Grants Office Update: March 2021

Principal Investigator: Xu Qin
Department: Health and Human Development
Project Title: Causal Mediation Analysis Under Partial Compliance in Single-Site and Multi-Site Randomized Trials
Agency Name: U.S. Department of Education

Award Dates: 9/1/20 – 8/31/21 
Amount: $157,687

Program developers are primarily interested in the average treatment effect (ATE) for the target population of potential participants, the causal mechanisms that explain this impact, and the differences in these causal effects between subpopulations or between experimental settings. These questions are key to a formal test of the program theory and have direct implications for program improvement. However, noncompliance is often inevitable in education experiments. In such cases, Intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses of experimental data are inadequate for assessing the potential impact of a program. The instrumental variable (IV) method provides adjustment for noncompliance. This project will develop analytic strategies that innovatively incorporate the IV for identifying and estimating the ATE, the moderated ATE, the mediated ATE, and the moderated mediation effects in a single-site randomized trial where the moderator of theoretical interest is individual predisposition for compliance. It will further develop strategies for causal moderation and mediation analyses in multisite randomized trials with noncompliance where the theoretically hypothesized moderator is site-level compliance rate that may explain between-site heterogeneity in the ATE and in the mediation mechanisms. The research team will also incorporate the new methods into statistical software packages, such as R and Stata.

Principal Investigator: Kari Kokka
Department: Teaching, Learning and Leading
Project Title: National Science Foundation CAREER: Partnering with Teachers and Students to Engage in Mathematical Inquiry about Relevant Social Issues

Agency Name: National Science Foundation

Award Dates: 5/1/21 – 4/30/24 
Amount: $996,249

This qualitative, participatory design study partners with the mathematics department of one public charter high school to support teachers’ ability to design cognitively demanding mathematics tasks about relevant social issues. The project investigates the following research questions: (1) How do teachers learn to adapt mathematics tasks to make them cognitively demanding and socially relevant for their students? How do contextual factors (e.g., specific school context/location/history, student backgrounds, teacher backgrounds, such as race and class) influence teacher learning? (2) What dilemmas become salient and how do teachers negotiate them while implementing the tasks? (3) How do these tasks improve students’ attitudes about mathematics and feelings of empowerment? A student advisory board will inform teachers’ task design, and long-term professional development with video cases and classroom coaching will support teachers’ reflection and ability to collectively support each other. A project website will share mathematics tasks and video cases with the broader community of mathematics educators. Through distribution of such materials, the project aims to offer much-needed resources and supports for mathematics teachers to use cognitively demanding and socially relevant mathematics tasks with their students. Learn more