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School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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WCER - Celebrating 50 years
View lectures, photos, an overview and read a special publication about our celebration.


Preparing for Radical Teaching by Encouraging Student Talk 

Before Leema Berland, Melissa Braaten and Rosemary Russ arrived as at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, they each were convinced that the best way for students to learn science was for teachers to listen to them and encourage them to develop and support their own ideas.

It wasn’t until the three researchers landed in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, however, that they decided to team up to see how they could support those best practices among teachers-in-training.

“The research is pretty convincing, and pretty widely accepted – kids have to talk about their own ideas about science in order to learn,” Russ said. “The challenge came when we looked into how we could we make teachers aware of that and know it’s actually happening in their classrooms. Read more

The Future of Internships Is Virtual

The internship, a long-held tradition of the business world, is overdue for innovation, says David Williamson Shaffer, a learning sciences professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is an alum of the Peace Corps and MIT’s famed Media Lab.

Backed by $12 million in funding from private foundations and the National Science Foundation, Shaffer is creating internships infused with key findings from education research in his Games and Professional Simulations lab at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, part of the university’s School of Education.

Shaffer and fellow researcher Naomi Chesler, a professor in UW–Madison’s College of Engineering, have found that metacognition, or what Shaffer calls “reflection-in-action,” is a common trait among successful professionals. Shaffer and Chesler teamed up to create virtual internships to develop that ability in students. Read more





Sara Goldrick-Rab says "Pell recipients are a bit more impoverished than ever," and that "when these students get into trouble, their families have nothing to give them. They have nothing to fall back on"  (Washington Post Wonkblog, 24 June)

VARC's Brad Carl discusses Wisconsin's options for selecting a new K-12 test (WI State Journal, 4 June)

Jerlando Jackson and Sara Goldrick-Rab comment on proposed changes to the university tenure system (Diverse Issues, 4 June)

WCER's Wisconsin Equity and Inclusion Laboratory celebrates its 5th anniversary (Madison Times, 15 May)

VARC's Bradley Carl talks about students opting out of Common Core tests (WI State Journal, 20  April)


Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and LearningCenter for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning

Center on Education and Work

Children, Families & SchoolsChildren, Families & Schools

CRPBISCulturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Consortium for Policy Research in EducationConsortium for Policy Research in Education

CALLComprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning

CCHERCulture, Cognition, and Evaluation of STEM Higher Education Reform

Epistemic GamesEpistemic
Games Group

Exploring the alignment between workforce and education

Formative Language Assessment Records for ELLs in Secondary Schools

ILDLInteractive Learning & Design Lab

Interdisciplinary ITPTraining Program in the Education Sciences

Investing in Family Engagement

The LEAD CenterThe LEAD Center

LSFFLongitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars

Mobilizing STEM for a Sustainable FutureMobilizing STEM for a Sustainable Future

Minority Student Achievement NetworkMinority Student
Achievement Network

The NetworkThe Network



Strategic Management of Human CapitalStrategic Management of Human Capital

Surveys of Enacted CurriculumSurveys of Enacted Curriculum

System-wide Change for All Learners and EducatorsSystem-wide Change for All Learners and Educators

Talking About Leaving, Revisited

TDOP: Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol

TransanaTracking the Processes of Data Driven Decision-Making in Higher Education


Value-Added Research CenterValue-Added Research Center

WIDA ConsortiumWIDA Consortium

WeilabWisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory


WCER Welcomes Chinese, Azerbaijani, Native Alaskan Delegations

In the past few weeks, visitors from China, Azerbaijan and Alaska have visited the Wisconsin Center for Education Research to learn more about its research and offer perspectives on their own experiences in education.

WCER is part of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. It has more than 70 principal investigators, hundreds of researchers and support staff and an estimated $55 million budget dedicated to studying important issues in education. WCER emphasizes international research and maintains collaborations with researchers and institutions of culture and higher education in dozens of countries on six continents.

As part of a tour of the United States by the National Committee on US.-China Relations, a dozen policymakers and educators from China toured WCER and met with researchers Matthew T. Hora and Xueli Wang on Thursday, April 30. The delegation included Huang Yao, the Director-General of Vocational and Adult Education in China’s Ministry of Education, and Guo Dongming, the president of Dalian Industry School. Read more.