Morgan State University proposes to implement an Institute in Research Methods that will build capacity in mixed-methods, with an emphasis on K-12 STEM education in an urban setting. The institute will be managed by the Maryland Collaborative for Research in Urban STEM Education (MD-CRUSE), a partnership involving the Baltimore Education Research Consortium and Baltimore Public Schools. The goal is to enhance participants’ STEM education research skills and competencies, stimulate research projects that will build knowledge in K-12 urban STEM education, and inform STEM education practice and policy. The institute responds to the need cultivate expertise that can analyze large administrative data sets to understand the unique STEM learning needs of the urban student population in Baltimore and to inform future research to improve the quality of STEM education among diverse students. In addition to expanding the pool of STEM education researchers, the institute will build transdisciplinary communities of practice.

MD-CRUSE will foster inter-institutional convergence research and alignment between K-12 practitioners and STEM education researchers. The institute curriculum will include professional development seminars on research team building; STEM education theoretical frameworks such as social cognitive career theory, self-efficacy theory, and sociocultural theory of cognitive development; methodological training using quantitative and qualitative research designs; and research proposal development. Participants will be provided access to large administrative data sets through the Baltimore Education Research Consortium to formulate investigations of K-12 STEM education topics. The data can be used to document early education program exposure, longitudinal trajectories of students, college going behaviors, and other factors such as attendance, discipline trends, and stability in school leadership. In addition to the seminars and workshops, participants will receive mentoring and support in developing research dissemination strategies. An intensive session will focus on the landscape of dissemination, translational and publishing opportunities in STEM education research, research outlets, and sustainability of research collaborations. The institute will provide an opportunity for participants to acquire expertise in STEM education research in an authentic setting that addresses immediate needs. The participants will be positioned to develop exploratory research projects that will have strong potential for translation to practice.

This project is supported by the ECR: Building Capacity in STEM Education Research competition of the EHR Core Research (ECR) program. ECR funds fundamental research focused on STEM learning and learning environments, broadening participation in STEM fields, and STEM professional workforce development.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
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Earnestine Psalmonds
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Morgan State University
United States
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