The mission of Inverness Research Inc. is to provide insight into the design, quality and effectiveness of educational improvement initiatives.
Inverness Research is an independent and national educational research organization with its
headquarters located in Inverness, California — a small town 50 miles north of San Francisco.
Founded more than two decades ago, the firm is operated by Dr. Mark St. John. While Dr. St. John is the lead investigator on all studies, Inverness Research has a team of more than a dozen senior researchers around the nation who have the skills, experience and knowledge appropriate to each project the group undertakes
The work of Inverness Research Inc. primarily involves the study of reform initiatives
taking place at the K-12 grade levels, but also includes higher education and teacher education.
Inverness also has a long history of studying informal science education initiatives. The research designs used by Inverness Research are multi-faceted and rely on data gained
from participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, and document reviews.
By studying the congruence of project theory and field realities, Inverness Research helps
projects assess the quality and efficacy of their efforts, and helps funders better understand the
design of their initiatives and the value of their investments.
Inverness Research studies often involve one or more of the following functions:
- Documenting the rationale (theory of action) and activities of specific projects so that they are able to portray the nature of their work to external audiences.
- Providing formative feedback and technical assistance to projects so that they can improve the quality and efficacy of their work.
- Conducting summative evaluations so that both projects and funders can assess the contributions the project work is making to educational improvement.
- Conducting research within the context of the project work in order to develop more general knowledge about the educational improvement process.
Projects vary in their scale and cover a wide range of activities, including:
- Studies of large federally-funded national programs. Clients include the National Science Foundation (Systemic Initiatives) and the U.S. Department of Education (National Writing Project).
- Formative and Summative studies of STEM projects. Clients include science museums (the Exploratorium, Montshire Science Center); universities (UC Berkeley; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Ithaca College); and school districts (Clark County, Las Vegas, NV; Buffalo, New York; Seattle, WA).
- Long-term evaluations of state-level initiatives. Clients include the University of California (The California Subject Matter Projects); the New York State Department of Education (New York State Systemic Initiative). Evaluation of and technical assistance to national and local projects which focus on professional development, curricular innovation, teacher preparation, and school reform.
- Investment opportunity analysis and evaluation for private foundations who seek assistance in designing and assessing STEM initiatives. Clients include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, the Knowles Science Teaching Fellowships, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the CPB Annenberg Foundation.
Our Mission Statement in PDF format