When teachers greet new classes this fall, the odds are good that the students they encounter will vary not only by cultural background but also in academic proficiency.
Akane Zusho, PhD, associate professor of school psychology in the Graduate School of Education (GSE), said that such diversity is something to be appreciated, not overcome.
“How do you get teachers to not teach to the middle? To differentiate their instruction so that they’re not boring the kids at the top and leaving all the kids at the bottom behind? It’s not easy,” she said.
To help teachers work with students of varying academic abilities, Zusho has partnered with Rhonda Bondie, PhD, assistant professor of curriculum and teaching at the GSE to create All-Ed (All Learners Learning Every Day), a network of instructional routines pulled from research on learning and motivation.
Motivation has long been a focus of Zusho’s research. In order to determine what motivates a student, said Zusho, a teacher needs to get to know their students’ strengths and interests and to help students understand how they think about a particular topic. But many teachers never delve deep enough.
Teachers, she said, “just assume students know something when they come in because they taught it yesterday … they don’t reconfirm their students’ knowledge.”
“When they start a lesson, for example, do they actually get a sense of what students already know? Because from the psychological perspective, we know that makes a huge impact on how kids learn.”
What do you like to read? (Non-school related)
I don’t do as much reading as I would like during the school year but I do try to catch up on reading during the summer. I have to admit that I am a fan of young adult fiction (I’d appreciate recommendations). I also often end up listening to non-fiction books when I’m running. I recently listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, which was fun. I find that I’m often drawn to non-fiction books that have themes related to motivation (not surprisingly, since that’s what I research).
What was the most momentous moment of your life?
This is a hard question to answer. Although I don’t remember the day, exactly, I feel like the day I moved to the U.S. from Japan when I was 3 1⁄2 years old was pretty momentous in the sense that it has had a lasting impact on my life. I also think the day my mother passed away was “momentous”. I miss her every day.
What do you remember about being a graduate student?
You know how they say that painful memories generally fade over time, and that usually when you look back at certain experiences, you tend to only remember the good? Well, that’s true for me, at least when it comes to my memories of grad school. I wouldn’t trade my grad school experience for the world. I was really lucky. I attended grad school full-time and I was fully-funded. I had wonderful mentors who looked out for me and made sure that I got rigorous training in research methods.
The friends I made in graduate school remain my best friends. I mostly remember the times I spent working on various research projects with them… The time we stayed at the office until the wee hours of the night making sure that this program we were using to collect data was working is something I remember fondly.
Did you ever feel discouraged as a graduate/PhD student?
Of course! I think every grad student feels discouraged at some point. I distinctly remember walking into my mentor’s office one day in my third year and telling him that I was going to quit. At the time, I found grad school to be overwhelming. I was trying to pass my comps, teach classes, work on various research projects and publish papers. Most importantly, I seriously questioned whether or not I could spend the rest of my life writing papers. To his credit, my mentor just listened to me whine and then helped me figure out how to get my work done.
What is one (or more) piece(s) of advice you would give to the graduate/PhD students today?
I recently had the opportunity to visit my alma mater (University of Michigan) to give a talk and meet with current students. Many of the students that I had lunch with also wanted to know if I had any advice for them. Here’s what I told them: As difficult as it seems at times, try to enjoy it. Yes, it can be hard, and it is often overwhelming (I seriously don’t know how you all juggle all of your commitments – I know I had it much easier than you). But, it’s also a time when you can really learn and grow, like I mentioned earlier, the friends you make in graduate school often become friends for life.
Okay – now for some more pragmatic advice. Many of you are juggling school, work and a personal life, or at least trying to. I find that the students who are most successful are those who have good time management skills and are proactive in seeking help when they need it. So, don’t put off those big projects and when you need help, seek it. Don’t struggle alone.
On November 9th, Drs. Rhonda Bondie and Akane Zusho spoke at the On Thinking: A Blue School Teaching Innovation Conference at the Blue School in New York. The conference addressed topics related to thinking, learning, and structure.
What if school was truly a place for thinking? This idea may sound obvious, but organizing classrooms around types and amounts of thinking has profound implications for learning. This practice could begin to reshape education.
All photos are by Guenter Knop.
Dr. Rhonda Bondie, assistant professor in our division of Curriculum and Teaching, is hosting a free, monthly All Learners Learning Every Day (ALL-ED) Webinar Series with the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE). Learn more and register.
