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Sh owc asing l ea ding a dvanc es in educa tiona l res earch fro m th e f acul ty in Flo rida Interna tio nal U nivers ity ’s Col lege of Ed uca tio n

Spring 2014

Volume 2, Issue 2

From Motivation to Organizational Commitment of Volunteers in Non-Profit Sport Organizations Authors Hyejin Bang, Florida International University Stephen Ross, University of Minnesota Thomas G. Reio, Jr., Florida International University Abstract The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating role of job satisfaction in the relationship between volunteers’ motivation and affective commitment in non-profit sport organizations. A mail survey was conducted with a sample of 214 individuals who volunteered at 22 non-profit sport organizations in a Midwestern state of the USA. Results from structural equation modeling analysis supported the partial mediation role of job satisfaction. The values factor of volunteers’ motivation had a significant direct impact on affective commitment, and job satisfaction partially mediated the relationship between values and affective commitment. Although volunteer motivation influences the level of organizational commitment, volunteers who are motivated by their values would be more satisfied with their volunteer experience and consequently be more committed to the non-profit sport organization. Little research has specifically addressed volunteer commitment and its links to volunteer motivation and job satisfaction in the context of non-profit sport organizations. Therefore, the study contributes to the understanding of volunteers’ motivation and how it influences commitment toward non-profit sport organizations.

Practical/Social Implications This study has several practical implications. First, non-profit sport organizations must make efforts to positively impact volunteers’ emotions regarding their volunteering experience. Positive emotions would accompany volunteers’ sense of the opportunity to express values associated with being altruistic and humanitarian. Such positive emotions associated with meeting the value expression type of volunteer motivation might lead to increasing the likelihood they will devote themselves to that organization for the long term (Clary et al. , 1998). Second, organizations and managers must work to understand what motivates volunteers’ job performance in the organization, and determine how to help each volunteer achieve a sense of personal job satisfaction. A volunteer evaluates the volunteer experience relative to his or her motives. If the motives through the volunteer activity are achieved, the volunteer’s job experience may become more satisfying (Farrell et al., 1998); the satisfied volunteers would be more likely then to exert their effort and stay in the organization. For instance, when managers give volunteers authority in volunteer settings, such constant support and guidance may help enhance volunteers’ job satisfaction as well as create positive feelings for the organization. Finally, non-profit sport organizations and managers should build long-term relationships with suitable volunteers because volunteers who received positive experiences initially have a greater likelihood to remain in the non-profit sport organization. Citation Bang, H., Ross, S. & Reio, Jr., T. G. (2013). From motivation to organizational commitment of volunteers in non-profit sport organizations. Journal of Management and Development, 32, 96-112.

Spring 2014

Volume 2, Issue 2


Supporting Teachers of Inclusive Classrooms: Using Visible Thinking (VT) and Writing with Adolescents to Develop Reading Comprehension Authors Gwyn Senokossoff, Florida International University Joyce Fine, Florida International University Abstract In this exploratory study, we investigated ways to support delayed readers and an adolescent with Asperger's Syndrome in reading comprehension. Using three Visible Thinking Routines developed as part of a larger research initiative at Harvard University (2011b), we devised graphic organizers that allowed study participants to make their thinking concrete by either drawing or writing their responses to prompts in each routine. We employed a single subject, A-B multiple baseline across subjects design to evaluate the effects of the routines on five adolescents in grades 4-7. We also developed rubrics to assess participants' use of the routines. The outcomes of this small study, while not significant statistically, showed that Visible Thinking Routines when paired with writing in a dialogic approach supported adolescents' development of comprehension and a student with Asperger's Syndrome's engagement with text. These strategies would support general education teachers in inclusive classrooms, and suggest that further research is warranted. Practical/Social Implications This study gave insight into strategies teachers in inclusive classrooms can use with delayed readers. We were able to develop graphic organizers to support our participants’ growth in reading comprehension through dialogue and writing. We also developed rubrics to use to assess students’ use of the Visible Thinking routines. The rubrics we developed offer ways for teachers to monitor students’ continuous progress in developing deeper comprehension. The approach described in this study shows promise for students with a broad spectrum of needs.

