CR&DALL Seminar Series 2023-24: Nurture thru Nature (NtN) In partnership with the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change

Published: 19 October 2023

Presented by Professor Radha Jagannathan, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University

Presenter: Professor Radha Jagannathan, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, and Director of the PASCAL Observatory for the Americas

Date: 27 October 2023, 13:00 – 14:30, starting with lunch

Location: Room 347, St Andrews Building, 11 Eldon St, Glasgow G3 6NH

To ensure your place, please register for the event via Eventbrite. There is no fee.

Professor Radha Jagannathan’s talk will focus on education in impoverished, inner-city schools and how after-school programs can enrich and enhance student performance. She has co-founded a program called Nurture thru Nature (NtN) in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA that was an exemplar of a public-private partnership of Johnson & Johnson Worldwide, New Brunswick Public Schools and
Rutgers University. She will elaborate on the need for the program, its philosophy, its implementation over a 12-year period as a randomized experiment, program activities and program impact on students’ cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.

The program design for Nurture thru Nature calls for a rigorous evaluation of program impact on student test scores and knowledge of science/nature. Systematic data collection for the evaluation takes place over the program’s three-year duration to track the progress of participants. Nurture thru Nature’s original site is located at the corner of Pine Street and Jones Avenue in New Brunswick. The program site consists of an outdoor learning area that features a butterfly garden, an organic vegetable garden, a pond and a fountain. Indoor learning takes place in a classroom that is located right behind the outdoor area. Since its start the program has designed and built learning gardens at Lord Stirling school, the New Brunswick Middle school, Woodrow Wilson school and McKinley school.


Dr. Radha Jagannathan is a professor of statistics at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, and Director of the PASCAL Observatory for the Americas. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University. She is a Fulbright Scholar whose research on human capital development, school-to-work transition, poverty, and child welfare has received wide attention. Her many academic awards include the Jerome G. Rose Distinguished Teaching Award,
Excellence in Teaching & Mentoring Award, and several Academic Excellence Awards from Rutgers University, the DAAD Award from the American- German Scholar Exchange Program, and the Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize from the University of Chicago. She has authored 4 books and over 150 journal articles and reports. Radha’s research has appeared in many economic, education and policy journals such as the Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Economics of Education Review, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Social Science Quarterly, and Evaluation and Program Planning. She is currently researching public education in Finland and Estonia, in preparation for a comparative book to be completed during her sabbatical leave.

Radha has evaluated numerous human capital and job training programs run by public, private, and non-profit sectors. She currently evaluates several youth services programs for Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. Radha was one of the principal architects of an EU-funded, 11-country youth unemployment study entitled Cultural Pathways to Economic Self-sufficiency (CUPESSE) that was conducted in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey during 2014-2018. Radha has also designed and implemented a human capital development program for public school students entitled Nurture thru Nature, a program that has shown considerable promise in increasing student achievement in science, mathematics and language arts in New Brunswick. At the Bloustein School, Radha teaches courses on statistics, advanced econometrics, and program evaluation.

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First published: 19 October 2023

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