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Learn at the Nexus

At HGSE, we believe that working at the nexus of practice, policy, and research is the most powerful way to improve education. This means you will live, learn, and collaborate within a community of practice-based researchers, research-based policymakers, and research-based practitioners — all committed to the goal of improving student opportunity, achievement, and success across the world.

The nexus influences much of what we do at HGSE: it is evident in the programs we offer, in the courses our students take, and in the research our extraordinary faculty conducts.

Passion for education and dedication to pursuing positive change fuel our work at the nexus. HGSE faculty and students conduct groundbreaking research, and then help to translate that research into practice and policymaking that transforms the lives of learners. 

Research-based Practice

As a student at HGSE, you will be influenced and inspired by research that is grounded in practice, and in turn, affects the practice of education professionals facing the critical challenges of our day. Examples of how our research influences practice include:

  • Creating new civic education programs for urban students
  • Helping schools and districts use data to improve instruction through the Data Wise initiative
  • Translating research on educational improvement into a large-scale professional development program for school superintendents

Research-based Policy

HGSE students, faculty, and researchers strive to engage in research-based policy work to influence the discourse over pressing issues in education, and to impact the policies that will affect change. Examples of current projects and initiatives that exemplify our commitment to research-based policy include:

  • Advising U.S. congressional leaders on education policy
  • Studying the impact of federal policies on child development and health
  • Examining the effectiveness of teacher certification policies

Practice-based Research

Our faculty members are conducting groundbreaking research in vital teaching and policy areas. This research is not done in a vacuum. New strategies and methods are tested and refined in school districts throughout the nation. Examples of cutting-edge practice-based research include:

  • Helping to raise the achievement for children while narrowing racial, ethnic, and socio-economic gaps through the Achievement Gap Initiative
  • Exploring best practices in charter schools in Massachusetts and other states to inform states, authorizers, and educators through the Chartering Practice Project
  • Promoting healthy child development by leveraging science to enhance child well-being, and supporting positive life outcomes for vulnerable children worldwide through research and knowledge

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