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Building Strong Research Collaborations in the College of Education

An Interview with College of Education Dean, Marquita Grenot-Scheyer - February 2016

What is the role of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (RSCA) in student success in CED?

RSCA is central to the success of our students. Faculty in the College of Education are experienced teacher/scholars whose research agendas cover a wide variety of contemporary issues affecting PK-18 education. Faculty in the College of Education are productive scholars and researchers engaged in research, grants, evaluation, and professional consultation activities in our local communities and in national and international venues to address such contemporary issues. Our faculty have a deep understanding of the integral link among theory, research, and practice and they engage our students in their research in meaningful ways to deepen the learning experience. In support of RSCA over the last several years, I and my leadership team have developed and implemented a number of research and grant supports in the college to facilitate faculty research and scholarship. An Associate Dean oversees these efforts and is advised by a faculty Research Advisory Group composed of experienced researchers and principal investigators.

CED has such strong research collaborations with PK-14 in the region. What are some of the latest areas of research by both faculty and students?

Our faculty and students study a number of critical educational issues including: Instructional strategies for English Language learners, and students with special needs; Models of improving literacy; Lesson study (an innovative practice that brings teachers together to solve problems of practice); Evidence based interventions for students at risk for learning; Mental health strategies for trauma victims; Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) for whole school reform; Linked Learning models to improve secondary education; and Clinical and Co-teaching models. The faculty disseminate their research in peer reviewed publications and venues as well as practitioner focused publications. They also support students to disseminate their research.

We are seeing more and more interest in multidisciplinary research. What are your thoughts on this research trend and how is it impacting CED?

There is great value in colleagues working together to address critical educational issues. Much of my early research involved collaborative work with colleagues at five different institutions across the nation. As an assistant professor, I learned much from my senior colleagues, so I understand the importance of multidisciplinary research to help new faculty develop and refine their research agendas and to assist faculty at all levels to stay engaged in their work.

California's public schools are faced with many challenges such as higher percentage of ELLs, high student-teacher ratios, inadequate funding, achievement gaps, and teacher shortages to name a few. What types of research are those in the CED conducting that are looking to address some of these or other issues faced by our K-12 system?

These challenges are not new to education; the recent Local Control Funding Formula in California has provided much needed relief to our PK-12 partners though, and has resulted (in some districts) in class size reduction as a strategy to meet the diverse needs of contemporary classrooms. Our faculty's work is grounded in such problems of practice in schools and communities; thus there is both strong relevance to and impact of their scholarship. Many of our faculty have international, national, and regional reputations for their research and I am very proud of each of them.

Research @ the Beach | Faculty Research