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Center for Inquiry in Education

Improving Education and Learning

Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Inquiry

Since its inception 1886, National College of Education has valued and promoted faculty engagement in meaningful professional activities beyond exemplary teaching practices. NCE faculty and students engage in a variety of research and scholarly projects. We recognize that excellence in scholarship helps to inform our instruction so that we can provide our students with high quality opportunities to learn. 

The range of NCE faculty scholarly interests is broad. It includes early childhood education, educational psychology, educational leadership, paradigms of research, educational foundations, research methodologies, curriculum and policy studies, disability and equity, learning sciences, and the list goes on. 

NCE faculty profiles can be found at:

Our faculty and students have published and presented widely. Below we showcase the research of our faculty and our students. 


NCE Faculty Scholarly Accomplishments

NCE faculty are expected to achieve excellence in research, scholarship, and inquiry, which can come in many forms. These forms include but are not limited to publications in scholarly journals, academic texts, practitioner books, conference presentations, contributions to blogs, and various research and scholarship initiatives. 

Please follow recent accomplishments by NCE faculty at:

Professor George Litman and Assistant Professor Aleksandra Veselovsky launched a blog about math education.

Please follow recent accomplishments by NCE faculty at:

Associate Professor Leslie Katch has published an article entitled "Increasing Parenting Self-Efficacy: The Fussy Baby Network® Intervention" in the April issue of the Infant Mental Health Journal.  The article describes how Dr. Katch and co-authors conducted an evaluation of the Fussy Baby Network® (FBN), a program supporting families struggling with infant crying and related concerns.

Professor Kristin Lems, ESL/Bilingual Education, presented with six of her current NLU students in three different workshops at the Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages - Bilingual Education (TESOL-BE) Annual Convention in Lisle, IL held February 28-29, 2020.  The three workshops were on the theme of bringing sustainability projects into the multilingual and multicultural classroom.  

Professor Kristin Lems presented "Music and Song Build ELL Language and Literacy" at the Opening Minds Early Childhood Education Conference held January 29-February 1 in Chicago, IL.

Edna Bazik, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, was an invited participant who attended the State Coordinators Conference for PAEMST at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. on January 26-28, 2020.  For the past five consecutive years, Dr. Bazik has served as the State Coordinator of Mathematics in Illinois for PAEMST, the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) 72nd Annual Meeting was held February 28-March 1 in Atlanta, GA.  The following was among the presentations: "More Than a Handbook and a Handshake: Considering the Role of 

a Relational Trust Between Cooperating Teachers and Student Teachers"

Sherri Bressman, Kavita Matsko, Lisa Mozer, Jeffrey Winter. Conference attendees included Jack Denny, Secondary Education Chair; Shaunti Knauth, NLU Director of Engaged Research; and Janet Lorch, Residency Coordinator. Arlene Borthwick, NCE Professor Emerita, was a panel participant at the AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee's Pre-conference Workshop on February 27.  Panel participants are contributors to a forthcoming book, Championing Technology Infusion in Teacher Preparation: A Framework for Supporting Future Educators (ISTE, in press), co-edited by Dr. Borthwick, Dr. Teresa Foulger (Arizona State University) and Dr. Kevin Graziano (Nevada State College).

Associate Professor Vito Dipinto and alum Anthony Tournis co-authored the chapter "It Was a Terrible Mistake!": Science, Chemistry, and Storytelling, published in Chemistry Student Success: A Field-Tested, Evidence-Based Guide on March 25 by the American Chemical Society.  Anthony earned his M.A.T. in Secondary Education from NLU in 2014, and is currently the K-5 STEM Teacher at Peterson Elementary, CPS.

In collaboration with researchers at University of Illinois, Dr. Xiaoli Wen, associate professor of Early Childhood Education, published an article in a top journal of Early Education and Development, titled "Evaluation of an Online Early Mathematics Professional Development Program for Early Childhood Teachers."

Associate Professor Todd Price has co-authored, "PARTICIPATE! An Urban Civic Education Curriculum Promotes Active Citizenship," which has been published in Critical Issues in Teacher Education, the Journal of the Illinois Association of Teacher Educators, Volume XXVII, 2020.  Among the Editorial Consultants for this scholarly journal is Professor Emeritus Jerry Ligon, former NCE Associate Dean.

Associate Professor Ruth Quiroa is a Selection Committee Member for the Jane Addams Children's Book Award, currently serving three award cycles 2019-2022.

