A teacher points to a computer with students sitting next to the teacher.

COE Researchers Awarded $577K to Study Teacher Diversity

David Blazar and Segun Eubanks

Researchers at the College of Education received a $577K grant to study how teacher recruitment programs contribute to diversifying the teacher workforce. The U.S. Department of of Education, Institute of Education Sciences provided funding for the 3-year project.

“From decades worth of theoretical and empirical research, we know that access to high-quality teachers generally and to same-race/ethnicity teachers specifically is one of the most impactful levers we can provide to students in terms of improving varied academic, social, and behavioral outcomes, said David Blazar, COE assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership.

Dr. Blazar, along with collaborators including Center for Education Innovation and Improvement Director Segun Eubanks, will evaluate the effectiveness of recruitment programs—including early exposure to teaching high school, college scholarships, and career-changer programs—used by school districts and higher education institutions to grow a diverse teaching pool. The researchers will analyze statewide data from Maryland to study how participation in recruitment programs contributes to the academic and workforce outcomes of prospective teachers of color.

“A unique feature of our study is that we will examine multiple recruitment approaches—teacher academies in high school, college scholarships—as we recognize that individuals of color have multiple potential entry points into the teaching profession along the school-to-career pipeline,” said Dr. Blazar.

The project is among the first to quantify links between recruitment programs and teacher diversity, lending insight on the many strategies that school systems leverage in diversifying the teaching profession.