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Study examines strategies to enhance preschool science instruction

Soo-Young Hong

A preschooler sends a toy car whizzing across a track and down a ramp. With a teacher’s guidance, this four-year-old can also learn about force and motion: the science behind her play.

Soo-Young Hong, associate professor of child, youth and family studies, is exploring how a professional development program could help preschool teachers integrate science into their daily classroom activities.

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Faculty invited to join early childhood research database

The Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research is inviting all faculty members with an interest in early childhood research to join an online, campus-wide database.

The database is designed to be easily searchable, allowing faculty to identify others who are doing research in their content area. The database will include faculty research areas and populations, as well as research tools, design and methods.

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Undergraduate research assistants receive poster award

CYFS undergraduate research assistants, from left: Laura Domet, Zac Egr and Madison Warrick.

Three CYFS undergraduate research assistants have received a top research poster award from the College of Education and Human Sciences, and the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Laura Domet, Zac Egr and Madison Warrick received the $250 award, which recognizes outstanding posters that were presented at the UNL Spring Research Fair. The award is funded by the College of Education and Human Sciences.

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Radio interview: Kunz discusses teacher coaching

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.

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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New grant support resources available

For more information, visit cyfsgrant.unl.edu.

CYFS has released a new website and print book for researchers pursuing grants in the social, educational and behavioral sciences.

Both resources share information about CYFS grant support, which includes services from project conception to execution. The resources share information about complimentary grant services, current rates for additional services, and frequently asked questions.

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