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Exploring Textual Data to Understand Educators’ Opinions and School Characteristics (DSI-SRP)

Posted by on Thursday, August 1, 2019 in Completed Research, DSI-SRP, Peabody College, School of Engineering, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

This DSI-SRP fellowship funded Jong Eun Jung to work in the laboratory of Professor Jason Grissom in the Department of Leadership Policy and Organization during the summer of 2019. Jong anticipates graduating in 2022 and is majoring in Human and Organizational Development and Computer Science.

The project funded by this fellowship aimed to understand the textual analysis of responses from the Tennessee Educator Survey, a survey that is given out to educators in the state every year, and the textual analysis of Tennessean district and school improvement plans.

Jung used natural language processing methods in Python to answer both of these questions. For the first question, he identified prominent themes in the open-ended responses of the survey with topic modeling and conducted sentiment analysis to provide the Tennessee Department of Education with insights into educators’ opinions on education issues. For the second question, he looked for patterns in the literacy-related needs, goals, and strategies of school improvement plans and compared them to the district plans.

Jung is continuing his work on this project, searching for relationships between his findings and school characteristics, such as student subgroup population proportions and student academic achievement. The results of his research will provide insight into how improvement plans are created by schools. The DSI workshops helped Jung further his understanding of Python and improved his problem-solving skills in data science, which were valuable in the development of his projects.

In addition to receiving support through a DSI-SRP fellowship, this project was supported and facilitated by the DSI Data Science Team through their regular summer workshops and demo sessions.

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