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(1) Foot in the Door, Competent to Transfer, Free to Flee, and Passionate Persisters

LaSonya L. Moore
University of South Florida

Abstract

History continues to show what happens when organizations, institutions, laws, programs, policies, and practices to reduce inequities and inequalities are ignored. Inequality by social, economic, racial, ethnic, and immigrant origins remains pervasive. Any attempts to address the structural roots of inequity and inequality will have limited societal impacts until the structures that created the inequity and inequality are transformed. This requires authentic, ongoing, supportive, collegial, and accountable policies and processes. As the nation continues to combat systemic racism and structural foundations of inequity and inequality, it is evident that equity and equality are less understood when it comes to urban environments. A drastic shift is needed. To improve student learning and teacher persistence and retention in urban educational settings, it will take an authentic, concerted effort to implement a conceptual framework focused on social justice and equity. Students, teachers, and schools are the elements that past research has treated as separate focus points. From my perspective, these are not three separate independent elements, but rather three sets of dynamic (not static, but continuously evolving) relationships. The final section of this paper asks, “Now that we know, where do we go from here?” Propositions for future practice are shared.

Citation

Moore, L.L. (2021) Foot in the Door, Competent to Transfer, Free to Flee, and Passionate Persisters. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 299-315.

Download: 22Moore.591.pdf (63 downloads)

(1) Preparing Preservice Teachers to be Agents of Social Justice: Examining the Effectiveness of Using Literature Circles in a Reading Methods Course

Cheron H. Davis
Florida A&M University

Krystal Bush
Florida A&M University

Abstract

This study, rooted in the evaluation of a reading methods course, sought to determine the implications for preservice teachers (PSTs) who participated in literature circles that intentionally used multicultural literature to discuss social justice issues. Using an interpretative mixed-methods approach, we collected quantitative surveys and conducted individual interviews to determine the participants’ perception of the effects that the implementation method (literature circles) and the curriculum content (multicultural texts) had on their knowledge and professional efficacy. The findings of this study suggest that the course, with an embedded literature circle component, is an essential aspect of the broader teacher development program. Encouraging social activism, promoting recreational reading, and improving PSTs’ ability to facilitate literary discussions around issues of social justice increases their confidence and personal efficacy. Further longitudinal research should be conducted to determine the direct effects this would have on their ability to create change agents in their future classrooms.

Citation

Davis, C.H., & Bush, K. (2021) Preparing Preservice Teachers to be Agents of Social Justice: Examining the Effectiveness of Using Literature Circles in a Reading Methods Course. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 283-298.

Download: 21Davis.591.pdf (100 downloads)

(1) Promoting Children’s Reading Motivation With Culturally Relevant Reading Education

Cheyeon Ha
Florida State University

Shawna Durtschi
Florida State University

Alysia Roehrig
Florida State University

Jeannine Turner
Florida State University

Makana Craig
Florida State University

Michael P. Mesa
Florida State University

Chelsea Funari
Florida State University

Abstract

This study explored how a culturally relevant summer reading program may empower young Black students through social action and opportunities for reading engagement, thus supporting their reading motivation. The North Florida Freedom Schools (NFFS) was designed to realize social justice by providing free educational opportunities, especially for underserved children. Within this context, we explored the students’ autonomous reading motivation and relevant variables to explain how the summer programming may support their motivation to read. In this mixed-methods study, we found that students’ autonomous motivation to read was positively related to their self-efficacy, autonomy, relatedness, and controlled motivation to read. Building positive social relationships and supporting autonomy were important factors in explaining students’ high autonomous motivation in NFFS. Moreover, students reported that participation in NFFS inspired them to effectively engage in reading activities and believe in the value of social action (i.e., how people could contribute to making a better community).

Citation

Ha, C., Durtschi, S., Roehrig, A., Turner, J., Craig, M., Mesa, M.P., & Funari, C. (2021) Promoting Children’s Reading Motivation With Culturally Relevant Reading Education. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 268-282.

Download: 20Ha.591.pdf (111 downloads)

(1) Young African American Scholars Make Reading Gains at Literacy-Focused, Culturally Relevant Summer Camp that Combats Summer Reading Loss

Michael P. Mesa
Florida State University

Alysia Roehrig
Florida State University

Chelsea Funari
Florida State University

Shawna Durtschi
Florida State University

Cheyeon Ha
Florida State University

Erik Rawls
Florida State University

Cheron Davis
Florida A&M University

Abstract

A substantial amount of evidence suggests that students, particularly those from economically disadvantaged households, experience summer reading loss. Available evidence suggests this is due to a lack of participation in literacy-focused activities and access to books during the summer break from school. The current study investigated whether participation in Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools, a free, six-week, literacy-focused, culturally relevant summer camp, may help prevent summer reading loss. The sample consisted of 125 students who participated in three sites of the summer camp and completed pre- and post-test reading assessments. The results of this study suggest that the literacy-focused summer camp provides students with an academically enriching opportunity that may help prevent summer reading loss, particularly for students in Grades 3–5, who experienced small gains on average in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Recommendations are provided regarding how the program can be modified to maximize potential benefits related to participation.

Citation

Mesa, M.P., Roehrig, A., Funari, C., Durtschi, S., Ha, C., Rawls, E., & Davis, C. (2021).  Gains at Literacy-Focused, Culturally Relevant Summer Camp that Combats Summer Reading Loss. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 252-267.Download: 19Mesa.591.pdf (93 downloads)

(1) The Potential Shortcomings of the Proposed Sunshine Scholarship: Analysis of College Promise

Riccardo Purita
Florida State University

Abstract

College promise programs are a new solution that states and cities in the United States are implementing to increase access to higher education. In the 2020 Florida Legislative Session, a bill was proposed to establish the Sunshine Scholarship Program in the hopes of increasing vocational education in the state. This college promise program would have provided full tuition and fees to Florida residents who are part of a household with less than a $125,000 income in exchange for residing and working in the state after graduation. The characteristics of the program had several shortcomings including only covering tuition and fees, having a “last-dollar” structure, excluding part-time students in the eligibility pool, and having a lenient income criterion. All of these factors would have negatively impacted whether students of low-income backgrounds received the scholarship and actually attended college for vocational education as intended. This paper will review college promise programs in the United States and spotlight the potential limitations of the Sunshine Scholarship Program. Finally, it will provide recommendations to eliminate the limitations of this promise program and promote the potential of student recipients from low-income backgrounds in the state of Florida.

Citation

Purita, R. (2021) The Potential Shortcomings of the Proposed Sunshine Scholarship: Analysis of College Promise. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 239-251.

Download: 18Purita.591.pdf (79 downloads)