Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Education | Institute for Innovation in Education


The Institute for Innovation in Education is an interdisciplinary organization committed to conducting, administering, and disseminating educational research and research-informed professional development initiatives. Based at American University in Washington, DC, the institute’s researchers will undertake studies of education policy and education reform, learning technologies, and research on learning disabilities. Researchers and staff will also provide independent research-based support and technical assistance to educators, policy makers, and journalists.  The institute membership will include faculty from across the American University campus as well as invited researchers from local, national and international entities dedicated to quality research.


It is the mission of the Institute for Innovation in Education to bring together a wide-ranging set of methodological and analytical approaches to the study of educational policies and practices broadly. Cross-disciplinary research into the study of education and learning is necessitated by the complex contexts and characteristics of learners, schools, and communities. The institute researchers will dedicate themselves to collaborative investigation bridging multiple fields and will bring together the expertise of a broad set of organizations interested in this nebulous concept of education. We envision an entity in which the individuals involved in the institute dedicate their efforts to scientific understanding of the processes, policies and practices of education. The institute’s researchers will undertake research on a wide-ranging set of topics and particularly examine education research, learning technology, and learning disabilities research.

Upcoming Event: 2017 Heritage Language Conference

Heritage Language Conference 2015 - School of Education

Registration is open for the 4th annual Community-Based Heritage Language Conference, October 7, 2017. 

Conference and Registration Details

Current Research Projects:

Dr. Sarah Irvine Belson,institute executive director, is the principal investigator for the project, From the Laboratory to the Classroom: Building Capacity for Math and Science Teaching in DC (Lab2Class), funded by the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship Program. Joining her is the research team of co-principal investigators, Drs. Kiho Kim, John Nolan, Michael Keynes (American University Departments of Environmental Science and Mathematics and Statistics) and Ms. Bianca Abrams (The Carnegie Institution of Washington).

Dr. Jennifer Steele, associate professor, is a co-principal investigator on the study, Partnership to Study Dual Language Immersion in Utah, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. She joins the research team of Dr. Robert Slater (American Councils Research Center), principal investigator, and co-prinicipal investigators, Dr. Johanna Watzinger-Tharp (University of Utah) and Mr. Gregg Roberts (Utah State Board of Education).

Announcement of award by American Councils