Current Projects

Questions or concerns regarding any of the studies described below may be directed to the CONNECT Research Office, (310) 825 2622.

Developing Practical Knowledge about Disciplinary Reading Instruction

This project seeks to understand how to teach reading in the content areas, especially as part of social studies/history instruction. The study will involve meetings with teachers, interviews with teachers and students, and classroom observations. Students may be videotaped during some of the lesson observations. The children of parents who have not consented to videotaping will not be filmed. The project will also collect student work samples and written assessments in order to measure reading and learning outcomes. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Nicole Mancevice, a doctoral student at UCLA, developed the study. She will work with Dr. Kimberley Gomez, professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, as she completes the study. Any questions about this study should be directed to Nicole Mancevice (nmancevice@ucla.edu) or Dr. Kimberley Gomez (kimgomez@ucla.edu or 310-825-0991).

Children's comprehension of syntactically encoded evidentiality

The aim of this project is to study children's language development by looking at how they understand particular types of sentences. The study focuses on development in children between the ages of 4-6 years-old. We will show your child a friendly picture on a computer screen. The pictures are Sesame Street themed and feature Ernie and his friends doing different activities. One of us holds a hand puppet who makes comments about the pictures. Your child will be asked to talk to the puppet and tell him if his comment about the picture sounds good or sounds silly. The study will take about 15 minutes to complete. The study will be conducted by Lauren Winans, UCLA Linguistics doctoral candidate. This study is supervised by Professors Nina Hyams, PhD and Jessica Rett, PhD. Any questions about the study should be directed to Lauren Winans (lauren.winans@ucla.edu).

MindYou: Mindfulness as a Psychosocial Intervention for Children

The goal of this research is to analyze the effectiveness of the MindYou : Mindfulness Program for elementary students. The program consists of two 30-minute mindfulness sessions every week for 8 weeks at a time. Each week in the 8 week program will focus on a separate theme such as “basics of breathing”, “handling difficult emotions,” and “empathizing with others.” Accompanied with these weekly themes will be a “play”book, which allow students to bring home their activities to engage their friends and families. During this program, the teachers will also be learning the basics of mindfulness and how to handle everyday situations with their students using mindfulness techniques and sustaining an empathizing, calm, and focused climate—a mindful climate. Each aspect of the program strives to instill and sustain a mindfulness culture. Before the program begins, after it ends, and 6 weeks after the first 8 weeks students and parents will submit questionnaires that will gauge the student’s focus, peer relationship, anxiety, mindfulness and overall mental health as it was before and after the program.

Parents will have to sign a consent form, in addition to the Lab School blanket consent, to allow their children to participate in the research. If there are any questions regarding this please contact Varun Agarwal at (831) 278-0457 vagarwal15@ucla.edu, or Dr. Robert Bilder at rbilder@mednet.ucla.edu.

Primary Sources in Elementary Classrooms: Exploring the Process of Integrating Primary Sources into Classroom Instruction

The purpose of the study is to better understand how teachers integrate primary sources into classroom instruction through an ethnographic study of the actual practices of teachers. This study proposes a pragmatic assessment of the published research literature on how to “best” integrate primary sources into classroom instruction by focusing on the concrete skills and practices that teachers employ throughout different steps of the process. This study posits that an ethnographic study would reveal significant disconnects between the claims of scholars and the actual practices of teachers. Instead of formulating theories on abstract terms, the study focuses on specific classroom situations and contexts and explores the practices that teachers use when the knowledge they need to successfully use primary sources to teach cannot be found in the research literature. The research questions guiding data collection center around three distinct topics: questions surrounding the beliefs and motivations of teachers engaged in the process of integrating primary sources into classroom instruction, questions regarding the physical, social, and cultural context of integrating primary sources, and questions about the processes by which integration is accomplished. Any questions about this study should be directed to Patricia Garcia at patgarcia83@gmail.com or to Anne Gilliland at gilliland@gseis.ucla.edu

Providing Cognitively Guided Instruction Professional Development

This project studies the work of Lab School teachers providing one year of school-based professional development in “Cognitively Guided Instruction” to El Segundo Elementary Schools. The project focuses on the effort of Lab School teachers as facilitators of professional development, particularly the repeated cycles of planning, enacting, and reflecting upon their on-going practice. Researchers will take on the role of active participant-observers throughout this process. Any questions about this study should be directed to Angela Chan Turrou at achan@gseis.ucla.edu

