Western Kentucky University's Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research prepares aspiring leaders for high-impact careers in K12, higher education, and other organizational settings.
Two EALR professors and a WKU doctoral student were recently recognized in the 2018 Emerald Literati Awards. The awards, now in their 25th year, celebrate outstanding scholarship appearing in research journals issued by Emerald Publishing.
Earlier collaborations on leadership coaching for school principals featuring EALR and other College of Educational and Behavioral Sciences contributors appeared in Qualitative Research in Education in 2014 and are based on a framework Dr. Houchens first laid out in the Journal of Thought in 2009.
Congratulations to Drs. Houchens and Stewart and to doctoral candidate Sara Jennings!
EALR faculty members presented their work at several research and professional conferences, including the following:
Dr. Janet Hurt presented at the Oxford (United Kingdom) Educational Research Symposium on work conducted in collaboration with Dr. Stacy Leggett and Dr. Marguerita DeSander, “How principals use the evaluation system to improve the instructional capacity of teachers and an examination of the factors that influence the evaluation.”
Dr. Tom Stewart presented a paper at the International Thomas Merton Society annual meeting at St. Bonaventure University (NY), “Compassionate leadership: Models of mercy in Merton and O’Conner.”
Dr. Kimberlee Everson presented two papers at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in San Antonio, TX. These included “Validity issues in assessing disposition: The confirmatory factor analysis of a teacher disposition form,” research conducted with WKU EdD alumna Dr. Chunling Niu (now with the University of Kentucky) and Dr. Cassie Zippay and Dr. Sylvia Dietrich (WKU); and “Value-added modeling alternatives that reflect classroom composition,” research conducted with Dr. Erika Feinaur (Brigham Young University).
EALR faculty also celebrated several publications in books and peer-reviewed research journals, including the following:
Dr. Kristin Wilson, in collaboration with WKU EdD alumnus Dr. Wouter Van Alebeek (director of WKU’s English as a Second Language International program), published a book chapter in the forth-coming International Handbook of Comparative Studies in Community Colleges and Global Counterparts, “An analysis of social media narratives in South Africa’s #FeesMustFall movement.”
Dr. Wilson also collaborated with several international colleagues on the book chapter, “Sustainability of higher education credit systems and transfer structures: Experiences from South Africa, the United States, and Australia” in Sustainable Transformation and Higher Education.
In addition to the list above, EALR faculty celebrated other publications, invited presentations, and creative activities and look forward to another productive year in 2017-2018.
According to EALR professor Dr. Kimberlee Everson, who coordinates the program, “The MER coursework can focus entirely on quantitative methods or focus jointly on quantitative and qualitative approaches.” Program requirements “intentionally overlap with the Education Doctoral program at WKU so that it can serve either as a beginning point for future EDD students, or a s means of adding qualifications for current of former students.”
While not appropriate for students in the hard sciences, the MER certificate may be of interest to graduate students in the social sciences, business, organizational leadership, or similar fields.
EALR Department Chair Dr. Marguerita DeSander co-presented with a colleague from George Washington University on their preliminary work on teaching effectiveness and leadership development in Puerto Rico.
Dr. Gary Houchens and Dr. Steve Miller shared their research on developing a new teacher perception survey called the School Improvement Scholastic Review (SISR). Dr. Everson and WKU EdD program director Dr. Tony Norman are also participating in this research.
Dr. Houchens moderated a panel discussion featuring superintendents and other district leaders from GRREC/OVEC Race to the Top district grant schools that have made strides with personalized learning.
Dr. Tom Stewart and Dr. Houchens presented their research on using executive coaching to help school principals develop as instructional leaders.
Dr. Stacy Leggett presented her research on North Carolina’s teacher evaluation system.
WKU doctoral student Josh Howard shared research on personalized learning self-evaluations and site visits conducted as a part of the Race to the Top grant. His collaborators included doctoral students Komako Suzuki and Trudy-Ann Crossbourne and was supervised by Dr. Norman and former EALR professor Dr. Jie Zhang.
Dr. Houchens presented additional results from Race to the Top schools’ personalized learning self-assessment on behalf of Dr. Norman and the Rock Solid Race to the Top evaluation team.
Dr. DeSander and Dr. Janet Hurt shared research on how principals and teachers co-construct theories of practice.
On behalf of doctoral student Trudy-Ann Crossbourne, Dr. Houchens shared additional research on how schools in the Race to Top grant developed their personalized learning plans.
Dr. Stewart co-presented with EALR aspiring principal student Linda Caudle and her principal Vicki Gough from the Ballard County Schools, sharing their work on professional learning communities.
Additionally, several WKU doctoral students delivered poster presentations, including the following:
EALR alumna and EdD student Savannah Denning shared her proposed dissertation research, a case study of leadership in one of Kentucky’s Districts of Innovation.
Robert King presented his proposed dissertation research on behavior modification programs for at-risk students.
Candida Murphy presented her proposed program evaluation dissertation assessing implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports on her school.
Christy Spurlock and Jia Pei shared their research on doctoral student persistence at WKU.
Derick Strode presented his dissertation research on study abroad at WKU’s Gatton Academy. Derick received the CREATE Emerging Researcher Award for his presentation.
Next year’s CREATE Conference will be held in Virginia Beach, Virginia where EALR professors and students expect to again share their on-going research interests and accomplishments.
