Project QUEST (Quality Urban Ecology Science Teaching)

CURes and the Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) at LMU are leading a professional development program that serves teachers at Ellen Ochoa Learning Center (EOLC).

The partnership, which runs for three years, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and will provide intensive training in language and literacy development through urban ecology. Currently in its Third Year, the program will be administering the Science Literary Assessment at EOLC.

As summarized by CEEL:

Project QUEST (Quality Urban Ecology Science Teaching) for Long Term English Learners (LTELs) is a collaborative interdisciplinary exploratory research proposal between the Center for Equity for English Learners in the School of Education, the Center for Urban Resilience in the Seaver College of Science and Engineering and Los Angeles Unified School District. This project will measure student learning outcomes in Environmental Science for LTELs in grades 4-8. The primary goal is to increase LTELs' science achievement and engagement in: (1) Urban Ecology, and (2) scientific disciplinary academic language skills in order to expand awareness of STEM related careers for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Concomitantly, Project QUEST will generate knowledge about developing in-service teachers' knowledge and skills in delivering high quality STEM education by creating a framework, tools and processes for diverse students.

Project STELLAR (Science Teaching for English Learners - Leveraging Academic Rigor): Teaching for Critical Transitions

CURes and the Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) at LMU are leading a professional development program that serves teachers of long-term English Learners. This program operates in three partner school districts in southern California: Lennox, Wiseburn, and Environmental Charter.

The partnership is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and will provide intensive training in language and literacy development through urban ecology for 100 in-service teachers, 29 teacher leaders, and 20 pre-service teachers of English Learners. CEEL will receive $1.9 million over a five-year period from 2012 to 2017, with substantive funding allocated to partner school districts. Learn more about Project STELLAR on the CEEL website.

Project Goals

The creation and implementation of a coherent and comprehensive professional development program for pre-service and in-service teachers in academic language development in science. The partnership aims to improve educational outcomes for 4th-8th grade English Learners during critical fluency transition periods by increasing the capacity of teachers and administrators to provide high quality, content-based language and literacy development while addressing the socio-emotional needs of long-term English Learners.

Program Staff

  • Dr. Magaly Lavadenz, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and director of CEEL, principle investigator
  • Dr. Elvira Armas, CEEL associate director, project's co-director.
  • Dr. Eric Strauss, President's Professor in the Seaver College of Science and Engineering, context expert
  • Dr. William Parham, Director of the Department of Educational Support Services and the Counseling Program, content expert

Modules

  • Module 1 focuses on hummingbirds with short video clips for use in classrooms.
  • Module 2 outlines urban land uses and related ecological concepts.