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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
CME Project Mathematical Practices Implementation (MPI) Study is a four-year, mixed-methods research study looking at teachers’ implementation of the CME Project, a high school mathematics curriculum organized around mathematical habits of mind.
The MPI study will examine:
Teachers’ use of the CME Project
The role of the CME curriculum in the mathematics classroom
EDC’s accompanying professional development in supporting teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching
The Boston Science Partnership was a five-year NSF-funded Math and Science Partnership project designed to improve science teaching and learning in Boston’s middle and high schools, enhance university-level teaching by STEM faculty, and ensure the university partners’ continued support for and faculty involvement in science education. The Boston Public Schools, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Northeastern University are the principal partners. Harvard Medical School and the College Board participate as supporting partners.
EDC’s Center for Children and Technology (CCT) is conducting a five-year study, funded by the National Science Foundation, to investigate the impact of an online professional development course on (1) teacher content and pedagogical knowledge and (2) student knowledge.
CCT is working in partnership with PBS TeacherLine New York and the Buffalo PBS affiliate WNED on the study.
In South Sudan, teachers are hampered by a lack of formal training and a student-teacher ratio of 100 to 1. EDC’s South Sudan Teacher Education Project is providing educators with the skills they need to address these challenges.
In his Curriculum Matters blog, reporter Erik Robelen talks to EDC’s Ruth Krumhansl about the launch of the new Oceans of Data Institute, as well as a number of other EDC efforts that are helping schools make use of big data in the classroom.