K-12 Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Does Mentoring Impact Beginning Teacher Retention? A Longitudinal Program Evaluation

Work with Emily K Penner
We use seven years of administrative data from a western state to examine the causal effect of their novice teacher mentoring program on teacher turnover. This study leverages rotating program funding at the district level to conduct a reduced-form analysis as well as an instrumental variable analysis. This study helps to clarify conflicts between descriptive, quasi-experimental, and experimental studies examining the effects of mentoring on new teacher retention.

Can the Writing Samples of Applicants Predict Teacher Outcomes on the Job?

Work with Emily K Penner, Sabrina M Solanki, and Xuehan Zhou
One low-cost way to screen applicants and learn about their beliefs, values, and pedagogy is through their writing samples. However, there is limited research linking writing sample data with teachers’ applications and on the job outcomes. The present study analyses six years of educator applicant data from a large urban school district. Using multiple text analysis techniques, this study aims to understand whether essay quality and content are associated with teacher characteristics and their outcomes on the job. 

Postsecondary Instructor Development

Online instruction for a humanized learning experience: Techniques used by college instructors

Work with Qiujie Li, Maricela Banuelos, and Di Xu
This study developed a coding scheme of humanization practices and conducted content analysis of 244 excerpts of teaching practices from 17 online courses that demonstrated high levels of humanized instruction out of 100 randomly selected online courses at a large community college. The results reveal eight techniques that instructors used to humanize their online courses. These techniques, along with the concrete examples, lay a groundwork for future research about the relationship between humanization techniques and student outcomes in virtual environments and provide actionable guidance on how to humanize an online course.

Family and Inequality

Applying a family stress model to understand U.S. families’ patterns of stress, media use, and child behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic

Work with Stephanie M. Reich, Nestor Tulagan, Esmeralda Martin, Melissa Dahlin, and Natasha Cabrera
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly altered family life, and research among adults and families has found increases financial stress, mental health problems, screen time, parental conflict, and child behavior problems. Using the Family Stress Model, we consider how these constructs might relate to each other during the pandemic. From surveys of 247 predominately Latine mothers and fathers of children under 4 years of age in the U.S., we found that financial strain was related to children’s media exposure and use, largely through impacts on parents’ mental health and coparenting relationship. Interestingly, only use of television in the background and during mealtimes were associated with increases in parents’ perception of increases in children’s behavior problems. Such findings better capture how stress may operate in a family system and offer a way to counsel parents about healthier media habits for young children.