I t is not a stretch to say that one of the most compelling aspects of academic
life is the opportunity to immerse oneself in research that stirs questions,
prompts theories and has the potential to change lives. As a researcher, I resonate
with faculty members’ passion to advance knowledge in a way that can make
a difference in teaching, learning and community participation.Their commitment
to shaping policies, guiding practices and enhancing knowledge is conveyed
through a sampling of exciting research projects in this University of Maryland
College of Education publication, The Energy of Discovery.
Within these pages are stories about research projects supported by various
external funding agencies. Under four broad topic areas, we describe projects
that influence policy, foster collaboration, provide insights and make an
impact. In the fiscal year just concluded, we attracted more than $17 million
in sponsored funding that has enabled faculty members to examine a wide
array of education and social issues, for example, fostering a supportive cli-
mate for Hispanic students, examining high quality teaching practices in math
and reading, and developing assessment strategies to evaluate scientific inquiry.
The value of research goes far beyond the world of academics. Policy makers,
practitioners, professionals, politicians and the public use research to guide
and evaluate policies and services. For example, Professor Debbie Speece’s
work is changing the way learning disabilities are understood and diagnosed.
Associate Professor Jennifer King Rice’s multistate studies on teacher com-
pensation, professional development and hiring practices in school districts
have led her to conclude that teachers’ perceptions—good or bad—of
district policies can directly impact the quality of instruction.
EDNA MORA SZYMANSKI
In closing, I am confident in saying that our capacity to expand and
Dean, College of Education apply our research is unlimited.Therein is the excitement surrounding a
University of Maryland healthy academic research enterprise: creative interdisciplinary projects
and collaborations between faculty and students that will continue to
shape and influence our world.That is why I am proud to share with our
readers the products of our research: The Energy of Discovery.
Edna Mora Szymanski, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Education
University of Maryland
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION z www.education.umd.edu
5 Having an Impact
9 Informing Policy
13 Fostering Interdisciplinary Collaboration
17 Providing Insights
19 Institutes and Centers
2 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
T H E E N E R G Y O F D I S C O V E RY
Fueling Educational Innovation
T HE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE OF EDUCATION’S
research enterprise informs public policy and shapes teaching
and learning. It is within this stimulating environment that college faculty
work, turning research into practical, applicable tools.
This publication outlines some of the projects that result from
enterprising collaborations between faculty colleagues and with graduate
students. Deborah Speece’s team works to define “learning disability”
in order to better determine how it relates to intelligence. Marylu
McEwen’s team involves Latino/a graduate students in studying the
needs of undergraduate Latino/a students in order
to improve the retention rate.
Research discoveries are also fueled by cross-
disciplinary collaborations. Judith Torney-Purta and
Marilyn Chambliss demonstrate that working across
departmental lines strengthens their efforts to improve
the teaching of democracy and citizenship to adoles-
cents. Bruce VanSledright and Patricia Alexander look at
instructional practices and cognitive processes in order to
help teachers make history a more vibrant subject.
The energy generated through these collaborations
reflects the vibrant community of discovery present in the College of
Education.These pages showcase the work of faculty members, staff
and students, who, together, generate knowledge to improve policy and
practice in education.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 3
MARGARET J. MCLAUGHLIN wants better
assessments for special education students.
4 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
Having an Impact
M EASURING INSTRUCTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS starts
with making sure the needs of all student populations are
adequately defined. How will drawing these distinctions affect
teaching? Researchers in the college are teasing out the answers
in order to provide schools with timely, applicable tools.
Linking Accountability and Performance
Testing and holding schools accountable for student achieve-
ment are the dominant forces in today’s schools.This
movement toward greater public accountability for student
performance has been growing for more than a decade and
reached a peak with the passage of the No Child Left Behind
Act (NCLB) in 2001.This emphasis on educational accounta-
bility aims to increase overall student achievement and close
the long-standing achievement gaps between advantaged and
disadvantaged student groups.
MARGARET J. MCLAUGHLIN, professor, and her colleagues
in the Department of Special Education are investigating
the impact of “high stakes accountability,” as required under
NCLB, on students who receive special education.Through
the Education Policy Reform Research Institute (EPRRI),
a five-year, $3.75 million research center funded by the Office
of Special Education in the U.S. Department of Education,
McLaughlin has been investigating how accountability
reforms are impacting students with disabilities and the teachers
who teach them in four states and eight school districts.
She and her colleagues have examined existing test data
over four years as well as conducted case studies of selected
districts and schools.
“We began our research prior to the passage of the
No Child Left Behind Act.We didn’t design the study to look
at the impact of this legislation on students with disabilities, but
prior to NCLB there was little accountability for the per-
formance of this population,” says McLaughlin. “Things
changed dramatically in the schools after 2001. Now for the
first time we are able to show how these children are
performing and what progress they are making in schools.
“The results are surprising a lot of people. Most of our
states and districts can report steady increases in the perform-
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 5
Defining Learning Disability
How do you define learning disability? Professor of Special
Education DEBORAH L. SPEECE is attempting to address
the field’s identity crisis by providing an answer to that
question. Her research is challenging a long-held and
widely accepted definition.
“We have always believed that children with learning
disabilities had intelligence quotients (IQs) in the normal
range, but achieved lower than predicted on measures of
achievement.Twenty years of research is calling the validity
of the intelligence-achievement discrepancy theory into
question and is showing that children with lower IQs also
demonstrate the same characteristics as students with learn-
ing disabilities,” says Speece.“One of the basic constructs of
the field has been knocked out from underneath us.”
An alternative response-to-instruction model is now
being tested to determine its validity in identifying learning
disability.“Pragmatically, it makes sense that if a child is not
responding to well-crafted instruction, a learning disability
could be the reason,” Speece explains.
Building on previous research, Speece and colleagues
found the new model identified a sample of first- and
second-grade children with more academic and behavioral
ance of students with disabilities, especially at lower grade problems than children identified by IQ-achievement
levels.” In addition, the participation of students in special discrepancy or low achievement. They also found that
education in state assessments has increased dramatically. children who demonstrated consistent non-responsiveness
This is important because it provides educational policy- across three years differed from other at-risk children
makers, researchers and administrators with the kind of data on reading, reading-related and behavioral measures.
needed to improve the educational programs and services Speece is planning to further test the response-to-instruc-
for these students. tion model as an early indicator of reading disabilities. Her
The assessment data are also helping to identify those work adds to a growing body of research that could very
schools that are getting better results for students with well change how children are identified to receive special
disabilities. According to EPRRI project director Katherine education services.“There is a lot of wrangling within the
Nagle, a faculty research associate in the Department of profession about who is qualified to make the learning
Special Education, special education students have just as disabled diagnosis,” she says.“Obviously, the response-to-
much potential to excel as regular education students if instruction model requires monitoring what happens in
they are in schools that display positive characteristics. the classroom.”
But as McLaughlin cautions, schools face a number of
challenges in helping students with disabilities increase their Applicable Science by Design
performance to the levels required under NCLB.The bar
In designing a framework for the assessment of science
is very high and schools are frustrated that this subgroup of
inquiry tasks, ROBERT J. MISLEVY strives for creating accessible
students, despite their progress, still aren’t meeting the stan-
tools that provide sound measurement and learning founda-
dards.Yet, McLaughlin does not want to see these students
tions.The Principled Assessment Design for Inquiry (PADI)
exempted from the assessments and accountability.
project combines cognitive psychology, measurement theory
“Public accountability is working and schools are
and technology to provide scientists and those who teach
achieving higher levels of performance among these stu-
science with the ability to efficiently evaluate their programs.
dents … they are getting real opportunities to learn important
Mislevy, professor in the Department of Measurement,
content,” McLaughlin says. “Schools that set high expecta-
Statistics and Evaluation, says PADI frees up educators to
tions, foster a climate of collective responsibility for the
focus on their work. He uses a microwave oven to explain.
achievement of every student, are guided by a strong
When he puts his food inside the unit, he’s not thinking
principal, and use data to set priorities and maintain a
about the technology. He just knows that it needs to perform
strong focus on improvement are getting results for all
as it was designed to do, using the specifications (heat level,
students including those in special education.”
time) that he inputs.
6 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
“It’s the same with this.We make the wizards [templates] “Shy children that are fearful of new things, highly
to help design the assessments.You don’t have to know all of vigilant in their environment and hesitant to play with other
the back end. …We model a basic shell to teachers’ needs.” children are less likely, as adults, to form lifelong, intimate
Examples of real-world applications: tools to assess the friendships.That can affect their mental health as adults, caus-
learning impact of experiments middle-school students ing anxiety, depression and social phobia,” relates Fox, who
conduct to evaluate mystery powder properties, or the per- notes that childhood social anxiety is the number one clinical
formance mastery resulting from a Cisco Systems network problem reported in the United States.
troubleshooting program. Fox is eager to develop assessments for early identification
As his National Science Foundation-funded project of fearful, or behaviorally inhibited, children.“The earlier
moves into its final year, Mislevy hopes to create more the temperament is identified, the better the parents can
demonstrations of PADI’s practicality, evaluating and docu- adjust their parenting styles to their child’s needs,” says Fox.
