Reflections 081125


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Research Reflections, Vol I, 1

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Reflections 081125

  1. 1. VOLUME. I – Number 1 – FALL 2008 FAUS & COE RESEARCH COMMITTEE engagement in research. A concomitant mission of the Inside this Issue Committee was to encourage COE faculty to use The FAUS & COE Research ADHUS as a laboratory to test hypotheses, curricular Community at FAU ..................................................... 1 ideas, and pedagogies. The Educator’s Corner................................................. 4 Action Research for Educators ................................... 5 In order to fulfill state mandates, ADHUS’s student The Institutional Review Board (IRB) ...................... 5 population has become more diverse as it seeks to Research Projects: The Approval Process ................ 6 mirror the statewide population of Florida itself. Current Research ......................................................... 6 Thus, the work of the FAU Schools-COE Research Developments ............................................................. 10 Committee was part of a larger mission to enhance research both within the laboratory school[s] and among the COE faculty. THE FAUS & COE RESEARCH COMMUNITY AT FAU According to Florida Law 228.053, Laboratory Research School[s] have a three-fold mission of (1) being a demonstration site for teacher education; (2) developing The FAU Schools - COE Research Committee was curricula; (3) conducting research. established in 2003-2004, by the While that mission has been former Dean Aloia in consultation associated primarily with the with Executive Director Glenn ADHUS K-8 School, Florida Atlantic Thomas. Ms. Lorraine Cross was University and its COE has asked to establish the Committee expanded the mission to include the which comprised representatives FAU High School, Karen Slattery on from each COE department as well the FAU Campus, Pine Jog as faculty and administration from Environmental Education Center in A.D. Henderson University School Palm Beach County, and Palm (ADHUS). Pointe in St. Lucie County. We have learned a great deal from our work Initially, the goal of the then-called within ADHUS. The challenge COE-Henderson Research facing us is to scale up research Committee was to create a climate endeavors to include the and culture for pursuing other/newer FAU Schools. Drs. Ira Bogotch and Nancy Brown classroom/school research. In this (Research Committee Members) way, ADHUS faculty would not only be subjects of on-going studies, but now become researchers themselves. Their employment contracts were modified to provide incentives for
  2. 2. Past and Current Committee Leadership: Monitoring of Research Projects to ensure that the integrity of the IRB processes and on-going education at The Committee has benefited from having stable the FAU Schools is maintained leadership since its inception. Ms. Lorraine Cross was a Disseminating Research Opportunities and Findings by founding member. Other charter members who holding University-wide Research Mixers Encouraging continued to serve are Dr. Marla Brady [now retired], Action Research Projects: A new course on action and Ms. Tammy Bresnahan, from ADHUS and Professor research was first piloted and has now been approved Ira Bogotch from the COE. Representatives from other by the College Curriculum Committee. It was developed departments and schools have rotated on and off in the under the supervision of Dr. McLaughlin and Dr. four year history. We encourage new members, but also Burnaford. Their students have received FAU IRB seek to maintain stable leadership including the approval which officially denotes the legitimacy of Directors/Principals of the FAUS schools. The recent action research at FAU. Piloting the first Graduate appointment of Mr. John Hardman will help in Course on Action Research at ADHUS ; the course was coordinating projects and initiatives. approved by the COE Graduate Course Committee in 2008. A summary description is provided below. Current Status: In 2007-2008, the Committee officially expanded its mission to incorporate all FAU Schools Committee History including Slattery, Pine Jog Environmental Center, and Palm Pointe. The new Research Coordinator, Mr. John Year One: 2003-2004 was an organizational year devoted Hardman has been instrumental in making this to forging a mission statement and a structure. The expansion successful. A second Research Mixer was held Committee documented the historical and on-going at ADHUS introducing the research community to the relationship between the University, the College of many current and future projects at the FAU Schools. Education and ADHUS. IRB research proposals were This year also included a procedural meeting among reviewed as the committee members familiarized members of the Research Committee with the themselves with both the approval process as well as University’s administrators of the Institutional Review with the on-going research projects which were Board (IRB). Documents have been drafted which conducted by faculty primarily from outside of the COE. protect researchers, K-12 students, and the FAU Schools Discussions focused on the meaning of research for as well as the integrity of the IRB process. The teachers who were engaged in professional development documents are posted on the Committee’s website. In activities and were working with both grade level addition, administrators from the other FAU-Schools colleagues and teams. have been attending