Research Topics

2020-2021 Pilot Program

Feedback to Move Forward, Thrive, and Grow

Resilience is built when facing and overcoming challenges. When students believe that intellectual abilities can be developed over time, effective feedback provides the space and vehicle for that growth to happen. With the ongoing concerns around the development of resilience, the willingness to engage with and tackle challenging problems, the focus on the perceived judgmental nature, and perhaps subjective nature, of grades, what effective feedback processes can be implemented to eliminate this cycle and make a move towards reducing the increasing anxiety around achievement amongst our girls today?

Knowing the value and necessity of feedback, appreciating the multiple forms it can take, balancing the art and science of feedback, and understanding how girls learn best, how can we create moments, opportunities and experiences where girls can receive effective feedback, learn how to grow from what they discover about themselves, improve their academic successes, and reduce or eliminate the anxiety that appears to come hand in hand with assessments, observations, and feedback? What feedback strategies in and out of the classroom positively impact resilience and success in girls? Feel free to consider academic settings, sports, leadership opportunities, and other moments when feedback can be offered towards achieving a student’s goal.


Building Problem-Solving Capacity, Confidence, and Skills in Girls

“If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems.” – Majora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategist

Girls are required daily to problem-solve constantly, be it in the classroom or the lunchroom, on the sports field or the stage, or at home and social gatherings. Today, more than ever before, the skills required to successfully tackle and solve problems are essential. Our schools around the world have demonstrated this by pivoting nimbly to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on our education infrastructure and school communities.

Often defined as the process of identifying the problem to be solved, developing possible solutions, taking action, evaluating outcomes, and making adjustments, problem-solving is the opposite of rote, formulaic test-directed learning. The keys to successful problem-solving are a willingness to embrace risk-taking and the ability to see failure as a steppingstone to a solution. Successful problem-solving requires curiosity to tackle open-ended questions, opportunities to experiment with new ideas, and space to share knowledge.

Problem-solving with both understanding and confidence is a vital skill in the toolbox of girls today and the women of tomorrow, yet international studies show girls are more reluctant to engage in problem-solving activities than boys. How do we as educators create environments in our classrooms, clubs, sports teams, and advisory groups for girls to foster a willingness to confidently embrace all aspects of problem-solving: the comfortable and the uncomfortable?

The Global Action Research Collaborative on Girls’ Education is seeking research proposals exploring strategies that build problem-solving willingness and capacity in girls thereby enhancing confidence, resilience, and healthy risk-taking.

Sample research questions may include:

  • By exploring opportunities to problem-solve, what strategies can be implemented to encourage an increase in healthy and creative risk-taking in girls in your classroom, on your sports team, or in other aspects of your programs?
  • How can educators embed problem-solving into the curriculum and in non-curricular activities?
  • Is there a way for problem-solving skills to be measured in assessment, both formative and summative?
  • What classroom experiences or strategies help girls to develop long-term, transferrable problem-solving skills?
  • What are the benefits of problem-solving outside of the classroom?
  • In what ways can we connect the problem-solving skills developed in the classroom with real-world issues and concerns facing our girls today?

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” ― Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist