The Advanced Education Research and Development Fund (AERDF) will support ambitious Inclusive R&D programs designed to tackle intractable teaching and learning challenges that disproportionately affect Black and Latino students and students of all races experiencing poverty.
Every student is a powerful learner. Their learning experiences should prepare and inspire them to create good lives for themselves, make positive change in their communities, and build a more equitable future for everyone.
Whether in classrooms, at home, or in community spaces, students’ learning experiences should help them cultivate a positive identity and develop a strong academic and social emotional foundation. Their strengths and growth areas should be accurately identified and visible to their teachers, parents, and caregivers. This should be true for every student, regardless of the color of their skin, how much money their parents make, or what neighborhood they live in.
AERDF supports ambitious Inclusive R&D programs designed to tackle intractable teaching and learning challenges that disproportionately affect Black and Latino students and students experiencing poverty in K-12 education.
AERDF staff works with teachers, students, education leaders, researchers, and developers to identify problems and opportunities that can be tackled through Inclusive R&D programs. This exploration will help identify Program Directors who can build on existing evidence and learning science to design multi-year Inclusive R&D programs to translate fundamental insights into more useful practices, approaches and tools.
Our story begins with a powerful community-driven vision that formed in 2018: How could expanded research and development capacity in PreK-12 education catalyze tremendous progress against some of the longest standing systemic inequities that particularly impact Black and Latino students, and students experiencing poverty?
The goal was to demonstrate an approach to reduce the time it takes to translate research into breakthrough practices, programs, and products that better recognize the brilliance within every student and help them achieve their full potential.
A Request for Information, focus groups, and surveys were used in 2019 to ask education community members for ideas about intractable problems affecting students and how they would go about researching solutions.
The ideas submitted by many educators, researchers, and developers, among other experts, covered a broad range of subject areas. The first program to be adopted, EF+Math, under the leadership of educational neuroscientist Melina Uncapher and her team, launched with an aim to significantly increase the number of students in grades 3–8 in historically under-resourced schools who are proficient or advanced in math. A second program, Assessment for Good, helmed by assessment scholar Temple Lovelace, will seek to improve outcomes for students aged 8-13 by advancing the capabilities needed in a responsive and accessible system of identity-affirming, dynamic assessment, with a special focus on Black and Latinx learners. Reading Reimagined, our third program, under the leadership of curriculum expert Rebecca Kockler, will examine how all elements of reading instruction and social development must interact to support students to reach their full potential as readers.
In the future, AERDF will support several more research and development programs that will pursue ambitious goals and help push our understanding of what’s possible for student learning and opportunity.