Research on Early Literacy and Energy Stewardship

As a laboratory school, UCLA Lab School has a special mission to engage in research on children’s education and development. Every Lab School student is a research participant, and every member of the school is part of a community of learners who are helping to improve education for children across the state, our nation, and the globe.

Research studies in progress in 2021-2022 include a screening for early literacy intervention and a study that aims to empower young people to become energy conservation stewards in their homes.

Supporting Early Literacy

Researcher Laura Rhinehart and Maryanne Wolf, director of the UCLA Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners and Social Justice, are collaborating with UCLA Lab School faculty to co-design a series of reading interventions to support young students’ early literacy. This three-year longitudinal study began last year with ECII students and is now following these students in Primary. All Primary students in the English and Dual Language programs are participating. The Lab School regularly uses assessments to help identify and support students who are at-risk of reading challenges and/or dyslexia in early grades in order to prevent them from falling behind in reading. As a result, students receive targeted interventions to support their development. This research project will be using data from these classroom practices to assess the impacts of various interventions on students.

Developing Energy Stewards

Upper classes are participating in the “Dial Down Challenge.” The goal is to determine if young students can be energy stewards in the home. Professor Magali Delmas, of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Anderson School of Management, and her team are conducting the project in collaboration with UCLA Lab School teaching staff. Upper I and Upper II students and their families will learn about energy efficiency and work together to implement simple and no-cost changes to lower their utility bills. In addition to classroom discussions and check-ins, students and their families are working collaboratively at home around energy saving strategies. Every week focuses on a different aspect of energy consumption, so families can explore, learn, and collaborate in fun activities.

CONNECT Research Center

All research at UCLA Lab School is overseen by CONNECT, the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies research center housed at the school and led by Director and Professor Megan Franke, Associate Director Nicole Mancevice, Assistant Director Sandra Smith, and Research Associate Christine Lee. As a central part of UCLA Lab School, CONNECT strives to stimulate innovative research that has implications for educational practices, and to encourage the exchange of ideas among scholars and practitioners concerned with child development and school reform.

The close partnership between CONNECT and the Lab School helps to foster a strong community of researchers and teachers who work cooperatively on a long-term basis. Researchers report they choose the school because of its diversity, teacher knowledge of research, and CONNECT’s support. This in turn helps to generate research that has relevance for educators, students, and families.

Infographic: CONNECT Researcher Survey 

Teacher practitioner brief: Pedagogical Documentation in Inquiry Based Teaching and Learning

To learn more about research at UCLA Lab School, contact CONNECT Assistant Director Sandra Smith.