Research Projects

Affirmative Action Around the World

Researcher: Michele Moses

In this project, we examine affirmative action policies in diverse national contexts, highlighting the cases of Brazil, Bulgaria, France, India, South Africa, and the United States. In light of the controversies surrounding educational efforts aimed at equality of higher education access and opportunity in those countries and others, it is an opportune time to examine and discuss affirmative action’s history, policy, and major controversies in each nation, as well as issues such as group vs. individual rights, elite vs. non-elite educational institutions, government vs. private sector roles, or voluntary vs. state mandated affirmative action. We provide a comparative examination of how different national and social contexts affect how affirmative action policy is conceptualized, discussed, implemented, and justified. The use of multiple lenses serves to strengthen the overall credibility of evidence-based claims used in legal and policy discussions.

Ambitious Writing Instruction as Critical Witnessing

Merging Findings from a Multi-Year Classroom Research Study into Innovative Models for Undergraduate Teacher Education

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Dutro

This project seeks to facilitate equitable opportunities for writing engagement and success for children in high-poverty classrooms by combining two areas of inquiry. First, the project brings findings from TREO, an equity-focused four-year classroom-based research collaboration between Elizabeth and K-12 teachers, to bear on a writing methods course for undergraduate elementary preservice teachers. Second, the writing course will be designed to take up TREO findings, particularly related to that project's identification of a "pedagogy of testimony and critical witness" in the context of models of teacher education centered on "core practices" and "ambitious instruction" being implemented and studied as part of a national consortium of scholars across disciplines in teacher education.

An Exploration of Novice Teachers' Core Competencies

Please click here for more details on this IES grant.

Co-Principal Investigator: Derek Briggs, University of Colorado Boulder

Principal Investigator: Kent Seidel, University of Colorado Denver

Co-Principal Investigtor: Kathy Green, University of Denver

Licensure policies and accreditation requirements at the national and state levels described expectations for the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are presumed important to teachers' eventual success in the classroom. These expectations represent "Core Competencies" (CCs). The purpose of this study is to provide additional information describing the relationship between novice teachers' CCs and student outcomes. Using surveys, transcriptions, analysis of program documents (including assessments, classroom observations), and statistical modeling, this study, conducted in collaboration with co-PIs Kent Seidel (University of Colorado Denver) and Kathy Green (University of Denver) addresses two questions. First, can teachers' exposure to the CCs as taught in teacher preparation programs be validly and reliably described and quantified? Second, what is the relationship between teachers' exposure to the CCs as taught in teacher preparation programs and students' academic achievement growth in K12 settings? The team will first design survey items and document coding protocols to assess each competency. After administering the survey, the team will evaluate the reliability and validity of the resulting measures. The team then plans to collect data from surveyed teachers, professors and other personnel in preparation programs preparing teachers, and the students of program graduates teaching in K12 settings, to explore whether students' achievement is related to teachers' measured CCs.

CAREER: Educative Learning Progressions as Tools for Teacher Development (ELEvATE)

Principal Investigator: Erin Furtak 

ELEvATE is funded by the REESE program at the NSF. This is a study that follows three teams of high school biology for four years as they iteratively develop, enact, and revise formative assessments linked to a learning progression for natural selection. The effectiveness of the formative assessments is determined by tracing changes in teacher practice and student learning.

Cognitive Ethnographies of Engineering Design

Principal Investigator: Kevin O'Connor

The objective of this NSF EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) project is to understand the design practices of contemporary engineering workplaces and to understand how the design process is organized. A related purpose is to understand how professional practices relate to similar practices in university engineering classes, and how any continuities and discontinuities between work and school might inform efforts to design engineering classes. These objectives are being accomplished through an exploratory, comparative, field-based ethnographic study of the design practices of professional engineers versus engineering students. Researchers are observing student and professional engineers as they work, observing what they do, who they communicate with, what they say, and how they are organized. The results of the research will be the documentation and analysis of these observations. The primary benefits of this research come in two areas: First, current theories of engineering design can be tested for validity against real data on what real engineers do every day. Second, education of engineers can be enhanced by preparing students more directly for what they will be doing in the workplace.

Collaborative Infographics for Science Literacy (CISL)

Please click here to see the Collaborative Infographics For Science Literacy site.

Principal Investigator: Joe Polman

CISL is a National Science Foundation Cyberlearning grant begun in 2012 to investigate the potential of learning environments that involve high school students in data journalism, both in school science classes and in internships. This collaborative project with University of Missouri-St. Louis and Saint Louis University examines the science and data literacy fostered when students use cyberlearning technologies to critique and create infographics related to science and technology topics.

