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Laura D'Amico
Research Associate, Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Education

 

Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6
CANADA

 

ldamico@sfu.ca

 

SFU | Faculty of Education | ISTLD

 

(last updated: August 2015)

 

EDUCATION

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS
Investigation of systems useful for supporting and implementing educational improvement and reform, including: assessment infrastructures; learning technologies; professional development systems for teachers and principals; and relationships between researchers and practioners.

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

 

Review of Admissions Procedures for the Teacher Education Program of the Faculty of Education at SFU

Professional Programs in the Faculty of Education is currently undergoing a period of envisioning and rethinking its teacher education programs.  As part of that larger work, they are reflecting upon their current admissions practices and exploring admissions procedures at other institutions and in other professional fields. This reflection and exploration supports their work to improve the clarity, transparency and technical robustness of their admissions procedures.  (Writer and research and development consultant, 2014-present)

 

 

PREVIOUS PROJECTS

 

Task Force for Teacher Education in the 21st Century, SFU Faculty of Education

SFU’s Task Force for Teacher Education in the 21st Century (TEF21) was charged with considering how teaching and learning might change in the 21st century and to explore what teacher education practices might best prepare our teaching force for these shifting conditions. (Research consultant and writer, 2012-2013)

 

Manifestations of Religion and Accommodation Practices in the BC Public Education System
Through interviews with key administrators and practioners and review of documents, this project explored existing guidelines (policies, rules, procedures, etc.) pertaining to the inclusion of religious diversity in school in order to better understand how school districts address issues related to cultural/religious values or beliefs, which may conflict with existing educational values. (Research consultant, 2009-2013)

 

A Sociocultural Investigation of Literacy Instruction for Children Learning English as a Second Language (SILICLE)
SILICLE was a three year longitudinal study (2006-2009) of English langauge learners as they moved through grades 4, 5 and 6. The project team investigated the first language and English literacy practices of these students at home and in school and the ways in which they participated in those practices, the ways in which school literacy instruction based on sociocultural learning theories might provide those students with access to school literacy practices, and the extent to which theoretical models of and/or practical research on sociocultural approaches to literacy instruction for second language learners might be helpful to teachers working in multilingual classrooms. Some of the instructional innovations experiented with by the teachers participating in the study included: students investigating examples of literacy and literate activity in their homes and communities; students creating photo slideshows to represent their lives; students creating videos to introduce new students to their school and surrounding communites; students creating graphic novels with Comic Life and students creating PodCasts of stories they have written from wordless picture books. (Research Associate, 2006-2008)

 

Current Trends in the Evolution of School Personnel in Canadian Elementary and Secondary Schools
The School Personnel Study was a five year investigation (2002-2007) involving researchers across Canada in an effort to understand the effects of budget cuts, class sizes, curriculum changes, exanding diversity and technological and educational reforms on teaching and learning conditions in Canadian public schools. I worked with a team based at Simon Fraser University to investigate these conditions in schools and classrooms in the greater Vancouver area. (Resarch Associate, 2003-2008)

 

Case study of LeTUS for the Research Network on Teaching and Learning Meta-Study
The Meta-Study investigated strategies for improving educational research to make it more useful and usable to educational practioners and policy makers" by "systematically investigating qualities of recent projets that reconceptualized and reorganized the role of research vis-a-vis practice in ways that may have led to improved practice and increased student learning outcomes." As part of this endeavor, I wrote a case study of the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schoos (LeTUS). (Research consultant, 2003-2005)

 

Assessment and Technology Study
I devleoped a questionnaire to capture the ways in which technology use affects teachers assessment practices. This questionnaire was used as part of program evaluation efforts by the Integrating Strategies and Technology in Education Practice (InSTEP™) Project of the Center for Educational Technologies in Wheeling, West Virginia in Summer 2003. InSTEP was a multi-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Education focused on training West Virginia teachers in problem-based/inquiry learning and effective integration of technology into teaching and leanring. (Research consultant, 2003).

 

The High Performance Learning Communities Project (HPLC)
Based out of the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh, HPLC investigated the efforts of New York City's Community School District #2 in Manhattan to produce district wide improvements in teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics. Technical reports and conference papers available on the HPLC website. (Post-doctoral researcher, 1997-2001)

 

The Learning through Collaborative Visualization Project (CoVis)
Run out of Northwestern University, CoVis was a collaboration between researchers and nearly 150 teachers in 40 schools across the country to implement project based science supported by computing and telecommunications technology into earth and environmental science classes. Research papers and teaching materials available at the CoVis website. (Graduate Student, 1992-1997)