Research update: $8.6 million+ in new projects


Erik Ketcherside

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College announced these externally funded projects, currently underway or soon to begin by MLFTC researchers.

Consortium for Open Active Pathways

Ariel Anbar

  • Principal investigator: Ariel Anbar, President’s Professor; director, Center for Education Through eXploration
  • Award amount: $2,495,936
  • Direct sponsor: U.S. Department of Education

Paying for higher education educational materials is a significant expense for most college students; significant enough that it discourages some students from pursuing a degree. Open educational resources — digital materials available online at reduced cost or even free — can alleviate that expense, but the quality and availability of OER is inconsistent. The Consortium for Open Active Pathways will assemble, evaluate and provide freely available academic materials that can be downloaded, edited and shared to better serve all students. MLFTC’s partners in COAP include three of America’s largest community college systems: the Maricopa Community Colleges in Phoenix, Miami Dade College (Florida) and Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana). Read more about COAP.

Supporting Early Language Development of Preschool Children with Drama Integration

Scott Marley

  • PI: Scott Marley, associate professor
  • Award amount: $2,291,598
  • Direct sponsor: U.S. Department of Education

EYEPlay — Early Years Educators at Play — is a collaboration between Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Childsplay, the Tempe, Arizona-based professional theater for young audiences. EYEPlay employs drama in classrooms, across multiple grade levels and subject areas, to improve standards-based outcomes. The most recent expression of the model, “Supporting Early Language Development of Preschool Children with Drama Integration,” experimentally examines the effectiveness of drama-based instruction in improving the language and drama skills of children in 90 preschool classrooms from three school districts in Phoenix, Arizona. Read more about EYEPlay.

Building Leadership for Change through School Immersion

Iveta Silova

This will be the third cohort of Saudi educators placed in Phoenix, Arizona-area schools through Building Leadership for Change. The program is an initiative of the KSA Ministry of Education to transform the Saudi Arabian education system by immersing teachers, counselors and principals in high-performing, English-speaking K–12 school systems. In addition to their school placement, participants benefit from a program that includes orientation to U.S. educational institutions, English language training, and technical knowledge and skills development. Participants are expected to be effective change agents when they return to Saudi Arabia. Read more about Building Leadership for Change.

The Physics of Elementary Mathematics

Terri Kurz

  • PI: Terri Kurz, associate professor
  • Award amount: $299,990
  • Direct sponsor: National Science Foundation

Mathematics is often presented to preservice elementary and middle school teachers as an isolated subject lacking deeper meaning in the real world. However, teaching math in the context of interpreting and analyzing observations of physical phenomena can have a positive impact on learning and the development of analytical skills. This project, a collaboration of math educators and physicists at ASU, will develop, test and implement a five-week instructional sequence centered around the physics of motion. The sequence will provide a foundation for teaching linear and nonlinear functions, graphing, and use of multiple representations in an algebra content course for preservice teachers. Read more about The Physics of Elementary Mathematics.

A Conceptual Efficacy Replication of the TELL Preschool Curriculum with Web-Based Implementation Support and Professional Development Variations

Jeanne Wilcox

  • PI: Jeanne Wilcox, Nadine Mathis Basha Professor in Early Childhood Education
  • Award amount: $3,599,825
  • Direct sponsor: U.S. Department of Education

Randomized controlled trials of the TELL curriculum — Teaching Early Language and Literacy — indicated a strong intervention effect in preschool children with developmental speech and language impairment. But employing a comprehensive course of professional development to train teachers to use the curriculum was expensive and impractical for large-scale implementation. This study will again examine TELL efficacy in DSLI students, but with the same professional development delivered in a virtual environment online. This phase will also examine specific teacher and child characteristics that may influence or moderate observed outcomes. Read more about the TELL curriculum.

Read more about past and ongoing research projects at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.