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Memorial Hall

We are proud to announce that five faculty members in the School of Education will be participating in new research grants.

  • Christina Barbieri is serving as co-PI on an Institute of Education Sciences grant to develop and test GeometryByExample, an intervention that aims to improve student learning of high school Geometry by asking students to explain correct or incorrect geometric solutions. The project team will develop assignments, assessments, and teacher resources, and investigate the moderating effects of individual differences in student characteristics such as prior content knowledge, spatial visualization skills, formal/logical reasoning, and executive functioning.
  • Laura Desimone has received a new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to study 12 professional learning partnerships across the country, each serving a school district with a 50% or more population of black and Latino students. These partnerships seek to improve culturally responsive pedagogy and curriculum-aligned instruction. Her interdisciplinary research team includes research affiliate Kristen Hill, CEHD faculty members Horatio Blackman, Mellissa Gordon, Joshua Wilson, and Erica Litke, as well as graduate students Hillary May and Justine Yego.
  • With a recent Institute of Education Sciences grant, Ralph Ferretti is exploring and assessing the development of middle school students’ argumentative writing skills through an approach that uses guided critical discussions, structured conversations that ask students to explain their reasoning with their peers and resolve differences of opinion. This focus on critical discussions may help students develop more complex communication and reasoning skills that integrate social, conceptual, and discourse skills.
  • Chrystalla Mouza, Rosalie Rolon-Dow, and Lori Pollock have received a new National Science Foundation grant to support a partnership between UD and the DE DOE that aims to build the capacity for implementing new computer science standards in elementary schools. Through a focus on females and students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, the project seeks to diversify the students in computer science courses and pathways in middle and high school. The project expects to reach 60 teachers who will, in turn, reach approximately 1,500 students.
  • Teya Rutherford, a new assistant professor in the School of Education, is studying students’ motivation for learning mathematics within a digital context through a National Science Foundation CAREER grant. The project centers on student motivation for learning as an important predictor of student choice, persistence, and achievement in STEM careers. The study will collect data from over 30,000 third through fifth-grade students over one year and advance research about how motivation functions to support students’ in-the-moment choices during learning.
  • With a new Spencer Foundation grant, Elizabeth Soslau is studying critical service-learning in urban elementary and middle school classrooms. While social justice-oriented teaching practices are well theorized, there is a need for research that depicts authentic practices in situ. This project will document social justice-oriented teaching practices and learning in schools that serve students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds and provide examples of student-led socially-conscious activism within mainstream classrooms.