Recently Awarded Sponsored Research Projects
Cognitive Test Battery for Intellectual Disabilities.
Awarded byNational Institutes of Health, Outcome Measures for Use in Treatment Trials for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (R01), $2,499,996 ($588,672 at DU) (2014-2019)
Researchers: Karen Riley (PI-DU) and her MCEA research team in partnership with David Hessl (PI), The MIND Institute at the University of California – Davis, and Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, Rush University Medical Center.
The overarching goal of this project is to develop and validate an assessment battery to measure cognitive outcomes in clinical trials of individuals with intellectual disabilities. The project will critically leverage efforts by the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint Toolbox consortium which recently validated a computer administered cognitive battery (NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery – NIH-TCB, www.nihtoolbox.org) normed in the general population for the ages of 3 to 89 years. Although the battery has great potential for ID, psychometric studies on this population are required. The cognitive battery will be piloted, refined and adapted if needed, and then formally validated utilizing groups of individuals with fragile X syndrome with ID (FXS-ID), Down syndrome with ID (DS-ID), and idiopathic ID (I-ID). The proposed research will benefit a wide range of studies aiming to assess or improve specific domains of cognition and general intellectual functioning in persons with ID. More generally, it will critically extend the utility of the NIH-TCB to populations of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Progressions of Teacher Proficiency Project
Awarded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The goal of this research project is to explore, refine, and validate the findings of an empirically-based “ model to support the alignment of professional development to effective teaching practices. Additionally, integral components to making these Progressions of Teacher Proficiency available and useful for educators and researchers, is the availability of a reliable ontological framework supporting the pathways. There is an overabundance of professional development options and learning objects available to educators. However, there is currently no system that facilitates appropriate individualize application for educators nor is there an effective system for measuring and incentivizing the utilization of these resources. We propose that these three components would be a value-add to different research, technology, and education partners.
The Mathematics Education of African Americans, 1866 – 1954.
Awarded by National Academy of Education, Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014-2016
Researcher: Nicole M. Russell
A charge I have as an African American mathematics education scholar is to conduct research that addresses mathematics education for African Americans or Blacks through the theme of liberation. This charge acknowledges the continuing struggle against oppression that must be pursued in U.S. society on behalf of Blacks. Mathematics education is also a site where “liberatory resistance” against oppressive social myths and practices can be enacted. A broad goal of this project is to generate new knowledge aimed at deconstructing and challenging assumptions that constrain existing understandings of Blacks’ mathematical experiences, development, and outcomes. Examining what Black students can do specifically in the field of mathematics over a time period of legal racial discrimination will build upon previous scholars’ research. This project uses Critical Race Theory (CRT) to frame, analyze, and interpret meaning because Blacks’ access to education has “never been a de facto legal or social right; the Constitution and the courts have been, and continue to be, the gate-keeper. This study is a historical narrative of the experiences of oppressed peoples, and challenges dominant conceptualizations of African American mathematics experience and knowledge.
Developing Teaching Expertise in K-5 Mathematics.
Awarded by the National Science Foundation, $130,344 (2013-2015)
Research team: Julie Sarama and Douglas Clements, in partnership with the School of Education at the University of Michigan.
Drs. Julie Sarama and Douglas H. Clements from the Morgridge College of Education at DU have been funded for the Developing Teaching Expertise in K-5 Mathematics project by the National Science Foundation as part of the Investigating Simulations of Teaching Practice: Assessing Readiness to Teach Elementary Mathematics initiative (Dev-TE@M) based in the School of Education at the University of Michigan. The project will create an online professional development module focused on geometric measurement and assessment. Dev-TE@M is designing a distinctive new form of professional development materials that integrate opportunities for teachers to develop usable knowledge of mathematics and student thinking, skill with “high-leverage” teaching practices, and approaches to learn in and from one’s own teaching. The materials provide teachers with rich access to leading researchers and nationally renowned mathematics teacher educators through carefully designed collections of videos, activities, and teaching artifacts. The work of Drs. Clements and Sarama will become part of a collection of modules being used across the country for teacher professional development that addresses critical content for elementary mathematics teaching such as knowledge and skills for helping students learn topics such as fractions and geometric measurement or to engage in mathematical practices. Dr. Sarama is the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies and Professor. Dr. Clements is the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Professor in the MCE.
Graduate Level Specialty in Addiction Counselor Training with Emphasis on Integration of Native American Specific Content
Awarded by the Galena Foundation
Principal Investigator: Ruth Chao; Co-Principal Investigator: Mike Faragher
The Counseling Psychology (CP) Program will address two critical and overlapping deficits in the provision of addiction counseling services in Colorado. Specifically, efforts will focus on the underserved needs of Native Americans regarding disturbingly high levels of addiction; and, the need for a more highly qualified addiction counseling workforce in Colorado. Grant funding will allow the CP Program to more adequately prepare the graduates for CAC II certification by developing field placement relationships with treatment centers in Colorado. These placements must be established to provide CAC approved fieldwork accompanied by CAC required supervision. Both the existing coursework in the CP program and 2,000 hours of CAC approved supervised counseling are prerequisites for admission to the required national examination. In summary, the first year funding will provide for the infusion of Native American content into the existing seven approved courses. In addition, courses will be revised to accommodate the new addiction paradigm advanced by the DSM-5. Funds will also be used to establish and maintain CAC approved and supervised field placements.
