Research News Archive

Research News Archive

A Path Out of Poverty and Poor Health

A Path Out of Poverty and Poor Health

School of Education and Social Policy faculty Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and Terri Sabol are among several Northwestern University psychologists and developmental scientists working to help low-income families beat poverty and improve their health.

Sabol Receives Early Career Fellowship

Sabol Receives Early Career Fellowship

Terri Sabol, whose research focuses on how schools and families lead to healthy child development, was selected as one of 22 inaugural early career fellows by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD).

Figlio: A Leading Voice on Vouchers

Figlio: A Leading Voice on Vouchers

Journalists looking for rigorous studies on vouchers are turning to the work of Northwestern University economist David Figlio, a national expert on school vouchers and their effects.

Four SESP Students Receive Undergraduate Research Grants

Four SESP Students Receive Undergraduate Research Grants

Four budding researchers in the School of Education and Social Policy were awarded summer Undergraduate Research Grants from the Northwestern University Office of the Provost to study everything from marital conflict to paranormal folklore podcasts.

Prenatal Exposure to Superfund Sites May Affect Brain Development

Prenatal Exposure to Superfund Sites May Affect Brain Development

Children who live near hazardous waste sites can benefit from environmental cleanups, suggests one of the first large-scale studies to examine the short and long-term effects of prenatal exposure to Superfund sites on brain development.

Pacific Standard Cites Figlio’s Voucher Research

Pacific Standard Cites Figlio’s Voucher Research

Private school vouchers have shown some modest positive effects, but the difference is not “Earth-shattering,” Northwestern University professor David Figlio said in the recent Pacific Standard article, “What Can Florida Teach Us About School Choice?”

Spillane Finds Teachers Benefit From Proximity

Spillane Finds Teachers Benefit From Proximity

Teachers have long been portrayed as independent contractors, working alone and behind closed doors. But new Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy research suggests teachers may benefit from the chance encounters that stem from working near one another inside the school building.

Schanzenbach Coauthors Op-Ed, New Report On Data

Schanzenbach Coauthors Op-Ed, New Report On Data

The modern economy has never been more reliant on data. But discretionary budget cuts could dramatically affect federal data collection, costing the economy more money than it saves, according to Northwestern University Professor Diane Schanzenbach, director of the Hamilton Project and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

McQuillan Receives Presidential Fellowship

McQuillan Receives Presidential Fellowship

School of Education and Social Policy doctoral candidate Mollie McQuillan has received a 2017 Presidential Fellowship, the most prestigious award available to Northwestern University graduate students.

Worsley Explores the Origin of Ideas

Worsley Explores the Origin of Ideas

Inside MakerSpaces and FabLabs, students often try to solve open-ended engineering design challenges using a range of both new and familiar materials. Where do their ideas come from?

Vossoughi Receives Grant to Study Equity and Tinkering

Vossoughi Receives Grant to Study Equity and Tinkering

Northwestern University Professor Shirin Vossoughi received a $218,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to continue her groundbreaking work looking at culture, equity and learning in after-school tinkering programs.

Coburn, Spillane’s Published Research Among 'Most Read'

Coburn, Spillane’s Published Research Among 'Most Read'

Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy Professors Cynthia Coburn and James Spillane, one of the world’s most prominent education leadership scholars, co-authored two of the most popular journal articles published by the American Educational Research Association in 2016.

Guryan's Work Helps Spark Social Policy Revolution

Guryan's Work Helps Spark Social Policy Revolution

Northwestern University economist Jonathan Guryan is on the front lines of a social policy revolution in Chicago, according to the latest issue of Chicago Magazine.

Senior to Present Research at Big Ideas Forum

Senior to Present Research at Big Ideas Forum

Subin Hwang will present her research examining the public health response to the refuge crisis in Germany during the next Big Ideas forum on Feb. 8.

Are Great Teachers Poor Scholars?

Are Great Teachers Poor Scholars?

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and Professor David Figlio have published research asking the question that has challenged elite universities and liberal arts colleges alike in recent times: “Are Great Teachers Poor Scholars?”

Figlio to Present School Voucher Data

Figlio to Present School Voucher Data

Northwestern University Professor David Figlio will present his recent research on school voucher programs in Ohio and Florida on Feb. 2 during a forum at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, D.C.

Why Rural Schools Have Become 'Engines of Exodus'

Why Rural Schools Have Become 'Engines of Exodus'

To address the phenomenon of “rural brain drain,” schools must work with their local communities, rather than considering themselves separate from the cycle of economic decline, researchers wrote in a commentary in Education Week.

The Impact of a Strict Criminal Justice Administration

The Impact of a Strict Criminal Justice Administration

In the wake of a potentially new “law and order” administration, criminal justice reform advocates must “create strong counter-narratives and messaging that stress ineffectiveness of current policies, the human right to dignity, and parsimony,” Northwestern University sociologist Heather Schoenfeld recently wrote in The Hill.

