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Morgridge College of Education

Kennedy Institute

The Kennedy Institute seeks to identify innovative and cost-effective means for promoting and sustaining the educational success of vulnerable children from early childhood through post-secondary education. Made possible by a gift from James C. Kennedy, the Institute established a program endowment which supports the research and operations of three faculty chairs in the Morgridge College of Education. Dedicated to applied research and dissemination of knowledge in the area of early childhood education, the following professors hold chairs in the Institute: 

  • Dr. Douglas H. Clements holds the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and serves as the Executive Director of the Marsico Institute of Early Learning and Literacy.
  • Dr. Richard Kitchen holds the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Urban Education.
  • Dr. Julie Sarama holds the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies.

NEWS From Kennedy

  • January 13, 2016 - Rick Kitchen, Kennedy Endowed Chair of Urban Education recently published a research commentary in the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education with former MCE PhD student Sarabeth Berk. The title of the article is "Educational technology: An equity challenge to the Common Core." In the commentary, Drs. Kitchen and Berk examine how computer assisted instruction may support or hinder standards-based reforms in mathematics education, particularly in schools largely attended by students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. Click on the link to read the article.

  • October 20, 2015 - Dr. Richard Kitchen has a chapter in the upcoming book "Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power" released by Peter Lang Publishers. This book of narratives from other experts discusses the issues of teacher excellence and racial consciousness of White faculty in the STEM system. In his chapter, Dr. Kitchen shares his personal story in relation to race, class, white privilege, identity, and his work in higher education. Click on the link to order your copy!

  • May 29, 2015 - Doug Clements and Julie Sarama have been awarded a $3.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to conduct multiple studies on learning trajectories in mathematics education. The four-year research project is entitled “Evaluating the Efficacy of Learning Trajectories in Early Mathematics.” Read more...

  • A new review article was just published and written by Clements and Sarama. The article touches on some of the newest research in the field of mathematics education! Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2015). Discussion From a Mathematics Education Perspective.  Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 17(2-3), 244-252. doi: 10.1080/10986065.2015.1016826
  • A new video related to the Connect4Learning (C4L) research project on building science and math curriculum has been released by Science Nation. It is titled Connect4Learning Jumpstarts Science and Math for Preschoolers.   Science Nation is a video series commissioned by the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.

  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and The National Research Council (NRC) is pleased to announce the release of the report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth to Age Eight: A Unifying Foundation, authored by the Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age Eight: Deepening and Broadening the Foundation for Success. Douglas Clements is one of the co-authors of this prestigious document. You can read the report here.
  • New publication from our long-standing scale-up (TRIAD) project Clements, D. H., Sarama, J., Wolfe, C. B., & Spitler, M. E. (2014). Sustainability of a scale-up intervention in early mathematics: Longitudinal evaluation of implementation fidelity.  Early Education and Development, 26 (3), 427-449. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2015.968242

  • New publication: Goldenberg, E. P., & Clements, D. H. (2014). Developing essential understanding of geometry and measurement. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This book focuses on essential knowledge for teachers about geometry and measurement. It is organized around four big ideas, supported by multiple smaller, interconnected ideas—essential understandings. You can order the book here

  • Douglas H. Clements on NPR: Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill. Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.
  • What do we know about The Science of Children Birth to Age 8 ? Dr. Doug Clements is now a full member of the National Academy of Sciences' committee, which is charged to conduct a study on how the science of children's health, learning and development from birth to age 8 can be used to inform how we prepare a workforce to support children's health.

  • A Study Seeks to Determine What Makes Prekindergarten Successful. (Taylor, K., The New York Times, 3/12/14.) The experts recommended Building Blocks, which was developed by two education professors at the University of Denver (Clements and Sarama), for two primary reasons.

  • Visit the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) blog forum on play-based learning in early childhood education, including posts from national experts in the field: Play, Mathematics, and False Dichotomies, by Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama.

  • Policy Brief -- Math in the Early Years; A Strong Predictor for Later School Success.

  • Building Blocks - Brain Power - Studying Young Minds and How to Teach Them (Carey, B., the New York Times, 12/20/09.) In a Building Blocks classroom, numbers are in artwork, on computer games and in lessons, sharing equal time with letters. Like "Sesame Street," Building Blocks has children play creative counting games.