At the Klingenstein Center, we want to build our community's capacity to employ evidence-informed strategies to bring about a desired educational future to life across the independent and international school ecosystem. To do so, we engage in timely, critical, forward thinking research that is dedicated to informing, impacting, and transforming independent and international school teaching, learning, leading, and governing practices, as well as our schools' cultures, structures, and policies. Our faculty and research associates—many of whom are Klingenstein Center alumni and research-practitioners working in schools—engage in dynamic research projects that often involve schools as partners in inquiry. Our graduate students engage in research-practice partnerships with their practicum schools. In focusing on independent and international schools in our research, we are tending to an area that is under-researched, but holds great learning and discovery potential that could benefit the educational ecosystems well beyond independent schools. To learn more, scroll our current projects below.
Current Research Projects
- Climate Action in the Curriculum at Independent and International Schools
Dr. Clare Sisisky is leading a study on how independent and international schools are teaching the global competencies that enable and empower students to take climate action. The study is currently recruiting participants.
The study is open to all educators, regardless of grade level or discipline, who teach the skills needed for students to act or prepare to act to mitigate climate change, to adapt to the impact of climate change, and/or to seek greater justice in relation to climate issues. Some examples of these skills might include providing students with the opportunity to learn how to communicate effectively with different audiences about climate issues, to understand multiple perspectives and needs in communities most directly impacted by climate change, to build a connection with the natural world and with people across geographic and cultural differences, to evaluate options and decipher a plan for a climate action-related project, to engage and advocate as global citizens on climate issues, to engage in critical self-reflection, etc.
If you are interested in participating in the study, please complete this brief survey.
- BlackAt Social Media
Dr. Nicole Furlonge and Dr. Kenny Graves, assisted by graduate students, are analyzing the content of BlackAt social media accounts that have been created over the last several years to provide teachers and leaders with a data about the range of experiences of BIPOC students in predominantly white independent and international schools.
While the research is ongoing, you can read about their current findings in The Art of Listening: Using the Black@ Instagram Archive to Improve Schools in the Spring 2022 Issue of Independent School Magazine. When the research project concludes, more resources will be shared.
- Impact of Listening Practices on DEIJ Leadership at Independent, Predominantly White Schools
Dr. Nicole Furlonge was awarded a grant through the Teachers College Diversity Research Awards Program to construct a Listening Leadership framework to better understand the use and impact of listening practices for independent PreK-12 school leaders as they develop DEIJ efforts in their schools. Based in the hypothesis that as independent schools engage in DEIJ work, a listening leadership ear—one that is culturally responsive and informed by sense-making and systems thinking practices—might benefit their learning communities and disrupt and repair inequality. This project aims to address the gap in research, literature, and practice regarding the potentially productive intersection between listening, leadership, and DEIJ change work.
- Leading with Love: Creating a Community of Belonging for Black Girls at Hewitt
With support from a Klingenstein Center Seed Grant, Dr. Lauren Bailes (University of Delaware, School of Education and Human Development) and the research team at The Hewitt School in New York City will examine aggregate data from Hewitt's annual YouthTruth survey (a climate perception survey) to better understand the experience of, and create positive change for, Black Hewitt students in the middle and upper school.
Research in Partner Schools
- Student Practicum Projects: Applied research is a participatory, emergent, inquiry, systems thinking process that drives organizational change. Klingenstein Center Full-Year program graduate students conduct applied research and consulting in partner schools under the supervision of Teachers College professors in their Practicum coursework.
If your school is interested in being a partner school in the 2023-2024 school year, please review the Practicum Program Information and the submit a design brief for consideration. Design proposals are due by October 4. The opportunity is open to all independent and international schools regardless of location as students can engage in this work remotely.
- Klingbrief: Published monthly during the academic year, each issue of Klingbrief cuts through the noise to offer a carefully-curated collection of books, articles, podcasts, and other resources of import to independent and international school educators.
- KlingShare: In March 2020, as schools were forced to transition rapidly to online operations, the Klingenstein Center launched KlingChats. These lightly-facilitated sessions convened educators around a common challenge to brainstorm ways to teach, lead and learn in a pandemic world. The outcomes of these conversations were collected into KlingShare documents to provide all educators with access to fresh ideas and solutions.