Centers & Institutes for Research and Service

Through its centers and institutes, the GSE advances research and informs best practices in education. The impact of our work is significant, from better learning in our local communities to research-based educational policymaking on national and global levels.

Center for Effective School Practices

The Center for Effective School Practices (CESP) is dedicated to improving the educational attainment and preparation of all learners by connecting policy and practice with research-based evidence and innovation. Working collaboratively with a broad and diverse group of educational stakeholders, both locally and nationally, the primary objective of CESP is to facilitate and support the translation of research findings into effective educational practices that benefit all students and all communities. To this end, CESP’s researchers and staff conduct basic and applied educational research that informs educational policy and practice, supports the design, implementation and evaluation of educational programs and initiatives, creates opportunities for educators to exchange views and ideas, and provides training and tools that are tailored to the specific needs of individuals, schools, districts, and communities in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. CESP is an integral partner in the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic (REL Mid-Atlantic), sponsored by the US Department of Education. In this role, the Center engages in the investigation of best educational practices for school districts and state departments of education with the intention of promoting the use of research data to inform and guide education policy and decision-making in the region.

Center for Literacy Development

The Center for Literacy Development is committed to improving literacy support systems and providing a professional learning network of literacy leaders and teachers. The center’s network membership services include professional development to improve teacher quality and school leadership, literacy coaching in schools, and direct services to children.The center is co-directed by Lesley Morrow, Ph.D. and Lisa Mullin, Ed.M.

National Institute for Early Education Research

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) is dedicated to improving early childhood education and care for all children through research. The project is headed by Dr. W. Steven Barnett and counts many distinguished GSE faculty members as participants.

National Writing Project

The National Writing Project (NWP) is a professional development network that serves teachers of writing at all grade levels and subjects. Its mission is to improve student achievement by improving the teaching of writing and improving learning in the nation’s schools. The NWP at Rutgers collaborates with schools to develop multiyear partnerships and to design a sequence of support services meeting the individual needs of partner districts.

Proof Comprehension Research Group 

The Proof Comprehension Research Group is a collective of academics whose research focuses on the reading and presentation of mathematical proofs, as performed by university students and mathematicians. Their research interests include assessing the reading comprehension of mathematical proofs, comparing the ways in which expert and novices read proofs, and evaluating the extent to which certain variations in the presentation of proofs (e.g. type of content, medium, organization of information) affect comprehension. The group is led by Professor Keith Weber and Associate Professor Juan Pablo Mejia-Ramos

Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning

The Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning has worked with a variety of partners over extended periods of time to create conditions for learning environments that optimize students’ understanding of the mathematics they are learning.  Carolyn A. Maher, Professor II of mathematics education and the Director of the Institute, working with small staff and a growing network of Research Associates, has been national leader in the field.  Maher’s team has established a successful track record in conducting collaborative research and teacher development projects, increasing knowledge in the field and bringing it into the classroom.  At the heart of the Davis Institute approach is the idea that a focus on deep understanding in mathematical problem solving is the key to increasing mathematics achievement.  Research has shown that children have powerful mathematical ideas and ways of reasoning that develop over time.  The Davis Institute’s unique video collection includes over 4,500 hours of longitudinal and cross-sectional video data on children’s learning and reasoning. This video collection is unique and can serve as an important tool for teacher learning.

The Institute for Improving Student Achievement

The mission of the Rutgers Institute for Improving Student Achievement is to generate and to coordinate the efforts of Rutgers, pre-K–12 districts, and corporate and community partners in providing continuous improvement in the achievement of all students.

Rutgers Initiative for Education & Justice

Rutgers Initiative for Education & Justice is a consortium of scholars, practitioners, and community members who work at the intersection of public education and criminal justice. We seek to address a crisis in American public institutions, in which it has become all too easy for youth to slip from k-12 schooling into the criminal justice system, and all too difficult for them to escape its life-long consequences. Through research, programming, and advocacy, we seek pathways for at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth to reengage in high school, college, and beyond. We believe that every person, without exception, is entitled to an education that prepares him or her to develop as a whole civic person who can act with autonomy, deliberation, and empathy. We also believe that all citizens benefit individually and collectively from a just and fair society. To meet these goals, we believe that public education and justice institutions must work effectively together.

Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged.

Rutgers Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, & Justice

Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, & Justice is a national center under the direction of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education and Distinguished Professor, Marybeth Gasman and will focus on issues of leadership, equity, and justice within the context of higher education. The Institute will bring together researchers, practitioners, and community members to work toward the common goals of diversifying leadership, enhancing equity, and fostering justice for all. The Proctor Institute is named in honor of the late Samuel DeWitt Proctor, the first African American faculty member at the Graduate School of Education and the first to have an endowed professorship named after him.