La Paro et al. on beliefs of preservice early childhood education teachers

La Paro, Karen M., Kathy Siepak, & Catherine Scott-Little (2009, January). Assessing beliefs of preservice early childhood education teachers using Q-sort methodology. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 30(1), 22-36.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the beliefs of students and faculty in a 4-year birth-kindergarten teacher preparation program using the Teacher Belief Q-Sort (TBQ). Data were collected over one academic year from a total of 63 students, 35 students at the beginning of their coursework and 28 students at the end of their program, completing their student teaching experience. The faculty (n = 8) in the program completed the TBQ to provide a criterion sort as well as to assess the consistency in philosophy across faculty members who teach preservice teachers. Compilations of rankings are presented to describe beliefs related to children, discipline, and teaching practices held by students who are at different points in their education program. Criterion comparison results indicate that student teachers at the end of their education program report beliefs more similar to faculty beliefs than students at the beginning of their education program. However, findings suggest that the student teaching experience does not appear to significantly alter beliefs about children, discipline and teaching practices. These results are discussed in terms of child-directed versus teacher-directed styles of preservice teachers and implications of assessing beliefs for teacher preparation programs.

Karen M La Paro <kmlaparo@uncg.edu>is in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Q Methodology paper presented at the Eastern Educational Research Association Meeting

Ramlo, S. (2010, February). Applications of Q Methodology in Higher Education. Paper presented at the Eastern Educational Research Association, Savannah, GA.

ABSTRACT: William Stephenson specifically developed Q methodology, or Q, as a means of measuring subjectivity (Brown, 1980, 2008; McKeown & Thomas, 1988; Stephenson, 1953). Q has been used to determine perspectives / views in a wide variety of fields from marketing research to political science (Brown, 1980; McKeown & Thomas, 1988) but less frequently in education (Brown, 1980). In higher education, the author has used Q methodology to determine views about a variety of situations, from students� views about a newly developed bioinformatics course (Ramlo, McConnell, Duan, & Moore, 2008) to faculty members� views of reading circles as a professional development experience to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms (Ramlo & McConnell, 2008). The purpose of this paper will be to introduce Q methodology and demonstrate its versatility in addressing research purposes in higher education, especially where the focus is on determining people�s perceptions and / or grouping people based upon their views.

Akhtar-Danesh et al. on simulation use in nursing education

Akhtar-Danesh, Noori, Pamela Baxter, Ruta K. Valaitis, Wendy Stanyon, & Susan Sproul (2009, April). Nurse faculty perceptions of simulation use in nursing education. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 31(3), 312-329.

Abstract: In this study nursing faculty perceptions of the implementation of simulation in schools of nursing across Ontario, Canada, were explored using the Q-methodology technique. Following Q-methodology guidelines, 104 statements were collected from faculty and students with exposure to simulation to determine the concourse (what people say about the issue). The statements were classified into six domains, including teaching and learning, access/reach, communication, technical features, technology set-up and training, and comfort/ease of use with technology. They were then refined into 43 final statements for the Q-sample. Next, 28 faculty from 17 nursing schools participated in the Q-sorting process. A by-person factor analysis of the Q-sort was conducted to identify groups of participants with similar viewpoints. Results revealed four major viewpoints held by faculty including: (a) Positive Enthusiasts, (b) Traditionalists, (c) Help Seekers, and (d) Supporters. In conclusion, simulation was perceived to be an important element in nursing education. Overall, there was a belief that clinical simulation requires (a) additional support in terms of the time required to engage in teaching using this modality, (b) additional human resources to support its use, and (c) other types of support such as a repository of clinical simulations to reduce the time from development of a scenario to implementation. Few negative voices were heard. It was evident that with correct support (human resources) and training, many faculty members would embrace clinical simulation because it could support and enhance nursing education.

Noori Akhtar-Danesh , Pamela Baxter, and Ruta K. Valaitis are at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), which hosted the 2008 Q conference. Wendy Stanyon and Susan Sproul are affiliated with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Deignan on enquiry-based learning

Deignan, Tim (2009). Enquiry-based learning: Perspectives on practice. Teaching in Higher Education, 14(1), 13-28.

Abstract: Traditional lecture-based teaching methods are being replaced or supplemented by approaches which call for reframing the roles and identities of teachers and learners. Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL) is one such approach. This paper reports on a study investigating the perceptions of staff and students (N=25) involved in an EBL capacity building project in the north-west of England. Q methodology was used to investigate the subjectivities of the participants. The findings are discussed using sociocultural learning concepts relating to activity theory and communities of practice. The paper concludes that EBL may improve the quality of teaching and learning in higher education, but careful consideration should be given to the dynamics of the specific context in which it is introduced.

Tim Deignan is a freelance education consultant in West Yorkshire, UK.

McCauley on clinical laboratory science student preparedness

Georgia A. Lawver McCauley (2008, June). Perceptions of clinical laboratory practitioners of clinical laboratory science student preparedness for the workplace: A Q methodological study. Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral University (Prescott Valley, AZ).

Abstract: The purpose of the Q methodological study was to investigate and evaluate the viewpoints of clinical laboratory science (CLS) practitioners about the preparedness of the clinical laboratory science student for the workplace. Q methodology is a research design that provides a foundation for the systematic study of subjectivity. The study provided the CLS educators with the opportunity to see the efficacy of CLS curricula as perceived by employers. Clinical laboratory employers and educators are concerned about the escalating nationwide shortage of clinical laboratory workers. The shortage is compounded by fewer graduates of accredited clinical laboratory science programs and changes in the clinical laboratory workplace environment. The combined efforts of laboratory administrators, educators, and professional organizations will be required to address the staffing crisis in the laboratory profession. Educators in accredited programs will need to adjust curricular paradigms to address the new standards for the work environment, laboratory administrators must actively support the clinical practice component of education, and members of clinical laboratory professional organizations must promote and support the clinical laboratory science profession. The study identifies workplace competencies needed by entry-level clinical laboratory science professionals in the contemporary clinical laboratory workplace.

Georgia McCauley <mccauley@wssu.edu>is Assistant Professor (Hematology) in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, School of Health Sciences, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem NC.