Affordances for Language Development in Co-Teaching (ACT)

  • An important consideration in the education of K-12 students classified as English learners is the program model(s) through which they will receive English language development (ELD) instruction: either as a separate ELD pull-out class or in a general education classroom in which a language specialist co-teaches and/or collaborates with the primary classroom teacher. The efficacy of these models has been the subject of ongoing debate, with co-teaching gaining traction nationwide: in so doing, it raises critical questions about how language is defined, taught, and learned by teachers and students in these settings. This research partnership with multiple Oregon schools uses qualitative methods to explore the development and implementation of ESL (English as a second language) co-teaching as an instructional model designed to support multilingual children and youth’s language development through teacher collaboration. It explores school, teacher, and student development through observation, interview, and support of teachers as they engage in action research around their own co-teaching. Contact: Amanda Kibler

Between the Public Good & Racialized Animus: Public Universities’ Responses to Influenza Pandemics, 1957-2022

  • Drawing from methods in historical sociology, this project examines how public universities in California and New York responded to four influenza pandemics: “Asian Influenza" (1957-1960), the “Hong Kong Virus” (1967-1970), the H1N1 pandemic (2008-2009), and COVID-19 (2020-2022). In addition to robust systems of public higher education, California and New York have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and have served as important receiving states for waves of Asian immigrants. We use web scraping techniques to create an open repository of institutional responses to COVID-19 between January 2020 and May 2022, which we combine with materials from university archives, and supplemental community archives from 1957-present. Using a framework of racialized organization practices and situational crisis communications theory, our analysis clarifies how universities’ responses to influenza pandemics signaled both their role as a public good and coalesced with racialized discourses to illuminate the broader systemic inequalities underscored during crises. Our project’s focus on Anti-Asian animus extends our understanding of universities racial histories and will yield a novel virtual repository of annotated responses to COVID-19 for public use.

Broadening the Fusion of STEM and Business Curricula in Undergraduate Sustainability Education Project: A New Approach to Transdisciplinary Sustainability Curriculum in Higher Education

  • A scientifically and technologically literate citizenry is essential to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and to ensure that the US remains economically competitive in an increasingly resource-constrained global marketplace. Fusing STEM and business curricula in undergraduate education is a critical and necessary step in preparing both STEM and non-STEM majors to address issues of global sustainability. Developing transdisciplinary curriculum that addresses these goals involves faculty working collaboratively to combine knowledge and skills from different disciplines to create a new or transformed understanding of concepts and ideas that moves beyond just one discipline and supports students' development of critical thinking skills aimed at addressing complex and wicked problems. The ultimate goals of this National Science Foundation funded project is to produce, disseminate, deliver and improve novel transdisciplinary curriculum modules focused on sustainability problems that can be used in a wide variety of STEM and business courses.  The grant supports OSU-based research and evaluation concerning grant-related phenomena and related changes to educators and their organizations via quantitative and qualitative methods investigating pedagogical knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of faculty and administrators at three different postsecondary institutions. We intend to inform those aiming for individual- and organizational-based transformation towards efficacious transdisciplinary teaching and learning. Contact: Jana Bouwma-Gearhart

Building Quantitative Capacity in Contextualized STEM Education Research 

  • The research will result in a multi-faceted literature review investigating the relationship between contextualized educational approaches and  science education outcomes. Contact: Michael Giamellaro

COASSTal Communities of Science

  • COASSTal Communities of Science is a project scaling up the model of a highly successful action-oriented citizen science program - the Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team (COASST) while carrying out simultaneous research on recruitment and retention of volunteer, lifelong science learners. The project works with citizen scientists to co-create a new COASST data module on marine debris using innovative technological approaches including mobile apps and crowdsourcing, and in collaboration with federal, state and tribal scientists. A complementary research component seeks to advance the field of ISE by focusing on the factors facilitating recruitment and especially retention in public participation in scientific research projects, using COASST as a model. The research focuses on centrality of participation within the emerging IP community represented by COASST marine debris volunteers as a predictive factor in successful retention and recruitment as well as cognitive change and development.  Contact: Shawn Rowe