Committee meetings to see how best to encourage on-going research at their respective Year Two: 2004-2005 focused on building stronger institutions. relationships between individual COE researchers and Areas identified for future research include: ADHUS teachers. The objective was to build a collaborative culture of research. The committee heard a. The impact of diversity on student reports by researchers on their findings as it pressed for achievement and the implications for the greater accountability measures from the researchers. curriculum from ages 3 – 18. Research also became, in Year 2, a more prominent b. The implications of growth and diversity for aspect of the mission of ADHUS as a lab school as a specialist support programs (Reading, ESE, research criterion was added to faculty advancement. At Speech and Language) the same time, ADHUS was undergoing a dramatic c. The impact of a comprehensive wellness expansion of enrollment and new faculty. The program, integrating health, nutrition and Committee often heard that research initiatives would exercise, on student achievement have to be patient as teachers adjusted to their roles as d. Early childhood education (Slattery) ADHUS teachers. On a positive note, Year 2 ended with e. Environmental education (Pine Jog a Research Mixer, bringing together COE faculty, Environmental Center) ADHUS teachers, and a group of International Scholars. f. Teaching and learning through ICT New relationships were formed and a number of projects were being considered. Highlights and Accomplishments 2
  3. 3. Year Three: 2005-2006. Building upon the momentum of will be important to experiment with incentive strategies the previous year’s Research Mixer, new COE faculty that worked at ADHUS in order to develop new joined and the Committee refocused its energies on strategies This year also marked a milestone as action actively engaging ADHUS faculty in doing research by research proposals were accepted by IRB and a new teaching them research skills. In the fall semester, graduate course was accepted by the College’s Graduate committee members met with COE faculty who had Course Committee. In spring, 2008, a second successful knowledge and skills in Action Research. Professors Jim Research Mixer was held with participation from all of McLaughlin and Gail Burnaford became key resources the FAU-Schools as well as COE faculty. to the Committee and to the COE in terms of developing action research. The idea for developing a Special Topics Alexander D. Henderson University School and FAU graduate course was proposed to the College and High School ADHUS administration and was enthusiastically supported. Based on the Committee's previous activities, A. D. Henderson University School (ADHUS)/FAU High a list of 13 teachers expressed interested in such a course. School is configured as a public school district, Dr. Jim McLaughlin agreed to teach the proposed course administered through the College of Education (COE) of in spring, 2006. Five students enrolled for graduate Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Its mission is to school credit. Of the five, three developed research research and demonstrate excellent instruction to grades proposals that obtained IRB approval. Their projects k-8 students representative of the state’s student related to Professional Development topics, a concept demographics (gender, race, family income and that was initially discussed during Year 1 of the academic ability), and design innovative educational (ex. Committee's life. FAU High School) to support the university’s research and undergraduate/graduate teaching mission, to provide service to other schools/communities and to further meaningful, research-based educational reforms. The school actively supports FAU’s instruction, research and service mission, providing the university with a competitive advantage in research, grants and teacher preparation activities through its support of the teacher preparation function of the COE, College of Arts and Letters and College of Science (COS) and its strong traditional research relationship with the Department of Psychology (COS) and College of Nursing. All three parts of the mission are based on a keystone - educating ADHUS students to reach their full potential. Erin Moylan, Debbie Noelk (ADHUS Faculty) and Elisa Gaucher Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child (FAU Institutional Review Board) Development The Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Year Four: 2006-2007 saw the ad hoc gains of the Child Development (“Slattery Center”) provides previous years established into policies and procedures. preschool education for children from 6 weeks - 4 years Individual research projects were combined into old and serves as a laboratory school affiliated with national grants and projects led again by Drs. Burnaford Florida Atlantic University’s College of Education. The and McLaughlin and Ms. Loraine Cross. Research teams Slattery Center’s mission is to serve young children, participated in an Action Research/Inquiry conference in their families, university students and researchers and Gainesville with UF faculty and students and at the the wider professional community by helping young NALS Conference. children grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically; to provide a nurturing and inclusive lab Year Five: 2007-2008, saw even more rapid progress in school for the College of Education’s teacher education terms of collecting and analyzing data and presentations students; and to promote research in early childhood locally, regionally, and nationally. With the expansion of education, child development, and related disciplines by the FAU- School Committee to constituent members, it serving as a research site for university faulty. 3