Task Framing Study

The aim of this project is to study the impact of task framing on children’s motivation and performance. We want to examine how framing an activity as task vs. a test will influence children’s performance on a set of math problems. We suspect that children with a fluid (as opposed to a fixed) view of intelligence may be more sensitive to framing differences. To test this, we will ask children to complete a set of questionnaires that measures their beliefs about the nature of intelligence (fixed vs. malleable). We will then ask children to complete two blocks of math problems. In between blocks, we will manipulate the manner in which we frame the second block of math problems. For one group of children, the subsequent block of problems will be described as a math task. While for another group of students, the subsequent block of problems will be described as a math test. At the completion of both blocks of math problems, we will ask children to answer a series of post-test questionnaires aimed at ascertaining children’s attitudes about the task they just took. This study will take a total of 20-30 minutes to complete. Any questions about this study should be directed to Gerardo Ramirez at gerardoramirez@ucla.edu

STEP: Science Through Technology Enhanced Play

This project will result in software tools designed to work with commercially available sensing equipment to support early elementary science classrooms in using play to model and simulate science concepts. A curriculum guide will accompany the software tools. The research findings of this study will inform the field about the ways in which young students can engage in authentic scientific modeling, and the ways that technological tools can enhance this process. Furthermore, the research findings will demonstrate how students' play activities can be leveraged to support academic learning activities in developmentally appropriate ways. Any questions about this study should be directed to Dr. Noel Enyedy at Enyedy@gseis.ucla.edu

English Language Assessment Development - WIDA Standards

We will conduct the Dynamic Language Learning Progression (DLLP) Study in three phases. Phase 1: We will elicit spoken and written explanations from 90-120 students (across Early Childhood Level II through Upper II) using verbal prompts and pictures. The researcher will ask students to explain how they clean their teeth and why they clean their teeth. The researcher will provide simple verbal prompts to assist the student, if necessary. We will audio-record students’ verbal explanations for analysis. Additionally, we will conduct whole classroom observations to examine whether teachers typically provide students with opportunities to produce spoken and written explanations during academic-content instruction and assessment. Audio recording and an existing observation protocol will be utilized to record data. The researcher will use the Academic Language Exposure Checklist (ALEC; Bailey, Butler, LaFramenta, & Ong, 2004) for the observation of explanations in the classroom. The observations will be one hour in length, 4 to 6 times per classroom in one classroom per grade level.

Phase 2: We will conduct individual and/or focus group interviews with teachers to determine their perception of (a) the accuracy/practicality of a hypothesized language learning progression of explanations and (b) the effectiveness/usefulness of a progression as an aid to instruction and formative assessment. Additionally, we will determine a smaller subsample of teachers who are willing to integrate the language learning progression into practice and assessment. Audio recording will be utilized to record data. Additionally, we will conduct a few student interviews if needed to confirm and/or clarify findings from data analysis in Phase 1.

Phase 3: With the subsample of teachers, we will conduct individual and/or focus group interviews to determine how the language learning progression of explanations is being used in practice for instructional planning and formative assessment. We will conduct whole class observations to document and confirm the use of the language learning progression of explanation in practice. Audio recording and field notes will be utilized to record data. Additionally, we will conduct a few student interviews if needed to confirm and/or clarify findings from data analysis in Phase 1.

Any questions about this study should be directed to Dr. Alison Bailey, the Principal Investigator(310-825-1731 or abailey@gseis.ucla.edu).

Children's Use of Inscriptions in Argumentation About Socioscientific Issues

Inscriptions are graphical representations of information or ideas, including things like photos, diagrams, graphs, tables, and so on. In science, inscriptions are a crucial means for representing the world and supporting or refuting explanations about how the world works. This project will explore how children in the upper level grades use scientific (graphs, tables, etc.) and non-scientific (photos, editorial cartoons, etc.) inscriptions to make arguments about socioscientific issues. Socioscientific issues are those where science can inform the judgments or decisions we have to make, such as how to deal with climate change, energy use, health, and so on. Being able to use science to make sense of everyday situations is a longstanding goal of education and central to new science education and common core standards. In this project, students in Mr. North’s and Ms. Deblasio’s science classes will be asked to analyze two socioscientific issues, one early in the school year, and one following the first semester. These tasks will present students with a scenario (such as whether to use coal or nuclear energy), provide a variety of scientific and non-scientific inscriptions, and ask students to argue for their position on the issue using as many of the available inscriptions they think necessary. Between these two tasks, science instruction in the classes will be observed, as the teachers work to promote students’ work to make scientific explanations and coordinate evidence for them. Understanding how children use these various forms of evidence, and how instruction influences that use, will aid the development of models for educators to use to address new reform goals. The study will be conducted by Mr. Sihan Xiao, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA, under the supervision of Professor William Sandoval, of GSEIS. Any questions about the study may be directed to Prof. Sandoval at (310) 794 5431 or sandoval@gseis.ucla.edu.

