Posts Tagged ‘Research’

Creation of ARPA-ED Agency Would Catapult Science and Technology Education Research

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

In his January 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama expounded upon his goals to out-innovate other nations through ground-breaking education initiatives leading to increased college completion rates. Part of the President’s strategy includes strengthening educational technology research and development, and his FY2012 budget proposes adding a new agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-ED), to press forward with such initiatives.

The Department of Education states that “ARPA-ED will aggressively pursue technological breakthroughs that have the potential to transform teaching and learning the way the Internet, GPS, and robotics… have transformed commerce, travel, warfare and the way we live our daily lives.” Based on the innovative Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ARPA-ED will focus on funding transformative projects in the areas of teaching and learning. Some projects to be pursued include:

Aside from improving K-12 and postsecondary learning, the Department also suggests that projects will deliver fast-paced learning opportunities to help retrain displaced workers for workforce reentry.

To read more, visit the Department of Education’s Winning the Education Future: The Role of ARPA-ED.

By Kara in News, Research
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Community College Placement Tests: ‘Mismatch Between Interventions and Assessments’

Friday, February 25th, 2011

While over half of community college students enroll in at least one remedial course, a recent study finds little correlation between postsecondary remediation and increased student outcomes. In the working paper, Assessing Developmental Assessment in Community Colleges, researchers from Teachers College at Columbia University examine the role of assessment and placement within community colleges. They recommend that states and community colleges reform the remediation process by taking a closer look at the placement tests that land students in remedial coursework in the first place.

The authors found a trend towards state standardization of assessments and mandatory enrollment in remedial courses if placed, but remarked that “While standardization of an effective strategy may improve student outcomes, standardization of an ineffective strategy may worsen them.”

According to the paper, 92 percent of 2-year colleges administer assessments to determine whether remedial coursework is needed, most using the ACCUPLACER and/or COMPASS exams. While studies find both tests fairly valid measures of predicting students’ math, reading, and writing grades, they also find that the resulting placement recommendations do not seem to improve student outcomes. As noted by the authors, “This suggests a mismatch between interventions and assessments.”

The researchers suggest using a more comprehensive assessment (or multiple assessments) including academic, diagnostic, and affective measures, to better place students and to improve student outcomes.

By Kara in Research
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Gathering Storm Approaching Category 5, Report Warns

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Despite attempts to improve the United State’s position in the global economy, the nation has, over the last five years, worsened its ability to compete for quality jobs.  Further, if the United States does not implement a sustained investment in education and basic research soon, the nation will continue on its downward spiral, according to a follow up report to highly-regarded Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.

The new report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, warns that the nation has not improved despite the warnings and recommendations made since the original congressionally-commissioned report was released in 2005.

“The Gathering Storm is looking ominously like a Category 5,” according to the report, “and, as the  nation has so vividly observed, rebuilding from such an event is far more difficult  than preparing in advance to withstand it.”

The report does praise Congress for passing the America COMPETES Act and implementing several funding initiatives to support the improvement of K-12 and STEM education, but warns that funding for American COMPETES is scheduled to expire in Fiscal Year 2010 and stimulus funding for education is nearly depleted amidst the nation’s growing debt.

“The Gathering Storm effort once again finds itself at a tipping point,” said Norman R. Augustine, coauthor of a new report and chair  of the original Gathering Storm committee. “Addressing America’s competitiveness challenge is an undertaking that will require many years, if not decades.”

By Erin in Research
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Study: Stereotypes Impact on Women’s Career Choices

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

A new study is being launched to determine whether the stereotype that women lack an innate ability to succeed in scientific careers impacts their drive to enter the field, according to a recent article. The findings could help provide insight on how the nation can both target workforce shortages and close persistent gender gaps in those critical careers.

The National Science Foundation awarded $312,000 over the next three years to investigate the issue. Eric Deemer a professor of psychology in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education; and Jessi Smith, professor of psychology at Montana State University will lead the study.  The study, The Mediating Role of Stereotype Threat and Achievement Goals in the Regulation of Scientific Motivation, will include interviews of 2,500 students.

“Women are often subjected by others to the stereotypical belief that they are incapable of being scientists,” said Deemer, in a science news article.

The findings are expected to lead to recommendations pedagogical practices and career intervention strategies.

By Erin in Research

New IES data highlights CTE student postsecondary trends, degree attainment

Friday, October 16th, 2009

New data provided by the Institute of Education Sciences highlights the proportions of CTE concentrators who enrolled in postsecondary institutions, how long it took them to enroll, and the types of degrees or certificates they earned between 1992 and 2000.

A recent update to the IES Web site presents data relative to the conversations being had in the political and educational arenas regarding students’ postsecondary goals and successes. As presented by IES, the figures speak to the following primary questions:

What percentage of CTE concentrators enrolled in college? How soon after high school graduation did they enroll, and what types of postsecondary institutions did they enter?
•By 2000, the majority of CTE concentrators from the class of 1992 had enrolled in postsecondary education (65 percent of the total group of CTE concentrators, 59 percent of the CTE only subgroup, and 82 percent of the dual CTE and college preparatory subgroup).
•About three-quarters of all CTE concentrators who enrolled in a postsecondary institution did so within 7 months of their high school graduation
•More than half (56 percent) of all CTE concentrators began their postsecondary education at a community college, while 37 percent began at a 4-year institution, and 7 percent at another type of institution.

What proportion of CTE concentrators who enrolled in a postsecondary institution earned a postsecondary certificate or degree?
•Among the total group of CTE concentrators from the class of 1992 who enrolled in a postsecondary institution, about half earned a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2000, while about one-quarter (26 percent) earned a bachelor’s or higher degree.
•A higher proportion of college preparatory only students earned a postsecondary certificate or degree than both the total group of CTE concentrators and the subgroup of dual CTE and college preparatory concentrators.
•Comparing the total group of CTE concentrators with general education students, there was no detectable difference in the proportion who earned a postsecondary certificate or degree, but CTE concentrators were more likely to have earned an associate’s degree as their highest degree, and less likely to have earned a bachelor’s or advanced degree by 2000.
•About 6 percent of the total group of CTE concentrators had not earned a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2000 but were still enrolled in postsecondary education, while 43 percent had not earned a postsecondary credential and were not enrolled.

Visit the IES Web site for more information.

By Erin in Research
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