• What is Missing Here? The Absence of a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Salem State University’s Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program

      Schumaker-Murphy, Megan; Noonan, Anne; Morin, Julia (2021-05-01)
      The K-12 student population in the United States is becoming increasingly more diverse in terms of the cultural, linguistic, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds of its students, with the racial identity of the students being of particular interest to researchers now that students of color make up around 50% of the school children population (Pennington, 2003). Numerous studies in this area have indicated that in order to meet the learning needs of a diverse student body and make their educational experience more equitable, a teacher must take on a culturally responsive teaching approach. This teaching approach to education has proven to be effective with students from various backgrounds as it builds on both the strengths and learning capacity of the individual student; and creates an expectation for teachers to take responsibility for their students` success, communicate high behavioral and academic expectations address their implicit biases, and work on relationship building and trust within their classroom (Souto-Manning, 2018). However, White people account for almost 90% of both teachers and teacher students in America (Ladson-Billings, 1999), and countless studies have reported that these teachers are ill- prepared to become a culturally responsive teacher, let along be able to address their implicit biases (Jett, 2012). Since the Massachusetts school system is currently seeing an increase in the diversity of its student population, as well as serious issues with segregation making it more likely for teachers to have a class where most of its` children identify as minority students (Rocheleau, 2017), an early childhood teacher preparation college in the area was observed, specifically Salem State University. The courses within the teacher preparations were examined, specifically for the purpose of finding how embedded a culturally responsive pedagogy was in the required courses for graduation. The study then gives recommendations about how to weave culturally responsive teaching and/or principles of culturally responsive teaching throughout the courses within the program, so pre-service teachers will be professionally trained to be culturally responsive educators in their future schools.
    • What is This Thing Called Happiness? An Integrative Assessment of Happiness across Several Demographic Variables

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Kaplan, Rachel Rachel (2016-05-01)
      The purpose of this study is to qualitatively examine attitudes about the meaning of happiness across several demographics. The primary goal is to better understand the ways in which individuals define happiness in their own words and whether these definitions fit within the three major philosophical categories of happiness (hedonism, satisfactionism, and eudaimonism). The secondary goal of this research study is to discover any significant correlations between definitions of happiness and demographic information provided by participants (i.e., age range, gender, and level of education). It was hypothesized that there would be different associations between demographic data and philosophical view of happiness. The study was conducted using a SurveyMonkey questionnaire with a link that was distributed via email. Participants (N = 93) were asked to respond to both multiple choice and open-ended questions. Open-ended responses were then coded into either one of the three philosophical categories for happiness or an 'other' category. Quantitative descriptive statistical analysis reinforces the findings of earlier studies in which concepts of happiness change with age range (Mogilner, Kamvar, & Aaker, 2010). This study also found a connection between level of religiosity/spirituality and differences in happiness views in terms of concept and meaning. Qualitative analysis supported recent findings by Fave et al. (2016), in which family, friends, and love were important features of happiness. This study also found that the components of family, friends, and love were important across all three philosophical views of happiness (hedonistic, satisfactionistic, and eudaimonistic).
    • Why Incorporating Translanguaging Practices Into English As A Second Language Programs Will Help Boost English Proficiency And Build Confident English Learners

      Gonzalez, Melanie; Neault, Jillian (2020-05-01)
      English as a second language programs often implement other ways of teaching that do not allow for students to use their native language, requiring the use of English only using various instructional strategies to teach language and content. Translanguaging is a practice allows for students to be able to learn English as well as keeping their identity and culture through using their native language (L1) alongside English. This approach helps students to still learn English and be able to communicate with both their teachers and families at home about their schoolwork. Therefore, this thesis explores educational research done on translanguaging and the benefits that can come from using this way of teaching. To complete this thesis, I performed a literature review in the form of a pedagogical article to show the benefits of translanguaging.