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National Center for Education Research

image of a magnifying glass National Research and Development Centers





Principal Investigator:

Sheridan, Susan


University of Nebraska, Lincoln


National Research and Development Centers [Program Details]

Award Period:

5 years

Award Amount:



R&D Center

The National Center for Research on Rural Education

Topic: Rural Education

Purpose: The National Center for Research on Rural Education will identify, develop, and validate professional development practices that lead to the delivery of improved instruction in rural schools and improve rural studentsí acquisition of knowledge and skills in reading, science, and mathematics. More specifically, it will focus on three primary goals:

  • Investigation of variations in existing rural professional development practices, differences in professional development practices between rural and non-rural settings, the potential influence of various characteristics of professional development on rural teachersí knowledge, perceptions, and instructional practices, and moderating effects of context and teacher variables;
  • Evaluation of the impact of two types of coaching (on-site versus distance-provided) on teachersí use of RTI-based differentiated reading instruction and their studentsí acquisition of reading skills through an experiment; and
  • Evaluation of the impact of teacher professional development focused on teaching science using explicit instruction with guided inquiry and scaffolding.

A secondary goal is to work cooperatively with the Institute to formulate and carry out the results of supplementary research studies that are responsive to the needs of rural education practitioners and policy makers.

IES Program Contact: Dr. Emily Doolittle
Telephone: (202) 219-1201

Project Website:

Publications from this project:

Semke, C.A., and Sheridan, S.M. (2012). Family-School Connections in Rural Educational Settings: A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature.School Community Journal,22 (1), 21–47.