menting activities in cooperation with collaborators at the His research is particularly important for understanding
University of Michigan and the University of California, the trajectories children follow through school. “When
Berkeley. SRI International, the project’s main contractor, these children enter school, they can get the assistance they
also is looking for applicable projects and developing ways need to develop the social skills to interact with peers,
to market PADI. and their teachers and other school staff can further help
Mislevy says that the project has been “a really good them develop the emotional skills needed to be successful
opportunity for graduate students to work on cutting-edge students,” explains Fox, a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.
applications” involving people from different areas of In a related study funded by the National Institute of
expertise including software engineering, cognitive psychology, Mental Health, Fox is looking at children identified as fearful
computer programmers and measurement technicians. in early childhood who are now entering their teenage
“It goes beyond what they learn in class.” years to examine temperament change in response to the
adolescent culture. I
Tracking the Fearful Temperament
For most of his career, NATHAN A. FOX, professor in the
Department of Human Development and director
of the Child Development Laboratory, has been intrigued
with what differentiates one child from another and for
nearly two decades his work on the topic has received
funding from the National Institutes of Health. His recent
work focuses on two personality types—fearful and
exuberant—and the underlying biological and environmental
factors that influence personality change or continuity.
Fox has undertaken a longitudinal study, funded by
the National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development, to conduct assessments on fearful children
from infancy through age four.The study includes observa-
tions of the children in various settings and state-of-the-art
techniques to assess brain function.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 7
BRENDA JONES HARDEN believes that
improving maternal mental health care is
key to healthy child development.
8 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
W HEN IT COMES TO CHANGING CLASSROOM PRACTICES,
the process should begin with policies and reforms based
on sound research that supports teacher efforts. Beginning with
studies focusing on the youngest students, college faculty endeavor
to bring their knowledge to the attention of those positioned
to make a difference.
Serving Families at Risk Through Research
Early Head Start (EHS) is a federal program that serves families
with children under the age of three from low-income back-
grounds. A recent evaluation of the program documented that
half of enrolled mothers report depressive symptoms. BRENDA
JONES HARDEN, an associate professor with the Department
of Human Development, believes that by providing mental
health-oriented services to the parent-infant dyad, the impact
of maternal depression on EHS children can be reduced.
So EHS staff at four local programs were trained to provide
home-based, parent-infant interaction intervention to psycho-
logically at-risk families for 26 weeks to determine if such care
led to improved parental functioning, enhanced relationships
and child emotional well being.
As part of Project Healthy Attachment Promotion for
Parents and Infants (HAPPI), parents identified with high levels
of psychological risk were randomly assigned to either inter-
vention or non-intervention groups. Pre- and post-tests on
approximately 125 families are being conducted to determine
if the interventions produce any changes in parent and child
Early results have been mixed, she says, with staff being
excited about the training though demonstrating less enthusi-
asm for an increased workload. “They do say, ‘Now I see
mental health issues in everything I do’ and that’s an important
step since they’ve been trained to approach families in a
very didactic, educational way.” Families are expressing satis-
faction with the increased attention to their relationships
with their infants.
Part of this approach to work with EHS families entails
reflective practice, which helps staff members recognize how
their own life histories and behaviors impact families and relate
to the intervention goals of the organization.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 9
“We have met with some success, but [the staff is] worn can assist school districts and systems in making the right
out. It’s too much for them,” says Harden. Since she policy investments to address staffing and quality concerns.
knows that adding manpower is beyond most community- “We want to gain a better understanding of the teacher
based EHS budgets, she hopes Project HAPPI findings policy landscape across state, district and federal levels of
convince upper- and middle-level management “that this the educational system,” says Rice.“Our ultimate goal is to
is a good idea” worth supporting. understand the level of investment that needs to be made
She draws the connection between mothers’ improved to staff all schools with high-quality teachers.”
well-being and early child development defined broadly, Rice is conducting multi-level case studies in three
not just in psychological terms, but in terms of school states—Maryland, New York and Connecticut—each with
readiness. Early Head Start seeks to intervene with children varied approaches to teacher policy. A two-dimensional
across all ages of development.“We need to get to children framework developed by Rice identifies specific types of
before they enter school,” she says. policies, including economic incentives, alternative avenues
Even if study results are not as positive as hoped, Jones into the profession, teacher education and professional
Harden believes evidence-based intervention implementation development reforms, the hiring process and working
can inform service delivery at community-based early inter- conditions. She then examines how those policies address
vention programs and underscore the multiple needs of the various dimensions of the staffing problems facing school
families at psychological risk. systems, such as ensuring an adequate supply of teachers,
“I look at this as a long-term relationship between recruitment, retention and the placement of teachers in the
me as a university researcher and this organization that right schools.
delivers EHS services,” she says. “We’ll just keep working, Her background research is complemented by personal
keep plugging away at it.” interviews with state administrators, district leaders and
school principals about the kinds of teacher policies
Creating Policies with Punch and investments being made in them at each level of the
Evidence suggests that investing in teachers can make a system. In focus groups with teachers, Rice assesses their
difference in student achievement. In her study,“Hitting the awareness of existing teacher policies and their perceptions
Target? An Analysis of Investments in Teacher Quality,” of the effectiveness of those policies.