Collaborative Strategic Reading-Colorado (CSR-CO)

Please click here to see the CSR-CO site.

Principal Investigator and Project Director: Alison Boardman

CSR-CO is an Investing in Innovation (i-3) project in collaboration with Denver Public Schools. We are working with science, social studies, and language arts middle school teachers and their students to teach them how to use CSR to support reading comprehension and content learning. Students apply comprehension strategies while reading expository text in small, collaborative, student-facilitated groups.

College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)

Principal Investigator: Leonard Baca
Project Director: Tammy Molinar-LeBlanc

This project provides support for migrant students’ first year of college.

Computational Thinking for Teaching Computing (CT4TC)

Please click here to see the Scalable Game Design wiki site

Co-Principal Investigators: David Webb and Kris Gutiérrez

Computational Thinking for Teaching Computing (CT4TC) explores the influence of mediation as a pedagogical and scaffolding approach employed by teachers to implement Scalable Game Design curriculum, and assess subsequent impact on student motivation, performance and ownership. Expected outcomes include verification of a theory of broadening participation in computing and the development of assessment instruments for measuring learning outcomes in computer science education.

Critical Civic Inquiry

Principal Investigator: Ben Kirshner

CCI aims to foster sustained and systemic opportunities for marginalized students to ask critical questions about their schools and participate in efforts to improve them. We do this by partnering with secondary school teachers who participate in professional development focused on three practices: sharing power with students, facilitating conversations about educational equity, and facilitating a youth participatory research action project. CCI has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, CU Office of Outreach and Engagement, and Women Investing in School of Education (WISE).

Diverse Young Women Traveling Pathways to STEM

Principal Investigator: Margaret Eisenhart

An outreach and research project combining delivery of an after-school program to spark high school girls' interest in engineering with a 7-year longitudinal study of the girls as they completed high school and moved on to college or work. Funded by NSF HRD 1036662.

El Pueblo Mágico After-School Program

El Pueblo Mágico After-School Program

Principal Investigator: Kris Gutiérrez

Research Associate: Lisa Schwartz

Please click here for more information on El Pueblo Mágico.

This University/School/Community partnership involves providing undergraduate students who aspire to be elementary school teachers the opportunity to learn more about STEM practices that promote student learning as they participate with local elementary school children in a designed learning environment called El Pueblo Mágico (“The Magical Community”). In this program, second to fifth graders and CU undergraduate and graduate students together engage in meaningful and complex learning activity that utilizes play, imagination, technology, and rich problem-solving and language tools all oriented toward STEM-related learning. For example, on any given day a visitor to El Pueblo would see CU children and undergraduates collaborating in a technology-rich environment to develop computational thinking skills, STEM-oriented making and tinkering activities, new media literacy practices such as digital storytelling, as well as opportunities to participate in gaming activities such as chess and in social media practices designed for youth. With regular access to the mentorship of undergraduate and graduate student partners, children engage in long-term projects in which they have opportunities to develop problem-solving skills, investigate scientific and health-related topics, and gain expertise as designers in cyber environments. The program currently enrolls approximately 120-150 children in under-resourced schools and 50 undergraduate practicum students each semester, while working to expand across university sites and the state of Colorado.

ESL Secondary Project

Principal Investigator: Leonard Baca
Project Director: Lorenso Aragon

This project provides tuition support for secondary teachers working with English Language Learners.

Evaluating Teacher Pay for Performance: Denver ProComp

Principal Investigator: Derek Briggs

The Center for Assessment, Design, Research and Evaluation (CADRE) is engaged in an ongoing effort to evaluate the effect of Denver Public School’s Professional Compensation (ProComp) system on teaching practice, teacher retention and student outcomes.  This project, which is funded by both Denver Public Schools and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, seeks to further the body of knowledge concerning the use of merit pay systems in public schools  The results of this work are being used inform possible changes to the district’s compensation practices.

From Users to Co-Producers of Research Evidence

A Study of Place-Based Research Partnerships

Principal Investigator: Bill Penuel

This study is a a longitudinal study of the role of place-based research partnerships with school districts in supporting research use. Research partnerships are a special form of intermediary organization. Rather than “translating” research done by others and “disseminating” it to policy makers and practitioners, research partnerships engage in joint research and development activities with practitioners. Research partnerships seek to identify problems of practice that the school districts are facing, co-design solutions with practitioners, implement the design, and then study this process and its results. In this study, being conducted in collaboration with Principal Investigator Cynthia Coburn of Northwestern University, we are studying the dynamics of collaboration between researchers and practitioners in place-based research partnerships and how these dynamics are influenced by the design of the partnership and the local context. We are also examining how these dynamics influence both research and use of research by districts in decision-making.

High School Equivalency Project

Principal Investigator: Leonard Baca
Project Director: Lorenso Aragon

This project offers GED instruction to migrant farm workers at three locations across Colorado.

High School Opportunity Structures, Figured Worlds of STEM, and Choice of Major and College Destination

Principal Investigator: Margaret Eisenhart 

Longitudinal study of (1) the opportunities for high school students to pursue STEM interests in 4 Denver-are high schools; (2) the meanings that these students and their parents give to STEM interests and pursuits; and (3) the students' choice of college and major post-high school graduation; data from the Denver study will be compared to similar data collected in Buffalo, NY. Funded by NSF DRL 1007964.

Inquiry Hub

Co-Principal Investigator: Bill Penuel

The "Inquiry Hub" project brings together a partnership of educational researchers, computer scientists, school district leaders, curriculum developers, interactive resource providers, and multiple publishers of STEM curricula to undertake a systemic approach to learner-centered teaching that promotes adaptability and responsiveness to the differing needs of diverse learners. The partnership integrates several prominent technology and curriculum innovations resulting from prior NSF support, which are being deployed in iterative cycles of user-driven, design-based implementation research.

International Youth Organizing

Co-Principal Investigator: Ben Kirshner

The International Youth Organizing study explores the role community organizing plays in youth civic engagement and development, with a particular emphasis on how each organization and its social-cultural features influence young people's engagement. The research includes organizations in Ireland, South Africa, and the United States. Methods include extended ethnographic case studies and longitudinal surveys of young people's attitudes and experiences. The project is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, the Hazen Foundation, and the Cricket Island Foundation.

Investigating Instructional Influences on the Productivity of Clicker Discussions

Co-Principal Investigator: Erin Furtak
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Knight (MCDB)
Co-Principal Investigator: Sarah Wise (EBIO)

This study explores the relationship between instructor practices around clicker questions and the quality of argumentation within small groups of students in introductory-level EBIO and MCDB lecture courses.

Learning Assistant International Alliance

Please click here to see the Learning Assistant Alliance site.

Principal Investigator: Valerie Otero
Project Manager: Laurie Langdon

This international study surveys STEM departments throughout the world to develop an international census of Learning Assistant programs and their characteristics. In addition to characteristics of Learning Assistants (LAs) that have been studied through the LATEST research project, this project studies the impact of the LA program on faculty development and institutional change. Collaborative qualitative and quantitative studies are taking place among various universities throughout the nation to examine contextual and overarching themes that exist in various implementations of the LA model. An annual, international workshop takes place at CU Boulder for universities to adopt the program. Regional workshops are just beginning to emerge with the 2013 launching of the regional workshop forum. National and international statistics are displayed on the Learning Assistant Alliance website, which will ultimately be populated with materials and data sharing portals.

Learning Assistant Model for Teacher Preparation in Science and Technology (LA-TEST)

Please click here to see the Learning Assistant Program site.

Principal Investigator: Valerie Otero
Project Manager: Laurie Langdon
Project Collaborators: David Webb and Derek Briggs

This research project tests the effectiveness of the LA model in terms of Learning Assistants’ (LAs’) development of content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and their practice in K-12 schools. Three interacting research teams investigate three questions about content knowledge: the Discipline-Based Educational Research (DBER) team, pedagogical knowledge: the Conceptions of Teaching and Learning (CTL) team, and teaching practices in K-12 classroom once LAs become teachers, the K-12 team.

Learning Ethnographies of New Engineers

Principal Investigator: Kevin O'Connor

Co-Principal Investigator: Margaret Eisenhart

This NSF-funded project, conducted in collaboration with Northwestern University, seeks to develop a detailed, empirically grounded understanding of new engineers' transitions from schools to workplaces, and thereby to identify continuities and discontinuities between undergraduate education and professional practice in engineering. The engineers studied in this project are recent graduates in positions that are typical of students from their institutions, and in economically important or expanding engineering sectors. The central methodology will be learning ethnographies, an innovative approach using ethnographic fieldwork to discover what these new engineers need to learn, how they learn it, what they appear to adapt or use readily from their prior educational experience, and the consequences of these for their workplace participation and developing identities as engineers. The learning ethnographies ground two further aspects of the study: a comparison of workplace practices with those of these engineers' undergraduate programs, and a survey generalizing ethnographic findings to a broader population. A major aim of the study is to understand distinctive experiences and challenges that members of underrepresented groups may face as they move into the workplace.

