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2020
Friday, April 24th

Poster Number: 128

The Shortage Of Teachers In America Today

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Avery Davis

Faculty Mentor: Louis Pantuosco, Ph.D.

There is a shortage of skilled labor in America today, but there is no sector where this problem is more acute than in education. The news has often covered strikes by teachers’ unions across the country, where teachers have been asking for more pay from state governments. It is clear that teachers are underpaid compared to other college graduates; this makes the profession of teaching much less attractive. This is because of the nature of the labor market for teachers, causing them to be underpaid as a whole. Teachers’ salaries are 21 percent below the median salary for other college graduates as of 2018. The main reason for the shortage of teachers is the uncompetitive salary of teachers when compared to other occupations for college graduates, leading to a shortage of people who want to become teachers. Many school districts in 2018 reported having job vacancies, and across America, school districts have had to cope with this shortage by hiring under- qualified individuals or increasing class sizes. This has led to a decrease in the quality of education in many places across America. The quality of education is extremely important to this country and could have adverse impacts on the nation as a whole and individuals in the future. The places where these problems are felt the most is in high poverty areas. The goal of this paper is to identify the effects of the shortage of quality educators in America. It will analyze education statistics across states and present possible solutions that can make teaching a more attractive career choice for college graduates.

Poster Number: 129

Stress of Preservice Teachers

Marissa Atkins, Winthrop University

Stress is something familiar to most, if not all, individuals on some level. Stress may be more common for some than others depending on how they handle being under pressure and in their day to day lives. Some professions are proven to cause people within those professions more stress. Helping professions, professions such as nurses and teachers, are one of these professions that are known to cause higher stress levels. One not so researched area when it comes to stress is how stress impacts pre-service teachers, education majors that are working to become teachers. This paper will cover what kind of stress is most common for pre-service teachers and how that stress may impact their wellbeing. The sample for this study will consist mainly of preservice teachers within one university.

Poster Number: 130

Digital Rhetoric in Library Websites: How Do We Change the One in Five Statistic?

Lily Barfield, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Kelly Richardson, Ph.D.

In the United States alone, over 43 million adults struggle with literacy, which is a compellingly large number. One of the ways that we can combat this extremely high number is by providing resources to libraries and allowing them to step in where other services cannot. The importance of communities receiving opportunities to thrive in their success and learning abilities is monumental in the success of an equal society, and one way to ensure this happens is by providing adequate funding for libraries to have correct digital rhetoric skills displayed throughout their web pages. The analysis of library websites, paired with the treatment of these libraries, is the main focus of this project. This essay will analyze the ways that digital rhetoric is used successfully across different library websites, such as Charlotte Mecklenburg County, Anderson County, and Abbeville County. The devices used to accurately display information and make that information easily remembered by the public is the main focus of this project, and the culminating factor of success for the communities where the libraries are located. This essay will also look into the successes of these specific libraries, as well, taking note as to how the libraries are funded in direct relation to the success of the websites being analyzed. Ultimately, this essay will show that an increase in positive literacy ratings has a positive correlation with good digital rhetoric skills in their library pages, which can only be achieved through appropriate library funding.

Poster Number: 131

Active Shooter Protocols: Effects on University Faculty and Staff

Veronica Worthington, Winthrop University

Schools are becoming increasingly concerned with the threat of active shooters, pushing many to conduct drills and trainings without considering any possible lingering effects. Studies have found that training has the potential to increase preparedness; however, some studies have found that training increases anxiety. While these findings apply to short-term effects, there is a lack of empirical research on long-term effects of active shooter drills. This study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase conducted over the summer, long- term positive effects on preparedness and anxiety were found in undergraduate students. The present study moves into phase two and investigates whether similar effects are found within university faculty and staff, by exploring whether active shooter training completed at a previous employer impacts current levels of anxiety and preparedness. Participants completed an online survey and answered questions about perceived knowledge of protocols, protocol actions, and training methods from their previous employers followed by the same set of questions, this time referring to their current employers. It was anticipated that active shooter protocols that were completed at a previous employer would impact current levels of anxiety and preparedness in university faculty and staff. The present study hypothesized the following: a) those who received more training than just printed materials from a previous employer will feel more currently prepared, b) those who received training that involved a simulation of a real-life active shooter event will have greater impact on levels of reported anxiety. Results and implications will be discussed.

Poster Number: 132

The Differences in Student Engagement in Preschoolers/Kindergarteners with Attention and Impulse Control Problems

Brianna McGee, Winthrop University

This thesis examines the differences in student engagement in preschool and kindergarten children with attention and impulse control problems. Specifically, this study examines not only general differences, but also differences of engagement throughout a typical school day, in order to explore whether there are specific types of activity (for example, academic centers versus large group instruction) in which these children exhibit differences in engagement. Areas of interest regarding classroom engagement are as follows: peer interactions, student-teacher relationships, and task engagement. This study examined these variances using three different methods: parent reports, teacher reports, and observation. Parent reports and teacher reports were comprised of rating scales pulled from the 2003 MacArthur Behavioral Questionnaire. The observational measure was an adaptation of the Individualized Classroom Assessment Scoring System (inClass). This study also briefly examines differences in parent and teacher reports of children’s behavior and engagement. Participants for this study were from an accredited early childhood laboratory school hosted by a southeastern university. Children were placed into groups by ratings performed by the classroom teacher. This scale was a subscale of the MacArthur Behavioral Questionnaire. Children with high ratings of attention and impulse control problems were placed in one group, while children with lower scores on this scale were placed in another. Six children (three from each analysis group) were randomly selected to participate.

Poster Number: 133

Foreign Language and Mathematical Ability Predict Cognitive Performance

Katya Engalichev, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

The present study examined logical reasoning and lexical ability of college students in light of their foreign language and mathematical skill levels. Factors chosen to compare were foreign language proficiency with math proficiency, based on pre-existing research which shows that improved mathematical ability predicts enhanced working memory and increased processing speed, as well as better logical reasoning ability. It was also desired for the present study to examine students’ beliefs about how their math and language experiences impacted their performance. The participants were 100 adults with a mean age of 21.21 (SD = 6.21). The majority were Caucasian (70%) and women (75%). Participants were asked to solve a logic puzzle and a lexical (word) puzzle in a restricted time period. They then responded to items to assess their proficiency in both foreign language and mathematics, cognitive flexibility, and resilience. The predictions were partially supported. Math ability predicted better performance on the logic and lexical puzzle, while foreign language proficiency predicted better performance on the lexical puzzle only. Ironically, participants believed that their foreign language ability was influential in facilitating their puzzle performance, but did not perceive their math ability as being helpful. Perhaps the minimization of math’s usefulness reflects college students’ frequently documented math-anxiety. Cognitive flexibility, resilience, race, and gender did not predict performance on the puzzles. In other words, cognitive performance was linked more closely to experience with math and foreign language than any of these other variables, supporting their educational value.