A study completed by Associate Professor Leslie Katch has been detailed in a published report entitled, "Use of Infant Crying Screening Tool Improves Family Support."

Associate Professor Kamau Rashid recently presented "The Battle for Nubia: Anderson Thompson's Key Concerns about the Conceptualization of the Role of Nubia, Ancient and Modern" at the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) - Midwest Regional Conference in Chicago, IL.


Doctoral Student Scholarly Accomplishments

Doctoral Student Research

NCE offers several doctoral programs in education (Ed.D.) that provide advanced training to practitioners, principals, superintendents, researchers and policy-makers. Over the course of three years, those seeking a doctoral degree in education will learn how to apply advanced theory to their daily practice, transforming the classroom — and the broader educational system — through strategic planning and compassionate leadership.

Learn more about NLU's doctoral degrees in education:

Doctoral student research brings much pride and recognition to National College of Education and finds its most rewarding manifestation in completed dissertations, in addition to participation in professional conferences and research symposia.

Please visit the following sites to view NCE doctoral students’ research accomplishments:

Dissertation Announcement page:

Dissertations on Digital Commons:


Doctoral Student Symposia

NCE prides itself by many long-standing traditions to honor research and scholarly accomplishments of NCE graduate students. One of them is an annual doctoral research symposium typically held toward the end of the academic year. The symposium features the presentations of doctoral students at various stages of the dissertation process. In the past few years, NCE doctoral programs joined their sister programs at other NLU colleges to hold a joint event celebrating the accomplishments of the NLU doctoral students. The recent event can be accessed through the following link:


Doctoral Community Meetings

2020 Meeting: Open Proseminar on Rehumanizing Education and NCE Doctoral Community Meeting

In a time of increasing politicization and instrumentalization of education, we seek to return education to its human roots. In place of reductive categories of inputs, outcomes and 'what works', we work to recuperate a methodical and ethical vocabulary of (for example) personhood, relation, tact, risk and trust.

All education begins with an implicit image or ideal of the human - for example, as a rational being (homo rationalis), as a competitive, economic creature (homo economicus), or as one that is primarily political in nature (homo ideologicus). We wish to make these images or ideals explicit, and correspondingly, to understand education as a fundamentally humanizing process.

Education is thus not primarily grounded in any institutional or administrative configuration or set of directives, but in terms of the ethical intention to guide children and young people in becoming fully human - according to the given way(s) that 'human' is defined. Education, in other words, is an ongoing collective, transgenerational project that is common, in one form or another, to all cultures. And it is the ethical and relational concerns integral to this project that are the central focus of education reflection and research. 

Although the image of the human has been defined variously in the West -e.g. in terms of humanity's allegedly rational, economic or political nature - our approach regards the human as a fundamentally open, undetermined being, one who is guided towards self-determination. And in a democratic society, we believe that this ideal needs to be a matter of explicit public awareness and deliberation.

This proseminar highlights the work that education foundation experts nationally and globally are doing to rehumanize education. After the Opening Forum, attendees have the opportunity to select between themed sessions:

Session A: Leadership or Session B: Disciplinarity

Session C: Pedagogy or Session D: Curriculum

Please visit the link:


Scholarship and Development Committe (S&DC)
S&DC primary responsibilities include:

  • Promoting a forum for faculty scholarship and development for the purpose of supporting educational and teaching research, policy, and practice
  • Providing mentoring and support for scholarly activities, including such activities as:
    • Connecting faculty to colleagues with similar interest
    • Facilitating new faculty scholarship and development of mentoring sessions
  • Collaborating on scholarly activities and sharing scholarship both inside and outside the university community, including such activities as:
    • Planning & facilitating research comer at monthly NCE meetings
    • Communicating with other university research groups
    • Exploring web-based dissemination of scholarly work (e.g. digital age, open access, Digital Commons, online scholarly presence such as & Research Gate)
  • Promoting and providing linkages to NLU and NCE initiatives, including such activities as:
    • Engaged research
    • Grants and partnerships
    • Faculty review process
  • Making recommendations to the NCE faculty and the Dean on ways to achieve these goals.

In 2019-20, S&DC plans to launch a series of mentoring sessions for new faculty and various research corner activities and join other colleges and institutional units to organize an annual faculty research symposium.

Please visit Summer 2019 NCE faculty research symposium organized by S&DC


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

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    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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