Recently Awarded Sponsored Research Projects
Designing a Teacher Evaluation System to Improve Teacher Effectiveness for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
Awarded by University of Denver, Professional Research Opportunities for Faculty, $29,988 (2014-2016)
Research team: María del Carmen Sálazar (PI), Jessica Lerner, and Kathy Green
The growing focus on evaluation and accountability at a national level has never been more vital, given that equitable and effective teachers are crucial as the nation’s schools face increased segregation, growing dropout rates, persistent achievement gaps, and high teacher attrition. In response to this national imperative, MCE faculty will conduct a research study to field test the reliability of a pre-service teacher evaluation framework known as the “Framework for Equitable and Effective Teaching” (FEET). This study poses the question: Is the FEET a consistent and reliable tool in evaluating pre-service teacher performance? The MCE faculty researchers employ a sequential mixed methods approach to establish the empirical foundations of the FEET through four phases of research. The findings of this research study will allow the MCE researchers to (a) improve the training of pre-service teachers; (b) provide a pre-service teacher evaluation tool that can reach regional and national prominence due to a dearth of evaluation tools at the pre-service level; and, (c) position the MCE faculty to pursue additional funding to support the research.
Developing a College-Going Culture in Latina/O Families: Exploring the Influence of Funds of Knowledge on Family Outreach Programs
Awarded by University of Denver, Professional Research Opportunities for Faculty, $18,720 (2014-2016)
Researcher: Judy Marquez Kiyama
This qualitative research project focuses on the influence of a joint university and K-12 college outreach program that supports Latina/o students and their families as they progress through secondary school and into higher education. Project research will explore how program administrators have incorporated a “funds of knowledge” framework, an asset-based pedagogical framework building off families’ resources and knowledge into the program and how the college-going culture of Latina/o families has been influenced. Data will be collected from program administrators and from families who participated in the program. Supplemental data will be collected in the form of program documents and/or artifacts. The following research questions guide the design of this study: (1) How has the “funds of knowledge” programmatic framework been incorporated into a college outreach program? (2) How has the long-term influence of the household setting (i.e., family funds of knowledge and college ideologies) been impacted by the outreach program?
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.