IES Blog

Institute of Education Sciences

Spotlight on FY 2023 Early Career Development Grant Awardees: Supporting HBCU Students with Trauma Informed Online Teaching

This summer, IES awarded the first grant within the Early Career Development and Mentoring Program for Faculty at Minority Serving Institutions to Dr. Virginia Byrne, an assistant professor at Morgan State University, a historically black university (HBCU) located in Maryland. In recognition of HBCU week, we asked Dr. Byrne to share with us her career journey and her new IES-funded early career project that explores how evidence-based models of trauma informed online teaching (TIOT) may benefit students taking online classes at HBCUs.

Tell us about your current IES early career project.

I began my career as a student affairs practitioner focused on how the Internet was expanding access for activism, community engagement, and higher education, particularly among students of minoritized and marginalized groups. Now I study online teaching and learning in higher education with a focus on which students tend to thrive in online classes versus those who struggle.

My IES early career project is driven by the urgent need to understand how to best support the academic success of HBCU students in online learning environments. Today’s college students are likely to have survived some form of traumatic or adverse event either prior to or during their undergraduate enrollment, including the complexities of grief, illness, financial difficulties, and social disruption such as the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many trauma-affected students struggle to engage in traditional school activities, regulate their effort and motivation, authentically participate in classroom discussions, and successfully graduate. To ensure that trauma-affected students are persisting in their college courses, educators are encouraged to adopt trauma-informed teaching practices.

While research exists on the value of trauma-informed teaching in face-to-face K-12 classrooms and, to a lesser extent, higher education contexts, it has yet to rigorously explore the impact of these trauma-informed practices on online college students. It is still unclear how trauma-informed teaching principles align with the leading online teaching literature, how students feel about these practices, or how they relate to achievement and persistence outcomes, particularly among trauma-affected students who might struggle with effort regulation. My three-year project, The Learning and Engaging at a Distance (LEAD) Initiative, seeks to fill this gap by posing an evidence-based model of TIOT practices in higher education and rigorously exploring how these practices might benefit HBCU students in online classes. I hypothesize that the adoption of TIOT practices will be helpful to all students, but especially those who are trauma-affected with reduced effort regulation. 

What are trauma-informed online teaching practices?

A trauma-informed approach to teaching consists of shifts in education practices, pedagogies, and policies as faculty learn about the role of trauma in students’ lives and how classrooms can perpetuate it. Trauma-informed teaching emphasizes an anti-racist, asset-based approach to provide all students with trauma-informed care, not just those who report their traumatic experiences (a universal approach). In my current IES project, I weave together the online learning, college teaching, and trauma-informed teaching literatures to pose the TIOT model, an evidence-based model consisting of seven related principles:

  1. Collaboration and Mutuality: Faculty welcome student input in collaboration and decision-making to share power and co-construct knowledge.
  2. Emotional, Social, and Academic Safety: Faculty foster an online learning environment that respects the need for safety, respect, and authenticity.
  3. Empowerment, Voice, and Choice: Faculty make space for and empower students to make choices so that the course is relevant to their professional interests and aligned with their personal development goals.
  4. Resilience, Growth, and Change: Faculty take an anti-deficit, growth-oriented approach by forwarding the idea that all students are emerging scholars capable of learning and succeeding. They use formative feedback to cultivate a community of learning and to reinforce self-efficacy.
  5. Social Justice: Faculty cultivate an equitable and anti-oppressive learning environment that prioritizes social justice in the course design and curriculum.
  6. Support and Connection: Faculty provide students with structures and resources to support their community building, academic achievement, and professional development.
  7. Trustworthiness and Transparency: Faculty foster a sense of trust and transparency among students by providing clear expectations, being reliable and consistent, and establishing healthy boundaries.

I theorize that by adopting a universal, trauma-informed approach to online teaching, instructors can create a more supportive and equity-centered learning environment for all students to thrive.

What advice would you give to emerging scholars from HBCUs who are pursuing a career in education research?

First, recognize the strengths of your institution as an HBCU. For example, my project leverages Morgan State University’s focus on high-touch teaching both in-person and online. By emphasizing what our faculty are already doing well and building on our existing expertise, I was able to gain campus buy-in on my project. Remember that being at an HBCU is an asset.

