New York Times reports findings by SESP professor David Figlio and his colleagues that a disadvantaged start hurts boys more than girls. Boys from poor neighborhoods start kindergarten start school less prepared than girls, and the gap keeps widening: They are more likely to be suspended, skip school, perform poorly on standardized tests, drop out, commit crimes and have behavioral or learning disabilities.
The Canadian newspaper La Presse features professor Emma Adam's study of the stress hormone cortisol, showing the connection between discrimination, stress and health, showing discrimination stress has a cumulative effect over time. The discrimination has a greater long-term physiological impact when it occurs during adolescence.
Fox News quotes associate professor Jonathan Guryan on the benefits of a high-intensity tutoring program in Chicago Public Schools. His research shows tutoring enabled 9th and 10th graders to learn two to three years’ worth of math in one year and even helped students who were 10 years behind grade level. These students face the greatest risk of dropout and incarceration.
The School of Education and Social Policy received a prestigious Lyle Spencer Research Award of nearly $1 million to expand computational literacy in schools. Northwestern is the only school in the country to receive two Lyle Spencer awards this year. The three-year project seeks to incorporate computational literacy into required high school science and mathematics courses.
Learning Sciences doctoral student Elizabeth Dyer was awarded a dissertation fellowship from the American Education Research Association (AERA) to investigate responsive teaching practices in mathematics. Responsive teaching, which attends to and builds on students’ emerging ideas about mathematics, has been linked to increased learning gains.
Racial minorities who live with daily stress of prejudice may pay a price affecting their long-term health. The Boston Globe quotes SESP professor Emma Adam on the study she helped lead that showed the effects of discrimination on stress and health.
In both blacks and whites, everyday feelings of discrimination can mess with the body’s levels of the primary stress hormone, cortisol, new research suggests. In African-Americans, however, the negative effects of perceived discrimination on cortisol are stronger than in whites, according to the study, one of the first to look at the biological response to the cumulative impact of prejudicial treatment. The team of researchers, led by SESP professor Emma Adam, also found that the teenage years are a particularly sensitive period to be experiencing discrimination.
Professor James Spillane received a $1 million Lyle Spencer Research Award for a comparative study of school systems. In an effort to develop needed knowledge for education reform, Spillane’s research will investigate the relationship between various types of school systems and improving instruction.
Assistant professor Michael Horn recently traveled to Korea to give a presentation on the effective design of interactive digital museum exhibits. His presentation at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems was recognized with a Best Paper Award.
SESP professor James Spillane researches the transitions of novice school principals. A recent study with the University of Texas at Austin’s Linda Lee examines what new principals face when starting in their positions and offers recommendations for easing this process.
An Atlantic magazine article on the importance of life narratives to personality features the work of professor Dan McAdams. "Life stories do not simply reflect personality. They are personality, or more accurately, they are important parts of personality," McAdams says.
A study of how fatherhood affects health found that the typical 6-foot-tall man who lives with his child gained an average of about 4.4 pounds after becoming a first-time dad. SESP professors Emma Adam and Lindsay Chase-Lansdale coauthored the study with lead author Craig Garfield of Northwestern Medicine.
A new report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors highlights key findings of associate professors Jonathan Guryan, who has studied youth programs to reduce crime and dropout, and Diane Schanzenbach, who has studied universal preschool and income inequality. Guryan and Schanzenbach contribute key evidence about promising programs for the criminal justice system, youth decision making and early education.
Assistant professor Michael Horn received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study computational literacy in informal learning environments. His project “Blocks, Stickers, and Puzzles: Rethinking Computational Literacy Experiences in Informal Environments” will focus on experiences outside the classroom that can engage and prepare young people in computational literacy.
SESP professor David Uttal's new study will test whether spatial training actually leads to STEM achievement in school and beyond — an outcome that is important for the future of the U.S.
A new study by SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase finds that people with a certain gene variant are less stoic and are more likely to smile and laugh.
Assistant professor Michael Horn’s museum research on evolution has become part of a new online PBS NOVA unit for high school students called “Evolution Lab.” NOVA’s Evolution Lab features games to introduce teens to processes of evolution.
Patient portals that provide medical information online could widen the gap in health disparities among the most vulnerable patients, according to a new study by professor Michael Wolf (MA06) of SESP and Feinberg School of Medicine.
New research by SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase suggests a bright side to getting older. Trust increases with age and predicts increases in well-being, according to Haase's study, which also finds that older people are able to see the best in people.
Middle-aged Americans who show high levels of societal involvement and mental health are especially likely to construe their lives as stories of personal redemption, according to new research by professor Dan McAdams published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
As spouses age, they show more positive emotional behaviors, such as humor, and fewer negative ones, such as defensiveness, SESP assistant professor Claudia Haase's studies show. She also finds that as people grow older, their social and emotional lives improve. Some age particularly well, and DNA provides an explanation.
While access to college has expanded recently, a new challenge remains for community colleges. Professor James Rosenbaum and his colleagues find that many young people who enroll in community college fail to complete their studies and attain a degree.
Americans are more likely to save if they have the option of winning a prize when they make a deposit. That’s what SESP associate professor Jon Guryan found when he compared the use of prize-linked savings accounts with standard interest-bearing accounts.
Because scientific-based research on the topic is lacking, SESP professor Cynthia Coburn is assisting in an effort to develop new researchers and foster research on young children’s math learning. The DREME network will conduct innovative research and lead key projects on important early math topics
An Atlantic article on "Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?" includes interviews about housing policy with professor James Rosenbaum and HDSP alumni Ruby Mendenhall, Stephanie DeLuca and Susan Popkin. Rosenbaum comments on his study showing the successes of relocating African American families to white suburbs.
Northwestern University’s David H. Uttal discussed a program that has enhanced students’ learning at a variety of levels, from basic spatial reasoning to solving complex problems involving the coordination of numerous variables, such as those involved in climate change, as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in San Jose, California.
Study by SESP professor Jon Guryan and his colleagues shows disadvantaged boys who received intensive tutoring performed substantially better on standardized math tests, reducing the usual black-white test score gap by a third, and improved a host of other school outcomes too.
Education Week reports professor James Rosenbaum's recent research on community colleges. It shows access is no longer a major problem, but helping students complete is the challenge. Many students are dropping out before getting any credential.
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.
In a Huffington Post op ed piece, professor Emma Adam discusses how to help adolescents lessen stress in high-anxiety times and always. Research shows that stress, especially stress of a social nature, has long-term impacts on health.
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.
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.