McDonnell Foundation Awards Education Grants Totaling $24.5 Million

McDonnell Foundation Awards Education Grants Totaling $24.5 Million

The James S. McDonnell Foundation in St. Louis has announced grants totaling $24.5 million in support of education research focused on the science of teaching.

The first round of five-year grants awarded through the Understanding Teacher Change and Teachers as Learners in K-12 Classrooms program — which was launched in 2017 as part of the foundation's 21st Century Science Initiative — will support research aimed at addressing gaps in knowledge with respect to teacher learning and how best to incorporate new approaches into existing educational practices.

Recipients include Steven Athanases of the University of California, Davis, who was awarded $2.49 million to explore how new teachers learn to present disciplined improvisation in diverse classrooms; Lynsey Gibbons of Boston University, who was awarded $2.5 million to study how elementary school teachers promote disciplinary learning and equity; and Hala Ghousseini of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, who will receive $2.5 million to explore teachers' pedagogical reasoning and practices.

The foundation also awarded grants totaling $10.4 million through the 21st Century Science Initiative's two ongoing programs, Understanding Human Cognition and Understanding Dynamic and Multi-scale Systems.

"The foundation is excited to launch this new program," said McDonnell Foundation president Susan Fitzpatrick, "and we hope the research findings will fill an important gap in our present understanding of how advances in the science of learning can best be integrated into educational practices."