Scratch, developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, allows young people to program their own interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations, and share their creations with one another on the Web. In the process, they have opportunities to learn important mathematical and computational concepts, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively-essential skills for success in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce of the 21st century.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) is one of ten regional laboratories and has a mission to help pre-K–16 educators use the best available evidence to make decisions leading to improved student achievement and reduced performance gaps.
EDC is examining the ways that ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) for teacher education projects leads to changes in classroom practice.
Specifically, the project seeks to understand what kinds of professional development activities promote and/or influence changes in teaching practices and the integration of innovative technologies in the classroom.
EDC has developed the Law and Justice curriculum. Shaped with substantial input from high school educators, postsecondary faculty, and law enforcement professionals, this innovative curriculum meets national academic standards and career technical education standards.
Learning and Teaching Algebra (LTA) seeks to address and resolve the root causes of poor student achievement, namely, incoherence in student curricula and incoherence in teacher professional development. The LTA project focuses on teachers in urban settings who are teaching eighth-grade Algebra 1 classes.
The Oceans of Data project aims to find out how research on learning can inform the design of interfaces and technology tools to enable high school students to access and use scientific data gained from science cyberinfrastructure projects.
To accomplish this goal, project staff will
Perform a literature review
Interview experts from relevant disciplines, such as climate science, mathematics education, and visual analytics
Under a previous National Science Foundation grant, EDC is developing the Inquiry Science Instruction Observation Protocol (ISIOP). This instrument will help evaluators and researchers determine the nature and extent of scientific inquiry instruction and the best practices used in teaching middle grades science.
Writers’ Express (WEX) is a year-long writing program for students in grades 3-12 and is supported through professional development for teachers and school administrators. EDC is conducting a research study to determine whether the program is effective for students in elementary schools.
In this study:
70 Massachusetts schools will be randomly selected to either implement the WEX program or use the usual grade 4 writing instruction.
EDC will evaluate the WEX curriculum, materials, instructional practices, and embedded professional development.
EDC is creating a series of online professional development course for teachers of American History. The courses will assist teachers in building their skills as historians, using primary source documents in the classroom, and making use of local historical sites and museums. Each course includes online readings, interactive activities, online discussions, assessments, and other Web-based resources. Additionally, EDC will train and support facilitators to deliver each of the courses to teachers from school districts participating in the project.
EDC is developing, testing, and publishing Linear Algebra and Geometry, a modular curriculum for high school capstone courses that features three semesters’ worth of topics in linear algebra and its applications.
The Coaching Cycle project is creating an online professional development course for K–8 mathematics instructional coaches in rural areas and small schools who do not have access to regular districtwide professional development.
The course will build participants’ coaching skills through the use of classroom artifacts, such as student work, videotapes, and transcripts drawn from the classroom.
The Coaching Cycle project will also examine how online learning and instructional coaching change teachers’ instructional practices and increase student achievement.
The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program is designed to increase opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and use information technologies within the contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Youth-based projects that have strong emphases on career and educational paths
EQuALLS2 increases access to quality basic education and livelihood skills in areas most affected by conflict and poverty in the Philippines (primarily the Muslim areas in the Mindanao island group in the south). EQuALLS2 is a large-scale project that seeks to benefit 345,000 children and youth in 37 municipalities and four cities by training 37,238 educators and school officials, building the capacity of 850 local education stakeholder groups, and expanding local education resources through public-private partnerships.
This project tests the efficacy of the Foundations of Science Literacy (FSL) professional development program that was developed for use with Head Start teachers.
By focusing on the Head Start community, FSL addresses the achievement gap in early science education by providing a framework for teachers to learn and implement preschool science instructional practices in classrooms serving children from low-income backgrounds.
The New England Comprehensive Center (NECC) is one of 16 regional comprehensive centers that are federally funded to implement the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The NECC engages state education leaders in using research and best practice to meet the goals of NCLB. Our purpose is to design and deliver technical assistance services that meet education leaders’ priority needs, further the key initiatives of the U.S. Department of Education, and have the greatest potential for building states’ capacities to help districts and schools improve.
The New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC) is one of 16 regional comprehensive centers that are federally funded to implement the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In doing so, NYCC engages the New York State Education Department in using research-based findings and rigorous evidence. The Center provides technical assistance services to meet the Department’s priority needs and further the key initiatives of the US Department of Education. Additionally, the NYCC works with the State on emerging needs based on new statutes and policy mandates.
The Partnership to Improve Student Achievement in Physical Science: Integrating STEM Approaches (PISA2), a project of the Center for Innovation in Engineering & Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology, is working with 12 districts throughout New Jersey to provide graduate training in physical and earth sciences and professional development to 400 in-service elementary and middle-school teachers and 120 school leaders over the next five years. EDC serves as the external evaluator for PISA2.
The Technology Tools for Teaching and Training (dot-EDU T4) project seeks to assist the education departments in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Delhi, for quality teaching and learning for the primary education sector. To this end, dot-EDU T4 has created interactive, multimedia tools in audio, video, and software formats that established new standards for education quality while delivering education services on a large scale and reaching out to girls and other vulnerable populations.
Transition to Algebra: A Habits of Mind Approach is a research and development project that provides intervention modules for ninth-grade mathematics students and teachers. These modules provide supplementary materials for Algebra 1 classes (e.g., double-period algebra).
Rather than developing isolated skills and reviewing particular topics, these materials foster the development of mathematical habits of mind—in particular, the algebraic habit of abstracting from calculations, a key unifying idea in the transition from arithmetic to algebra.
EDC, the University of Michigan, and the Center for Applied Special Technology are applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to customize science curricula to serve a wide range of student learning needs.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Mathematics Education (CME) project is a four-year comprehensive high school mathematics program.
This problem-based, student-centered project emphasizes the development of students’ mathematical habits of mind. The curriculum is organized around the familiar themes of Algebra 1, geometry, Algebra 2, and precalculus and is published by Pearson.