JENNIFER KING RICE, associate professor in the Department
“Potentially, our work can help policymakers better
of Education Policy and Leadership, conducts research that understand individual policies and how those policies can be
10 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
grouped in effective ways to solve the multi-dimensional prob- Her interest in social policy and education led her to
lem of staffing schools,” says Rice, whose current research is select a project on moral development in young children led
funded by the MetLife Foundation and the Economic Policy by Melanie Killen, professor in the Department of Human
Institute in Washington, D.C. Development and co-director of the Center for Children,
Relationships and Culture. She also contributed to the data
collection for a doctoral dissertation on children’s decision-
Building a Research Portfolio making about social relationships, conducted by Heidi
The College of Education’s 2005 Undergraduate Student McGlothlin, Ph.D. ’04.
Award recipient, ANITA MAZZOCCHI, began her first teaching “I interviewed students in the first through fourth grades at
assignment shortly after graduating from the Department of two Montgomery County elementary schools to gauge their
Human Development with a bachelor’s degree in early child- social perceptions about prejudice and racism,” she explains.
hood education. But early on, she already had her sights As part of the research, Mazzocchi showed photos of children
set beyond classroom teaching. Mazzocchi, former president who looked similar to and different from the children being
of the college’s Kappa Delta Pi honor society, will begin her interviewed. She then discussed their experiences with and
master’s degree in education policy leadership with a concen- perceptions of people of color.
tration in social foundations in spring 2006. A native of Canada, Mazzocchi observes that her homeland
Throughout the last half of her undergraduate career, has more policies to address family needs, such as government
Mazzocchi participated in the Undergraduate Research funding for infant care and junior kindergarten programs. Look
Assistant Program. “My passion for understanding how we for Mazzocchi to make her mark in the policymaking arena
learn led me to pursue research. I was taking theory courses in the United States in the years to come. I
and wanted to apply that coursework,” explains Mazzocchi,
a former daycare instructor.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 11
12 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
S HARING RESEARCH FINDINGS between academic
departments allows faculty to offer educators and
school administrators more holistic approaches to classroom
challenges.Whether reshaping how a subject is taught or
fostering civic engagement, college researchers demonstrate
the power of academic teamwork.
Connecting Achievement to Expectations
In attempting to decipher how teachers achieve high-quality
instruction in challenging situations, researchers LINDA R. VALLI
and ROBERT G. CRONINGER spent four years studying fourth-
and fifth-grade teachers working in moderate-to-high poverty
schools in the highly diverse Montgomery County Public
Schools (MCPS) system.
The research team focused on reading and mathematics
because students who don’t demonstrate basic proficiencies
in those areas before beginning sixth grade face higher
risks of failure in subsequent grades.The problem can
be especially pronounced in elementary schools that serve
Valli, an associate professor in the Department of
Curriculum and Instruction, and Croninger, an associate
professor with the Department of Education Policy and
Leadership, led a multidisciplinary research team that included
associate professors in the Department of Curriculum and
Instruction—Marilyn Chambliss, Anna Graeber and Jeremy
Price—along with Patricia Alexander, professor in the
Department of Human Development; and John Larson,
former director of shared accountability at MCPS.Their
$4.5 million research project is funded by the Interagency
Education Research Initiative, supported by the U.S.
Department of Education, the National Science Foundation,
and the National Institutes of Health.
What they reconfirmed is that teacher expectations go a
long way toward encouraging high-caliber student perfor-
LINDA R. VALLI and ROBERT G. CRONINGER
explore the connections between high-quality
teaching and challenging environments.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 13
The co-principal investigators in the High Quality
Teaching of Foundational Skills study learned that specific
instructional practices increased the likelihood that a teacher’s
request for more thoughtful responses from a student would
be successful.Teacher requests for cognitively demanding
responses in reading were more effective when lesson
management focused on instructional activities involving
demanding content rather than on the management of
materials or student behavior. In mathematics, these requests
of students were more effective when small-group
instructional design was used in lessons that emphasized
The team continues to explore how these and other
instructional practices relate to achievement.They are also
examining what administrators are doing to foster teachers’
pedagogical practices and student learning. By carefully
analyzing data collected from more than 30 schools and
150 teachers in the fast-growing Montgomery County, Md.,
school district,Valli and Croninger hope to connect measures
of learning with “rich descriptions” of classroom practices
and school policies.
