Dr. Colleen Ganley & Dr. Chris Schatschneider
Title of Research: Examining Teachers’ Math Anxiety, Math Instruction, and Student Math-Related Outcomes
Description of Research Area: We are conducting a large-scale study in which we examine how teachers’ anxiety about math relates to their instructional practices and their students’ math anxiety and performance. This is a collaborative project with both Colleen Ganley and Chris Schatschneider (Psychology) and with Rob Schoen (Learning Systems Institute). In this project, we are following approximately 4,000 K-3 students in multiple Florida districts over the course of two years. We are examining a number of student cognitive and affective outcomes so that we can explore their development and examine how that development is related to teacher math anxiety and other teacher characteristics (e.g., math knowledge for teaching, math learning beliefs). These additional student measures include math attitudes, math vocabulary, spatial skills, spatial anxiety, number line estimation, test anxiety, general anxiety, and growth mindset. We are also still considering additional variables to include, a process in which a postdoctoral researcher could be involved. In addition, a postdoctoral researcher would be involved in conducting classroom observations of math teaching, assisting with data management, conducting data analysis (using multilevel structural equation modeling), and disseminating research findings at conferences and in journal publications.
Special Research & Career Skills: Training would involve further development of research design and statistical skills, experience and training in conducting school-based research, and experience with writing both journal articles and grants..
Website Links: IES Grant
Dr. Greg Hajcak
Title of Research: Neural biomarkers of risk for psychopathology
Description of Research Area: Our work focuses on the intersection between neuroscience and psychopathology – how the brain can be used to study individual differences. The major thrust of my current research program is on prediction and modification: To what degree can neuroscience and psychophysiology predict changes in symptoms over time? Can neural measures of risk be modified? Does modifying these measures matter? We're currently working on a range of projects--and many focus on neural measures of reward, as reflected in event-related brain potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging. We are interested in how pubertal development and hormones impact reward sensitivity, especially in relation to individual differences in depression and depressive symptoms. We are also examining reward-related neural activity in relation to postpartum depression, alcohol consumption, and eating disorders. Some of our projects examine whether neural activity can be altered by computer-based cognitive training, and we are examining similar questions related to brain stimulation.
Special Research & Career Skills: I’ve been effective in guiding trainees to write their own research and training grants (i.e., I’ve been the primary or co-mentor for more than 10 NIMH grants at the pre- and post-doctoral level), and I would help the new postdoc work toward writing their own training (F32) or career (K) award grants.
Website Link: Hajcak Lab
Dr. Sara Hart
Title of Research: Twin project on reading and math development
Description of Research Area: The overall goal of the proposed research is to uncover salient factors, including genetic and environmental influences, which contribute to the co-development of reading and math performance, at a critical developmental point (elementary school). We are currently recruiting for the first nationally-representative US twin sample, the National Project on Achievement in Twins (NatPAT). The NatPAT sample will comprise 7,668 pairs of twins located across the US, and will be uniquely situated to address the overall goal of the proposed research through four specific aims (SA). First, we will utilize a large national database of reading and math performance from schools across the country to ascertain the NatPAT twin sample. Using a cohort-sequential design starting in kindergarten, we will examine reading and math performance across elementary school in order to model genetic and environmental influences on reading and math (co-)development (Specific Aim 1). Second, we will model the genetic and environmental influences on the co-occurrence of reading and math difficulties, while also testing for sex differences (Specific Aim 2). Third, we will capitalize on publically available data to characterize the environmental contexts related to the (co-)development of reading and math performance (Specific Aim 3). Finally, we will capture important attitudinal individual differences dimensions and examine how they are associated with the (co-)development of reading and math performance (Specific Aim 4). The postdoctoral scholar will have a chance to write papers from this database, as well as papers using data from other related twin projects focused on reading and math development in school-aged twins. The postdoctoral scholar will have freedom to decide on the papers they want to write. There will also be opportunities for grant writing.
Special Research & Career Skills: I provide hands-on mentorship on advanced statistical analysis (including twin modeling), paper writing, grant writing, grant management, and lab management.
Website Link: Hart Lab