- Managing Small Group Learning (Oct 15) – Watch the recording
- Co-Teaching Playbook (Dec 3, 3:30-4:30pm)
- Developing Literacy through Small Group Rigorous Discussions (Jan 7, 3:30-4:30pm)
- Assessing Learning when Students Work in Small Groups (Feb 4, 3:30-4:30pm)
- Self-Regulation (Part 1): Setting Realistic and Productive Goals (Mar 3, 3:30-4:30pm)
- Self-Regulation (Part 2): Student Driven Monitoring and Evaluation of Learning (Apr 14, 3:30-4:30pm)
- Structuring Student Choice (May 5, 3:30-4:30pm)
- Planning Effective Formative Assessment (June 2:30, 3-4:30pm)
Dr. Rhonda Bondie, assistant professor in our division of Curriculum and Teaching, will host the free, monthly All Learners Learning Every Day (ALL-ED) Webinar Series with the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE). Learn more and register.
- Managing Small Group Learning (Oct 15, 3-4pm)
- Co-Teaching Playbook (Dec 3, 3-4pm)
- Developing Literacy through Small Group Rigorous Discussions (Jan 7, 3-4pm)
- Assessing Learning when Students Work in Small Groups (Feb 4, 3-4pm)
- Self-Regulation (Part 1): Setting Realistic and Productive Goals (Mar 3, 3-4pm)
- Self-Regulation (Part 2): Student Driven Monitoring and Evaluation of Learning (Apr 14, 3-4pm)
- Structuring Student Choice (May 5, 3-4pm)
- Planning Effective Formative Assessment (June 2, 3-4pm)
Congratulations to the following students who successfully defended their dissertations!
Dissertation Oral Defenses
Congratulations to the following students who successfully defended their dissertations!
Elizabeth S. Kwan
“Internalized Stereotypes and Ethnic Identity as Predictors of Self-Esteem and Help-Seeking in Chinese Americans”
Mentor: Dr. Abigail Harris
Readers: Dr. Jennie Park-Taylor and Dr. Joseph Ponterotto
“Multicultural Personality, Cultural Intelligence, Everyday Multicultural Competence, and their Relation to Positive Psychology Factors”
Mentor: Dr. Joseph Ponterotto
Readers: Dr. Abigail Harris and Dr. John Houtz
“Examining the Role of Classroom Environment on Peer Comparisons and Academic Outcomes Among Pre-Adolescents”
Mentor: Dr. Akane Zusho
Readers: Dr. Fran Blumberg and Dr. Anthony Cancelli
Student and Faculty Presentations
Jessica Williams presented a poster based on her dissertation, “Advergames as a Developmental Challenge to Children’s Processing of Persuasive Messages,” at the ICPS conference in Amsterdam, March 13, 2015.
Co-authors on the poster were members of her committee, Dr. Fran Blumberg and Dr. Caroline J. Oates of the University of Sheffield, UK.
Dr. Fran Blumberg moderated a roundtable discussion, “Addressing the decrease in access to child and adolescent participants: Creative solutions and considerations,” at this year’s Society of Research in Child Development conference.
The panel included Peter Ornstein of UNC-Chapel Hill, Alexandra of Wilfrid Laurier University, and Josh Brown and Celia Fisher of Fordham University-Rose Hill.
Dissertation Oral Defenses
School Psychology doctoral candidate Susan Jean Kozelka successfully defended her dissertation, “Executive Function Inhibition as Moderator of the Anxiety-Intelligence Relationship.” Her dissertation committee members include her mentor, Dr. Yi Ding, and readers, Dr. John Houtz and Dr. Amy Margolis.
Dr. Kozelka is currently completing an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at The School at Columbia University. She has accepted a pediatric neuropsychology post-doctoral fellowship position with Promise Project at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dissertation Proposal Defenses
School Psychology doctoral candidate Fallon Lattari successfully defended her dissertation proposal, “Performance Goal Structure and Self-Regulated Learning: The Role of Autonomy Support.” Her dissertation committee members include her mentor, Dr. Akane Zusho, and readers, Dr. Karen Brobst and Dr. Anthony Cancelli.
