Faculty Research and Initiatives

Faculty Research and Initiatives

Recent Stories

Researchers Develop Novel Way to Assess DEI Programs   

Researchers Develop Novel Way to Assess DEI Programs  

A systematic planning tool called “change mapping” can help analyze whether complex diversity, equity, and inclusion programs or initiatives are working, according to new research by Northwestern University alumna Jue Wu (PhD21).

What if Parents Designed Education Systems?

What if Parents Designed Education Systems?

A new report co-authored by Northwestern University professor James Spillane explores the benefits of building education systems that develop the “whole” child and use the same rigor and comprehensive care that a parent might invest in their own offspring.

New Grant Assesses Ending the Subminimum Wage

New Grant Assesses Ending the Subminimum Wage

Northwestern University economist Michelle Yin has received a $4.29 million grant from the US Department of Education to assess a Virginia intervention designed to end the practice of paying less than the minimum wage to people with disabilities.

Researchers Study Evanston’s Guaranteed Income Program

Researchers Study Evanston’s Guaranteed Income Program

A team of graduate students is examining the impact of new guaranteed income program, a joint initiative between the University and the City of Evanston to address economic insecurity.

What Happens When More Four-Year-Olds Attend Preschool?

What Happens When More Four-Year-Olds Attend Preschool?

Northwestern University researchers, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, the Office of the Mayor of Chicago, and the Chicago Department of Family Support and Services, are studying how the recent expansion of universal prekindergarten in Chicago will impact students from lower income backgrounds.

Scott to Lead Innovation and Program Development

Scott to Lead Innovation and Program Development

Northwestern University’s Kimberly Scott was named associate dean for innovation and program development at the School of Education and Social Policy, Interim Dean Dan P. McAdams announced.

Gift from Potocsnak Family Endows College Prep Program

Gift from Potocsnak Family Endows College Prep Program

The Potocsnak family has made a new multimillion-dollar gift to Northwestern in honor of President Morton Schapiro, who concludes his tenure in August after 13 years at the University.

Faculty Contribute to New IES Report on Future of Ed Research

Faculty Contribute to New IES Report on Future of Ed Research

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) should change its structures and policies to better meet changing priorities in education – including improving equity and the usefulness of research, according to a new report whose authors include several Northwestern University faculty members.

Scholars at AERA Explore Equitable Education

Scholars at AERA Explore Equitable Education

Northwestern University’s Carol Lee will address one of the most hotly debated and contentious issues in education–how schools should teach–during the American Educational Research Association’s 2022 annual meeting from April 21 to 26 in San Diego.

 Nuamah’s Paper Wins Second Award

Nuamah’s Paper Wins Second Award

Sally Nuamah received the Rodney Higgins Best Faculty Paper Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists for her work highlighting the link between the ‘adultification’ of Black girls and public support for their punishment.

Learn How to Teach Social and Emotional Learning Skills

Learn How to Teach Social and Emotional Learning Skills

Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy is launching a six-week certificate course to help teachers incorporate important social and emotional learning skills into the classroom.

Here’s How Black Communities Responded to School Closures

Here’s How Black Communities Responded to School Closures

Black Chicagoans who lived near a school that was shuttered during the largest wave of public-school closures in US history became more politically active and held their local officials accountable, according to a new Northwestern University study coauthored by professor Sally Nuamah.

Researchers Tackle Inequity in STEM Education

Researchers Tackle Inequity in STEM Education

Four School of Education and Social Policy researchers and alums will help address systemic inequities in PreK-12 STEM education as part of an esteemed National Academies’ committee.

Why We All Pay When Black Girls are Punished

Why We All Pay When Black Girls are Punished

Northwestern University’s Sally Nuamah received the 2021 American Political Science Association, Best Paper on Intersectionality Award, for her work looking at how race and gender stereotypes affect public support for punishing Black girls.

Carol Lee Wins Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education

Carol Lee Wins Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education

Northwestern University professor emeritus Carol Lee, president-elect of the National Academy of Education, has received a prestigious Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education for her outstanding contributions to learning sciences research.

SESP and High Jump Launch Community Scholars Program

SESP and High Jump Launch Community Scholars Program

SESP, in collaboration with High Jump, recently launched the Community Scholars Program for middle school students in Evanston and Chicago.

Carol Lee Honored for Transformative Teaching, Research

Carol Lee Honored for Transformative Teaching, Research

Northwestern University’s Carol Lee, President Elect of the National Academy of Education, has received the 2021 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) James R. Squire Award for her “transforming influence” and lasting contributions to education.

