The Institute of Education Sciences and The National Center for Education Research have awarded a five million grant to the University of Delaware for the Center for Research Use in Education (CRUE). This new research center will be housed within UD’s Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) and will focus on studying the connections and gaps between education research and schools’ practices.

Dr. Henry May, CRUE Co-Director and an Associate Professor of Education and Human Development says, “Since 2003, the field on education research has experienced nothing short of a revolution.” The federal Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 required education research funding to focus on “scientifically-based” field experiments designed to test whether education programs and policies work or not. “We now have a substantial body of evidence of what works in education, but we really have no idea how and if schools are using this evidence to guide their instruction.”

Dr. Elizabeth Farley-Ripple, CRUE Co-Director and an Assistant Professor in the School of Education says, “Building capacity for evidence-based reform is critical to improving teaching and learning in our schools. CRUE’s research will generate knowledge to better equip both researchers and educators to work towards that important goal.”

Dr. Allison Karpyn, CRESP Associate Director and CRUE Co-Investigator says, “To date very little is known about how classroom teachers find out about and use research that tells us which teaching practices, curriculum and other strategies, work better than others.” The objective of the study would be to understand how information travels from researchers studying what works, to the actual classrooms. “If teachers are to use the best strategies we have, they need to know which ones are better than others.”

The study will take place over the next five years and will contain a measurement study and a descriptive study. The measurement study will develop a set of guidelines to determine the amount of research used within schools, while the two descriptive studies will examine the practices of researchers and gaps between research and practice in schools.

For more information please contact the Director of the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy at the University of Delaware, Henry May, at hmay@udel.edu.