In addition to the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) housed at the School of Education, faculty and students are actively involved in evaluating and impacting education policy through research, teaching, and outreach.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Study Between 2 Continents: Supporting Preservice Teachers to Engage in LGBTQGVM-inclusive Curriculum
Principal Investigator: sj Miller
This 7-year study, beginning in 2014, examines shifts in beliefs, norms, and social conditions about LGBTQGV-inclusive curricula within our School of Education and University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The study intends: (1) to build bridges between our respective sites that establish an active, contributing, network between preservice into inservice teachers (PIIT) that addresses LGBTQGVM issues (policy, curricula, social relationships) in secondary schools over time; (2) to develop and expand personal and professional dispositions that will mediate teaching about LGBTQGVM students; and (3) to provide a cross-cultural and cross-international model about how PIITs can study, interrogate, unpack, and teach others (e.g., university educators, policy makers, community members, parents, family, etc.) about LGBTQGVM issues in secondary schools.
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.
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