“Our findings should have important policy implications
within the state and across the nation for scaling up and
sustaining effective pedagogical practices,” says Valli.
Bringing History to Life
Times have changed, but surprisingly the teaching of
history has not. BRUCE A. VANSLEDRIGHT, professor in the
Department of Curriculum and Instruction and PATRICIA
ALEXANDER, professor and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher
in the Department of Human Development, are partnering
to bring history to life for teachers and, ultimately, their
students.Through a study funded by the U.S. Department
of Education, the researchers are leading a collaboration
between the Montgomery County Public Schools,
Montgomery College and the Smithsonian Institution
to show teachers a more exciting side of history and to
enrich the way the subject is taught and learned.
“If we can reshape the way teachers think about history
and make teaching history a more animated process, they
mance.“It’s not a surprise, but one of the most important are more likely to convey the excitement to students,” says
findings about classroom discourse is that students match Alexander.
teachers’ expectations of them,” says Valli.What is more Some 225 elementary, middle and high school teachers
important, though, is that “this matching of expectations was in Montgomery County have participated in an intensive
roughly the same in reading and mathematics, as well as in summer program that includes in-depth, mini-courses
classes with higher and lower percentages of students with on specific aspects of history, such as how currency in the
Revolutionary period shaped the economy in early American
various at-risk characteristics.”
“What that means,” Croninger adds,“is that a wide range history.The courses are taught by Montgomery College
of students respond positively when teachers encourage faculty using special materials provided by the Smithsonian.
deeper levels of engagement in subjects, even though this “Our role is to develop research instruments to measure
level of encouragement is less likely to be found in classes knowledge and the degree of change in teachers participat-
with higher percentages of at-risk students.” ing in these projects,” explains VanSledright.“We measure
14 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
their knowledge of history and how they teach American presented as an argument affected their interest in voting and
history, and assess their interest in the subject. discussing ideas with their parents,”Torney-Purta reports.
“Our work can expand the understanding of the Armed with these insights, she explains:“We want to provide
cognitive processes involved in learning and teaching history students with knowledge to help foster an interest about
and can lead us to better prepare history teachers,” he adds. what happens in government, and to feel a sense of power in
“Ultimately, teachers will take knowledge from this program their own lives. If they care enough to express an opinion,
into the classroom.” they may then seek more information through television
Adds Alexander,“Researchers and school personnel in programs or by talking to others.” I
Montgomery County are committed to making change
happen and this type of effort is what it takes.”With a goal
of broadening their reach, initial planning is under way for
a similar project in the Anne Arundel (Md.) County
Raising Civic Engagement by
Recent world events have heightened the importance of
civic education. Students report that they primarily learn
about democracy and citizenship through reading textbooks.
Yet reviewers repeatedly find textbooks to be dense, poorly
organized and uninteresting. JUDITH TORNEY-PURTA, professor
in the Department of Human Development, and MARILYN
CHAMBLISS, associate professor in the Department of
Curriculum and Instruction, contend that more carefully
written textbook materials could enhance student learning
and civic engagement as well as provide teachers with
powerful instructional tools.
Funded by the Carnegie Corporation, their research
follows up Torney-Purta’s highly recognized earlier work
with the International Association for the Evaluation of
Educational Achievement (IEA) Civic Education Study, and
Chambliss’ ongoing focus on improving social studies text-
book design.The IEA Civic Education Study surveyed a
cross-national group of 140,000 adolescents in 29 countries
to assess understanding about their respective governments.
“We learned the concept of representative democracy
is misunderstood by many students,” says Torney-Purta.
Collaborator Chambliss further notes that “American gov-
ernment textbooks give large amounts of information, but
do not develop the ideas about democracy that would
deepen students’ understanding.”
Torney-Purta, Chambliss and research associate
Wendy Richardson are focusing on how to design textbook
materials that enhance student understanding and civic
engagement. Earlier this year, more than 80 tenth-grade
students at a Maryland high school participated in a study
that tested the relative effectiveness of the following types
of passages: those that presented facts, those that argued
claims paired with counter-claims, and those that explained
the concept with lengthy examples.
“The version with examples seemed to get students more
motivated to engage in active discussion in class.The material
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 15
DONNA L. WISEMAN, MARTIN L. JOHNSON,
and MARVIN LYNN created the Minority and
Urban Education program to teach educators
how to reach a broader student population.
