A blog by Washington Post education reporter states that a new review by SESP associate professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach of the major research conducted on class size "makes clear that class size matters, and it matters a lot." Schanzenbach's report was recently published by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.
In a randomized controlled trial of 106 high school students receiving “high dose” academic tutoring and mentoring, SESP associate professor Jonathan Guryan and fellow University of Chicago Urban Education Lab researchers found that the two-pronged -- academic and behavioral -- intervention closed nearly two-thirds of the average gap in math test scores between white and black students.
In a recently published study, professor David Figlio and his colleagues discovered that poor infant health, as indicated by low birth weight, reduces a child’s educational attainment. When the researchers compared the progress from birth through middle school of 1.3 million children, including 14,000 twin pairs, they found that low birth weight had a consistent impact.
As a member of a National Research Council committee reviewing U.S. science education for grades K-12, professor Brian Reiser co-authored a report recommending new types of assessments for science. These assessments will be needed to measure student learning once the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are implemented, the report says.
Professor Cynthia Coburn discussed research-practice partnerships during an American Youth Policy Forum webinar entitled “Research, Policy and Practice: The Role of Intermediaries in Promoting Evidence-Based Decisions” on December 5. Listen to the webinar here.
Professor James Spillane received a grant from the American Education Research Association (AERA) to plan two conferences on “Policy and Politics of the Common Core.” Conferences will be planned for February and November of 2014.
Associate professor Diane Schanzenbach tells Philadelphia station WHYY about her study of the long-term impact of food stamps. As adults, people exposed to food stamps as children are healthier and less likely to rely on the safety network.
A new study co-authored by SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase found that, when it comes to keeping the peace, it’s more important for wives than for husbands to calm down after a heated argument. The husbands’ emotional regulation had little or no bearing on long-term marital satisfaction.
Teachers who have more effective colleagues in their school are more effective teachers themselves, a study by associate professor Kirabo Jackson shows. Peer learning is the reason, according to Jackson.
Professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale’s research has shown that two-generation education — an approach targeting parents and children simultaneously — is a promising anti-poverty strategy for families. With a new federal grant, Chase-Lansdale will investigate the impact of a dual-generation education program that involves Head Start.
A new study by SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase and her fellow researchers found a genetic link to marital happiness. A gene involved in the regulation of serotonin can predict how much our emotions affect our relationships, according to this study.
The School of Education and Social Policy will reach out to a new country when professor David Figlio addresses the International Research Seminar on Educational Quality in Colombia next month. Figlio will discuss his new child development research in a talk in Bogota entitled “The Effects of Poor Neonatal Health on Children's Cognitive Development.”
Associate professor Michael Wolf is collaborating with Walgreens, Alliance of Chicago community health centers and Merck on a study to provide standard, clear instructions on prescription medicine labels so patients don’t make mistakes taking their daily medications. His earlier research shows patients are confused by medication instructions.
Parents and teachers know that stress affects kids, but how does it become toxic? To zero in on exactly how daily and long-term stress affect children and teens, professor Emma Adam is developing comprehensive measures of adolescent stress.
A new study by School of Education and Social Policy professor David Figlio and Northwestern president Morton Schapiro finds that non-tenure-track faculty boost student learning gains. The study compares the effects of lecturers with faculty who are tenured or on a tenure track on student interest and learning in a subject.
A new study by SESP associate professor Diane Schanzenbach finds that when states have universal public preschools, low-income children are more likely to enroll in preschool, spend quality time with their mothers and perform better on tests as late as eighth grade. In higher-income families, children are likely to shift from private to public preschools.
Associate professor Jonathan Guryan is exploring the underlying problems behind youth delinquency and violence. His current study of delinquency has found that training in cognitive behavioral therapy helps to prevent repeat offenses.
A $100,000 grant from Ascend at the Aspen Institute will jump-start an innovative two-generation education initiative for low-income parents and their young children. It draws upon award-winning research by Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and from the EvanstonComm
SESP professor David Figlio, director of the Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research, is leading a project to launch a major national network of scholars, policymakers and administrators to build and use large data sets for education research. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation.
Professor Brian Reiser, a leader in the effort to improve science teaching in schools, is helping to develop an innovative research-based teacher learning resource for K-12 science education called the Next Generation Science Exemplar.
Two-generation programs have taken the spotlight recently as an innovative way to meet the educational needs of low-income parents and their children. These twin-focus programs simultaneously provide children with high-quality early education and parents with job training. The overall goal is to help families build greater stability in their economic circumstances and family life. Professor P. Lindsay Chase- Lansdale is leading the charge.
Research by professor James Rosenbaum is having impact well beyond the confines of academia. His work is evident in a new community college in New York, as well as a nationwide movement to increase college completion rates.
In a study of parental monitoring, assistant professor Simone Ispa-Landa interviewed urban African American teenagers to learn how they make sense of their parents’ rules. In contrast to earlier studies of adolescents, the teenagers in her study affirmed their parents’ rules as reasonable.
“Research-practice partnerships are a promising strategy for improving schools and districts,” SESP professor Cynthia Coburn says. In a new policy paper she and her co-authors describe these new types of relationships between researchers and school districts that can strengthen schools.
Many experts question the value of tests alone to assess a teacher’s impact. A new study by assistant professor Kirabo Jackson adds weight to that view by showing that teachers influence important non-cognitive skills linked to adult success.
