Excellence in Research

The leading-edge undertakings of the Institute for Educational Initiatives can be grouped in three categories. One of those is excellence in research: investing in knowledge and ideas.


The Institute is committed to a robust and influential interdisciplinary research agenda encompassing a broad array of methods and purposes. The research seeks to create new knowledge to advance school reform and generate new ideas and practices to improve student learning.

Driven principally by research methods drawn from the social sciences, the Institute undertakes basic research aimed at making fundamental contributions to a fuller understanding about the factors that best explain improved student learning.

The Institute also conducts systematic research that provides the basis for data-driven decision-making, quality assurance, program improvement, and accountability across programs and units of the Institute.

The work of generating new knowledge through basic and applied research spans the whole field of education. Institute research probes the efficacy of current educational practices in K-12 schools, prospects for the future of the field, and the challenges faced by children, families, and institutions related to success in learning and teaching. This interdisciplinary research is accomplished by Institute Fellows, their collaborators, and their students within these units of the Institute:


The US Department of Education is among the public and private funders of CREO research. The Center also supports the mission of ACE by recognizing a role in assessing the effectiveness of ACE programs.

The University has entered into a historic partnership with the indiana Department of Education that aims to improve learning for Indiana children. This new research partnership will allow scholars at the Institute and around the country to conduct independent research that informs policymakers as they seek strategies to improve the quality of education.

ACE  surveys lead to a better understanding of  the challenges faced by Catholic schools.

* Survey of Pastors

* Survey of Principals

ACE action research, as conducted by candidates for the M.A. degree and presented at the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program's Annual Leadership Conference, focuses on answers to challenges faced by Catholic school leaders.

Internally published research, available through ACE Press, helps to disseminate leading-edge scholarship and other diverse resources for K-12 teachers and leaders. The research conducted by task forces convened by the University of Notre Dame has also been a driving force in generating awareness and the pursuit of change in K-12 education:

* Notre Dame Task Force on Catholic Education

The University’s 2006 report, “Making God Known, Loved, and Served,” generated new initiatives.

* Notre Dame Task Force on the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools

The  2009 report, “To Nurture the Soul of a Nation,” led to the Catholic School Advantage campaign.

The Institute has made a significant investment to meet the urgent need for sustaining and strengthening education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for all students. This initiative's mission focuses on generating K-12 student interest in the STEM disciplines and improving students' content knowledge as well as their competencies in science and math.

Notre Dame undergraduates, as part of this academic minor, perform independent, first-hand education research.