Graduate School of Education

At the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, we are here for change. We’re here because we believe in the power of education to build communities, bridge barriers, improve lives, and heal society. Here, we convene an ambitious and diverse community of leaders and pioneers, connecting them to one another and to a world that will benefit from their work. We equip them with immersive, real-world-based learning and research opportunities that bring them results. And we mobilize them to fulfill the promise of education in the classrooms, boardrooms, governments, and learning settings where true innovation and real transformation become possible. We offer vibrant array of high-quality master’s and doctoral degree programs.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 95
  • Publication
    Negotiating Methodological Rich Points in the Ethnography of Language Policy
    (2013-01-05) Hornberger, Nancy H; Hornberger, Nancy H
    Building on Agar’s (1996: 26) notion of rich points as those times in ethnographic research when something happens that the ethnographer doesn’t understand, methodological rich points are by extension those points where our assumptions about the way research works and the conceptual tools we have for doing research are inadequate to understand the worlds we are researching. When we pay attention to those points and adjust our research practices accordingly, they become key opportunities to advance our research and our under standings. Drawing for illustrative purposes on ethnographic research on bi lingual intercultural education policy and practice in the Andes carried out by Indigenous students for their Master’s theses at the University of San Simón’s Program for Professional Development in Bilingual Intercultural Education for the Andean Region (PROEIB Andes) in Bolivia, I highlight methodological rich points as they emerge across language policy texts, discourses and practices. Framing the methodological rich points in the context of basic questions of re search methodology and ethics, I borrow as organizing rubric the paradigmatic heuristic for sociolinguistic analysis first offered by Fishman (1971: 219) and here adapted to the ethnography of language policy to ask: who researches whom and what, where, how and why?
  • Publication
    Redefining Competition Constructively: The Challenges of Privatisation, Competition and Market-Based State Policy in the United States
    (2007-01-01) Eckel, Peter D; Eckel, Peter D
    In the United States, the relationship between state governments and public colleges and universities is being redefined with new notions of autonomy and accountability, and with funding policies that are highly market-driven (often referred to as "privatisation") as the centerpieces. Situations and institutional strategies unthinkable only a few years ago are becoming increasingly commonplace. For instance, a few business and law schools at public institutions are moving toward privatisation, distancing themselves from both the states and their parent universities. While American higher education has traditionally been competitive and market driven, emerging state market-based policies, which will clearly benefit some types of institutions over others, are further intensifying the competition with a variety of effects at the institutional and sector levels. Entrepreneurial or commercial activities may provide the additional resources individual institutions need to fulfil their public purpose. However, when all institutions pursue the same set of competitive strategies, no one gains an advantage. Institutions run harder to stay in place. The cumulative effect of competition may also work against important social objectives such as affordability and access. This paper explores the challenges that the current competitive environment creates for institutional leaders in the United States. It acknowledges that the competitive environment will not abate and suggests that by competing in different ways, over different objectives, with different purposes, US higher education might better meet its social objectives of increased access, lower cost and enhanced quality.
  • Publication
    Retaining African Americans in Higher Education: Challenging Paradigms for Retaining Students, Faculty, and Administrators (Review)
    (2002-09-01) Perna, Laura W; Perna, Laura W
    Retaining African Americans in Higher Education is a timely and novel approach to a critical topic. Edited by Lee Jones, associate dean for academic affairs and instruction in the College of Education and associate professor in Educational Leadership at Florida State University, the volume contains 14 chapters, a preface, a conclusion, and two personal reflections that describe issues related to the retention of African American students, administrators, and faculty at predominantly white colleges and universities. “Written about African Americans, by African Americans” (p. xii), this book is recommended by a white woman for higher education administrators, faculty, researchers, and policymakers of all racial and ethnic groups.
  • Publication
    Teacher Turnover: Examining Exit Attrition, Teaching Area Transfer, and School Migration
    (2008-09-01) Boe, Ed; Boe, Ed; Cook, Lynne H; Sunderland, Robert J
    The purposes of this research were to quantify trends in three components of teacher turnover and to investigate claims of excessive teacher turnover as the predominant source of teacher shortages. Attrition and teaching area transfer rates were comparable in special and general education and increased substantially from 1991-1992 to 2000-2001. School migration was stable over years, but higher in special than general education. Although annual turnover was high and increased to 1 in 4 teachers (25.6%) by 2000-2001, teacher attrition was lower than in other occupations. Evidence suggests that retention is unlikely to increase without dramatic improvements in the organization, management, and funding of public schools. Until then, an increased supply of qualified teachers is needed to reduce teacher shortages.
