CEEL has initiated various research and evaluation projects that collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data to further inform instructional practices for English Language Learners.
Project Family DREAMMS (Dialogic Reading in Early Childhood for the Advancement of Making Meaning in the Sciences) is an innovative project that will provide professional development for teams of Transitional Kindergarten and early childhood education teachers to deliver family literacy training for low-income parents of four and five year old Dual Language Learners (DLLs) focusing on non-fiction, science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) reading using the research-based protocol of Dialogic Reading.
Project QUEST (Quality Urban Ecology Science Teaching) for Long Term English Learners (LTELs) is a collaborative interdisciplinary exploratory research proposal between the Center for Equity for English Learners in the School of Education, the Center for Urban Resilience in the Seaver College of Science and Engineering and Los Angeles Unified School District. This project will measure student learning outcomes in Environmental Science for LTELs in grades 4-8. The primary goal is to increase LTELs' science achievement and engagement in: (1) Urban Ecology, and (2) scientific disciplinary academic language skills in order to expand awareness of STEM related careers for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Concomitantly, Project QUEST will generate knowledge about developing in-service teachers' knowledge and skills in delivering high quality STEM education by creating a framework, tools and processes for diverse students.
Science Teaching for English Learners - Leveraging Academic Rigor
From 2012-2018, the School of Education lead a professional development program, called "Project STELLAR: Teaching for Critical Transitions," serving teachers of long-term English Learners in four partner school districts in southern California – Lennox School District (Yrs. 1-6), Wiseburn Unified School District (Yrs. 1-6), Environmental Charter Schools (Yrs. 2-5); and Culver City Unified School District (Yrs. 1-2). STELLAR stands for "Science Teaching for English Learners – Leveraging Academic Rigor."
The partnership was funded by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Professional Development program and provided intensive training in academic writing in environmental science for 82 in-service teachers, 35 teacher leaders, and 28 pre-service teachers of English Learners. The project also served 58 district and site-level administrators and leaders.
The goals of Project STELLAR included the creation and implementation of a coherent and comprehensive professional development program for pre-service and in-service teachers in academic writing in science. The partnership examined educational outcomes for 4th-8th grade English Learners during "critical transition" periods and increased the capacity of teachers and administrators to provide high quality, content-based language and literacy development while addressing the socio-emotional needs of long-term English Learners.
Dr. Magaly Lavadenz, distinguished professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and executive director of CEEL served as principal investigator for this project. Dr. Elvira Armas, the center's director of programs and partnerships served as the project's co-director. The Department of Educational Support Services and Eric Strauss, President's Professor in the Seaver College of Science and Engineering are content experts for the project.
View the STELLAR Impact Report.
Urban School Districts Reform Initiative (USDRI) - Weingart Foundation
To help Southern California public schools provide rich learning opportunities for students, Weingart Foundation launched the Urban Public School Districts Initiative in 2006, with an objective of supporting targeted reform efforts within districts with effective plans for change. the goal of the Initiative is to positively impact education by supporting sustainable reforms in districts educating high numbers of low-income students.
Members of the CEEL research team were invited to partner with Lennox School District (one of four districts participating in this Initiative) and served as evaluators for the district's reform initiative. Subsequently, CEEL received Weingart grant funding to further develop the Journalism for English Learners program.