Early Childhood Education master’s student Lana Tran has been awarded the Sally Casanova Pre-doctoral Scholarship. This prestigious award provides funding to current CSU graduate students and requires the recipient to undertake a funded research project. Focusing on early childhood education, Tran’s research project will likely entail, “a mixed-method sequential exploratory design to examine the factors that relate to differential use of educational technology by early childhood education (ECE) teachers.” Tran shared that through this project she is seeking to, “examine the correlation between factors such as teachers’ educational backgrounds, years of teaching experiences, self-efficacy, beliefs about the impact of technology and children’s early literacy acquisition, and teachers’ levels of educational technology use in their classroom. The sequential exploratory mixed method design will allow me to extend the depth and breadth of inquiry by conducting a focus group interview based on the analysis of survey data.”
Connecting her research to her current graduate studies as an Early Childhood Education student, Tran aims to eliminate issues in the field, such as the controversial use of technology with younger learners and the use of educational technology as a tool to enhance early literacy development, as well as contribute to the field by improving the quality of curriculum found in early childhood education.
After completing her master’s studies in the College of Education, Tran plans to pursue a doctoral degree in education focusing on the science of learning and literacy acquisitions. Looking forward, Tran plans to spend her career in academia, “…where I will devote my time to both research and teach courses related to early literacy and educational research methods.” Tran shared how she expects her academic experience to shape her as a future educator, “…I have worked with professors who encouraged me to exceed my own expectations to become a better student and a researcher. Like them, I will also focus on fostering an attitude of high expectations for all learners among future teachers and share successful educational strategies that have potential to close the existing achievement gaps in literacy subjects among different socioeconomic groups.”