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Early Childhood and Family Studies Senior Projects 2013

Alana Russell

Sensory Integration Theory in Preschool Aged Children

My senior project explored Sensory Integration Theory, a foundation for many Occupational Therapy interventions.  I learned about the influence of sensory integration function on our individual perceptions and experiences through daily life.  This project will continue to be meaningful to me as I continue my education in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Puget Sound next fall.

Ashley Johnson

Exploring the Relationships Between Motivation, Executive Function, & the Project Approach

The main question for my project was ‘what is the relationship between executive function and social/emotional adjustment?’.  I learned that engaging educational environments can allow children to develop executive function skills and reduce externalizing behavior.  This is meaningful for me because being labeled early in life as ‘EBD [Emotional Behavioral Disorder] has negative impacts on a student’s future outcomes.

Carmen Leung

English Language Learners and Their Struggles in School

My senior project was about English Language Learning students and their struggles in school.  I have learned that English Language Learning students encounter not only language barriers with their peers, but that limited English proficiency may greatly lower their self-esteem and their motivation to learn.  It is meaningful to me because I came to the U.S. at a young age, and I know how miserable I felt when I first came here as English learner.

Cody Papka

Evidence for Improving Quality in Early Learning Environments

My Senior Project focuses on raising awareness for the importance of early childhood education.  I’ve learned that many don’t understand the need for quality early learning experiences even though studies show developmental benefits.  It is meaningful for me because children are our future and we must do everything we can to help them help the future of our country. 

Dain Yoo

Occupational Therapy for Children with Special Needs

My project was about Occupational Therapy and how professionals help and treat children with various disabilities.  I learned that occupational therapists play important roles in the lives of such children.  It is meaningful because I would like to pursue the career.

Desarae Gulling

The Importance of Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Planning Curriculum in Early Childhood Education

For my project’s main question I asked, ‘why is Developmentally Appropriate Practice important when teachers are planning in early childhood education?’.
I learned how important it is as well as the need for teachers to have practice during their preparation in planning curriculum and assessments for young children based on this idea.  This was very meaningful to me because it contributed to my upcoming role as a preschool teacher. 

Emily Rosen

The Role of the Family in Child Development

My senior project examines the role of the family in child development.  I learned about the impact of family involvement, parental involvement, and family-focused intervention.  I also learned about successes for professionals working with families and various family techniques.  This project taught me a lot and will continue to be meaningful as I continue to work with at risk and underserved children and families.

Fransiska Wulandari

Children of Teen Mothers

My senior project focused on how growing up in a teen pregnancy environment affects a child’s development.  I learned that community support is a very important aspect for these children.  My project is meaningful to me because throughout high school I had many peers who dropped out of school as a result of pregnancy.  This taught me more about the subject and how it impacts the children.

Gloria Garcia

Supporting Dual Language Learners in early language and literacy development

My project is about English language learners and support for them through educators and parents.  I learned that a positive, warm, and nurturing environment will allow a child to feel comfortable enough to learn.  It is meaningful because I was an English as a second language student for 6 years and I didn’t like how I was treated so I want to change that for kids. 

Ikran Ismail

Autism within the Cultural Context of the Somali Community

My project focused on the cultural perspective on Autism in the Somali community.  I learned that there are many Somali families who have children with Autism which is something new to this immigrant community.  It was really meaningful to me because I feel like I have learned to much to bring back to my community in terms of how to serve these families and children. 

Ilse P. Montes De Oca

Social and emotional risks of children with cancer: Experiences and interventions

The question my Senior Project addressed was ‘what are the risks and social/emotional experiences that children with cancer undergo?’.  I learned about the different kinds of pediatric cancers that can result in cognitive, physical, and social side effects, as well as the resources and interventions needed to be practiced by professionals in the field.  This project relates to my personal experiences and future professional aspirations in the field of pediatric oncology and public helath for children and families.

Ivan Lo

Addressing the Opportunity Gap to Prevent the Achievement Gap
In my Senior Project, I examined how preschool can be important to help close the achievement gap.  This project was meaningful to me because I want to become an elementary school teacher and focusing on this topic will help me become a better advocate and educator.
Jessica Lee

Successful Early Childhood & Preschool  Inclusion

The main question for my Senior Project was, ‘what is successful early childhood and preschool inclusion?’  I learned about the entire process in creating inclusive environments and the importance of a strong adult support system to tailor to and individualize for each child.  It’s meaningful to me because I enjoy working with children with special needs. 

