Culturally Responsive Mastery-Based Education Research Project

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The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at New York University (NYU Metro) and the Mastery Collaborative are conducting the Culturally Responsive Mastery-Based Education Research Project (CR-MBE) to understand how culturally responsive
mastery-based practices influence historically marginalized students’ learning capacities, school
engagement, and academic outcomes. Learning capacities refer to mindsets, learning skills,
and academic behavior. School engagement refers to academic behavior, attendance, and
discipline. Academic outcomes refer to course grades, college and career readiness, and other
measures of performance. CR-MBE blends two approaches to educating children: (1) centering
students’ cultures and experiences to facilitate teaching and learning and (2) teaching and
learning that occurs until students demonstrate proficiency.

Research Questions

  1. What CR-MBE school-wide practices and policies are implemented with quality in Living
    Lab schools as a whole or in specific Living Lab schools as compared with matched
    control schools?
  2. What mindsets, practices, and skills do Living Lab teachers report, as compared with
    teachers in control schools?
  3. What short-term outcomes do Living Lab students report or post, as compared with
    control school students?


The CR-MBE Research project will take place over a two year period and include observations in MC schools, interviews with MC staff, teachers, and administrators, surveys administered to students, teachers, and staff in MC schools and comparison schools, artifact and document review of the MC program, and a photovoice project with MC students. The photovoice project will position students as co-researchers, who will participate in data collection, analysis, and dissemination.

Funding for this study provided by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Oak Foundation, and Overdeck Family Foundation.

Learn more about the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative at

Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative

Bridging the worlds of research, practice, and policy, the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative – launched at JFF and now at KnowledgeWorks — investigates student-centered approaches to improve outcomes for learners from all backgrounds, particularly those who have been marginalized or underserved by the current system.

Learn more about our current studies and work underway.

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