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Juliet Wahleithner
UC Davis/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2012

High School Teachers’ Instruction of Writing: Negotiating Knowledge, Student Need, and Policy

Abstract: Knowing how to write is critical to students’ postsecondary success, yet concerns with students’ writing have persisted for nearly four decades. Few reports, however, document high school English teachers’ lack of preparation to teach writing or the pressures they face as they negotiate accountability policies and diverse student need. This negotiation directly impacts teachers’ instructional decisions and, ultimately, the conditions in which students learn to write. Using a two-phase, mixed-methods approach, this study examines how writing is taught; tensions that arise as teachers negotiate knowledge, accountability policies, and student need; and how and why these tensions vary across teachers and sites. The first phase included a survey administered to 171 high school English teachers. Preliminary findings informed participant selection for phase two—case studies of eight teachers. Together, the two phases will yield nuanced understandings of the interplay of teacher knowledge, student need, and accountability policies on writing instruction.

Winnie Wang

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2002

Title: The Impact of University Outreach Programs on the College-going Population: A Mixed-Methods Approach

UCLA-sponsored outreach programs seek to increase the academic preparation and competitive eligibility of minority students applying to selective public institutions. This study will compare two UCLA outreach programs (CBOP and EAOP) that provide academic and college-going support to high school students in educationally disadvantaged schools. It will seek to identify elements in each that appear to be particularly effective in increasing competitive eligibility. The study will also examine the quality and fidelity of each of the programs and attempt to identify generic elements of successful student-focused outreach programs.

Mark Warschauer
UC Irvine/education

Fellow, 2001

Title: Technology, Academic Achievement, and Diversity in California High Schools

This project uses case study methods to compare the availability of, access to, and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in low SES (socio-economic status) and high SES secondary schools. The findings will help clarify the degree to which ICT policies and practices serve to enhance critical and analytic thinking among students in under-served communities and to further these students' academic competencies and aspirations.

Lori Wicker

Dissertation Fellow, 2002

Dissertation: A Social Cognitive Model of Attrition

Abstract: This dissertation proposes a model to explain the high rates of college attrition among African Americans students, and to understand how attrition factors may differ among African Americans and students from other low-income groups. The results will be used to inform interventions strategies aimed increase the college degree attainment of African Americans.

Juliet Williams, Ph.D.
UC Santa Barbara/women's studies

Faculty Seed Grantee, 2007

Title: Making a Difference: The Fall and Rise of Single-Sex Public Education in the United States

With the support of the UC ACCORD Faculty Seed Grant, I am developing a research proposal to assess the success of middle school single-sex education initiatives in promoting access to higher education for historically underrepresented students. My study focuses on the effectiveness of a distinctive model of single-sex education which in recent years has emerged as the dominant approach used in public school settings-a model which employs sex segregation in the classroom but does not otherwise address sex and gender differences or inequalities as part of the official curriculum and pedagogy (see Datnow et. al. 2001). The fieldwork for this project will be based at Excel Charter Academy in East Los Angeles, a newly opened public charter middle school serving students mainly from low-income Latino families in the surrounding area.

Jean Yonemura Wing
UC Berkeley/education

Fellow, 2001

Title: The Conditions Contributing to Racial Disparities in Student Achievement

Much research on multi-racial high schools suggests that school structures and cultures contribute to racial disparities in student achievement. To learn more about the conditions that contribute to these disparities, this study analyzes the experiences and academic performance over four years of high school for students at a diverse, urban high school. Students include those who conform to the typical patterns (i.e.,low-performing African American and Latino students and high-performing white and Asian American students) and those who do not conform (i.e., high performing African American and Latino students and low performing white and Asian American students.)

Joanna Wong
UC Davis/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2013

Dissertation: What to Write? Elementary Bilingual Students Writing in a Second Language

Abstract: The socialization of non-English dominant children into learning English as an academic language in schools is a critical transition in their lives. However, little research examines how elementary-age bilingual children navigate and understand this transition between their home and school languages and literacies. This dissertation draws on ethnographic methods to examine the writing practices of fourth grade, low-income, Spanish-dominant students in a bilingual school. By focusing on emerging bilingual students’ writing experiences as elicited through a triangulation of sources (student and teacher interviews, classroom observations, student work samples, and instructional artifacts), this study offers new understandings of young bilingual students’ literacy experiences within, and beyond, classroom walls with curricular implications to better serve culturally and linguistically diverse children. 

Chenoa S. Woods
UC Irvine/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2013

Dissertation: Patches in the Leaky pipeline: The Influences of Classrooms, Programs, and Schools on Students’ College Preparation and Choice

Abstract: Although college aspirations are nearly universal among students, the college preparation process varies widely based on students’ individual and local contexts. Access to resources, opportunities for adequate preparation, and supportive, knowledgeable adults increases students’ likelihood of enrolling in college, and in four-year colleges in particular. This three-part dissertation examines how classrooms, programs, and school culture influence students’ college choice process. The first study uses sixth-grade student surveys to examine the effect of an in-class early college curriculum on beliefs about and conversations with sources of college knowledge. The second study employs interviews with students to explore their reasons for participating in an optional afterschool college preparation program. The final study examines the influences of high schools’ college-going culture on students’ college choice process. Taken together, the studies in this dissertation provide a more thorough understanding of college choice by exploring how multiple contexts can patch the leaky pipeline.

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