Talking to Young Children about Poverty and Social Issues

Teachers in the Kindergarten and Primary Levels (non-LTL only) at UCLA Lab School in conjunction with UCLA researchers will be conducting a study that involves designing, implementing, and evaluating a newly developed social studies and literacy unit focused on social issues, such as poverty and inequality. Specifically, UCLA researchers will be working closely with a small group of teachers in Fall 2013 to design the curriculum, which will be implemented over the course of 5-weeks in Winter 2014. As part of the project’s aims to assess the efficacy of the curriculum, researchers will be observing the “study teachers” as they implement the curriculum in their classrooms and will conduct brief interviews with students in these classrooms before and after the curriculum has been implemented. To ensure that any observed changes in students’ responses are the direct result of the new curriculum (i.e., what they learned), researchers will also observe teacher practice and conduct interviews with students in the remaining non-LTL kindergarten and primary level classrooms (“comparison classrooms”). Students will be interviewed three times – two times in Fall 2013 and once in Spring 2014. Each interview will last between 15 – 30 minutes each. Researchers will assess students’ ability to classify objects across two dimensions, perspective-taking skills, and empathic responses during the first interview. The second and third interviews will be identical and ask questions related to the content of the new curriculum (e.g., what it means to be rich or poor, how wealth and poverty are distributed in the U.S., how someone becomes poor, and ways to help the poor). All questions will be asked in a private setting (CONNECT research office) to maintain confidentiality. Collecting this information will allow us to determine how young children think about social issues such as poverty and how school curricula affect that understanding. As parents who have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, you are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Additionally, if in the blanket consent form parents gave us permission to do so, children may be videotaped while they are engaged in lessons. Any questions about this study should be directed to Norma Silva at the Lab School (310-825-1557 or nsilva@labschool.ucla.edu ) or to Prof. Rashmita Mistry (310-825-6569 or mistry@gseis.ucla.edu).

Supporting English Language Learners’ Academic Language Proficiency

This study focuses on the academic language skills needed for English language learners, scaffolds teachers utilize to support development of academic language, classroom engagement, and the promotion of academic language proficiency. The goals of this project are to identify the terminology that is commonly used throughout daily instruction, the instructional support that is used to assist students in acquiring and applying this language, the types of engagement that student engage in during instruction, and the approaches that are necessary for language proficiency. This project will include classroom observations of instruction, review of student work, and teacher surveys. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Any questions about this study should be directed to Dr. Christine Peterson, UCLA visiting scholar and principal investigator at peterson@calu.edu or (412) 400-5466.

Cultivating Children’s Agency and Collective Creativity in Project-based Science Learning

This study will analyze collective creativity in project-based science learning for UCLA Lab School Intermediate Level students. The UCLA Lab School’s approach to curricular design combines academics with rich real-world experiences and thought-provoking activities to encourage children’s ideas, creativity, and imagination, while also providing a strong academic foundation for intellectual inquiry. Research will document how this type of educational innovation helps children develop creativity and agency. For the purpose of studying children’s learning processes and development, classroom observations and interviews with teachers and students will be conducted during the 2013 fall and 2014 winter quarters. In addition, students may be videotaped as they interact with teachers or their peers during learning activities, in order to examine their work, learning processes, and development (If parents have not consented for their child to be videotaped, then she or he will not be filmed). The research is expected to start in October 2013. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. This study will be conducted by Katsuhiro Yamazumi, Ph.D., UCLA Visiting Scholar at the Department of Education, GSE&IS and Professor of Education at Kansai University, Japan. He will be working with his UCLA Faculty Sponsor, Professor Noel Enyedy, Ph.D., Director of Research at UCLA Lab School/CONNECT. Any questions about this study should be directed to Katsuhiro Yamazumi, Ph.D. (kyamazumi@ucla.edu or kyamazum@kansai-u.ac.jp).

Cybermural: Early Childhood

Interactive programs that utilize visual and physical relationships, like the XBOX Kinect create an opportunity for even very young students to engage in multi-modal creation. We hope to explore the value of this tool in the learning of science. Specifically, we will ask EC1 (4 year old students) and EC2 (5 year old student) to create an interactive mural presenting their understanding of the relationships between plants and animals in ecosystems that they can then manipulate with their bodies through the Kinect camera. We will be most interested in the pedagogy and conversations that teachers engage in around this tool, and if the learning around the tool can improve student understanding. Collection of data will involve video recording of teacher-student and student-student conversations while creating the mural, and video recordings of pre and post-tests on science content. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Any questions about this study should be directed to Dr. Noel Enyedy at Enyedy@gseis.ucla.edu

Dynamic Language Learning Progression

The Dynamic Language Learning Progression (DLLP) project at the UCLA Department of Education and CRESST are conducting an ongoing research study in conjunction with the UCLA Lab School to identify and describe the developmental progression of children’s explanations across the grade span. The project aims to aid in the development of the new assessment framework for English language development founded on the WIDA standards and to hypothesize the intermediate building blocks on the way to meeting each standard. As part of this project, students’ explanation skills will be regularly measured using assessments, observations and interviews, and teacher and student classroom interactions will be regularly observed. Teachers will also be formatively surveyed for their perspectives on the efficacy of the resulting dynamic language progression for assessment and instructional planning. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Any questions about this study should be directed to Dr. Kimberly Kelly, the Project Coordinator (978-821-8708 or drkimberlykelly@me.com ), or Dr. Alison Bailey, the Principal Investigator(310-825-1731 or abailey@gseis.ucla.edu).

