Timothy Sheldon, research associate at CAREI, and Dr. Marti Erickson, founding Director of the University of Minnesota's Children, Youth, & Family Consortium, presented the findings from CAREI's three-year evaluation of the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventure (UWCA) Program to Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and several foundation leaders. Over 12,000 Twin Cities youth and their families participated in the program in 2012. Day and overnight canoe trips on the Mississippi River introduce young people to the outdoors, connect them to caring adults, and transform the lives of young people by helping them make lasting connections to the natural world. CAREI's evaluation of the UWCA program assessed the impact of the program activities on the attitudes and behaviors of participating students. The evaluation found that the program: (a) positively influenced students' attitudes about the river, the environment, and science; (b) resulted in more positive connections to peers and adults, (c) promoted personal development, and (d) increased leadership skills. For more information, you can access Sheldon's recent report on the UWCA program evaluation.
Recently posted in Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement
The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2013 CAREI Collaborative Grant Awards. These awards support research collaboration between practitioners in CAREI Member School Districts and faculty and staff of CEHD. This year's recipients are:
• Roozbeh Shirazi, Assistant Professor in OLPD, and Kyle Sweeney, French Teacher with St. Louis Park Public Schools, for their project Not Just a Matter of Race: Engaging with Transnationalism as School Diversity. Their qualitative investigation is intended to lead to the development of pedagogical and curricular tools for educators to encourage the classroom participation of multilingual and multicultural students.
• Susan Ranney, Senior Lecturer in C&I, and Karla Stone, DirecTrack to Teaching Coordinator and Professional Development Specialist with Robbinsdale Area Schools. Their project, Amplifying Academic Language in Co-Taught Classrooms will explore how English learner (EL) teachers and content teachers can effectively co-teach academic language - the English used in textbooks and classrooms but not in everyday conversation - in middle and high school content classrooms.
Delia Kundin and Beverly Dretzke both presented at the Spring Training Conference of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute. Beverly Dretzke conducted a workshop on "Using Excel to Analyze Survey Data." Instructions for using Excel to carry out numerous statistical procedures are available in Dretzke's publication Statistics with Microsoft® Excel, which is now in its fifth edition with Pearson. Delia Kundin led a café-style discussion on "Research on Evaluation & How to Get Published" in partnership with fellow University of Minnesota researchers Frances Lawrenz, Stacie Toal, and Kelli Johnson. Participants in both the workshop and discussion included faculty and staff from the University of Minnesota and other colleges and universities, graduate students, evaluators from independent organizations, and local government analysts.
Melissa Kwon was invited to speak to an audience including Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health Jeanne Ayers, Minnesota policy makers, non-profits, and community leaders at the annual Asian Pacific Islander Advocacy Day at the Minnesota State Capitol. Kwon is the recently elected Chair of the Asian American Pacific Islander Health Coalition (AAPIHC), a coalition of over 12 organizations and professionals committed to improving the health of AAPIs in Minnesota. She spoke about conducting research on and educating the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community about AAPI health and wellness, and specifically addressed the importance of disaggregating data among Asian American ethnicities. Kwon's research with CAREI on API young women and health ties closely with her presentation, and Kwon's undergraduate class participated in the advocacy day training and event.
Kyla Wahlstrom, director of CAREI, was interviewed by KPCC Southern California Public Radio about her extensive research linking school start times with academic achievement and student wellness outcomes. The research is particularly relevant as the Long Beach Unified School District is debating changes to its middle and high school start times. Wahlstrom answered questions from a diverse set of callers, including parents, educators, and students. To learn more, you can listen to the radio program on the KPCC website or read CAREI's reports on school start times.
CAREI Researchers Beverly Dretzke and Molly F. Gordon both presented research on school start times at the annual National Sleep Foundation Sleep Health and Safety Conference. The conference was held in Washington, DC from March 1-2, 2013. The papers presented are:
● Later High School Start Times: Relationships Among Sleep Quantity, Quality, and Health Factors. Gordon, M. F., Gdula, J. A., & Wahlstrom, K. L.
● Impact of Delayed School Start Time on High School Students' Attendance, Tardiness, and Academic Achievement. Dretzke, B. J., Gdula, J. A., & Wahlstrom, K.
Karen Seashore, (Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development), and Molly F. Gordon (CAREI) engaged in a professional development session with approximately 75 school counselors in the Minneapolis Public Schools. The session focused on how school counselors can enlarge their influence in their schools. The professional development stems from Seashore and Gordon's research on the role that school counselors can play in increasing student learning and success. Their book, Aligning Student Support with Achievement Goals: The Secondary Principal's Guide (2006, Corwin Press), outlines how school principals can better utilize their student support staff and align their efforts with achievement goals.
Kyla Wahlstrom, director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), spoke with WCCO's Jason DeRusha about the findings of CAREI's recent research on all-day kindergarten. DeRusha's popular piece "Good Question: Is All-Day Kindergarten Worth It?" was spurred by Governor Dayton's proposal to fund all-day kindergarten across Minnesota. CAREI's five-year research study on all-day kindergarten in the Burnsville School District found clear differences in the groups of kids who had all-day kindergarten from those who did not. For more information, you can read CAREI's Report, or watch the WCCO News segment.
Melissa Kwon, Research Associate at CAREI, was recognized at the University of Minnesota's Women's Center 2012-2013 Celebrating University Women Program where she received a Women's Center Special Grant. The grant is for her work with the Minnesota Young Women's Collaborative (MYWC) Project. The MYWC Project trains college students to be community based researchers, leaders and social justice activists.
CAREI research associates Beverly Dretzke, Debra Ingram, and Tim Sheldon each presented at the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (MWERA) annual conference, held this year in Evanston, IL. Much of the research resulted from collaboration with community partners. Two of Dretzke's coauthors, Judy Meath and Susan Rickers, had previously worked as graduate student research assistants at CAREI.
The research presented by Dretzke, Ingram, and Sheldon covered a wide range of educational topics, specifically:
• Staying Power: Assessing the Impact of the be@school Program on Student Attendance Behavior. (Sheldon, T. D.)
• Integrating the Arts to Improve Student Learning.
(Ingram, D., & Weiss, C.)
• How Practice and Evaluation Shape Each Other: An Example from an Arts Integration Project.
(Radzicki, E., & Dretzke, B. J.)
• Be an Artist with Your Words: Integrating Instruction in Language Arts and Visual Arts.
(Ingram, D., & George, A.)
• Summer School Partnerships of Literary Artists and Sixth-Grade Reading Teachers.
(Dretzke, B. J., Meath, J. L., & Rickers, S. R.)