiantil”

Chris Lemley, doctoral student C&I
Tony Lee Talbert, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction

Abstract: This paper documents the experiences of faculty and student participants in the Renuncia Ya movement in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Participants indicated that the autonomy granted to a local university, the faculty’s embrace of critical pedagogy, and a tradition of student leadership were influential developing the leadership that initiated the the anti-corruption movement that arose in 2015.

“An Examination of Critical Citizenship in Social Studies Teaching: Ideology, Pedagogy, and Community”

Kevin Magill, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction

Abstract: This purpose of this inquiry was to explore the way three self-identifying critical social studies teachers understood critical civics and its emergence, or absence, in civic instruction. The study illuminates the ideological and political tensions influencing the focal teacher’s critical instructional practices (Magill, 2017). The study revealed participant teachers critically teach civics, first negating the traditional archetype of citizen and second, by centering issues of race, power, and politics to illuminate inherent inequity in civic narratives.

“Examining the Relationships Between Critical Pedagogy and Social Studies: Power, Ideology, and Enactment”

Kevin Magill, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction

Abstract: This case study highlights the experiences of three talented, young, critically identifying social studies teachers to examine the ways their ontological approaches unfold into their practice. In this piece I first outline the shared aspects of critical pedagogical research within the social studies. Then, I situate “critical” within social studies literature and as pedagogical practice. The study unfolds from a discussion of the neoliberal agenda in education, the potential for critical democratic visions, and through the relationship between curriculum and critical teaching. The study offers empirical examples of the ontological range of understandings within critical social studies teacher praxis.

“An Examination of Parameter Recovery in Latent Transition Models With Distal Outcomes Using the Three-Step Approach”

Courtney A. Moore, Insight Policy Research
Grant B. Morgan, Baylor SOE Educational Psychology

Abstract: Latent transition analysis (LTA) is an increasingly popular research method
used to categorize subsets of individuals within a population. given their prevalence in applied research The current study sought to investigate parameter recovery of a distal outcome effect in LTA models for the first time using the three-step approach with Monte Carlo methods. The outcome of interest was the difference between the estimated and true distal outcome effects expressed as a percentage of bias. The manipulated design factors were sample size, number of indicators, transition effect, class prevalence at time 1, and true distal outcome effect size. The findings from our study suggests that, on average, distal outcome estimation is accurate, but the precision is another story. Caution is advised.

“Critical Pedagogy: The Struggle for Intellectual Solidarity”

Arturo Rodriguez, Boise State University
Kevin Magill, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction

Abstract: The purpose and intention of this study was to examine ways self-identifying critical social studies teachers understand their own ontological posture, how it emerges in classroom teaching, and how they contend with the dialectical implications within traditional educational contexts. The study finds critical teachers work to develop intellectual solidarity with students as critical pedagogues.

“Developing Transformative Social Studies Pedagogues: Supporting Young Teachers’ Critical Dispositions”

Cinthia S. Salinas, University of Texas Austin
Kevin Magill, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction

Abstract: This critical qualitative case study examined the critical consciousness and praxis of three focal social studies teachers and ways this informed their address of the dialectical tensions situating their teaching and learning experiences. The study findings describe how critical social studies teachers attempt to make clear temporal connections between citizenship and disciplines; teachers attempt to work through student experiences to support possibilities for current consciousness and future civic transformation and; that teachers believe critical transformative teaching includes dialogue. Given these findings, mentoring the next generation of social studies teachers that will take up more critical practice and critical understandings of citizenship requires teacher educators center identifying, supporting and thus extending a critical praxis as part of the programmatic focus.

“Exploring Young Girls’ Empowerment Through REACH: An After-School Program for Urban Youth”

Kelly Carter Johnston, Part-time Lecturer, Baylor SOE Curriculum & Instruction
Risto Marttinen, California State University – Fullerton
Ray N. Frederick, Teachers College, Columbia University

Abstract: Youth today are not active enough to gain health benefits, which inherently impacts other areas of their lives, including academic performance. This is especially troubling for youth in urban communities who often lack access to or exhibit low levels of physical activity. After-school programs hold potential for meeting this need, particularly when guided by a strengths-based approach, such as the Positive Youth Development (PYD) model. This paper explores how 4th and 5th grade girls were empowered by and made connections to their community and school through REACH, an after-school PYD program focusing on physical fitness, character education, and literacy through playing basketball.


• Grant Morgan, Baylor SOE Department of Educational Psychology, was the Discussant for the session “The Consortium of State and Regional Educational Research Associations: Distinguished Paper Session 4”

• Tracey Nicole Sulak, Baylor SOE Department of Educational Psychology, participated in the Panel Discussion, “Meet Journal Editors: Journal Talk,” representing the Journal of Montessori Research.

• Trena L. Wilkerson, Baylor SOE Department of Curriculum & Instruction, was Round Table Chair for “STEM in the Professional Development School,” where three papers were presented.

Dr. Trena Wilkerson with a multi-university AERA group, including Baylor SOE graduates Dittika Gupta and Colleen Eddy.


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Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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