Healthy Eaters, Lifelong Movers 2
Awarded by the Colorado Health Foundation to the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center, Colorado School of Public Health in partnership with the University of Denver
Principal Investigator: Nicholas Cutforth
The goal of HELM is to increase student access to healthy foods, quality physical education, and physical activity opportunities in underserved, rural, low-income Colorado schools. We do this by partnering with K-12 schools to implement evidence-based, school level environment and policy changes using two proven approaches: AIM (Assess, Investigate, Make it Happen) and the Physical Education Academy. In HELM2, we propose to bring AIM to middle schools in the San Luis Valley and remaining elementary schools in southeastern Colorado who did not participate in HELM1. We plan to partner with local public health departments in southeastern Colorado to deliver AIM. Finally, we propose to bring a more cost-effective version of the PE Academy to southeastern Colorado and to continue sustainability efforts in the San Luis Valley.
Early Childhood Care and Education Study for the State of North Dakota
Awarded by the State of North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Principal Investigator: Carrie Germeroth; Co-Principal Investigators: Melissa Mincic, Douglas H. Clements
A Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy (MIELL) team will conduct a study on the development, delivery and administration of Comprehensive Early Childhood Care and Early Childhood Education in the State of North Dakota according to legislation passed during the past session. The completion of this study will be guided by a State Advisory Committee (AC). The responsibilities of MIELL include ongoing consultation with a State Advisory Committee to provide insight on early childhood needs in relation to committee members in their fields; obtain data required in conjunction with this study; and, review, analyze and synthesize data, documents, and reports from materials obtained as a result of the study.
Wallace Professional Learning Community
Awarded by Education Development Center, Inc. in partnership with the Wallace Foundation
Principal Investigator: Susan Korach
The Ritchie Program for School Leaders graduates are a cohesive community within Denver Public Schools. Graduates come back to classes, participate in candidate screening and demonstrations of learning events and continue to network within and across cohorts. We would like to leverage this strength of the community to host a convening to launch the development of multiple action research groups that will have two goals: 1) to support and strengthen the leadership of graduates and the performance of their schools, and 2) to learn about the challenges and issues graduates face so we can target development in these areas. The goal of the convening is that approximately 10 action research groups composed of approximately 6 graduates will be created and participants will agree to meet monthly (Sept-Nov) to work on their problem of practice. Their work will be recorded by a graduate student. The findings will be presented at a convening in December and integrated into program revisions.
Z Place & Zoom @ Jamaica Partnership
Awarded by the Piton Foundation
Principal Investigator: Karen Riley; Co-Principal Investigators: Carrie Germeroth, Melissa Mincic, Douglas H. Clements
Z Place/Zoom @ Jamaica is an exciting project composed of a wide array of organizations and expertise that has the potential to make a significant shift in educational research, policy, and practice within the state as well as across the country. This comprehensive and collaborative venture presents an ambitious and attainable attempt to provide empirically based services to a targeted community in a transformative way, with an eye toward documentation and replication. The following points summarize the major goals for the Z Place and Zoom @ Jamaica Project: support effective implementation of interventions of Z Place-Clayton and Zoom @ Jamaica; produce formative and summative evidence to justify scaling; create a potential (long term) case for pay for success/social impact bond applications; and, influence school districts (primarily Aurora Public Schools (APS)) in order to demonstrate value and to find/shift resources to engage in early childhood programming serving children ages birth to 5 years.
Math/Science Partnership (CDE)
Awarded to Eagle County Schools in partnership with the University of Denver and RMC Research by the Colorado Department of Education
Principal Investigator: Paul Michalec; Co-Principal Investigator: Bruce Uhrmacher
Eagle County Schools (ECS) aspires to create a multi-district partnership that will develop Teacher Leaders in 15 schools, covering 8 districts, located in vastly different geographical regions of the state. Teacher Leaders will receive intense professional learning equipping them to understand deeply the content and practices in the new standards, be expert at analyzing student data, and in turn becoming learning facilitators for the mathematics teachers in their schools. The major goals of this project are to develop Teacher Leaders; increase the content knowledge and pedagogical skills of Classroom Teachers; increase student achievement; develop and utilize collaborative partnerships with institutions of higher education and other school districts; and, increase principal instructional leadership.
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Study to Evaluate the Effects of AFQ056 Combined With a Literacy Training Intervention on the Reading Abilities of Male Patients with Fragile X Syndrome
Awarded to CogState, Inc. and the University of Denver by Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Principal Investigator: Karen Riley
With a research grant from Novartis, Dr. Karen Riley, Interim Dean and Associate Professor, developed a learn-to-read application specifically for research use with patients with Fragile X Syndrome. The iPad application, developed in conjunction with Dr. Judith Jaeger, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Vice President of Clinical Trials at Cogstate, is designed to help patients with vocabulary while measuring cognition improvement during clinical trials of a drug treatment for the underlying disorder. Fragile X Syndrome, caused by a defect in the gene FMR-1 (Fragile X Mental Retardation – 1), affects 1 in 4000 males and 1 in 6000 females.