News from WCER

New Immersive Simulator Lets Game Players Reimagine Land Use Based on Real Science

January 13, 2022   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

UW–Madison researchers teamed with a New England conservation nonprofit to create an online learning game that lets players model how different zoning choices would affect the environment, jobs, housing and other real-world factors for any location in the contiguous United States.The free game, known as iPlan, lets players simulate different land-use scenarios and see the changing effects on their community.

WIDA Using $2.6M Grant to Help Rural Educators Improve Multilingual Literacy Instruction

December 14, 2021   |   By WIDA Communications

WIDA, an educational services organization within the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education, has been awarded $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to launch Rural Educators Self-Reflecting and Practicing Equity-Centered Teaching with English Learners (Project RESPECT), a program that will help rural K-8 teachers provide effective and equitable literacy instruction for multilingual learners.

UW–Madison Evaluation Experts Partner with Students, Staff at Capital High

November 23, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

A central piece of the partnership this year is WEC helping students learn the skills involved in culturally responsive research and evaluation at Capital High, which is organized around project work and experiential learning. In keeping with that focus, the course syllabus includes a hands-on project in which students will each design, complete and report out on an evaluation study. Enrollees at Capital High, who are generally from low-income backgrounds and the majority of whom are students of color, will do their evaluations in collaboration with scholars, educators and mentors from Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), the Madison community and UW−Madison.

WCER Director Courtney Bell Appointed to National Committee for Equitable STEM Learning

November 15, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

WCER Director Courtney Bell is one of 15 experts selected nationwide to serve on a new, ad-hoc committee created by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to provide practical, evidence-based guidance to make STEM learning in the PreK–12 system equitable.

Chosen from among more than 350 nominations, committee members are recognized teachers, researchers and scholars in a range of academic disciplines focused on the science of learning, cultural inclusivity and improved teaching of STEM subjects for historically underserved children.

The National Academies’ Committee on Equity in PreK–12 Stem Education will provide “actionable recommendations” for education policy and program stakeholders following a period of rigorous study. Committee members will determine how best to support educational equity in the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at all levels through high school.

Annual MSAN Student Conference Draws More and Younger Students After Going Online

October 27, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

WCER’s MSAN Consortium of multiracial school districts is moving its annual conference for high school students online this year, just as it did last fall for the first time because of the pandemic. As a result, organizers have been able to expand access to the program that kicks off Wednesday to more students, including younger ones, which has long been a goal, MSAN Executive Director Madeline Hafner says.

“One of our dreams at MSAN has been to replicate what is so amazing about our high school conference for our middle school students, but that’s very hard to do when kids have to travel,” Hafner says, noting districts would have to pay for more chaperones for younger students to alleviate concerns.

“But when we do it virtually, they could all come,” she adds. “One of the gifts of the pandemic was being able to open up the conference virtually to middle schools.”

Don’t forget: 2021 WIDA eConference features Pulitzer Prize-winning author, sessions on new WIDA resources

September 28, 2021   |   By WIDA Communications

The 2021 WIDA eConference, which takes place on October 14, features a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen. It also includes sessions led by and for educators, plus sessions on new WIDA resources – and how to use them in the classroom – like Marco ALE, a Spanish language arts framework, the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition and WIDA Screener for Kindergarten.

WIDA Español releases Marco ALE, a brand-new Spanish language arts framework

September 28, 2021   |   By WIDA Communications

Check out Marco ALE, a Spanish language arts framework from WIDA! Available now are two Marco ALE documents — Aplicación para la actualización y desarrollo de estándares and Aplicación para la enseñanza. These documents inform Spanish language arts standards development and instruction and are meant to guide states, districts and teachers as they implement Marco ALE.

New Research Brief Examines How Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges Adapted to COVID-19

September 23, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The first research brief from WCER Principal Investigator Xueli Wang’s three-year, NSF-funded study of change and innovation in technical education finds Wisconsin’s tech colleges have moved rapidly to revamp services and instructional practices to serve students and meet their critical needs since March 2020.

New Paper Summary: Study Reveals How Teaching Practices in Communication Courses Reveal Need for Socioculturally Informed Faculty Development

August 19, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

WCER researchers Matthew T. Hora, Ross J. Benbow and Changhee Lee have published a new paper in the Journal of the Learning Sciences showing the three factors most important to teaching decisions in communications courses are prior experience in industry, social networks and student skills.

A Closer Look: Andy Garbacz Using $4M Grant to Probe Family-School Partnership Intervention

August 2, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The research team led by Principal Investigator Andy Garbacz will examine how a family-school partnership intervention impacts behavior, practices and relationships for elementary school students at risk of serious emotional disturbance.

CRECE Seeks Applications for Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

July 27, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The program’s goal is to diversify the research communities that address early childhood education issues. CRECE hopes to do this by providing mentored research experiences to traditionally underrepresented and other minoritized undergraduate students.

New Study Reveals Only 22% of College Students Did Internships During COVID Pandemic

May 18, 2021   |   By CCWT/WCER Communications

The first rigorous study of online internships during the pandemic uses survey data from 9,964 students at 11 colleges and universities, yielding valuable insights for students, employers and university officials going forward.

U.S. Educators Meeting Online in MSAN Institute to Advance Anti-Racist School Leadership

April 15, 2021   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

Conference attendees are sharing current research and learning promising practices to eliminate barriers to learning and create a more equitable educational environment for students of color.

UW–Madison research reveals benefit of ethnic studies for Hmong American students

March 11, 2021   |   By Janet L. Kelly, WCER Communications

A new report from WCER’s Center for Research on College-to-Workforce Transitions reveals second-year research findings from a unique study of current and former UW–Madison students of HMoob (Hmong)* descent, a population of students rarely researched in higher education. Mentored by WCER research scientists, an eight-member team of current and recently graduated HMoob American UW–Madison students interviewed nearly 100 members of the university’s HMoob American student community. The study found that exposure to ethnic studies courses and programs during college can transform the students’ lives.

UW−Madison Researchers Partner with Madison Schools on Equity Advances, COVID Fixes

March 1, 2021   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

The Madison Education Partnership (MEP) issues awards annually to university researchers, supplementing research done internally by MEP directors and staff. MEP is a research-practice partnership formed in 2016 between the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Madison Metropolitan School District. The number of grants awarded in 2021 was triple that of most previous years of MEP’s sponsored-research program.