SESP Launches New Research-Practice Partnership with $5.8-Million Grant

SESP Launches New Research-Practice Partnership with $5.8-Million Grant

Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) received a $5.8-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support an innovative partnership that links University researchers and Curriculum Associates, a leading provider of digital assessment and instructional materials, with several school districts.

Bang Receives NSF Grant to Support Indigenous Science Education

Bang Receives NSF Grant to Support Indigenous Science Education

Northwestern University’s Megan Bang has received a five-year, $3 million collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation to create a model of Indigenous science education that is focused on 21st century challenges around socio-environmental issues, like climate change, adaptation, and sustainable decision-making.

Leading Education Scholars: There's No Going Back

Leading Education Scholars: There's No Going Back

Schools should not return to the old “normal,” despite concerns about potential learning loss after a year of disruption, leading education scholars argue in a new report by the Spencer Foundation and the Learning Policy Institute.

New Study: Having More Immigrant Peers Can Boost Scores For U.S.-Born Students

New Study: Having More Immigrant Peers Can Boost Scores For U.S.-Born Students

A timely new study coauthored by School of Education and Social Policy Dean David Figlio finds that immigrant children and teenagers “could be an unexpected boon for native-born students should they reach American classrooms,” Asher Lehrer-Small wrote in The 74.

Bonilla Develops New Class With Equity and Diversity Grant

Bonilla Develops New Class With Equity and Diversity Grant

Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy professor Tabitha Bonilla has developed a new undergraduate class that explores how looking at identities as 'intersectional' shifts our understanding of policy.

Presence of Immigrant Students Boosts Test Scores for All

Presence of Immigrant Students Boosts Test Scores for All

U.S.-born students with high exposure to immigrants in their schools scored better on math and reading tests than similar students with low exposure to immigrants, according to a working paper co-authored by School of Education and Social Policy Dean David Figlio and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

A Sneak Peek Inside the Destin Lab

A Sneak Peek Inside the Destin Lab

Northwestern University social psychologist Mesmin Destin, a recent Guggenheim Fellow selection, explores how the presumed “disadvantages” related to students’ backgrounds can carry unrecognized strengths, Kirsten Weir wrote in “Finding Strength in Hardship.”

‘Inclusive Making’ Helps Students Design for People with Disabilities

‘Inclusive Making’ Helps Students Design for People with Disabilities

A college design course that takes a critical look at the field of ‘making” and includes partnerships between students and people with disabilities can promote accessibility in computing, according to new Northwestern University research.

Marginalized Students’ Backgrounds a Strength, Researchers Say

Marginalized Students’ Backgrounds a Strength, Researchers Say

Rather than “fixing” students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, colleges and universities should view their experiences as assets and a source of strength, according to two new publications by SESP researchers.

STEAMbassadors: Mentors From the Community. For the Community.

STEAMbassadors: Mentors From the Community. For the Community.

Malik Madkins cried a little bit on the day he heard a student say, “let’s listen to our teacher.” Madkins, who is studying film and photography at City Colleges of Chicago’s Truman College, was the teacher.

Vakil's Award Supports Ethics in Computing Course

Vakil's Award Supports Ethics in Computing Course

SESP's Sepehr Vakil and Sarah Van Wart of the McCormick School of Engineering are developing a new ethics in computing class for undergraduate computer science majors with support from a Curriculum Innovation award from The Alumnae of Northwestern University.

Digital Divas Connects Girls to STEM

Digital Divas Connects Girls to STEM

Digital Youth Divas is a free program started by SESP's Nichole Pinkard to get middle school girls involved in STEM activities. The program begins in the fourth grade and tracks the outcomes through high school.

Two Faculty Books Named Finalists for PROSE Award

Two Faculty Books Named Finalists for PROSE Award

Northwestern University professors Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Sally Nuamah and have been named finalists for the 2020 Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Awards, which honor scholarly books, journals and electronic content.

Kirabo Jackson: Invest in Education Early and Often

Kirabo Jackson: Invest in Education Early and Often

Educational investments are most cost-effective when they start early and are sustained throughout childhood, Northwestern University’s Kirabo Jackson said during the Education Policy Institute’s (EPI) Annual Lecture in London’s City Hall.

Researchers Begin Developing Computer Science Ecosystem   

Researchers Begin Developing Computer Science Ecosystem  

Chicago has a rich community of informal computer science educators, but the providers often work in isolation and the programs lack cohesion, according to the first study to comprehensively map the city’s computer science landscape.