Education graduate students present research at annual forum
Doctoral student Eric Pizzini discusses his research about the impact fathers can have on their child's literacy skills.
Doctoral student Sohyun Han
Doctoral student Zoi Phillippakos


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9:09 a.m., May 19, 2010----After hours of exploration and study, University of Delaware education graduate students had the opportunity to showcase and share their current research projects with colleagues, faculty and the public. On Friday, May 7, UD's School of Education (SOE) hosted its annual graduate research forum at the Perkins Student Center on Academy Street.

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"The event provides us with the opportunity to 'peek' into each other's work," said Zoi Phillippakos, a doctoral student who presented two posters of her research at the forum. "We are all busy with our studies and work, so at the forum, we had the chance to hear each other's interests and discuss our work in a collaborative manner."

For her first poster, Phillippakos presented her research about the effects of skills-oriented and strategies-oriented small group instruction on first-grade reading achievement. Her other poster was entitled "Knowledge of Revising and Revising Behaviors of Students in Elementary Grades," where Phillippakos studied the ability of young students to review their written work and make their own revisions.

The forum featured more than 25 posters and presentations from students in the SOE master's degree and doctoral degree programs.

Topics included:

  • Home Environment and Language: Impact on Emergent Literacy Skills;
  • School Climate in Delaware and Abroad;
  • Why are you Acting Like a "Gringo?": How Latino Students Interpret and Respond to this Question; and
  • Students' Use of the Internet: A Plan for Phenomenological Study.

For Sohyun Han, a doctoral student, presenting her work allowed her peers to ask useful questions and provide supportive feedback that's helping Han further develop her research.

"For instance, they asked me why I chose to focus on dramatic play area in preschool," said Han. "This question was a really good one because it helped me to think outside of the box. Dramatic play has been considered an important part of a preschool classroom, without a doubt, among early childhood education people. It was too natural to me, to examine teachers' language use in the dramatic play area, which is rarely investigated."

All education students were welcome to participate in the forum, however in recent years many of the presenters have been doctoral students, who are required to contribute with either a poster or paper presentation. The event began at 8:30 a.m. and ended around 2 p.m., with the 20-minute presentations being divided into multiple sessions.

"Once again, the School of Education doctoral students presented a wide range of exciting reports on their research," said SOE Prof. Bob Hampel, who called the forum a success overall.

The annual event ended with a luncheon and a panel discussion about finding the right fit when searching for a job in education.

Article by Cassandra Kramer
Photos by Cassandra Kramer and Eileen De La Cruz