Jordan Sherry-Wagner

Multi-age Education: What Research Says & Effective Implementation

My project looks at what research says about multiage education.  I learned that the research is overwhelmingly positive.  It is meaningful to me because I run a mixed age childcare that we are petitioning DEL to become the first ever mixed age mini-center.

Katrina Ledford

Connecting Policy and Developmentally Appropriate Practice

My senior project looks at what constraints and benefits policies place on developmentally appropriate practice (DAP).  I also consider how policies and DAP can be balanced.  This is a meaningful topic because DAP is an essential part of being an excellent early childhood teacher, and it is important to consider how it can be supported.

Kayleigh Rayment

Variations in Kindergarten Readiness & Strategies for Meeting the Needs of All Children

In my Senior Project I looked at the concept of ‘kindergarten readiness’.  I learned that readiness is a team effort of children, parents, educators, schools, and communities all needing to work together.  It was a meaningful project for me because it made me passionate about it and very knowledgeable on the subject.

Kseniya Pechenkina

Exploring Important Aspects of Inclusive Environments in Early Childhood Education

My main question for my project was ‘what does inclusion look like in our public school system today?’ the main things I learned are that teachers need more support, such as professional development opportunities and additional help in the classroom.  This was meaningful for me because I will start the COE TEP Program in the summer and because of my project, I was able to work with and learn from teachers who work in diverse, inclusive settings.  I was able to have access to their expertise and learn from their personal experiences.

Laura Colleran

The Reality of Sensory Processing Disorder: Research, Awareness, and Treatment through Occupational Therapy

My senior project is on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD); in particular the role of the occupational therapist.  My project helped me realize how complex SPD is, but also the importance of having advocates and experts within the field.

Laura Hedeen

Play Therapy for Children

My project addresses play therapy for children.  It discusses assessments for social and emotional concerns, types of play therapies, who can benefit from play therapy, and research on the effectiveness of this form of therapy.  Play therapy is an important approach to child therapy because it is developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant.

Maria Baretto

Identity Development in Biracial Young Children

My project had two main questions; 1) what must we understand about biracial children’s education and their search for identity, and 2) what are good teaching practices to support biracial children’s development?  I learned that there is very little research on biracial children’s identity development and related risk factors that may impact that.  This was meaningful for me because I am a single mother to a biracial child.

Quynh Nguyen

Inclusion: What K-3 General Education Teachers Need to Know

My project addresses what k-12 general education teachers know about inclusion.  I learned about policies, strategies, and evidence based research that supported inclusive programs.  It is meaningful because I feel like this is a population all teachers will work with and need to be aware of.

Sallamy Abdulmalik

Tension between Muslim communities and Western education programs

My project asked the question, ‘how can we help Muslim children and parents be more comfortable in early childhood education settings in the United States?’ I learned that even though teachers may be more culturally competent, there is still a long way to go.  This topic was meaningful to me because I hope to help a lot of children in my community get a high quality education.

Samira Mohamud

Understanding ELL Children’s Multiple Language Development

My project was about understanding young children who are English language learners’ development.  I learned that children learn a second language a lot better when they are younger, being helped by being immersed in an environment where the languages are spoken.  My project was meaningful to me because I had to learn English when I came to America. 

Sarah Park

Dual Language Learners: Effective Instructional Practices

In my project, I focused on learning more about who Dual Language Learners are, what issues and myths they face in today’s schools, and effective practices in teaching them.  I learned that effective, evidence-based teaching practices are important as is the need for teachers being accountable for meeting their needs.  I also learned how to use this information in being an advocate on this issue.  This was meaningful for me because I was a Dual Language Learner and see the need for improvements in meeting the needs of these young students.

Si En Sylvia Tai

What are the Benefits of Dual Language Learning for all Young Children?

My project focused on the benefits of dual language learning (DLL).  I learned that there are more benefits besides being able to speak another language.  For example, social emotional development, academics, and multi-tasking skills.  This project has helped me because I’m a DLL and as a future teacher I can teach them a second language.

