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Mapping the Inequity Implications of Help-Seeking in High School Online Credit-Recovery Classrooms


by Jennifer Darling-Aduana, Annalee G. Good & Carolyn Heinrich - 2019

Background: Expectations that students should request assistance from teachers when needed, a set of classroom behaviors termed “help-seeking,” have the potential to contribute to inequitable access to quality learning experiences in traditional classroom settings.

Purpose: This study extends current literature by mapping the nature of help-seeking interactions between students and teachers in online high school credit-recovery classrooms, where the implications of help-seeking have yet to be examined systemically.

Research Design: Drawing on qualitative and quantitative analysis of data collected from the 2014–2015 through 2016–2017 school years in a large, urban school district serving predominantly low-income student of color, we identify patterns in these interactions and their implications for disparities in academic opportunities.

Findings: We find that few of the high school students enrolled in online credit-recovery courses had access to consistent, constructive interactions in instructional spaces, even though most students required instructor support to obtain full access to the learning environment. Our observations point to disparate access to quality educational experiences in online credit-recovery labs that mirror those documented by others in traditional classroom settings.

Conclusions: Based on these findings, we identify strategies to support more equitable learning in online courses including explicit expectations and proactive assistance to students as well as the use of real-time data by teachers, lower student-teacher ratios, and assigning teachers certified in course subjects to improve educational quality.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 121 Number 11, 2019, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22814, Date Accessed: 8/19/2019 11:16:21 PM

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About the Author
  • Jennifer Darling-Aduana
    Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
    E-mail Author
    JENNIFER DARLING-ADUANA is a PhD student in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on mechanisms to reduce educational inequities in the United States with a focus on student-teacher and student-curriculum interactions and how those interactions shape the educational experiences of diverse student populations. Affiliation: Peabody College, Vanderbilt University; Mailing Address: 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN; Phone: 847-372-5782; Email: jennifer.s.darling@vanderbilt.edu.
  • Annalee Good
    Wisconsin Center for Education Research
    E-mail Author
    ANNALEE GOOD is an evaluator and researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and co-director of the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative. She is co-PI on an ongoing study of digital tools in K–12 education and supports many youth-serving organizations through culturally responsive evaluation in topics such as tutoring, personalized learning, community schools, and ensuring equitable access and outcomes in advanced learning opportunities. Affiliation: Wisconsin Center for Education Research; Mailing Address: 1186F Ed Sciences, Madison, WI; Phone: 608-262-2063; Email: annalee.good@wisc.edu.
  • Carolyn Heinrich
    Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
    E-mail Author
    CAROLYN J. HEINRICH is the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy and Education in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at the Peabody College and a Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Heinrich’s research focuses on education, workforce development, social welfare policy, program evaluation, and public management and performance management. Affiliation: Peabody College, Vanderbilt University; Mailing Address: 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN; Phone: 615-322-1169; Email: carolyn.j.heinrich@vanderbilt.edu.
 
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