The Role of Research in Educational Improvement

The Role of Research in Educational Improvement

Edited by John D. Bransford, Deborah J. Stipek, Nancy J. Vye, Louis M. Gomez, and Diana Lam
paper, 300 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-12-9
Price: $33.00

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In this book, leading scholars in the field examine the available research on the use of evidence in education and provide suggestions for strengthening the research-to-practice pipeline.


Turn a gaggle of scholars loose on a vital subject—the relation of education research to education practice—and if you are lucky, you get a collection like this. It draws on the authors’ long experience and reams of research to provide lessons worth pondering by everybody from the Congress to the classroom. — Carol Hirschon Weiss, Beatrice B. Whiting Professor, Emerita, Harvard Graduate School of Education

With all the fuss about evidence-based decision making, The Role of Research in Educational Improvement makes a stellar contribution. The chapters cover the full range of issues from federal, state, district, and school levels. In each case instruction is the focus. This invaluable resource, at once comprehensive and focused, unravels the mystery of research and makes it accessible. A great read whether you are in the schoolhouse or the statehouse. — Michael Fullan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

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About the Author

John D. Bransford is Shauna C. Larson University Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Bransford is also coprincipal investigator and codirector of the LIFE Center, a National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center that studies learning in informal and formal environments. Previously, Bransford was Centennial Professor of Psychology and Education and codirector of the Learning Technology Center at Vanderbilt University. He received the Sutherland Prize for Research at Vanderbilt, has been elected to the National Academy of Education, and was awarded the 2001 Edward L. Thorndike Award. He served as cochair of several National Academy of Science committees that authored How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom (2005), How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School (1999, 2000), and How People Learn, Bridging Research and Practice (1999). He also coedited a National Academy of Education volume (with Linda Darling-Hammond) on Preparing Teachers for a Changing World (2005).

Deborah J. Stipek is the James Quillen Dean and Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her doctorate from Yale University is in developmental psychology. Her scholarship concerns instructional effects on children’s achievement motivation, early childhood, and elementary education. She served for five years on the Children, Youth, and Families board of the National Academy of Sciences and chaired the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Increasing High School Students’ Engagement and Motivation to Learn. Stipek served ten of her twenty-three years at UCLA as director of the Corinne Seeds University Elementary School and the Urban Education Studies Center. She joined the Stanford School of Education as dean and professor of education in January 2001. She is a member of the National Academy of Education.

Nancy J. Vye is senior research scientist in the LIFE Center (Learning in Informal and Formal Learning Environments) at COE–University of Washington. Prior to joining the University of Washington, she was codirector, along with John Bransford, of the Learning Technology Center at Vanderbilt University. She has extensive experience in learning technology research and design in K–16 settings and has worked in private-sector healthcare training and development. She received her doctorate in cognitive psychology from Vanderbilt University.

Louis M. Gomez is the Helen S. Fasion Chair in Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh in the Leaning Science and Policy Program within the School of Education. He is also senior scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center. Previously, he was Aon Professor of Learning Sciences and Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University. Gomez’s primary interest is in working with school communities to create social arrangements and curriculum that support school improvement. Along with his colleagues, he has been dedicated to collaborative research and development with urban schools to bring state-of-the-art instruction and support for community formation to traditionally underserved schools. He received a BA in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Diana Lam is currently vice president for global education and community outreach for Christel House International. Most recently, she was the deputy chancellor for teaching and learning at the New York City Department of Education, where she was responsible for joint implementation of Children First reforms, a multiyear effort aimed at dramatically improving New York City Public Schools. She has served as superintendent in various school districts. In San Antonio, Texas, Lam was the first female superintendent, and there she won national acclaim for her accomplishments, which included a dramatic increase in student achievement. In the communities where she has served as superintendent, she has envisioned the changes required, put in place the structures, and built relationships that allow educators and families to work together to reach new levels of achievement.

Table of Contents (PDF)

Introduction (PDF)

About the Contributors (PDF)

Index (PDF)

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