» Education Research and Projects-Chapman University

The educational research center and programs at Chapman strive to improve educational experiences and enhance academic achievement. Our research projects encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration while focusing on developing global educators-leaders who are distinctively prepared to enhance education by putting theory into practice. The centers and projects below all contribute to “changing education, changing the world.

Donna Attallah

The Donna Ford Attallah Educator Development Academy
The DFAEDA focuses on developing future K-12 teachers with a special emphasis on civic engagement activities that will both serve our surrounding community and prepare our pre-service teachers to engage in their respective communities as they enter the teaching profession. The DFAEDA board works to bring events and research opportunities to the Chapman campus that challenge students to change the world by improving education through meaningful and reciprocal engagement among communities, schools and higher education.

   Dr. Suzanne Soohoo

Jack H. and Paula A. Hassinger Chair in Education
The Jack H. and Paula A. Hassinger Chair in Education was established in 1996 to reward distinguished professors who advance and foster education, through teaching and administration, at any level. The chair honors the life work of Paula Hassinger, who had a distinguished career as an educator, ranging from Chapman University to American elementary schools in Japan and South America. The chair further pays tribute to her husband, Jack, also a career educator and administrator who supported numerous teaching efforts in China.

Evolution Education Research Center

Evolution Education Research Center
This EERC is an exciting collaboration between faculty at Chapman, McGill and Harvard Universities dedicated to advancing the teaching, learning and study of biological evolution through research.

Don Cardinal with children reading

Kathleen Muth Reading and Learning Center
The Literacy Tutoring Program is a community outreach program that teaches reading and writing to culturally and linguistically diverse elementary students. The program trains undergraduate and graduate students in the CES to be effective literacy teachers including involving families in the literary development of their children. The program also offers a Home Library Program where young readers are given books in their current and next reading levels for their homes.

Paulo Freire Democratic Project

Paulo Freire Democratic Project
The Paulo Freire Democratic Project's (PFDP) strives to follow the educational philosophy put forth by Paulo Freire. To accomplish this mission, PFDP gathers together a number of constituencies from all levels of education to promote the full democratic, intellectual and critical development of students, teachers, administrators, parents and other community members.

Disability Ph.D. student


The Center for Research on Ability and Disability
The Center for Research on Ability and Disability (RAD Center) is a new center in the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University, Orange, California, directed by Don Cardinal, Ph.D., Professor. The RAD Center seeks to understand the ability within the socially constructed notion of disability through research, policy and action.


globe on a desk

Collaborate Initiative
The Collaborate Initiative is in the process of being developed and will aim to re-conceptualize meanings of higher education by helping students make meaningful connections between college education and their lives. Students who participate in the Collaborate Initiative will engage in student-led and student-centered internship research projects.

Mother with an a autistic boy.

The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders
In response to this growing need, Chapman University’s College of Educational Studies and the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders have come together with partners, parents, educators, and schools to actively address this issue as a community. The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders will involve a two-pronged approach, providing both support and educational opportunities, specifically designed to meet the needs of individual students, families, and schools. To this end, we have developed two cutting edge programs: Families And Schools Together (F.A.S.T), and the Chapman Ability Project (C.A.P).

picture of a tiger drawn by a student

El Sol - Chapman University Partnership
The College of Educational Studies has maintained a special relationship with El Sol Academy since its inception in 2001. The College of Educational Studies relies on El Sol for bilingual student teaching assignments as well as teacher candidate fieldwork activities. El Sol, in turn, has used the College of Educational Studies faculty for teacher and staff training.  Furthermore, College of Educational Studies faculty have conducted research pertaining to El Sol’s curriculum and programs.

The $3 million gift, given by the William S. and Nancy E. Thompson Foundation, establishes the Thompson Policy Institute (TPI) on Disability and Autism

Thompson Policy InstituteThe Thompson Policy Institute (TPI) on Disability and Autism is a new think tank that will gather data and develop its own independent research to study and, when appropriate, advocate on topics surrounding the issues of disability and autism. The Institute’s aim will be to educate policymakers and decision-makers on these topics toward improving the quality of lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families.

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