Research ProjectsFaculty and staff members in the College of Education are involved with funded research and development projects valued at more than $20 million each year. Their work examines, for example, issues in teacher and school administrator preparation, curriculum and teaching in content areas such as literacy, mathematics and science, and matters of physical activity across the life span.
This page includes a sampling of current and previous projects. View the complete annual list of active grants for more information.
Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M)Michigan State University faculty members served as international- and U.S.-level principal investigators for the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M), a collaborative international effort to study the mathematics preparation of future primary and secondary teachers. Using nationally representative samples from at least 16 countries, TEDS-M helps show how teacher education policies, curricula and opportunities to learn lead to effective knowledge of mathematics for teaching.
Deborah L. Feltz and her team are researching the best ways to keep astronauts in shape on long-duration space flights. In close living quarters with prolonged weightlessness, astronauts can suffer decreased muscle, bone and cardiovascular functions. This research (funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute of NASA) is part of a broader effort to help space crews work together and maintain their health.
Project PLACE (Project-approach to Literacy and Civic Engagement)Project PLACE (Project-approach to Literacy and Civic Engagement) is led by Anne-Lise Halvorsen of Michigan State University and Nell K. Duke of the University of Michigan, and funded by the Spencer Foundation and the George Lucas Educational Foundation. The study investigates the impact of project-based instruction that integrates social studies and literacy with second-grade students in schools in low-SES settings.
A Translational Approach to Evaluating the Effects of Physical Activity on ADHD
This research compares the effects of before school activity and sedentary classroom-based interventions on the symptoms, behavior, moodiness and peer functioning of young children at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Alan Smith, chairperson of the Department of Kinesiology, is one of the leaders of this study that helps to determine if physical activity intervention has a positive effect on school children’s ADHD symptoms and behavior.Charles (Andy) Anderson and his research team are developing learning progressions that lead toward environmental science literacy for students from upper elementary school through college, with the goal of integrating their work into contemporary K-12 curriculum. The project is organized into four strands: carbon, water, bio diversity and citizenship.
Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, along with colleagues Michael Steele and Michelle Cirillo, have led a project to design and test a set of professional development materials that will help secondary mathematics teachers engage in productive classroom discourse practices. Barbara Schneider and Ken Frank have collaborated with colleagues at UM to assess two major high school reforms: the Michigan Merit Curriculum and the Michigan Promise Scholarship. The team has a federal grant to study how the policy initiatives have affected student outcomes. Kelly Mix, conducts studies related to children’s conceptual development and learning, particularly how young children develop mathematical concepts.
MSU researchers Mark Reckase and Jeff Wooldridge, along with Cassie Guarino, have led a projec to evaluate and identify which commonly-used value-added models (VAMs) accurately estimate the effects of teachers, schools and instructional practices. They plan to apply new tools for checking and improving the validity of VAMs and, ultimately, develop national guidelines for dissemination.
Longitudinal Validity of Accelerometers in YouthKarin Pfeiffer is co-principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant to study the validity of accelerometers – the most widely used tool for collecting objective data on physical activity. By testing the devices with the same children over four years, she and Stewart Trost of Oregon State University are expected to determine how well calculations used to interpret output from accelerometers hold up over time, especially as kids grow. Professor John P. Smith, III found that conceptual deficits in U.S. elementary math curricula have likely contributed to students’ poor understanding of measurement (length, area and volume). The Strengthening Tomorrow's Education in Measurement (STEM) project continues curriculum analysis and supports efforts to put that knowledge to work in improving practice. Partners include curriculum authors, mathematics teacher educators, practicing teachers and fellow researchers. Ann Austin is a co-PI.
Center for Advancing Research and Communication (ARC) in Science, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsARC supports National Science Foundation-funded education research projects in the STEM disciplines by offering technical assistance to investigators and communicating their findings to a larger audience. Michigan State University Professor Barbara Schneider is principal investigator of the center, which is based at the University of Chicago.
More Research Projects
- National Study of LGBTQ Student Success
- Diagnostic Question Cluster Research Group (Undergraduate reasoning about biology and geology)
- GET City (Science learning for urban youth)
- Launch into Teaching (Support for beginning teachers and instructional coaches)
- Virtual History Museum
- College Ambition Program
- Exploring Younger Children’s Understanding of Heredity
- Algebra Teaching Study
- National Center for Research on Teacher Learning (NCRTL)
- Institute for Research on Teaching (IRT)