The Student News Site of Saint Xavier High School

Dr. Nolan’s Heading to Mexico

November 2, 2022

Dr. Kendra Nolan, a newly hired math teacher at Saint Xavier, is presenting at the International Conference on Urban Education. ICUE is a global conference with goals to solve issues in urban school settings. She will make the trip to Cancun, Mexico in the beginning of November. Her presentation will be based off of her thesis paper titled, “Middle School Student Characteristics and Perceived Sense of Connectedness in an Online Learning Environment”.


Looking at data from three middle schools in Kentucky, Dr. Nolan used data from the Online Student Connectedness Survey to investigate interaction effects and students’ sense of connection. She found that there were multiple variables that affected students’ perceived connectedness.


“During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, schools switched to non-traditional instruction (NTI),” Dr. Nolan said. “Students especially had to adapt to the changes in instructional delivery by developing new learning strategies while struggling with social isolation and loneliness. My paper focused on measuring the impact these online learning adaptations had on students’ connectedness to the school environment.”


“My study found that neither grade level nor gender independently were associated with students’ perceived connectedness during online instruction,” Dr. Nolan continued. “White students reported a higher sense of connectedness than non-white students. Female students had a lower sense of connectedness in 7th grade than 8th grade.”


Dr. Nolan is not only going to the conference to present her findings, but to gather more information from other presentations about NTI learning effects. She is also excited to listen to other presentations about the retention of teachers in urban schools.


“While at the conference, I’m looking forward to learning about studies that are similar to mine, but may vary in student age groups or something,” Dr. Nolan said. “I hope to see how the data may be different if surveyed in other parts of the country or even during a different time period of the pandemic.”


Dr. Nolan is taking her research outside of the classrooms of St. X and looks to bring her new findings back with her to Poplar Level Road.

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