April 22, 2022
Thought Leadership

AERA 2022 UPenn Presentations

April 22, 2022
Thought Leadership

Variable Take-Up of Professional Development: How Activity Systems Influence Teachers' Enactment of Project-Based Learning

Fri, April 22, 2:30 to 4:00pm PDT

Presenters:

Tess Bernhard, The University of Pennsylvania
Amy Guillotte, University of Pennsylvania
Sarah Schneider Kavanagh, University of Pennsylvania

This comparative case study of three high school science teachers in a project-based learning (PBL) professional development (PD) program uses cultural historical activity theory to investigate teachers' take-up of PD tools and the ways that different norms, communities, and goals at specific schools influence enactment of PBL. Findings suggest that 1) practice-based professional development; 2) access to technology tools; and 3) educator collaboration within a school community are supportive of PBL instruction. Our findings caution that teachers’ take-up of PD may inadvertently mirror inequities in resources and structures their schools have available. This has implications for research and design of PD to attend to not only individual teachers, but on the community support they receive in their schools.

Connections Between Inquiry-Based Teacher Practices and Student Outcomes

Mon, April 25, 11:30am to 1:00pm PDT

Presenter: Christopher George Pupik Dean, University of Pennsylvania

Paper: Examining Unique Links Between Teachers' Project-Based Learning Practices and the Quality of Student Work - JeanMarie Farrow, University of Pennsylvania; Sarah Schneider Kavanagh, University of Pennsylvania; Pam Grossman, Stanford University; Preeti Ganesh Samudra, SUNY - College at Plattsburgh; Christopher George Pupik Dean, University of Pennsylvania; Zachary Herrmann, University of Pennsylvania

The forces of systemic racism have too frequently led teachers to view Black and Brown students’ ways of knowing as deficient. These deficit-based views often lead to rote instructional approaches (Gee, 2004; Salazar, 2013). However, Black and Brown children deserve to have their ways of knowing not only valued, but centered in the classroom (Cervantes et al., 2016; Rodriguez, 2013). Because of this, teachers’ enactment of student-centered practice is a vital component of equity initiatives. To support shifts in policy and practice, the field needs more research connecting student-centered approaches to teaching to student learning outcomes. This symposium presents research exploring the impacts of equitable, student-centered practices on student learning.

Examining Shifts in Teachers' Student-Centered Practices as a Result of Practice-Based Teacher Education

Sun, April 24, 8:00 to 9:30am PDT

Chair: JeanMarie Farrow, University of Pennsylvania

Supporting teachers to enact high quality practice centered on students’ sense-making is critical to quality education (Author et al. 2019). Too frequently, students of color and students impacted by poverty are denied access to the kind of responsive teaching that values their knowledges and lived experiences and thereby promotes meaningful learning (Salazar, 2013). To interrupt race- and class-based disparities in the kind of teaching practice that students have access to, some scholars and practitioners advocate for practice-based training education (PBTE). However, there has been limited research into whether and in what ways PBTE influences teachers’ subsequent practice. This proposed symposium presents research examining the impacts of PBTE on the instructional practice of teachers across the career spectrum.

Paper: Impacts of Practice-Based Professional Development on Teacher Project-Based Learning Practices - JeanMarie Farrow, University of Pennsylvania; Sarah Schneider Kavanagh, University of Pennsylvania; Pamela Lynn Grossman, University of Pennsylvania; Preeti Ganesh Samudra, SUNY - College at Plattsburgh; Christopher George Pupik Dean, University of Pennsylvania; Zachary Herrmann, University of Pennsylvania

Innovations in Coaching and Mentoring: Investigating the Practices of Instructional Coaches and Teacher Mentors

Sat, April 23, 11:30am to 1:00pm PDT

Chair: Sarah Schneider Kavanagh, University of Pennsylvania

While promising evidence connects instructional coaching and teacher mentoring to instructional improvement, less is known about what cutting-edge practices coaches and mentors are developing to support teachers. This session brings together researchers from leading research universities to share emergent research on innovation in the practices of instructional coaches and teacher mentors. As we prepare to invest in the next generation of instructional coaches and teacher mentors, the papers in this symposium expand the knowledge base about the practices of coaches and mentors. Without such knowledge, investments in coaching and mentoring may fail to address the inequitable disparities in teaching quality that continue to impact K-12 schools and disadvantage students based on race and family income.

Paper: Practice-Based Coaching for Inquiry-Based Teaching: Understanding Relationships Between Coaching Practice and Teaching Practice - Sarah Schneider Kavanagh, University of Pennsylvania; Elizabeth Gotwalt, University of Pennsylvania; JeanMarie Farrow, University of Pennsylvania; Pamela Lynn Grossman, University of Pennsylvania; Christopher George Pupik Dean, University of Pennsylvania; Zachary Herrmann, University of Pennsylvania

Find Out More

Research

The Impact of Project-Based Learning on AP Exam Performance

Harnessing a cluster randomized controlled trial, we estimated the impact on students’ advanced placement (AP) examination performance of a project-based learning (PBL) approach to AP compared with a lecture-based AP approach.

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Research

Mapping Enabling Conditions for High-Quality PBL: A Collaboratory Approach

This paper explores enabling conditions for scaling high-quality project-based learning (PBL) to understand factors that influence how PBL spreads, whether and how it can be sustained and the extent to which it informs meaningful change in schools.

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Research Award

Equity-Centered Learning Environments (ECLEs) 

LER funded four research teams who are engaged in ongoing research addressing equity and student-centered learning in educational contexts across the country.

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Research Award

Democratic Knowledge Project

The Democratic Knowledge Project is a project-based learning civics initiative that includes a year-long 8th-grade civics curriculum, Civic Engagement in Our Democracy.

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Research

Designing Project-Based Learning Curricula

This paper provides instructional designers with guidance on how to design high-quality PBL curricula, drawing on the LER research base, the learning science literature, and best practices from the field. To provide developers with guideposts that can inform design decisions, the paper describes a set of design principles that can support the creation of content-rich, student-centered experiences.

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Research

Interdisciplinary Education: Literature Review and Landscape Analysis  

Related to project-based learning, interdisciplinary education can create more relevant learning experiences for all students. This report, produced by RTI International for Lucas Education Research, explores the field of interdisciplinary education through an extensive literature review and landscape analysis. In both parts of the report, RTI examines the definitions of interdisciplinary education; how, where, and why the approach is practiced; and finally the existing research, resources, and structures for interdisciplinary education.

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Research

Motivating Teaching, Sustaining Change in Practice

Miller, E.C., Severance, S., and Krajcik, J. (2021). Motivating Teaching, Sustaining Change in Practice: Design Principles for Teacher Learning in Project-Based Learning Contexts, Journal of Science Teacher Education, 32:7, 757-779 In A Framework for K-12 Science Education, researchers call for teachers to make dramatic shifts in practice – and sustain in these changes in practice […]

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Research Award

Enabling Conditions Collaboratory

The Enabling Conditions Collaboratory brought together four research teams to work towards understanding the conditions that support high-quality PBL.

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Research

Project-Based Learning in San Francisco: Research Study Sparks Middle School Science Curriculum

When the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) was looking for a new middle school science curriculum in 2016, it sought a program that would align with the new Next Generation Science Standards and the district’s equity goals.

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Research

Project-Based Learning: How It Can Support Your Child (English Version)

This resource can help parents understand the benefits of rigorous project-based learning.

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