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CRC Overview

The Center for Research on the Context of Teaching (CRC) was founded in 1987 through a national center grant from the U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). Its mission is to advance knowledge on the ways in which context conditions and reform initiatives shape the quality of teaching and learning in K-12 schools. Drs. Milbrey W. McLaughlin and Joan E. Talbert co-founded and co-direct the CRC, involving School of Education doctoral students and colleagues in the design and conduct of multi-year research projects. 

Over the years CRC research has been funded through multiple federal and foundation grants:

  • OERI Center grant to study on the context effects on secondary school teaching through field research in California and Michigan high school districts and analyses of NELS:88 national survey data (1987-92);

  • NSF grant to study the development of teaching for understanding in high school math and science, through case studies and analyses of NELS:99 data (1993-97);

  • Mellon Foundation grant to study the spread of innovative instructional practices in California, North Carolina, and Kentucky school districts (1994-2001);

  • Los Angeles Education Partnership grant to study the development of teacher learning communities in LAUSD schools (1995-1997);

  • Wallace Foundation grant to evaluate a teaching reform initiative, Students at the Center, in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, (1995-2000);

  • Hewlett Foundation grants to evaluate the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC) Phase One focused on inquiry-based school reform (1995-2000) and Phase Two focused on district system reform (2001-2006);

  • Johnson Foundation grant to study inquiry-based reform in BASRC high schools (1998-2002);

  • OERI-Center for Research on Teaching Policy (CTP) grant (1997-2002) and Spencer Foundation grant (2000-2002) to study district reform in eight school districts in California, Washington, North Carolina, and New York;

  • MacArthur Foundation grant to document a district learning partnership initiative in two urban school districts (2003-06);

  • Hewlett Foundation grants to study district reform partnerships in Ravenswood, CA (2002-2009) and in Austin, TX (2006-2008); 

  • Carnegie Corporation of New York grants (through New Visions for Public Schools) to evaluate a leadership development program (SAM) and inquiry-based reform in NYC schools (2006-2008; 2008-2011).

Publications provided here include CRC research project reports and related books and articles.