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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Gleam project all about?

The GLEAM project is about trying to maximize student performance, especially in mathematics, through a combination of student mindset and effective study strategies. A great deal of laboratory research has shown that small changes to how students think about their abilities, and the types of strategies that they employ can have large effects on their effort and their performance on tests. GLEAM is bringing this research into the classroom.

Who is in charge of the project?

The Principal Investigator is Dr. Joyce Ehrlinger, an Assistant Professor at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. She is working with other faculty across the country, but most of the schools that will be approved for participation in the project are in Washington and California. Refer to the Primary Researchers and Research Personnel pages for more information.

Who is eligible to participate?

Students in high school and middle school math classes are the focus of this project, and it is necessary to present materials to an entire class. So, teachers or school administrators who will cover topics such as probability, algebra, statistics, or others – and whose districts are in the states of Washington, California, and parts of Idaho – are eligible to apply.

What is involved in participating?

If you’re a student, you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. You will have only your usual class schedule, but a researcher will provide the materials and the instruction for one or two periods. That’s it. Parents will need to review and approve the consent form that gives permission for their child to participate. Explore this website to see example materials that may be used in the classroom, or contact us with any questions.

If you’re a teacher or school administrator, participation entails mostly minor coordination with the GLEAM research team. A researcher will work with you to identify a topic that is appropriate for us to address in your classroom, and then present the materials during your normal class time. One or two class periods will be scheduled with you in advance.

How long does it take?

The actual instruction takes only one or two class periods during the normal school day. The “research” goes on well after that, though. During the instruction sessions, some students will be introduced to study strategies that they may use throughout the year, and beyond. We will measure the impact of these strategies through performance on standardized test scores collected in the course of the normal school curriculum.

Who is supporting this project?

This research is approved by Washington State University, and it approved and funded by the Institute of Educational Services, U.S. Department of Education. In addition, the most important “support” for the project comes from the teachers and administrators that partner with us to bring this project into the classrooms.

What are the benefits of participation?

For students, you may learn some strategies that can help you in all your classes, and you may acquire some important and useful information about how your mindset influences your success in some school-based activities. For teachers, your students will be exposed to cutting-edge research in education, have an opportunity to improve their grades and standardized test scores… and you have an extra period or two for prep time! Also, when the results of the project become available, we will share these with you, and you may choose to discuss this in your class for the benefit of future students.

How can I learn more about the project or about how to participate?

Fill out the form here, or contact For interested teachers or administrators, we will be happy to arrange a meeting time at your school and present all the details of the project and answer all your questions.