Disciplinary Literacy Work Circle: A Teacher-Researcher Partnership to Improve the Quality of Student Writing in English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies

Teachers at the UCLA Lab School will collaborate with UCLA researchers to improve the quality of student writing in grades 3 through 6. As part of this project, teachers and researchers will meet regularly to identify learning opportunities, to establish goals for teacher practice and student learning, and to create lessons or other instructional materials based on the Lab School curriculum. UCLA researchers will interview teachers and observe classroom instruction in order to understand how these co-created lessons and materials affect student learning. The project will also collect student work samples and writing assessments in order to measure students’ learning and writing improvement. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Any questions about this study should be directed to Dr. Kimberley Gomez (310-825-0991 or kimgomez@ucla.edu).

Investigating the characteristics and efficacy of the Learning in Two Languages Program: A Research and development initiative

Teachers in the Learning in Two Languages (LTL) Program at the UCLA Lab School in conjunction with UCLA researchers will be conducting a fully comprehensive research and development initiative on the LTL program to describe, evaluate and improve the program over the next few years. The project aims to critically examine the language, academic, cognitive, social and cultural factors that the program hopes to foster in students. As part of this project, teacher and student classroom interactions will be regularly observed, and students’ Spanish/English and academic skills, as well as their social and cognitive perspectives will be regularly measured using assessments, observations and interviews. Other stakeholders in the program will also be formatively surveyed for their perspectives on the LTL program (these include program teachers, other Lab School teachers and staff, parents of program children and those parents with children throughout the school). New this school year: as part of the project’s aims to assess children’s social integration across the LTL and English-only classrooms, we will be asking children a series of questions about who they like to play with at school and observing peer interactions in and out of the classroom. The friendship questions will be asked in a private setting (CONNECT research office) to maintain confidentiality. Collecting this information will allow us to determine children’s social groups and the extent to which these vary systematically across gender, language (i.e., English, Spanish), and classroom contexts (i.e., LTL vs. English-only). As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Later, if we include an investigation of the home-school connection we will ask for additional consent from parents. Additionally, if in the blanket consent form parents gave us permission to do so, children may be videotaped while they are engaged in lessons. Any questions about this study should be directed to Norma Silva at the Lab School (310-825-1557 or nsilva@labschool.ucla.edu) or Dr. Alison Bailey (310-825-1731 or abailey@gseis.ucla.edu).

Recent Projects

Using Technology to Improve Young Children's Science Learning

The DARPA ENGAGE program, under which this project is funded, is directed towards research and development of games that will enhance learning and interest for students at grades K-3 in science content areas (e.g., physics, chemistry, basic sciences). The games will also integrate social and emotional learning (SEL) skills (e.g., perspective taking, empathy, appropriate response to conflict) and activities into game play. This may involve the child playing game activities that involve interpersonal conflict between game characters, cooperation between games characters, or one character being mean to another character (“bullying”). CRESST's role in this program is as educational content specialists throughout the game development process. In the first phase of the project, CRESST's work will focus on the identification of science content and learning processions to be included in the designed games, development of outcome measures/metrics (i.e., assessments), and design and review of a research plan for later phases of the project (note that the research plans that will be developed as part of the phase 1 work will then be submitted to IRB for review as they are developed). Underlying much of this phase 1 work will be the development of an ontology, or knowledge map, of the science content (e.g., chemistry, physics, basic science), and cognitive demands (e.g., problem solving) that will be covered in the designed games. As part of this ontology development process we will conduct focus groups with teachers at the relevant grade levels (K-3) about both their science content instruction and their use of instructional technology/games in the classroom.

We will collect data from students (grades K-2) on different component of the games during the development process, as well as studying the reliability and validity of science and social and emotional learning assessments that might be used in later versions of the game.

We will also conduct internet-based data collection to explore approaches for involving external contributions via the online community that will contribute to the quality and efficiency of research and development of science and social emotional learning games. There are three strands of activities proposed for these crowdsourcing studies: (a) the use of internet-based tasks to collect data in support of game development and testing; (b) researching methodologies to support the acquisition of high-integrity output from internet-based tasks; and © generating tools to support internet-based data collection.

Elementary Students’ Dispositions, Goals and Engagement in Problem Solving in Mathematics

This study explores the goals that students have for math class and how these goals are related to the way they engage in problem solving. The study will take place in an intermediate classroom and will focus on students’ self report about goals as well as how these goals are reflected in their problem solving activities. Classroom observations and interviews with the teacher and students will take place over the school year. In addition, students may be videotaped during mathematics class (if parents did not consent to their child being videotaped, then he or she will not be filmed). As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent forms, they are not required to sign additional forms. This study has been developed by Melissa Kumar, a UCLA doctoral student. She will be working with Professor Noel Enyedy, Director of Research at The Lab School as she carries out the project. Any questions about this study should be directed to Melissa Kumar (mjdkumar@ucla.edu or 206-7550767).

