Grants

New Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants Aim To Improve Teacher Education

MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab will support grant winners as they conduct research on STEM teaching.

The new Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants (TLIG) program allocated $250,000 to three projects at MIT working to improve STEM education.

Funded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and administered by the MIT Teaching Systems Lab (TSL), the grants are used to support projects that aim to make an impact on teacher education.

In its first year, the TLIG program received 16 applications from schools and departments across MIT. Several representatives from the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning, a new competency-based teacher education program, and MIT faculty and staff formed a committee to review the proposals. The committee selected three proposals and allocated $250,000 in funding.

“The quality of the proposals was exceptional, and it’s exciting to see the incredible research potential in PK-12 learning across MIT,” said Justin Reich, executive director of TSL, in a prepared statement. “From building cutting edge STEM curriculum to finding new applications for technology in teaching and learning, these projects continue a long tradition at MIT of innovation in PK-12 education.”

According to a news release, funding went to the following three proposals:

  • “‘Just The Facts: Synthetic biology for co-evolution of master teachers and a BioBuilder curriculum,’ a proposal to design and disseminate a unique teacher-informed evolutionary biology curriculum, using real-world synthetic biology experiments;

  • “‘Informal Science Education For Learners, Parents, and Educators,’ a research program to introduce children and their parents to scientific inquiry and leverage early science learning in an informal, media-based format; and

  • “‘Interest-Based Pathways into Coding: Developing Strategies and Materials to Help Teachers Engage a Broader Range of Students in Computational Thinking,’ a program to develop new learning materials and workshops to help teachers support interest-based approaches to coding, providing students with opportunities to learn computational concepts and skills by working on projects related to their personal interests."

The MIT TSL will administer funding and provide support to the proposal winners. To test the projects, the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning will provide access to schools through district partners.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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