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Kathryn Hayes
UC Davis/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2013

Dissertation: Equity in Elementary Science Education: A Study of Institutional Factors

Abstract: Despite recognition that the foundation for science aptitude is laid down at the elementary level (Tai, et al., 2006), in the last ten years both time and quality of science instruction has declined in K-6 schooling (Center on Education Policy, 2007).  A lack of access to excellent science education is exacerbated for low income students, prompting significant questions regarding inequities within the science education pipeline (Maulucci, 2010).  The critical conditions salient to addressing these inequities include teacher preparation, resources, and leadership, as well as the policy and institutional milieu.  However, although the former three have been studied extensively, the role of policy and institutions in creating the conditions for equity in science education are little understood despite their likely significant role (Lemke, 2001).  This mixed methods study aims to address this gap through examining the role of policy and institutional practice in constraining or supporting equitable elementary science education.

Rafael Hernández
UC Santa Barbara/counseling, clinical, and school psychology

Dissertation Fellow, 2013

Dissertation: Responding to Perceived Racial Microaggressions: Impacts on Latina/o Mental Health and College Persistence Attitudes

Abstract: My research examines coping responses that buffer the harmful effects of racial microaggressions on Latina/o students’ mental health and attitudes about finishing college. Racial microaggressions are subtle insults or indignities that belittle or exclude people of color. They may be intentional or unintentional. Despite their often ambiguous nature, the accumulation of these experiences adversely impacts the adjustment, academic performance, and persistence of students of color. Latina/os are the most populous and fastest growing minority group, yet underrepresented in academic persistence research. Little is known about the healthy and effective ways Latina/os deal with racial microaggressions in their day-to-day lives. Certain coping strategies may serve as resources for Latina/o college students to overcome barriers and inequities created by racial microaggressions. Findings will help us understand how to build resiliency and agency against this insidious form of racism and inform efforts to promote equitable conditions for academic persistence of underrepresented college students.

Sera Hernández
UC Berkeley/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2011

Dissertation: Beyond Risks and Resources: Educational Discourse and the Construction of the Home-School Relationship for Mexican Immigrant Families

Abstract: Drawing on the linguistic anthropology of education, this twelve-month qualitative dissertation offers a nuanced exploration of the interplay between institutional discourse on Latinos in education and the nature of the home-school relationship for four Mexican immigrant families. Relying on participant observation in homes and schools, video and audio recordings, interviews, and textual artifact collection within a northern and southern California school district, this study furthers our understanding of how institutionally-based texts and discursive interactions between the home and school contexts are negotiated moment-to-moment, yet encoded by the sociopolitical and historical context of education in the United States. This micro-level analysis furthers our understanding of how ideologies of language and personhood shape the ways in which the study’s key social actors (parents, students, teachers, and administrators) participate in face-to-face and textual-based interactions, ultimately influencing Mexican immigrant parents’ and students’ educational perspectives, schooling practices, and postsecondary plans.

Nicole Hidalgo
UC Santa Cruz/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2009

Dissertation: When Stepping to College is Stepping to Consciousness: Cultivating Transformational Resistance in an Urban High School Classroom

Alice Ho

Dissertation Fellow, 2007

Dissertation: Adjustment and Achievement of Ethnically Diverse, Urban Adolescents across the Transition to High School

Abstract: Existing transition research indicates that academic achievement and engagement significantly decline as students move from middle school to high school. Little is known, however, about why the decline occurs, the role of school structure, and whether the pattern might be different for particular ethnic groups. With an ethnically-diverse, urban sample, this study examines (1) ethnic identity development, perceptions of educational barriers and school interracial climate, and academic achievement and engagement longitudinally across the critical transition to high school, (2) the effects of school context, and (3) how different patterns of student experiences predict distal educational outcomes such as academic achievement and engagement at the end of 10th grade. Utilizing piecewise growth modeling and piecewise growth mixture modeling, I will analyze individual student change across the transition from middle to high school, identify groups of students with similar experiences in each phase, and use these groups to predict distal academic outcomes.

Megan Hopkins

Dissertation: Drawing on Our Assets: A Study of the Unique Contributions of Bilingual Teachers

Abstract: This study examines the unique contributions that bilingual teachers make to the education of English learners (ELs) and the extent to which these contributions are mediated by the policy context. Assessing bilingual teachers’ contributions, or the assets and skills that translate into pedagogical and other teaching practices, is especially relevant due to the continuing underachievement of ELs, who comprise one of the fastest growing student populations in the country, and to the decreasing numbers of teachers pursuing bilingual credentials in states with English-only policies. A small body of research suggests that bilingual teachers are best suited to work with ELs, inferring that the loss of bilingual teachers is negatively impacting EL outcomes. Using a mixed methods approach, this study will provide the first broad-scale examination of the practices of teachers of ELs and assess the impact of policies that precipitate declines in the number of teachers pursuing bilingual credentials.

Eileen Lai Horng

Dissertation Fellow, 2003

Dissertation: What Makes Schools “Hard-to-Staff”?  Examining Teachers’ Choices

Abstract: Low-performing, low-income students of color are most likely to attend schools that have difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified teachers.  Educational policymakers and researchers have hypothesized that raising teacher salaries or improving working conditions would attract qualified teachers to hard-to-staff schools. This study will explore the these and other job features that could encourage more qualified teachers to teach at hard-to-staff schools.   The findings will provide new data to policymakers about the combination of job features that are useful in recruiting and retaining teachers in low performing schools.

Paul M. Ong, Jordan Rickles & Douglas Houston
UCLA/public policy

Fellows, 2001

Title: School Integration and Residential Segregation in California

This study uses US Census 2000 and California Department of Education data to investigate whether schools play a role in integrating segregated neighborhoods. The project has three primary objectives: (1) measure school and residential segregation in California metropolitan areas; (2) profile metropolitan areas based on their relative measure of school segregation; and (3) investigate, at a micro-level, whether schools play a role in integrating segregated neighborhoods.

Jevon Hunter

Dissertation Fellow, 2006

Dissertation: The Social Organization of Academic Literacy Within and Across Middle School Contexts

Abstract: This dissertation study employs a sociocultural theoretical framework and an interpretative case study approach to understand how MESA, a University of California sponsored academic enrichment program, fosters academic literacy. A sample of ten seventh grade students and their teacher are followed in two settings, MESA and a language arts classroom, to examine the features that are associated with and contribute to the social organization of academic literacy learning within and across multiple contexts. Of central importance to this research is how the various learning contexts, and the features within, mediate the acquisition of academic discourses and literacies.

Kim Nga Huynh
UC Berkeley/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2011

Dissertation: Stepping Stones to a Baccalaureate

Abstract: This dissertation investigates how students’ educational plans develop as they move to and through community college. Low community college transfer and completion rates are often discussed in terms of student characteristics, rather than institutional weaknesses that affect all students. To direct attention towards the impact of institutional practices, this study focuses on how youths make sense of, and respond to, their college environments. Forty seniors were recruited in high school and followed into community college for over eighteen months in order to investigate how their perceptions of the opportunities and constraints within their respective college shaped their college plans and persistence behavior. I find that student participation and withdrawal behavior is adaptive, which means that student performance is a strategic response to student perception of environmental conditions. A more subtle but significant finding is that student (mis)behavior can only be more fully understood as action constituted within a value-laden system of evaluation.

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