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School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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WCER - Celebrating 50 years
Please join us October 20th for a day of learning and scholarship as we celebrate WCER's groundbreaking contributions to advancing education policy and practice across our state, nation and world.


It’s Time to Document Teaching Styles More Carefully

College-level teaching is more complex and nuanced than ever, and simple descriptors such as “lecturing” or “interactive” don’t tell us much.

Reducing how an instructor teaches Biology 101 to a variable such as “lecturing” masks other important dimensions of her teaching. What kind of questions does she ask students? How often? How are students socially and cognitively engaged in the classroom? How is technology used?

Those who evaluate classroom teaching can record their observations using a number of tools, but most are limited: They rely on open-ended response items that preclude reliability tests or comparison across individuals; they focus only on the use of teaching methods; they ignore temporary fluctuations in teaching practices throughout a class period; or they equate instructional quality with one teaching method. Read more.

Measuring Coherence in Teacher Knowledge

To measure the coherence of teacher knowledge, researchers asked math teachers to react to a mathematical task. As teachers addressed the problem, patterns of connections among concepts became apparent. To visualize these patterns, the research team created conceptual “network maps” for each teacher. The stronger teachers invoked high numbers of concepts and demonstrated a clear pattern of connections among key concepts. The remaining teachers used fewer concepts or had fewer strong connections.

What does it mean for teachers to have coherent understanding of their subject?

Coherence is considered an important aspect of knowledge. Incoherent understanding of a subject reproduces disconnected facts. By contrast, coherent knowledge allows one to bring to a subject richly connected ideas, to zoom to the heart of a complex subject, and to offer strategic solutions. Yet coherence has seldom been defined or measured, even in the context of teaching and learning. Read more.





Wisconsin Ideas in Eduction Series: Win Burleson, New York University, "Strategies for Advanced Personalized Learning and Intelligent Creativity Support."

Wed. 24 Sept.
Wisconsin Idea Room
159 Education Building

Wei LAB Visiting Scholar Dr. Nicola Rollock to speak at UW–Madison

Dr. Nicola Rollock, the deputy director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE) at the University of Birmingham (UK) and associate editor of the journal Race Ethinicity & Education, has been named a Wei LAB Visiting Scholar and will speak at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. More.


A report issued by a consortium including the Wisconsin Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, “Advancing the success of boys and men of color in education: Recommendations for federal policymakers,” receives notice in The Capital Times, Diverse Education, and The Chronicle

Beth Graue talks about transitioning from summer to a new school year (WISC-TV, 27 August)



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

Interdisciplinary ITPTraining Program in the Education Sciences

Investing in Family Engagement

LSFFLongitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars

Mobilizing STEM for a Sustainable FutureMobilizing STEM for a Sustainable Future

Minority Student Achievement NetworkMinority Student
Achievement 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


VARC, CPRE Contribute to Research in Urban Education Policy Initiative Brief

A new policy brief published by the Research on Urban Policy Initiative (RUEPI), co-authored by Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) Assistant Scientist Steven M. Kimball, Value-Added Research Center (VARC) Associate Director Bradley Carl and former VARC staff member Liz Barkowski, explores the expanded role of principals in newly implemented teacher evaluation systems across the country. Read more.

Hora Enters National Academies of Science Debate

A letter to the editor by WCER researcher Matthew T. Hora appears in the current issue of the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS). In the letter, Hora takes issue with the experimental design of a recent meta-analysis, which concluded that lecturing increases student failure rates and generally provides an “inferior education” to undergraduate students. Read more.