Discovering Innovations through Research

On this page: Learn how the College of Education is employing research to further knowledge and improve lives.

SDSU President Malcolm A. Love, who served between 1952 and 1971, once declared, "No institution of higher learning can exist and not do research. Our primary aim is teaching, but research is concomitant."  College of Education faculty engage in cutting-edge research that focuses on important practical issues. Our research findings enrich our teaching and allow us to provide more valuable service to our community.

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Grants awarded to COE

Learn about grants awarded to projects and programs in the College of Education, and explore the diversity of the high quality research conducted by our college.

Improving the art and science of teaching

Professors Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey in the Department of Educational Leadership developed and tested an instructional framework to assure that student learning moves from teacher-directed to student-directed learning. The framework (emphasizing focused instruction, guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent learning) is influencing K –12 education across the nation. 

Building understanding of stress and brain function

Bridging the fields of neuroscience and education, Professor Marilee Bresciani Ludvik in the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education found that “regulating stress and emotion are integral to one’s ability to learn and apply new learning within ambiguous environments. We now know how to empower students to change the structure and therefore the function of their brains to regulate their own stress and emotion.”

Designing more effective models for supervising student teachers

Professor Estella Chizhik and other researchers in the School of Teacher Education successfully piloted a model of student-teaching supervision that resulted in better national performance-based assessment results. In particular, the pilot participants were able to plan for their students’ diverse learning needs, analyze their students’ assessments and literacy development, and provide meaningful feedback to their students.  

Increasing the post-school success of students with autism spectrum disorders

Laura Hall and Bonnie KraemerThrough a U.S. Institute for Education Sciences grant, Professors Laura Hall and Bonnie Kraemer in the Department of Special Education are working alongside researchers from the University of North Carolina and the University of Wisconsin to identify strategies for increasing the post-school success of students with autism spectrum disorders.  

Understanding language development in infants

Professor Sarah Garrity in the Department of Child and Family Development and Professor Cristian Aquino-Sterling in the School of Teacher Education found that infants in a Spanish/ English dual language program were not bound by implicit or explicit rules about what language to use when, with whom, or in what context. They found that both children and teachers used language fluidly as they went about their daily lives. 

Improving early childhood education

Professors Sarah Garrity, Sascha Longstreth, and Nina Potter in the Department of Child and Family Development conducted an analysis of discipline/ guidance policies from 282 early childhood education systems. The variation and lack of quality among these policies may help explain the prevalence of pre-school expulsion and the racial disparities in expulsion rates across the nation. 

Improving the Social Climate of Schools

Professors Colette Ingraham, Audrey Hokoda, and colleagues found that through the introduction and implementation of restorative practices in a high-need elementary school, the number of behavior referrals dropped from 133 to 20 in 3 years and the severity of behavioral issues declined. 

Building understanding of the influence of politics on schools

Professor Ron Evans in the School of Teacher Education is a national authority on issues of educational history and politics. He has found that curriculum and instruction are not apolitical. Controversy over schooling represents a tangible forum through which Americans struggle over competing visions of a good society. Compelling visions of inspired teaching practice in schools are often dashed by low-level, textbook-centered classroom practice. 


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