Current Projects

EVALUATION OF EDUCATION INITIATIVE

Funded by: United Way of Greater Houston

The Education Research Center (ERC) at Texas A&M University is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant by United Way of Greater Houston (UWGH) to conduct the Year 3 evaluation of the agency’s urban education initiative. This third phase of the evaluation examines a scaled-up version of UWGH’s urban education initiative, which involves over 30 non-profit agency programs that deliver educational services for more than 300,000 children and youth from disadvantaged circumstances in the Houston metropolitan area.

The ERC research team will implement a mixed-methods approach for both formative and summative purposes. The formative evaluation will assist UWGH in improving its efforts throughout the year. The summative evaluation will examine the effectiveness of educational programs and practices. The ERC will continue its work toward developing a longitudinal, data-based system to be used to describe the quality and effectiveness of the educational program on students, teachers, parents, and the community as a whole. Systematic observations, interviews, surveys, focus groups, and quantitative outcome data will be used to examine various program components.

 

EVALUATION OF REASONING MIND PROGRAMMING

Funded by: Reasoning Mind

The ERC is currently conducting an independent evaluation of Reasoning Mind programming in Texas schools.  Reasoning Mind is a non-profit organization that was designated as a Technology-Based Supplemental Mathematics Instruction Pilot Program by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for grades 2-5.

Reasoning Mind partners with schools in Texas and other states to help provide students in early grades with a focused and rigorous mathematics curriculum.  The program offers a comprehensive digital math education system that is aligned with Common Core State Standards and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), individualized online learning designed to engage students, and customized professional development and in-class support for teachers in grades 2 through 6.

Classroom observation, interviews, surveys, and analyses of student achievement data will be used to examine the mathematics achievement of Grades 2–6 students at a subset of schools receiving TEA support for the Reasoning Mind program.  In addition, the evaluation will measure student and teacher participant perceptions and attitudes toward the program.

 

EVALUATION OF STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY STEM ACADEMY PROJECT

Funded by:  Stephen F. Austin (SFA) State University

The ERC is currently in the fist year of a multi-year evaluation of the new Stephen F. Austin (SFA) State University STEM Academy.  Designed as a partnership among SFA State University, Nacogdoches Independent School District, and Lufkin Independent School District, the SFA STEM Academy seeks to provide a seamless matriculation into undergraduate STEM majors for participants, through a cohort model that involves students in research experiences with SFA faculty.  The Academy engages academically capable high school students in real-world applications of science and mathematics through hands-on research experiences and support from academy master teachers, SFA faculty, and peer mentors.

This external evaluation will provide formative information regarding the development and implementation of this innovative STEM school-within-a-school concept, as well as feedback for incremental change and improvement. The study will help determine the extent to which the SFA STEM Academy is effective in achieving its Year 1 goals, objectives, and outcomes and will provide valuable information about a model of STEM education in Texas high schools that has potential to be transferable, replicable, and scalable.

 

ESCAPE: RESEARCH ON PARENTING EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Funded by: ESCAPE Family Resource Center

The Education Research Center (ERC) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) has been awarded a grant from ESCAPE Family Resource Center for the purpose of studying the impact of ESCAPE’s parenting programs over time.  ESCAPE Family Resource Center is a non-profit organization that has dedicated over 30 years to providing child abuse and neglect prevention education and support services in the greater Houston area.  A quasi-experimental study design will be used to examine ESCAPE’s parenting programs, Building Confident Families and The First Five.  ERC researchers will collect pre, post, and 6-month follow-up data from parents participating in both of these programs, as well as parents in the control groups.  Furthermore, observations of parenting sessions will be conducted in addition to interviews with a sample of the parents involved.

TAMU STEM COLLABORATIVE FOR TEACHER PROFESSIONAL LEARNING (STEM COLLABORATIVE)

Funded by: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Aggie STEM and the Education Research Center (ERC) in the College of Education and Human Development and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE) in the College of Science, together with the Dwight Look College of Engineering, have established the STEM Collaborative for Teacher Professional Learning. The STEM Collaborative for Teacher Professional Learning has three primary goals: (a) provide high quality STEM professional development for in-service teachers, (b) disseminate best practices for STEM teaching and learning, and (c) afford research-based tools and support for STEM teacher educators.

STUDENT REFLECTION: A MIXED METHOD STUDY OF “REFLECTIVE” IN THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA PROGRAMME

Funded by: International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)

The Education Research Center (ERC) at Texas A&M University is conducting a nationwide research project examining the implementation of the IB learner profile attribute “reflective.” The Student Reflection: A Mixed Method Study of “Reflective” in the IB DP Programme project includes (a) a best evidence synthesis of research on teaching and assessing reflective thinking in high school settings, (b) development and administration of a nationwide survey to examine IB teacher and administrators interpretation of reflective and methods used to integrate instruction of reflective, and (c) a multiple case study analysis of 6 to 9 IB schools in North America using the success case method of evaluation.