Research is a major aspect of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. As trends in globalization and innovation continue change, it is important to ensure teaching and learning processes adapt to students’ needs. Our faculty work closely with students to examine trends in education that will better prepare teachers to become engaged and motivational educators. We examine topics such as teachers and teaching, sociocultural conditions in schooling, inequities in education, project based learning, computing and technology education, and learning theories.

In addition to our ongoing research, our department is affiliated with programs such as the Black Male Education Research Collection (BMERC) and the Center for STEM Education.

Silhouette of a young, black boy illustrated with interconnecting gears in the area of the brain

Black Male Education Research Collection

The Black Male Education Research Collection complies peer reviewed research and interviews. This archive documents important issues facing America's Black youth.

STEM Center logo featuring "Science, Technology, Engineering, Math" reversed ouf of the state of Texas

Center for STEM Education

The Center for STEM Education provides support for researchers conducting externally-funded interdisciplinary research on STEM teaching and learning, the conditions that influence it, and innovations that can maximize it.

Two elementary school boys enjoying class time.

The Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI)

IPSI offers professional learning opportunities that directly support the growth of students, and develops educators who can prepare students for college and career success.

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The Office of Bilingual Education

The OBE sponsors projects, events, research, and lectures that improve the quality of educational services provided for bilingual and English Language Learners (ELLs).


Professor Chris Brown sits behind a microphone as he records his academic minute.

Is Kindergarten Becoming All Work and No Play?

“Researchers have demonstrated that five-year-olds are spending more time engaged in teacher-led academic learning activities than play-based learning opportunities that facilitate child-initiated investigations and foster social development among peers,” says associate Professor Chris Brown.

A young girl draws on paper.

Five Ways to Create a Great STEM Program

Victor Sampson, Director of the Center for STEM Education, outlines how his research informs ways to improve STEM programs. The center serves as a hub for teachers, schools, districts, policy makers, state educational leaders, and private industries relying on a STEM knowledge base.

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Anthony Petrosino Receives NSF Award to Increase Student Pursuit of STEM Careers

Imagine a classroom of middle-school or high-school students engaged in a collaborative high-tech project, like untangling the complexities of traffic-flow simulation or mapping out the potential spread of Zika.