Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have studied the ability of public schools to prepare young children for lifelong learning and have shaped local, state, and federal policies. Our groundbreaking research, policy development, and training programs set the standards for out-of-school time, and continue to inform the field in new areas, including physical activity programming.
State Monitoring Activities with Tracking, Synthesis and Analysis, and Technical Assistance in Implementing a Successful State
The primary objective of this project is to manage the continuation of the well established Afterschool Matters Initiative, which includes several publications and a Research Grantee program, in addition to planning for the national expansion of a related action/research writing initiative.
APAS is an assessment system that helps programs link quality and youth outcomes together in a comprehensive and integrated fashion. It was developed to help address the accountability challenge that faces afterschool programs.
The goal of this study is to enhance rater accuracy of the Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT).
This study will test the Afterschool Program Practices Tool's (APT) stability and accuracy as a measure of afterschool program quality.
This project provides a comprehensive picture of the quality of Boston's Early Care and Education programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, in both centers and family child care homes.
The CLLIP Research and Evaluation Project is designed to assess the impact of a literacy intervention for low-income poor performing school districts in the state of Ohio. Longitudinal data consisting of standardized literacy assessments, and surveys from students (preschool through 6th grade), parents, and teachers are analyzed and evaluated to demonstrate the effectiveness of the CLLIP intervention.
The goal of this project is to produce a reliable and valid measure of teachers’ educational beliefs and knowledge of child development and ECE pedagogy that can be used to validate the effectiveness of professional development programs and interventions, as well as, to provide valuable feedback in applied setting s regarding ECE teachers’ professional development needs and classroom appropriateness.
This research project is divided into two separate sub-projects. The first concentrates on analyzing the effects of family leave policies in the United States. The analysis uses micro data from the U.S. to evaluate the economic issues related to parental leaves. The changes in Federal and State level parental leave mandates in the 1980s and 1990s provide an interesting setting in which the career impacts of parental leaves can be evaluated. The second research stream will perform a similar evaluation using Finnish data. Finland has an extensive family leave policy that was developed over the last 40 years, providing a useful comparison to the United States. The project is funded by the 35th Anniversary Fund of the WCW.
Ongoing since 2014
This project data aims to demonstrate that full participation in federal meal programs results in kids eating three meals a day.
Peggy McIntosh offers presentations, workshops, and consulting on: white privilege and privilege systems in general, diversifying organizational thinking, gender-fair and multicultural curricula, diversifying teaching methods, and feelings of fraudulence.
Funding will support refining plans for growing and scaling Open Circle to serve large school districts across the U.S.
This group of inter-related research projects seeks to understand the state of early care and education in Massachusetts and make recommendations for quality outcomes.
This project was a multi-faceted engagement with Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts to conduct an evaluation of the Get Real middle school sexual education curriculum.
The purpose of this online nationwide survey study is to understand how different types of media (i.e. social, technological, televised) impact young people’s sense of social identities, including racial/ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, political attitudes, and civic engagement.
This is a study of the relation between fathers’ high levels of involvement in childrearing and various family outcomes: quality of the marriage, the mother's report of social support, the quality of the mother-child relationship and of the father-child relationship, and the quality of family interactions when the children are in elementary school.
This long-term program has brought national attention to the importance of children's out-of-school time using research, training and advocacy to strengthen children's emotional, physical, and social development.
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time will partner with The Forum for Youth Investment as champions for action with the Career Pathway's sites in San Diego and Long Beach, California. This will include leading research aspects of the project as well as working to anticipate the site's needs for information, support and tools in a variety of areas.
Open Circle provides evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and professional development for elementary schools. This innovative program proactively develops children’s skills for recognizing and managing emotions, empathy, positive relationships and problem solving. Open Circle helps schools build communities where students feel safe, cared for and engaged in learning.
This research and evaluation study examines process outcomes and program impact for a Kindergarten to Grade 5 implementation project in 23 elementary schools within a large urban school district.
This project will focus on the BOKS program, which aims to improve kids' academic performance and overall health using physical activity to jump start children's brains in the morning.
This project will analyze and prepare a report on credentialing and certification models related to professional development learning in afterschool staff and administration.
This research study uses quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and multiple regression modeling to examine healthy eating and physical activity opportunities in a national sample of out-of-school time programs.
The National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum engages teachers from all subject areas, grades, and types of schools to create gender fair, multiculturally equitable, and globally informed education.
This project will evaluate how much high school seniors know about the labor market impacts related to their study choices and how additional information affects their application process and choices among alternative study places. The project combines experimental and interview data from Finland with the extensive register records related to higher education applications and choices. The experimental phase of the project was completed during fall 2011 in almost 60 randomly selected high-schools, and the second phase of the study will be implemented during summer and fall 2012. This project is funded by the Network of Higher Education and Innovation Research (HEINE) at the University of Helsinki.
