Student Experience Research Network Blog

We are excited to announce that seven members of the Student Experience Research Network and their research teams have been awarded funding as part of our new K-12 Teachers and Classrooms Research Portfolio. With funding provided through grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, these interdisciplinary projects will yield new knowledge about K-12 learning environments that foster inclusion and learning mindsets. Here are brief descriptions of each of the research projects:

  • Economist Thomas Dee will examine a 9th grade ethnic studies curriculum developed in the San Francisco Unified School District that led to increases in 9th grade attendance, GPA, and credits earned. The current project will investigate the ethnic studies program’s longer-term causal effects on outcomes including high school graduation and college matriculation.
  • Computer scientist Sidney D’Mello will use human coding as well as automated speech and language processing to analyze data from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project and identify teacher verbal and nonverbal behaviors that are related to students’ psychological and academic outcomes in mathematics. The study will investigate how teacher behaviors affect students differently based on their gender, race/ethnicity, and experience of socioeconomic disadvantage.
  • Sociologist Eric Grodsky, in the context of an existing research-practice partnership, will use survey data from students and teachers, classroom observations, and interviews to determine what teacher mindsets, behaviors, and instructional environments are associated with a stronger sense of belonging and mathematics identity, particularly for black and Latinx students.
  • Sociologist Yasmiyn Irizarry will build on her prior research on racialized tracking in high schools (the systematic exclusion and underrepresentation of minoritized students – especially black, Native American, and Latinx students – in advanced mathematics courses) to examine the relationships among teachers’ beliefs and practices, racialized tracking in mathematics, and students’ mindsets related to mathematics between 9th and 11th grade. The project will use data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, Civil Rights Data Collection from the U.S. Education Department, and surveys of public high school teachers.
  • Psychologist Neil Lewis, Jr. will leverage an extensive data set to examine how thousands of different teachers and high school contexts influenced student outcomes. Specifically, the data will be used to examine how differences in learning environments shape student mindsets, motivation, and performance in an Advanced Placement computer science course.
  • Psychologist Jamaal Matthews will combine qualitative and quantitative analyses of video recordings of middle grades mathematics classrooms from the MET project to understand how different interpersonal and instructional supports related to belonging influence student outcomes. Ultimately, the project aims to identify vivid examples of teacher support for student belonging that can serve as a practical resource for mathematics teachers.
  • Psychologist Jason Okonofua will extend his prior research on the factors that contribute to high rates of exclusionary discipline for middle school students from negatively stereotyped groups (e.g., male students, black and Latinx students, and previously suspended students) by examining the role of the learning environment and teacher mindsets in influencing teacher-student relationships and discipline patterns.

Visit our K-12 Teachers and Classrooms Research Portfolio page to learn more about these projects and the research teams behind them.

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