  4. 4. ground for new and existing teachers serving the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center county’s students. Pine Jog researches, develops, models and provides environmental education programming to school-aged THE EDUCATOR’S CORNER children, university undergraduate/graduate students and which fosters an awareness and appreciation of the Integrating Literacy and the Arts natural world, promotes an understanding of ecological concepts and instills a sense of stewardship toward the In the spring of 2005 I went to the ADHUS/COE earth and its inhabitants on a 150 acre urban preserve. Research Mixer expecting not much more than a free The center has responsibility for supporting a lunch. I took a course in action research while in specialized environmental education track of the graduate school at the University of Arkansas, and I’d Curriculum and Instruction master’s degree program of done an action research project as part of my degree the Department of Teacher’s Education of the FAU College of Education. Additionally the center operates program so I knew a little bit about teacher research, but the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp of 251 acres I was a second year teacher and did not consider within the Corbitt Wildlife Management Area, research in my plans at that time. collaborates with the FAU College of Science and Florida Center for Environmental Studies and delivers At the mixer we split into groups at tables professional development programming to teachers in around the room based on interest. I wasn’t looking for Palm Beach County. anything in particular, so I sat at a table called simply, “Action Research.” I met Dr. Gail Burnaford and the Palm Pointe Educational Research School - Tradition team she had gathered to take part in the South Florida Inspiring Success Through Innovation Arts and Early Literacy Project. Later that very afternoon I was sitting in on a conference call with the Music in Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition is Education National Consortium (MIENC) housed at the a unique partnership between Florida Atlantic New England Conservatory. As a result of that one University (FAU) and the Saint Lucie County School mixer I found myself actively involved in research at District (SLCSD). Through utilizing research, Henderson and beyond. developing challenging and relevant work, establishing school , home and community partners; we will provide We are now in our fourth year of the MIENC all students opportunities to reach their full potential. project. We have expanded from a team of five teachers Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition (K to a team of fourteen teachers. While our research - 8) opened its doors in the fall of 2008. As a charter questions have remained constant, what those questions laboratory school, it is a public school operated by FAU- mean to us as teachers has grown with our roles in the Treasure Coast University Schools in collaboration with project. I have had the opportunity to collaboratively St. Lucie County Public Schools. They form a unique present at conferences and to take a leadership role in relationship with FAU providing program oversight, our arts integration endeavors. and a pioneering level of opportunity for inventive teaching methods and research. The school will be held I think the most impressive change has been the to all state accountability measures including student performance, the FCAT, and meaningful research and way teachers at Henderson view research. When I first grant support. came to this school students in my class were pulled out for research I knew little about and had no part in. For Teachers and administrators for the new charter school the most part, people were content with that model. will have the opportunities and encouragement to research new educational options by redefining course Since the research mixer in 2005 there has been a content, instructional methods and organizational shift in how teachers view research at Henderson. As a framework. The school will also serve as a training result many teachers have taken the action research course offered at the COE, resulting in action research 4
  5. 5. projects going on in Henderson classrooms. We are now taking part in each other’s action research projects. Human Subjects in Research Research is part of our appraisal system and teachers Florida Atlantic University’s Institutional Review Board want to take part in research. (IRB) reviews all research projects involving human From a teacher’s prospective it is exciting to see participants (or “subjects”) to ensure they comply with certain ethical & legal guidelines. These guidelines the change in the way research is viewed. We are have been established by the National Commission for learning to value our own research and finding ways to the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and share what we’ve learned with others. Though we’ve Behavioral Research, the Belmont Report, the Code of come a long way in a rather short period of time, we are Federal Regulations (Title 45 Part 46), the State of Florida excited at what the future may bring! and FAU policy. The IRB reviews a wide range of research ranging from curriculum development and Jenny O’Sullivan child psychology studies to clinical studies of