With funding from the National Science Foundation, Cindy
Passmore, professor of science education at the UC Davis School
of Education, Julia Gouvea, a researcher in the School of
Beauchamp, director of the Sacramento Area Science Project,
and Rick Grosberg, founding director of the Coastal and Marine
Sciences Research Institute, are leading a three-year $1.963
million effort to design an online resource of curriculum and
embedded professional development to support high school biology
teachers in the implementation of the Next Generation Science
Standards (NGSS). Ultimately, the project could result in a
national model for high school biology instruction.
Heidi Ballard, associate professor in environmental science
education at the UC Davis School of Education, received a
three-year $283,907 grant from the National Science Foundation to
examine how participation in authentic scientific practice
fosters and supports lifelong science learning.
An expert on the link between children’s health and educational
outcomes, Kevin Gee, assistant professor in the UC Davis School
of Education, is presenting his research on the impact of a
policy in Arkansas aimed at reducing teenage obesity at the Fall
2013 conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and
Management on November 7.
As the number of K-12 students taking classes online continues to
grow, Cassandra Hart, assistant professor of education at the UC
Davis School of Education, is embarking on a two-year study of
teacher quality in this little-studied arena.
Funded by the Spencer Foundation, Hart will compare teacher
quality in online settings versus traditional classrooms.
UC Davis School of Education Professor Steven Athanases presented
his research on mentoring new teachers in a plenary address at a
recent international conference in Quito, Ecuador. The
conference, titled “Quality Education as a Generator of Change,”
was sponsored by Ecuador’s Ministry of Education and the Flemish
Association for Development, Cooperation and Technical Assistance
UC Davis School of Education Associate Professor Rebecca Ambrose
will collaborate with three of her doctoral students to make
presentations at the Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter
of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics
Education (PME) held November 14-17.
Cary Trexler, associate professor of agriculture education,
received a three-year $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to establish a comprehensive vocational agricultural
extension program in Haiti. In October, Trexler headed a kick-off
meeting with the Haiti Ministries of Agriculture and Finance to
ensure the groundwork is laid for an effort to reestablish and
invigorate what used to be a strong network of agriculture
extensionists in Haiti.
As smartphones and tablet computers become the norm in classrooms
from kindergarten to college, education researchers are eager to
find ways to put what we know about the power of collaborative
learning together with an understanding of how best to leverage
these devices to enhance teaching and learning, particularly in
math and science.
The “Maker Movement” brings together engineers, hobbyists,
artists, and tinkerers to design, build, and repurpose materials
that are “playful, creative, yet also technically sophisticated
and ambitious,” according to Assistant Professor Lee Martin.
This kind of “tinkering” or making, especially among young
people, can lead to careers in engineering. Unfortunately,
according to Martin, playful, creative and ambitious
project-based learning is often missing in K-12 settings, leaving
many youth with no pathway to this critical field of study.
Vajra Watson, director of research and policy for equity,
published an article titled “Censoring Freedom: Community- Based
Professional Development and the Politics of Profanity” in
Equity & Excellence in Education, Vol. 46, Issue 3,
2013. In the Special Issue: Social Justice Approaches to African
American Language and Literary Practices, Watson documents the
tensions rising from a program that encourages youth to write and
perform poetry that taps into their lived experiences in tough
neighborhoods and often contains profanity.
Cassandra Hart, assistant professor of education, and David
Figlio (Northwestern University) wrote “Competitive Effects of
Means-Tested School Vouchers” in the most recent edition of the
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.
November 2013 – Jamal Abedi, professor of education, received a
four-year $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of
Education to develop a computer assessment and accommodation
system aligned with a new generation of assessments based on the
Common Core State Standards. This project will focus on the needs
of English learners (EL) and will advance our knowledge and
capability to appropriately assess EL students in important
content areas such as mathematics.
In an article in the November/December 2013 Leadership
magazine, a publication of the Association of California School
Administrators(ACSA), the UC Davis School of Education’s Renee
Newton, Frank Pisi and Joanne Bookmyer make the case for
California school districts with expanded learning programs to
use a portion of the extra Common Core funding they are slated to
receive to ensure children in out-of-school-time programs are
well prepared to tackle the new standards.
Read the full article at ACSA’s site.
Newton is the director of the Center for Community School
Partnerships in the School’s CRESS Center, Pisi is director of
the California Afterschool Network, and Bookmyer is director of
The School of Education publishes a Research News Brief three
times a year.
Download a print version of the April 2013 edition. This
issue highlights research presented by our faculty, researchers,
and students at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American
Educational Research Association, April 27–May 2.
Most educators recognize the ubiquity of mobile devices in the
lives of their students and too often see them only as
competition to learning in the classroom. Two researchers at the
UC Davis School of Education are exploring another possibility:
that mobile devices have the potential to bridge formal and
informal learning, particularly in mathematics, and can be
leveraged to increase student engagement in learning math.