Research on Learning

SRI's Center for Technology in Learning performs research on learning to identify how people learn and how teachers can become more effective. In its work, the Center applies approaches such as ethnographies, case studies, design experiments, randomized experiments, research design, and longitudinal research.

Depending on the research objective, the Center forms teams with expertise in learning sciences, cognitive science, psychology, sociology, statistics, anthropology, and relevant math and science topics. We integrate insights on the cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of learning into research designs for formal schooling (from preschool to university), and for informal settings such as museums and community centers.


elementary chemistry

A multi-institutional collaborative is developing classroom-ready assessment tasks for teachers to gain insights into their students’ proficiency with the Next Generation Science Standards

SRI is conducting a multi-year study that examines whether and how an elementary digital math curriculum can improve student learning. The study involves about 3,500 fifth-grade students from 47 schools in the state of West Virginia.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contracted with SRI International to aggregate and analyze the ALMAP data. SRI assembled learning impact, cost and satisfaction findings across the portfolio of ALMAP grantee product evaluations.

three young students working on a laptop together

SRI is investigating whether and how students’ speech can be used to determine how well they collaborate during interactive learning activities.

teacher and student working together with laptop

If K-12 teachers had their own budgets for purchasing digital courseware, what changes would occur in the educational technology marketplace?

Press Releases

PEG + CAT characters

Researchers at Education Development Center and SRI have found that children who used media content from PBS KIDS’ series PEG + CAT showed improvement in critical math areas involving ordinal numbers, spatial relationships, and 3-D shapes. Parents and caregivers also showed greater comfort and...

Video still from Curious George show

Preschool children from low-income backgrounds showed significant gains in math skills after their teachers used PBS videos and interactive digital games in their lessons. Previous research has shown that early math achievement is a strong predictor of later school achievement.

Jeremy Roschelle, Ph.D.

Jeremy Roschelle, Ph.D., co-director of SRI’s Center for Technology in Learning, highlighted how education researchers can best leverage the vast amount of data about online learning that is now available for their studies.

middle school children in a classroom with teacher looking on

New research makes clear that students doing well in seventh grade math are more likely to succeed in advanced math classes when they reach high school.

writing on a math board

A new SRI-led study finds that people with autism spectrum disorders are significantly more likely to choose science majors, if they attend college.

SRI to Host Webcast of Cyberlearning Research Summit

The Cyberlearning Research Summit, organized by SRI International and the Lawrence Hall of Science, will feature discussions on the future of learning, and the technology necessary for scalable and lasting advances in STEM education.

SRI In the News

EdSurge featured an opinion piece by SRI Education researchers Barbara Means and Vanessa Peters about SRI's evaluation of adaptive learning products for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Courseware in Context Framework. The Courseware in Context Framework is a resource to support...

The STEMGenetics curriculum, which includes growing plants and using genetic information to predict their traits, was developed by Michelle Williams, associate professor of science education at MSU, and Angela DeBarger, senior research scientist with SRI International.

STEMGenetics is a hands-on teaching program developed by science education professor Michelle Williams and Angela Haydel DeBarger, a senior education research scientist at SRI International.

An SRI study of a math enrichment program featuring characters such as the Cat in the Hat and Curious George showed that the 10-week program boosted early math skills for 4- and 5-year-olds from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

A study by SRI International focusing on incoming middle school students will indicate if they're having symptoms of post-traumatic stress such as nightmares, flashbacks, fear, guilt, withdrawal, rage.

The violence on city streets takes its toll on the young. A new survey by SRI International shows that one out of six of the sixth grade students they looked at suffer from post-traumatic stress.

At Aptos Middle School in San Francisco, Calif., social workers and researchers are working with students who have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or similar trauma induced problems.

This article reports that SRI education researchers at are testing the effectiveness of school-based group therapy to improve student coping skills and, in turn, academic performance for middle school students who have been exposed to traumatic events.


During the 2014-­‐14 academic year, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DonorsChoose and Digital Promise provided over 300 K–8 teachers nationwide with up to $6,000 each for the purchase of digital courseware in core content areas. SRI was the research partner.

This report presents results from the Ready To Learn Prekindergarten Transmedia Mathematics Study. Researchers found that preschool children who experienced a PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement developed essential early mathematics skills.

Head Start programs are required to set aside at least 10% of program slots for children with disabilities, but the percentage of children with disabilities served varies depending on the criteria used and source of the information.

Instructional Development System (IDS) is an ambitious reform model first implemented in 14 CPS high schools in the fall of 2006. IDS focuses on increasing the rigor and relevance of high school courses by strengthening the curricula and improving teaching.

Blog Posts

How can digital media and technology support the learning and development of young children? In this post, we describe how new research from EDC and SRI informs and advances the dialogue.

There are still a number of unmet needs in education that technology could help to solve. The Ed Tech Developer’s Guide can help software developers, start-ups, and entrepreneurs create digital tools to address challenges faced by teachers, school leaders, students and their families.

The findings of our recently completed study show that there is a lot of room for improvement.

SRI Education and Education Development Center released findings from a large study of a PBS KIDS mathematics curriculum supplement. The findings can help advance important conversations about early mathematics and young children’s engagement with technology and media.

Rural students start high school with fewer math skills than other students and ultimately earn fewer math credits. SRI Education researchers are examining the critical factors in closing this gap in education. The research will help crystalize the approach of a program with promising results.

DSM-5’s new Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis is a significant change that can lead to more individualized diagnostic approaches for people with ASD. It may increase the sensitivity and clarity of clinicians’ diagnoses as they consider the needs, symptoms, and severity of each patient.