INTRODUCTION: Professor Susan De La Paz, a faculty member in the University of Maryland College of Education seeks a motivated graduate student who is interested in studying a research partnership with a large local school district.

DESCRIPTION: Mentoring will be provided for the selected student to participate in the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from a yearlong project involving University of Maryland, College Park and a local school district. Our partnership began during the 2020 pandemic, when local schools as well as those across the nation changed from in person to virtual learning, and provides a unique opportunity to study how to bridge the gap between research and practice in literacy research. Building on past work on academic literacy, Dr. De La Paz and her team developed six, fully online historical investigations (each to be completed in 3 days) for the entire 9th grade student population in a large suburban-rural-urban Maryland school district, and professional development (PD) for social studies teachers at three “research” and one “control” school. The two primary research questions for this year are (1) Can teachers who implement the yearlong curriculum adhere to the core components of the program, while also being responsive to their students’ needs? (2) To what extent do students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds improve their reading and writing skills? Work on this project includes attending remote (and possibly in-person) meetings with research team, working with doctoral students and teachers, and coding teacher data and student responses to argumentative writing tasks. Students who contribute substantively will be included as contributing authors on conference presentations and academic journal articles.

IDEAL CANDIDATES: Individuals from the School of Social Work or School of Law and those with a background in historical writing or who are considering teaching careers in social studies.

LOCATION: Hybrid – Remote & In-person

PROJECT LEAD/PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Susan De La Paz, PhD, Professor, Special Education, College of Education, University of Maryland