Winter 1999


Hopefully everyone reading the column has joined the new Sociology of Education Section Listserv (directions for signing up appear in this issue). This will allow us to inform all Section members of recent developments in education, new data sets available from NCES and other sources, as well as provide an opportunity to dialogue.

While you're logged-on and reading this newsletter, please explore all facets of our WEB Page. Carl Schmitt has done a wonderful job assembling a vehicle for further exploration in education. Please also let us know what other resources you would like to see on the WEB Page and other links that would be useful for your work.

Kudos to A. Gary Dorfman and others who have served on the membership committee for their excellent work.

Look for our annual spring/summer issue that lists Sociology of Education Section activities at the 1999 Annual Meeting in early June.

As always, contributions to the newsletter are always welcomed. I look forward to hearing from you!

David L. Levinson


Annette Lareau, Temple University

January and February turn out to be busy months for the section. The ASA program submissions arrive. This year the section received almost one hundred submissions for three panel presentations and twenty-five roundtables. [Over one-half were dual submissions with another organizer.] Members of the program committee reviewed papers. The decisions are in the process of being finalized. If you submitted a manuscript, you should receive written notification by the middle of March. We have had many fine submissions. The panels in Chicago should have breadth and depth.

February also was the month for deadlines for the two section awards. The submissions are in the process of being reviewed by the various committee members. Announcements will be made in the summer. The section is also considering working with Teachers College Press in overseeing a dissertation award. A committee is being formed to discuss possible arrangements with the press. We hope to have a report at the August business meeting.

The Sociology of Education "Section Day" will be SATURDAY, August 7, 1999. The section day will include the three panels, a special panel organized by Maureen Hallinan, the business meeting, and roundtables. There is a strong possibility the reception for the sociology of education section will be moved off Saturday night since it conflicts with the Presidential Address and Reception. It is likely to occur on Friday, August 6th. Please watch for announcements!

This is the first time we are attempting to make the newsletter available "on-line" rather than being sent by paper. The financial savings are substantial. Most of the budget of the section goes to paying for printing and mailing the newsletter. [The other major expense is the reception at the meeting.] While it saves several hundred dollars to put the newsletter on-line, there are inevitable drawbacks. We are only doing one newsletter issue this year. [The journal, Sociology of Education, is only available in print.] The spring and summer newsletter will be printed and mailed. Thus, we are embarking on an experiment. We are interested in your feedback. Please send comments to me at, David Levinson, or members of Council.

Finally, Rob Kadel, Pennsylvania State University, has established a listserv for the section! We hope to use it to announce section events, particularly in the weeks before the ASA. In addition, it can be a source of intellectual exchange. Directions are contained in the newsletter. They are also available on the Sociology of Education Section link off the ASA webpage. Many to Rob Kadel, listserv manager, Carl Schmitt, webpage manager, and David Levinson, newsletter manager for all of their service.

Best wishes for a productive and healthy 1999.

Annette Lareau
Temple University

Sociology of Education Listserv in Operation!!

Hello all:

The Sociology of Education listserv is now up and running for your use. To subscribe to the list, simply send an email message to:

with no subject line and the following words in the body:

Of course, replace <Your Name> with your own name (don't forget to remove the <>'s). So for example, for me to subscribe, I'd type:

Once subscribed, you'll receive a confirmation e-mail and then a couple of messages describing the rules for use of the list (basically, keep it professional) and instructions on subscription options (e.g., receiving the list once a day in digest format as opposed to random multiple messages throughout the day).

To send a message to everyone on the list, send your email to:


Send *requests about the list* to:

Send *messages for everyone on the list to read* to:

Finally, if Carl Schmitt and David Levinson could include the instructions above on the web page and in the next newsletter, I would be much obliged.

Let me know if you have any questions or problems.


Rob Kadel
Education Policy Studies
Penn State University
300 Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-2584

News Item

Pamela Barnhouse Walters steps down as Editor of Sociology of Education

Pamela Barnhouse Walters, Indiana University, Bloomington, has recently completed her term of Editor of the ASA sponsored journal, Sociology of Education. Although the journal has no official relationship with the section, members of the section contribute and, especially, read the journal. Walters did an impressive job, with Deputy Editor Brian Powell, of steering the journal for the last few years. Although the journal officially is under the stewardship of Aaron Pallas, Michigan State University, as of January 1999, both the January issue and the April issue are entirely composed of articles accepted under Walters. The first issue edited by Aaron Pallas will be July 1999. The section extends our thanks to Pam for all of her many hours of service to the discipline.