Citation Senokossoff, G. & Fine, J. (2013). Supporting teachers of inclusive classrooms: Using Visible Thinking (VT) and writing with adolescents to develop reading comprehension. Journal of Reading Education, 38, 39-45.

Sexual Abuse of Individuals with Disabilities: Prevention Strategies for Clinical Practice


Adrianna McEachern, Florida International University

Abstract Sexual abuse of individuals with disabilities occurs in alarming proportions, although the prevalence and incidence of such abuse is difficult to determine. Although all states maintain statistics on child sexual abuse, the rate of victimization for individuals with disabilities is not specific. This paper reviews several studies conducted on sexual abuse of individuals with disabilities with a focus on clinical prevention strategies. Recommendations for future directions in prevention and research are provided. Practical/Social Implications Professionals who are in contact with this population must be trained on warning signs and mandated reporting practices. Prevention training programs for children and adults with disabilities must be regularly implemented by disability service agencies, residential facilities, school districts, law enforcement agencies, medical and health service providers, domestic centers, and sexual abuse assault programs. Sexuality education and personal safety training to prevent sexual assault and violence against these individuals must be conducted early and regularly with individuals with disabilities and be customized to their needs based on the disability. Furthermore, policies that require government funded researchers, law enforcement, and child protection agencies must be implemented so an accurate accounting of the extent of the problem can be documented (Blasingame, 2010; Kendall-Tackett et al., 2005). These data can be used to bring awareness of the problem and funding support for prevention and treatment.


Spring 2014

Volume 2, Issue 2

    Citation McEachern, A. (2012). Sexual abuse of individuals with disabilities: Prevention strategies for clinical practice. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21, 386-398.

Latino Parents’ Plans to Communicate about Sexuality with their Children Authors Maureen Kenny, Florida International University Sandy Wurtele, University of Colorado Abstract This study investigated 86 Latino parents' intentions to communicate about sexuality issues with their children. They reported on their history of sexuality education, when they would first discuss sexualityrelated topics, and their perceived effectiveness of each topic. Compared with a sample of Caucasian parents, Latino parents intended to discuss sexual abuse/molestation at an earlier age, but planned to discuss human reproduction, intercourse, and AIDS at significantly later ages. Suggestions for assisting Latino parents with communications regarding sexuality topics are provided. Practical/Social Implications Specific communication skills parents can employ include the use of fotonovelas (pictured novelettes) as a culturally appropriate communication medium that can be used to show Latino parents how to engage in sexuality discussions with their children (Cass, Furlong, & Ruiz de Esparza, 2003). Parents can also use “teachable moments” to make it easier to talk about sexual issues with their young children (Wurtele, 2010). This would include maximizing opportunities that naturally occur to introduce sexuality discussions. Parents can also be encouraged to incorporate culturally important morals and values into their sexuality discussions. For older children (7– 12 years), parents can use a television show, movie, or recent news event to bring up sexual topics. In this way, sexuality discussions become routine rather than one-time events. Given the cultural value of respeto, older children may be reluctant to initiate

these discussions with their parents. Parents can be encouraged to use opportunities that arise in everyday life to talk about sexuality issues. Citation Kenny, M. & Wurtele, S. (2013). Latino parents’ plans to communicate about sexuality with their children. Journal of Health Communication, 18, 931-942.

A Comparison of Video Prompting With and Without Voice-Over Narration on the Clerical Skills of Adolescents Authors

Kyle Bennett, Florida International University Anibal Gutierrez, Florida International University Toby Honsberger, Renaissance Learning Academy

Abstract The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of video prompting with and without voice-over narration on the acquisition of clerical skills among five secondary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We used an adapted alternating treatments design consisting of baseline, comparison, and best treatment conditions. Results showed there were negligible differences between video prompting with or without voice-over narration. However, participants indicated differing preferences for one method over the other. Practical/Social Implications Two features of this study have practical implications for teachers and clinicians. First, video prompting with and without voice-over narration brought about quick changes in the participants’ accuracy emitting the tasks. Participants only required a few sessions to achieve mastery with either version of the strategy. This should appeal to professionals charged with skill development considering limited resources. Second, and perhaps most important, the participants indicated differing preferences for video prompting with or without voice-over narration. As such, professionals should consider students’ preference for mode of instruction and accommodate these choices when possible and if learning is not inhibited.


