The U.S. Department of Education’s research arm has awarded a $2.9 million grant to underwrite a randomized study of the Responsive Classroom, a popular elementary school program aimed at promoting students’ social development.
The four-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, announced last week by the University of Virginia, builds on smaller studies conducted by Sara Rimm-Kaufmann, an associate education professor at the university in Charlottesville. Her previous work, conducted with classrooms in six schools, found that students who have been in classrooms that use the program for two to three years made both academic and behavioral gains compared with those in traditional classrooms.
She said the new study will use more rigorous methodology and a larger sample of classrooms to track the program’s effects with students in grades 3-5 in 24 classrooms, half of which have been randomly assigned to use the social-learning program.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week