Stefani Clark

Second Step:An Exploration of Pro-Social Curriculum in Diverse Early Childhood Classrooms

In my project, I looked into the effectiveness of social/emotional curriculum (Second Step) in diverse early childhood classrooms including issues of access and opportunity to engage in quality social/emotional education.  The main that I learned is that cultural competency is ‘key’ in teaching any subject matter.  To me it’s meaningful because it relates to my own students and my interest in providing every child with an appropriate education.

Vanessa Pham

Parallels Between Early Childhood and Multicultural Education

My senior project aims to find similar themes and values between early childhood education and multicultural education.  This is my way of connecting what I have learned in the Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS) major with my more specific interests and my goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.

Xiaoxi Jin

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome & Prevention Network

My project was about fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and how to prevent it.  I learned that community support is very important.  It is meaningful to me because kids with FAS find a spot in my heart.  I would love to keep help them if I can.

Yeon (Heather) Suk

Cost of High-Quality Child Care 

My senior project addresses the importance of  high quality early childhood education (ECE) and continuing realities in the field through the lens of an economic perspective.  I learned that public awareness is larger that I imagined and a lot of people are advocating for ECE.  It was a meaningful experience that deepened the understanding of a particular issue in the field.

Yessenia Vergara

Understanding English Language Learners’ Education

My senior project focused on understanding ELL students and how to provide quality education for them.  The main thing I learned from my project was that as an educator you really need to consider all aspects of a student’s life to provide quality education for them.  This project was meaningful to me because I was an ELL student myself and I want to spread awareness of ways that educators can help students feel confident in their own success.

Ying Kit (Anthea) Chan

Challenges and Instructional Approaches in English Language Acquisition

My project looks at challenges and instructional approaches in English language acquisition.  I learned that ELLs struggle at school and I also learned about the instructional methods on helping them.  This has been meaningful to me because I want to help them to feel like they are included in the classroom.

The following seniors worked on senior papers but did not submit a synopsis.

Aimy Dinh
    Kindergarten Preparation in Pre-K Programs

Angela Yoon
    Effects of Childhood Trauma in Early Childhood

Anh Luong
   Teaching Dual Language Learners

Ashley Janes
    Impact of parental involvement on students’ education

Brett Ageton
   Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood

Cherina Moser
   Montessori: An Excellent Choice for Children

Cintia Gil
   Are our Preschools Contributing to Childhood Obesity?

Courtney Teeters
   Tools for Teaching Early Literacy

Dawn Tuason
    Being Heard in Deaf Assessment: An Inquiry into the Cultural Context of Assessment Practices for Deaf Children

Erica Sim
    Review of Inclusion: Benefits, Challenges, Approaches, and Recommendations

Faiza Ibrahim
    Supporting Dual Language Learners: A Teachers Guide to Help Children with Academic Success

Gabriela Cueva
   Children of Mexican Immigrants

Hannah Mahdieh
   Parental Involvement in Children’s Reading Ability: The Effect of Reading at Home

Hyosun Kim
   Preschool Teachers’ Qualifications: Recommendations for Policy Makers

Jeanette Guillen
   Early Childhood Mathematics Education

Jenai Om
   Diversity & the Achievement/Opportunity Gap

Juhee Lee
   Development of Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Settings: What Can We
Do for Them?

Julia Kim
  Child Abuse: Definitions, Outcomes, and Interventions

Lyanne Abe
    Asian American Ethnic Identity Development

Matthew Saunders
   Assessments Related to High Quality Early Childhood Education

Min Kwak
    Instructional Strategies for Preschool English Language Learners

Olivia Holmes
Where are all the MEN? An in depth look at male involvement in early childhood education

Peggy Sayan
   Benefits of Home Visiting Programs

Sammie Shagren
       Potential Sources of Stress and Resiliency in Immigrant Families

Shayla Trevino
Social/Emotional Development in Head Start Programs

So Hee (Vicky) Kim
   Effective Approaches to Promoting Early Literacy Development

Stephanie Risedorf
Children’s Social Emotional Development and the Impacts of Family Involvement

Talla Amini
Childhood Aggression: Environmental Factors And Its Influence On Social Play

Tamara Braendle
  Dual Language Learning in Early Childhood

Tiffani Pham
    Myths & Realities of English Language Learners

Tiffany Ostlund
     The Emerging Importance and Attention Toward PreK-3rd Alignment

Wendy Wu
   Dual Language Learning in Early Childhood


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