Learning Progressions Footprint Conference

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

Leading researchers in science and mathematics education will convene a workshop that will enable leaders in the field to take stock of the progress of learning progressions research to date and to suggest productive directions for future research and development.


The conference was held in Washington, D.C. in the Embassy Row Hotel July 26-27, 2012. Participants provided writing before and after the conference.

Research Design: 

The project uses a cross-sectional research design and will generate evidence that is descriptive [conference report that assesses evidence around LPs, evaluates methodological approaches, considers implications for policy/practice]. Original data are being collected using survey research [online self-completion questionnaire and focus groups]. Survey questions include:

“We hope that you will be able to sample these readings, then use examples from them—as well as from your own reading, writing, and experience—to address the following questions:

  1. What is the promise and progress so far made in learning progressions research? In particular, what developments and examples would you cite as promising examples of approaches to developing research that has both methodological and conceptual validity and validity in use?
  2. What do you see as the most important challenges and design trade-offs that we must deal with as we try to meet our aspirations and develop products that have both methodological and conceptual validity and validity in use?
  3. What recommendations do you have for policies and priorities for future learning progressions work?"

The steering committee and organizers, plus volunteer's from among participants, will produce the products of the conference, which will include: (a) a conference report that assesses the evidence base around learning progressions, evaluates methodological approaches, and considers implications for policy and practice, (b) proposals for sessions at professional conferences: AERA, NARST, AAAS, NSTA, NCTM, etc., and (c) position papers for journals (perhaps Educational Researcher) and a contribution to the Science education forum. Participant pre-conference writing and consensus reports and notes from the conference are available on our website.


Findings will be posted as they become available.

Target Population: 
Research Design: 


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