16 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
F RESH PERSPECTIVES provided by graduate
students in the college bring case studies and
findings to life. Involving future educators and adminis-
trators in problem solving and idea generation creates
new pedagogy. Mentoring relationships with faculty
provide benefits for all involved.
As it became more apparent that teaching
diverse groups of students in urban settings
required different pedagogy than what may be
employed in other environments, a Department
of Curriculum and Instruction initiative stepped in
to prepare educators to successfully meet teaching
and research challenges.
The Minority and Urban Education program is
a specialization that students can choose within the
Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s master’s
and doctoral degree programs. It is a dynamic, interdisci-
plinary approach to addressing sociological, political, cul-
tural, social and psychological issues facing urban students
and teachers, says MARVIN LYNN, assistant professor. Not
only is the program designed for school educators, there
is also a track that prepares future researchers and teacher
educators who will eventually work at the university level.
Lynn and his collaborators Associate Deans DONNA L.
WISEMAN and MARTIN L. JOHNSON, director of the
Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban
Education (MIMAUE), wanted “to create a space … for
innovative and interesting work that hopefully will
improve urban schools.” Early examples of this creativity
can be illustrated with graduate students’ research interests:
using hip-hop in middle schools, the poetry of the black
arts movement and “down” teachers, or those who relate
well to students.
This “broader analysis” approach starts with creating
a cohesive cohort. Many of the program’s students have
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 17
out about the program from reading about it on the Web
page or from students who regularly refer their colleagues
to the college, says Wiseman.The program fills a critical and
timely niche among the college’s highly ranked programs.
“The experience has been more rewarding than I could
ever have imagined,” says Jennifer Bacon,a doctoral student.
“The program is providing the knowledge, background
and tools to design and implement strategies for creating
parity and excellence for all students.”
Discovery in Student Experience
An “outsider” to the community that she hopes will thrive
and grow on campus, Associate Professor MARYLU MCEWEN
in the Department of Counseling and Personal Services
realizes the importance of involving Latino/Latina graduate
students in efforts to create a welcoming, supportive
environment for the success of their peers at the University
With census numbers showing a Hispanic or Latino
population increase of up to 132 percent in the Washington
Metropolitan region, it is no surprise that this growth is
reflected in applications to and students attending the uni-
versity. McEwen and her team want to know what Maryland
is doing to accommodate and support these undergraduates.
“Access is increasing,” says McEwen,“but they’re just not
graduating at the same rate as other students.”
With a lifelong commitment to mentoring, McEwen
assembled a team of graduate students to think through stu-
dent needs and to develop ways to address those needs. In
the College Student Personnel program, Abigail Delgado,
a first-year master’s student from California; Patty Alvarez,
a second-year doctoral student from Indiana; Salvador Mena,
a first-year student from New York City; and Mark Lopez,
a third-year doctoral student in the Higher Education pro-
gram from Arizona, coordinated well-attended focus groups
been teachers for some time. Students share their experiences to glean information about access, experiences and the
and attend MIMAUE-sponsored colloquia on topics such as success of Latino/Latina students.
the impact of Hispanic students in the classrooms, achievement McEwen’s researchers plan to distribute surveys to assess
of minority and urban students in academic content subjects access to college information and retention efforts.They are
and violence in schools.These activities, combined with taking paying particular attention to mid-Atlantic region residents
advantage of the college’s resources, equips MUE students with because, as one student notes, ethnicity, country of origin,
effective teaching and inquiry strategies that can be applied to socioeconomic and immigration status differ by region.
K-16 schools as well as graduate study. Team members say that while there are no models to
“This program has enabled me to understand the history study, the university is not alone in its efforts to better serve
of schooling and why schools are structured to duplicate the a growing community.What McEwen and her students
class structure of society,” says Augustina Bryan, a doctoral can- hope to do, though, is help the campus create an example
didate who, with three of her fellow students, is teaching a of being responsive to a vibrant, integral Latino/Latina
course developed within the program for teachers in culturally student presence through positive academic and co-curricu-
diverse settings.“Most importantly, I am learning the needed lar experiences. I
information to create change in policy and school structure.”
Word is spreading about the relatively new program. Lynn
says he fields calls from all over the country from interested
people. Little recruitment is needed as potential students find
18 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
U N I V E R S I T Y O F M A RY L A N D C O L L E G E O F E D U C AT I O N
Institutes and Centers
CENTER FOR ACCELERATING STUDENT LEARNING (CASL) CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON LATINO EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS
The goal of this center is to accelerate learning for students with disabili- The mission of the center is to improve Latino/a student success in PK-16
ties in the early grades to provide a solid foundation for strong achieve- education through research and development activities. The center,
ment in the intermediate grades and beyond. It is a five-year collabora- based within the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban
tive research effort supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Education, is currently involved in research projects in PK-12 schools
Office of Special Education Programs. Participating institutions are the and higher education.