Nuray Kisa, a doctoral student in Educational Sciences from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, visited WKU from December 2015 until June 2016. Nuray was a guest of EALR associate professor Dr. Gary Houchens. With Dr. Houchens’ guidance, Nuray completed a draft of her doctoral dissertation, which focuses on the gap between theory and practice as perceived by principals, school administrators, and university professors in Turkey. She presented the results of her research at a Brown Bag research luncheon in April. Nuray will soon defend her dissertation and commence her own professorial duties at Hacettepe.
Huan Zhang, assistant lecturer in the Foreign Language Department in Anhui University of Science and Technology in Ma’anshan, China, arrived at WKU in March 2016 as a guest of EALR associate professor Dr. Jie Zhang. Huan will remain until September 2016 advancing her research agenda on bilingualism, language teaching, and second language acquisition (an interest she shares with Dr. Jie Zhang).
EALR faculty, staff, and students have enjoyed the opportunity to engage in cross-cultural sharing with our guests and deepen our understanding of education issues from an international perspective. We look forward to hosting more scholars in the future.
Dr. Gary Houchens won the CEBS award for Student Advising, while Dr. Jie Zhang earned the award for Research. They were recognized with a university-wide reception and awards ceremony in April.
Each year students, faculty, and administrators nominate faculty members for awards in Teaching, Research, Student Advisement, and Public Service. This year awards were also given for outstanding part-time faculty members. A faculty committee reviews a portfolio of materials from nominees and each college selects an award winner for each category. Drs. Houchens and Zhang will now be considered for the university-wide faculty awards, which will be announced at the faculty/staff Convocation in August.
Drs. Houchens and Zhang were also awarded tenure in 2016. Both joined the faculty of WKU in 2010. Dr. Houchens works primarily with students in the principal certification program while Dr. Zhang teaches research methods in the WKU Doctorate of Educational Leadership program where she also serves on numerous dissertation committees.
Students in WKU’s Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD) program have been showcasing their research this semester, and in April visiting scholar Nuray Kisa, a doctoral student from Turkey, will present on the results of her dissertation study.
These monthly events feature brief presentations from doctoral students describing their completed research, or projects that are currently in progress, and give an opportunity for faculty and other students to discuss. Hosted by the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research, in collaboration with the EdD program, the brown bags are facilitated and organized by EALR assistant professor Dr. Jie Zhang and take place in Gary Ransdell Hall 3073. A light lunch is provided to attendees.
In February, Trudy Crossbourne shared research she has conducted under the supervision of Dr. Kimberlee Everson exploring the reasons why African American families choose homeschooling. Trudy shared the challenges of conducting research on homeschoolers and the limitations in current literature, plus pointed toward opportunities for future study in this area.
In March, Louis Zabaneh provided background on the educational landscape in his home country of Belize, especially teacher training. He discussed a Sustainable Development Human Capabilities model, based in part on the work of Indiana economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, that he plans to use in carrying out his dissertation research. Louis is working closely with EALR associate professor Dr. Tom Stewart to facilitate a potential partnership between WKU and the University of Belize to support teacher training in that country.
This semester EALR is hosting a visiting scholar from Ankara, Turkey. Nuray Kisa is a doctoral student at Hacettepe University in educational sciences, visiting WKU under the sponsorship of EALR associate professor Dr. Gary Houchens. Nuray has been conducting survey research exploring the perceptions of Turkish school principals, university professors, and district-level education officials on the gap between theory and practice in educational research. She will share results of her study at the April 5 brown bag.
Finally, Dr. Zhang and doctoral students will present May 3 on the topic of conducting program evaluations. To attend the April 5 brown bag with Nuray or the May 3 session with Dr. Zhang, please RSVP to EALR Office Associate Missy Pardue at Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org. All brown bag lunches are at noon in GRH Room 3073.
Part of EALR’s “Brown Bag” research luncheon series, Dr. Wilson’s talk will address common misunderstandings or classical misconceptions about the qualitative tradition. The basic steps of writing a qualitative doctoral dissertation will be outlined and ways to develop qualitative research designs will be suggested.
A light lunch will be served so if you plan to attend please email EALR Office Associate Missy Pardue at Melissa.email@example.com by Friday, October 16.
Dr. Peter G. Northouse, professor emeritus in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University, will deliver the 2015 Boyd-Lubker Visiting Scholar Lecture on Tuesday, March 31, at 7 p.m. Central time in Gary Ransdell Auditorium on WKU’s Bowling Green campus.
Northouse is author of the book, Leadership: Theory and Practice, now it its sixth edition and considered a foundational textbook in the field. The book is a centerpiece of WKU’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership program and provides a historic overview of leadership theory and research.
Dr. Northouse will speak on “Leadership in the 21st Century: Theories and Trends.” The lecture is free and open to the public. Doctoral students and practicing and aspiring leaders in schools, post-secondary institutions, and other organizations are encouraged to attend.
These Research Brown Bag events will give professors a chance to share their current research and solicit feedback from colleagues and students. Doctoral students, aspiring leaders, and practitioners are invited to attend and participate in the discussion. Please email Dr. Jie Zhang to RSVP by March 16 if you can attend: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read about Dr. Berger’s recent awards for service to the field of adult education here and here.