Literacy Squared

Please click here to see the Literacy Squared site.

Principal Investigator: Kathy Escamilla
Co-Principal Investigators: Susan Hopewell and Lucinda Soltero-González

The Literacy Squared research project involves over 4,000 Spanish speaking children and 250 teachers in four states.  The project is investigating biliteracy acquisition in Spanish and English via a paired literacy program for children in grades K-5.  Components of the project include: research, assessment, professional development and instruction using a holistic biliteracy framework.

Longitudinal Study of Connected Learning

Please click here to see the Connected Learning Research Network site.

Principal Investigator: Bill Penuel
Senior Personnel: Ben Kirshner

This project within the network is a survey-based research study that is examining children’s participation in connected learning environments in late elementary and middle school and the relationship of participation to valued outcomes. These outcomes include interest development, persistence in learning, civic participation, and development of a positive sense of the future. The CU-Boulder team will work with CLRN network members to develop and pilot the survey at different research sites. The team will oversee data collection and analysis of results. A unique feature of the methodology will be reliance on a team of youth ethnographers as co-researchers on the project. The youth ethnographers will use GIS tools and other digital media to map connected learning opportunities for children and youth in their community and help the survey team refine items related to participation in connected learning environments. The team envisions the youth ethnographers’ maps and the longitudinal data collection feeding into a participatory, community-based process to increase coordination of learning opportunities for children and youth.

Low Incidence Project

Principal Investigator: Leonard Baca
Project Director: John Hoover

This project provides tuition support for MA candidates in the Low Incidence program.

Math-Science Partnership Collaboratory (R+P Collaboratory)

Please click here to see the MSPnet site.

Principal Investigator: Bill Penuel

The Exploratorium comes together with the Education Development Center, Inverness Research, TERC, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Washington to form a Research+Practice (R+P) Collaboratory. The Collaboratory seeks to address and reframe the gap between research and practice in K-12 STEM education. This gap persists despite decades of work by many leading organizations, associations, and individuals. Attempts to close the gap have generally focused on creating resources and mechanisms that first explain or illustrate "what research says" and then invite educators to access and integrate findings into practice.

More and Better Learning Time

Principal Investigator: Kevin Welner
Co-Principal Investigator: Ben Kirshner

The purpose of this study is to understand and document the role of community-based non-profit organizations in the enactment of the Ford Foundation’s More and Better Learning Time (MBLT) initiative in Colorado. Case studies will document the work that each organization is doing to foster an equity-focused agenda around more and better learning time. The second strand of our partnership will be to provide “on-demand” research support to community-based organizations. This study is funded by the Ford Foundation.

National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning

Please click here to see the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning site.

Task Leader: Bill Penuel

The Coaching Companion is a tool that been designed to support Head Start coaches and teachers as they engage in the coaching process. NCQTL's Practice-Based Model is a cyclical process that involves:

  • Planning goals and action steps
  • Engaging in focused observations
  • Reflecting on and sharing feedback about teaching practices

A key element of the practice-based coaching model is the use of videos of practice. The Coaching Companion allows you to upload private videos for discussion as part of your shared action plan.

Noyce Teacher Teams/Colorado Teaching to Learn Project

Please click here to see the Noyce Scholarship site.

Principal Investigator: Valerie Otero
Project Manager: Laurie Langdon

This project builds on the collective induction philosophy that undergirds the successful NSF-funded Noyce programs at the University of Colorado Boulder.  The project is integrating, expanding, and aligning teacher preparation, induction, and leadership by bringing together Noyce Teacher Teams of teachers and prospective teachers with different levels of experience.  The focus of each team of veteran, novice, and prospective teachers is on conducting classroom research and the goal of this centralizing activity is the critical examination of assumptions about teaching and learning. The mechanism by which such reflection occurs is scientific inquiry into one’s own practice, the practices of others, and the practices of students. This design is like that of any scientific laboratory-knowledge generation with all participants playing critical, productive roles as knowledge producers as well as expert learners. The project is a collaboration of the University of Colorado Boulder,  Adams 12 5-Star Schools, Boulder Valley, Cherry Creek, Denver Public Schools, Englewood, Jefferson County, Mapleton, and St. Vrain Valley school districts and includes Colorado Legacy Foundation as a partner. The design of this project reaches beyond the buzzwords of "inquiry-based" and "student-centered" and into the realm of fundamental reorganization of learning contexts for teachers. The Streamline to Mastery Phase II research team activities serve as mechanisms both for the professional growth of participants and as a model for how scientific inquiry into personally and professionally meaningful problems leads to collective knowledge generation.

