The Collaboratory Project

The Collaboratory Project

Funded by the Town of Windsor, CT

The Collaboratory is an organizing structure for the collaborative discussion of “problems of practice” that are of interest to both K-12 teachers and university researchers. This design of The Collaboratory draws on research from three interrelated fields of inquiry: teacher professional development (e.g. Garet et al., 2001; Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009; DuFour, 2004); adult learning (e.g. Sheckley et al., 2009); and university-school partnerships (e.g. Libler, 2010).  We investigate the efficacy of this model by drawing upon principles of design (Reinking & Watkins, 2000) and formative research experiments (Reinking & Bradley, 2008) to investigate the processes and outcomes of Collaboratory sessions in which teachers and researchers discuss areas of mutual interest related to education in high school settings. Our research questions aim to identify factors that contribute to more robust pathways of communication between teachers and researchers that are mutually supportive and self-extending.

Neag School Faculty Sitting in Classroom


Rachael Gabriel is an Assistant Professor of Reading Education at the University of Connecticut. A former classroom teacher and literacy specialist, she holds a Ph.D. in Education with a focus on Literacy Studies and graduate certificates in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Rachael is an associate of the Center on Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) and the Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability (CPED) at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on the intersections of literacy, disability studies, and teacher quality. Within each she attends to the constitutive use of language and the formation and implementation of related policies. Her current research addresses three areas of focus: teacher development and disciplinary literacy in secondary school settings; teacher evaluation policies and related practices; and the role of language reading comprehension instruction in the middle grades.