University of Maryland, Teachers College of Columbia University and
Vanderbilt University. CENTER FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (CYC)
CENTER FOR ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION (CAHE) Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young
www.education.umd.edu/institutesandcenters/CAHE Children, the Center for Young Children is a full day educational program
The mission of CAHE is to develop and foster collaborative, interdiscipli- that employs highly qualified teachers to educate and care for the children
nary research that focuses on assessment of the quality of education and of faculty, staff and students at the University of Maryland. As a laborato-
research in university settings. Research projects tap various disciplines ry school within the Department of Human Development, the CYC seeks
including psychometrics, cognitive development, organizational psychology, to educate and care for children in a developmentally appropriate manner
program evaluation, and higher education administration. based on knowledge of early childhood education, to serve as a demon-
stration school for training and preparing undergraduate students for
CENTER FOR CHILDREN, RELATIONSHIPS, AND CULTURE (CCRC) teaching and other related professions, and to serve as an observation
www.education.umd.edu/EDHD/CCRC and research facility.
The center supports collaboration of research projects on the social, cog-
nitive and emotional development of children and adolescents in families, EDUCATIONAL POLICY REFORM RESEARCH INSTITUTE (EPRRI)
schools, and cultures. The center has three major goals: facilitating the www.eprri.org
collaborative, longitudinal, national and cross-cultural research projects This institute, housed with the Department of Special Education, is a
on connections between children, social relationships and culture; offer- federally funded program aimed at increasing knowledge and under-
ing graduate and post-doctoral training related to research on children, standing of ways that students with disabilities can be fully included
relationships and culture; and serving as a resource to help produce in educational accountability measures. EPRRI's work features policy
policy initiatives and improvements in practice related to strengthening analyses, research and dissemination. EPRRI involves and serves policy-
of families and child development. makers, practitioners, parents/families, advocates and consumers. EPRRI
is collaboration among three institutions: the Institute for the Study of
CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL POLICY AND LEADERSHIP (CEPAL) Exceptional Children and Youth at the University of Maryland, the
www.education.umd.edu/EDPA National Center on Educational Outcomes at the University of Minnesota,
This center, based in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, and the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative at the
engages in activities focusing on critical issues in education policy and Education Development Center Inc.
leadership through research projects, colloquia, policy briefs, occasional
papers, and LEADS, a semi-annual publication featuring research that HUMAN DEVELOPMENT/INSTITUTE FOR CHILD STUDY
addresses education policy and leadership issues. www.education.umd.edu/EDHD
The purpose of the Department of Human Development/Institute for
CENTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES DEVELOPMENT Child Study and its graduate programs is to support development of
www.education.umd.edu/RRCEP basic knowledge in research, practice, and policy in the multi-disciplinary
The center is home to the Region III Community Rehabilitation Providers field of human development. The Department of Human Development/
Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program in the Department of Institute for Child Study offers master’s and doctoral degree programs
Counseling and Personnel Services. Its mission is to improve competitive in human development that are designed to develop competencies
employment outcomes for persons with significant disabilities. This is in the scientific knowledge of human development through theory
achieved by providing training and technical assistance to representatives and research.
of community rehabilitation, independent living, state vocational rehabili-
tation, and the business communities from Delaware, the District of INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF EXCEPTIONAL YOUTH AND
Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. CHILDREN
CENTER FOR MATHEMATICS EDUCATION The institute houses several high-profile national policy projects including
www.education.umd.edu/mathed the Center for Policy Research on the Impact of General and Special
The mission of the Center for Mathematics Education is to improve Education Reform; the Beacons of Excellence Project; the Systemic School
school and college mathematics education through a coordinated pro- Reform for Students with Disabilities; and the Special Education as
gram of research, teaching and service. Requirements in Charter School (SEARCH) Project. It is home to the
Educational Policy Reform Research Institute, the High Standards for
Every Student Through Access to the Curriculum: A Study of Rural
Schools in Three States, Project Intersect and the Educational Policy
Research and Students with Disabilities Personnel Preparation Program.