Physics and Everyday Thinking

Please click here to see the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) site.

Principal Investigator: Valerie Otero
Co-Principal Investigator: Alison Boardman

This project adapts, further develops, and tests a physics curriculum that addresses needs for: (1) a research-based, high school physics curriculum to address core process called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), (2) a hybrid curriculum that holds closely to the canon of physics, but allows for innovative, explorative approaches that value students’ cultural experiences and linguistic resources, developed especially for English language learners, (3) professional development for teachers of physics who are not prepared to teach in ways that facilitate the model-based reasoning called for by the NGSS, (4) interdisciplinary topics to be incorporated into college preparatory disciplinary courses, because students live in a world in which interdisciplinary topics such as renewable energy and the design of efficient energy environments are increasingly relevant to their lives and future contributions to society.

Project-based Inquiry Science Efficacy Study

Please click here to see the SRI International site.

Co-Principal Investigator: Bill Penuel

Funded by the National Science Foundation, this study is examining the efficacy of the benefits of PBIS for supporting science teaching and students' science learning. A unique feature of the study’s design is an analytic focus on the conditions needed to implement the curriculum in ways that improve student learning in light of the new Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards. The study is led by SRI International and is being performed in collaboration with Michigan State University and the University of Colorado Boulder.

The study launched in August 2012 and involves approximately 100 sixth grade science teachers and more than 3,000 students from 42 middle schools. The goal is to understand the impact of the curriculum on student achievement, classroom implementation, and teacher practice.

Public Narrative: Stories of Service and Leadership in Middle School Classrooms

Director: Bill McGinley

This project combines the creative power of writing and the visual arts as a way for middle school students to envision a sense of shared community designed to inspire others to act on challenges that members of their communities might face. We make this possible by providing students with instruction in the power and possibility of constructing Public Narrative through art, writing, research, and service. Public narrative combines stories of Self with stories of Us. It is the expressive art of translating values and beliefs into action. The primary goal of this project is to help students discover and create the manner in which their own life stories (stories of Self) are an integral part of shaping and defining the values and visions of the community in which they live (stories of Us). Through a year-long series of leadership and service-based expeditions and classroom workshops (TYS and Our Town), students will photograph, draw, write, research, and document issues of importance in their communities around which they would like to take action.

RTI Effectiveness Model for ELLs (REME)

Co-Principal Investigators: Lucinda Soltero-González and John Hoover

REME is a four-year project designed to examine the effectiveness of a culturally responsive multi-tiered Response to Intervention (RTI) model on the reading achievement of English language learners (ELLs) in grades K-3. REME includes five primary components considered necessary for success with ELLs in reading: 1) three-tier RTI model; 2) research-based literacy instruction and interventions appropriate for ELLs; 3) culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices; 4) multiple sources of assessment data; and 5) ecological decision-making.

Science Literacy through Science Journalism

Please click here to see the UMSL site.

Principal Investigator: Joe Polman

SciJourn is a National Science Foundation Discovery Research K-12 grant based at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (where Dr. Polman was a faculty member until 2012). The project, begun in 2008, developed and researched an innovative and flexible curriculum that involves high school students in science news reporting in order to increase their engagement with STEM and their science literacy.

Streamline to Mastery

Please click here to see the Noyce Scholarships/Streamline to Mastery site.

Principal Investigator: Valerie Otero

The Streamline to Mastery program is an experiential professional development program with a design that is based on the structure of the Colorado Learning Assistant program. The idea is that teachers build expertise, mastery, and agency by participating in building a professional development program for themselves and for other teachers. The goal is critical examination of our own assumptions about teaching and learning. In addition, teachers gain leadership and agency by participating in the national dialogue regarding teaching and teacher quality while presenting their research at national research conferences. This research is conducted in their classrooms with the help of doctoral students and Noyce Fellows. The long-term goal is to establish a community of scholars that consists of K-12 teachers, university faculty, university-based doctoral students, and prospective teachers (particularly Noyce Fellows), all responsible for the education of K-12 students and the education of future teachers.

