Ambitious Mathematics and Science Teaching Network - Math Practice Cycle

  • AMS centers on a premise that to learn skilled instructional practice that attends to ambitious learning goals for each and every student there are three essential components: (1) teachers need to examine teaching using student work, lesson plans, video of teaching/learning; (2) they need to engage in guided or scaffolded opportunities to teach; and (3) they need focused feedback and assessment on the quality of instruction. Participants include teacher candidates, teachers, and teacher leaders who work collaboratively in classroom embedded professional learning with tools that support the incremental improvement of science and mathematics instruction.  Through research and dissemination of innovations the project informs the work of teacher education more broadly. Currently this project is supported via grants from the National Science Foundation and the Oregon Department of Education. Contact: Rebekah Elliott and Wendy Aaron


  • Oregon State University, like many others, is on the brink of a transformation where the bodies of scholarship concerning teaching and learning are being applied inward to comprehensively examine and evolve the institutions own practices. Our focus is in inspiring and studying change concerning teaching and learning in OSU’s large-enrollment introductory STEM courses. The ESTEME @ OSU (Enhancing STEM Education at Oregon State University) project is focusing on increasing the use of evidence-based instructional practices (EBIPs) to enhance the effectiveness of STEM classes. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation's WIDER program with project investigators, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students across the STEM disciplines and the College of Education.  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart is lead researcher concerning the project’s impact on organizational learning and change.  Contact:  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart

FIESTAS (Families Involved in Education: Sociocultural Teaching and STEM) 

  • collaborative project between OSU’s College of Education, 4H Youth Development, and the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) program. The purpose is to enhance the knowledge of STEM related topics of Latino and underrepresented youth in the 3rd to 5th grades. The primary reason for this age range is to reach youth early in their schooling, especially those underrepresented in STEM fields. Because of the changing demographics of the K-12 population, which do not align with the demographic of the preservice teacher demographics, we think that engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse youth is needed. Contact: SueAnn Bottoms 

Free-Choice Learning Lab

  • Oregon Sea Grant‘s Free-Choice Learning Lab uses real-time assessment and evaluation allowing visitors at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitors Center the opportunity to construct knowledge across learning contexts and become active participants in research. The project funded by NSF has three components: 1) deployment of cyberlab evaluation tools including facial recognition software, 2) development of three research platforms and associated research, and 3) development of an ISE Cyber Scholars program that brings ISE professionals from around the country to work in the setting to develop their own research questions and building capacity for similar work in different sties. All research tools and data are available remotely allowing graduate students and faculty studying learning at OSU in multiple programs to do their research at the coast from Corvallis. Contact: Shawn Rowe 

Research in Mathematics Leader Learning

  • RMLL is a large-scale, multi-site, two-phased research cycle with WestEd and the University of Washington through a $2.2 million National Science Foundation research grant. RMLL is a qualitative and quantitative study of 70 leaders with a 40-leader comparison group and 13 video-based case studies of leaders working with more than 150 teachers. In addition to complex research design in sites distributed across the United States, as part of the study, we have written two series of video and narrative case-based modules and developed over 100 hours of materials for leaders. Contact: Rebekah Elliott 

Synergies in the Parkrose Community

  • A four-year longitudinal study, funded by the Noyce and Lemelson Foundations, to understand how, when, where, why and with whom children access and use STEM resources in their daily lives. The premise of SYNERGIES is that if one better understands how children become interested and engaged with STEM (or not) across settings, time and space, it will be possible to create a community-wide, research-based educational system that is more effective and synergistic. Underlying this applied research is the creation of a complex Agent-Based computer model of STEM learning activity within Parkrose. This model will allow Parkrose citizens, STEM educators and learning researchers to visualize the multi-dimensional dynamics of STEM learning engaged in by Parkrose children: in school, watching TV, visiting museums and natural areas, and surfing the Internet, etc. It will also be a tool to test the power of possible educational interventions designed to improve the STEM learning system in Parkrose that can be broadly applied to long-term STEM education improvements locally, nationally and internationally. Components of the project are currently being replicated in Colorado and South Korea. Contact: John Falk & Lynn Dierking 