The institute provides well-trained and qualified personnel and offers a
wide array of resources to network the goals and objectives of large- or
small-scale research projects.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T www.education.umd.edu 19
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSCULTURAL EDUCATION MID-ATLANTIC CENTER FOR MATHEMATICS TEACHING AND
(ICTE) LEARNING (MAC-MTL)
This center within the Department of Education Policy and Leadership is A major grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the
a research organization that convenes networks of scholars, researchers, creation of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and
educators, oral historians, policy makers and social advocates who are Learning with two principal goals: to design and operate an innovative
committed to the transformation of education policies, practices and per- program of doctoral and postdoctoral education for specialists in mathe-
spectives through transcultural teaching and learning. matics education research, mathematics teacher education, mathematics
curriculum and assessment development, and mathematics education
K-16 PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CENTER policy leadership and to develop, evaluate and disseminate models for
www.education.umd.edu/institutesandcenters/k16pdc the mathematical education of prospective teachers and professional
The K-16 Partnership Development Center is a collaborative effort development of practicing mathematics teachers in elementary, middle,
between the College of Education at the University of Maryland and sev- and high schools. The NSF grant and contributions from the university
eral participating school systems. Its goal is to make the expertise and and school system partners support studies and research by doctoral
research work of the college relevant to the needs of the school system. and post-doctoral fellows as well as work on model teacher preparation
and professional development programs. In addition to University of
MARYLAND ASSESSMENT RESEARCH CENTER FOR EDUCATION Maryland, partners are: University of Delaware, Pennsylvania State
SUCCESS (MARCES) University, Delaware Department of Education, Prince George’s County
www.marces.org Public Schools and Pittsburgh Public Schools.
MARCES provides support to a range of assessment activities in the
state, region and nation by conducting basic and applied research to THE NATIONAL CENTER ON EDUCATION, DISABILITY AND
enhance the quality of assessment practice and knowledge. The center JUVENILE JUSTICE (EDJJ)
is housed within the Department of Measurement, Statistics and www.edjj.org
Evaluation. MARCES offers expertise in assessment design, development, This center examines the overrepresentation of youth with disabilities
implementation, analysis, reporting and policy issues as well as the tech- at-risk for contact with the courts or already involved in the juvenile
nical aspects of the quantitative theories that form the foundations of delinquency system. It provides professional development and technical
measurement. assistance and conducts research and disseminates resources in three
areas of national significance: prevention of school failure and delinquency,
MARYLAND INSTITUTE FOR MINORITY ACHIEVEMENT AND education and special education for detained and committed youth,
URBAN EDUCATION (MIMAUE) and transition services for youth returning to schools and communities.
This interdisciplinary institute links the faculty and resources of the READING CENTER
nationally ranked College of Education in partnership with area school www.education.umd.edu/EDCI/readingcenter
districts and the state. The institute supports faculty research and out- The Reading Center is a unit within the Department of Curriculum and
reach by developing large-scale research programs, in partnership with Instruction in the College of Education.The center offers graduate
county school districts, to evaluate, implement and improve promising degrees in reading education leading to reading specialist certification
practices for increasing student achievement and improving urban and to positions as teachers and researchers at institutions of higher edu-
schools. It offers outreach services to help schools identify, implement cation. The center also conducts a summer reading program for children
and evaluate strategies to improve student achievement and provides a which serves as a practicum for students enrolled in graduate programs.
structure to involve faculty from other colleges and campuses, including
historically black institutions, in research collaboration and coordinated SCIENCE TEACHING CENTER
research-based K-12 outreach. www.education.umd.edu/EDCI/Science
The Science Teaching Center is a unit within the Department of
MARYLAND LITERACY RESEARCH CENTER (MLRC) Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at the University
www.education.umd.edu/literacy of Maryland.The center offers courses for the professional study of
The broad goals of the MLRC include the formation of an organization of science education in both formal and non-formal settings at levels from
literacy researchers in the college to contribute to the field of literacy at elementary through college. It offers degree programs in instructional
the national level by interpreting and synthesizing research and conduct- practice toward Maryland state teacher certification in biology, chemistry,
ing multi-disciplinary analyses of problems facing education using the physics, and earth/space science, along with degree programs in science
expertise of center faculty. The center communicates current research, education research applicable to an array of careers in science education.
progress, perspectives, and emerging questions on literacy and provides
opportunities for doctoral students to gain knowledge of current For more information on the College of Education
research issues, funding practices, and implications of research for policy, Institutes and Centers, visit: www.education.umd.edu
and creates team-based research projects.
20 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION T The Energy of Discovery
University of Maryland
3119 Benjamin Building
College Park, Maryland 20742
C O L L E G E O F E D U C AT I O N
Produced by the Office of University Publications for the College of Education.
Written by Monette Austin Bailey and Nancy Grund.
Designed by Brian Payne.
Project coordination by Deborah Hudson. 8/2005