UW-Madison researcher’s instrument design fuels groundbreaking international study of teaching and learning

November 18, 2020   |   By Janet L. Kelly, WCER Communications

This week the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced the findings of the Global Teaching InSights: A Video Study of Teaching, which looked directly into the classrooms of 700 teachers across eight countries and economies to capture on video how each taught the same mathematics topic to their students.

Essential to the study’s success are observation systems designed by Courtney Bell, a principal investigator of the study and a UW–Madison learning sciences professor who directs the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research. In building these systems collaboratively with global teaching experts, Bell’s team created the first standardized observational instruments used to measure the teaching and learning of the same unit of instruction across multiple countries.


Dual VETWAYS studies show social support is key to successful academic outcomes for student military

November 11, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage

The transition from military to college life can be a socially difficult one for military service members and veterans (SSM/Vs). However, members of this unique and talented student population stand a better chance of success when they are supported by a strong network of fellow students, veteran coordinators, faculty or other higher education practitioners, according to two separate reports by the Veteran Education to Workforce Affinity and Success Study (VETWAYS).

VETWAYS is a three-year $556,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation, launched last year at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in UW–Madison’s School of Education. The project is focused on the college-to-workforce pathways of SSM/Vs from five, four-year University of Wisconsin System institutions: Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Stout. In the last academic year, more than 3,000 veterans attended UW System universities.


The promise of quality digital learning for all students

October 30, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage

When Annalee Good, an educational researcher and evaluator from UW-Madison, and her colleagues began studying the use of digital tools in classrooms a decade ago, they never imagined a global pandemic would drive the adoption of at-home online learning at warp speed.

COVID-19 has caused a dramatic, sweeping change to education. Whenever students and teachers fully return to in-person classrooms, school districts must take a critical look at the role of digital tools and decide how to move forward. Schools must be vigilant to ensure their online learning systems contribute to the equitable education and academic outcomes of all students, particularly the historically underserved.


Madison School District should improve communication between 4K, kindergarten teachers, report finds

October 29, 2020   |   By Scott Girard

Better communication between 4-year-old kindergarten teachers and their 5-year-old kindergarten counterparts in the Madison Metropolitan School District could improve student outcomes in transitioning to kindergarten, a new report found.
A Madison Education Partnership research brief released this month outlines some of the challenges facing teachers during student transitions from 4K to elementary school and offers a host of recommendations to improve.


Americans with lower education levels suffer more pain than people with more education

October 29, 2020   |   By JEFF RENAUD

Americans with university degrees or higher level of education endure substantially less pain than those who are less educated, according to an international study led by Western University. With more than half of U.S. adults reporting chronic pain, the study will help health-care professionals and policymakers better target relief, the researchers said.

“Pain affects quality of life of individuals and their families,” said Western sociology professor Anna Zajacova. “It is an incredibly important health condition that we must try to understand better. And like many other seemingly personal issues, there are powerful social forces driving pain in society. Education is one of those forces.”


Why online school works better for this Madison family

October 26, 2020   |   By Michelle Baik

The switch to virtual schooling has been a challenge for many families, but one Madison family has been doing it for years. They say virtual learning works better for them.

Ian Santin is a 12th grader at the Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, an online school. After attending middle school in the Madison Metropolitan School District, Ian made the switch five years ago. He said his ADHD made it hard to focus in the classroom.

Amy Santin says her son is a better student now, due to more flexibility in his five to six hours-long day. She said, “We can provide an environment that’s conducive to him. He can take movement breaks. He’s just a lot happier, and he’s actually started to enjoy learning.”


Wisconsin Partnership Program awards $6 million in community impact grants to health equity programs

October 16, 2020

The Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has announced its 2020 Community Impact Grant awards for initiatives that aim to advance health equity and improve health and well-being throughout Wisconsin. Initiatives that address the health of Black men and women, prevent suicide among Wisconsin farmers and promote economic stability and restorative justice are among the six award recipients.


Cap Times Idea Fest: COVID-19 is a chance to reimagine education, panelists say

October 14, 2020   |   By Ben Farrell, Special to the Cap Times

Panelists Gloria Ladson-Billings, a retired University of Wisconsin-Madison education professor who taught for 26 years and is now the National Academy of Education president; Carlton Jenkins, the newly hired Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent, and Mary Lee McKenzie, an educator at Clark Community School in Middleton shared their insights on how the crisis can — and perhaps should — lead to a drastic reimagining of what education looks like.


AERA Virtual Awards Ceremony Saturday to Honor WCER’s Good, Cheng

September 29, 2020   |   By WCER Communications

Annalee Good and Emily Cheng will be honored in a virtual ceremony Saturday for a paper with Vanderbilt University colleagues that won one of AERA’s 2020 excellence in education research awards. The celebration is open to the public and will broadcast live on ZOOM.


Savvas Learning Company Launches Culturally Responsive Learning Initiative

September 24, 2020   |   By Savvas Learning Company

Savvas Learning Company, a next-generation learning solutions provider for K-12 education, is proud to announce the launch of its Culturally Responsive Learning (CRL) Initiative that will focus on supporting teachers in making real changes in their classroom practices to foster student voice and improve achievement as well as using curriculum that opens minds and allows students to see themselves reflected in what they learn.


Why Reading Is Fundamental to Racial Equity

September 15, 2020   |   By Stephanie J. Hull

America is finally waking up to the full scope and severity of its oldest illness: racism. We cannot afford to hit snooze. And yet this awakening comes at a time when coronavirus-related school closures are exacerbating racial inequalities in our education system, even as the virus and the recession disproportionately hurt communities of color.


UW-Madison researcher collaborates on new NSF-funded national artificial intelligence initiative

September 14, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage, WCER Communications

Sadhana Puntambekar, a principal investigator at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and professor in the University of Wisconsin─Madison School of Education, will collaborate with national researchers on establishing one of five artificial intelligence (AI) institutes and education hubs. A $100 million initiative of the National Science Foundation, the centers are the single most significant federal investment to date in exploring how AI can benefit the United States’ quality of life, economy and international competitiveness.


UW Researchers Partner with Madison School District to Sharpen 4K Teaching

August 21, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

The project, funded by a $400,000 federal grant, culminated with the delivery of research-based professional development sessions to 20 Madison 4K teachers on four Saturdays last school year.


Making Science Multilingual Partnership works to change the way we teach science

August 20, 2020   |   By Jesse Stone, Nevada Today

Yerington Elementary is trying something new. They’re working towards implementing teaching science in every classroom as part of their school improvement program. This year, the school is participating as a pilot of brand-new ideas and principles made by Making Science Multilingual that make science teaching more effective not just for students that learn English as a second language, but everyone.


Many rural Wisconsin school districts don’t have full-time nurses. Some don’t have any at all.

August 18, 2020   |   By Naomi Kowles

Across Wisconsin in small, rural districts made up of just a few hundred students, full-time school nurses are a scarce commodity. It’s not a new issue, but the implications of a school year unfolding mid-pandemic with incomplete access to medically-training staff is one that’s concerning to district administrators as they plan for an uncertain, and often in-person, return to school this fall.