Undergraduate Research in Education

ResearchThe smaller class sizes and personal attention you will enjoy at Simpson provide a unique opportunity  for undergraduates to work on research projects, independently or in collaboration with a faculty member.

Once the research has been completed, students have opportunities to present their findings at conferences throughout the state and country.

On campus, the Simpson Undergraduate Symposium is an annual event that showcases the outstanding scholarly works produced by Simpson students through the presentation of papers, performances, posters and/or panel discussions.

On this page, we would like to highlight education students engaged in research projects.

2015 ILA Conference

ILA Group

Seven Simpson education students traveled to St. Louis this summer to attend the International Literacy Association’s national conference.  Three of the students helped present with Dr. Kate Lerseth her research focusing on educational research opportunities for undergraduate pre-service teacher candidates.  Some of the key presenters these students saw were Malala, Shaq, Dr. Stephen Peters, and Octavia Spencer.

2015 Iowa 1:1 Conference

2015 Research Symposium


On April 8th, Elementary Education students (from L to R) Jennifer Mains, Valerie Marlow, Mary Doherty, and Shawna Hughes presented at the Iowa I:I Institute held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veterans Memorial in Des Moines, IA. The group presented preliminary research findings from a research project being completed with Dr. Kathryn Lerseth, Associate Professor of Education. This research focuses on using the TPACK framework, which blends technological, pedegogical, and content knowledge, in meaningful lessons in the classroom.

2013 Simpson Undergraduate Symposium

Steffanie Elkin — Elementary Education

Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Themselves as Readers

2013-04-18 10.19.33With the increased demand for students to improve achievement on standardized tests, reading instruction is the primary emphasis in current elementary school curricula. The majority of time spent every day in elementary school is dedicated to specific and scripted reading instruction in efforts to improve student proficiency on tests. One aspect of reading instruction not addressed by standardized tests is the perception students have of themselves as readers. This is a descriptive study examining how students view themselves as readers based on their attitudes about reading and their motivation to read. Surveys included in Education 317 course textbook, Improving Reading by Jerry Johns, concerning students’ attitudes toward reading and perceptions of themselves as readers were 2013-04-18 10.19.49collected from current elementary school students participating in the Simpson College Reading Club. The collected surveys will be analyzed to determine student views of themselves as readers and to determine any correlation between students’ reading level and self-perceptions. The surveys will also be analyzed to determine key motivators for students to read. This study presents current elementary school students’ self-perceptions of themselves as readers as well as their motivation to read.


Alicia Goetz — Elementary Education

Developmental Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome