Special education majors present at undergraduate research conference
Georgia Southern University College of Education (COE) students presented at the 6th Annual Southeast Regional Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC) held at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, on Oct. 27-28.
A student-centered research conference, GURC provides a platform for undergraduates to showcase original scholarship conducted in partnership with a faculty and/or staff mentor.
Special education majors Megan Fromme, Rebecca Hinrichs, Tasha Livingood and Claire Waldmann participated in the conference.
Fromme, a University Honors student, presented her in-progress thesis research titled “Special Education Teachers’ Response to Consistent Changes in Curriculum Standards.” When completed, Fromme’s research will explore teachers’ efforts to meet state requirements alongside their perception of the standards. COE’s Meca Williams-Johnson, Ph.D., serves as Fromme’s faculty mentor.
Presentations made by Hinrichs, Livingood and Waldmann were based on comparative anecdotal data on behavior and classroom management systems observed in their school placements under the mentorship of COE’s Kymberly Harris, Ph.D.
Hinrichs participated in a paper presentation titled “Differing Methods of Behavior Management in Inclusive Classrooms.” Her paper was co-authored by fellow special education major Kylie Brady. Livingood and Waldman co-authored a poster presentation titled, “Comparing Behavior Management Plans in Two Different Elementary Settings.”
Georgia Southern University provided the only representation at the conference for teacher preparation research. The bachelor’s in special education degree program includes an Introduction to Research in Education course, taught by Williams-Johnson, that provides students with theory and practice in research designs, methods and applications specific to investigations while working in schools.
“Education is an ‘underrepresented’ discipline in undergraduate research,” Harris said. “The steering committee was very complimentary of our students who have research embedded in their coursework and suggested that we apply and submit to the National Collegiate Research Conference at Harvard in January.”
In the field of special education, gathering data is vital to determine and evaluate the effectiveness of educational practices.
“The research projects submitted by the students were part of a larger research agenda that originates in their junior year with the introductory research course,” explained Harris. “The investigations of our teacher candidates are used to support all students in the special education program in evaluating effective methodologies for various student needs.”
The Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference was designed to bring together undergraduate student researchers, university and college faculty, and scholars from around the Southeast to showcase the excellence in research and scholarship occurring in the region. Undergraduate student researchers from all disciplines are encouraged to participate in the annual event.
Posted in Student Highlights