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COE students present projects, research at Armstrong Campus Student Scholar Symposium

Caitlin Macon (left)

A’lexia Jenkins (right)

Ashley Stroud (right)

Chaienne Tucker (left)

Kayla Wilharm (left)

College of Education (COE) students on the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus in Savannah presented research during the Student Scholars Symposium held April 18-19 in the Student Union.

Both COE undergraduate and graduate programs, under the mentorship of Anne Katz, Ph.D., associate professor of reading, were represented in the Symposium. Students participating in poster presentations included Katherine Baker, A’lexia Jenkins, Caitlin Macon, Ashley Stroud, Chaienne Tucker and Kayla Wilharm.

Baker, Macon and Jenkins presented projects they each conducted on diverse children’s literature.

Baker evaluated picture books appropriate for pre-k through 2nd grade that portrayed Hispanic culture. Her poster presentation, titled “Diverse Literature Research Analysis,” presented an analysis of five books she felt provided a strong and authentic representation of Hispanic culture and characters through various lenses. She encouraged inclusion of the books to allow students to see themselves and family represented in literature but also to expose other student populations to diversity in literature.

Macon also analyzed picture books for students in pre-k through 2nd grade that pertained to Hispanic heritage. She applied a critical cultural lens, evaluating the quality of the literature to ensure that the books avoided biases and superficial approaches to issues of diversity and cultural perspectives.

Jenkins focused her research on a book analysis of Taye Diggs’ Chocolate Me!, a picture book that encourages the love one should have for themselves through the experiences of a young African American boy. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy, which provides a set of three hierarchical models used to classify education learning objectives, Jenkins examined the book for objectives in cognitive, affective and sensory domains.

Stroud presented “Reading Assessment Tools,” which examined three different reading assessment methods–Burke Reading Interview; Assessing Phonemic Awareness: Rhyming Word Pairs; and Primary Spelling Inventory. Stroud implemented each tool with a group of students and provided details about the results of the assessment, the students participating, how the tool was implemented, and a summary of the activities.

Tucker presented “A Community Literacy Partnership around Kwame Alexander’s The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in this Game Called Life.” Working with middle grades students, this collaborative project was conducted with the Teens for Literacy program which promotes literacy for Savannah area P-8 students. Teacher candidates based activities around Alexander’s book to provide transformative student learning experiences that enhanced the middle schoolers’ reading, comprehension and written expression.

Wilharm’s poster presentation, titled “Expanding and Exploring Sharing Opportunities in Writing” examined the importance of encouraging children to share and reflect upon what they read as well as using writing as a counseling and therapeutic measure. Applying existing research to her experiences, Wilharm presented strategies for language development through shared writing as well as promoting a positive sharing community in the classroom.

“I am proud of these College of Education students and their commitment to sharing their fine work with the university community,” said Katz


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