07 Oct Justin Reich to Work on Spencer Foundation Initiative to Promote High Quality Civic Engagement
The Spencer Foundation announced today a new initiative, Measuring the Quality of Civic and Political Engagement. The $2 Million initiative engages five research teams at four universities – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Colorado Boulder, Stanford University, and the University of California- Berkeley. Each of the five research teams will study different aspects of the issue that the Spencer Foundation hopes will ultimately contribute to the development of ways to measure the nature and quality of civic and political engagement.
MIT’s Justin Reich and his team will study online course forums, specifically assessing the nature of interactions and discussions between students. Leah Sprain, University of Colorado at Boulder will assess how students of different political backgrounds, race, gender, etc., interact and debate. Ben Kirshner, University of Colorado at Boulder will assess how effectively students or groups of students communicate their viewpoints and the quality of evidence they provide to support claims made in presentations. Linda Friedrich, National Writing Project at UC Berkeley will develop a rubric to aid educators in using teaching methods that help students write more effectively for political and civic purposes. Sam Wineburg, Stanford University, will look at how well students discern the credibility of information online with an eye towards improving students’ digital media literacy skills.