Faculty Recognized in Edu-Scholar Rankings

Faculty Recognized in Edu-Scholar Rankings

For the fifth consecutive year, researchers from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy have been named to Education Week’s “Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings,” which recognize 200 of the most influential academics in education policy.

Gifted Students Benefit From Ability Grouping, Acceleration

Gifted Students Benefit From Ability Grouping, Acceleration

Schools should use both ability grouping and acceleration to help academically talented students, reports a new Northwestern University study that examined a century of research looking at the controversial subject.

Coburn Receives Grant to Study Educational Gap

Coburn Receives Grant to Study Educational Gap

Northwestern University Professor Cynthia Coburn has received one-year, $70,000 grant to study how schools are creating stronger and more seamless connections between preschool and elementary school.

Jolie Matthews Explores History Learning in Online Fan Forums

Jolie Matthews Explores History Learning in Online Fan Forums

Digital learning expert and SESP assistant professor Jolie Matthews examines how people talk about history in online fan communities.

<em>Washington Post</em> Reports Jon Guryan's Lottery Research: 'No Lucky Stores'

Washington Post Reports Jon Guryan's Lottery Research: 'No Lucky Stores'

There is no such thing as a "lucky" lottery store, although associate professor Jon Guryan's study found lottery sales jump as much as 38 percent at stores selling winning tickets.

Emma Adam on WGBH: 'How Discrimination Affects Your Hormone Levels'

Emma Adam on WGBH: 'How Discrimination Affects Your Hormone Levels'

SESP professor Emma Adam discovered a link between cortisol levels and experiences with racism that showed the long-term effect of being discriminated against as a teenager.

SESP Researchers Undertake Adolescent Stress Study in Dominica

SESP Researchers Undertake Adolescent Stress Study in Dominica

Dominica News reports that postdoctoral researcher Royette Tavernier, who works with professor Emma Adam, is conducting a study to assess stress, coping, health and resilience among youth in Dominica after tropical storm Erika.

Diane Schanzenbach on White House Panel: Food Stamp Program 'Investment, Not Charity'

Diane Schanzenbach on White House Panel: Food Stamp Program 'Investment, Not Charity'

The federal food stamp program has a strong impact on health, education and economic self-sufficiency, according to leading economist Diane Schanzenbach, who presented at a White House panel on child hunger.

How Early Is Infants' Attention Affected by Culture?

How Early Is Infants' Attention Affected by Culture?

By age two, infants’ attention to objects and events may be shaped by their culture, according to new cross-cultural research by professor Sandra Waxman, comparing infants in the U.S and China.

College Success: Jim Rosenbaum Sees Alternatives to Bachelor's Programs

College Success: Jim Rosenbaum Sees Alternatives to Bachelor's Programs

With nearly half of community college students dropping out, professor James Rosenbaum finds good options to a bachelor's degree for lower-income students.

SESP Studies Show New Funding Improves Schools, <em>Slate</em> Reports

SESP Studies Show New Funding Improves Schools, Slate Reports

Research by associate professors Diane Schanzenbach and Kirabo Jackson show new funding for schools improves student achievement and school quality.

Ending Mass Incarceration in the United States

Ending Mass Incarceration in the United States

SESP assistant professor Heather Schoenfeld is investigating why states are seeking prison reform and how these efforts might help the U.S. reverse mass incarceration.

Mesmin Destin in <em>Boston Globe</em>: Students Who See Path to College Work Harder

Mesmin Destin in Boston Globe: Students Who See Path to College Work Harder

Boston Globe in "Pay to Play" reported SESP assistant professor Mesmin Destin's finding that poor students — but not affluent students — who learned about financial aid reported that they would study more and were more likely to consider college.

Understanding the Boy Problem

Understanding the Boy Problem

Crossing boundaries as economists, SESP professors David Figlio and Jonathan Guryan are taking a multidimensional approach to help narrow the education achievement gap between boys and girls. Their research on the “boy problem” is pointing to improving family dynamics and innovative classroom strategies.

Shanker Institute Highlights Jim Spillane's Work on Leveraging Education's 'Social Dimension'

Shanker Institute Highlights Jim Spillane's Work on Leveraging Education's 'Social Dimension'

In a new collection called "The Social Side of Education," the Shanker Institute features professor James Spillane's writing on "Broadening the Educational Capability Conversation: Leveraging the Social Dimension."

Grant Foundation Features Cynthia Coburn's Findings on 'Conceptual Use of Research'

Grant Foundation Features Cynthia Coburn's Findings on 'Conceptual Use of Research'

Conceptual use of research, such as district leaders reading and discussing a book based on research about school improvement, influences policy actions and problem solving decisions across the school system, according to professor Cynthia Coburn and Caitlin Farrell.

Kirabo Jackson Named Carnegie Fellow

Kirabo Jackson Named Carnegie Fellow

SESP associate professor Kirabo Jackson was named a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, based on his outstanding scholarship and proposed research on “Identifying Excellent Teachers.”

