Dr. Rivera Rodas’ goals in teaching are to develop students’ critical thinking, facilitate their learning process, and to make them comfortable with content that is often scary but required for many students. Her teaching philosophy is centered on the articulation, enactment, and assessment of student oriented goals for learning. Ultimately, her objective is to create a rich, dynamic learning environment that teaches students the skills and knowledge that prepare them for rewarding careers in education and related fields. Here is a short description of the classes that Dr. Rivera Rodas has taught in the past:
Courses taught at Montclair State University
- EDFD 221: Historical Foundations of American Education (Fall 2018, Spring 2018)
This course encourages students to use history to understand complex debates about public education in America. We will examine the changing purposes of public education in American democracy from the common school era to the present day by reading a variety of primary and secondary historical texts, including a scholarly monograph in the history of education. Students will examine the historical origin of contemporary educational reforms and consider how different activists and reformers have worked to improve public schools. This course will develop critical thinking and communication skills and expand students’ knowledge of American history and historical scholarship.
Masters Level Courses
- EDFD 503: Methods of Research (Spring 2019, Summer 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Summer 2017, Fall 2016)
This course is designed to help students gain an understanding and appreciation for the use of research as a tool for professional activities in the real world. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to conducting research, including basic research terminology, the scientific method, use of theory and models, the value of qualitative and quantitative research, research ethics, measurement, sampling, secondary data, surveys and other primary data, multivariate statistics, causation, multiple regression, experimental designs, and how to find, review and present research. The primary objective of this course is to enable students to become informed consumers of research published in education. Students will learn to critically evaluate the quality of information based on the methods used to generate it. They will be able to identify and examine researchable problems in education, counseling, psychology and related fields. Students will analyze the process of educational research, including the possibilities and limitations of various designs and procedures.
Doctoral Level Courses
- EDFD 821: Quantitative Methods for Education Research (Fall 2018, Spring 2017)
This course will introduce students to the major methodologies and fundamental skills of quantitative research. Students will critically examine the features of common research methods, including experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental designs, as well as related sampling techniques. Students will also study the underlying principles of educational and psychological measurement, focusing on such concepts as validity, reliability, and bias. Course topics include descriptive statistics, introduction to statistical inference, and the presentation and interpretation of statistical data in educational research literature. This course will also provide opportunities to use statistical computing packages, such as SPSS, to support data analysis and interpretation. Students will also gain some practice with independent data collection, analysis, and presentation.
- EDFD 822: Advanced Methods of Quantitative Inquiry in Education (Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016)
The course is arranged around a set of activities that requires students to analyze, interpret and reflect on the data with which you are working. Class meetings will consist of one part lecture, during which we will discuss a limited number of concepts and/or statistics. This part will enable students to openly share your understanding of the topic at hand. To prepare for this part of each class meeting, students will be asked to read selections from the required text. The second part of class will be conducted in the computer lab. Here, students will work with data that I will provide to simulate the analyses that were discussed during the first half of the meeting.
Courses Taught at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- ECON 101: Introduction to Economics – Micro (Summer 2013)
This course is an introduction to microeconomics. We focus on how the U.S. market-based economy functions. We cover the basics of supply and demand, consumer and firm behavior. We also discuss the mathematical and analytical “tool” needed to do economic analysis.
- ECON 231: Statistical Methods (Summer 2013, Fall 2012)
This course introduces the basic concepts and tools of modern statistics with an emphasis on applications.
- SOC 345: Sociology of Education (Spring 2012, Fall 2011)
This course examines the interaction between schools and society; basic social concepts such as stratification, social role, and bureaucratic organization as they relate to the educational system; the system in relation to the larger institutions in the society, with emphasis on both stated objectives and actual social functions.
Masters Level Courses
- ECON 507: Econometrics (Spring 2016)
Econometrics, literally “economic measurement,” is a branch of economics that attempts to quantify theoretical relationships. This course presents topics in econometrics including a review of the classical linear regression model and some advance topics. This course will have both a theoretical and an applied component and there will be a focus on using econometrics software in estimating econometrics models learned during the semester.
Certificate Program Courses
- Quantitative Techniques in Certified Public Managers Program (Fall 2017, Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Summer 2013, Spring 2013)
This course focuses on collecting and analyzing data, using basic research design tools, and employing the use of statistical reporting in public organizations using both quantitative and qualitative research tools. Measuring the performance of government is a perennial issue for the public sector. A critical component—use of quantitative techniques to analyze and present data—is often overlooked. This course highlights best practices in use of analytical tools and strategies for selecting relevant data, analyzing it, and reporting results. A number of statistical reporting and presentation techniques are highlighted to help managers achieve excellence in performance reporting.