Federal agencies join hands for second year of leading-edge education research

October 04, 2000

The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Education (ED), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have announced the second round of awards under the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI), supporting research aimed at improving education in reading, math and science from preschool through high school.

The new awards, totaling $28 million, will fund seven new research studies in six states, as well as 14 planning initiatives around the U.S., all focused on the most effective and feasible methods for teaching and learning in mathematics, reading and science in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

"How well we educate our children depends in no small part on how well we understand education itself," says Neal Lane, the President's Science Advisor. "In almost every area of our national life, from health to business, the investment in research is substantial. IERI is a good first step toward improving our national investment in reading, math, and science education research."

"Historically, investments in broad-based, integrated educational research have been woefully inadequate," says Judith Sunley, interim assistant director for Education and Human Resources at NSF. "The infusion of this funding and the cooperation of the agencies today allows us to integrate research in such areas as learning processes in reading, math and science education--research that previously would have been conducted in unconnected projects supported by separate agencies."

One of the stated goals of IERI is to conduct preK-12 research over a long period in a wide range of instructional settings. "An important feature of this year's competition is that only proposals that met certain benchmarks were funded," said Reid Lyon, Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch at NICHD. "All of these research studies meet high standards of methodological rigor, are of sufficient scale, integrate technology, and will be conducted by interdisciplinary research teams."

Several of this year's projects examine such factors as reading motivation, linguistics and the ability to understand more complex scientific concepts. For example, three projects, at the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Miami, and the University of Michigan, are examining the linkages between literacy skills and the acquisition of scientific concepts in diverse school populations. Two of the planning initiatives are aimed at collecting, integrating, and using data across projects.

"The combination of planning and full-scale research grants will provide an optimal mix for the creation of a strong research portfolio," said James Griffin, program director from ED's Office of Educational Research and Improvement. "These studies are very difficult to pull off, so we need to nurture partnerships between investigators and school systems, and be prepared to adequately fund them when they are ready to go to scale."

Last year, the first 14 IERI awards were made to 12 institutions in nine states, supporting research in education strategies to improve teaching and learning in grades preK-12.

Attachment: List of 2000 awards

Interagency education research initiative awards for 2000

University of Maryland College Park
John Guthrie
Amount: $3,414,483
Increasing Reading Comprehension, Motivation and Science Knowledge through Concept-Oriented Reading
Instruction in a District-wide Experiment

University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc
Linda Labbo
Amount: $5,551,059
Best Practices - Teacher Preparation - Technology: Connections that Enhance Children's Literacy
Acquisition and Reading Achievement
University of Miami
Okhee Lee
Amount: $2,500,000
Instructional Intervention to Promote Science and Literacy for Linguistically Diverse Elementary

Old Dominion Research Foundation, Norfolk, Va.
Danielle McNamara
Amount: $3,196,913
Promoting Active Reading Strategies to Improve Students' Understanding of Science

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Kevin Miller
Amount: $1,824,224
Representing and Learning from Classroom Processes

Regents of University of Michigan , Ann Arbor
Nancy Songer
Amount: $4,569,681
BioKIDS: Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species

University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc
Steven Stahl
Amount: $5,283,437
The Development of Fluent and Automatic Reading: Precursor to Learning from Text

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J.
Edward Friedman
Amount: $490,713
Applying Technology and Triarchic Enhancement to Instruction and Assessment in a School Science
Curriculum: Air-Traffic Control, Earthquake, and Air- Pollution Analysis

University of North Carolina Greensboro
Richard Basom
Amount: $100,000
Testing a research/technology-based delivery system to improve student performance in mathematics and
science in middle schools in rural, high-poverty communities

Education Development Center, Newton, Mass.
Jeanne Century
Amount: $118,363
Looking Inside the Black Box: Classroom Practice that Supports High Achievement in Both Science and

University of California San Diego
Michael Cole
Amount: $118,496
Coordinating Educational Institutions for Sustained Academic Success

Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J.
Drew Gitomer
Amount: $106,411
Professional Development Support Systems for Mathematics and Science Teaching

Concord Consortium, Concord, Mass.
Paul Horwitz
Amount: $102,239
Modeling Across the Curriculum

Center for Occupational Research and Development,Waco, Texas
Darrell Hull
Amount: $104,351
Planning a Research Program to Study How to Improve the Effectiveness of Using Telecommunications to
Teach Science

University of California Los Angeles
Alison Imbens-Bailey
Amount: $109,162
Building Bridges to Student and Teacher Learning: Early Literacy Assessment and Intervention

University of Colorado Boulder
Walter Kintsch
Amount: $107,060
Scalable and Sustainable Technologies for Reading Instruction and Assessment

SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif.
Barbara Means
Amount: $111,000
Planning for a System of Principled Assessment Designs of Inquiry (PADI)

SRI International
Jeremy Roschelle
Amount: $116,123
Planning a Rigorous Experimental Trial of SimCalc's Approach to Increasing Access to Complex
Mathematical Ideas

Univerity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Frank Rusch
Amount: $99,999
Planning Grant for National Data Collection Center

National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, Ill.
Barbara Schneider
Amount: $109,708
Data Research and Development Center (DRDC)

University of Illinois Chicago
Timothy Shanahan
Amount: $110,000
The Evaluation & Analysis of an Innovative Framework for School Reading

University of Maryland College Park
Linda Valli
Amount: $102,078
High Quality Teaching of Foundational Skills in Mathematics and Reading
Media contact:
Charles S. Drum

Program contact:
John Cherniavsky

National Science Foundation

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