Mills faculty and students in the School of Education are engaged in a variety of important areas of research practice, including:
Civic Engagement: The Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) conducts quantitative and qualitative research focused on the nature of youth civic engagement and the impact of school practices and digital media participation on the quality, quantity, and equality of young people's civic capacities and commitments. CERG is part of the MacArthur Network on Youth and Participatory Politics. Together with Cathy Cohen at the University of Chicago, CERG is fielding a major national survey of youth online activity and its relationship to traditional and new forms of civic and political life. In addition, CERG is coordinating a working group on Service & Activism in the Digital Age. This group of scholars and practitioners from the fields of new media, service learning, and community-based youth organizing are examining how new media can engage and support youth in service and community activism. For more information visit www.civicsurvey.org.
At-Risk Infants: Working with medically fragile high-risk preterm infants, pre-natally drug exposed infants, and those with early childhood trauma, Professor Linda Perez is co-director of the Special Start Training Project (SSTP) that is housed in the Mills College School of Education. The SSTP is nationally recognized as California's first relationship- and system-based, process-oriented, family-centered training and education program model for medically fragile and preterm infants in the home environment following hospital discharge from the neonatal intensive care nursery. Utilizing principles of the SSTP model, Dr. Perez has contributed to the development of an infant mental health intervention program in nearby San Mateo County for low-income, primarily monolingual Spanish-speaking mothers who are seriously mentally ill and parenting infants in the first five years of life. Her work in this area created the foundation for the Mills master's degree in infant mental health. Dr. Perez also contributes to the Digital Storytelling Project organized by the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Initiatives.
Teacher Scholars: The Mills Teacher Scholars is a collaborative teacher research group directed by Anna Richert, professor of Education at Mills and director of the Master of Arts with an Emphasis on Teaching (MEET) Program. The Mills Teacher Scholars Program promotes the scholarly work of teaching by supporting teachers as they research aspects of their teaching practice and, as a result of deeper understandings, enhance learning opportunities for their students. Inquiry for Equity: Supporting Teacher Research describes the work of the Mills Teacher Scholars in the context of urban school reform. This chapter, scheduled for publication in fall 2009, was conducted in collaboration with Mills Teacher Scholars Associate Director Claire Bove. More information visit: Mills Teacher Scholars Program.
Lesson Study: Lesson Study is a professional learning process in which teachers collaboratively plan, observe, analyze, and refine actual classroom lessons, called "research lessons." Teachers engaged in lesson study consider both immediate and long-term goals for student learning and development; collaborate to craft lessons that help students learn content and develop the habits of mind and heart needed to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens; and carefully study student thinking and experiences during lessons, and use this information to reshape instruction.
The Mills College Lesson Study Group, which has major grants from the National Science Foundation and the federal Department of Education, is directed by researchers Catherine Lewis, PhD, and Rebecca Perry, PhD. Adjunct professors Shelly Weintraub and Stan Pesick provide video examples of lesson study in social studies and history.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Professor Tomás Galguera, whose research interests are in the pedagogy of teacher preparation with an emphasis in preparing teachers to teach English learners, embodies principles and methods associated with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), championed by Lee Shulman, past president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning has pioneered the use of electronic technology to make teaching and learning visible and to critique and build upon represented instances of practice. Each semester, Professor Galguera asks students to publish websites documenting their inquiry projects. Here are two examples: (Student A) (Student B). For more information, visit Professor Galguera's website.
Teacher Education: Professor David Donahue has investigated various curricular practices in teacher education such as service learning, the disciplinary- and genre-specific nature of reading, and the connection between arts learning and learning to teach. His scholarly interests are framed by a long-standing interest in human rights, a commitment to learning in the subject areas in which he prepares teachers, and a concern with the scholarship of engagement. His research with the Strategic Literacy Initiative explored reading across the secondary school curriculum, and his work with the Arts Education Initiative led to a better understanding of arts integration in middle and high schools.