Learn While Teaching: Supporting Chicago Public Schools K-5 Teachers in Next Generation Science Teaching (Subproject for SP0048571 PI: Prof. Reiser)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Background The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have many unmet research needs. Meanwhile, numerous researchers at Northwestern University have the research tools and substantive expertise to address a number of CPS’s most pressing questions. Through a series of conversations between David Figlio, Dean of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), and Janice Jackson, CEO of CPS, the CPS leadership has developed a set of research questions that they would most like for Northwestern researchers to address, should researchers be interested in doing so. This research agenda document is attached as Attachment A. We propose to establish a seed funding program for Northwestern researchers to address first-order CPS research needs at a more accelerated timetable than is usually possible. While some of CPS’s research questions will require major grant-level funding to study, some of their research questions can get off the ground with a small grant to support, say, faculty research time, research assistant time, or project administration. The goal of this program is to facilitate the acceleration of Northwestern researchers’ studying the first-order CPS research questions that can be addressed with small grant-level funding. In the service of facilitating Northwestern researchers’ partnership with CPS, SESP has established an Office for Community Education Partnerships, headed by Assistant Dean Amy Pratt, we have established a blanket data use agreement between Northwestern and CPS, and we are funding personnel both within CPS (shared with the University of Chicago and Chapin Hall) and at Northwestern to handle data extraction and security for research questions of mutual interest between Northwestern researchers and CPS. Matching CPS research questions to Northwestern researchers We have established a process through which Northwestern researchers can propose research studies to CPS to be addressed under the blanket data use agreement. We will share the CPS research agenda for Northwestern with the broader Northwestern research community – not just within SESP but, rather, all faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and Ph.D. students across the University. Attachment B details the process, including the agreed-upon forms, through which research proposals are made to CPS and the expectations that we have for researchers under this data partnership. Twice per year we will also put out a blanket call to the Northwestern research community to propose small grants under the accelerated process proposed herein. Researchers wishing to apply for a small competitive grant of $5,000 to $25,000 to study a question on the research agenda may submit a 2-6-page summary of the research project, including rationale (including explicit connection to CPS’s research agenda), research design, analytical plan, and timeline. These proposals would be first screened by an internal committee at Northwestern, and a “short list” of finalists would then be considered by a broader committee consisting of representatives from CPS, Northwestern, and the Spencer Foundation, which would rank order the proposals for funding priority. We propose that this committee be co-led by David Figlio from Northwestern and Sarah Dickson from CPS. We might also request input from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research in order to create synergies and avoid duplication with ongoing work being done at the Consortium. The deadline for the first round of proposals will be six weeks following the approval date for this grant. If the full $75,00
Effective start/end date4/1/188/31/20


  • Spencer Foundation (201800124)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.