Dean's message on interdisciplinary research

David H. Monk
October 08, 2018

College of Education faculty members have expanded efforts in recent years to conduct interdisciplinary research focused on large, cross-cutting issues. A byproduct of this shift has been growth in collaborations with colleagues throughout the University and beyond. This groundbreaking work is relevant and applicable in educational environments in our own backyard, around the world, and everywhere in between.

David H. Monk

Penn State College of Education Dean David H. Monk

IMAGE: Steve Tressler/Vista Print Studios

Principal investigators in the Penn State College of Education have seen an increase of more than 30 percent in funding of their research in the past year, and our faculty members are involved in funded projects for interdisciplinary research totaling more than $20 million.

On the following pages, you can read about several relevant ongoing projects. Some of this research, like the work being done to increase reading comprehension among bilingual students in U.S. schools, involves faculty members located in multiple departments within our college. This project is taking place in two areas of the country with linguistically diverse groups of students and is designed to demonstrate how interventions can bring about different levels of success in different contexts. These interventions also may be applicable to other populations, including students with learning disabilities.

Other projects, such as one being pursued by two faculty members in our Department of Learning and Performance Systems (LPS) in collaboration with faculty in other disciplines at Penn State, are global in nature and impact. The LPS researchers are working to better understand the role social movements in global settings can play in the development of an educated population.

Our faculty members also are working on research designed to understand the consequences of placements in the foster-care system for subsequent educational outcomes. Others are studying how young children learn about space science in informal learning environments and the implications for subsequent learning in more formal settings. Assessment also has emerged as an important research topic, and Penn State researchers are developing new dynamic assessment tools that are leading to more successful mastery of language.

All of these projects are leading to improvements in the lives of learners of all ages and levels of ability. They are demonstrating the commitment of our faculty members, staff and students to the importance of objective evidence as the cornerstone of the efforts we make to improve educational outcomes for students.

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Last Updated October 10, 2018