June 2019 Awards

Kelly Purtell

Principal Investigator: Kelly Purtell
Project Dates: 07/01/2019-06/30/2023
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $1,399,989
Project Sponsor: IES

Classroom age composition and children’s early learning: Understanding the role of classroom practices

Taking a deep dive into the nuances of early childhood classrooms, researchers at the Crane Center want to further understand the associations between types of age compositions and the impact on a child’s early learning. In particular, the researchers will focus on specific classroom practices in rooms with differing age compositions and how these relate to children’s early learning and social development. What will be examined are practices within the classroom that could be modified to improve children’s success in school.


Principal Investigator: Winston Thompson
Project Dates: 01/15/2019-10/31/2019
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $20,822
Project Sponsor: University of Illinois

Pedagogies of punishment: How and why should schools punish students (if at all)

This project brings together emerging and established scholars from a range of institutions and disciplines including education, history, law, philosophy, politics, psychology, and sociology to discuss the feasibility, desirability, and aims of punishments in schools, addressing the specific complexities of two similar though distinct contexts (i.e., the US and the UK). Its purpose is to establish and explore normative criteria by which to evaluate and inform decisions about school discipline policies and practices.  Research on school discipline has tended to address efficacy rather than ethics, leaving issues about whether, why, and how (if at all) schools should punish students relatively unexplored. As such, this project engages (but is not limited to) 7 central research questions regarding justice and the uses of punishment in schools:
1. When (if at all) are children liable for punishment?
2. What punishments (if any) are appropriate?
3. What justifications (if any) make them so?
4. To what extent are teachers reliable judges in meting out proportionate and equitable sanctions? 5. To what extent can just expectations be codified?
6. Is punishment conceptually integral to the business of education, or a contingent means for facilitating it?
7. Can bypassing or subverting children’s reasoning be a legitimate means of behavioral influence?
To learn more, please visit www.pedagogiesofpunishment.com.


Principal Investigator: Shea Brgoch
Project Dates: 06/06/2019-06/05/2020
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $600
Project Sponsor: North American Society for Sport Management

To specialize or not to specialize: Perspectives from parents and coaches

Shayne Piasta

Principal Investigator: Shayne Piasta
Project Dates: 07/01/2019-06/30/2023
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $1,399,996
Project Sponsor: IES

Language gains during early childhood: Prediction of later outcomes and multiple-methods exploration of relevant classroom factors

Early childhood education can boost children’s learning of both complex skills, like language, and basic skills such as alphabet knowledge. But are boosts in one type of skill more or less likely to lead to long-lasting impacts on children’s reading success? Crane researchers will focus specifically on the extent to which these early childhood language gains can predict kindergarten readiness and third grade reading outcomes. Additionally, they will examine how preschool teachers support learning of complex language skills.