This work revolves around helping to build and define the burgeoning field of womanist studies.
Women’s Review of Books provides a unique perspective on today’s literary landscape and features essays and in-depth reviews of new books by and about women. Read the latest issue.
This long-term program brings together research on employment, work and family issues, and child care as a support for working families.
Ongoing since 1985
Study of working conditions and impact on health
Working Conditions and Health is a group of inter-related research projects with a common interest in understanding the relation of working conditions to the physical and mental health of workers.
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) conducted a research study on After-School Gets Moving, a physical activity training resource tool for out-of-school time (OST) professionals.
This project is an in-depth qualitative investigation of teen/parent communication about sex and relationships, which provides an in-depth look at families participating in the evaluation of middle school education program. It includes interviews with 32 teen/parent pairs who are participants in the Get Real middle school sex education program.
This study was created to better understand how children spend their after-school time, and how it may be best used to improve growth and learning. The study was stratified by ethnicity and took into account gender and social class.
The Work, Families & Children team has conducted a series of studies for the Boston Public Schools (BPS), including the BPS K1 and K2 Programs Needs Assessment, and a 2007-08 follow-up study.
Using a randomized control design, Michelle Porche will conduct an evaluation of the Boston Ready professional development intervention to test its effectiveness.
Researchers of this project found that adults who have an awareness of their own relational needs and capacities have the potential to be more effective caregivers and role models in childcare setting, resulting in better outcomes for both the adults and children.
Researchers gathered economists, policy-makers, and funders to develop several recommendations for building a skilled and stable workforce for After School Programs.
During this phase of work, NIOST will design and develop two additional measurement tools—a youth survey (SAYO-Y) and a family survey (SAYO-F). These two tools will be used by Massachusetts Department of Education grantees to better understand youth needs, their program experiences and help pinpoint areas where youth may benefit from additional support.
This group of inter-related research projects examines three related changes in the U.S. workplace - rising employment in the service industries, increased diversity of the workforce, and the increase in numbers of older workers.
WCW researchers participated in a study, led by Dr. Valora Washington and under the auspices of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Children’s Foundation, to evaluate the child care voucher system in Massachusetts.
This project sought to improve the availability and preservation of out-of-school time programming and to disseminate information on recruiting, training, development, and finance.
The project involves a needs assessment of child and adolescent refugee mental health services in New Hampshire and utilizes community dialogue strategies for integrating youth, family, provider, school and community knowledge and expertise towards addressing refugee mental health needs especially as it relates to trauma and in the context of resettlement.
This project connected high-level leaders from different cities and states to educate them on the dynamic landscape of after-school programs. in hopes of directing the influence, funding, and high expectations of these leaders towards a "critical mass" of associated initiatives across the country.
This project led to the development of a teacher's manual that links curriculum on bullying and harassment directly to national education standards, based on Bullyproof curriculum.
This study is designed to help increase the capacity of programs to prevent sexual violence and harassment. The long-term goal/objective of this study is to help prevent intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and sexual harassment by employing the most rigorous methods to evaluate strategies for altering the violence-supportive attitudes and norms of youth.
One of the major developmental tasks of preschoolers is to develop empathy; this project researches and designs curriculum in order better understand and cultivate empathy at a young and critical age.
This project seeks to help scientific researchers better communicate their findings on gender as it relates to science, technology, engineering and math to key audiences: media, advocates, policy makers, public.
This study followed a random sample of hundreds of children and 100 child care centers in order to examine links between family income, the quality and cost of child-care, and infant language and social development.
The project combines out-of-school time (OST) professional advisors, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), and NASA experts from across the agency to use research-based strategies to develop afterschool activity guides adapted from NASA Planetary Science formal education curricula.
This project was centered around the question of research, funding, and results: was it possible to implement gender equity in a school over just three years?
This teaching guide was developed after scholars attended the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and includes discussion of human rights, ethnic conflict, and biodiversity.
This project prepared a report to describe the prevalent health practices and concerns in early care and education programs in Massachusetts, as part of a larger project of the Schott Fellowship in Early Care and Education.
This project was an evaluation of an all-girls program that provides technology resources, female mentors, and a learning environment to improve girls' attitudes toward and understanding of computers.
This study examines the impact of work stress on working mothers’ health during the first three years after having a child.
The aim of this three-year initiative is to expand the influence of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), to make its model of schooling inclusiveness for all children and families, including its innovative professional development practices, more widely known and available to educators in the United States.
This study examines the varying quality of child care in Massachusetts and across the nation, and its effect on children's performance and family functioning.
