Project Titles & Descriptions

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


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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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