Exploring Sketching as a Window on Student Understanding

New tablet personal computers, like the iPad, are widely available and making their way into schools. One of the next generation capabilities that we expect to become widely available on these machines is Sketch Understanding, a sketching software that can be used to help people create complex drawings. Our goal is to explore the utility of these computers, and the Sketch Understanding software, to help students create technical drawings. Specifically, we will ask 5th and 6th grade students to read a short science text and to use the tablet PC with Sketch Understanding software to draw a figure from that text. Our hope is to learn more about how to make sketch understanding useful software for school-age users. Data collection will involve the audio recording of interviews concerning science knowledge and usage of the Sketch Understanding software. Dr. Louis Gomez, a professor from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Benny Cooper, a doctoral student at the UCLA GSE&IS, will conduct the research. Any questions about this study should be directed to Benny Cooper, at (310) 206-0199 or bennycooper@ucla.edu.

Study of the Development of Implicit Social Cognition

Cari Gillen-O’Neel, M.A., and Dr. Andrew J. Fuligni from the Department of Developmental Psychology at UCLA will be conducting a research project called the Study of the Development of Implicit Social Cognition. The goal of this project is to learn about children’s unconscious (i.e., implicit) associations between social groups (e.g., gender or ethnic groups) and certain traits. An example of an implicit association is as follows: even though many of us believe that boys and girls are equally good at school, since we are constantly exposed to societal stereotypes (e.g., media portrayals of boys and girls), some of us unconsciously associate boys with academic success more so than we unconsciously associate girls with academic success. One way to assess implicit associations is with a reaction time measure. Previous research with adults, for example, suggests that when asked to quickly press a button every time they see a word related to school success (e.g., “smart”), many people are slightly faster if they have just seen a picture of a boy and slightly slower if they have just seen a picture of a girl. These differences in reaction time seem to occur despite the fact that adults truly believe that boys and girls are equally good at school. Thus, implicit associations seem to come from being immersed in our particular society, and they are largely beyond our control. The focus of this study is to examine the age at which children begin to develop implicit associations about people of different genders and ethnicities. For this study, we are inviting all children in grades 2 through 6 to participate. Participating children will play a 40-minute computer game in which they will see pictures (e.g., flowers, insects, and faces of boys and girls from different ethnic backgrounds) that they will try to remember, and they will see words that they will be asked to sort as quickly as possible. Specifically, children will be asked to sort the following words: good, friend, love, nice, bad, enemy, hate, and mean as “good” or “bad,” smart, quick, hard-working, neat, dumb, slow, lazy, and sloppy as “good for school” or “bad for school,” and I, me, my, myself, their, them, themselves, and they as “me” or “not me.” This computer game will be completed independently in a private setting (e.g., the CONNECT research office). As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Later, we will be sending home a brief and optional parent questionnaire (one page asking about children’s backgrounds). Any questions about this study should be directed to Cari Gillen-O’Neel, M.A. (ucla.disc@gmail.com or 424-256-0280) or to Dr. Andrew J. Fuligni (afuligni@ucla.edu or 310-794-6033).

Fostering students’ appropriations of science norms

This project will compare student interaction within three different astronomy activities to determine which sorts of tasks best promote students’ appropriation of science norms. Understanding how and when students use scientific norms to evaluate each other’s work will help educators design better science learning activities both at UCLA Lab School and in other settings. The project will be conducted in Upper I during winter and spring quarters. If your child participates in this study, he or she will take part in brief interviews on his or her attitudes towards astronomy, past experiences with astronomy, and perceptions of the scientific norms most important during the astronomy unit. Students may be videotaped during the astronomy unit; however, the children of parents who have not consented to videotaping will not be filmed. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent forms, they are not required to sign additional forms. Any questions about this study should be directed to Melissa Cook, Ph.D., at cook.ucla@gmail.com or 310-699-2308.

Children’s Beliefs about Ownership

This study seeks to understand how children’s beliefs about object ownership unfold over time. Artifacts are a frequent part of daily human life, and an important aspect of how we interact with artifacts concerns ownership norms. Based on ethnographic observation, however, anthropologists report significant cross-cultural variation in ownership norms. This project aims to provide systematic data concerning ownership norms of both adults in children across a range of cultures. Participants will be presented with vignettes where an individual is described as having purchased or received an artifact as a gift and a second individual uses, modifies, or keeps that artifact, under various conditions. Participants will be asked to evaluate the behavior of the second individual in these various conditions. If your child participates in this study we will read him/her six stories about one person using an object that belongs to a different person, and then ask a series of five questions about each story. If your child does not want to participate he/she may return to class at any time. If you have any questions about the research, you can contact Bailey House at 413-883-6658 or bhouse80@ucla.edu, or Joan Silk at jsilk@anthro.ucla.edu.

