1,302 research outputs found

    The Washback of the TOEFL iBT in Vietnam

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    Washback, or the influence of testing on teaching and learning, has received considerable attention in language testing research over the past twenty years. It is widely argued that testing, particularly high-stakes testing, exerts a powerful influence, whether intended or unintended, positive or negative, on both teachers and learners. This article investigates the washback effects of a high-stakes English language proficiency test, the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT), in Vietnam. Vietnam, a developing country whose educational philosophies differ from those underpinning the TOEFL iBT, provided a unique context to explore the test\u27s washback. In the course of this study, four teachers were observed and teaching materials were collected from educational institutions in Vietnam. The study revealed that the TOEFL iBT influenced both what the teachers taught and how they taught but its effects were mediated by the use of test preparation materials

    Collective Ongoing Betrayal Trauma: Gendered and Racialized Police Violence toward the Black Community

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    Racialized and gendered police violence is a pernicious problem for Black communities. For my dissertation, I empirically tested a novel theoretical concept, Collective Ongoing Betrayal Trauma (COBT). COBT integrates the concepts of betrayal trauma, vicarious trauma, collective trauma, and institutional betrayal to examine the psychological consequences of indirect exposure to racialized and gendered police violence. I tested the theory of COBT by measuring the impact written vignettes that depicted gendered and racialized police violence toward Black Americans on Black participants’ mental health and well-being. I also examined patterns in participants’ reactions to the vignette based on participants’ binary gender identity. Black, African American, and multi-racial participants were recruited through an online platform to complete an online survey. Each participant read one randomly selected vignette from five possible vignettes. Data were analyzed using 1,270 participants. Outcomes of interest include vicarious trauma, collective trauma, mental health symptoms, and changes in racial and gender identities. Three main takeaways are discussed. First, the facets of COBT were significantly correlated with each other, which provides support for COBT as a singular concept. Second, men and women, on average, experience indirect exposure to discriminatory police violence in different ways, depending on who the victim is and what type of violence the victim is subjected to. Third, victim gender and type of violence are both important yet separate aspects of indirect exposure to discriminatory violence that should be considered in research, clinical, and advocacy work. Academic, societal, and clinical implications of this research are discussed, as well as future directions

    Children's everyday manifestations of grief and grieving in early childhood education and care

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    This article investigates children's everyday manifestations of grief and grieving situations. Medical and psychological approaches to grief and grieving usually focus on the death of loved ones. It is argued that everyday grief and grieving in early childhood education and care (ECEC) is present in social situations where loneliness and withdrawal are experienced by children. A cultural-historical approach was used to examine everyday grief and grieving in the preschool setting. Video observations were made of Mayra, a 5-year-old girl living in a rural Mexican community. The findings show that grief and grieving are affected by children's social situations, the material conditions of the location and the adult's role in compassionate approach in alleviating grief. Implications from this study highlight the need to examine everyday situations where children experience loneliness and withdrawal when relating to peers as a part of children's larger frame of grief.Peer reviewe

    The plant‐parasitic cyst nematode effector GLAND4 is a DNA‐binding protein

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    Cyst nematodes are plant pathogens that infect a wide range of economically important crops. One parasitic mechanism employed by cyst nematodes is the production and in planta delivery of effector proteins to modify plant cells and suppress defenses to favor parasitism. This study focused on GLAND4, an effector of Heterodera glycines and H. schachtii, the soybean and sugar beet cyst nematodes, respectively. We showed that GLAND4 is recognized by the plant cellular machinery and is transported to the plant nucleus, an organelle where little is known about plant nematode effector functions. We showed that GLAND4 has DNA-binding ability and repressed reporter gene expression in a plant transcriptional assay. One DNA-fragment that bound to GLAND4 was localized in an Arabidopsis chromosomal region associated with the promoters of two lipid transfer protein (LTP) genes. These LTPs have known defense functions and are downregulated in the nematode feeding site. When expressed in Arabidopsis, the presence of GLAND4 caused downregulation of the two LTP genes in question, which was associated also with increased susceptibility to the plant-pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. Furthermore, overexpression of one of the LTP genes reduced plant susceptibility to H. schachtii and P. syringae, confirming that LTP repression likely suppresses plant defenses. This study made GLAND4 one of a small subset of characterized plant nematode nuclear effectors and identified GLAND4 as the first DNA-binding plantparasitic nematode effector

    Connecting the "divide" : narratives of five white educators who are currently teaching in Kwazulu Natal, as the only white educator in schools with predominantly black learners.