  • Publication
    NYU and JetBlue: Partnerships that Work
    (2006-01-01) Lynch, Douglas E; Lynch, Douglas E; Barger, Michael
    In a knowledge economy, every organization must place a priority on developing talent: finding and keeping the right employees and helping them succeed in life and work is the fulcrum strategy for productivity at all levels. Implementing that strategy is an almost overwhelming proposition that requires enormous resources, particularly in a highly competitive environment. Higher education and employers can benefit from working with each other to maximize human capital, but it is a collaboration that requires flexibility and goodwill on everyone’s part. This article, while introducing some of the literature on partnerships between higher education and corporations, also provides some anecdotal tips on how to proceed; more than anything else, it is a testimonial based on the partnership between New York University (NYU) and JetBlue as to what can be, as opposed to what is.
  • Publication
    What Does Philosophy Have to Offer Education, and Who Should Be Offering It?
    (2011-12-01) Wortham, Stanton; Wortham, Stanton
    In this review essay Stanton Wortham explores how philosophy of education should both turn inward, engaging with concepts and arguments developed in academic philosophy, and outward, encouraging educational publics to apply philosophical approaches to educational policy and practice. He develops his account with reference to two recent ambitious projects: The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education, edited by Harvey Siegel, and the two-volume yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE), titled Why Do We Educate? edited by Gary Fenstermacher (series editor), David Coulter and John Wiens (volume 1), and Mark Smylie (volume 2). These two projects initially appear to be opposed, with the Handbook emphasizing elite philosophy and the Yearbook emphasizing public engagement. Wortham argues that each project is in fact more complex, and that they are in some respects complementary. He concludes by making a case against a simple hierarchy of basic and applied knowledge and calling for a more heterogeneous philosophy of education.
  • Publication
    Intervening Early and Successfully in the Education Pipeline
    (2005-09-08) Perna, Laura W; Perna, Laura W; Cooper, Michelle Asha
  • Publication
    From Policy to Practice: Implementation of the Legislative Objectives of Charter Schools
    (2011-11-01) Boe, Erling E; Boe, Erling E
    Key legislative objectives of charter schools are to provide more school and classroom options, increase teacher influence over decision making, and increase school autonomy from state and district policy. Using national data from the 2003–4 School and Staffing Survey, we found that charter schools attained these legislative objectives when compared with regular schools, although increases in teacher influence and school autonomy were modest. Although charter schools have been implemented much as intended by legislation, other research has shown that charter schools in general have not improved student achievement—a major objective of charter school legislation. Our results suggest that this cannot be attributed to a failure to implement the charter school concept with respect to the legislative objectives examined.
  • Publication
    Closing Academic Programs: Pitfalls and Possibilities
    (2010-01-01) Eckel, Peter D; Eckel, Peter D
    Takeaways 1 Closures of academic programs can have lasting negative fallout and the savings may not be as great as anticipated, but at certain points—and if done well—closures can provide an opportunity to refocus the institution. 2 While campus leaders typically are the primary drivers of the initial decisions to close programs and to craft the processes of doing so, boards of trustees have important roles to fulfill that can advance the efforts. 3 The current economic uncertainties may have shortened the time it takes for some campuses to recognize that the only way forward is to close academic programs and focus their offerings.
  • Publication
    Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Ten Ways to Ensure that Higher Education Research Continues to Matter
    (2016-01-01) Perna, Laura W; Perna, Laura W
    Imagine what a keynote address at the very first meeting of what has become the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) would have forecast about ASHE in the year 2015. Would the conveners of the first ASHE conference have guessed that: ∙ The number of ASHE members would grow sevenfold, rising from 300 in 1977 (Kellams, 1977) to more than 2,200 in 2015? ∙ The conference would no longer be held over two days in March, immediately preceding or following the annual American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) meeting, but instead would be a standalone conference held over four days and with seven pre-conferences? ∙ The general conference would have not six research paper sessions with 19 papers (as in 1978) but 129 research paper sessions with 352 papers (as in 2015)?