This three-year research project, funded through the NSF’s Evaluation Capacity Building program, is developing and rigorously testing the Inquiring into Science Instruction Observation Protocol (ISIOP), which helps evaluators determine the nature of inquiry science instruction and the extent to which elements of it are present in middle school classroom teaching. The protocol relies on work from two other projects at EDC—Inquiry Synthesis and the Middle-Grades Science Mentoring Program—in addition to existing instruments from other researchers.
EDC serves as technology advisor in the development of an online toolkit designed to aid afterschool educators in the integration of technology and academic content. SEDL’s technical assistance effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support their 21st Century Community Learning Center program, a $1 billion effort to fund afterschool programming.
EDC offers youth development professionals and educators comprehensive services and resources for using technology to create exciting learning environments. Created by the Morino Institute and now led by EDC, YouthLearn provides user-friendly tools to help organizational leaders and staff start or strengthen afterschool and in-school programs.
VOICES for Youth recruits and trains full-time volunteers from an interdenominational network of faith-based organizations in Cleveland, Ohio. The volunteers provide comprehensive mentoring services to adjudicated youth. EDC has developed training modules and conducts training sessions for volunteers affiliated with the project. EDC is also developing a report that reviews the type and extent of services faith-based organizations in the Greater Cleveland area provide to youth.
EDC is designing and facilitating a process involving eight Roman Catholic seminaries in the development of assessment measures for seminarians. The project draws upon EDC’s previous work in developing skill standards and assessment tools based on those standards. The project will result in an occupational analysis, rubrics that integrate both the occupational responsibilities of priests and the behavior attributes promoted during seminary formation, and a framework for designing portfolios rooted in these materials.
GSDL provides high-quality digital resources to: (1) help educators promote interest and engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education by learners of all ages, particularly females; (2) encourage learners to pursue science education and future careers in science; (3) provide an inter-disciplinary examination of the role of gender in the creation, teaching, and learning of science; and (4) build community among all interested users for the purposes of inquiry, information exchange, best practices development, and mentoring.
This project addressed gaps in the current state assessment system and explored the following questions: Where are the gaps in the assessment system? Who are the students affected by these gaps? What are the appropriate assessment systems for students in the gaps? After answering these questions, the project developed and piloted an assessment prototype to address the problem and meet student needs. Completed research studies are available on the project Web site.
EDC serves as the external evaluator for the University of Connecticut’s School Structure and Science Success project. The evaluation will focus on both the process and progress towards evaluation goals, such as (1) whether the project implementation is proceeding as planned; (2) to what extent the goals are being met; and (3) what the impact and value are of different aspects of the project.
EDC is working with the National Law Enforcement Museum to develop the Domestic Violence Awareness Program (DVAP).
DVAP is a professional development program for teachers, administrators, school resource officers, counselors, and other school professionals to help them identify, address, and develop community-wide support for students who are living in households where domestic violence occurs.
The ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers ) Learning Resource Center at EDC held a convening to develop a theoretical research framework to guide future research on youth motivation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), with a particular emphasis on populations most underrepresented in the STEM workforce.
Participants focused on two guiding questions:
What is currently known about motivation in STEM for underrepresented youth?
What can be done to cultivate new research around STEM motivation for underrepresented youth?
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) is an online portal for education and research on learning in
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The NSDL Youth Resources project (NYR) is designed to increase utilization of the NSDL by middle school students and their teachers by adding relevant, high-quality and engaging content. The project focuses on the quality, accessibility, and interactivity of content to determine what student’s identify and conceptualize as high-quality online STEM content.
The National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools (NCSU), located at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, is identifying practices and policies that make some high schools more successful than others at improving outcomes for low-income and minority students. Once researchers identify these effective practices, they will develop ways to transfer them to other schools in the same systems.
D-RASATI (“my studies” in Arabic) will improve children’s learning environments by repairing and equipping schools, enhance the skills of Lebanon’s public school teachers through in-service training, engage Lebanese students in extracurricular activities, and stimulate increased involvement by communities and parents in local schools. D-RASATI will begin with a nationwide assessment of the needs of each public school, which will be incorporated into a comprehensive action plan. The program will also establish a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure high-quality performance.