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    Thesis (M.Ed.) - University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2006.his thesis, based on a visual study of five educators in South Africa, primarily concerns itself with the experiences of white educators who are currently teaching as the only white educator in schools with predominantly black learners. More specifically, my study is an exploratory research effort, which examines three research objectives. These are: (1) what are the experiences of white educators teaching in schools with predominantly black learners; (2) why are their experiences constructed in such ways; and (3) what is the relationship, if any, between their experiences and their social identities — such as race, gender and class. I selected ethnography as a research tool for this study, in that it encompasses the examining of visual representations for information about people, which are visual documents produced by those under study. Photographs can become stitched into the fabric of people's lives, reflecting and representing social persons and social relationships. It is therefore hoped that the visual images that the five white participants of this study take, disclose the texture of their own experiences of teaching in schools with predominantly black learners. The study participants are all currently teaching in schools within KwaZulu Natal

    Strategies for Enhancing Diverse Mentoring Relationships in STEM Fields

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    Developing effective opposite-race mentorships in the STEM fields may contribute to minority student retention. Paying attention to the dynamics of race within the protĂ©gé’s professional and psychosocial growth may positively influence academic advancement and professional longevity. The current paper will provide mentors with a suggested mentorship style and self-assessment activities to help uncover their typical broaching style when exploring racial issues with protĂ©gĂ©s. The evaluations provided are not diagnostic; rather, the activities afford mentors a self-reflection opportunity, which should contribute to the mentor’s own growth, and could positively impact the development of a successful, cross-race mentorship

    Pledged into Harm: Sorority and Fraternity Members Face Increased Risk of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

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    The purpose of this manuscript is to examine the risk of sexual exploitation (both assault and harassment) associated with sorority and fraternity membership on U.S. college campuses. The results from this study come from data collected through an online survey. Participants (N=883) at a large Pacific Northwestern university provided information related to their sorority or fraternity membership, experiences of sexual violence (i.e., assault and harassment), and alcohol use. We both replicated and extended past research. Corroborating prior research, Greek-affiliated students experienced higher rates of sexual assault than non-affiliated students. We extended past research by focusing on sexual harassment experiences within the Greek life culture. Both male and female Greek-affiliated students reported higher rates of sexual harassment particularly unwanted sexual attention, compared to their non-Greek-affiliated peers. We also found that both sorority membership and alcohol-related problems predicted unique variance in women’s exposure to nonconsensual sexual contact, attempted/completed rape, and unwanted sexual attention. Fraternity membership but not alcohol-related problems predicted unique variance in men’s exposure to nonconsensual sexual contact and unwanted sexual attention. Implications discussed include the short- and long-term consequences of Greek-affiliation, institutional betrayal, and addressing sexual exploitation within this culture. Also identified are limitations of the current study and future directions for research on sexual exploitation within Greek life

    ExpiSfℱ: A chemically-defined baculovirus-based expression system for enhanced Protein production in Sf9 cells

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    The Baculovirus Expression Vector System (BEVS) is one of the major platforms for recombinant protein production and the last decade has become a preferred platform for vaccine development. Unlike mammalian expression systems that have long since transitioned to serum-free, chemically-defined culture media, relatively little innovation has taken place in insect expression systems, with insect cells continuing to rely on undefined, yeastolate-containing culture media that can exhibit significant lot-to-lot variability in terms of both cell growth and protein expression. Here, we present the development of a novel Sf9-based Baculovirus expression system based on a high-density, chemically-defined culture medium, a high-expressing Sf9 cell line, improved transfection reagent to faster generation of baculoviruses and expression enhancer that allow for consistent production of recombinant proteins with two-fold or greater improvements in protein titers compared to traditional BEVS workflows

    Strategies for detecting biological molecules on Titan

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    Saturn’s moon Titan has all the ingredients needed to produce “life as we know it”. When exposed to liquid water, organic molecules analogous to those found on Titan produce a range of biomolecules such as amino acids. Titan thus provides a natural laboratory for studying the products of prebiotic chemistry. In this work, we examine the ideal locales to search for evidence of, or progression towards, life on Titan. We determine that the best sites to identify biological molecules are deposits of impact melt on the floors of large, fresh impact craters, specifically Sinlap, Selk, and Menrva craters. We find that it is not possible to identify biomolecules on Titan through remote sensing, but rather through in-situ measurements capable of identifying a wide range of biological molecules. Given the non-uniformity of impact melt exposures on the floor of a weathered impact crater, the ideal lander would be capable of precision targeting. This would allow it to identify the locations of fresh impact melt deposits, and/or sites where the melt deposits have been exposed through erosion or mass wasting. Determining the extent of prebiotic chemistry within these melt deposits would help us to understand how life could originate on a world very different from Earth