School Psychology doctoral candidate Hugh Love successfully defended his dissertation proposal, “Potential Moderators of Masculinity Ideology and Health Risk in College Black Men.” His dissertation committee members include his mentor, Dr. Abigail Harris, and readers, Dr. Akane Zusho and Dr. Jay Wade.
Counseling Psychology doctoral student Michael Stoyer will present his research, “Assessing Personal Development Throughout a Domain-Focused Approach to Multicultural Instruction,” at the 29th Annual Conference on the Teaching of Psychology: Ideas and Innovations Research/Data Driven” on March 27th.
His co-researchers are Jose Soto and Nana Dawson-Andoh of Pennsylvania State University.
- Two studies are presented that assess students’ development throughout a domain-focused approach to multicultural instruction, in order to better understand the effectiveness of this course design. A qualitative research design was employed to uncover that among the most important topics students perceived learning were: Greater knowledge and awareness/appreciation in the domains of societal injustice, other cultures, and their own culture. Study two used the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and a new measure designed to assess self-awareness focused on themes identified in study one. Both ethnic identity and self-awareness were found to be significantly higher following the completion of the course.
Student and Faculty Presentations
“Beliefs about the Physical, Psychological, and Social Effects of Smoking Cigarettes,” a study by Counseling Psychology doctoral students Molly Brawer and Atara Wertentheil in collaboration with Dr. Mitchell Rabinowitz has been accepted by American Psychological Society for a poster presentation at the 2015 APS Convention.
Counseling Psychology doctoral student Jaclin Gerstel-Friedman, with Dr. Mitchell Rabinowitz:
Rabinowitz, M., & Gerstel-Friedman, J. (2015, March). Not Perceiving the Deep: Lack of Knowledge or Production Deficiency? Poster presentation at The International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Student and Faculty Accomplishments
Dr. Abigail Harris and School Psychology doctoral student Alyson Fitzpatrick’s proposal for research in Guatemala, Enhancing Impact of Khan Implementation in Guatemalan Primary School Classrooms, has been funded by Funsepa, a Guatemala based foundation. The Fordham team also includes Dr. Marshall George (Chair, Division of Curriculum and Teaching) and Elizabeth Fuentes (School Psychology doctoral student).
This project is a collaboration between Fordham University and Funsepa, a Guatemala-based foundation dedicated to improving education through the use of technology. Funsepa has delivered over 16,000 computers to over 1050 public schools in Guatemala and, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE), is providing technical and teacher training support in the instructional use of technology.
Dissertation Oral Defenses
Congratulations to Joseph Giardino who successfully defended his dissertation “The Impact of Weight Stigma on Decisions About Weight Loss Surgery.” Mentor: Dr. Merle Keitel
Readers: Dr. Harold Takooshian and Dr. Thanos Patelis
Congratulations to Susan Kozelka who successfully defended her dissertation “Executive Function Inhibition as Moderator of the Anxiety-Intelligence Relationship.”
Mentor: Dr. Yi Ding
Readers: Dr. John Houtz and Dr. Amy Margolis
Student and Faculty Publications
“Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome: Self-esteem, distress, and quality of life in college women” by Signe Simon, Dr. Merle Keitel, Molly Brawer, and Melda Uzun will be published in the next issue of Prevention and Health Promotion: Research, Social Action, Practice and Training.
Lamont Young, a first year graduate student enrolled in the Mental Health Counseling program, was added in a book entitled Fully Alive, Discovering What Matters Most. Author Timothy Shriver shared Lamont’s story of transcending social and economic boundaries, which almost cost him his life.
Dr. Akane Zusho‘s manuscript was accepted for publication:
Karabenick, S., & Zusho, A. (in press). Examining approaches to research on self-regulated learning: Conceptual and methodological considerations. To appear in forthcoming special issue of Metacognition and Learning.
Cait Hynes presented at the National Association of School Psychologists annual convention in February:
Hynes, C.V., Alfonso, V.C. & Flanagan, D.P. (2015). CHC broad and narrow constructs measured by new and revised ability tests. Poster presented at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, Orlando, FL.
Dr. Akane Zusho recently presented, along with Dr. Rhonda Bondie at the AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education) conference in Atlanta, GA:
Bondie, R.S., & Zusho, A. (2015). Preparing Teachers to Engage All learners and Close Achievement Gaps. Paper presented at annual conference of American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Yi Ding presented the following posters at 2015 NASP Annual Convention:
- Ding, Y., Wang, C., & Ueda, M. (2015, February). Parenting styles and behaviorals outcomes in Japanese children with Autism. Poster proposal presented at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.
