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Washington State University
College of Education

Research Conversations

We love research. And conversation. Now they’re combined.

We’re not the first folks to engage in dialogue about our research endeavors. We just perfected it!

A handful of times each semester, we give some time to a faculty to share their research with the rest of us. These one-hour (max!) sessions are always very compelling.

Upcoming schedule

We have concluded a very successful schedule for Spring 2021. When our Fall 2021 schedule is set, we’ll give you those details.

Recent presentations

April 07, 2021

Jeff Walls (Educational Leadership)

District Leaders’ Support for Caring Schools: A Normative Institutional Approach

Increasingly, school district leaders face a policy environment that measures school quality and success in more multifaceted ways than performance on high stakes tests. Increasing attention to social and emotional growth, equity, and reducing exclusionary discipline place new demands on district leaders’ emphases in support schools. This study engages with how district leaders support caring school from a normative institutional perspective. Specifically, it asks in what respects district leaders adhere to a logic of appropriateness (following social rules and expectations for their positions), and in what ways they adopt a logic of consequence (acting to achieve desired outcomes).

Jeff Walls is an assistant professor of Educational Leadership at Washington State University – Spokane. His research focuses on caring leadership, and the organizational dimensions of care and support in educational settings.

Watch Video  View presentation slides

March 08, 2021

Jessica Masterson (Teacher Education)

“You Can’t Just Throw a Book at Me”: Minoritized Students’ Experiences of School-Based Literacy Instruction

Despite the sociocultural turn of literacy research in recent decades, school-based approaches to literacy instruction remain entrenched in an autonomous model of literacy acquisition. This positions literacy as a series of discrete skills rather than a contextually-embedded social practice. Students representing racially, socioeconomically, and/or linguistically minoritized communities are more likely to encounter this autonomous model in their school-based literacy instruction. This further contributes to the “education debt” owed them. We’ll discuss multiple, creative ways that minoritized youth respond to the literacy ideologies in their remedial reading classes, as well as the surprising ways their responses, or tactics, help pave the way toward educational equality.

Jessica Masterson is an assistant professor in the department of Teaching and Learning at Washington State University Vancouver. Her research focuses on the various intersections of secondary literacy instruction, youth agency, and democratic education.

Watch Video  View presentation slides

December 03, 2020

Scott Jedlicka (Sport Management)

Measuring Return on Investment in Intercollegiate Athletics

Many major universities invest significantly in intercollegiate athletics. The prevailing logic that justifies these expenditures assumes, in part, that the success of athletic programs can be leveraged to augment other revenue streams, such as undergraduate tuition and alumni donations. Working from the premise that the most immediate return on universities’ investment in athletics can be defined in terms of athletic success, this research advances a method for measuring the efficiency with which such success is produced by NCAA Division I university athletic departments. This measure is then used to assess athletic department return on investment from 2003-2019.

Scott R. Jedlicka is an assistant professor in the Sport Management program at Washington State University. His research focuses on issues of governance and policy in sport, including the use of power and authority in sport organizations, and the relationship between sport and other sociopolitical institutions.

Watch Video

October 28, 2020

Shikha Prashad (Kinesiology)

Learning Motor Skills: Insights from Parkinson’s disease and cannabis use

Motor skill learning is critical for activities of daily living and those that bring our lives meaning and joy (e.g., sports, hobbies). Brain networks that underlie motor learning can be altered across the lifespan as dopamine (a neurotransmitter critical for modulating motor behavior) levels fluctuate due to aging or disorders. We will discuss how changes in dopamine can affect motor learning in two seemingly dissimilar populations: patients with Parkinson’s disease and individuals who use cannabis. From a neural perspective, they have more in common than you may think!

Shikha Prashad is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at WSU Pullman. She studies brain networks that underlie motor behavior in typical and clinical (e.g., movement disorders, substance use) populations across the lifespan. She primarily uses behavioral methods and electroencephalography (EEG) to examine patterns in behavior and brain activity and how they are disrupted with age and in disorders.

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September 29, 2020

Yun-Ju Hsiao (Special Education)

Fostering Successful Inclusion: Teachers and Families Working Together

Establishing positive partnerships between families and professionals optimizes the competence of all children, with and without disabilities These partnerships help students achieve equal opportunity, independent living, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency later in life, and also benefit families and professionals. We’ll discuss a series of projects on teachers’ attitudes and knowledge related to students with disabilities and their families.

Yun-Ju Hsiao is an associate professor of Special Education at WSU Tri-Cities. Her research interests include families of students with disabilities, evidence-based instructional strategies for students with autism spectrum disorders, inclusive practices in general education classrooms, and culturally responsive teaching preparation and practices in special education.

Watch Video

Photo and Video Archive

Jeff Walls
April 07, 2021

Jessica Masterson
March 09, 2021

Scott Jedlicka
December 03, 2020

Shikha Prashad
October 28, 2020

Yun-Ju Hsiao
September 29, 2020

Jonah Firestone
April 07, 2020

Photos: Language Learner Task Engagement — Nov. 20, 2019