University of Pittsburgh
April 28, 2009

Pitt's LRDC Hosts Conference on Research for Practice Featuring Country's Top Scholars in Education Research and Reform

April 30 conference includes interactive Web cast of presentations by experts on education policy and research
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-President Barack Obama's administration has made educational research a critical part of improving the nation's schools, and the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) is playing a part in that reform agenda through its independent and collaborative research.

Those projects will be on display starting at 8:30 a.m. April 30 during the Research for Practice Invitational Conference, a meeting of several of the country's leading educational research and reform scholars from LRDC, Carnegie Mellon University, and other universities. The conference includes three sessions that will explore the relationship and influence of educational research on teaching practices; it also will explore ongoing research projects.

Hosted and organized by LRDC, the conference will be available to the public via a live, interactive Web cast. People who tune in for the Web cast will be able to ask questions online during the presentations. The conference schedule is available on the LRDC Web site at

The conference opens with a talk from Grover Whitehurst, former director of the U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences (IES) and the current senior fellow and director of the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy, titled "The Ecosystem of Education Research." At 9:30 a.m., Anthony Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, will present "Engineering Useable Knowledge for Improving Schooling." Other conference speakers include senior program officers from the National Science Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the National Academies.

The presentations will be complemented with "field" reports by researchers from LRDC and other institutions, including from Pitt's Lauren Resnick, a Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and an LRDC Senior Scientist. Resnick leads the National Academy of Education's project to develop research-founded policy recommendations for the Obama administration. In November, the first round of recommendations were presented at a meeting convened by the National Academy of Sciences and attended by more than 300 policy analysts and staff of the U.S. House and Senate. Video of this event and copies of the recommendations are available on the education academy's Web site at

For four decades, LRDC scholars have researched learning and instruction in a number of disciplines with the aim of advancing education and training. The center's mission is both to conduct world-class research on teaching and learning and to apply what is learned with collaboration from education practitioners, business and government enterprises, and nonprofit organizations to improve instruction and learning in schools, museums, universities, and workplaces. LRDC's research portfolio includes large programs of extended duration as well as single-investigator projects of a smaller scope. Research activities are organized within general thematic categories of learning and teaching, including cognitive neuroscience, math and science, reading and language, learning technology, social and affective factors in learning, and refining school practices, among others.