Cyberlaboratory -- Exploring Customization and Continuity

  • Oregon Sea Grant's Cyberlab 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 Cyberlab exploits emerging technologies in a museum setting and across related learning contexts to explore methods for promoting and researching  “the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning”. Such technologies allow for continuous data collection across multiple learning contexts and promote active participation of learners. Projects have explor engineering and tinkering activities of visitors in interactive exhibits, collaborative activity among families at digital touch tables, public understanding of complex scientific visualizations, docent interpretive practices, impacts of live animal encounters on conservation values and use of handheld technologies to create continuity across learning environments.A cyberscholars research fellows program brought up to 20 learning sciences researchers to OSU to carry out onsite and remote research using the network infrastructure of the Cyberlab, and seven dissertations and theses have been supported at OSU. A cross-cultural/cross-linguistic research agenda has been developed using the same tools to analyze data from science museum experiences in Brazil and Columbia. Finally, the project has resulted in the development of seven science museum exhibit experiences seen by approximately 150,000 visitors annually.  Contact: Shawn Rowe 

Designing Ambitious Mathematics Instructional Tools: A Collaborative Research-Practice Partnership 

  • This extensive, two-year, research-practice partnership aims to build and investigate collaboration among three educational systems where leaders and teachers are investing in instructional innovations that cultivate students’ opportunities to learn robust mathematics.  The development aims are to (1) support within and across district processes for identifying instructional challenges in practice that are hindering high-quality mathematics instruction for each and every student, (2) support efforts to address these challenges via investments in professional learning that enable designing, enacting, and refining instructional tools, and (3) create sustainable means for building evidence of the impact of tool use on teachers’ instruction and students’ participation and learning.  Our research aims to examine the processes employed to create instructional tools that fit inside of curricular resources, classroom tool use and adaptation, and student learning and participation.  This proposal is both timely and essential to build a body of evidence documenting districts’ innovations for instructional improvement and to realize how these efforts may support educational system coherence so vital to improvement.  To realize the full potential of tool design and use for instructional improvement and increased system coherence, leaders, teachers, and university researchers are committed to working in partnership to share and gain insights collaboratively. Contact: Rebekah Elliott

Developing and Researching K-12 Teacher Leaders Enacting Anti-bias Mathematics Education (DREAM)

  • DREAM, a collaborative project between Portland State University, Chapman University, Oregon State University, and Teachers Development Group is a Design and Development Level II project, in the National Science Foundation's Discovery Research K-12 Program, Teaching Strand. The purpose of the project is to design, develop, and facilitate an innovative community-centered, job-embedded professional learning model with the aim of enacting anti-bias mathematics education and supporting teacher leadership. There are longstanding calls for anti-bias education in the mathematics classroom (AMTE, NCTM). In particular, there is an increased recognition that engaging all students in mathematics education requires an explicit focus on anti-bias mathematics teacher education. Our cutting-edge model for anti-bias mathematics education professional learning will support two cohorts of teacher leaders for two years each as they work in elementary, middle, and high school settings within urban, suburban, and rural districts who serve racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse communities. We will conduct two cycles of development, implementation, reflective analysis of the PD model with two cohorts. Contact: Rebekah Elliott

Does Institutional Classification Make a Difference?: The Case of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions

  • Initiated under the broader Minority Serving Institution (MSI) category, Asian American and Native American, Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) is an equity-based federal classification used to designate institutions that invest additional resources in supporting low-socioeconomic Asian American and Pacific Islander students. This study utilizes organizational theory to explore how seven of these institutions construct and embody an AANAPISI identity in light of current institutional norms and values. Through interviews, observations, and document analysis, the study seeks to answer the following research questions: How is the AANAPISI identity constructed in light of dominant institutional norms, values and practices? How do institutional agents enact and embody that identity in their behaviors and practices? Answering these questions illuminates a larger question—does this higher education policy matter? Rather than assessing the “effects” of policy on student outcomes, this study examines how federal policy can alter institutional behavior. That is, the extent to which AANAPISIs embody the status’ aims of equity reveals the influence of federal policy on organizational behavior. This project is generously supported by the Spencer Foundation. Contact: Bach Mai Dolly Nguyen


  • 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

From Data to Equity: Exploring data Accessibility and Analysis in Washington State

  • The project advances an ethnographic approach to explore the landscape of racial data utility to increase school and community data literacy through heightened knowledge of data access and analysis. In partnership with a school district and two community-based organizations (CBOs), we aim to 1) identify barriers to data literacy; 2) provide educational opportunities on data accessibility, and analysis; and 3) gain insights to how agencies, districts and states can address data literacy barriers for schools and communities. Theoretically, the project seeks to understand how changes in racial categorization influence individual and structural perception and behavior across the sector of public education in Washington State. The project is generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Contact: Bach Mai Dolly Nguyen

Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Seismic Shift in Promotion and Tenure Considerations