potential new drugs. Members of the IRB represent most of the Colleges and disciplines at the University and lend their ACTION RESEARCH FOR EDUCATORS expertise to the review of approximately 400 protocols annually. The College of Education’s new course, EDF 6918 Action Research in Schools and Communities, will be offered in All human subjects research conducted within or under the Spring Semester on the Boca campus. The course the auspices of the University, by any faculty, staff or will meet on Tuesdays, 4:20 – 7:00 p.m. from January - student, must be reviewed and approved by the IRB May, 2009. Dr. Gail Burnaford will serve as the before the study can begin. This requirement applies to Instructor. EDF 6918 is open to any teacher in the all studies on all campus locations, whether the study is Florida Atlantic University Schools as well as those in funded or not. Each investigator who plans to conduct neighboring districts and masters/doctoral degree research involving human subjects must submit an programs. application for IRB review. If your study includes participants under the age of 18, then you must provide Participants will engage in collaborative planning for minor assent procedures as well as parental consent doing action research based on their own inquiry procedures. Minor assent is informed consent simplified questions about their own classrooms. We will also be to address the cognition level of the child. Parental analyzing student work in order to investigate learning consent follows the standard informed consent but and teaching and explore means to observe in targets the specific needs of a parent consenting for their classrooms as part of action research focused on practice. child. You must all complete a mandatory online Teachers will also learn about the respect for human training requirement, which is required by federal subjects in action research, as indicated by the regulations. Institutional Review Board process at FAU. We’ll read action research projects written by classroom teachers To access forms, guidance, and the online training and share ideas on how to promote action research as module, visit the Office of Research Integrity website at: professional development in schools. The course focuses on DOING action research, not just If you are unsure whether you should submit an talking about it. We will individualize as much as application or need guidance on completing the possible for your own professional needs and goals. application, contact the staff below: Each class session will provide some time to work on • Tina Horton, Specialist,, or your project, seek and obtain feedback from participants ext. 7-2509, Administration Room 239 C; and the instructor in the class, and examine resources • Angela Clear, Coordinator,, or online relevant to your project. ext. 7-1348, Administration Room 239 B; • Elisa Gaucher, Director,, or It is not enough that teachers’ work should be studied; they ext. 7-2318, Administration Room 239 D. need to study it themselves (Stenhouse, 1975) RESEARCH PROJECTS: INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) THE APPROVAL PROCESS 5
  6. 6. Purpose: The current research investigates how children learn about the functional relationships between simple FAU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) recommended tools and other objects. in the fall of 2006 that FAU begin using the CITI training to satisfy the federal mandatory training requirement for Slattery Family Development Project all research involving human subjects’ research. CITI training replaced the NIH training modules that were Investigator: Paul R. Peluso, Ph.D. (College of less comprehensive and effective. The training was Education) rolled out over a period of one year and effective August 1, 2007 ALL faculty, staff and students at FAU Purpose: The current research will study the influence conducting research that involves human subjects are of several parental factors (such as family environment, required to have completed the CITI Online Training. parents’ relationship and parents’ attachment style) on This training requirement is for anyone collecting or children’s physical, social, and emotional development. analyzing data for a research study involving human subjects. It will look at the impact of family-of-origin dynamics on the long-term development of children. This training was originally developed at the University of Miami and is still administered by UM. The benefits The Role and Impact of Culture in Early Childhood of CITI are many-fold. Not only has it been adopted by Education Curriculum 600+ institutions across the US but it has also become an international standard. Researchers are able to choose Investigator: Dilys Schoorman, Ph.D. (College of their area of specificity and the modules of training are Education) then geared to that area. For example: social behavioral researchers will not be expected to complete the Purpose: The current research will explore how cultural biomedical research modules and vice versa, so the diversity can be used as a tool for enhancing education training is tailored to the area of research interest. We at the early childhood level. This study will explore how anticipate that users will be pleased with the learning students’ home culture is included in the curriculum and experience CITI will provide. the impact of such inclusion on young children. CURRENT RESEARCH Familial Influences on the Development of Empathy in Preschoolers Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Investigator: Nancy Jones, Ph.D. (College