Conference Spotlights Graduate Education Student Research

Teachers, classmates, family, and friends of the College’s Master of Education (M.Ed.) candidates gathered on April 20, 2016, for the ninth annual Graduate Education Conference.

Titled “Connecting Inquiry and Practice: Teachers as Researchers,” the event showcased the culminating projects of M.Ed. students who will graduate this spring and summer.

“This is a great opportunity for our students,” said Monica McKinney, professor and director of graduate programs in education. “We want them to be both intelligent producers and consumers of research.”

Ten M.Ed. candidates delivered presentations on topics ranging from early elementary retention to the impact of co-teaching. The students spent the fall semester designing their projects and becoming experts in their subject matter areas. Then in the spring they conducted what McKinney described as “action research,” often in the classrooms and schools where they currently teach.

Abby Phipps, ’16, M.Ed., who delivered a presentation on the connection between choice and student motivation in the math elementary classroom, said “This research project impacted my teaching tremendously because it gave me a new understanding of my students and a better picture of what motivates them.”

McKinney said the conference also aims to foster leadership development.

“We hope this experience for our teacher-researchers translates into regional, state, and national conference presentations,” she said. “We want them to contribute to the larger conversation about teaching and learning.”

Melyssa Allen

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