Second, even if your campus is small and research is not on the top of everyone’s to-do list, there are probably faculty who are doing rigorous research projects. Find them, even if they are outside of your field or discipline. Ask them how they found support on campus to do this work. Who is their go-to person for budget questions? For grant submission issues? Is there any unadvertised money for professional development? There are likely those on campus who want to mentor emerging scholars on research and grant-writing, even if it is not their full-time job. Reach out to them. 

How can the broader education research community better support the careers and scholarship of researchers from HBCUs?

The broader community often misses out on the tremendous excellence that HBCU faculty and graduate student researchers have to offer. There is a LOT of excellence here!

That said, we are limited by a lack of administrative research support and training, such as grant-writing support staff, in-house budget teams, graduate assistantship funding, high-quality financial software, and conference travel funding. This is caused, in part, by historic and systemic underfunding. Members of the broader community could better support HBCU researchers by educating themselves on the funding histories of the public HBCUs in their states and talking about it with colleagues, reaching out to HBCU faculty to build collaborative research partnerships, recruiting HBCU students to join their research teams as interns, research assistants, and post-docs, and sharing access to existing resources on the hidden curriculum around research (for example, how to write a grant proposal, how to craft a budget, how to effectively manage a large grant).

Incredible research is already happening at HBCUs. These are just a few ways that the education research community could get more involved.


Virginia L. Byrne, PhD, is an assistant professor of higher education and student affairs at Morgan State University in the School of Education and Urban Studies. Her research falls at the intersection of higher education, online learning, and the learning sciences to investigate issues of climate and equity in online and technology-enhanced learning environments. Dr. Byrne earned her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park in technology, learning and leadership and her master’s degree in student affairs from Florida State University.

This blog was produced by Katina Stapleton (Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov), program officer for the Early Career Mentoring Program for Faculty at Minority Serving Institutions (Early Career MSI). This program supports grants that prepare faculty at minority-serving institutions to conduct high-quality education research that advances knowledge within the field of education sciences and addresses issues important to education policymakers and practitioners. In FY 2024, IES is accepting applications for the Early Career MSI program as well as the new Early Career Development and Mentoring Program for Education Research.

 

Spotlight on FY 2023 Early Career Development Grant Awardees: Supporting Latine Transborder Caregivers and Their Young Children with or at Risk for Autism

NCSER continues its series spotlighting the recently funded Early Career Development and Mentoring Grants Program principal investigators with an interview with Ana Dueñas, assistant professor in special education at San Diego State University. Dr. Dueñas is conducting research aimed at improving outcomes for Latine transborder caregivers and their young children with or at risk for autism. We are pleased that this blog also honors Hispanic Heritage Month

How did you become interested in studying early intervention for Latine children on the autism spectrum?

Headshot of Ana Dueñas

As a first-generation Mexican cis-gender woman who was raised in a bicultural transborder community alongside the San Diego/Tijuana border, I learned to navigate a shifting identity—speaking English and Spanish fluently to feel accepted by both communities and managing schooling and housing across borders. Like many other children of Mexican immigrants, I served as a translator, social worker, and advocate for my parents. These experiences, along with my sensitivity to the unique needs of this population, inform how I approach community-engaged research. I am also very aware of how the biases that my education and training in special education and applied behavior analysis influence my approach to intervention research, particularly in light of the history of deficit-driven rhetoric and a medical model of disability in these fields. I aim to be mindful of the power differential that is often associated with higher education, social class, and researcher institutions in my interactions with the families I support.

My interest in building partnerships with Latine caregivers of children with autism began 10 years ago. Earlier in my career, I was a social worker for the California Regional Centers, a non-profit organization that provides services, advocacy, and support to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. There I gained firsthand awareness of the behavioral health disparities faced by historically minoritized families (delayed diagnosis and access to culturally relevant services). Now, as a junior faculty member and researcher, I bring these experiences to my work and hope to form genuine relationships with the Latine community to better inform autism intervention research.

What are some of the unique challenges and needs of your study population?

I hope to understand these issues in depth more throughout this project. What we know from the literature about the Latine community more broadly is that they face significant disparities in access to timely diagnosis and treatment for their autistic children. This racial disparity is exacerbated in rural communities, or “service deserts” like the Imperial Valley of California, where this project is situated. The transborder community as a subgroup of the larger Latine community has very specific needs that may create a mismatch in evidence-based practices. Some points of mismatch are logistical and environmental—living and working across borders—which may lead to limited compliance, attendance, or engagement in intervention. Other points of mismatch may occur because Latine families may have a history of working with staff that lack cultural competence and therefore have few positive experiences receiving early intervention services. Further, though my project doesn’t focus on families who are undocumented, transborder families may be dealing with unique issues related to immigration status—threats of deportation, housing insecurity, and limited access to physical and mental healthcare. 

What broader impact are you hoping to achieve with your research?

Through my research, I hope to address the behavioral education disparities among marginalized populations, as they undermine the quality of life and opportunities for autistic children and their families, particularly among families exposed to vulnerable circumstances. My study addresses one small component of the many disparities that occur across a continuum from identification to treatment to improve the match between evidence-based interventions and the specific needs of marginalized individuals. Many interventions were developed with minimal input from ethnic and/or racially marginalized communities. Though there continues to be an implementation fidelity versus cultural adaptation debate, without sensitivity and responsiveness to the unique needs of communities, interventions may fail to be adopted. In my work, I begin with an assessment to ensure that the intervention is relevant to community needs and desires.

What advice do you have for other early career researchers?

Don’t give up. Understand and harness your value. Follow your instinct. Seek mentorship.

Ana Dueñas demonstrates passion and meaningful personal connection to her research. We are excited to follow her work and see what lies ahead in her academic career trajectory in special education.

This blog was produced by Emilia Wenzel, NCSER intern and graduate student at University of Chicago. Katherine Taylor (Katherine.Taylor@ed.gov) is the program officer for NCSER’s Early Career Development and Mentoring program.

Communicating with Migrant Communities: An Interview with Pathways Alum Gabriel Lorenzo Aguilar

The Pathways to the Education Sciences Program was designed to inspire students from groups that have been historically underrepresented in doctoral study to pursue careers in education research. Gabriel Lorenzo Aguilar, who participated in the IES-funded University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) Pathways program focused on P-20 pipeline issues, is the first Pathways fellow to be offered a tenure track position at a university. Gabriel, who is currently finishing his doctoral program in English at the Pennsylvania State University, recently accepted a tenure-track position in the Technical Writing and Professional Design program at the University of Texas at Arlington. Growing up in the barrios of South Texas, Gabriel brings a working-class, migrant-community, and undocumented-community perspective to academia. His research and teaching center the problems of communities who are in dire need of aid and assistance and who rely on technical communication in life-critical situations, especially migrants, refugees, and asylees. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked Gabriel to reflect on his career journey and the experiences of Hispanics scholars.

How have your background and experiences shaped your scholarship and career in using technical communication to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, such as migrants and refugees?

My grandmother was an undocumented migrant. Growing up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of South Texas, I saw how much community came to help not only my grandmother but other undocumented people. I saw firsthand the generosity, commitment, and sacrifice all of us in our neighborhoods made to make sure we had everything we needed.

That level of sacrifice required communication between the community, nonprofits, and others. I saw younger generations provide translation services to their grandparents, making sure that the older generation understood how to get resources such as Medicaid or subsidized utilities. It was only after I went to college that I learned that this communication had a name: technical communication. Broadly speaking, the field of technical communication focuses on making technical information understandable to a wide variety of audiences. It can include things like instructions on how to submit applications for aid or forms for service but has recently expanded to include the communication of marginalized peoples. The types of technical communication we did in the barrios were not included in broader discussions. So, I made it a mission of mine in graduate school to bring the kind of technical communication from marginalized populations into the mainstreams of research and practice.

My past projects looked into helping humanitarian organizations better translate for Mexican migrant populations. Future projects are tackling similar issues with the general population in the RGV and how citizens communicate with one another to form coalitions for change. In any case, my background and experiences help me see technical communication as a field that can improve the lives of my community.

How did participation in the UTSA P20 Pathways program shape your career journey?

Quite frankly, the UTSA Pathways program made my career journey. I struggled a lot in undergrad. I noticed that my peers that excelled were usually white and from more affluent school districts. They seemed to know everything while the rest of us, especially those from the RGV, were behind.