Mesmin Destin Selected as William T. Grant Scholar

Mesmin Destin Selected as William T. Grant Scholar

SESP assistant professor Mesmin Destin was selected for the 2016 class of William T. Grant Scholars.

Sandra Waxman in <em>Scientific American</em>: Cultural Differences in Autism Diagnoses

Sandra Waxman in Scientific American: Cultural Differences in Autism Diagnoses

Behaviors that are considered red flags in the U.S. and Western Europe are considered normal, even desirable, in other parts of the world, according to professor Sandra Waxman and her blog co-authors.

Shirin Vossoughi to Study Makerspaces as NAEd/Spencer Fellow

Shirin Vossoughi to Study Makerspaces as NAEd/Spencer Fellow

SESP assistant professor Shirin Vossoughi was selected to be a 2016 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, with research on tinkering programs that design for equity.

Claudia Haase: Angry Outbursts Tied to Heart Problems

Claudia Haase: Angry Outbursts Tied to Heart Problems

Exploding with anger during a marital spat can increase risk of cardiovascular problems later in life, while shutting down emotionally can contribute to back pain, according to new research by SESP's Claudia Haase and the University of California.

David Figlio: Power of Big Data for Education Problem-Solving

David Figlio: Power of Big Data for Education Problem-Solving

SESP professor David Figlio created a massive data set matching birth and education records that provides a powerful tool for research. Data science now allows social scientists to better solve problems.

Bloomberg Features PhD Student Claudia Persico's Research on Toxic Waste Site Impact on Kids

Bloomberg Features PhD Student Claudia Persico's Research on Toxic Waste Site Impact on Kids

Children who grow up near toxic waste sites are more likely to suffer from cognitive disabilities, repeat grades, score lower on tests and misbehave in school than siblings born after the pollution has been cleaned up, research by SESP PhD student Claudia Persico and professor David Figlio suggests.

Mike Horn, Northwestern Alum Collaborate on Newly Released Game

Mike Horn, Northwestern Alum Collaborate on Newly Released Game

When Felix Hu was a student at Northwestern, he worked with SESP assistant professor Michael Horn on an educational game to teach young children computer programming. The game, called Coding, was just released as a commercial product.

Late-Term Births May Offer Long-Term Future Benefits

Late-Term Births May Offer Long-Term Future Benefits

Research by professor David Figlio shows that children born at 41 weeks performed better in school than their full-term counterparts. This research should enrich conversations with OB-GYNs about the ideal time to have a baby.

Study Finds School Leaders Widely Use Research

Study Finds School Leaders Widely Use Research

The largest survey yet of educational research use among school and district leaders finds positive attitudes toward the value of research and frequent use of research for decision-making. Focusing at the local level, this study is by the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice.

David Brooks in <em>New York Times</em> Cites Kirabo Jackson's Teacher Research

David Brooks in New York Times Cites Kirabo Jackson's Teacher Research

Paul Tough reports on research by SESP associate professor Kirabo Jackson that shows while some teachers are good at raising their students’ test scores, other teachers are really good at improving their students’ school engagement. "Today we have to fortify the heart if we’re going to educate the mind," writes Brooks.

Jeannette Colyvas to Collaborate on ‘Big Ideas’ Biomedicine Research

Jeannette Colyvas to Collaborate on ‘Big Ideas’ Biomedicine Research

A “Big Ideas” grant from Northwestern’s Buffett Institute will enable SESP associate professor Jeannette Colyvas and her colleagues to create a research group in Global Medical Cultures and Law that will research “Biomedicine and Traditional Medicine across Cultures.”

Mike Horn Guides Innovators to Develop Coding App for Kids

Mike Horn Guides Innovators to Develop Coding App for Kids

Northwestern University's Michael Horn helped inspire "Strawbies," a coding game that uses physical blocks and an iPad to make coding more collaborative and creative. Horn, a professor of computer science and learning sciences, previously conducted research at the Boston Museum of Science that provided the basis for the game.

Students Fare Worse in Virtual Algebra Classrooms

Students Fare Worse in Virtual Algebra Classrooms

In a study of high-achieving eighth graders, the students who took Algebra 1 online performed worse than similar students taking the course in a traditional classroom.

<em>Sun-Times</em>: Study Shows Innovative Counseling Program Cuts Youth Crime, Dropout

Sun-Times: Study Shows Innovative Counseling Program Cuts Youth Crime, Dropout

Crimes committed by young men prone to violence dropped in half, and high-school graduations rose sharply in an innovative counseling program, according to a study co-headed by SESP associate professor Jon Guryan.

CBS News on Diane Schanzenbach's Study: Is Economy Shortening People's Lives?

CBS News on Diane Schanzenbach's Study: Is Economy Shortening People's Lives?

CBS News features a study by SESP associate professor Diane Schanzenbach on why Americans are seeing their longevity decline and mortality rates increase. "People who are poor live a lot less -- a striking amount less -- than the rich," she said.