Understanding How People Learn
Education science is a robust research area within LAS. Our faculty members are investigating the impact of active learning and visualization in science education (Dr. Mike Stieff), how disparities influence educational success (Dr. Amanda Lewis and Dr. Elizabeth Todd-Breland), and how we learn languages (Dr. Luis Lopez, Dr. Kara Morgan-Short, and Dr. Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro). Several of our departments have worked with primary and secondary science teachers (Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics), allowing them to reach a broader audience within our community. The connection between our Anthropology Department and the Field Museum has allowed us to offer combined Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Anthropology while leveraging resources of both institutions.
Understanding How People Learn
Diversity & Inclusion in STEM Education
Dr. Henrik Aratyn, the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities, Professor of Physics, and a Fulbright Scholar was recently awarded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence grant to establish a program that will develop and promote inclusive science education at UIC. Dr. Kathryn Nagy, Professor, and Head of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is a Principal Investigator on an NSF grant whose goal is to promote scientific careers and broaden the scientific pipeline to include individuals from scientifically under-represented communities. Both research programs complement established efforts such as the Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks for Advancement in Science (L@s Ganas), a Department of Education funded initiative led by Dr. Aixa Alfonso of Biological Sciences, which aims to support UIC Latinix students who are interested in a scientific career. The program offers peer mentors and leaders, research fellowships, cultural heritage programs, and transition coaches.
One of the most notable centers in Education Science within the U.S. is the Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI), headed by Dr. Susan Goldman and Dr. Jim Pellegrino. LSRI’s goal is to improve instruction and learning and to provide a robust assessment of the efficacy of educational programs. LSRI external funding line is one of the best at the university with over $100 million in research dollars awarded to its members since its inception. Their work has been seminal to improving educational practices in the urban classroom, most directly within the Chicago Public School system.
Philosophy & School Policy
The Center for Ethics and Education, co-led by Dr. Anthony Laden (Department of Philosophy), was established to bring the tools and perspectives of moral and political philosophy to the world’s concrete problems. Funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, the Center is currently focused on using philosophical tools in education and educational decision making, especially in the context of school policy as it relates to the Chicago Public School system.
Social & Emotional Learning
Dr. Roger Weissberg, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology, pioneered the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) approach that is being widely adopted at elementary and high school levels. SEL has helped educators consider a more holistic approach in their profession by emphasizing the importance and impact of the social and emotional aspect of education and the educational environment.
Related Resources and Awards
The Center for Economic Education promotes high-quality teaching of Economics and Consumer Economics at all levels of schooling (K-12 and college) in the State of Illinois. Led by Dr. Helen Roberts, the Center offers teachers, school districts, and community organizations the curriculum resources and training to teach the fundamental concepts and skills needed to understand and succeed in our market economy. Among the resources offered are age-appropriate lesson plans and workshops for teachers training them to identify and incorporate lessons of economics into the existing curriculum.