Start Date 2013-00-00
Notes Founded in 2013, Lucas Education Research is a division of the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) that focuses on the design and evaluation of innovative practices in K–12 schools. The early research trials leading up to the formal organization of the division were initiated by George Lucas and GLEF co-founder Stephen Arnold to investigate the effectiveness of some of the core strategies advocated by Edutopia. The first area of focus was project-based learning. Early prototypes were developed as part of a collaboration with the Life Center at the University of Washington, then headed by Dr. John Bransford. The fundamental promise of this collaboration was to incorporate more current theory and science related to how people learn with the long-standing principles of project-based learning. As a result, key design principles of rigorous project-based learning were established to include, among others: projects as the spine of the course, thoughtful attention to spiraling or looping of key content across projects, creating the “need to know,” and careful attention to instructional practices that maximize student engagement. They called this approach to project-based learning “Knowledge in Action,” and applied it to Advanced Placement (AP) courses because AP represented a challenging academic context in which to evaluate the theory that a rigorous approach to PBL could be more effective for more students. Given the success with Knowledge in Action, Mr. Arnold and Mr. Lucas decided to move forward with the establishment of a new division at the Foundation that would focus squarely on the expansion of educational research initiatives. The first executive director of the newly formed division, Kristin De Vivo, sought to replicate the early research with Knowledge in Action, this time in large urban school districts across the country. In addition, Ms. De Vivo and her team collaborated with other top-tier universities to build out the research portfolio across grade levels and subject areas. The ultimate goal: to establish an evidence base for rigorous project-based learning.
Updated over 3 years ago

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