2017 internal grants recipients and learning communities announced


Trista Sobeck

This year, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College leadership made two research funding streams available through a competitive internal grants program. The first provides grants to faculty investigating interdisciplinary education topics. The second, new this year, supports learning communities on topics that faculty members want to discuss, learn about and contribute to in collaboration with other scholars, students, and staff and community members.

Introducing Learning Communities

Learning Communities are awarded relatively modest funds to support informal groups or teams of faculty and graduate students to convene around a topic of shared interest.

The goal is to foster and support engagement and conversation around important topics throughout the school year. This goal is broad enough to recognize the multiple topics around which groups of people or communities of practice might work and learn together.

Here is a list of this year’s learning communities, their principal investigators and brief synopses of their membership and goals

Higher Education Internationalization

Co-PIs Aryn Baxter (assistant professor), Yeukai Mlambo (post-doctoral scholar), Molly Ott (assistant professor), Jeongeun Kim (assistant professor) 

Members: MLFTC faculty, staff and graduate students

Goals: As part of a larger Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College internationalization strategy led by the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education, to establish a community of international higher education scholar-practitioners and enhance ASU’s contributions to knowledge and practice.

Using Design Thinking to Link In-Service Teaching with University Faculty

Co-PIs William Butler (clinical assistant professor), Jessica Debiase (iTeachAZ site coordinator), Kathleen Puckett (associate professor) 

Members: MLFTC and public school faculty

Goals: Use the design thinking process to implement research-based approaches that address needs of inclusive classrooms for special education students, teacher candidates, and regular education and special-education mentor teachers.

Serving Youth in Juvenile Justice

Sarup Mathur (professor), Heather Griller Clark (principal research specialist)

Goals: Combine knowledge from the fields of social work, education, criminology and psychology to augment the understanding of youth involved in criminal behavior, and best practices for assisting the reentry of youth.

InSciEd Out

Bryan Henderson (assistant professor), Deena Gould and Kevin Close (doctoral students)

Members: MLFTC faculty, ASU science faculty 

Goals: Bring together science and education researchers to work toward the understanding and betterment of how science is taught and disseminated to better prepare science students for a 21st Century workforce.

Environmental and Sustainability Education

Co-PIs Eileen Merritt (assistant professor), Mo Walters (clinical associate professor), Leanna Archambault (associate professor), Dianne McKee (instructor), Karen Schedler (faculty associate), Annie Hale (director of research and development for the Sustainability Science Education Project)

Members: Students and faculty from MLFTC, the School of Sustainability and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Goals: Read and discuss current literature in education and sustainability science, and reflect on pedagogical practices and content in our courses.

Research grants: awardees and recipients 

  • Toward Establishing Evidence of External Validity for the Intersectional Competence Measure (Mildred Boveda)
  • Teachers’ Perceptions of Instructional Significance for History (Lauren Harris)
  • Braincandy: Providing Students Authentic, Engaging, and SAFE Spaces to Articulate and Refine their Thinking with Others (Bryan Henderson)
  • Advancing the Understanding of Online Collaborative Learning Experience in Statistical Learning (Yi-Chun Hong)
  • Induction Experiences for Early Childhood Special Educators: Using Dramatic Inquiry to Increase Student Engagement and Positive Social Interactions — DIPSI (Wendy Oakes)
  • The Impact of Shared Reading on Parents’ and Their Children’s Attitudes Toward People with Disabilities (Hyejin Park)
  • Immigrants, Achievement, and Third-Generation Isolation: Insights from PISA 2003–12 (Jeanne Powers)
  • Public High School Physical Activity Facility Use During Nonschool Hours (Hans Van der Mars)