ECR Projects

Explore past and current fundamental STEM education research projects across the three research areas that NSF's EDU Core Research (ECR) program funds, as well as across ECR funding types. Other search filters draw from both NSF's data and the ECR Hub's hand coding of award abstracts.

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STEM Learning and Learning Environments STEM Learning and Learning Environments  

Examining relationships among teacher professional learning and associated teacher and student outcomes in math and science: A meta-analytic approach to mediation and moderation

Effective Years: 2023-2026

This research synthesis study reviews the effects of professional learning interventions and will advance STEM educators' understanding of the critically important relationships among teacher professional learning (PL), teacher knowledge and practice, and average student effects. Understanding these relationships will allow the field to design better PL experiences for teachers that truly benefit student learning. The project leverages the availability of causal impact studies in the primary literature and advancements in meta-analytic techniques to uncover relationships among PL features, teacher knowledge and practice, and student outcomes in a manner that has not been done before. To ensure that the research is as useful as possible to other researchers, the team will publicly share our data and analysis scripts, allowing other meta-analysts to build on our efforts. In addition, the researchers will generate web-based data analysis tools for other primary researchers to use to examine the data from the study, conduct a priori power analyses, and to help primary researchers better interpret findings in the context of research that has already been done.

This synthesis research uses meta-analysis to study the effects from studies of PL interventions with math and science student and teacher outcomes. The research team uses meta-regression with robust variance estimation as well as meta-analytic structural equation modeling. Broader impacts are addressed as the data and analyses tools can be used by many communities of researchers, higher education faculty, and policy makers. The communities include teacher educators, education researchers, district PL providers, STEM education policy makers, along with math and science teachers and students.

This research project is supported by NSF's EHR Core Research (ECR) program. The ECR program emphasizes fundamental STEM education research that generates foundational knowledge in the field. Investments are made in critical areas that are essential, broad, and enduring: STEM learning and STEM learning environments, broadening participation in STEM, and STEM workforce development. The program supports the accumulation of robust evidence to inform efforts to understand, build theory to explain, and suggest intervention and innovations to address persistent challenges in STEM interest, education, learning and participation. The project is also funded by the Discovery Research preK-12 program (DRK-12), which seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools. Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

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.