Silva Mangiante, Pelkowski present at international conference
Dr. Elaine Silva Mangiante, associate professor in the Department of Education, and Dr. Tracy Pelkowski, assistant professor in the Department of Education, recently presented their research at the 26th International Conference on Learning at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Silva Mangiante presented results of a study examining third and fourth grade students’ speech-acts (student statements during small group decision-making) when working in teams during an integrated science/engineering design unit in 13 elementary classes.
Using Jin and Geslin’s conceptual framework that defines components of team negotiation for collaborative engineering design, the results indicated students most frequently engaged in speech-acts that involved proposing or refining their own solutions. Less frequently, the students defended proposals, critiqued proposals of others or provided counter-proposals. Their least frequent speech-acts included compromise and acquiring information to inform a design proposal.
Silva Mangiante’s study also identified factors that impacted student teamwork. Findings showed that teachers scaffolded for students’ discourse in sharing ideas; however, they also needed to provide skill-building in compromise before students engaged in team problem-solving.
Pelkowski presented part one of her findings from her mixed-methods case study examining freshman secondary education students’ racial identity development and perceptions of their required course Introduction to Race and Inequity in American Education. Student participation was voluntary and identities were kept anonymous. Participants’ pre- and post-course survey results from Helm’s White Racial Identity Attitude Scale demonstrated no statistically significant change in participants; however, qualitative data from participant and instructor interviews is currently being analyzed.
Pelkowski’s research has been conducted with assistance from Dr. Kaitlyn Black, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, and in collaboration with student researchers Andrea Dockendorf, Calissa Silva and Eden Zaleski. Part two of the research study, which will discuss the qualitative data, has been accepted as a presentation at the Northeastern Educational Research Association’s conference to be held in October.