Department of Curriculum & Instruction (CUIN) Associate Professor Mimi Lee has taken the responsibility of guiding the CUIN Design-Based Research (CUIN DBR) team which includes discussions that are more situated in issues specific to the greater Houston area. The project started in summer 2016 as part of the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US.PREP) Project.
Currently, the CUIN DBR team is working as part of the U.S.PREP National Center which is a consortium of six universities committed to transforming their teacher education practices in partnership with K12 school systems. This was made possible by an award to Texas Tech University from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which has funded a $34.7 million grant that will bring together higher education institutions, teacher-preparation providers and K-12 school systems to share data, knowledge and best practices. For more information see COE Benefits from $34 Million Teacher Prep Grant from the Gates Foundation.
In addition to discussing DBR as part of this consortium, the CUIN DBR team is also committed to keeping reflective or even critical perspectives on how to define and implement DBR that is more University of Houston (UH) or Houston area-specific, through continuous dialogues among practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders in the area.
Five faculty members from CUIN - Sam Brower, Jen Chauvot, Mimi Lee, Laura Turchi and Dawn Westfall initially started out as the CUIN DBR Team for the US PREP Project in summer 2016. Now the group has expanded to include additional faculty members. "Faculty members outside of the US PREP also have been working with students on DBR, such as Sara McNeil and Bernard Robin in Learning, Design, and Technology,” said Lee. “After our CUIN DBR Workshop that took place on September 9, 2016, more faculty members and students have expressed interest."
Doctoral students in CUIN have also worked closely with the CUIN DBR faculty as graduate assistants involved in research and teaching. CUIN doctoral students are involved in the DBR team through their work with the faculty members mentioned above. For example, CUIN Ph.D. students Monica Gonzales and Misty Black attended the US PREP DBR conference in August, 2016. “I offered a special topic course on DBR a few years ago, which would likely to be offered again in the future,” said Lee. “Also as a co-director of our CUIN Ph.D. program, I see much potential for DBR as a research framework for our doctoral students who are teachers themselves and/or work very closely with the large or rapidly growing school districts in the greater Houston area.”
Lee has a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology, so she has been paying close attention to the growing scholarship and reflective practice in the field that employs DBR as the framework. She has been working with scholars like Dr. Thomas Reeves at the University of Georgia who has numerous publications on DBR and has advised DBR projects. “Dr. Reeves will be visiting UH as a keynote speaker for our upcoming one-day conference entitled Education 20/20: Innovative Teaching and Learning at a Distance here at the University of Houston on Friday, November 4, 2016,” said Lee. “During that visit, he will also be meeting with the DBR team.”
See photos of the Design-Based Research (with US PREP) Symposium on September 9, 2016 in Kiva Farish Hall on the UH College of Education Flickr page.