A new study by Northwestern professor Sandra Waxman reveals that listening to human speech has consequences for infants that go beyond learning words.
Birth weight makes a difference to a child’s future academic performance, according to new research that found heavier newborns do better in elementary and middle school than infants with lower birth weights. Led by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy, the study raises an intriguing question: Does a fetus benefit from a longer stay in the mother’s womb?
Associated professor Jonathan Guryan conducted a randomized experiment of a summer reading program with second and third graders. It found that sustained, focused reading — the kind which girls did more often — accelerated reading skills more than the number of books read.
The questions of how nature and nurture interact and how to promote new learning among older adults spark wide interest. Assistant professor Claudia M. Haase is exploring both these questions through international research, working with two scholars from Germany, Nina Alexander of the University of Dresden and Martina Reitmeier of Technical University Munich.
Professor Douglas Medin's new study explores the cultural side of science communication and how to present science information to diverse groups without polarization. Medin suggests communicating science in a culturally neutral way.
The New York Times features a study by professors David Figlio and Jon Guryan showing that babies who were heavier at birth scored higher on math and reading tests from third to eighth grades. The study calls into question medical interventions that time births earlier for the convenience of the parents.
Paying teachers according to student test-score improvements is gaining traction, but is there a better way to boost teacher effort? In a new working paper SESP associate professor Kirabo Jackson and Henry Schneider of Cornell University tackle the issue by being among the first to evaluate the role of managerial control in improving employee performance and comparing it with performance pay.
Northwestern University is part of a new multi-institutional initiative to encourage education and outreach efforts that extend the impact of federal scientific research. The National Science Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to a five-year initiative called the Broader Impacts and Outreach Network for Institutional Collaboration (BIONIC).
Sunshine State News: David Figlio's Report Shows Tax Scholarship Students Keep Up with Peers Nationally
Professor David Figlio's new study shows low-income students participating in Florida’s tax credit scholarship program are performing at the same level as their peers nationally, according to Sunshine State News.
Linguistic and cultural forces shape children's understanding of the natural world. In a study conducted by Andrea Taverna with professors Sandra Waxman and Douglas Medin, the responses of children from three different cultural communities in Argentina to what is living differed, offering a glimpse of how linguistic, cultural and experiential forces shape understanding of the natural world.
New research by SESP associate professor Kirabo Jackson shows that increases in K-12 school spending lead to better outcomes for children living in poverty. His exhaustive research investigated four decades’ worth of data on the impact of court-mandated changes in school finance.
The Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education has awarded nearly $5 million to the University of Colorado Boulder, the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University to create a new center that will study how educational leaders — including school district supervisors and principals — use research when making decisions and what can be done to make research findings more useful and relevant for those leaders.
“New policies should focus on educating teachers,” stated the headline of an interview with SESP professor Cynthia Coburn in El Mercurio, the primary newspaper of Santiago, Chile. Coburn was in Chile last week to give a public lecture as the Chair of Educational Change at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago.
Research on human development shows that how you live your life now can have enormous consequences for how you will fare decades later. Human development researchers at SESP investigate development with the goal of promoting health, happiness and success across the life span.
Today, patients must read challenging information, make sense of numbers, do calculations, master varied technologies and confront complex drug labels. Together with SESP associate professor of learning sciences David Rapp, Wolf is researching practical solutions to help patients manage everyday health care challenges.
Associate professor Diane Schanzenbach is determined to track down the policies that are most effective for keeping kids healthy. Food stamps are the nation’s primary weapon for fighting hunger and poor nutrition, and her research answers the question “Is spending on food stamps a cost-effective policy for health?”
Culture shapes U.S. classroom learning in many ways, with the primary but often unnoticed influence being European-American culture, according to professor Douglas Medin. He and his co-researchers shone a light on one example of culture influencing science thinking by comparing children’s stories written by both Native American and non-Native authors.
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 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.
Working paper by associate professor Jonathan Guryan and his colleagues describes the success of an intensive dual-pronged intervention The report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) challenges the conventional wisdom that it is too late to improve the academic outcomes of at-risk students once they have reached adolescence.
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
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.
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.
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.