Job Opening

The Institute for Educational Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame invites applications for a senior or junior level position with a joint appointment in the Institute and the Sociology Department beginning August, 1999. We seek individuals with a doctoral degree in Sociology and with a primary commitment to educational research. The successful candidate will conduct research on educational issues, teach Sociology, and participate in the intellectual life of the Institute.

Particular attention will be given to candidates who specialize in the Sociology of Education. Further information about the Institute may be found on the web site Review of applications will begin February 8, 1999 and continue until the position is filled. Send a letter of application, curriculum vitae and three letters of reference to:

Maureen T. Hallinan, Director
Program on the Social Organization of Schools
Institute for Educational Initiatives
1017 Flanner
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5611

Notre Dame is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and strongly encourages applications from women and minorities.

See web page for more information: Field-Initiated Studies (FIS) Research Grant
Program Name: Field-Initiated Studies (FIS) Research Grant
Closing Date: March 26, 1999
Description: The Field-Initiated Studies Program awards grants to conduct education research in which topics and methods of study are generated by investigators.
Contact Person: Veda Bright (202-219-1935)
Application Package
(Download Formats):
[PDF (140k)] [Word 6.0 (62k)] [Word 97 (81k)]

For a printed copy of the application package, write to:

Office of Educational Research and Improvement
U.S. Department of Education
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW.
Room 604
Washington, DC 20208

or contact the Contact Person listed above. You will also need to download the following required forms tailored for this competition on the FIS Application Page:

Title Page Form
Protection of Human Subjects in Research (Attachment to Title Page Form)
Budget Summary Form

Other required Federal forms will be requested from award recipients following notification of award.

Federal Register Notices and Public Notices:

Call for Proposals

Reclaiming Voice:
Ethnographic Inquiry and Qualitative Research in a Postmodern Age

June 4-6, 1999
Irvine, CA

Reclaiming Voice, the annual qualitative methodology conference sponsored by the University of California at Irvine, the University of Southern California, and the University of California at Los Angeles, acknowledges the differences in inquiry and promotes a verisimilitude of (re)presentations and analyses. The conference is intended for those of us concerned about working with alternative methodological and theoretical frameworks. By joining in rigorous, lively interchanges, participants will better understand how to utilize ethnographic and qualitative research, as well as how to (re)claim and (re)present the voices of ourselves and those with whom we engage in research.

Guidelines for Proposals:

We seek proposals including, but not limited to, the following:

Public education, critical, feminist, gay/lesbian, queer, and/or postmodern research.

  1. Creative use of the internet or film.
  2. Urban ethnography.
  3. Comparative/international approaches, and/or concern for indigenous cultures and topics.
  4. Issues related to narrative, life history, historiography, and the role of the author.
  5. Meta-theorization of research methodology.

All proposals will be peer reviewed.

Formats for Presentations

Paper sessions provide each author with an opportunity to present his/her paper, followed by audience critique and/or discussion.

Panel presentations examine a specific problem, issue, or theme from a variety of perspectives.

Interactive sessions allow maximum interaction through focused dialogue.

Performance research allows for an illustration of some aspect of the presentation through a live performance, such as film, role play, or a multimedia approach.

Please note audio/visual equipment needs and/or special time requirements in proposals.

Format for Proposals

Cover sheets for proposals must include the following information, in this format:

Title of Presentation
Name of Author(s)
Affiliation(s) and Mailing Address(es)
Telephone Number(s)
Fax Number(s)
E-mail Address(es)
Abstract (50 to 60 words)

A proposal summary (1 to 2) pages of goals, perspectives/theoretical framework, research methods, and findings is also required.

The deadline for proposals is March 1, 1999.

Mail one copy of proposal cover sheet and proposal summary, and two
self-addressed, stamped business envelopes, to:

Patrick Dilley
Conference Proposals
Department of Education
2001 Berkeley Place
University of California at Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-5500
phone: (949) 725-3781


Program announcement
Directorate for Education and Human Resources Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication

Proposal Due Dates:

  • Preliminary Proposals: September 15 and March 15 (Target Dates)
  • Full Proposals: December 1 and June 1 (Deadlines)


September 1996
Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication
Research on Education, Policy, and Practice (REPP)


The National Science Foundation (NSF) occupies a special niche in research. Since the mission of NSF centers on science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET), its research initiatives are both more narrow and more broad than studies on education supported by other Federal agencies and sponsors in other sectors. NSF is unusual among these funding sources in supporting a broad spectrum of learners and educational settings. With this announcement, the
Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) seeks to coordinate and redirect its research investments to enhance the quality and impact of the Nation's SMET education.

The goals of EHR s research program on SMET education must be bold, drawing on disciplinary knowledge to advance the understanding of learning, pedagogical processes, and organizational and policy supports for teaching and learning. Projects centered on how the evolving content of science and mathematics can be communicated in various settings are of perennial interest. In addition, questions such as the following indicate a range of research possibilities: How do people learn? How is cognition affected by demographic characteristics, learning styles, and situational factors? What does "conceptual development" mean in the progression from basic skills to higher-order thinking? How does technology change how people think, learn, approach, and solve problems? What does a "constructivist" classroom look like? How can schools be reorganized to encourage this kind of instruction? How will we know whether inquiry-based instruction is effective and enduring? And how does reform of SMET education scale up in the U.S.?

EHR s expectations are high: to increase access to quality SMET education for all Americans, to support the implementation of effective educational programs at all levels, and to fund studies that expand and refine the base of knowledge and experimentation underlying "best practice" in SMET education -- kindergarten through workforce entry and beyond. NSF is a catalytic agency. In this program, it hopes to produce new insights that generate new programs of productive research as well as strategic knowledge to inform practices for increasing student learning.


Research on Education, Policy, and Practice (REPP, or "the Program") supports cultivation of a research base for implementing innovative K-16, i.e., elementary, secondary, and undergraduate reform strategies, as well as ways of improving graduate, professional, and informal and lifelong learning. In welcoming proposals that will break new ground in thinking about education, REPP complements the NSF-wide initiatives on Collaborative Research on Learning Technologies, and Learning and Intelligent Systems, which explicitly expand NSF s coverage of research on technology and cognitive issues related to SMET education (see Box 1: "Technology Across EHR"). Research and development that undergird NSF s intervention in SMET education is the overarching priority of the REPP Program. The Program integrates three EHR programs that previously supported research in science education: Research on Teaching and Learning (RTL), Studies and Indicators (S&I), and Applications of Advanced Technologies (AAT). REPP will invest in a set of research priorities that advance EHR s systemic reform activities, especially as implemented through the Statewide Systemic Initiatives (SSI), Urban Systemic Initiatives (USI), Rural Systemic Initiatives (RSI), Comprehensive Partnerships in Minority Student Achievement (CPMSA), Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement (LSC), and Institution-wide Reform of Undergraduate Education in SMET disciplines.


REPP seeks to increase the research knowledge and resources devoted to SMET teaching and learning throughout the life cycle, but especially at several aggregate levels of educational performance -- students (both individuals and groups), classrooms, schools and campuses, districts and consortia, States, regions, and the United States in an international context. The objective of a coordinated program of research in SMET education is (1) to inform efforts that sustain improvements in complex structures and processes for making learning possible and effective, and (2) to reduce the intellectual distance and time lags that erode linkages among research, policy, and practice in SMET education. The REPP Program will serve the EHR implementation agenda by building a knowledge base of ideas, practices, and policy alternatives that can significantly affect the education of all students in localities throughout the U.S. (see Box 2: "How Systemic Reform Frames a Research Agenda"). By funding various types of research and development (as illustrations, new sources of statistical data on SMET education, of experimentation on the uses of technology as tools of content and pedagogical reform, or of standards-based materials for teaching and learning), the Program will help to produce and synthesize results that are of immediate application by various stakeholders in quality education. These include practitioners who prepare teachers or guide students, administrators and policymakers, software developers, and scholars who change the conceptual content of SMET education through contributions to the research literature.

The Program strives to assemble a diverse portfolio that addresses, through theory, research, development, demonstration, and implementation, the dimensions of SMET reform. These include discovering and examining: the prerequisites for implementing sustainable reform on a national scale; untapped, appropriate, and efficient uses of technology as a pedagogical, learning, and assessment tool; access to and components of self-paced and life-long learning strategies; and models for measuring and replicating sustainable system-wide educational change.

The REPP Program described below thus takes as its main research foci the following themes:

Data, methodology, and theory:

How the collection of measurements, their presentation, use, and interpretation can inform researchers and decision makers. This includes case studies, ethnographic data, quasi-experiments, statistical indicators, State and international comparisons, longitudinal data, and syntheses of research as "lessons learned" in a particular area;


Issues of governance that affect both ongoing practice and the perception of whole systems, schools, teachers, and students (including matters of finance, access, curriculum, assessment, professional development, etc.);


How those at the sites where formal or informal education occurs can effect change through research and analysis. How observations, findings, and prototypes generated in particular sites can be applied to hypothesis-testing and theory-building more generally about the practice of systemic reform;


How tools that link individuals and institutions dispersed in space and across cultures can be used to teach and learn the changing content of science and mathematics; how the evolving capacity of computers and other technologies enables teachers to individualize instruction and students to engage in the processes of experimentation, of understanding, of skills acquisition and of applying content knowledge; and how high performance computing and communications empower the effectiveness of educational administrators, policymakers, and researchers.
While priorities may shift from year to year, at all times the Program encourages interactions among researchers and practitioners across disciplines, organizations, and sectors. REPP seeks to identify proposals containing sound, innovative, promising, high-risk/high- payoff ideas that advance knowledge primarily, but not exclusively, on the themes above. In a rapidly shifting context, the Program takes current conditions as only a temporary baseline and is receptive to projects that take advantage of long-range opportunities rather than address short-term problems. It will fund:

  1. projects that cut across traditional disciplinary definitions and employ unconventional approaches;
  2. syntheses of literatures that bear on an education issue, distill what is known in "review article" format, and clarify new researchable issues;
  3. development of new knowledge, new tools, and innovative interpretations that enable significant impacts on policies and practices, thereby improving learning by students and whole systems; and
  4. research that grows the capacity of organizations and institutions to scale up and sustain change or best practice at all levels of education -- formal and informal, school to work to career.

At what is traditionally considered the K-12 level, the Program agenda includes research on how the content of science, mathematics, and technology is changing; on awareness of and response to national education standards; on the composition and professional development of the instructional workforce; and on the relation of research and education in inquiry-based (perhaps technology-rich) classrooms. At the undergraduate level, the agenda invites examinations of the relation between reforms in introductory and advanced courses, and the knowledge required of two- and four-year college graduates to enter the teacher workforce in SMET fields, to contribute to the U.S. economy, and to lead productive lives in the 21st century as workers and citizens of a global community. At the graduate and professional levels, the agenda will augment an empirical baseline on correlates of under participation in SMET careers by U.S. women, minorities, and persons with disabilities, focusing on key transitions where institutional mechanisms facilitate or deter continued education, career mobility, and notable achievements in research, education, or public service. At all levels, the linkages among individual aspirations, organizational resources, social needs, and cultural contexts, as well as between demography and disciplinary specialization, define a set of research problems that are dynamic, inherently unpredictable, defy the boundaries of disciplines, and yield to novel collaborative analyses for understanding and possible solution.

The REPP Program seeks to support a repertoire of approaches based on a range of research sites that build a national base of knowledge. One aim is to shorten the time needed to apply research findings to SMET education practices as we know them today and those we anticipate will be needed tomorrow. Products such as an on-line catalog of reference materials and effective practices, with a guide to their classroom use based on research and pilot tests reported in disparate literatures, are envisioned. Regardless of its current priorities, the Program remains receptive to novel ideas. If in doubt about the suitability of a project for Program funding consideration, please contact a Program Director. REPP projects will typically vary from one-year, single-investigator essentially one-person efforts (funded typically for less than $50,000) to three-year inquiries by research teams formed through coordination of researchers (typically located at colleges and universities) and other education stakeholders (e.g., local school systems, community-based organizations, industry) that approach a total budget of $1 million. Conferences and workshops will be considered, especially if they intend to bridge disparate intellectual communities and provide impacts enduring well beyond the duration of NSF project funding. Projects that support the interdisciplinary professional development of early-career researchers are especially encouraged. The average total multi year award will be approximately $300,000 (often funded in annual increments), contingent on a successful site visit and/or a report of progress judged more than sufficient by the Program. As always, NSF awards are subject to the availability of funds.


Researchable questions that would be appropriate for consideration by REPP are illustrated below. For titles of projects funded in the last few years by various EHR research programs, see the EHR Web site, http://www.ehr.nsf/gov.index.html.

Data, methodology, and theory:

Studies should yield, through surveys, observation, experimentation, small-sample interviews, or secondary analysis of existing data sets new contextual and statistical information about the current vitality of the SMET education system. New studies are invited, especially those featuring longitudinal data or meta-analyses that provide decision makers and the general public with national and international measures of the inputs, processes, and educational outcomes of the current SMET educational system. Questions for framing such studies include: How can information on whole systems be presented in compelling ways? Why are some data more reliable and usable than others? Why is disaggregating by gender such a valuable analytical strategy? Practical aspects of measuring student achievement are needed (such as investigating strategies that integrate student assessment and classroom instruction), as are of the relationship of assessment to instructional practices and educational policy.


Studies should analyze major factors, trends, choices, and practices to assist "stakeholder" communities to recognize, adapt, and institutionalize improvements in pedagogy and materials. Questions for framing such studies include: How does reform of SMET education scale up in the U.S.? Does evidence support various models for the spread and sustainability of essential requirements? How does one measure the meaning of "high expectations" in opportunity-to-learn studies? How are institutions of higher education coping with growing pressures from an increasingly ethnically diverse student population (for example, through campus intervention programs, communication and learning technologies, degree program offerings, mentoring), and what is the evidence of differential effectiveness (retention, career choice and planning)? Projects should match policy questions to existing practices or novel frameworks that could provide fertile test-beds for analysis and experimentation. Studies may examine policies in other countries for purposes of gaining deeper understanding of state variations in U.S. practices or reform efforts, or could, for policy deliberation, seek to integrate the outcomes of research across sites.


Research on practice encompasses many issues. For example, research on assessment should investigate the development attendant to standards-based instruction of appropriate test frameworks and items, administration methods, scaling techniques, and analysis methods in science and mathematics. Questions for framing such research include: What is the fit between testing and content standards? What are the tradeoffs, for example in information and cost, between State-required norm-referenced tests and school-based performance portfolios? What does a reformed K-12 system mean for higher education? How is undergraduate education in various settings (e.g., two-year, four-year, research institutions) changing to accommodate the new high school graduate? How have NSF-sponsored efforts such as the Mathematics Initiative and the Chemistry Initiative affected undergraduate teaching goals and practice? Technology: Research, development, and experimentation on technological, educational, and scientific innovations can significantly improve the teaching and learning of increasingly complex content through the use of new instructional technologies, as well as significantly altering what is taught through the power of technology to represent and manipulate concepts, processes, and knowledge. Questions for framing such research include: How does technology change pedagogy, from the preparation of teachers, to the materials they use, to their design of learning experiences and methods for determining educational outcomes? How does computing and communications encapsulate, in effective and intriguing ways, what textbooks and other traditional media do not -- so that both the content and the process of learning are transformed?


General criteria for the evaluation of research proposals submitted to NSF can be found in Section III of the Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 95- 27). In addition, the REPP Program seeks evidence that the project:

  • is theoretically grounded in one or more specialized literatures and identifies the need to fill a critical knowledge gap within them;
  • will leverage other research, development, knowledge transfer, and/or implementation efforts by attracting cost-sharing or contributions of equipment and/or personnel by another (named) organization;
  • plans to evaluate and disseminate anticipated outcomes that would benefit education policymakers, administrators, and/or classroom practitioners; and
  • will help build the human infrastructure for SMET education reform by involving teachers, graduate students, undergraduate students, para-professionals, administrators, and policymakers at the school, district, community, State, or national level who think and act "systemically" (see Box 3: "The EHR Commitment to Human Resource Development").


All REPP Program proposals require a preliminary proposal ("prelim") review. Although they are reviewed on a continuing basis throughout the year, prelims should be submitted no later than September 15 (for consideration for the December full proposal deadline) and March 15 (for consideration for the June full proposal deadline). Full proposals are due December 1 and June 1 (deadlines). Prelims will be reviewed internally by at least one REPP Program Officer. If deemed appropriate, other Program Officers from EHR or elsewhere in NSF, plus an ad hoc panel, will be consulted. Proposers will receive an evaluation of (a) how appropriate a full proposal would be, given the priorities of the Program; (b) how competitive it would be given other anticipated submissions; and (c) suggestions for strengthening the full proposal. All who submit a prelim are eligible to submit a full proposal, regardless of the content of evaluations a-c above.

Preliminary proposals should not exceed 5 single- or 10 double-spaced pages (12-point typeface only) describing the relation of the project idea to a REPP priority and likely outcomes. To this should be appended one page of estimated budget information in major categories for the project duration as a whole, plus another single page of biography for the proposer and any collaboration (if appropriate) that is envisioned. The proposer s name, mailing, phone, and electronic mail information should accompany the title of the prelim. No special forms are required. Four copies of the prelim should be submitted to:

REPP Program
Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication - Suite 855
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Full proposals should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines provided in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The project narrative may not exceed 15 single- or 30 double-spaced pages (12 point typeface only). Visual materials, including charts, graphs, maps, photographs, and other pictorial presentations are allowable in the narrative, or may be included in the appendix and referenced in the narrative. The section, Results from Prior NSF Support, for projects that specifically relate to the proposed project, is limited to 5 pages, and is also included in the page limitation. Appendices totaling no more than 15 pages are allowed. They should be clearly labeled, paginated, and identified in the Table of Contents. Fifteen (15) copies of each proposal, including one copy bearing original signatures, should be mailed to:

Proposal Processing Unit - Room P60
Attention: EHR/REC/REPP
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Only one copy of NSF Form 1225, Information about Principal Investigator/ Project Director, should be sent, attached to the original signed proposal. Full proposals submitted in response to this program announcement must be postmarked no later than December 1 or June 1 (for the Winter and Summer deadlines, respectively) to be considered for award.

Proposals will be reviewed subject to NSF s customer service standards, as described at the NSF Web site, The REPP Program uses a combination of ad hoc mail and panel review. A site visit or reverse site visit may be requested to assist in reaching a funding decision. Review and processing of full proposals requires approximately six months. In accordance with federal statutes and regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.


Grants awarded as a result of this announcement will be administered in accordance with the terms and conditions of NSF GC-1 "Grant General Conditions," or FDEP-II, "Federal Demonstration Project General Terms and Conditions," depending on the grantee organization. More comprehensive information is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (NSF 95-26, July 1995), for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number of GPO is (202) 783-3288 for subscription information. Copies of these documents are available at no cost from the NSF Forms and Publications Unit, (703) 306-1130, or via e-mail (Internet: (Web: If the submitting organization has never received an NSF award, it is recommended that appropriate administrative officials become familiar with the policies and procedures in the Grant Policy Manual which are applicable to most NSF awards. If a proposal is recommended for award, the NSF Division of Grants and Agreements will request certain organizational, management, and financial information. These requirements are described in Chapter V of the Grant Policy Manual.


Other research efforts are under way, both within EHR and in other NSF directorates, which relate to the REPP Program research agenda. Thus, submitted projects involve the potential participation of various communities of interest, and possible joint support by the following NSF programs:

Collaborative Research on Learning Technologies (NSF 96-80) Foundation-wide Initiative on Learning and Intelligent Systems (forthcoming)

Institution-Wide Reform of Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (NSF 96-74)

Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (see Undergraduate Education, NSF 96-010)

Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (NSF 95-150)

Parent Involvement in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (NSF 96-107)

Program for Women and Girls in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (NSF 96-131)

Human Resource Development for Minorities in S&E (NSF 94-122)
Activities in SEM for Persons with Disabilities (NSF 96-88)

The Human Capital Initiative (NSF 95-8)

Program announcements may be requested from the NSF Forms and Publications Unit, by telephone (703/306-1130) or via e-mail (Internet:


The Grant Proposal Guide, the Grant Policy Manual, the NSF Guide to Programs, and other NSF publications are available at no cost from:

Forms and Publications Unit, Room P15
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Telephone: (703) 306-1130
Fax: (703) 644-4278

Additional questions about the National Science Foundation may be directed to:

NSF Information Center, 2nd Floor
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Telephone: (703) 306-1234
or for TDD (703) 306-0090

Questions about this program announcement or other programs of the Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication may be directed to:

REC Information Center, Room 855
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Telephone: (703) 306-1650
Fax: (703) 306-0434


The information requested on proposal forms is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. It will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals and may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the review process; to applicant institutions/grantees; to provide or obtain data regarding the application review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers, and researchers as necessary to complete assigned work; and to other government agencies in order to coordinate programs. See Systems of Records, NSF 50, Principal Investigators/Proposal File and Associated Records, and NSF-51, 60 Federal Register 4449 (January 23, 1995). Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records, 59 Federal Register 8031 (February 17, 1994). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of your receiving an award. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Herman G. Fleming
Reports Clearance Officer
Contracts, Policy, and Oversight
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230.


Technology Across EHR

EHR has funded research on technology and cognition in science and mathematics education for the last 10 years. In conjunction with other NSF Directorates, EHR has participated in several workshops designed to advance research in the general areas of education and mathematical thinking (1988), cognition (1991 and 1995), human computer interaction (1993) and information technology (1995). In addition, EHR has long been the home of the Applications of Advanced Technologies (AAT) program. And since 1994, the joint EHR- CISE (Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate) Networking Infrastructure for Education (NIE) program has developed school-based applications of advanced computer and communication technologies to systemic reform and innovation in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education (SMET). Now EHR seeks to integrate the lessons learned from NIE and related activities in the use of technology-based infrastructure as a tool for sustainable education reform. Included in these related activities is the identification of research on issues relevant to systemic reform. Examples of such NSF support include (a) the development and testing of a theory of cognition in applied areas of geometry, algebra, and computer programming using intelligent computer-assisted instruction; (b) the use of simulation in middle schools to build an understanding of DNA and genetics; and (c) studies of cognitive learning issues in geographic visualizations that illustrate complex concepts in earth science. All EHR programs can be linked to technology. Incorporating this dimension of program activities into the research agenda will add value to EHR and increase its impact on students, teachers, and schools.

How Systemic Reform Frames a Research Agenda

"Systemic change" is a vision of education reform that predicts high achievement in challenging science and mathematics by all students as an outcome of a profoundly altered system of learning, teaching, and instructional infrastructures. Systemic reform is a condition of continuous improvement in creating opportunities to teach and to learn enhanced by organizational supports. Such reform must be sustained locally through a combination of elements: instruction; content standards; curriculum; assessment; preparation and professional development of teachers; policy; leadership, governance, and management practices; partnerships; and public awareness. EHR s Systemic Initiatives are committed to the reform of SMET education by addressing these elements simultaneously. These programs form the core of EHR s implementation agenda, and account for the combined roles of equity and quality in organizing, coordinating, and scaling up systemic change. The research priorities of EHR therefore rest on the following assumption: Efforts to reform SMET education in the United States must be informed by research on teaching, learning, and organizational practice, including the development of national standards and an understanding of how content standards should evolve as science, mathematics, technology, and the practice of SMET progresses. These standards emphasize active problem-solving strategies in addition to curriculum content and skills, and in turn demand new measurement methodologies to assess their effects on learning of science and mathematics by all students.

NSF has long emphasized the retention of more students in the SMET enterprise into higher education, providing opportunities for all students -- regardless of ability, aspiration, or career plans. NSF s commitment to enhance the universal
learning of rigorous science and mathematics is a newer objective that will help build "literacy" skills for citizens of the 21st century workplace and global community. How research informs this quest and technology supports it -- through educators and learners alike -- is the shared responsibility of all EHR programs.

The EHR Commitment to Human Resource Development

The Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) is committed to the development of human resources for science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET). EHR programs are dedicated to increasing the opportunities for all students to learn mathematics and science, prepare for higher education, complete degrees in SMET fields, join the workforce as competent and contributing members, and become well-informed, science-literate citizens of the United States. Such participation, from education to employment to life-long learning, is EHR s vision of human resource development in the national interest.

EHR seeks to combine excellence with equity (the quality of being fair or just) and diversity (the valuing of variety) in awarding scarce resources. EHR believes that its programs must connect strategically with all sectors, communities, and the public at large. These programs are based on compelling reasons why all students, indeed, all citizens, should be literate and numerate about scientific and technological advances, and their social implications. To foster such literacy, EHR invests resources for students and institutions during the entire range of formal education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school and beyond. These investments recognize the diversity of settings, as well as students, teachers, and faculty, in which learning occurs and from which new scientists and engineers emerge.

The Foundation provides awards for research in the sciences and engineering. The awardee is wholly responsible for the conduct of such research and preparation of the results for publication. The Foundation, therefore, does not assume responsibility for the research findings or their interpretation. The Foundation welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists and engineers and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the research related programs described here. In accordance with federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.
Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF projects. See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306 1636.

The National Science Foundation has TDD (Telephonic Device for the Deaf) capability, which enables individuals with hearing impairment to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment, or general information. To access NSF TDD dial (703) 306-0090; for FIRS,1- 800-877-8339. The program described in this publication falls under category 47.076, Education and Human Resources, in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

OMB 3145-0058
PT 34
KW 0502031, 0502023
NSF 96-138