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Department Programs and Communities

Research Projects

Excellence Through Inquiry

Teaching and research go hand in hand. Over the decades, the college has been home to major research centers and institutes that have led to new understandings of teachers, teaching and student learning. This is why we promote and value various research projects and centers within our department. Faculty, staff, and students work hard to improve teaching through research. Our research and centers make the Department of Teacher Education a dynamic place to study education.

Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS)

The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) represents the most extensive investigation of mathematics and science education ever conducted. The study is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and funded in the U.S. by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Approximately 50 countries have participated in this comparative survey of education focusing upon nine-year old students, thirteen-year old students, and students in their last year of secondary schools. Click here for the website:

Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning (IRTL)

The Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning (IRTL) is an umbrella organization designed to promote, encourage and enhance research throughout the college. As the college's research office, the institute works with faculty on research funding opportunities, and seeks to identify and facilitate outside funding opportunities in the form of grants and contracts from federal or state agencies, and provide in-house seed grants.

Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC)

LARC is a research center housed within Michigan State University’s highly regarded College of Education. LARC is currently funded for five years though a grant from Michigan State University Research Excellence Funds. LARC has much to offer the literacy research community, including: support for addressing pressing questions in literacy research and education, conferences and compendia synthesizing and disseminating literacy research on important topics across research methodologies, excellent training for doctoral students in literacy, and a website offering a wide variety of resources related to literacy research and education. Click here to view our webpage.

Teachers for a New Era (TNE)

Visit the Teachers for a New Era website

Teachers for a New Era is an initiative funded by the Carnegie Corporation, and the Annenberg, Rockefeller, and Ford foundations. The $5 million project engages faculty from throughout the university and K-12 teachers. An essential aspect of the team's focus is on the kinds of subject matter knowledge prospective teachers need to improve student learning, the use of assessment to strengthen the entire MSU teacher education program, recruitment of diverse students, and the development of a two-year induction program for beginning MSU teachers. The goal is that by implementing the innovative changes, MSU will prepare even better teachers and serve as a model for other teacher education programs.

Entering The Guild

Visit the Entering
the Guild

This research project examines the impact of participation in various types of science-rich professional development activities and affiliations with a larger science educator community on the science knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and classroom practices of novice science teachers. Specifically the program follows a diverse population of novice middle and high school science teachers and their students as they participate in programs offered through the Exploratorium Science Museum. The outcomes provide data regarding the specific components of professional development programs that are the most effective in supporting quality science teaching by early career science teachers. The project uses collaboration between an informal science education institution and a research university to carry out the research.

Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics

TEDS-M 2008 is a comparative study of teacher education with a focus on the preparation of teachers of mathematics at the primary and lower secondary levels. The study is carried out under the aegis of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), a consortium of research institutions in 60 countries. TEDS-M will pay particular attention to the links between teacher education policies, practices and outcomes. The study will provide participating countries with a valuable opportunity to conduct research on their own teacher education system and to learn from approaches used in other countries.

Environmental Literacy

Visit the Environmental Literacy website

Our research is supported in part by three grants from the National Science Foundation: Developing a research-based learning progression for the role of carbon in environmental systems (REC 0529636), the Center for Curriculum Materials in Science (ESI-0227557) and Long-term Ecological Research in Row-crop Agriculture (DEB 0423627). Our goal is to integrate Environmental Literacy into contemporary K-12 curriculum. We have four working groups, each of which is working on different strands of environmental literacy: carbon cycle, water cycle, biodiversity and evolution, and connecting actions. The groups consist of university-based researchers and K-12 teachers. Our major products of past work are: (a) research papers addressing student conceptions of environmental issues; (b) assessments that can be used with elementary, middle, and high school students. Click here for the website

Research Studies on Teacher Preparation Program

All persons contemplating research on programs of the Department of Teacher Education should make early proposals to the Department for approval.

  • To apply for approval, access the online application form
  • Application review process wil take less than two months
  • Applications are accepted between August 15 ~ May 1

Research activity should not begin until the proposal is approved by the student's committee and the Department and must be accompanied by IRB approval.

For questions about submitting a request via the online form, contact the Chair of the Teacher Preparation Committee at .

For more information visit our Research Studies on Teacher Preparation Program website.