of Science) Child Development Purpose: The current research will study the Replication of Unnecessary and Accidental Actions relationship between maternal depression and empathy during Object Learning development and to examine the effects of parental depression. The study will also examine self Investigator: David F. Bjorklund, Ph.D. (College of expressiveness within the context in families of Science) depressed parents versus families of non-depressed parents. (This specific study is not being conducted on- Purpose: The current research is designed to study how site at Slattery; however, families are recruited for the children learn to use objects by watching others. It will study from the preschool). investigate children’s understanding of which observed actions are necessary for achieving a given task. The Development of Tool Use and Problem Solving Investigator: Marissa L. Greif, Ph.D. (College of Science) 6
  7. 7. A. D. Henderson University School/FAU High Awareness and Memory Deficits. School 3. Strategies #1 and #2 were the best for eliciting Research Involving the Classroom and the Speech- correct verbal responses. Language Resource Room Overall, any of the 3 speaking strategies improved both Principal Investigator: Dr. Gail Burnaford (College of behavior and response accuracy in both the classroom Education) and the resource room. Co-Investigator: Terry Clark (Speech - Language For more information, contact Terry Clark at ADHUS/FAU Pathologist) HS, 561-297-0839; A key objective of this research was to assess the impact of a teacher’s manner of speaking on children in first and third grades who have been diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). There were three strategies Year 4: Learning Laboratory School Network: Early of speaking which were investigated, including word Literacy through the Arts (MIENC Update September stress (natural word emphasis without pausing), 2008) chunking (or pausing, without word stress) and a combination of word stress and chunking. Three Principal Investigator: Dr. Gail Burnaford primary findings were: 1. Sub-types of APD do respond differently to Co-Investigators: Deborah Schram (Music teacher), different manners of speaking; Jenny O’Sullivan (3rd Grade teacher), Christine McCaul (3rd grade teacher), Chrisencia Barzey (2nd grade teacher), Lyndsay Tolerton (2nd Grade teacher), Suzy Sturrock (1st Grade teacher), Jamie Wierzba (1st grade teacher), 2,25 Lynn Sestrich (kindergarten teacher), Toni Yazurlo 2,00 (kindergarten teacher), Elaine Sattler (Art teacher) 2,00 2,00 1,79 1,96 1,75 1,71 In the fall of 2005, music, art and reading teachers joined 1,67 1,67 LH with the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston 1,58 1,50 in researching music education and how it can aid in PLH learning in other subject areas. We chose to look at 1,25 1,25 Literacy and the Arts in grades 1-3. PMH We began by compiling Florida Sunshine State 1,00 S1 S2 S3 Standards in Music, Language Arts, and Visual Arts that correlated with three National Music Standards: Chart showing children’s responses to auditory processing listening, analyzing and describing; reading and strategies notating; and composing and arranging. We then identified parallel processes and skills across the subject 2. Strategy #3 is the best for engaging the child in areas and planned lessons that focused on these the lesson (behavioral response -- talking to other children, hand movement, physical (body) movement, processes and not on final products. facial expression, and eye contact). The following graph Specifically, we are looking at parallel teaching illustrates purposeful hand movement (raising hands to answer questions, or writing when it was required in the processes and transfer tools that teachers use to help lesson (vs. random hand movement). There was children connect knowledge from one subject area to improvement in all three groups, over strategies #1, #2, another. and #3. The sub-types of APD were listed as “L” for Language Processing; “PL” for Phonemic Awareness Our two research questions are: and Language Processing” and “PM” for Phonemic 7
  8. 8. 1. What are the parallels found in art, music, and reading as identified in the national standards? 2. What can reading, music, and art teachers do to teach for transfer? Our project started with one teacher from grades 1-3 and expanded last year to include all twelve classrooms from kindergarten through third grade. This level of participation is expected to continue this year. Each grade level has selected children’s literature to help teach the skills and processes. This literature is used in reading, music and art classes. Story board set used in the study For more information, please contact Deborah Schram at Our findings indicate that adding sound clips to the story presentation hinders children’s performance on false-belief questions in both scenarios. At this time analyses are still being run to further determine the significance of these correlations and to extrapolate possible reasons for this hindrance. For more information please contact: David Bjorklund:, (561) 297-3367 Ashley King:, (561) 297-3374 The Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Children’s Brain Electrical Activity and Creativity Theory of Mind in Predator-Prey Relationships Principal Investigator: Dr. Nancy Jones (Dept. of Psychology) Principal Investigator: David Bjorklund (Dept. of Psychology, College of Science) Co-Investigator: Dayana Sanchez (Student) Co-Investigator: Ashley King The present study used a pretest-posttest design to Children