- Ding, Y., Wang, C., & Clauser, P. (2015, February). Parental stress and parenting styles in relation to Autism. Poster proposal presented at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.
- Wang, C., Ni, H., Ding, Y., & Yi, C. (2015, February). The changing roles of school psychological service providers in China. Poster proposal presented at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.
Dr. Akane Zusho was recently invited to serve on ETS’s Expert Committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP Standing Committee consists of a group of leading experts that consults ETS regarding questionnaire development, selection of constructs, and research around the NAEP survey questionnaires.
The National Assessment Governing Board has called for a stronger focus on noncognitive constructs in NAEP, and the QSC plays an important role in influencing what constructs are measured, what assessment approaches are chosen, and how results are reported in the Nation’s Report Card.
Current QSC members (February 2015): Angela Duckworth (UPenn), Hunter Gehlbach (Harvard Graduate School of Education), Gerunda Hughes (Howard University), David Kaplan (Wisconsin-Madison), Henry Levin (Columbia), Stanley Presser (Maryland), Leslie Rutkowski (Indiana), Rob Santos (Urban Institute), Norbert Schwarz (Michigan), Jonathan Stout (Lock Haven), Roger Tourangeau (Chair, Westat).
Dissertation Proposal Defense
Rachel Larrain successfully defended her dissertation proposal in December, entitled “High School Students’ Mathematics Self-Efficacy and Achievement: Considering Ethnicity and School Belonging.” Her mentor is Dr. Akane Zusho and her readers are Dr. Anthony Cancelli and Dr. Yi Ding. Congratulations!
Accomplishment by a Former Faculty Member and Dean
Vincent C. Alfonso, dean of the Gonzaga University School of Education, has been elected to a three-year term on the American Psychological Association, Board of Educational Affairs. The APA is the nation’s largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology, and is the world’s largest association of psychologists with some 130,000 member researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The following is an excerpt from the Gorganza University News:
Dean Alfonso began his term Jan. 1 on the BEA, which represents the wide range of interest characteristic of psychology in all its aspects. Among other responsibilities, the BEA recommends to the APA Board of Directors and Council of Representatives educational policy for the organization and changes to its programs and operational priorities that allow APA to take a national leadership role in education. Dean Alfonso’s presence on this APA leadership group speaks to his stature in the profession,” said Gonzaga Academic Vice President Patricia O’Connell Killen. “It also brings important visibility to Gonzaga’s School of Education and to Gonzaga more widely.”
Alfonso, who became dean of the School of Education in 2013, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and his master’s and doctorate in clinical/school psychology from Hofstra University. His scholarly work focuses on assessment and treatment of preschool children, psycho-educational assessment, life satisfaction and well-being, professional training, stressful life events, social support and health. He came to Gonzaga from Fordham University where he served for 19 years – initially as a faculty member before coming extensively involved in academic leadership and administration in the Graduate School of Education and the university.
Dean Alfonso is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of more than two dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals, more than 20 book chapters, and six scholarly books. He is a presenter at meetings of the APA and the National Association of School Psychologists. A licensed psychologist and school psychologist, Dean Alfonso is a frequent invited lecturer and consultant to schools as well as professional and training organizations.
Fordham University will be having a conference on trauma, titled “Treating Trauma in Children and Adolescents“. It will be held on Friday, March 20th, 2015. Registration is now live on the adapp.org website.
This conference will address the important topic of working with individuals with psychological trauma. It is intended for mental health professionals who work with children and adolescents and who are interested in further developing a trauma-informed approach to treatment. Speaker topics include:
Treating Traumatic Stress Across the Service System
Dr. Glenn Saxe, MD
Director of the NYU Child Study Center
Treating Adolescent Attachment Trauma: The Challenge of Connection
Martha B. Straus, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England Graduate School
Trauma and Resilience: A Parenting Perspective
Kenneth Barish, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor, Weill Medical College; Faculty member, The William Alanson White Institute Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program
Trauma Treatment in the Schools: A Pilot Program
Amelio D’Onofrio, Ph.D.
Clinical Professor and Founding Director, Psychological Services Institute, Fordham University