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2014 - Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 6474 words || 
1. Meyer, Doug. "It Gets Better, But Only If You Make It Better: A Content Analysis of Videos Made for the 'It Gets Better' Anti-Gay Bullying Project" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon, Mar 27, 2014 Online <PDF>. 2019-06-20 <>
Publication Type: Formal research paper presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In this paper, I argue that the ‘It Gets Better’ Project, a campaign designed to help teens who have experienced anti-gay bullying, has served neoliberal goals by advancing narratives of progress and by obscuring social class differences among queer populations. Through a content analysis of 120 videos made for the Project, I find several common themes, including extensive descriptions of strength. I argue that in normalizing narratives of progress, the implication of the Project is that if it does not get better for individuals, then they are just not trying hard enough. Thus, I find that the Project very quickly moved from narratives of encouragement to individual accounts of blame, suggesting it should get better for individuals and if it does not then there is something wrong with them. As many of the videos reproduce norms of middle-class respectability, including finding a partner and moving from small towns to large cities, I argue that the Project serves to flatten out differences among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, ignoring the ways in which opportunities are unequally distributed based on social class. Further, given that most of the videos focus on optimistic feelings of happiness and hopefulness, I argue that the Project serves to stamp out the acceptability of anger, encouraging passivity on the part of LGBT people who have experienced bullying. Finally, although a few videos offer the potential for radical critique, I argue that the most common narrative of the videos – advanced by the title of the Project, ‘It Gets Better’ – individualizes the problem of anti-LGBT bullying, as most of the videos put the onus on the individual who has been bullied rather than the school or the individuals, much less the heteronormative social conditions, that foster the violence.

2011 - SCRA Biennial Meeting Words: 240 words || 
2. Eckerle Curwood, Susan., Nelson, Geoffrey., van andel, ashley., Hasford, Julian., Love, Norah., Pancer, Mark. and Loomis, Colleen. "Exploring Outcomes through Narrative: Long-term Impacts of Better Beginnings, Better Futures on the Turning Point Stories of Youth Ages 18-19" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SCRA Biennial Meeting, Roosevelt University/Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-06-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Better Beginnings, Better Futures is a 25-year demonstration project funded by the Government of Ontario to prevent social, emotional, behavioural, physical and cognitive problems in young children. This study examined the long-term effects of the Better Beginnings, Better Futures program on youths’ turning point stories at age 18. The sample consisted of youth who participated in Better Beginnings from ages 4-8 (n = 62) and youth from a comparison community who were not in Better Beginnings (n = 34). Controlling for covariates, significant differences favouring youth from the Better Beginnings sites were found on several dimensions of the turning point stories: ending resolution, personal growth, meaning-making, coherence, and affect transformation. Effect sizes ranged from .45 to .75 for these outcome dimensions, indicating moderate to large effects. Also, turning point story dimensions were found to be significantly correlated with two standardized outcomes measures. Youths’ self-esteem was directly related to story ending resolution, personal growth, and meaning making, and youths’ community involvement was directly related to story specificity, meaning making, and coherence. This presentation will also make use of vignettes to illustrate the qualitative differences between youth from Better Beginnings and comparison communities in ending resolution, personal growth, and meaning-making. As positive turning points are related to indicators of well-being, these findings demonstrate that early childhood prevention programs can produce positive long-term impacts. The findings also suggest the utility of a narrative approach to the evaluation of long-term outcomes of prevention programs.

2018 - Comparative and International Education Society Conference Words: 513 words || 
3. Kapp, Jon. and Izaguirre, Haydee. "OpenEMIS: Better data, better outcomes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 25, 2018 <Not Available>. 2019-06-20 <>
Publication Type: Round-table Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Context

The OpenEMIS Initiative is part of UNESCO’s response to increase demand for support in the area of education system planning and management. OpenEMIS supports the building of a robust and reliable EMIS and the strengthening of national capacities in the provision of reliable information for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of education systems. OpenEMIS has modules for (a) data capture on institutions, students, staff; (b) computation of standards-based education indicators in compliance with internationally recommended methodology; (c) consolidated data warehouse of all education data in the country; (d) advanced methods for data reporting, data visualization, and dissemination to all stakeholders, including ministry planners, principals, teachers, parents, students.

Within the changing context of the education sector, there are opportunities to benefit from the latest information technology. New EMIS technology can be used to effectively monitor the implementation of all aspects of the education policy in the country. More specifically, enhancements to the existing EMIS can overcome these challenges:

• Bottlenecks in Data Coordination. Education data collection could benefit from better coordination among the sections of the MoE and between the ministry and schools, teachers and students.

• Inability to Track Individual Students and Teachers. Some important education data is currently collected at the school level. It is not feasible to use this aggregated information to track individual student attendance, achievement, behaviour, transfers and detailed teacher information.

• Deficiencies in Relevant and Timely Monitoring Information. A comprehensive data warehouse of education key performance indicators on all sections of the ministry will help the administrators in planning and monitoring the education system, with a focus on improving the quality of education. At the school level, real-time data on students, staff, and facilities will allow school administrators to more effectively and efficiently manage their institution.

In order to improve delivery, accountability and transparency, MoEs have highlighted the importance of strengthening the EMIS to help them collect, analyze and disseminate education data. The use of the system will be able to inform and support policies through evidence based decision-making.

The key underlying implementation principles of OpenEMIS are:

• An evidence based approach which uses reliable data to inform the education planning and policy-decision processes through the strengthening of existing national information systems;
• National leadership with full participation and engagement of national stakeholders in diagnosis, formulation and implementation of a plan;
• Alignment of OpenEMIS within the overall national education development goals and objectives;
• Support to the government in developing effective and robust information systems and data collection tools, through the use of open source, generic and cost-effective IT tools;
• Use of international standards for data exchange on education in the country for improved access to and use of information;
• An exit strategy which results in a government-owned EMIS integrated with a robust education decision-support system with the management of the system transferred to key government institutions without dependencies on external technical support.

Through this presentation, we will highlight implementation of the OpenEMIS Initiative in project countries, including Maldives, Belize, Jordan, Malaysia, Zambia, DR Congo, Turks and Caicos, Grenada.

The presentation will highlight findings from implementation, including challenges, best practices, and recommendations for sustainability.

2011 - The Mathematical Association of America MathFest Words: 176 words || 
4. Samuels, Jason. "Better Graphs, Better Formulas, and a Little Technology – Making Statistics a More Unified Course" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Mathematical Association of America MathFest, Lexington Convention Center, Lexington, KY, Aug 04, 2011 <Not Available>. 2019-06-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Statistics seems to many students like a collection of isolated topics and formulas. The speaker served on a textbook search committee for Introductory Statistics and reviewed multiple textbooks and software packages. Based on this review and experience teaching Statistics, the speaker organized the material in an Introduction to Statistics class with a conceptual elegance and coherence which is missing from most textbooks and presentations, and which makes the material easier to learn.
In this approach, improved formulas with simplified notation help students see the connections across topics in statistics. Improved graphs with uniform implementation organize much of the work in inferential statistics into a single template. One piece of technology used in the course which complements this integrated approach has a graphical user interface for finding probabilities and critical values in various distributions. Another interactive program can be used to build an intuitive understanding of correlation and regression. This modified approach with user-friendly tools has allowed students to design, execute and submit their own statistical projects. The instructional innovations and examples of student work will be presented.

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