News and Highlights

Wells named ISSR Scholar; will examine influence of space and geography on individual opportunity

Ryan Wells, education policy, research and administration, was named one of seven 2016-2017 Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) Scholars. ISSR's mission is to promote excellence in social science research. One of its goals, served by the scholars program, is to strengthen existing social science infrastructure on campus in order to stimulate high-quality scholarship and interdisciplinary collaboration. Wells' research focuses on college access and success for underrepresented students. As an ISSR Scholar, he will develop a proposal for funding that examines how space and geography influence individuals' opportunities, choices, and decisions to access and complete sub-baccalaureate education at community colleges.

McDermott awarded Spencer grant to study implicit bias in schools

Kathryn A. McDermott, an expert on the politics of education policy, received a 2016-17 Spencer Foundation Mid-career grant to conduct research on how implicit bias influences school practices and school-level effects of education policy.

"The effects of broad policies in education depend on the day-to-day decisions that teachers and administrators make about students," McDermott explained. "Understanding how these decisions contribute to maintaining or challenging racial bias is key to understanding the actual effects of public policy."

With Linda Tropp, psychological and brain sciences, McDermott is examining the latest research on how people's unconscious racial biases shape their decisions and behavior. She is also working with Rachel Godsil of Seton Hall University on applying this research to policy and law, and observing how Phillip Atiba Goff and the Center for Policing Equity, University of California Los Angeles, conduct evidence-based anti-bias training for police officers. Her ultimate goal is to design interventions that will reduce the influence of unconscious bias on education policy and school practices.

Woodland to work with Pakistani educators

Rebecca Woodland, Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration, was awarded a $32,300 subcontract from the UMass Amherst Donahue Institute for the Instructional Leadership for Pakistani Educators Project, which will take place this summer.

Galman receives Spencer grant

Sally Galman, Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, was awarded a one-year, $36,000 award from The Spencer Foundation to fund her new research project, “Understanding young, gender non-conforming children's resilience experiences across child life context.” The award will study how transgender and gender non-conforming children think of themselves and how they navigate the multiple contexts of early and middle childhood.

Rallis’ award funds new research project

Sharon Rallis, Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration, and the US Department of Education,  received  a three-year, $289,484 award from the Mass Charter Public School Association to fund her new research project, “Collaborating for efficiency and quality: Meeting the needs of special populations in Massachusetts.”

Boscardin and Adrianopoulos awarded $1.25 million for DOE

Mary Lynn BoscardinMary Lynn Boscardin

Mary Andrianopoulos, Communication Disorders, and Mary Lynn Boscardin, chair of the College of Education’s Department of Student Development, were awarded a five-year, $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for training speech language pathologists in the public schools to effectively deliver reliable, evidence-based models of technology. Theirs was one of only nine winning proposals in the national competition.

The grant will fund more than 40 master's students in speech language pathology (SLP) with a specialization in the area of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and using technologies to facilitate learning. Their Research-to-Practice activities will include studying the efficacy of various intervention approaches that are typically delivered to children on the autism spectrum, say Andrianopoulos and Boscardin.

The students will also use evidence-based practices to improve and maintain achievement among students with ASD using telepractice to deliver services, which will include active consultation and e-supervision of the graduate students.  More...


SOE awarded $21 million in two years for work in Afghanistan

Joseph BergerDavid EvansDavid Evans and Joseph Berger (EPRA) were awarded an $11.2 million, one year extension of an initial $9.9 million, one year grant to continue the work of the school’s Center for International Education’s (CIE) Higher Education Project (HEP) in Afghanistan. 



SOE helps reform teacher education in Palestine

The College of Education’s Center for International Education (CIE) was awarded a $1million sub-contract from AMIDEAST, with USAID West Bank & Gaza funding, to help with the reform of teacher education in the West Bank and Gaza.  The funded project is a comprehensive education reform initiative focused on supporting the Palestine Ministry of Education's national effort in teacher development.  The overall goal is to improve the quality of education through a comprehensive approach to leadership and teacher development, concentrating on in-service teachers in grades 5-10, principals, and supervisors.

The four major objectives of the project are: the enhanced capacity of school principals, supervisors and teachers to improve classroom instruction; creation of a national cadre of high-quality teacher and leadership educators; creation and harmonization of policies, structures and systems within key Ministry of Education departments supporting leadership and teacher development; enhanced pre-service teacher education in Gaza.

The project is under the direction of College of Education faculty Gretchen Rossman, professor; Sharon Rallis, Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor; and Joseph B. Berger, professor, and the School’s Associate Dean for Research and Engagement.