On July 7 and 8, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) convened the second and third meetings of the panel on the Future of Education Research at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education (see previous COSSA coverage for more background). While much of these meetings consisted of closed-door sessions, there were three open, public sessions discussing a variety of topics related to the methods and measures used in education research, on the impact of investments in education research, and on training and retaining future talent in the education research enterprise.
The first open session on Methods and Measures in Education Research discussed the infrastructure of IES and the methods it uses to support research. Discussion from the panelists covered how research methods and assessment in education research at IES may change, including the increased importance of data science, a heightened emphasis on diversity and equity in education science, and an acknowledgement of the challenges of IES’ grant cycles being infrequent, lengthy, and lacking in interdisciplinarity. There was also a discussion about interdisciplinary science and the “need to also make space for innovative proposals that don’t neatly fit into one of the existing goals.”
The second open session on Understanding and Assessing Impact of Education Research Investments, which included panel discussions about the role of education research in impacting public policy, practice in the classroom, and the expected timeline of impact of research investments, led to a focus on investment in education research to change the research enterprise and research policy for the better. Equity in education also came up as a major priority and how to measure the impact of research on equity and improve diversity and inclusion in education and research environments.
The third open session on Training and Retaining the Next Generation of Education Researchers focused on building strong career pathways for training professionals in areas of education research, including fostering research on career development in these research areas. Panelists also noted potential barriers for young people to enter professions in education research and the importance of increasing diversity in the education research workforce.
More information about the panels is available on the NASEM website.