Institute News

Paper presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting

Sue Leibowitz, a senior research manager in the Applied Research and Program Evaluation group at the UMass Donahue Institute, presented a paper at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting last week in Philadelphia on her work with Expeditionary Learning (EL) to develop a new instrument to assess the extent to which EL core practices are implemented.

The conference brought together scholars from throughout the country and beyond to discuss education research and recognize how evidence of varying types can be used for tackling persisting issues in education and for their innovative resolution.

Dr. Leibowitz’s paper, “Expeditionary Learning Implementation Review: Instrument Development” looked at the development of a new instrument to assess the extent to which core practices—in the dimensions of curriculum, instruction, assessment, culture and character, and leadership—are implemented within EL schools. The instrument was constructed using the principles of the Rasch rating scale measurement model. The Rasch model is a psychometric model belonging to the family of item response theory models.

This new instrument provides a powerful diagnostic approach to measure the level of implementation of practices within a whole school context and, when coupled with sufficient technical support, provides clear measures of instructional change school wide. Further, it provides useful longitudinal implementation data within a large school network and can provide valuable overall and dimension-level information for national, regional, and school-level planning and assessment.

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