Teachers Educating All Multilingual Students (TEAMS) 

  • This collaborative project focuses on increasing teachers’ knowledge and skills for effectively educating English learners (ELs). Supported by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition, TEAMS will support 80 Oregon teachers in completing a series of OSU Ecampus classes to earn their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement or their Dual Language Specialization. Participating teachers will also learn more about family and community engagement by partnering with local community organizations to co-design and co-lead education-focused community events. A rigorous evaluation, using quasi-experimental methods, will provide information about the impact of the program on participating teachers and on K-12 student outcomes. This project is conducted in partnership with Education Northwest and five Oregon districts (Beaverton, Bend-La Pine, Corvallis, Greater Albany, and Springfield). Contact: Karen Thompson

Teaching with Technology

  • An online Master of Education program in both Science Education and in Mathematics Education has an emphasis on interdisciplinary teaching and learning with current and emerging technologies in the K-12 classroom. The program is informed by Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge framework (TPACK) that supports an online community of learners in supporting TPACK development where shared and individual knowledge are key components in the learning.  The research with this online program has resulted in a new Research Insights book published with IGI Global, titled Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Framework for K-12 Teacher Preparation: Emerging Research and Opportunities.  Also to accompany this book, current work is on the development of a video lecture to be distributed by the end of 2017 though IGI Global titled Redefining Teachers’ Reflections for Expanding their TPACK Contact: Maggie Niess 

The Making of Engineers – Influence of Makerspaces on the Preparation of Undergraduates as Engineers

  • Makerspaces are physical locations that include equipment and tools to allow its users to create and invent prototypes, develop ideas into models, and collaborate to design new products and solutions. The increased attention makerspaces are receiving in the STEM disciplines, and particularly within engineering education, provides justification for examining the influence of these spaces on undergraduate student development into professionals. Funded by the National Science Foundation, College faculty and graduate students are conducting six case studies of university engineering education makerspace programs to determine the influence of makerspaces on the professional formation of undergraduate engineering students and the use and impact of makerspaces on faculty members.  Building upon the case studies, the project will develop and disseminate a national survey to engineering education students and faculty members working in makerspace-affiliated engineering education programs. Data gathered from this project will document the sustainability and scalability of makerspaces in engineering education programs through examination of undergraduate engineering education students, faculty, programs, and institutions.  Contact:  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart

The Oregon Department of Education/Oregon State University English Learner Partnership 

  • This researcher-practitioner partnership focuses on analyzing data about English learners (ELs) in Oregon in ways that improve policy and practice in the state. Supported by funding from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the Spencer Foundation, the partnership has investigated a variety of policy and practice questions, such as the time necessary for ELs in the state to attain English proficiency, the effect of exiting EL services on later outcomes, and whether EL students with disabilities are disproportionately represented in special education. Research from the partnership has been featured in variety of settings, including a briefing on Capitol Hill for U.S. Senate staffers, a presentation to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and in peer-reviewed journals, including the Centennial Issue of the American Educational Research Journal. Findings have directly impacted state policies and practices and influenced the national dialogue about both EL policy and research-practitioner partnerships. Contact: Karen Thompson

Tracking the Processes of Data Driven Decision-Making In Higher Education

  • This project concerns the cognitive, social, and organizational factors that shape how STEM faculty plan and teach their courses, and implications for organizational change. The study uses a longitudinal mixed methods case study design to study decision-making and instructional practice over the course of three years at three research universities with active STEM education projects, treating teaching as a multi-dimensional practice that cannot be reduced to a single data point, and instead is comprised of course planning, classroom practice that is studied using the Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP), and student interpretations of teaching efficacy. After each round of data analysis, reports are provided to STEM education leaders, and analysts will then assess the utility of these data by interviewing these leaders in each year of the project. This project was previously funded by the National Science Foundation and involved faculty and students from OSU and University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Contact:  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart