Curry Education Research Lectureship Series

The Spring 2014 Curry Education Research Lectureship Series

All lectures are FREE and open to the public. No registration is required.
Bagels and coffee will be available.
Parking is available at the Central Grounds Parking Garage.

For recommended readings or other questions about the series, please contact


Lectures are sponsored by the Virginia Education Sciences Training (VEST) Program, supported by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES), and the Curry School of Education Dean’s Office.

Kevin F. Miller, School of EducationCANCELED DUE TO WEATHER: New Perspectives on Classroom Processes

Kevin F. Miller, School of Education and Department of Psychology, University of Michigan
Friday February 14th, 2014; 11:00-12:30 PM
Holloway Hall (Rm 116), Bavaro Hall
Keynote Lecture, Curry Research Conference
Add to Google Calendar
Add to iCal/Outlook

Kevin Miller is Professor of Psychology and Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on understanding the relation between student learning and classroom processes, and cross-cultural similarities and differences in academic learning and performance. He is a developmental and school psychologist by training, and he works to understand the interplay of developmental and educational processes in the development of fundamental cognitive skills.

Abstract: Two approaches to improvement have become popular in a variety fields. The first, associated with Clayton Christensen ("The Innovator's Dilemma") focuses on "disruptive innovations" that involve new organizations and structures. The second, associated with Atul Gawande ("Better") argues that under-standing and improving everyday processes can be associated with dramatic improvements in effectiveness. Both approaches are being applied to education, but a real stumbling block for advocates of the Gawande approach is that we know surprisingly little about the cognitive processes that go on in classrooms. In my talk, I will describe two research projects aimed at remedying this gap. The first uses mobile eye tracking technologies to understand the cognitive processes of teachers as they teach classroom lessons. The second uses an automated speech analysis system (the "LENA") to give teachers timely feedback about the distribution of talk between teacher and student during math lessons, with an aim of helping them to promote productive discussions. Our underlying premise is that it is now possible to make fundamental processes of teaching and learning visible for research and professional development. in Early Adulthood for Serious Adolescent Offenders

Edward P. Mulvey, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Law and Psychiatry Program, University of Pittsburgh Medical School
Friday February 28th, 2014; 11:00-12:30 PM
Alumni Hall Annex
This talk is sponsored by Youth-Nex, the U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development
Add to Google Calendar
Add to iCal/Outlook


Edward Mulvey is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. His research has investigated how clinicians make judgments regarding the type of risk posed by adult mental patients and juvenile offenders, and what treatment might be appropriate for such cases. He also has an interest in the competency of adolescents to make decisions regarding treatment alternatives.

Abstract: Mulvey will discuss findings from the Pathways to Desistance study, a longitudinal project following 1,354 serious adolescent offenders for seven years after their appearance in court. We know that many adolescents greatly reduce their criminal offending as they make the transition into early adulthood. Yet we know very little about what developmental processes or system interventions promote more positive outcomes in this group during this time. The influence of a variety of factors will be discussed such as findings about the role of institutional placement and service provision, employment, and perceptions of the legal system. Policy implications of the study findings to date will also be discussed.

Scientific Utopia: An Agenda for Improving Openness and Reproducibility

Brian A. Nosek, Department of Psychology University of Virginia
Friday March 7th, 2014; 11:00-12:30 PM
Holloway Hall (Rm 116), Bavaro Hall
This talk is sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL)
Add to Google Calendar
Add to iCal/Outlook

Brian Nosek received a Ph.D. in from Yale University in 2002 and is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. In 2007, he received early career awards from the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). He co-founded Project Implicit ( an Internet-based multi-university collaboration of research and education about implicit cognition – thoughts and feelings that exist outside of awareness or control. Nosek investigates the gap between values and practices – such as when behavior is influenced by factors other than one's intentions and goals. Research applications of this interest are implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, automaticity, social judgment and decision-making, attitudes, beliefs, ideology, morality, identity, memory, and barriers to innovation. Through lectures, training, and consulting, Nosek applies scientific research to improve the alignment between personal and organizational values and practices. Nosek also co-founded and directs the Center for Open Science (COS; that operates the Open Science Framework ( The COS aims to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research.

Abstract: We can improve scientific communication to increase efficiency in the accumulation of knowledge. This requires at least two changes to the present culture. One change is conceptual - embracing that progress is made more rapidly via identifying error in current beliefs than by finding support for current beliefs. Such a shift could reduce confirmation bias, unproductive theory testing, and the blinding desire to be right. The other change is practical - science will benefit by improving search and filter technologies for research to be competitive with the available technologies for finding hilarious videos of cats falling off of furniture. This presentation will focus on mechanisms to improve openness, integrity, and reproducibility in science. I will introduce the Center for Open Science ( and discuss present and possible futures of scientific communication. There will be no cats.

Laura JusticeFriends or Foes? Impacts of Classmates on Preschoolers’ Development

Laura L. Justice , College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
Friday April 11th, 2014; 11:00-12:30 PM
Holloway Hall (Rm 116), Bavaro Hall
Add to Google Calendar
Add to iCal/Outlook

Laura Justice, PhD. is a clinical speech-language pathologist and applied researcher in early childhood language and literacy development, communication disorders, and educational interventions. Dr. Justice is Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, where she also directs the Preschool Language and Literacy Lab, a research unit within the School of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Justice's research activities have been supported by grants from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, International Reading Association, National Institutes of Health, and U. S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. Dr. Justice has published nearly 100 articles and chapters on early education and language/literacy intervention and has authored or edited ten books, including Scaffolding with Storybooks, Shared Storybook Reading, and Clinical Approaches to Emergent Literacy Intervention. Justice was the Founding Editor of EBP Briefs, published by Pearson, and is currently serving a 3-year term as Editor of the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Abstract: This presentation explores the impacts of young children's peers (i.e., classmates) on their development over an academic year, focused specifically on language development. A series of studies are described, to include several examining whether peer effects exist in preschool programs and the extent to which these effects are indirect or direct. Implications for practice and policy will be explored.

Policy and Practice: Implementation, Infrastructure, & Instruction

James P. Spillane, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
Friday May 2nd, 2014; 11:00-12:30 PM
Holloway Hall (Rm 116), Bavaro Hall
Add to Google Calendar
Add to iCal/Outlook

James P. Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He is also professor of Human Development and Social Policy, professor of Learning Sciences, professor of Management and Organizations, and faculty associate at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research. Spillane has published extensively on issues of education policy, policy implementation, school reform, and school leadership. He has authored several books including Standards Deviation: How Local Schools Misunderstand Policy (Harvard University Press, 2004), Distributed Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2006), Distributed Leadership in Practice (Teachers College Press, 2007) Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement (Teachers College Press, 2011), and numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Talk Abstract: For a quarter century federal, state & local policymakers in the US have mobilized an array of policy instruments to influence the core technology of schooling –instruction.  The empirical evidence suggests that these policy initiatives, for better and worse, have made it inside schools and beyond the classroom door to influence teaching. In this presentation, drawing on several mixed method studies, I theorize relations between government policy and local school practice.  I focus on two related issues.  First, I show how the transformation of the school’s formal organizational infrastructure, in particular organizational routines, was central in school level efforts at recoupling school administrative practice with government policy and with instruction. Second, I explore relations between organizational infrastructure (and infrastructure redesign) on work practice related to instruction in schools.  In concluding, I reflect on my findings for policy, school administrative practice, and instructional change.

For copies of the papers relating to this talk, please email