Proyecto METAS enables at-risk youth in Honduras gain the job skills, knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and life perspectives needed to create positive futures, as well as providing local companies with the skilled workforce needed to compete in international markets.
The Benin Teacher Motivation and Training (TMT) Project is working to improve training and performance of teachers. TMT consists of a number of simple interventions focused around a key theme—a set of clear expectations for teacher performance based on international standards of excellence. The use of this clear and universal set of standards will ensure that all systems meant to support and motivate teachers are focused on the same issues—improving teachers’ and thereby students’ chances of success.
The Package for Improving Education Quality (PIEQ) project aims to improve French and math learning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through collaboration with DRC’s National Ministry of Education (MNE), PIEQ builds the capacity of teachers, schools, and communities in three Congolese provinces to increase student learning by improving teaching and the school environment.
A carefully designed course of professional development builds teachers’ knowledge in their subject area and skills in student-centered teaching.
EDC is developing an interactive, animated CD-ROM for high school students in West Africa to teach them about Pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza. Through this e-Learning multimedia product—with computer games and a comic style story—students will learn about the transmission and dangers of the H1N1 virus, necessary skills to protect themselves, and how to communicate with parents, relatives, and friends about the dangers of transmission and appropriate preventive actions.
EDC is facilitating a policy development project to promote mental health assessments and improve access to mental health services for youth suspended or expelled from California schools. After an analysis of current school district policies on suspension and expulsion from data and focus groups, EDC will determine policy and program recommendations that enable students to receive necessary mental health services in an effort to reduce dropout rates and disparities in access to services.
EDC is writing a manual on pandemic preparedness for schools in an effort to protect the health of students, staff, and families across the globe. It will be distributed through the World Health Organization. The manual is intended to help administrators and teachers with pandemic planning and response in schools. It emphasizes the need for school-based efforts to prevent the spread of influenza.
EDC is developing a web-based course on pandemic preparedness and response for communities. The primary audience is local decision-makers and practitioners, with additional modules for specific audiences.
The USAID Teacher Education Project has the primary objective of helping the Government of Pakistan develop, introduce, and implement effective curricula for a new four-year bachelor’s degree in education and a two-year associate degree in education. To achieve this goal, the project helps provincial governments create systems, policies and standards that ensure the effective execution of these degree programs.
Our Courts is a free, interactive, Web-based program designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. It includes a complete curriculum that exceeds many states’ standards and can be used independently or as a supplement to other civics programs. Complementing the classroom materials is an immersive game environment designed for use in afterschool settings or at home. EDC is contributing instructional design expertise to this project.
The Living Room Candidate is an online exhibition developed by the Museum of the Moving Image that presents more than 250 television commercials from every U.S. presidential election since 1952. The site includes a searchable database and features commentary, historical background, election results, and navigation organized by both year and theme.
WWhile research has identified a number of effective suicide prevention strategies, many have not been put into practice. Through this project, EDC will create two toolkits with easy-to-use educational materials and interactive resources that will also focus on institutional and personal barriers that prevent suicide from being addressed in each setting, and provide motivation to create more positive environments.
Teachers’ Domain: Engaging Alaska Natives with the Geosciences collection aims to increase Alaska Natives’ exposure to and involvement with geoscience-related issues that are directly relevant to their lives. CCT will conduct the evaluation of the collection to examine the ways in which teachers are accessing and using the media materials and the impact on both native and non-native Alaskan high school students.
Mission America: The Road to Revolution (working title) is an adventure game (the first in a proposed series of ten) that immerses middle school-aged students and game players in historical events and personalities in colonial Boston during the years leading up to the American Revolution. The game is one seven prototype projects funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s $20 million the American History and Civics Initiative, which seeks to develop multi-platform interactives that will engage youth in deepening their knowledge of history and civics.
EDC is conducting a two-year pilot study to address critical methodological challenges inherent in doing longitudinal research linking informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences and school achievement: first, addressing selection bias through careful selection of a comparison group that is comparable to the intervention group, and second, developing a qualitative design that both complements and extends the quantitative data collected.