Text, talk, and varieties of artistic representation: Affordances for learning in multimodal literacy activities experienced by children

This study seeks to illuminate the processes by which children and teachers use artistic representations (images, dance, three-dimensional forms and others) as communication tools so as to foster early literacy development. The examination will be situated in a kindergarten classroom and will focus on ways teachers and children make and talk about art. Classroom observations and interviews with teachers and children will take place regularly across the 2011-2012 school year calendar. Children will also be videotaped as they interact with teachers or their peers during learning activities. (If parents did not consent for their child to be videotaped, then she or he will not be filmed.) As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent forms, they are not required to sign additional forms. This study has been developed by Sarah Jean Johnson, a UCLA doctoral student. She will be working with Professor Noel Enyedy, Director of Research at UES/CONNECT as she carries out the project. Any questions about this study should be directed to Sarah Jean Johnson (sarahjean@ucla.edu or 917-319-9338).

How Parents Evaluate Evidence About Vaccine Safety

PARENTS: Please note that this study is not being conducted by the UCLA Lab School. The researchers are recruiting parents from several local schools including ours. Recruitment materials are being sent home with students. Parents may sign and return these forms or contact researchers directly if they wish to participate.

This study seeks to understand how people decide what to believe, including what evidence they consider, what evidence they accept and reject, and their reasons for accepting or rejecting any particular evidence. In videotaped interviews, parents will be asked about the decisions they have made about vaccinating their children, including their beliefs, the evidence they have considered, and how they have evaluated that evidence. This study is being conducted by Colin Doty, a PhD Candidate in the Dept. of Information Studies (colin4670@ucla.edu or (310) 562-2696.)

Oral Language Development in Early Childhood Classrooms: An Activity Setting Centered Analysis of Teacher-Child Interactions

This project investigates how teachers support young children’s oral language development in early childhood classrooms. In particular, this study will add to our understanding of how activity settings function to enable or constrain opportunities for oral language support in early childhood classrooms. Data collection will involve observations and videotaping in the early childhood classrooms as well as interviews with the teachers. This study will be conducted by Yiching Huang, a Ph.D. student at UCLA. She will be working with her advisor, Dr. Alison Bailey, Professor of Education. If you have questions about this project please contact Yiching Huang at 978-888-8597 or yiching@ucla.edu.

The Role of Memory Mechanisms in Children's Learning and Representation of Concepts

This project aims to teach students about basic science concepts (such as hibernation, plants, water cycle, etc…). Learning sessions will be designed to help children remember the information that they have learned. As part of the study your child will be interviewed. As you have already signed the blanket consent form, you do not have to sign any additional forms. Additionally, if in the blanket consent form you gave us permission to do so, your child may be videotaped while they are engaged with lessons. The study will be conducted primarily by Haley Vlach, a PhD student at UCLA. She will also be working closely with Dr. Noel Enyedy, Director of Research at UES/CONNECT and Catherine Sandhofer, Assistant Professor of Psychology. If you have any questions about the study please contact Haley Vlach at (310) 206-8286.

Children Chatting On The Internet (Phase 3)

PARENTS: Please note that this study falls outside of the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form. As such, additional consent forms for this study are being sent home with students. Parents must sign and return this form if they would like to participate

Children Chatting on the Internet, Phase 2 (of a study began in 2006) will survey the current class of 6th graders, and three successive 6th grade classes asking the children in the form of written open-ended questions about their off-line and on-line computer activities. The survey will be followed up with a focus group and individual interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the students’ off-line and on-line choices. Of greatest interest in this Phase 2 study will be answers to questions about the students’ understanding of the internet, what it is and what it represents to them. In addition this study seeks to understand how students connect to the internet, how students find sites, favorite internet games, and frequency in communicating using email, instant messaging and texting. Both parental consent forms and student assent forms must be signed for students to participate. This study is conducted by Debbie Weissmann, Ph.D. If you have any questions feel free to contact Debbie at dweissmann@ucla.edu or (310) 722 7750.

SPASES: Semiotic Pivots and Activity Spaces for Elementary Science

The SPASES project aims to use new sensing technologies to help translate young children's physical actions during pretend play into a simulation that helps them learn concepts of force and motion. As Primary level students in rooms 11 & 12 physically move around the classroom, the computer will track their motion and interactions with select objects and translate their physical activity into a shared display. Imagine something like an education version of the Nintendo Wii game console, where instead of just playing games, the students are engaged in scientific inquiry and modeling. As part of the study, children will be interviewed, and their in-class work will be examined. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Additionally, if in the blanket consent form parents gave us permission to do so, children may be videotaped while they are engaged with the lesson. Any questions about this study should be directed to Noel Enyedy, Director of Research at UCLA Lab School/CONNECT, at (310) 825 5467, or enyedy@gseis.ucla.edu.

