MITili Transformative Research Update

MITili Director, John Gabrieli, and Deputy Director, Parag Pathak provide promise to research in education.

Photo

 Dr. John Gabrieli addresses the MITili team at November's Transformative Research Update.

MITili is engaging with MIT faculty on "transformative research"-that is, research that faculty would undertake to address big learning questions in the absence of resource constraints. MITili has initiated a series of faculty conversations in which these transformative research ideas are shared and discussed.

Dr. John Gabrieli, director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, spoke to an audience of MIT faculty and staff about a proposed effort to ensure that every child has basic skills in reading and math by the end of the third grade. He contends that through brain science-based research and advancements in technology, we can achieve this ambition. Of the many goals, Dr. Gabrieli pointed out the need to research curricula, classroom technologies, professional educator development, biological influences, and socioeconomic patterns.

Dr. Parag Pathak, the Jane Berkowitz Carlton and Dennis William Carlton Professor of Microeconomics, and his colleagues at the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII), outlined a plan to create a pK-12 enrollment system that provides access to quality education for all students and families. He stresses the fact that school choice offers the promise of competition for student enrollment to motivate schools to continuously improve their operations. Dr. Pathak also proposes the creation and maintenance of an MIT Center for Unified Enrollment (UE). The CUE will offer better access to information, streamline the school selection process, create an infrastructure for data-informed policy, and allow for research and evaluation.