When I selected the University of Georgia to do my doctoral studies I envisioned myself working with David Butts who was the science educator I knew most about and had read his work on problem solving, especially in elementary education. However, the selection of a major professor has as much to do with interpersonal relationships as scholarly productivity and Bill Capie and I were well suited and agreed to work together. He was involved in the development of a beginning teacher assessment system for the state of Georgia and so my research assistantship was oriented toward the development, validation, and subsequent use of “high inference” teacher assessment tools. Since I came to the United States with a background in psychometrics, I had many of the skills needed to do this work and with Bill’s encouragement I continued to study multivariate and logistic statistics, applying them in data analysis of teacher assessment data.
Bill Capie encouraged me to build on the work I had done on wait time in Australia as a focal point for my dissertation research. I did this, expanding the initial study significantly to include the use of observation protocols to measure teacher and student processes in science classes oriented toward the teaching and learning of integrated process skills. Another aspect that I expanded in my doctoral dissertation work was to develop a Test of Logical Thinking, to enable differences in student reasoning ability to be factored into a study that utilized statistical analyses and associated model development and testing. The continuing influence of Mary Budd Rowe on my research was evident in my use of locus of control measures (or fate control as she referred to it) as a covariate in a process-product study situated in middle schools in and around Athens Georgia.
My research at the University of Georgia (1978-80) was largely undertaken with Bill Capie and Chad Ellett, a colleague with whom I have remained friends to the present day. Unfortunately, my time at the University was so focused that I did not co-author research with Chad.
I returned to the University of Georgia in 1986 as part of a Fulbright award and undertook collaborative research, initially with Bill Capie, but increasingly with Russell Yeany and a group of doctoral students, many of whom are close colleagues and friends to the present day (e.g., Mariona Espinet, Chao-Ti Hsiung, Hsiao-Lin Tuan, and Nancy Davis).
My collaboration with Bill occurred in the early 1980s during which time we coached-authored 11 journal articles, 2 book chapters, 1 monograph, and 8 technical reports. Peer recognition of our work at the national level was reflected in 3 awards.