The UTSA Pathways program helped me understand there is a place for scholars like me: those from disenfranchised backgrounds with the passion to help communities in need. While in the program, I learned to recognize disparities in education outcomes—that inequity stems from lack of resources and structural issues such as racism. The program empowered me to see education as a means to tackle such issues.

The program also shaped my understanding of what it means to be an educator: patient, accessible, and demonstrative. I was the undergraduate who didn’t understand the material, who felt too small to ask for help. I’ve learned to recognize the tells of that kind of student—students who often experience the world like I do as a student of color from a working-class background. I try to approach these students first, establishing clear channels of communication and accessibility.

What advice would you give education researchers who wish to work with migrant and refugee communities?

These communities need resources, not predatory researchers. My advice would be to be reflexive on what you give and take when working with a migrant community. There is a long history of researchers extracting data from a marginalized population only to leave that community once their findings are peer reviewed and published. I encourage researchers to practice humanitarian values in their research and practice; that is, to work on the immediate needs of the community, write about those interventions, and then collect data on that immediate work. This way, the community can get the resources they need from a researcher that is actively engaged in improving their quality of life.

How can the broader education research community better support the careers and scholarship of Hispanic students and researchers?

The broader education research community must understand the conditions that many Hispanic students and researchers face in academia, especially Hispanics of color from working class backgrounds. My advice would be to practice patience and grace with Hispanic students. I’ll give an example. I worked with a nontraditional Hispanic student at Penn State who was brilliant but lacked confidence in his writing. He grew up in the Dominican Republic and was in the United States pursuing a degree as a middle-aged adult. His professors that semester heavily criticized his writing: some of the criticism was constructive, some was racist. The constructive criticism demonstrated the flaws of his writing and offered solutions to consider. The racist criticism questioned this student’s belonging in academia, often referring to his misunderstanding of U.S. and English language writing conventions.

Of course, Hispanic students and researchers are not a monolith. We come from all walks of life, some of us more privileged than others. Nonetheless, those with power in the education research community must understand the obstacles that Hispanic students face when navigating higher education.

What advice would you give Hispanic students and scholars who wish to pursue a career in education research?

Understand that the halls of academe weren’t built for us, especially Hispanics of color from working-class backgrounds. I’ve experienced my fair share of microaggressions and blatant racism. Most of the time, these aggressions come from a place of misunderstanding on how our experiences, communities, and culture shape our perspectives of the world. The fight to get our problems recognized, our perspectives respected, and our voices heard can seem never ending. But when I look back at the previous generations of Hispanics in academia, I can really appreciate the positive changes that have come.

My advice would be to accept that you alone cannot change education research. Our generation of scholarship might do little to change education research. It might do a lot. But the momentum is here. The community is here, and with that community, real change can come.


This guest blog is part of a series in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. It was produced by Katina Stapleton (Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov), co-Chair of the IES Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is also the program officer for the Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program.

Lasting Lessons from my IES Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Fellowship

The Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in the Education Sciences was established by IES to increase the number of well-trained PhD students who are prepared to conduct rigorous and relevant education research. In honor of the IES 20th Anniversary, we asked Dr. Shayne Piasta, our first IES Outstanding Predoctoral Award Winner, to discuss the impact of her IES fellowship on her career as a reading researcher.

 

The IES predoctoral fellowship supported me and my research career in so many ways. One profound influence stemmed from its interdisciplinary nature. My training program focused on reading and operated at the intersection of psychology and education, with mentors and research experiences spanning these and other disciplines. I am still realizing how fortunate I was to benefit from this program and how it has influenced my scholarly career.

In taking education, policy, and psychology courses, I witnessed different approaches and research methods—sometimes overlapping or complementary and sometimes contradictory. As an undergraduate psychology major, I initially took issue with the non-causal methods in a program and policy evaluation course and did not fully understand the contribution of assorted qualitative approaches featured in many education courses. Yet being exposed to these different ways of thinking and researching made me a better scholar. It forced me to wrestle with foundational issues in education research, identify my own position as a researcher, and—with help from training program mentors—realize the benefits and limitations of various research methods.

The ability to communicate with an array of education scholars and stakeholders has proved invaluable. My fellow trainees included former teachers and principals seeking reading education and educational leadership doctorates as well as those pursuing clinical, development, and cognitive psychology degrees. Many of the psychology trainees had worked with children in schools, summer camps, or clinical settings. Talking with these peers, along with program faculty, broadened my perspectives on educational topics and enhanced my understanding of the complexity of education systems. Sharing perspectives and experiences also helped me understand the different communication styles—and vocabulary—various stakeholders use. As a result, I learned to connect with all those invested in improving reading outcomes for children and to write for multiple audiences. This also led to my first partnership with a local Tallahassee school and my very first (very small) grant.

I attribute my faculty position at The Ohio State University (OSU) to the interdisciplinary mindset that my training instilled. Back when I was initially applying to graduate school, I had noted the multiple disciplines contributing to reading scholarship. Some of the researchers I admired and hoped to work with were clinical, cognitive, educational, or school psychologists. Others were in educational leadership, communication/speech-language pathology, elementary/reading education, or special education.

Both the IES training program and subsequent position at OSU supported network building and ensuing collaborative research projects. Travel funding as a graduate student allowed me to attend various conferences, where program faculty generously introduced me and my cohort to the multidisciplinary “who’s who” of reading scholarship. I was awestruck being in the same room as prominent senior scholars, never mind interacting with them. As a faculty member in a Department of Teaching and Learning, I continue to interact with colleagues and students from a variety of education-related backgrounds and perspectives. It is through contributing to this department and guiding preservice teachers and budding education scholars that I believe I am achieving my impact.

In addition to interacting with senior scholars, these opportunities also allowed me to network with graduate and postgraduate students, who are now my colleagues, peers, collaborators, and friends. Together, we have implemented interdisciplinary grants and written manuscripts. We have put together conference symposia and established a multidisciplinary organization for supporting women- and non-binary-identifying education scholars across disciplines (POWER; Providing Opportunities for Women in Education Research). We have formed writing and accountability groups and helped each other navigate our careers. These relationships—along with others built during my time at OSU—continue to support and sustain me, and my scholarly trajectory would likely have been very different without them.

Through these varied experiences, I learned how to administer assessments to children and follow them over time, develop family and teacher surveys, conduct and reliably code classroom observations, manage and analyze longitudinal and multilevel data, and conduct and write grants to fund research projects that answered different questions using different designs. I am proud that to date I have collaborated on exploration, development, efficacy, replication, effectiveness, and measurement research projects. In working across projects, I also witnessed the different ways that faculty engage in leadership, mentoring, and lab/project management. This provided the foundation for the culture, structure, and processes of my own Early Literacy and Learning Lab (EL3).

As I progress in my career, I am cognizant of these and many other affordances of my training. A continuing goal of mine is to try to recreate these opportunities for students and early career scholars. Our EL3 team is multidisciplinary—investigators, staff, students, and postdoctoral scholars have backgrounds in elementary and early childhood education, psychology, measurement and statistics, speech-hearing sciences, special education, policy, and more. We engage in interdisciplinary research projects that engage internal and external colleagues from similarly varied backgrounds, involve partnerships with local early childhood organizations and elementary schools, and employ an array of quantitative, mixed, and multiple methods approaches.

As a lab, we work to create a positive, collaborative community in which varied perspectives and disagreement are welcome and viewed as discussion opportunities. This is epitomized in one current project, in which we jokingly but proudly announced “I dissent!” when offering alternative viewpoints (and whose team members will soon be receiving t-shirts with this phrase).

Through my research, teaching, and service, I strive to continually improve in supporting students as they learn of different research methods, experience on different research projects, and write for different audiences. I lean on my OSU colleagues and professional network to assist students seeking out multiple mentors. I hope I am as generous as my own mentors were in facilitating conference networking and other opportunities. In these ways, I hope that I can pay forward all that I gained through my IES fellowship to the next generation of educational researchers.


Dr. Shayne Piasta was an IES predoctoral fellow in the Florida State University Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training program. She is currently professor of reading and literacy in early and middle childhood within the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. She is also a faculty associate for the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy. Her research focuses on early literacy development and how it is best supported during preschool and elementary years.