Synergies

Please click here to see the OSU College of Education site.

Principal Investigator: Bill Penuel
Senior Personnel: Ben Kirshner

With funding from the California-based Noyce Foundation, Oregon State University researchers John Falk, Lynn Dierking and Nancy Staus (with William Penuel and colleagues at University of Colorado Boulder) have launched the four-year longitudinal SYNERGIES--Understanding and Connecting STEM Learning in the Community project to understand how, when, where, why and with whom children access and use STEM resources in their daily lives.

Teacher Noticing for Equitable Mathematics Instruction

Principal Investigator: Vicki Hand

This research examines the noticing practices of secondary mathematics teachers who are exceptional at creating equitable mathematics classrooms. Studies show that what teachers attend to about students' mathematical thinking in moment-to-moment instruction has important implications for student learning. We hypothesize that teachers who are successful at engaging a broad range of students in mathematics learning also "notice" particular aspects of classroom mathematical activity. This study is currently being funded by a small grant from the Spencer Foundation.

Teacher Research for Equity and Opportunity (TREO)

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Dutro

TREO convened a collaborative research group comprised of early career K-12 teachers and university-based researchers to center classroom-based inquiry in three areas: (a) the relationship between the difficult experiences that some children and youth bring to school and the curriculum, instruction, policy and social environments they encounter in literacy classrooms; (b) how, by whom, and to what effects understandings of students’ lives are documented and interpreted in schools and classrooms; (c) the theoretical and practical implications of humanities frameworks that centrally account for and critically examine challenging life experiences and the consequential narratives constructed in their wake. (WISE, Weener Fund, IMPART, CU Outreach, CARTSS)

Understanding How Educational Outreach Affects the Social Contexts and Aspirations of Low-Income Students

Principal Investigator: Michele Moses

The research examines how I Have a Dream (IHD), a comprehensive outreach program for low-income youth, ages 8-23, affects its participants’ life options. IHD is a national program with independently run local organizations. It has three core areas of emphasis: (1) Academic Skills, (2) Emotional Intelligence and Relationships, and (3) Life Skills. The program aims to assist students to be at or above grade level in core academic areas. The approach centers on connecting with students, building relationships and social skills, and partnering with families. Two major goals are high school graduation and pursuit of postsecondary education.

This research examines how the Boulder County, Colorado program affects the contexts of the students’ lives and their educational aspirations. Grounded in a framework that integrates key concepts such as the social context of choice, habitus, and adaptive preferences, we use mixed methods (i.e., descriptive statistics, social network analysis, and qualitative interviewing and observations) to investigate the following primary questions:

  1. How does participation in I Have a Dream affect students' social capital, context of choice, and preferences related to educational engagement and aspirations?
  2. How do student participants (“Dreamers”) develop and maintain their social networks? How do those networks afford them opportunities?

Understanding Local Food Practices

Collaborative Community Research for Economic Development in a Denver Neighborhood

Principal Investigator: Susan Jurow
Co-Principal Investigator: Kevin O’Connor

This project is situated in a Denver neighborhood characterized as “food insecure.” We have been invited by a local non-profit to provide professional development for community leaders invested in changing the health, educational, and economic outcomes for the neighborhood. Our role is to provide professional development for community residents, in their role as promotoras or community connectors, to become co-researchers with us to better understand the assets and barriers facing the development of the neighborhood.

Using a Learning Progressions Framework to Develop Student Learning Objectives

Principal Investigator: Derek Briggs

The purpose of this project is to facilitate a method of teacher evaluation that provides information useful for instruction, and evidence that teachers regard as an authentic basis for evaluating student academic growth.  Colorado Senate Bill 10-191 requires all school districts to adopt educator evaluation systems that include evidence of student learning. Staff from the Center for Assessment, Design, Research and Evaluation (CADRE) in CU-Boulder’s School of Education are engaged in a multi-year project in collaboration with the National Center for Improvement of Educational Assessment and the Denver Public School District to improve the process used assess and evaluate student growth through the use of a “Student Learning Objectives.”  A novel aspect of this work is using research on learning trajectories in mathematics as a framework for creating targets for what students are expected to learn, and assessments capable of providing diagnostic information for targeted instruction.

vTLC: Virtual Teacher Learning Community

Principal Investigator: Erin Furtak
Consultant: Joe Polman

Funded through CU's Innovative Seed Grant Program. The purpose of the funding is to develop a prototype user interface that will use Google Tools to allow teachers at remote schools to participate in a facilitated professional learning community experience.