Professors to share research on at-risk students, inclusion at prominent conference

LAWRENCE — Faculty members from the University of Kansas School of Education are among the experts presenting research at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference April 16-20 in Chicago. Among the most prestigious gatherings of higher education researchers in the world, the 2015 AERA conference theme is Toward Justice: Culture, Language and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis.

KU researchers are uniquely suited to contribute to the theme as the university is home to the nation’s top-ranked special education graduate program. To schedule an interview or learn more about faculty's research presentations, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

The AERA embargo policy states content of research papers presented at the 2015 annual meeting are embargoed until date and time of presentation, which are noted below. Among the KU presentations:

Reaching at-risk students: Heidi Hallman's recent research investigates prospective teachers’ work with “at-risk” youths in community-based spaces. Her work aims to uncover how “nontraditional” spaces for teaching and learning, such as homeless shelters and foster/group homes for teens, have the potential to open new doors for considering both the teaching act and teacher identity. 2:15 p.m. today, April 16.

Urban high school dropout and re-engagement: Dorothy Hines Datiri will present “These Students Ain’t Loyal: Perpetuating the Cultural Stereotype of ‘At-Riskness’ and Dropping Out in an Urban School.” Hines Datiri has performed research in high school dropout prevention and re-enrollment programs that encourage urban youths to return to high school to pursue a diploma. Her presentation will examine how race, gender, culture and school identity shape urban black and Latino youth re-enrollment after dropping out. Additionally, her work explores the “cooling out” period, in which urban students exit high school as temporary rather than permanent dropouts. 8:15 a.m. Saturday, April 18

Exploring flipped learning: Barbara Bradley, Michael Hock, Irma Brasseur-Hock, Donald Deshler, Meghan Arthur and Marilyn Ruggles will present “Exploring Flipped Learning in Three High School Classrooms.” The researchers’ study examined a technique in which teachers produce videos and technological class additions on a given topic that students are required to watch before class. The method is designed to allow for more in-depth discussions during classtime and give students a more thorough understanding of subject matter.

The presentation will discuss their qualitative study in which the faculty members addressed benefits of the technique such as the ability to provide better instruction, value of the method for students with learning disabilities and new ways to provide feedback. They’ll also examine challenges such as time restraints, technical difficulties and lack of sufficient classroom materials. Funded by the Oak Foundation, the researchers are working with teachers as the technique becomes more prevalent at all levels of school. 8:15 a.m. Sunday, April 19

Academic tracking and social activity: Karrie Shogren and Kim Fisher will present “Exploring Influence of Academic Tracking on Adolescents’ Social Network and Social Activity.” The study examined how personal characteristics and institutional policies influence adolescent social networks. The researchers tracked how characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, grade, crowd membership and technology use, and institutional policies such as school tracking on disability status influence the social networks of adolescents with and without disabilities. The results indicate significant differences in network structural characteristics and participation in informal social activity for those in a special education track. 8:15 a.m. Friday, April 17

Dispositions and Inclusion: Jennifer Kurth and Anjali Forber-Pratt will present “Teacher Dispositions and Skills for Inclusive Education.” The Individuals with Disabilities Act requires states to improve access for students with disabilities to general education. Kurth and Forber-Pratt’s research examines the role of teacher attitudes and beliefs toward inclusion in granting the best possible access to students with disabilities. Specifically, the beliefs and attitudes of mentor and student teachers are examined. 2:15 p.m. today, April 16

Thu, 04/16/2015


Mike Krings

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