The National Science Foundation has requested comments and proposals that outline challenge questions for the next decade in behavioral sciences research. At the same time, the NSF has joined the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology as well as the National Academy of Sciences in issuing reports first identifying the need for specialized STEM education as a strategic necessity and then proposing the establishment of an additional 1000 specialized STEM schools. A common theme in these reports is that foundational work must be conducted to establish effective organizational and instructional practices for these schools. The authors of this paper serve as directors of a national organization of 92 such schools, and as representatives of two of the schools used as exemplars in the PCAST report they challenge the National Science Foundation to engage and extend existing research relationships with these willing laboratory schools as a means to accelerate the work in the learning and behavioral sciences that must be conducted for this national endeavor.
Full project information available at: http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/sbe_2020/submission_detail.cfm?upld_id=287
Kolar, C., & Sondel, H. (2010). Existing specialty schools as leverage for behavioral sciences research on teaching and learning in STEM fields (White paper submitted to the National Science Foundation SBE: 2020 project on future research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.)