At the Risk of Sharing: Student perceptions of academic or social risk when sharing problem-solving strategies in Algebra

We are starting a new research project in Upper I classrooms (IRB#10-001359). The project explores the social and academic factors that influence children sharing their mathematical strategies with one another. Within a series of a set of pre-Algebra lessons that emphasize multiple strategies for solutions, students will be observed and asked to write written reflections on the ideas they shared and their feelings about sharing those ideas. The goal of the project is to encourage students sharing their mathematical strategies – a practice known to bolster understanding and enhance intellectual and social development – by better understanding what factors into their decisions about sharing an idea. These factors may include concerns that peers will socially or academically (mis)judge their ideas, consideration of how many people are listening to the idea (i.e., sharing in pairs, groups or whole-class), or some consideration of how well the teacher will support and work to help make their ideas more clear. As part of the study your child may be interviewed, asked to complete self-reflections on sharing strategies and hearing others’ shared strategies, and we will examine his/her in-class work. As you have already signed the blanket consent form, you do not have to sign any additional forms. Additionally, if in the blanket consent form you gave us permission to do so, your child may be videotaped while they are engaged with the lesson. If you have any questions about the study please contact Dr. Tesha Sengupta-Irving, Post-Doc with CONNECT at (310) 825-2622.

Tutorial Intervention Addressing Communicative Competence Issues among English Language Learners

PARENTS: Please note that because this study is taking place in the Extended Day Program, this study falls outside of the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form. As such, additional consent forms for this study are being sent home with students. Parents must sign and return this form if they would like to participate

UCLA researchers in conjunction with the Extended Day program will be conducting a research study investigating the impact of a tutorial intervention upon ELL students. The project aims to improve these students English communication skills through online one-on-one interactions with native speakers. Communicative competence has been shown to be an influential factor in both academic and social achievement of students. Over the course of the 8 weeks, the students will live video chat twice a week with trained tutors about various topics of their school day in an attempt to improve their fluency and elaboration of discourse. Their conversations will be recorded as a means of tracking their improvement in narrative formation. While the study has already been approved through UCLA, we will be asking for the additional consent form attached to be signed and returned to your child’s teacher by the date listed below. Any questions about this study should be directed to the PI Maxie Gluckman (858-617-9998 or maxieg@ucla.edu) or Dr. Alison Bailey (310-825-1731 or abailey@gseis.ucla.edu).

Social Category Inference Tasks with Children

This project, beginning in Early Childhood and Primary classes during the Fall Quarter, examines which cues children use to categorize and make predictions about others. There are a variety of dimensions along which people may vary and resemble each other. However, adults treat only some of these as relevant to judging others and guessing how they will behave when information is limited. Our goal is to compare the development of these social categorization decision rules in two different cultural contexts (highland Peru and urban US) from childhood to adulthood. Some methods measure how children extrapolate from one character to an array of other characters that vary along several visual dimensions. Other methods incorporate auditory cues of social variation and measure memory for what the various characters said in a conversation. All the methods we are using to do so, use fictitious characters to probe belief formation about strangers and none will require video taping or audio recording. This study is conducted by Cristina Moya, Elise Waln and Dr. Rob Boyd, from the UCLA Department of Anthropology. If you have any questions about this research, please contact Cristina Moya at (310) 310-633-0909, or cmoya@ucla.edu.

Literacy and the Arts

PARENTS: Please note: for students who are seven years-old, an optional portion of this study falls outside of the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form. As such, consent forms are being sent home with seven year-old students only. Parents must sign and return this form if they would like their children to participate in the additional portion of the study.

In this study, researchers from UCLA will work with the students in classrooms 11 and 12 to see how arts-based learning enhances literacy. For six weeks this fall, students in these classrooms will listen to stories and engage in dramatic or visual arts activities designed to improve recall and comprehension. Researchers may make some general written observations about student behavior. Students will take reading tests at the beginning and end of the six-week period. This project is part of the Lab School’s curriculum and no permission is required for participation; however, seven year old students in these classrooms will have the opportunity to participate in an additional out-of-school portion of the study on arts-based learning and the brain. Seven year-old students only will receive consent/assent forms for this additional part of the study. This study is conducted primarily by Jacqueline Bennett, M. Ed, a former elementary school teacher and current doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She can be reached at (424) 248-7022 or jbennett13@ucla.edu. The faculty advisors for this study are Dr. James Catterall and Dr. Elizabeth Sowell.

