Michigan State University education researchers will lead two new projects funded by grants from the William T. Grant Foundation. Each of the six research grants announced by the foundation this month will further understanding of everyday youth settings and the use of research evidence in the policies and practices that affect youth.
MSU Professor Ken Frank and a team including MSU colleague Kristen Bieda received a nearly $600,000 grant to study social networks for novice math teachers. The researchers suggest that new teachers may turn to colleagues to discuss content, interpret expectations about lesson planning, and/or understand how the demands of the evaluation system translate to practice. Thus, knowledge of math and norms regarding instruction in a new teacher’s network may impact the quality of the novice’s practice.
Also collaborating on the three-year project is Peter Youngs of University of Virginia (a former MSU faculty member) and Serena Salloum of Ball State University.
Secondly, Patricia Marin, assistant professor of higher education at MSU, and colleagues will use nearly $400,000 from the foundation to study how friends of the court use research evidence when developing briefs and filing opinions. In particular, the group will examine the various ways in which research is used in the Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case.
Marin is collaborating with Catherine Horn of University of Houston, Liliana Garces of Pennsylvania State University and Karen Miksch of University of Minnesota.
The next deadline for W. T. Grant Foundation research grant applications is May 6.