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Department of Teacher Education

Research Projects

Excellence Through Inquiry

Teaching and research go hand in hand. Over the decades, the college has been home to major research centers and institutes that have led to new understandings of teachers, teaching and student learning. This is why we promote and value various research projects and centers within our department. Faculty, staff, and students work hard to improve teaching through research. Our research and centers make the Department of Teacher Education a dynamic place to study education.

Environmental Literacy

Research to integrate Environmental Literacy into contemporary K-12 curriculum has been supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. Four working groups focus on different strands of environmental literacy: carbon cycle, water cycle, biodiversity and evolution, and connecting actions. The groups consist of university-based researchers and K-12 teachers who have produced research papers as well as curriculum and assessments that can be used with elementary, middle, and high school students.

Teachers for a New Era (TNE)

Teachers for a New Era was an initiative funded by the Carnegie Corporation, and the Annenberg, Rockefeller, and Ford foundations. The $5 million project engaged faculty from throughout the university and K-12 teachers, with a focus on the kinds of subject matter knowledge prospective teachers need to improve student learning, the use of assessment to strengthen the MSU teacher education program, recruitment of diverse students, and the development of a two-year induction program for beginning teachers. The project helped MSU prepare even better teachers and serve as a model for other teacher education programs.

Entering The Guild

This research project examined the impact of participation in various types of science-rich professional development activities and affiliations with a larger science educator community on the science knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and classroom practices of novice science teachers. The project followed a diverse population of novice middle and high school science teachers and their students as they participated in programs offered through the Exploratorium Science Museum. The research provided data on the specific components of professional development programs that are most effective in supporting quality science teaching by early career science teachers.

Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M)

TEDS-M was a comparative study of teacher education around the world with a focus on the preparation of teachers of mathematics at the primary and lower secondary levels. Carried out by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), both the international and U.S. research teams were based at Michigan State University. TEDS-M focused on the links between teacher education policies, practices and outcomes and gave participating countries a valuable opportunity to conduct research on their own teacher education system and to learn from approaches used in other countries.

Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning (IRTL)

The Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning (IRTL) is an umbrella organization designed to promote, encourage and enhance research throughout the college. As the college's research office, the institute works with faculty on research funding opportunities, and seeks to identify and facilitate outside funding opportunities in the form of grants and contracts from federal or state agencies, and provide in-house seed grants.

Research Studies on Teacher Preparation Program

All persons contemplating research on programs of the Department of Teacher Education should make early proposals to the Department for approval.

  • To apply for approval, access the online application form
  • Application review process wil take less than two months
  • Applications are accepted between August 15 ~ May 1

Research activity should not begin until the proposal is approved by the student's committee and the Department and must be accompanied by IRB approval.

For questions about submitting a request via the online form, contact the Chair of the Teacher Preparation Committee at tppc@msu.edu .

For more information visit our Research Studies on Teacher Preparation Program website.