Research

At the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD), we advance knowledge through rigorous research that improves policy and practice. Committed to the ideals of equity and justice, our research is relevant, timely, and contributes to the goal of social progress through education.

Projects
GSEHD faculty and researchers address the real-world challenges in education through their work. Sample research projects include:
  • Using Robots to Prime Neuropredictive Brain Circuits in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Children with autism spectrum disorders have difficulty learning to communicate and socially interact with others. While researchers have identified language interventions that improve children's language skills, some children fail to respond to these interventions. Recent neuroimaging research offers clues to better understand the specific neuro circuits that mediate intervention success.

    In this project, Dr. Jennifer Frey (Co-PI) of GSEHD collaborates with Dr. Chung Park (Principal Investigator) from GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and Dr. Kevin Pelphrey (Co-PI and Director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to develop and pilot a new neuropriming approach to increase the effectiveness of an evidence-based language intervention with minimally verbal young children with autism. Specifically, Dr. Frey and her colleagues will utilize robots to prime neuropredictive circuits associated with social communication and will examine the effects of this approach on enhancing intervention outcomes.

  • Educational Equity and School Improvement Research Interest Group (RIG)

    This cross-disciplinary group of faculty is committed to cutting-edge research and innovation to tackle the complex challenges inherent in school improvement efforts in the U.S. Balancing rigorous education research with policy and practice expertise, as well as an intense commitment to participatory approaches, this team of faculty works in close partnership with communities and schools to examine and address effectively a wide variety of critical education issues. The work is grounded in an overarching focus on equity in education, an endeavor that requires a fundamental focus on school improvement. The cross-disciplinary group of faculty recognizes the urgent need to address these issues from a variety of disciplinary lenses, and uses research, policy and practice expertise in collaboration with educational partners to leverage local community strengths, address problems of local practice to create new knowledge for the field. The improvement sciences inform this work, and the expertise of the local education community is central to defining, wrestling with and iteratively tackling these problems of practice.

    Researchers look to link educators, professionals, community leaders, families and youth to processes and resources to address issues of equity in educational policy, process, and outcomes. The RIG addresses a diverse range of research areas related to school improvement with particular focus on: equity factors, academic achievement, educational wellbeing, school performance, and graduation rates within economically disadvantaged communities and communities predominantly of color. The RIG aims to advance improvements in educational wellness and success through its commitments to improved student wellbeing and outcomes, teacher wellbeing, and institutional wellness.

    The Educational Equity and School Improvement (EESI) Research Interest Group, organized in 2017, is quickly growing in interest amongst the Graduate School of Education and Human Development research faculty, the university and throughout the education community. Under the guidance of Dr. Elizabeth Tuckwiller and Dr. Rebecca Thessin, EESI offers research, policy, resources, translation, and capacity building to improve educational outcomes. The group collaborates with coalitions of teachers, support staff, principals, superintendents, state education agencies, and community agencies to help them determine how to best support positive educational outcomes for students, iterative and relentless improvement, and equitable opportunities to learn for all students.

  • Unlocking Futures: An Online Master’s Program in Secondary Transition Services For Students with High Needs Disabilities

    Special education is a field that is significantly threatened by teacher shortages, according to the Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing from the federal government. To address this shortage, Dr. Carol Kochhar-Bryant is leading the launch of a new online master’s program that will train teachers working with high-needs disabled students to transition into adulthood-- a program started with support from a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

    Students with acute brain injury and autism have been identified as high-need target populations by the U.S. Department of Education and most state education agencies. This program is one of a few in the United States and is the first to combine transition services with a focus on acute brain injury and autism. The degree will prepare educators to align the secondary general education curriculum with community-based learning and transition services and to promote the success of all students by nurturing and sustaining school cultures and instructional programs.

  • Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education

    Concerns about the quality of education in the Jewish community mirror concerns of the more general community. The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) is an alliance of educational, philanthropic and research institutions aiming to provide improved data and scholarship relevant to the practical needs of teachers, administrators and leaders in Jewish education to address these concerns. Led by GSEHD’s Dean Michael Feuer and Stanford Professor emeritus Lee Shulman, CASJE includes scholars and practitioners from Brandeis, Vanderbilt, and the American Jewish University, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the Evanston school district, and the National Ramah Commission.  The consortium is funded by more than $2 million in grants from leading foundations.

    CASJE’s current projects include research on leadership at Jewish day schools, Jewish early childhood education, experiential learning, Jewish camps, and teaching of Hebrew.

  • Structural and Behavioral Barriers to Student Success

    In 2013, the George Washington University released six papers to increase the understanding of how student behaviors and decisions can affect educational success. Written by an interdisciplinary group of researchers from around the country, including the George Washington University, the papers examine the impacts of students’ responses to the financial aid system, to information about college and to classroom and institutional processes. The project was commissioned by GSEHD and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Centers

Center for the Advancement of Research in Distance Education (CARDE)

The Center for the Advancement of Research in Distance Education (CARDE) is a research center affiliated with the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. In partnership with institutions, scholars, policy-makers, organizations, and corporations we research theories and constructs to inform best practices of policy-makers, teachers, and learners. Research findings at CARDE offer innovative ways to advance the field of distance education while inviting collaboration and partnerships.

Center for Applied Developmental Science and Neuroeducation

Situated within the Special Education and Disability Studies (SEDS) program, we work with SEDS faculty to train doctoral scholars. Through coursework, internship opportunities, and independent research, students learn to integrate, apply, and advance educational and neuroscientific perspectives. Workshop and symposia led by the Neuroeducation Center will foster collaboration among diverse communities of researchers and practitioners. Through these events and other activities we support the synthesis and dissemination of new knowledge relevant to educational practice and policy.

