Mary Kay Stein and Collaborators Receive $2.5 Million Grant to Study Teacher Learning

Stein in black shirt in front of books

Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) Associate Director for Educational Research and Practice Mary Kay Stein has been awarded a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation. The grant is part of the McDonnell Foundation’s newly formed Teachers as Learners (TAL) initiative which funds educational research with the goal of expanding our understanding of teachers as learners and as agents of change in education.

Stein's project, “Teacher Learning to Enact Productive Discussions in Mathematics and Literacy,” examines the role that cognitive mechanisms play in supporting teacher learning of a set of known practices associated with productive classroom-based discussions in middle school mathematics and literacy. Her research team will study and develop one-on-one coaching methods that assist teachers as they plan, teach, and reflect upon their lessons. Stein is a professor in the School of Education; the co-investigators are fellow School of Education faculty members Richard Correnti, Lindsay Clare Matsumura, Jennifer Russell and Department of Psychology professor Christian Schunn. All members of the research team hold secondary appointments in Pitt’s LRDC.

The James S. McDonnell Foundation was established in 1950 by aerospace pioneer James M. McDonnell to “improve the quality of life” and does so by contributing to the generation of new knowledge through its support of research and scholarship.