This was an evaluation project of Learning Circles, a group mentoring program designed to provide opportunities for girls and adult mentors to meet regularly to discuss issues relevant to their lives. The results showed that girls enjoyed the opportunity for discussing issues relevant to their lives with women who were attentive.
This study sought to examine full-day, year round child care for preschool-age children in Maine to better illuminate links between the quality and the costs of early child care in Maine.
This project sought to identify the most successful elements of afterschool programs in Massachusetts; including staff, policy making, funding, and program/activity participation.
The Capacity Study describes the current early education and care (EEC) workforce in Massachusetts and evaluates the capacity of the State’s higher education system to meet the increased demand for a qualified workforce in early education and care.
The goal of the Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study was to examine full-day, year-round, community-based center care for preschool-age children (2.9 years to 5 years) and for infants and toddlers, pre-k classrooms in the public schools and family child care programs.
Researchers focus on aspects of school readiness, including social and language development, along with other data such as hours in care, so as to better understand the ways in which a child's growth is influenced by situational factors.
This was an evaluation of a national project that fosters more positive attitudes and stronger affiliations among middle school teachers, students, and parents within school communities.
This research project addresses a critical issue by examining the overlap of bullying perpetration/victimization and sexual violence in order to inform sexual violence prevention in US schools.
This study examined the ways in which youth participate in the League: how do they experience the democratic ideals of a debate program? How do they come to consider and participate in democracy?
This study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, seeks to determine the relationship between children's early experiences and their developmental outcomes.
This was an evaluation of materials/programs to help educators teach spatial relations and geometry through the use of storytelling, and its benefits for girls and boys.
The primary goal of the Out of Harm's Way (OHW) Initiative is to address the escalating violence in a subset of middle schools in the Boston Public Schools by offering comprehensive services and care, and increasing the participation of students in after school programming. Wellesley Centers for Women and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time would perform as the project evaluator.
The FasTracKids Research Study is a 19-month international study aimed at examining the link between participation in FasTracKids enrichment programs and child outcomes (children 4 and 5 years old). FasTracKids Enrichment Centers offer a variety of classes and activities designed to promote early learning, develop creative thinking and problem solving, build verbal communication, promote leadership and personal growth, and encourage a lifelong love of learning.
This program examined the ways urban high school students benefit from and utilize school-to-work programs, with an exploration of class differences on work relationships and overall experience.
This is a secondary analysis of data collected over the long-term to determine how physical activity benefits the overall health and well-being of children over time. This study will focus on the NICHD’s Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development data.
This study utilized the data from interviews to determine what factors permeated the experiences of young Puerto Rican fathers.
This project examined the lives of middle-school aged girls from various social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. Researchers focused on issues such as self-confidence, bridging the home-school culture gap, and student and teacher resources.
This three-year evaluation project was designed to measure the outcome of SCOPE, an inquiry-based science enrichment program for upper-elementary and middle-school aged girls.
This project created a collaborative intervention model and curriculum for schools and community-based organizations in order to understand and counter rising rates of rape, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in school environments.
The purpose of this project is to inform the Massachusetts board of Early Education and Care (EEC) of the resources that will best serve families and communities in supporting the holistic development of children, youth, and families.
While girls do well in science and math courses in middle school, they are less likely to enroll in higher-level STEM courses in high school, thus few will choose these subjects for a college major, and even fewer will complete such a major or go on to pursue a STEM career. The increased knowledge generated by this study will inform ways to increase the participation of girls and other under-represented groups (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, low-income youth) in sustained STEM study and employment.
This project worked to examine and counteract the effects of the culture of bullying on children and youth by raising awareness about bullying and by exploring the links between bullying, other forms of aggression, and violence through a combination of research, action, and advocacy.
This study looks at what influence college activities have on recruiters considering people for corporate leadership positions.
The Wellesley Centers for Women will develop appropriate assessments, collaborate with the Office for Institutional Research and team members to collect date, conduct data analyses, prepare reports, and provide feedback from the evaluation to Science Center and College representatives.
This study will investigate the effective practices and support offered in an arts-based afterschool programs to reduce the dropout rate among high school students.
This long-term project was designed to assess gender equity educational materials which were created in relation to the development of Title IX.
Through this project, a review was developed to identify, annotate, and synthesize research studies and projects/interventions addressing primary and secondary school-related gender-based violence in developing countries. The review was conducted in 2002-2003 and again in 2007-2008.
This was an evaluation of a program that aimed to increase the number of middle school girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Career Pathways Project will lead to a set of guidelines promoting success and strengthening the work force for afterschool providers towards stability preparation, support and commitment to the wellbeing and empowerment of youth.
Through this project, researchers examined experiences of sexual harassment in schools even when zero-tolerance policies may exist.