ages 5-9 were told two stories involving animal determine the effects of a 10-week mindfulness characters that were enacted on a board set to look like a meditation treatment in children. Thirty-five children savannah complete with a pond, grassy area, and two from two 4th grade classes participated (N=16 in the paths, as well as two visual obstructions: a cluster of meditation group). It was predicted that mindfulness trees and a large rock. Both stories explored the theme of meditation would enhance children’s creativity leading avoidance, with one story focusing on avoiding a fellow to higher scores on a divergent thinking task and those playmate while the other story focused on the more in the meditation group would display increased left- evolutionarily relevant concept of predator-avoidance. sided anterior EEG activation and more positive approach-type motivation. Children were also presented with brief, realistic sound clips of the animals from the stories to make these events Contrary to expectation, participants in the meditation more potent. After each story, children were asked a group did not display generalized increases in left-sided series of control questions, prior to answering a false- anterior activation after the meditation treatment; belief question designed to assess theory of mind however, they performed better on the divergent abilities relating to predator-avoidance and playmate- thinking task and outperformed the control group on avoidance situations. elaboration. 8
  9. 9. Figure 1. Group differences in overall divergent thinking Figure 2. Group differences in elaboration scores from performance from baseline to follow-up baseline to follow-up. Children’s Social Reasoning Moreover, participants that increased in their divergent Amy K. Gardiner, Karl J. Steier & David F. Bjorklund thinking after the meditation sessions showed more left frontal anterior activation compared to those that did A recent study conducted at the Henderson School not change. Moreover, participants that had increases in investigated children’s social reasoning, specifically positive mood after the meditation sessions showed theory of mind, the ability to infer what others are more left-sided EEG activation, suggesting that thinking and use this knowledge to predict their meditation training has an effect on emotional behavior. We tested five- to eight-year-olds’ theory of regulation, creativity and brain activity. mind abilities in scenarios that required children to This is the first study, to our knowledge, reporting the predict what a character would do to find or avoid effectiveness of mindfulness meditation on children’s another person. creativity and mood and on corresponding changes in EEG activation. The findings presented on this study The stories involved a child and an adult, who for half of add valuable data to the literature on the specific effects the participants was described as a familiar caretaker of of mindfulness meditation applied to healthy, young the child character and for the other half an unfamiliar populations. Future research is strongly encouraged in order to create a scientific framework on the effects of stranger. The familiar stories involved a game of hide- mindfulness meditation in children that could be and-seek in which the child was seeking out the applied in education settings. caretaker or trying to avoid being found. The unfamiliar stories involved the child seeking out the stranger due to For more information, contact Dayana Sanchez at curiosity or trying to avoid the stranger out of fear of harm. After each story, participants were asked two questions. The first question asked where the child thought the adult was located. The second question asked where the child would move to either find or avoid the adult. 9
  10. 10. Toppel Institute is self-renewing and dedicated to high quality early childhood theory, practice, advocacy, and policy in South Florida and throughout the world. Emphasizing diversity and democracy, the Toppel Institute engages in a range of projects and activities to benefit all children and promote their rights. The FAUS – COE Research Committee is developing a comprehensive teacher’s guide to research. For more information, please contact John Hardman at We found that most participants were able to identify where the child believed the adult was in both stories, and were also able to correctly predict the child’s behavior when the child wanted to find the adult. However, only a small minority of participants accurately predicted the child’s behavior when the child wanted to avoid the adult, indicating that this question was more cognitively difficult. Surprisingly, the familiarity of the adult did not make a difference. Developments Ongoing research initiatives at the Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development include the implementation of project-based learning, multicultural issues, and strengthening of the cultural ties between the center and students’ families. Toppel Institute and Early Childhood Education The Toppel Family Early Childhood Education Institute is an interdisciplinary academic learning community dedicated to the promotion of scholarship and research, teaching and learning, and community service in the field of early childhood education. Through collaboration among faculty, teachers, students, administrators, and community partners, the Toppel Institute engages in capacity building and produces a dynamic synthesis of ideas, innovations, leadership, and new directions for early childhood education. The 10