  • Our abilities to align the intellectual capabilities of university faculty with the US innovation economy has profound impacts on society and the larger global economy. This National Science Foundation funded project supports efforts to: 1) explore the current state of faculty members’ innovation and entrepreneurial (I&E) impact within promotion and tenure (P&T) considerations, across US institutions of higher education, and 2) strategically develop a coalition of institutions across US types that can promote structures and processes that inclusively recognize faculty I&E impacts nationally, and 3) document the intra- and inter-institutional successes and challenges to inclusively recognize faculty I&E nationally.  We will (a) disseminate our research to various stakeholders, (b) foster communication and information sharing amongst the higher education ecosystem on I&E, (c) develop and advance best practices and road maps for individual universities to augment their individual P&T guidelines to more inclusively support I&E amongst their faculty, and (d) inform future relevant research. Contact: Jana Bouwma-Gearhart

Institutional Agents: Exploring High School Counselors' College Knowledge  in California Title I Schools

  • High school counselors are tasked with helping students in the areas of academic achievement and career development, yet prior research has explained they are under-trained, under-resourced, and/or have limited time to focus, specifically, on college advising.  This exacerbates the claim that low-income children, in particular, are relegated into inferior schools with inadequate resources.  As a result, counselors in this context are not always in a position to offer the substantive knowledge nor resources to support low-income students’ transition to college. Unfortunately, very little research has substantiated what counselors know and the resources they possess to advise low-income students in their transition to college.  To address this gap, the current study will explore the college knowledge of counselors in California Title I high schools.  The current study expands on a previous exploration of what high school counselors in California Title I schools knew about the new National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility requirements.  Through the lens of institutional agents framework, using a mixed methods exploratory phenomenological approach, we will examine what knowledge and resources counselors in California Title I high schools possess regarding other aspects of the college-going process.  Contact: Tenisha Tevis

Language, Cultural Sustenance and Knowledge-building through Science (LaCuKnoS)

  • LaCuKnoS is a research and development project to test and refine an instructional model for fostering the interplay of language development, cultural sustaining pedagogies, and disciplinary knowledge building to enhance science learning for all students, with a particular focus on the assets and needs of multilingual learners. The project builds on research begun by Dr. Buxton in Georgia, with funding from the National Science Foundation, and is now being implemented and refined in Oregon. The LaCuKnoS project integrates and applies theories from functional linguistics, cultural studies, and the sociology of knowledge, to address the emerging nexus of new standards for science learning, shifting demographics in schools and society, and the changing workforce landscape for high satisfaction, living wage occupations. Central to the project are co-learning workshops where multilingual learners, their families, their science teachers and the researchers all come together to explore the practices that support the LaCuKnoS model. Contact: Cory Buxton

Mapping the Landscape of Contextualization Research in Science Education

  • Across science education there is a continuing effort to teach the concepts of science in a contextualized way.  This can include project-based learning, applied learning, a "Science-Technology-Society" (STS) focus, culturally-responsive pedagogy, “curriculum in context”, virtual reality, and many other manifestations of contextualization.  While these approaches may have contextualization in common, the idea evolved in largely separate trajectories and current practices do not often inform each other.  Through this project, the team will conduct a systematic landscape study of contextualization research, identifying trends in ideation and empirical findings across the landscape.  The team will use mixed methods bibliometrics network analysis, an approach that has recently become available through advanced computing and machine learning technology. The National Science Foundation- funded project includes researchers and students from OSU, The University of Colorado, University of Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada), and the University of Leiden (The Netherlands). Contact: Michael Giamellaro  and Cory Buxton

Mid Valley Mid Coast Partnership (MVMCP)

  • The Mid-Valley-Mid-Coast Partnership (MVMCP), established in 2004, is a partnership of local educational leaders in Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley-mid-Pacific Coast region. By focusing on collaboration opportunities among educational institutions in the region’s school districts from pre-K through university, the MVMCP assists the local educational communities in identifying opportunities for improving the performance of the region’s students and teachers and for sharing resources. The MVMCP convenes once a month during the academic year. In addition, individual members frequently meet informally to discuss issues of interest. Contact: Rebekah Elliott and Martin Storksdieck

Research Synthesis: Examining the Role of Authenticity in Informal Science Learning

  • By looking more extensively into the literature, both within visitor studies and the learning sciences, as well as across different disciplines, this study will develop a better understanding of the role of authenticity in informal STEM learning.  Digging into adjacent disciplines is particularly important for this project, given the universality of the phenomenon (authenticity) and the fact the research on or related to informal learning is spread across many different disciplines. The second phase of the research includes participation of practitioners in informal science education as well as graduate students at both Oregon State University and California State University, Long Beach. Contact: Shawn Rowe 

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

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