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Radio interview: Kunz discusses teacher coaching

Gina Kunz
Gina Kunz

Gina Kunz, CYFS research associate professor, shared her team’s research on teaching coaching Thursday, April 6 during the Paul Durban Show on KFOR, a Lincoln, Nebraska, radio station.

The team’s original study investigated how ‘coaches’—trained educators—can help teachers enhance instruction, particularly when using new instructional approaches. Their sample included middle and high school teachers in rural schools across Nebraska.

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Study explores coaching strategies that help teachers, students

From left: Jim Houston, Gwen Nugent and Gina Kunz. The CYFS team is studying coaching as professional development for teachers, and specifically, which coaching strategies are most effective.
From left: Jim Houston, Gwen Nugent and Gina Kunz. The CYFS team is studying the most effective strategies for teacher coaching, a method of professional development that provides feedback from trained educators.

Coaches are central to athletic culture, from football fields to volleyball courts. A CYFS research team is exploring how coaches can enhance performance in a different domain: the classroom.

Within a professional development context, these coaches—trained educators with years of classroom experience—provide ongoing feedback to teachers. Funded by the National Science Foundation and led by CYFS research professor Gwen Nugent, the team aims to identify the most effective coaching strategies by pinpointing how and why they work.

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Collaboration aims to study, shape children’s attitudes toward engineering

Teacher. Firefighter. Doctor. Astronaut. Many of these careers land on children’s lists of what they want to be when they grow up. CYFS research assistant professor Lorey Wheeler would like to see another profession added: engineer.

With a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Wheeler is joining a team from Arizona State University to study how children’s knowledge, stereotypes and achievement-related beliefs affect their interest in engineering. It’s a field in which job growth is outpacing the number of adults who pursue related degrees, especially among women and ethnic minority students.

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Students gain skills in early childhood autism spectrum disorders

Micheale Marcus, left, works with one of her clients at UNMC's Autism Care for Toddlers Clinic. The clinic provides services to children with autism, and their families.
Micheale Marcus, left, works with one of her clients at UNMC’s Autism Care for Toddlers Clinic. The clinic provides services to children with autism and their families. View photo gallery.

Micheale Marcus puts her hands in the air. Then on her nose. Then on the table—a miniature one, where she sits with her client: a 3-year-old toddler who mimics her every move.

Marcus, a second-year graduate student, is receiving training in early childhood autism spectrum disorders through a new traineeship offered in the College of Education and Human Sciences’ school psychology graduate program.

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$1.1M grant to launch UNL concussion management program

Scott Napolitano

With concussion awareness at an all-time high, school personnel are increasingly responsible for supporting students’ recovery.

Scott Napolitano, assistant professor of practice in educational psychology, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant to develop evidence-based training that will help schools diagnose and manage cases of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury in students.

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Project trains rural educators, encourages sustainability

CYFS project manager Amanda Witte and Rural Futures Institute director Chuck Schroeder. The Rural Futures Institute is funding a new project that is training rural Nebraska school personnel to facilitate TAPP, a family-school partnership model.
CYFS project manager Amanda Witte and Rural Futures Institute director Chuck Schroeder. The Rural Futures Institute is funding a new project that trains rural Nebraska school personnel to facilitate TAPP, a family-school partnership model. View photo gallery. For more information, visit the TAPP website.

As the school year begins at North Bend Elementary School, preschool teacher Morgan Root is supporting students of all grade levels with an evidence-based model developed by CYFS researchers.

Root is learning to facilitate the model, Teachers and Parents as Partners, as part of a new project focused on training rural school personnel. TAPP supports collaborative relationships between parents and teachers to improve students’ social, behavioral and academic outcomes. It also features a facilitator who guides the problem-solving process.

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CYFS team earns $3.5M grant to support Latino students

A CYFS team has earned a federal grant to support Latino K-5 students in schools across Nebraska, including Everett Elementary School in Lincoln. The team includes, from left, Lorey Wheeler, Brandy Clarke (UNMC), Susan Sheridan and Kristen Derr.
A CYFS team has earned a federal grant to support Latino K-5 students in schools across Nebraska, including Everett Elementary School in Lincoln. The team includes, from left, Lorey Wheeler, Brandy Clarke (UNMC), Susan Sheridan and Kristen Derr.

Though nearly one of every four U.S. students identifies as Latino, the country’s fastest-growing minority demographic faces many disparities in education outcomes.

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools has earned a $3.5 million grant to explore how to better support Latino students by connecting their experiences at home and school.

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Moen earns dissertation grant to study partnerships

Amanda Moen
Amanda Moen

Preschool represents many firsts in a child’s education. For parents, it is often their first interaction with a classroom teacher.

CYFS graduate assistant Amanda Moen is studying preschool teachers’ influence on these early partnerships. With dissertation grant awards from the University of Nebraska’s Buffett Early Childhood Institute and the Society for the Study of School Psychology, Moen will test a measure used to assess teachers’ confidence in promoting family-school partnerships.

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