ACT: Addressing the Complexity of Teaching

ACT will develop and study an innovative model for a coordinated program of undergraduate science and education courses that focus on prospective teachers as learners. The purpose will be to develop teachers who learn science in ways they are expected to teach science as articulated in reform documents such as Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Sciences in Grades K-8 and the Framework for K12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2007, 2011). Contact: Sue Ann Bottoms, Kathryn Ciechanowski, Matt Nyman & Emily van Zee

Algebra in Context

Algebra in Context addressed the achievement gap for low SES freshman studying Algebra I by applying research-based, mathematical teaching practices in three distinct contexts--mathematics, science, and career technical education classes. The project was conducted in the School of IDEAS, one of three Gates-supported small schools (< 400) at North Eugene High School, who deliver coordinated instruction in algebraic reasoning to approximately 300 freshmen in a non-tracked algebra program. Contact: Rebekah Elliott & Larry Flick 

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

Building Capacity to Improve STEM Hub Effectiveness Through Evaluative Thinking

The Oregon STEM Hubs are regionally-focused, multi-sector partnerships that unite schools, universities, non-profits, businesses, civic leaders and communities in local STEM learning ecosystems in order to drive STEM innovation and evidence-based practices in teaching and learning at the systems level. A key goal of STEM Hubs is to reduce or eliminate inequities in opportunities for students of color, those in poverty, and those who are embedded in sub-communities where education and learning is undervalued.  Due to the complexity of regional partnerships and the relative newness of the concept of STEM learning ecologies or local STEM learning ecosystems, much is still unknown about how to best design STEM Hubs for maximum impact and sustainability.  Our project examines the growth and success of the STEM Hubs and builds STEM Hubs’ capacity for evaluative thinking by supporting the Hubs in engaging in better data-driven decision-making/continuous improvement.  The project involves collaboration between the STEM Research Center and the College of Education.  Contacts: Martin Storksdieck and 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

Integrating CS Education into Teacher Education and K-12 Mathematics

This research study seeks to broaden participation in computer science education by integrating CS into teaching education and K-12 mathematics. We leverage the collaboration between CS and mathematics education researchers from three different colleges (engineering, science, and education) to develop modules for secondary mathematics teachers in a pre-service mathematics capstone course and in a teacher candidate methods course, where students will also participate in creating and delivering their own modules for integrating CS into the K-12 classroom. The goal of this research is to uncover core CS concepts linked to key K-12 mathematics standards and contribute to the research on how to integrate these CS concepts into pre-service teacher and graduate teacher candidate mathematics education, as well as the K-12 mathematics classroom. The outcomes of this research impact the broader participation in K-12 CS education and the pipeline of CS educators. The project is generously funded by Google. Contact: Rebekah Elliott

Math in Real Life

Building on two long-term collaborations in the Mid-Willamette Valley, the Math in Real Life – OSU Mathematics Teaching Network is a research-practice partnership that supports collaboration among teachers, teacher leaders, teacher candidates, and teacher educators/researchers to develop knowledge, skills and tools for engaging diverse students in ambitious, robust, and authentic mathematical learning.  The Network leverages regional resources in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), career and technical education (CTE), and local businesses and industry to develop contextualized mathematics opportunities for students and enhance classroom experiences through formative assessment, teaching learning labs, and math practice cycles.  Contact: Rebekah Elliott 

Oregon Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (OMTEP)

An APLU-SMTI sponsored project that plays a significant role in furthering work already underway in Oregon. The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership offers broad opportunities for the OMTEP to share strategic goals, new knowledge and strategies among institutions around the country in the critical area of mathematics teacher education. We take teacher education to mean both the academic preparation and internship experiences for new teachers and the professional development of professional teachers and university faculty in collaborative partnerships. As with all disciplined inquiry, partners will commit to observe critique, reflect, and debate the efficacy of their work in the light of high quality data collected in a variety of formats. The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) imply a new way of doing business that requires a long-term view of changing how mathematics is taught. Contact: Rebekah Elliott

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 

Science and Engineering in the Lives of Students 

A partnership with Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Science Media Group, Chemeketa and Rogue Community Colleges, and Vernier Software & Technology. The project has produced a website (release Summer 2013) containing video examples of how science is used in construction engineering contexts. The central principle is to explore science that students actually use or experience in everyday living. The activities, web links, and other resources are organized to explore the science topics of thermodynamics, electricity, and mechanics of materials. Contact: Larry Flick 

Strengthening Yields in Mathematics through Metrics, Evaluation, and Teaching, Research to Improve Educational Systems (Symmetries)

Symmetries applies the improvement science process of networked improvement communities to the problem of student performance in mathematics and, eventually, to other STEM subjects from elementary to college within a K-16 partnership. The target of our work is supporting successful mathematics transitions from elementary school through college, i.e. math transitions from elementary school to middle school to high school to college. We argue that mathematics is a lynchpin for student academic success. Contact: Larry Flick


VISTA translates research-based best teaching practices into improved science teaching and student learning for all students at all levels. For elementary teachers, VISTA provides professional development and coaching to support inclusion of inquiry-based and explicit nature of science instruction in the context of problem-based learning. For early career middle and high school teachers, VISTA professional development and coaching emphasizes how to effectively teach inquiry-based science with and without technology, how to use student performance to drive future instruction, and how to adapt instruction for diverse learners. Contact: Randy Bell