Steinhardt Researchers Awarded More Than $4 Million to Study School Interventions in Chicago and New York

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, has awarded NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development more than $4 million to fund research examining the long-term outcomes of two proven educational interventions. The studies seek to understand whether structured programs in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade have lasting effects on students as they continue into middle and high school. 

C. Cybele Raver, professor of applied psychology at NYU Steinhardt and vice provost for research and faculty affairs at NYU, was awarded $3.2 million to evaluate the long-term impact of the Chicago School Readiness Project, an intervention designed to improve preschool children’s school readiness by increasing their emotional and behavioral adjustment. Led by Raver, the project has been shown to improve children’s self-regulation on attention, inhibitory control, and academic skills.

Through the four-year IES grant (R305A160176), which began July 1, 2016, the researchers will invite 10th grade students who were part the Chicago School Readiness Project as preschoolers to participate in the follow-up study. After a baseline measure of self-regulation – which will help researchers understand the long-term outcomes of the preschool study – students will be randomized to one of two different web-based approaches to support their school engagement and emotional well being. The study’s co-principal investigators are Amanda Roy of the University of Illinois-Chicago and Stephanie Jones and Dana McCoy of Harvard University.

Erin O’Connor, associate professor of education at NYU Steinhardt, along with co-principal investigators Sandee McClowry and Elise Cappella of NYU and Meghan McCormick of MDRC, were awarded $1.1 million to also build upon earlier research and evaluate whether an early childhood intervention has lasting effects. The IES supported a 2008 study of INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament, an intervention that uses a temperament framework to recognize how children differ in their reactions to stressful situations and apply strategies that enhance children’s self-regulation. The NYU researchers found positive impacts of INSIGHTS in kindergarten and first grade on students’ behavior, attention, and achievement in reading and math.

Through the new three-year IES grant (R305A160177), which begins Sept. 1, 2016, O’Connor and her colleagues will investigate whether participating in the INSIGHTS intervention in kindergarten and first grade has lasting benefits for students when they are in middle school. The researchers will invite the 435 New York City students – now in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade – and their families who participated in the 2008 study to take part in this follow-up study, and will collect information on the participants’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional skills.

Both grants are administered by NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change.

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