Current Projects

The Learning Walk routine, developed by the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the University of Pittsburgh, is a form of “walkthrough” or “learning walk” practice in which school leaders conduct brief classroom visits on a regular basis for the purpose of observing classroom instruction.  The purpose of this research is to assess the efficacy of The Learning Walk routine, structured by IFL as a strategy for developing school leaders that centers on developing leadership practice through the structured and scaffolded implementation of a kernel organizational routine.

Funded by the National Center for Education Research (2010-2014, Co-PI: Richard Correnti).

This project examines the relationship between teacher instructional quality, student achievement, and the distribution of learning opportunities. Instruction will be measured through the content of daily logs and the ratings of assignment quality. These instructional measures will be used to predict differences in student achievement and learning outcomes.

Funded by the Spencer Foundation and the W.T. Grant Foundation (2008-2011).

This project's purpose is to develop and document the feasibility of a school-wide policy for documenting and sharing lesson plans, observations, and reflections. Through an iterative design process, the project will establish both a suite of electronic tools for creating lesson plans that promote known characteristics of effective instruction, as well as the social practices that support collaborative creations of and reflection on lesson plans. The final objective is to create a viable prototype of a systemic, integrated set of routines rooted in lesson planning that (a) improves the school organization; (b) improves the quality of professional conversations in teacher professional communities; and (c) improves the rigor, coherence and evidence base of instructional practice through deprivatizing, deepening and systematizing the ways in which teachers prepare for and deliver lessons.

Funded by Institute of Education Sciences.

This project is an investigation of (a) the policy demands within which the call for early algebra is rooted; (b) the ways in which the problem is currently being addressed by states, districts, schools and teachers; and (c) the effect on students’ opportunities to learn algebra of the activities that are continually being put into place to deal with the problem. Despite scores of policy documents and increasing numbers of studies on early algebra, a clear and useful synthesis of where we are and what needs to be done next is not available. The purpose of this project is to assess and report what is known and what needs to be known about the "Algebra Problem" in order to mount an effective response to this challenge.

Funded by National Science Foundation (2010-2011, PI: Mary Kay Stein).

This study is designed to understand and assess factors associated with the development of cohesive school leadership programs. The project will document the development and implementation of cohesive leadership systems in 10 states and 15 districts within those states.

Funded by the Wallace Foundation.

This project is a longitudinal randomized controlled trial designed to investigate the effect of a literacy coach training program on reading comprehension instruction and student learning in the upper elementary grades.

Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (2006-2010).

The purpose of this study is to identify the learning demands on teachers of various standards-based elementary mathematics curricula and to examine the relationship between those demands and district strategy, teacher human and social capital, instruction, and student achievement.

Funded by the National Science Foundation (2003-2008).

The MetaStudy focuses on ways in which the relationship between research and educational practice can be productively reconfigured. The approach is to empirically study nationally visible research-and-development projects that embody promising integrations of research and practice (e.g., the National Writing Project, Success for All, Lesson Study) and to extract lessons that can guide policymakers, funders and researchers.

Funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

A longitudinal study in California, Pennsylvania, and Georgia is being conducted in order to assess the impact of standards-basedaccountability (SBA) on math and science instruction and achievement.This project seeks to identify factors that enhance implementation ofSBA, foster positive changes in school and classroom practice, andpromote improved student achievement.

Funded by the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI).

CaLL is a unique research and development community that will study three related robotic technology learning programs. This project willdevelop research findings and a set of design resources that will help informal learning organizations create and sustain programs that userobotic technologies to facilitate fluency in public program audiences.

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).