Research News

Tue
Jun
10
A common explanation for the nation's sluggish economy in the media and policymaking circles focuses on the “skills gap,” which is a structural mismatch between the supply of workers with particular skill sets and employers’ demands for qualified workers. Instead of studying whether or not a skills gap exists, WCER scientist Matthew Hora is focused on a more fundamental problem: describing the nature of employer expectations and whether or not they are aligned with the postsecondary curriculum in two- and four-year colleges and universities.
Mon
Jun
09
More than 700 scholars, teachers, game developers, publishers and more are descending on Madison this week for the 10th edition of the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference. This years event –- which is the largest games and learning conference of its kind -- runs June 10-13 at the Memorial Union on the UW-Madison campus.
Fri
Jun
06
Through the discovery of best practices and the exchange of knowledge, the Minority Student Achievement Network seeks to identify and change school policies and structures that contribute to racial achievement gaps in U.S. schools. MSAN hosted its 2014 Institute in April in Madison, attracting hundreds of educators from public school districts as far away as Arizona and Massachusetts.
Tue
Jun
03
Herbert J. Klausmeier, a UW-Madison professor emeritus of educational psychology who played the leading role in founding the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, passed away on May 20 at the age of 98. It was early in the 1960s when Klausmeier prepared a proposal that led to the establishment of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). It began operating in September 1964. And in 1968, he led a successful effort to gain the funds to construct the 13-story Educational Sciences building on campus.
Thu
May
29
This project with the New York Hall of Science includes an interactive multitouch table to investigate how collaboration and learning occur during play in informal settings such as museums. The undertaking was developed in coordination with Games+Learning+Society, a research group with the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the School of Education at UW-Madison. Matthew Berland --- a GLS researcher and faculty member with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction --- co-leads the project.
Thu
May
22
A new policy brief from WISCAPE explores the impact of the Colorado Opportunity Fund on efficiency and access in both the two- and four-year college sectors.
Fri
May
16
Bonnie Doren, an associate professor with the School of Education’s Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, has received the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association’s (ARCA) James F. Garrett Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Research Award. The ARCA Research Award recognizes and honors high quality, empirical research in the field of rehabilitation counseling. Research published in peer-reviewed outlets in the calendar year 2013 were eligible for this award.
Wed
May
07
UW-Madison’s Sara Goldrick-Rab was invited to hold a discussion on student retention and persistence issues in higher education with entrepreneur Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and an investor on the ABC reality television series “Shark Tank.” The discussion was part of the Education Innovation Summit hosted in Scottsdale, Ariz., on April 21.
Tue
May
06
The Wisconsin HOPE Lab, which is the only laboratory in the nation dedicated to translational research for improving equitable outcomes in postsecondary education, held a launch reception May 5. The lab is directed by Sara Goldrick-Rab and is housed within the School of Education. Although the reception marked the public opening for the HOPE Lab, it has been humming along for several months now, with four other full-time employees and a cadre of talented graduate students already involved in 18 different research projects.
Sat
May
03
An article by Kathleen T. Horning, the director of UW’Madison’s Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) was published in the School Library Journal’s May 2014 issue. The piece is headlined: “Children’s Books. Still an All-White World?” It highlights how major media outlets have been highlighting for decades survey data compiled by CCBC that indicates a lack of children’s books by, and about, people of color in the United States. And yet, not a whole lot has changed over the years.
Thu
May
01
The number of African American faculty teaching computer science in higher education is alarmingly low, according to UW-Madison’s LaVar J. Charleston. The assistant director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) is the lead author of a recent paper investigating the benefits of the newly created Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS) headquartered at Clemson University, but having national reach.
Wed
Apr
30
UW-Madison alumna Jessica Stovall has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant to conduct research in New Zealand, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently. Stovall, who teaches at Oak Park River and Forest High School in Oak Park, Ill., will travel abroad through the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program in 2014-15. She earned a degree in secondary education from the School of Education in 2007.
Mon
Apr
28
Digital education may be an innovative path forward for the American public schools system, but many of the existing virtual teaching programs have serious flaws, according to a new book co-authored by WCER researcher Annalee Good and former UW–Madison assistant professor and WCER researcher Patricia Burch. The book, “Equal Scrutiny: Privatization and Accountability in Digital Education,” is set for publication in May.
Sun
Apr
27
The latest book by UW-Madison alumna Angelina E. Castagno was recently published and is titled, “Educated in Whiteness: Good Intentions and Diversity in Schools.” Castagno earned a master’s degree in 2003 and a Ph.D. in 2006 from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies. This book “investigates how whiteness operates in ways that thwart (or co-opt) even the best intentions and common sense. The result, according to Angelina E. Castagno, is educational policies and practices that reinforce the status quo and protect whiteness rather than working toward equity.”
Mon
Apr
21
As an academic, Carmen Valdez appreciates the importance of conducting quality research and the value of producing fresh knowledge that can advance a field. Yet it’s the work that directly touches the lives of others that drives her. “Part of my job is to conduct research and publish and get my work out to other professionals,” says the associate professor of counseling psychology. “But it’s when I get out and am able to work with people and different communities that I really become motivated. That is what drives me.”
Mon
Apr
21
The School of Education’s Graduate Research Scholars (Ed-GRS) will be hosting a Spring Showcase event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23. This is an opportunity to learn about the various research topics and to provide valuable feedback in a safe and comfortable environment. These scholars will be presenting their research in room 159 of the Education Building. Each presenter will speak for roughly 10 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session for 15 minutes.
Fri
Apr
18
Catherine Compton-Lilly, an associate professor with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, says the crisis facing American schools is not a lack of common standards. The real crisis is racism and poverty. Mainstream news accounts of “failed schools” blame teachers and cite declining standards. But the fault lies in schools’ inability to equitably serve the wide range of students coming through the doors.
Wed
Apr
16
Mentoring experts at UW-Madison, including WCER researcher Christine Pfund, are teaming with leading researchers at four other universities to pursue a unique $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The one-time-only grant will be awarded by the NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to the best proposal for establishing a national research mentoring network for underrepresented trainees and their mentors. The goal of the network would be to increase diversity in the scientific workforce.
Mon
Apr
14
Francisco Sánchez arrived on the UW-Madison campus in the fall of 2012 after spending eight years with the Department of Human Genetics and the Center for Gender-Based Biology at the UCLA School of Medicine. Moving forward, he plans on helping interpret biological studies and relaying information so it can be more easily understood. Sánchez was given the unique opportunity to do just that as his expertise was highlighted in the documentary, “Survival of the Fabulous.”
Sat
Apr
12
Isaac McFarlin Jr., Assistant Research Scientist of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, will speak at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) on Friday, April 18 as part of the center’s Visiting Minority Lecture Series. His talk is titled, “Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, School Conditions, and Student Achievement.” McFarlin will discuss the impact on student outcomes of state and local government investments in public school facilities.