In addition to receiving the Outstanding Predoctoral Fellow award from IES, Dr. Piasta has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the Dina Feitelson Research Award from the International Reading Association.

This blog was produced training program officer Katina Stapleton (Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov) and is part of a larger series on the IES research training programs.

A Conversation about the Learning Sciences and Human-AI Interaction with Outstanding Predoctoral Fellow Ken Holstein

Each year, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recognizes an outstanding fellow from its Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences for academic accomplishments and contributions to education research. The 2020 awardee, Ken Holstein, completed his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University and is currently an assistant professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he directs a research lab focused on human-AI interaction.

Recently, we caught up with Dr. Holstein and asked him to discuss his research on human-computer interaction (HCI) and his experiences as a scholar.

 

How did you become interested in human-computer interaction and learning sciences research?

I have long been fascinated with human learning and expertise. As an undergraduate, I worked on research in computational cognitive science, with a focus on understanding how humans are often able to learn so much about the world from so little information (relative to state-of-the-art machine learning systems). Originally, I had planned on a career conducting basic research to better understand some of our most remarkable and mysterious cognitive capabilities. However, as I neared graduation, I became increasingly interested in pursuing research with more immediate potential for positive real-world impact. The fields of HCI and the learning sciences were a perfect fit to my interests. These areas provided opportunities to study how to support and enhance human learning and expertise in real-world settings, using a bricolage of research methods from a wide range of disciplines. 

Much of your lab’s research focuses on how humans and AI systems can augment each other’s abilities and learn from each other. What are the most promising applications of these ideas for education research and vice versa? 

I see a lot of potential for AI systems to augment the abilities of human teachers and tutors. In my PhD research, I worked with middle and high school teachers to understand their experiences working with AI-based tutoring software in their classrooms, and to co-design and prototype new possibilities together. Overall, teachers saw many opportunities to redesign AI tutoring software with the aim of augmenting and amplifying their own abilities as teachers, beyond simply automating instructional interactions with students. My research explored a small subset of these design directions, but there is a very rich design space that has yet to be explored.

In general, I believe that to design technologies that can effectively augment the abilities of human workers, such as teachers, it is critical to first understand what unique expertise and abilities they bring to the table as humans, which complement the capabilities of AI systems. This understanding can then inform the design of AI systems that explicitly support and draw upon the strengths of human workers (co-augmentation), and that can both learn from workers’ knowledge and support their professional learning (co-learning).

While I’ve described so far about ways the concepts of co-augmentation and co-learning can be applied to education research, I am also very excited about the opposite direction. I think that research on human-AI complementarity, AI-augmented work, and AI-assisted decision-making can benefit greatly by drawing upon ideas from education and the learning sciences. A lot of the research that we’re currently working on in my group involves bringing theories and approaches from the learning sciences to bear on open challenges in this space. To give just one example: there is a body of research that aims to design systems that support human-AI complementarity—configurations of humans and AI systems that yield better outcomes than working alone. So far, this research tends to focus on human ability as if it were static, rather than centering human learning. I believe this is a major missed opportunity, given that the human ability to learn and adapt based on incredibly scarce data is at the core of many of our most impressive capabilities relative to modern AI systems.

What advice would you give to emerging scholars that are pursuing a career in human-computer interaction? 

The field of human-computer interaction brings together a wide range of different topics, disciplines, research methods, and ways of knowing. As a junior scholar, this breadth can be both exciting and overwhelming. To navigate the overwhelm, I think it can be helpful to think about the forms of impact you would like your work to have. For example, are you interested in changing the way a research community thinks about a given topic? Are you interested in creating new technologies that can empower a particular group of people to do something that they could not have (easily) done otherwise? Are you interested in informing public policy with your research? Or are you interested in some combination of all of the above? Oftentimes, I have seen junior scholars in HCI start from a specific project idea, without having a clear sense of what impacts on the world their project might have if it is successful. Working “backwards” by considering and discussing desired impacts of research earlier on in the process can help to productively guide choices of research questions, methods, and lenses.


This blog was produced by IES training program officer Katina Stapleton (Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov). It is part of an Inside IES Research blog series showcasing a diverse group of IES-funded education fellows that are making significant contributions to education research, policy, and practice.