Cultural Values and Childrens' Daily Activities: A Comparison of Burma and the United States

We are beginning a project in the Early Childhood classrooms that seeks to examine how broader cultural values structure the day-to-day lives of children across different activity settings such as playtime, snacktime, and group work. The current study seeks to compare the daily activities of children in Burma versus the United States. As part of this project, the P.I. will be doing observations, taking notes, having informal conversations with students and teachers, and eventually videotaping the teachers and children as they go about their day-to-day lives. As parents have already signed the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form, they are not required to sign any additional forms at this time. Additionally, if in the blanket consent form parents gave us permission to do so, children may be videotaped inside the classroom or on the playground. The research will be conducted by Seinenu M. Thein, M.A., a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology and Alan Page Fiske, PhD, Professor of Anthropology. Any questions about this study should be directed to Seinenu M. Thein, at (310) 923-4508 or seinenu@ucla.edu.

Social Identity through Immigrant Status and Social Class: Meaningful Social Categories in the Classroom?

This study is part of a larger project that began in 2007, entitled “Children's Negotiations Across Cultural, Class, and Linguistic Borders in Dual Language Schools: Assessing the Development of Transcultural Skills and Practices.” The researchers seek to understand better how immigration status and social class background influence children’s daily interactions, friendship choices and attitudes about others. In addition to observation during structured and unstructured time at school, students in the Upper and Intermediate levels will be interviewed, and questionnaires will be administered to children, their teachers and parents. Participants may be audio recorded as part of data collection. Both parental consent forms and student assent forms must be signed for students to participate. The study will be conducted primarily by Elizabeth White, a Ph.D student at UCLA, and Dr. Rashmita Mistry, Assistant Professor of Education. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Mistry at (310) 825 6569 or mistry@gseis.ucla.edu. (Additional consent)

Participatory Competencies: Learning how to Participate in Digital Designs and Virtual Worlds

This study takes the form of an after-school Virtual World and Design Club for Intermediate and Upper level students in the Extended Day Program at UES. Club members will play on Scratch, a visual programming language that allows designers to create games, music videos, interactive art and more, and Whyville, a large-scale virtual world that encourages youth to play casual science games and design parts for their virtual avatar (personal representation). The study of interactions and impressions from these two clubs will provide the research team with preliminary information on what types of features related to technology fluency youth find engaging, and what issues may arise in connection with their use of online worlds. Both parental consent forms and student assent forms must be signed for students to participate. Participants will fill out a short survey on their previous engagement with technology, and will be interviewed about Scratch and Whyville so that researchers may understand their experiences and gather suggestions for improvement. Participants may also be videotaped at their computers. The study will be conducted primarily by Dr. Yasmin Kafai, associate professor of Psychological Studies in Education at UCLA. If you have any questions about the study, please contact Dr. Kafai at kafai@gseis.ucla.edu or (310) 206 8150. (Additional consent)

Ongoing Projects

KATES: Kids Adapting to Elementary School

KATES examines how children's temperament and personality develop at school and relate to scholastic success. We explore how traits such as persistence, sociability, and cheerfulness affect children's academic achievement and patterns of friendship during elementary school. We are also interested in how relationships with teachers and other caregivers promote adaptation to school among children with a range of temperament styles. Research methods include meeting with children at school and interviewing them about themselves and their relationships. We also collect parent information regarding children's relationships and personality traits, including worry and anxiety. Some children who have high anxiety are also offered an intervention, in which they learn to use relaxation and positive thinking strategies to increase confidence and focus at school and at home. Please note that this study falls outside of the UCLA Lab School blanket consent form. As such, parents must sign and return an additional consent form if they would like to participate. Questions about this study may be directed to Dr. Jeffrey Wood, professor of Education at UCLA, at (310) 825 7292, or jwood@gseis.ucla.edu.

Designing a Multimedia Teaching and Learning Resource

This project is a collaborative effort by teachers and researchers to create an interactive multimedia tool that investigates the “how” of teaching and learning in long-term projects. The finished product—which will be web-based or on CD-ROM—will include video of classroom interaction, interviews with teachers and students and examples of student work. Two years’ worth of video has been collected and teachers and researchers have begun analyzing the data and designing a prototype.

Cool Tools, a Safe School Project

Teachers, researchers and graduate students are working as a team to document the implementation of a safe school system created at Corrine A. Seeds University Elementary School (UES). Developed under the leadership of a UES health educator and a UCLA Department of Psychology faculty member, the system has been at UCLA Lab School for almost six years and has attracted interest from educators, parents and the national news media. CONNECT is working with UCLA Lab School and Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) to explore means for using Cool Tools in the district and to follow up with systematic research on the effectiveness of the methods.

Teacher-Research Group

As part of UES’s effort to support teacher reflection and professional development, CONNECT has organized a teacher-research group in which teachers develop inquiry questions, learn practical skills to collect relevant information sources and write up their investigations for a variety of practitioner and research audiences.

 
projects.txt · Last modified: 2015/04/24 13:07 by mcook