The Barbara Bush Fellows at TCALL
2009-2010 Academic Year
Dr. Mary V. Alfred, Priya Darshini Kurup, Tiffany Lipsett, Rose Anna Santos,
Jee-Young Shin, Harriet Vardiman Smith, and Peggy Sue Durbin
Department of Educational Administration & Human Resource Development
College of Education & Human Development
Texas A&M University
July 31, 2010
The Barbara Bush Fellowships consist of one-time, one-year awards to doctoral students conducting research in the area of Family Literacy. The four 2009-2010 Fellows were Priya Darshini Kurup, Tiffany M. H. Lipsett, Rose Anna Santos, and Jee-Young Shin. Dr. Mary Alfred served as research mentor for the fellows and guided them through the completion of their projects.
Collectively, the fellows’ accomplishments this past year include:
- Refereed Journal Articles (Submitted or in Progress): 10
- Refereed Book Chapters (Submitted or in Progress): 1
- Conference Presentations (Presented): 12
- Conference Presentations (Accepted or Under Review): 2
- Guest Lectures: 1
These accomplishments are based upon the fellows’ research projects, which were completed this year. A summary of each project is presented below.
Priya Darshini Kurup
A Study of Employee Perceptions of Family Literacy Initiatives and Their Intent to Volunteer
Ms. Kurup examined employee perceptions of family literacy initiatives and employees’ intentions to volunteer their services to support literacy initiatives. Using an online survey, Ms. Kurup found no significant difference between employees of for-profit organization and those in academia in their perception of family literacy and their intent to volunteer. Watching an introductory video on family literacy did not have any effect on perceptions or intent. Her results suggest that age, corporate social orientation, and family structure does not influence perception of family literacy or intent to volunteer.
Tiffany M. H. Lipsett
Sites and Practices of Family Literacy Experiences
Ms. Lipsett examined family literacy experiences of four families in north Texas. Through the methodological lens of visual literacy, Ms. Lipsett (1) interviewed family members, (2) observed family literacy experiences and (3) examined how the site and situations exemplify the social and cultural literacy practices of these families in their own homes. For the final report, Ms. Lipsett presented the visual portion of the three forms of data collection. These images represented the families’ notions about the term literacy and their literacy experiences within the home.
Rose Anna Santos
Literacy, Roles, and Support: Examining the Dynamics within Single Hispanic Father Families
Ms. Santos examined the literacy practices of single Hispanic fathers and their commitment to the literacy development of their children. This study also examined the type of support structures, if any, that these families used, and the extent to which these fathers engaged in literacy practices with their children. Utilizing a case study approach, Ms. Santos interviewed eight single Hispanic fathers to children of elementary to middle school age. Her findings suggest that single Hispanic fathers have many trials and tribulations to overcome in their daily lives, but they strive to be devoted to their children. In addition, the kinds of literacy inherent in their daily work lives are vital for them to perform successfully at their job, and the kind of support they receive from family members and friends is important for them to get through challenging days and engage in home literacy practices with their children.
An Intergenerational Literacy Connection (ILC) Model Between ELL Families and Teachers: Conceptual Background and Pilot Results
Ms. Shin focused on how schools can make connections with what students know and ways they learn that are not currently reflective in mainstream school literacy practices. In addition, a pilot study was conducted to explore the family literacy practices at the intergenerational level within Korean English Language Learner (ELL) families and to find out the ways in which the literacy connection model should be developed, with further possibilities of linking home and school. Ms. Shin indicated the experience from the pilot study provided valuable lessons. First, she learned how to solve recruitment, time and resource, and data management issues. Second, she came to understand current needs and practices in Head Start and confirmed that the ILC model can help improve development of linguistically diverse children in Head Start in order to promote effective Head Start teaching practices.
CONCLUSIONThe Barbara Bush Fellowship at TCALL is having a significant impact in raising interest in the area of adult and family literacy at Texas A&M University. The fellows’ accomplishments are a strong indicator that their research will make a significant contribution to the literature on and practice in adult and family literacy.