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On the Ground

IHDSC's blog for "putting research to work"

On the Ground is the official blog of the Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC). Through informed dissemination, On the Ground aims to build knowledge and networks among scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and leaders in order to “put research to work” to enhance the lives of children, youth, and adults living in under-resourced communities.

Faculty, staff, and student contributors use Q&As, op-eds, research reports, and other accessible formats to provide practice-ready and policy-relevant information about research findings in the following four domains: education and child development; race, poverty, and inequality; health and well-being; and justice and welfare systems. The goal is to speak to all sides of the research-practice-policy divide. On the Ground also highlights how research, policy, and practice partnerships can address the many pressing social issues we face, both domestically and globally. 

Featured Stories

A Tale of Two Crises

Samuel Freel, doctoral student in Applied Psychology, explores the psychology of collective action as it can be seen in the recent push for "social distance" in light of COVID-19.

Studying STEM in Sunset Park

IHDSC spoke with Dr. Natalie Brito and Sunset Spark — a Brooklyn-based non-profit— about their partnership, the importance of diverse and representative samples, and the benefit of conducting research in community-based settings.

Where Do Candidates Stand on Early Education Policy?

Early education policies, such as New York City’s Pre-K for All, have garnered attention on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. Support for free, high-quality early education must be contextualized within research in order to better understand why the education of young children matters and what these policies mean for our cities, states, and nation.

Partnering to Improve Afterschool

What role can afterschool programs play in addressing inequality and promoting opportunities? The Advancing Collaborative Research in Out-of-School Settings (ACROSS) partnership represents a unique partnership between researchers from The Institute of Human Development and Social Change and Good Shepherd Services. Read a Q&A with Dr. Miranda Yates, Dr. Elise Cappella, and Sophia Hwang.

The Intersection of Research and Civic Engagement

Politicians and voters continue to debate policies and issues tied to IHDSC’s areas of research. IHDSC surveyed our faculty affiliate network about the intersection of research and civic engagement.

How can GSAs support critical consciousness?

How can Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) support advocacy, health, and critical consciousness? Read On the Ground's Q&A with Dr. Paul Poteat, Dr. Hiro Yoshikawa, and Sarah Rosenbach.

We Know Better: The Evidence on Children Seeking Refuge

"The current crisis at the southern border of the United States is a refugee crisis, provoked by immigration policies across administrations. As scientists who study children’s development in some of the most volatile and violent contexts in the world, we feel compelled to share what we have learned over the course of our own work in conflict-affected regions."

Read Global TIES' statement
Silhouette of child behind a fence

Faculty Q&As:

Reaching the Rarely Reached: Dr. Njelesani

As part of the "Reaching the Rarely Reached" series, Mackenzie Whipps asked three NYU practitioner-researchers how and why they conduct research with populations that are often forgotten with in the healthcare system. As an occupational therapist, Dr. Janet Njelesani has spent years working with children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.

Reaching the Rarely Reached: Dr. Alan Mendelsohn

In the Reaching the Rarely Reached series, Mackenzie Whipps asked three NYU practitioner-researchers how and why they conduct research with populations that are often forgotten with in the healthcare system. Dr. Alan Mendelsohn is developmental pediatrician who has worked as a clinician at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at NYU Langone.

Research Partnerships: Dr. Dillon & MoMath

Dr. Moira Dillon and Cindy Lawrence, Executive Director of the National Museum of Mathematics, received an IHDSC Seed Award to recruit children for interactive in-museum experiments to investigate how children reason about the general properties of geometric figures. Dillon and Lawrence talk about the process of developing their research partnership.

Q&A: Understanding Black Male Reactions to Police

“Understanding the reactions of Black male youth to police” examined how African American, Black immigrant, and White youth in New York City potentially differ in their assessment of police in terms of threat, security, trust in the police, and identification with the police. Read a Q&A with the project leaders.