Professor Uri Wilensky has received National Science Foundation grants for two major new projects aimed at helping students learn science better with cutting-edge technologies. One project, called InquirySpace, will develop a web-based platform for middle and high school students to experience scientific inquiry in a deep and authentic way. A second project will design and study computer models for high school students to learn evolutionary biology and computational thinking.
Associate professor Jonathan Guryan and a team of investigators are providing hundreds of elementary and middle school students with adult mentors, with the goal of increasing attendance and student engagement at school. The idea is to transform low graduation rates into new commitments to learning.
It's no secret that when young children play, it's often serious business for them, helping them comprehend how the adult world works. What may be surprising is exactly how learning takes hold before kids ever enter a classroom. David Uttal, professor of education and psychology, is known for inventive research on how young children acquire knowledge. Spatial learning is a prime area of research for Uttal.
Training is effective for improving spatial skills, Northwestern researchers found through the first comprehensive analysis of studies on such interventions. Improving spatial skills is important because children who do well at spatial tasks are likely to achieve highly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Assistant professor Michael Horn is known for the interactive exhibits he designs for museums. In his quest to determine what makes a museum exhibit engaging and educational, he and his colleagues designed and tested a tabletop touchscreen game to help museum visitors understand evolution and the diversity of life.
Since little solid evidence exists on how single-sex schooling affects achievement, assistant professor Kirabo Jackson set out to study the question. He used unique data from Trinidad and Tobago, , where in contrast to the United States almost all single-sex schools are public.
Assistant professor Simone Ispa-Landa studies inequality in education from a variety of perspectives. She was not surprised, therefore, when her research found that inner-city African American students who were bused to affluent suburban schools faced bias and stereotyping.
Research by professor Lois Trautvetter documents that experiences with a positive learning community support the academic growth of female scientists. In particular, Trautvetter is focused on increasing the number of female and historically underrepresented engineering students at undergraduate institutions nationwide.
Research by assistant professor Kirabo Jackson shows the effectiveness of incentive-based college preparatory programs for disadvantaged students. He found that a cash rewards program for high school students and teachers in inner-city schools boosted the students’ college attendance and employment.
In a new report entitled “The New Co-Viewing,” professor Reed Stevens describes the kind of shared engagement with media that is most productive for adults and kids. The report identifies seven principles for fostering the ideal type of joint experiences with media.
Disadvantaged community environments contribute to extreme obesity and diabetes, according to a new study by associate professor Emma Adam and Thom McDade.
A Northwestern University pilot study by professor Fay Lomax Cook and Benjamin Page sheds light on philanthropic and political behaviors of the so-called one percent.
Recent studies by professor James Rosenbaum help to chart ways to assist disadvantaged students with access to college. His research identifies the cultural barriers in the college process that give low-income students trouble and the ways that new types of counseling can assist them.
Teenagers who remain happy and positive during the tumultuous teenage years report better general health when they are adults, according to a new study by Lindsay Hoyt Till, Emma Adam, Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and Thomas McDade.
In an effort to investigate how to narrow the achievement gap between students of high and low socioeconomic status, SESP associate professor Jonathan Guryan is helping to lead a new study of the effectiveness of a summer reading program.
Looking at the impact on student achievement, new research by assistant professor Kirabo Jackson investigates the importance of the match between teachers and schools, as well as the effect of financial incentives such as paying students for high test scores.
SESP professor Brian Reiser is a member of the committee that prepared the National Research Council framework to guide new national standards for science education.
Research by SESP professor Fay Lomax Cook and political science professor Jamie Druckman found that party divisions matter when it comes to Americans’ support for energy policy.
A three-year evaluation of After School Matters -- a Chicago after-school program that serves more than 17,000 students and is a model for high school after-school programs in cities around the country -- suggests that well implemented, apprenticeship-style programs help reduce problem behavior in high school youth.
In a 10-week after-school program on community journalism, associate professor Eva Lam taught eighth and eighth graders in Chicago’s Chinatown how to produce their own multimedia stories.
The research of faculty members Uri Wilensky and Matt Easterday involves the design of educational technology. Wilensky developed computer modeling software called NetLogo. Easterday researches how to develop representations, such as video games, that help students learn about public policy.
Associate professors Eva Lam and David Rapp study new media and literacy. Rapp examines how graphic stories promote literacy skills. Lam investigates how new media aids multilingual development and learning in immigrant students.
The more you know a place, the more likely your memory will play spatial tricks. A study by professor David Uttal is the first to show that something may be happening cognitively that leads people to gradually become more biased, and at the same time more accurate, when it comes to their spatial memory as they become more familiar with a particular area.
Jonathan Guryan, Kirabo Jackson and Mesmin Destin, all faculty members in the Human Development and Social Policy program, bring fresh approaches to studying social disparities in educational outcomes. Their explorations suggest that educators would do well to consider a variety of factors — community and cultural settings and technology, just to name a few — in looking for possible solutions.
From the womb to the classroom and beyond, research at the School of Education and Social Policy and Northwestern University is exploring ways to overcome the negative impact of social disparities on health and well-being. Professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale is founding director of Cells to Society, which seeks to understand how social differences impact health. Associate professor Diane Schanzenbach is examining critical links between education and health, such as those involving school lunches and recess.