Spring 2014

Volume 2, Issue 2


Citation Bennett, K., Gutierrez, A. & Honsberger, T. (2013). A comparison of video prompting with and without voice-over narration on the clerical skills of adolescents. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7, 1273-1281.

Development of Knowledge Domains and an Instrument to Assess Probation Officers’ Knowledge of Offenders with Intellectual Disabilities Author Valerie Russell, Florida International University Abstract The purpose of this study was to develop knowledge domains and an instrument to assess probation officers’ knowledge levels of offenders with intellectual disabilities by utilizing a synthesis of subject matter analysis technique and a comprehensive review of literature. Results can be used to develop effective training for probation officers. Practical/Social Implications The development of this instrument provides professionals in the field a starting point for conversation about specific staff training needs regarding offenders with IDs. Prior to this research, no studies or assessments were identified that offered any support for training needs assessments on probation officers. Supervisors and supervisees in the criminal justice system can use content domains developed from subject matter experts’ interviews to evaluate specific concepts and effective interactive approaches. Citation Russell, V. (2013). Development of knowledge domains and an instrument to assess probation officers’ knowledge of offenders with intellectual disabilities. Corrections Compendium, 37, 8-16.

Talking and Learning Physics: Predicting Future Grades from Network Measures and Force Concept Inventory Pretest Scores

Authors Jesper Bruun, University of Copenhagen Eric Brewe, Florida International University

Abstract The role of student interactions in learning situations is a foundation of sociocultural learning theory, and social network analysis can be used to quantify student relations. We discuss how self-reported student interactions can be viewed as processes of meaning making and use this to understand how quantitative measures that describe the position in a network, called centrality measures, can be understood in terms of interactions that happen in the context of a university physics course. We apply this discussion to an empirical data set of selfreported student interactions. In a weekly administered survey, first year university students enrolled in an introductory physics course at a Danish university indicated with whom they remembered having communicated within different interaction categories. For three categories pertaining to (1) communication about how to solve physics problems in the course (called the PS category), (2) communications about the nature of physics concepts (called the CD category), and (3) social interactions that are not strictly related to the content of the physics classes (called the ICS category) in the introductory mechanics course, we use the survey data to create networks of student interaction. For each of these networks, we calculate centrality measures for each student and correlate these measures with grades from the introductory course, grades from two subsequent courses, and the pretest Force Concept Inventory (FCI) scores. We find significant correlations (p < 0.001) between network centrality measures and grades in all networks. We find the highest correlations between network centrality measures and future grades. In the network composed of interactions regarding problem solving (the PS network), the centrality measures hide and PageRank show the highest correlations (r = -0.32 and r = 0.33, respectively) with future grades. In the CD network, the network measure target entropy


Spring 2014

Volume 2, Issue 2

    shows the highest correlation (r = 0.45) with future grades. In the network composed solely of noncontent related social interactions, these patterns of correlation are maintained in the sense that these network measures show the highest correlations and maintain their internal ranking. Using hierarchical linear regression, we find that a linear model that adds the network measure hide and target entropy, calculated on the ICS network, significantly improves a base model that uses only the FCI pretest scores from the beginning of the semester. Though one should not infer causality from these results, they do point to how social interactions in class are intertwined with academic interactions. We interpret this as an integral part of learning, and suggest that physics is a robust example. Practical/Social Implications The finding that academic success can be predicted based on centrality within a primarily social network indicates the intrinsically social nature of learning. This has implications for instruction and curriculum and design. It provides a mechanism, creation of social networks, that supports our understanding of the roles that interactive engagement methods play in learning.   Citation

Bruun, J. & Brewe, E. (2012). Talking and learning physics: Predicting future grades from network measures and Force Concept Inventory pretest scores. Physical Review Topics – Physics Education Research, 9, 1-13.

