Faculty awarded $1.5 million grant to help teachers learn from each other

Cindy Hmelo-Silver and Joshua Danish have been awarded a grant of $1.515 million from the National Science Foundation for the project Hearing Each Other's Voices: Community Models for Professional Learning for Teachers, STEM Coaches and Researchers

The goal of the project is to support teachers, STEM coaches and researchers in sharing their knowledge so that they can learn from one another. The STEM coaches will work with teachers with a focus on science and technology in the schools. They will also serve to connect K-12 schools and researchers, and will play a critical role in bridging between the teachers and researchers. Ultimately, a professional learning community will be created, bringing the three groups together. 

“I am particularly excited about this grant because it provides an opportunity to get research in the learning sciences and instructional technology off the shelf and into the hands of practitioners,” said Hmelo-Silver, a Distinguished Professor with the IU School of Education. “With our focus on STEM coaches, we really have the opportunity to amplify our research but at the same time, helping researchers better understand problems of practice and the realities of the classroom. It can also provide a model for Schools of Education to build research-practice partnerships.”

In most of our research, we work really closely with just 1-2 teachers, which can be wonderful but limits our impact. I’m really excited about how this project will ... help us connect to a much larger group.

Joshua Danish

HEOV is an innovative approach that addresses a long-standing challenge for education and learning sciences is sharing the distinct knowledge bases of researchers and teachers with each other. One purpose of the learning community will be to select and adapt research-based practices that address local changes. The learning community will also work together to create research-practice briefs that are short written summaries of research that provides usable knowledge and guidance for teaching and learning, as well as research-practice briefs that summarize research with input from both researchers and practitioners so that principled adaptations can be applied more easily in practice.

“In most of our research, we work really closely with just 1-2 teachers, which can be wonderful but limits our impact,” said Danish, a Professor and Learning Sciences Program Coordinator. “I’m really excited about how this project will involve the coaches, and many teachers and help us connect to a much larger group of talented teachers to share our ideas and learn from them!” 

IU is leading the multi-institution collaboration with Judi Fusco at Digital Promise, Krista Glazewski at the Friday Institute at North Carolina State University and Haesol Bae at SUNY-Albany.