CADRE Library: Showcasing and Advancing DR K-12 Work

The following resources have been produced by CADRE partners and/or DR K-12 PIs with support from CADRE. They provide information on the research that is currently funded, the variety of instruments and methodologies in use, and strategies for effective partnering, dissemination, and knowledge use.

CADRE Early Career Guide: Tips for Early Career STEM Education Researchers
August 2017
The CADRE Early Career Guide offers advice from experienced DR K-12 awardees on becoming a successful researcher in the field of STEM education. The guide also profiles a support program, the CADRE Fellows, for doctoral students in STEM education research.

Partnership Building as a Broadening-Participation Strategy: Helping Researchers and Developers Bridge the Gaps in STEM Education
April 2016
This brief examines the continued underrepresentation of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds in STEM fields; explains the benefits of collaboration around broadening participation; and offers guidance on building partnerships as a strategy for bridging the gaps in STEM education.

Analysis of the National Science Foundation’s Discovery Research K–12 ELL Projects
February 2016
This article examines whether funding provided through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) program has made a unique contribution to the research in the fields of science and mathematics education for ELs.      

Broadening Participation — Making STEM Learning Relevant and Rigorous for All Students
December 2015
This brief explores factors that contribute to opportunity gaps in STEM education based on race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and socioeconomic status. It showcases the work of several DR K-12 projects and describes promising approaches for removing barriers for underrepresented groups and enhancing the STEM learning of all students.

CADRE Tips for Mentoring Early Career STEM Education Researchers and Developers
October 2015
This resource provides guidelines that may help new mentors and mentees establish an effective and productive relationship.

Mentoring for the Postdoctoral/Early Career Researcher: Key Elements and Broader Impacts
July 2015
This CADRE brief describes the need for effective mentoring relationships and examines elements of good mentoring practices based on a growing body of literature from the field.

Early Career Researchers and Developers in the DR K–12 Program: Needs, Supports, and Recommendations
August 2014
The future strength of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) K-12 education research and development efforts depends in part on the development of promising early career researchers and developers—including doctoral students, post-docs, and first time principal investigators (PIs)—who can grow into R&D leaders and form an impactful R&D workforce. This brief promotes deliberation on how to improve support and guidance for early career researchers and developers in the DR K-12 program, as well as in the broader field of STEM education R&D.

A Targeted Study of Gaming and Simulation Projects in DR K-12
March 2014
In recent years, there has been increasing recognition and exploration of the potential for technology resources such as games and simulations to support science and math learning. With the growing attention to these types of educational technologies, the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education conducted a brief targeted study to better understand the gaming and simulation research and development work being funded within the NSF’s DR K-12 program and to highlight the innovative programs, models, and resources that may contribute to these fields.

A Targeted Study of the DR K–12 Engineering Education Projects
October 2013
Because engineering education is drawing increased attention from STEM policy-makers, it is an opportune time to take stock of the current status of ongoing innovation in K–12 engineering education; therefore, the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE) conducted a brief targeted study to investigate the work that is being funded in K-12 engineering education within NSF’s Discover Research K–12 (DR K–12) program.

Moving STEM Education Forward: National Priorities and the National Science Foundation’s DR K-12 Program
July 2013
Improving STEM education in the United States is a priority expressed by policymakers, practitioners, and business leaders. This brief describes the innovative research and development projects that could help propel needed changes in STEM learning.

Descriptive Overview of the Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) Portfolio: Projects Funded from 2007 to 2012
June 2013
This description overview of the DR K-12 portfolio is the fifth and final portfolio overview to be prepared by CADRE. The report describes important characteristics of the first six cohorts of DR K-12 projects that received their initial funding from 2007 to 2012 and characterizes the development and research in STEM education—on resources, models, and technologies—funded by the DR K-12 program.

Evaluation in DR K-12 Projects: Options
November 2012
Each DR K-12 project has formative and summative evaluation, which are different from the project’s own R&D activities and instead should support and measure the effectiveness of those activities. This paper discusses evaluation options for investigators and evaluators to consider.

From Dissemination to Knowledge Use: Options for DR K-12
November 2012
To foster knowledge use among policy makers or practitioners requires a substantial effort that invests in sustained interaction and enlists a range of supports for the prospective knowledge users. This paper discusses some options for more effective dissemination efforts that could lead to knowledge use.

Compendium of STEM Student Instruments PART II: Measuring Students’ Content Knowledge, Reasoning Skills, and Psychological Attributes
November 2012 (with May 2013 Addendum)
This compendium of measures is Part II of a two part series to provide insight into the measurement tools available to generate efficacy and effectiveness evidence, as well as understand processes relevant to teaching and learning. Part I looks at teacher outcome assessments, and Part II looks at student outcome assessments.

Compendium of Research Instruments for STEM Education, PART I: Teacher Practices, PCK, and Content Knowledge
August 2012 (with May 2013 Addendum)
The purpose of this compendium is to provide an overview on the current status of STEM instrumentation commonly used in the U.S and to provide resources for research and evaluation professionals. Part 1 of a two-part series, the goal to provide insight into the measurement tools available to generate efficacy and effectiveness evidence, as well as understand processes relevant to teaching and learning. It is focused on instruments designed to assess teacher practices, pedagogical content knowledge, and content knowledge.

Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12): Descriptive Overview of Portfolio
August 2012
This overview is intended to describe the scope and depth of research and development DR K-12 has funded and to identify areas that could be advanced by further investigations by CADRE. The overview summarizes the 248 projects that met the criteria for inclusion and analysis.

Partnering with Users to Develop STEM Education Materials: Insights from Discovery Research K-12 Projects  
August 2012
This brief suggests practical ways of engaging teachers and other “end-users” in projects that develop materials for education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Projects described in this brief have benefited from school, district, and state users serving as Co-PIs, advisory board members, co-developers, implementation managers, data collectors, professional developers, and project emissaries to the broader field. The brief describes how K-12 end-users and decision-makers are instrumental for developing materials that will be adopted, implemented with essential fidelity, sustained at classroom and organizational levels, and scaled within and to new organizations.

New Measurement Paradigms
April 2012
This collection of New Measurement Paradigms papers represents a snapshot of the variety of measurement methods in use at the time of writing across several projects funded by the National Science Foundation through its REESE and DR K–12 programs. The collection is designed to serve as a reference point for researchers who are working in projects that are creating e-learning environments in which there is a need to make judgments about students’ levels of knowledge and skills, or for those interested in this but who have not yet delved into these methods. 

Education R&D Partnership Tool
January 2012
Based on the lessons of education practitioners, researchers, and developers who have partnered on R&D projects, this tool is intended to help others assess and improve their own R&D partnerships. The tool includes a worksheet that prompts reflection and discussion as well as tips for starting and sustaining a partnership dialogue.

Practice-Engaged Research and Development in Education
March 2011
This paper argues that reciprocal arrangements between R&D and practice can have intellectual merit as well as practical value. Specifically, it describes the benefits of education research and development (R&D) arrangements and policies that is centered in practitioners’ purposes and environments, that exploits a multi-stage process of development, that attends to organizational and community contexts, and that builds cumulative knowledge across projects and studies. Based upon business scholarship addressing organizational constraints and opportunities for new approaches to R&D, it acknowledges the education R&D might benefit from considering analogous ideas.

Math and Science Education with English Language Learners: Contributions of the DR K-12 Program
January 2011
CADRE conducted an analysis of the projects within the NSF’s DR K-12 portfolio studying ELLs to better understand how the work supported by the program is advancing our understanding of ELLs’ learning in science and mathematics. The study was designed to answer three research questions: who is being supported by DR K-12 to do this type of research, what are they studying, and how these projects are contributing to the field.

Fostering Knowledge Use in STEM Education: A Brief on R&D Partnerships with Districts and Schools
December 2010
Produced by NSF-supported researchers and developers, this practice brief makes a case for substantive partnerships between STEM education researchers or developers and the districts and schools where the R&D takes place. Partnerships can enhance the quality, relevance, and usability of project outcomes, with implications for the sustained and scaled use of project knowledge. Written for an audience of fellow researchers and developers, the brief summarizes what the authors have learned about creating and maintaining partnerships, as well as potential pitfalls and challenges. 

Dissemination in STEM Education R&D: Perspectives on Knowledge Use
November 2009
This paper argues that DR K-12 grantees can enhance the long-term consequences of their work by using insights from research on dissemination. Projects at all stages, from early design work through completion, can benefit from an awareness and understanding of the challenges of knowledge use. In reviewing lessons from research on dissemination, this paper addresses not only communication strategies for disseminating findings, but also the sustained engagement of potential users as partners throughout the R&D process. The research studies reviewed here placed dissemination in the context of knowledge use.

Summary of Discovery Research K-12 (DR K–12) Projects on Assessment: Working Document
November 2009
The goal of this report was to provide an overview of the DR K-12 projects that have a focus on assessment. Twenty-four percent of the projects in the portfolio are conducting research on or developing an assessment. The report summarizes key characteristics of these projects.