The Mediating Role of Scientific Tools for Elementary School Students Learning about the Everglades in the Field and Classroom Authors Scott Lewis, Florida Atlantic University George O’Brien, Florida International University Abstract There has been an increased use of authentic practices in both science and environmental education in recent years. Such practices can utilize social constructivist frameworks to consider the learning that may be taking place as students become engaged in tool use. The current study focuses on a group of elementary

school students studying the Everglades in the field and in a classroom setting during one academic year. In particular, we observed students’ use of tools (identified as tool-conventions to include both artifacts and conventions) and compared their use in both settings. We found that in the field, students spent considerable amount of time engaged in data collection activity such as taking observations and measurements that resembled what scientists might be doing and included the invention of new tools to facilitate data gathering. In this context, students generally worked more independently from the teacher, collaborated in small work groups, and engaged in more self-directed inquiry. In the classroom, while some of the scientific field tools were practiced in anticipation of their use in the field, activity included more teacher direction, often resembling what might be found in other types of classroom work and the tools used there often supported this work. Models of tool use based on Yrjo Engestrom’s activity approach were constructed for both settings. Practical/Social Implications The use of more authentic approaches in education may result in more opportunities for students to utilize research tools in their work that are part of real practices. Such approaches can also benefit teachers by underscoring the need to identify the tools and conventions that scientists themselves use to study the domain and the best ways to assist students’ tool use while using authentic inquiry. This might include consideration of how to provide support for students to create their own tool-conventions to assist in such inquiry. This could involve monitoring student activity for emergence of such tool-conventions, giving positive feedback for attempts at such development, and classroom discussion about the use of such toolconventions to help students comprehend their effectiveness as well as the role of creative use of such tools in the scientific enterprise. Citation Lewis, S. & O’Brien, G. (2012). The mediating role of scientific tools for elementary school students learning about the Everglades in the Field and Classroom.

International Journal of Education, 7, 433-258.





Spring 2014

Volume 2, Issue 2


A Conceptual Paper on the Application of the Picture Word Inductive Model Using Bruner’s Constructivist View of Learning and the Cognitive Load Theory Authors Xuan Jiang, Florida International University Kyle Perkins, Florida International University Abstract Bruner’s constructs of learning, specifically the structure of learning, spiral curriculum, and discovery learning, in conjunction with the Cognitive Load Theory, are used to evaluate the Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM), an inquiry-oriented inductive language arts strategy designed to teach K-6 children phonics and spelling. The PWIM reflects Bruner’s constructs of learning and it encompasses the presentation of new information, both novel vocabulary and pictures, which could pose a cognitive overload for students who are unfamiliar with the words and pictures from the viewpoint of Cognitive Load Theory. This paper provides suggestions for

attenuating the intrinsic, extraneous, and germane cognitive loads by presenting both novel words and pictures. It concludes with a conceptual model for conducting a systematic experimental study of the PWIM. Practical/Social Implications It is necessary to manage and grade the volume and flow of information carefully with which learners must grapple. Teachers using the PWIM strategy may wish to attenuate the intrinsic, extraneous, and germane loads incurred by presenting both novel words and pictures, by using graphic organizers, graphs, charts, and tables to organize the input vocabulary for learners, thereby reducing the cognitive load demand. Teachers may also elect to use only words to assess learners or perhaps even eschew the use of pictures in the initial stages of the instructional cycle. Citation Jiang, X. & Perkins, A.K. (2013). A conceptual paper on the application of the picture word inductive model using Bruner’s constructivist view of learning and cognitive theory load. Interdisciplinary Journal of Teaching and Learning, 3, 8-17.


Faculty Research Volume 2, Issue 2  
Faculty Research Volume 2, Issue 2