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Our Work

Teaching Self-Efficacy for Engligh Language Learners

A teacher’s belief in her or his ability—their sense of efficacy for teaching—is one of the most important teacher characteristics associated with student success. Among preservice teachers, we found this belief to be lower for English language learners than other students. We designed an intervention to promote this belief. Results revealed that those receiving the invention had a higher sense of efficacy for instructing ELL students than those who did not.

  • Yough, M. (2019). Tapping the sources of self-efficacy: Promoting preservice teachers' sense of efficacy for instructing English language learners. The Teacher Educator, 54(3), 206-224.

Sense of Responsibility for Teaching English Language Learners

A teacher’s sense of responsibility for teaching English language learners is critical in supporting these students. Our research reveals that this sense of responsibility can result in taking additional steps to obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills to be effective with ELLs, their academic progress, and non-learning outcomes such as student well-being outside the classroom. We also learned that this sense of responsibility is affected by the supports and obstacles found in their environment and can impact the emotions teachers experience. These factors all shape the boundaries teachers create regarding their sense of responsibility.

  • Yough, M., Gilmetdinova, A., & Finney, E. (2020). Teaching the English language learner at the elementary school: Sense of responsibility in an ill-defined role. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.

Motivation and Learning in Flipped Classrooms

“Flipped” or hybrid classrooms have come to be viewed as possible solutions to better supporting students in the 21st century. However, much remains unknown about their effect on motivation or learning outcomes in teacher preparation. Our work revealed that students are less motivated in these environments than they are in traditional classrooms. And though students in our study didn’t believe they were learning as much as their peers in traditional settings, our results revealed that learning outcomes were nearly the same and, in some cases, even better. Our results indicate that preparing students for these environments is critical.

  • Yough, M., Merzdorf, H. E., Fedesco, H. N., & Cho, H. J. (2019). Flipping the classroom in teacher education: Implications for motivation and learning. Journal of Teacher Education, 70(5), 410-422.

Understanding the Role of Identity in Classroom Participation

Teachers, do you find it challenging to get students to contribute to large-group discussions? Our work revealed how a small change in how teachers frame class discussions—as a way to demonstrate one’s uniqueness—can result in students placing more value in making contributions and, subsequently, actually contributing more to class discussions.

  • Gray, D. L., Yough, M., & Williams, W. A. (2019). My class needs my voice: The desire to stand out predicts choices to contribute during class discussions. Educational and Child Psychology, 36(4), 65-78.

Identifying Gaps Between Conceptions of Diversity and Practice

The exponential rate of international globalization has resulted in increased dependency on higher education and its administration to prepare its graduates for a global economy. However, this increase in diversity poses complex and difficult questions about diversity education. Our research identified a divide between faculty perceptions of diversity and the pedagogy they employ in teaching about diversity and provides direction for highlighting department diversity objectives.

  • Gordon, S., Yough, M., Finney, E., Haken, A., & Mathew, S. (2019). Learning about diversity issues: Examining the relationship between university initiatives and faculty practices in preparing global-ready students. Educational Considerations, 45(1).
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