Saturday, July 18, 2009

Statistics and Research and Data! Oh my!

Research, and now statistics, has taken a strong hold over my life. I'm currently laid off for the summer, so I have been able to dedicate most of my time to Attachment theory research and writing. As I am reading though my journal articles for the Depth section of my KAM, I am bombarded with statistics terminology that I do not really understand.

I am also reading lots of references to all sorts of prior research and different testing models used in the education field. Again, much of this information I had little or no knowledge of until I really started digging into my reading. Therefore, I am putting together some resources here that have helped me make more sense of these statistics terms, research models, and testing models.

For those of you who are not statistically inclined, as myself, you might enjoy reading these things to help you better understand journal articles or the foundations that some of your curriculum is built upon. Enjoy!

Stats Glossaries--I have been using these frequently since I have not had a statistics course in years. Yes, I have listed several glossaries. This is because I was unable to find everything I needed in one place.
Glossary 1
Glossary 2
Glossary 3
Glossary 4
Glossary 5
Glossary 6

Research Organizations (places that conduct research)
The National Institute for Early Education Research
There are many wonderful research tools here. Specifically, I like the expert data base. State data is also available.

The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
Research information regarding early childhood special education topics.

Early Childhood Research Institute on Inclusion
More research regarding early childhood special education

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
This organization conducted a large study called, "Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development." This study was longitudinal (over many years) and is referenced in many of the journal articles I am reading about teacher-child relationships. Also, it I found it interesting that my state of Wisconsin was a participant in this study. This organization has its own listserv and I though it would be interesting to join.

The National Center for Education Statistics
There is lots of usable data here for anyone needing some! This is a nice resource for anyone who is interested in research in the field of early childhood education.

Testing M0dels (different testing models used)
Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised
This is a test designed to measure cognitive ability for children 2 and over. It is referenced several times in a variety of journal articles that I'm currently reading. This test is considered to be reliable and valid.

Bayley Mental Development Index
This test is intended for children 2 and under and is also for measuring cognitive abilities. This is part of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and is pretty commonly used.

The Child Behavior Checklist
Used for reporting behavior. This has been referenced and in several research studies.

Early Childhood Measures
A list of many of the early childhood measures available.

Notable Contributors (Secondary Contributions in the Depth Section of KAM 1).
Dr. Robert Pianta
This name continually comes up in regards to studies involving teacher-child relationships. Some of his notable contributions include the MyTeaching Partner Website and the author of several journal articles.

Erin O'Connor
Another name that seems to come up frequently in current studies regarding attachment and relationships.

Kathleen McCartney
Kathleen is the the Dean of Harvard,s School of Education. She has several journal articles published and also a few books.

Assessing Research
Information on how to assess research can be found here. Additionally, other topics regarding research are located on this website.

APA Formatting
I'm required to follow APA style in my work with Walden University. Those of you have not had the good fortune of working in APA style, well, consider yourself lucky! For those of you who have to learn APA, here are some additional resources, besides my trusty APA manual (a must).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More on attachment theory

Right now I'm living and breathing attachment theory, forms of attachment, and how attachment affects teacher-child relationships. I'm exploring how teacher-child relationships affect behavior (or vice versa) and academic achievement. I'm thinking that I want to do something regarding how to improve teacher child relationships, especially with those children that teachers deem as, "challenging" for my application project. As teachers we all seem to understand that having a good relationship with students is a good thing. In fact, for some children it serves as a protective factor. We know this, yet, sometimes we allow the challenges of the day to get the best of us and we have a hard time developing those postive relationships.

How do you build positive relationships with your students, even those students who you let "push your buttons?"