Graduate Student Projects

Want to be inspired? Look no further. Here's a sampling of some graduate student projects, demonstrating impact on their own classrooms, leadership development, and the profession.

Cute toddler

Advocacy in Action

Graduate student and early childhood educator Laura Dailey (c/o 2017) has been working hard to ensure funding for early childhood education. Her advocacy work, supported by her MATL coursework in Teachers as Agents of Change, led her to form an advocacy committee at Let's Grow Kids and to the publication of her letter to the editor in two different newspapers. Advocacy in action! Read a clip from her letter below and the whole letter here.

"In Rutland County, where I live, 89 percent of infants likely to need care don't have access to high-quality, regulated child care programs, and 63 percent of infants likely to need care don't have access to any regulated care, according to research by Let's Grow Kids. These percentages are way too high. This is why it's time that our state commits to investing in the early years. We need to change the way we're doing business in Vermont and that's why I signed the petition at to show my support for prioritizing kids and increasing public investments in high-quality, affordable child care so every Vermont child has a strong start. Will you join me?" 

Photo courtesy of Shosana.



Creating a Data Collection Tool to Maximize Student Success (and make classroom life easier!)

Leslie LaRocca is a graduate student (c/o 2017) and a veteran social studies teacher at Boston College High School in Boston, MA. She found herself using her coursework in her Owning Assessments and Data for Student Learning to tackle a problem she faced every year. 

Most students will say that there are few things more frustrating than being put into a group that doesn't work well together, then having a task to accomplish. Most teachers will agree: seeing this happen in their classroom is exasperating.

As the new school year roared to life, Leslie found herself wondering: how could she best organize instructional groups to maximize student success - especially when she didn't know her new students very well?

As a history teacher, Leslie turned to the ancient Greeks who would say "know thyself." With that maxim in mind, she set out to create a tool that would allow students to self-identify which roles they best played in a group. 

With this student data in hand, she was able to make instructional groups that allowed students to maximize their strengths and work together more efficiently.

Find Leslie's tool for instructional group self-selection here. Free to share widely.