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Jennifer Watling Neal | PROJECTS

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Michigan School Program Information Project (MiSPI)
 
Public schools regularly adopt programs to help meet students' needs. These programs can address instructional needs like reading or math, health needs like physical fitness or making healthy food choices, and social skills needs like dealing with bullying. However, it can be challenging for educators to find information about the programs that are available, to locate programs that are a good fit for their students' needs, and to evaluate which programs are most effective. The goal of the Michigan School Program Information (MiSPI) project is to understand how educators use their social networks to locate information about these kinds of programs, and how they make decisions about which programs to use in their districts. This work is collaborative with Dr. Zachary Neal and has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the William T. Grant Foundation.
For more information visit:
https://msu.edu/~mispi/index.html
MiSPI in the United Kingdom

We are partnering with Evidence Based Education and Shotton Hall Research School to learn how educators in North East England use their social networks to search for information about programs and practices.  We are particularly interested in whether the findings from our Michigan-based MISPI study  translate to the unique educational context of the United Kingdom.

For more information visit:

https://www.mispi.org/mispi-uk

Children's Peer Networks & Behavior

I have collected multiple datasets that allow an examination of associations between children's peer networks and behavior.

First, Dr. Emily Durbin (Michigan State University) and I have collected longitudinal data to examine changes in preschool peer interactions among 88 3-4 year old children. Measures include behavioral observations of children’s peer interactions and emotion, teacher measures of children’s peer interaction, and peer nominations of sociometric status and prosocial behaviors.

Second, Dr. Elise Cappella (New York University) and I have collected data on teacher interactions with students, classroom peer social networks, and childhood behavior among 683 2nd to 4th grade African American students in 33 urban, low-income classrooms.  Network data were collected via cognitive social structures (CSS) which also allows us to examine teacher and children perceptions of social networks.​

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