Curry Education Research Lectureship Series Fall 2016

For the current Curry Education Research Lectureship Series, please visit our website.

Fall 2016

Natural Solutions To Tackling Behavior and Performance in Urban Schools

Jenny Roe PhD, Director of the Center for Design and Health, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
Friday September 2nd 2016, 11:00-12:30 PM 
Sponsored by Youth-Nex
This talk is available online

Jenny Roe is the first Mary Irene DeShong Professor of Design and Health and the Director of the Center of Design and Health at the School of Architecture, University of Virginia in the US. She is building research to show how design of the built environment can maximize human health, quality of life and wellbeing.  A previous landscape architect turned environmental psychologist, she has expertise in the relationship between people and place, particularly restorative environments – such as natural settings – and their impact on mental wellbeing.  Before her move to the US, she worked alongside environmental scientists and health professionals as a Research Leader in Human Wellbeing and Behavior Change for the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) exploring how best to build sustainable, resilient and healthy cities.

Abstract: ‘Natural solutions’ will highlight the benefits of green space access in school settings for behavioral and performance outcomes.  It presents two studies both carried out in deprived schools in Central Scotland; the first compares the effect of indoor versus outdoor education (delivered in a forest setting) on a range of wellbeing outcomes in teenagers; the second study explores the benefits to memory recall in early years pupils from curriculum tasks carried out indoors versus outdoors in a range of playground settings.


Differentiated Accountability and Education Production: Evidence from NCLB Waivers

Brian A. Jacob, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy and Professor of Economics in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan
Friday September 30th 2016, 11:00-12:30 PM 

Brian A. Jacob is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy and Professor of Economics in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.  His primary fields of interest are labor economics, program evaluation, and the economics of education. Jacob’s research on education covers a wide variety of topics from school choice to teacher labor markets to standards and accountability.  His work has appeared in top economics journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.   Earlier in his career, he served as a policy analyst in the NYC Mayor's Office and taught middle school in East Harlem.  He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the editorial boards of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Education Finance and Policy and the Review of Economics and Statistics.  Jacob received his BA from Harvard College and his PhD from the University of Chicago.  In 2008 he was awarded APPAM's David N. Kershaw Prize for Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy by Age 40.

Abstract: In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education granted states the opportunity to apply for waivers from the core requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In exchange, states implemented systems of differentiated accountability in which they identified and intervened in their lowest- performing schools (“Priority” schools) and schools with the largest achievement gaps between subgroups of students (“Focus” schools). We use administrative data from Michigan in a series of regression-discontinuity analyses to study the effects of these reforms on schools and students. Overall, we find that neither reform had a noticeable impact on various measures of school staffing, student composition, or academic achievement. These disappointing findings serve as a cautionary tale for the capacity of the accountability provisions embedded in the recent reauthorization of NCLB, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to meaningfully improve student and school outcomes.

Are the Expectations for State-Funded Pre-K Realistic? The Tennessee Pre-K Study and Reflections about its Implications

Mark Lipsey, Professor of Public Policy, Vanderbilt University
Friday November 11th 2016, 11:00-12:30 PM
This talk is available online

Bio: Mark W. Lipsey, PhD, is a Research Professor affiliated with the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University. His research specialties are program evaluation and research synthesis (meta-analysis) investigating the effects of social interventions with children, youth, and families. His recent research has focused on the effectiveness of early childhood education programs, risk and intervention for juvenile delinquency and substance use, issues of methodological quality in evaluation research, and ways to help practitioners and policymakers make better use of research to improve the outcomes of programs for children and youth. His published works include textbooks on program evaluation, meta-analysis, and statistical power as well as articles on applied methods and the effectiveness of school and community programs for youth.

Abstract: Over the last 15 years or so, there has been a considerable increase in the implementation and expansion of state-funded prekindergarten programs aimed at children from low-income families.  Policy interest in these investments has largely been propelled by high expectations that such programs will help close the achievement gap evidenced by low-income children and produce long-term positive life outcomes on graduation rates, employment, criminal behavior, and the like. The ongoing study of the Tennessee Voluntary Prekindergarten program is the only well-controlled longitudinal study of the extent to which the effects of a scaled-up state-funded pre-k program are sustained beyond the end of the pre-k year. The findings so far—through the end of third grade and continuing—do not support the high expectations for statewide targeted pre-k; indeed, they include some negative effects. These results have stimulated various reflections on what might be causing them, the challenges facing state pre-k programs, and how well-founded the high expectations for such programs actually are.

Enhancing the Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning of Preschool to High School Students Across the United States

Roger P. Weissberg, PhD, UIC/LAS Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education/NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning, University of Illinois at Chicago
Friday December 2nd 2016, 11:00-12:30 PM 
Sponsored by Youth-Nex
This talk is available online

Roger P. Weissberg is University/LAS Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education and NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning and at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For the past 35 years, he has trained scholars and practitioners about innovative ways to design, implement and evaluate family, school and community interventions. He is also Chief Knowledge Officer of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), an organization committed to making evidence-based social and emotional academic learning an essential part of education. Weissberg has authored 250 publications focusing on preventive interventions with children. He has received several awards including: the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution Award for Applications of Psychology to Education and Training, the Society for Community Research and Action’s Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research Award, and the 'Daring Dozen' award from the George Lucas Educational Foundation for being 1 of 12 people who are reshaping the future of education. He is also a member of the National Academy of Education for contributions to education research and policy.

Abstract: During the last decade, there have been significant advances in social and emotional learning (SEL) research, practice, and policy. This talk will highlight key areas of progress and challenges as we broadly implement school-family-community partnerships to foster positive behavioral, academic, and life outcomes for preschool to high school students. My goal for this presentation is to provide a foundation to foster group discussion about future priorities for the next decade.

For recommended readings or other questions about the series, please contact [email protected]

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