Center on Education Policy (CEP)

The Center on Education Policy is a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools. The Center helps Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to improve the academic quality of public schools. We do not represent any special interests. Instead, we try to help citizens make sense of the conflicting opinions and perceptions about public education and create the conditions that will lead to better public schools.

Center for Rehabilitation Counseling Research and Education (CRCRE)

The GW Center for Rehabilitation Counseling Research and Education (CRCRE) aims to enhance research, as well as to provide opportunities for growth and development to a diverse population including persons with disabilities. Currently, the CRCRE is part of two US Department of Education funded National Technical Assistance Centers (the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center and the VR Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities). GW CRCRE is also a partner with the University of Richmond/Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) on a research project examining VR Return on Investment. The Center is also partnering on a demonstration project with Virginia DARS as part of their Career Pathways Grant. The CRCRE has also provided training and technical assistance through contracts with State VR agencies in MD, VA and DC.

The Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership

The Mayberg Center was created to advance community-based scholarship in the field of Jewish education and leadership, particularly in the arenas of pedagogy, identity, and literacy. The Center will convene academics and practitioners in critical conversations about the Jewish future, catalyze research and provide graduate level training for Jewish educators and certificate program opportunities for professionals working in Jewish non-profits.

Bookshelf
The GSEHD community contributes to the scholarship on education through books, journal articles, and other publications.
School maintenance and renovation: Administrative policies, practices and economics

Earthman, G. I., & Lemasters, L. K. (2004). School maintenance and renovation: Administrative policies, practices and economics. Lancaster, PA: Pro>Active Publications.

Erikson on development in adulthood: New insights from the unpublished papers

Hoare, C. H. (2002). Erikson on development in adulthood: New insights from the unpublished papers. New York: Oxford University Press.

Integrative Traditionen in der Sekundarstufe? Portraits von vier ostberliner Schulen (A Tradition of Integration in Secondary Schooling? Portraits of Four Eastern Berlin Schools)

Händle, C., & Streitwieser, B. (2002). Integrative Traditionen in der Sekundarstufe? Portraits von vier ostberliner Schulen (A Tradition of Integration in Secondary Schooling? Portraits of Four Eastern Berlin Schools). Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac.

Results-oriented strategic planning

Goldman, E. (2002). Results-oriented strategic planning. Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association.

Erik Erikson, 1902-1994

Hoare, C. H. (2001). Erik Erikson, 1902-1994. In The Encyclopedia Parenthood in America. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Press.

Generativity, In the Encyclopedia Parenthood in America

Hoare, C. H. (2001). Generativity, In The Encyclopedia Parenthood in America. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Press.

Global Leaders for the Twenty-First Century

Marquardt, M. J., & Berger, N. O. (2000) Global leaders for the twenty-first century. SUNY series in management-communication. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Equity and Science Education Reform

Lynch, S. (2000). Equity and science education reform. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. and Associates, Inc.

Ethical self, spiritual self: Wisdom and integrity in the writings of Erik H. Erikson

Hoare, C. H. (2000). Ethical self, spiritual self: Wisdom and integrity in the writings of Erik H. Erikson. In Creativity, spirituality, and transcendence: Paths to integrity and wisdom in the mature self. Eds. M. Miller & A. West. Stamford, CT: Ablex Press.

Morality, Ethics, and Spirituality in the Writings of Erik H. Erikson

Hoare, C. H. (2000). Morality, ethics, and spirituality in the writings of Erik H. Erikson. In M. Miller & A. West (Eds.), Spirituality, ethics, and relationship in adulthood: Clinical and theoretical explorations. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.

Pages

Working Paper Series

In the News

Dr. Elisabeth Hess Rice and Dr. Bonnie Billingsley (VA Tech) published the book chapter, “Including Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders” in Jeffrey Bakken’s (Ed.) Classrooms. Academic Content and Behavior Strategy for Students with and without Disabilities (Volume 2).

Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ, along with Dr. Victoria J. Marsick, Dr. Karen E. Watkins, and Dr. Aliki Nicolaides, had an invited article published in the initial issue of a new publication in the field of adult education, Journal of Adult Learning, Knowledge, and Innovation. The article is entitled Rethinking informal and incidental learning in terms of complexity and social context. Dr. Scully-Russ also participated in an American Institute of Research (AIR) invited workshop on using the PIAAC database for interdisciplinary research in Chicago.

GSEHD doctoral students Laura Groth and Matthew Malone (both education administration and policy studies students) and Dr. Joshua Glazer published a chapter in the book Enduring Myths that Inhibit School Turnaround.

Brett Weigle, GSEHD doctoral student (higher education administration), published his first article in a peer-reviewed journal. Keeping David from Bathsheba: The Four-Star General's Staff as Nathan was published in the Journal of Military Ethics.

Dr. Joan Kester and several special education and disability studies doctoral and master's students presented at the 2017 PA Community on Transition Conference. Amanda Szczerba, a master's student, co-presented with Dr. Kester in a session featuring her capstone project, "Career Development Opportunities for Students with Disabilities." Eric Duer, a recent master's graduate, presented "Entrepreneurship on a Budget." Dr. Kester and doctoral student Matthew Flanagan collaborated with Temple University and the PA Youth Leadership Network to present research findings in a session entitled "Transition Discoveries: Tools & Resources to Improve Transition Practices." Dr. Kester co-presented with Julie Stella and Matthew Flanagan, doctoral students, a session entitled "Digital Inclusion: Let's Brainstorm!"