This article looks across the introduction to the Spencer Foundation’s Research Training Grant (RTG) program and the four case studies assessing program implementation and impact. It discusses the importance of institutional context and history, curricular content, financial resources, and organizational structure. The article concludes with recommendations for the preparation of education researchers in graduate schools of education.
The Research Training Grant (RTG) program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education aimed to create strong research training experiences for predissertation fellows through generous financial aid, mentored research apprenticeships, and cocurricular experiences. The article describes the aims and organization of the program and discusses strengths and challenges identified by students and faculty.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison participated with the Spencer Foundation in developing a model program for doctoral education called the Wisconsin-Spencer Doctoral Research Program (DRP). This article reports results of an evaluation of the program’s effectiveness in meeting its goals of educating selected students in interdisciplinary research and effecting change in the structure of doctoral education in participating departments. The study raises questions about the DRP’s development and implementation but concludes that the DRP was at least partially effective in meeting its goals.
Using a value-added model, the experiences and performance of nine cohorts (n = 52) of UCLA education PhD students participating in the Spencer Foundation Institutional Research Training Grant (RTG) were assessed and compared with those of a matched comparison group.
Focusing on students in the middle years of their PhD programs, the Spencer Foundation-sponsored project at Michigan State University gave priority to mentoring and participation in communities of interest in the College of Education. As the project evolved, socialization into research careers and academic life also came to play a role in activities for fellows. Thus, experiences of learning and doing research were incorporated into the intellectual, professional, and social contexts of education.
In 1994, the Spencer Foundation embarked on an ambitious experimental initiative to support the preparation of education researchers. This article traces the development of the Research Training Grant program, situating it in the longstanding commitment of the Spencer Foundation to promote high-quality education research and describing the purposes and practices of the program. Threaded through the discussion are endemic problems of doing research in education and the problems of schools of education in research universities, and the consequences that these both have for doctoral training in education schools.
Recent educational policy developments have sought to raise the academic rigor of students’ high school experiences to increase student preparation for postsecondary education. The expansion of credit-based transition programs (CBTPs), both in number and in the type of student served, represents one such strategy. The research question guiding this study was, Through what mechanisms might credit-based transition programs encourage student success in postsecondary education? Five in-depth qualitative case studies were conducted. The case study data demonstrated that our initial conceptual model oversimplified program structure and the interaction among program components. The model was refined to reflect that complexity and to take student motivation into account. The final model hypothesizes that student participation in college coursework and support services, along with the attendant growth in academic skills, knowledge of the social aspects of college, and motivation, will lead students to matriculate into postsecondary education.
This analytical review of the major findings of research on the transition to college emphasizes those studies conducted by higher education researchers. The specific areas covered are college preparation, college access, persistence, and college outcomes. Also discussed are methodological and conceptual shortcomings of this body of work, and how further research might be improved.
This article explores what historical scholarship might contribute to advocates for equal access to higher education. Historians of college access have analyzed the impact that institutional stratification, segregation, and broader structural forces have had on college enrollments and outcomes. Although connections between past and present are suggestive rather than definitive, the article concludes by sketching tentative historical lessons about topics such as student preparation, admissions standards, and state intervention in higher education.
This essay reviews recent demographic literature on school transitions.
I describe how a demographic perspective, by which I mean using methods
that are standard in the study of population processes, is a useful way
to examine differences in access to and completion of post secondary
schooling in the United States.
This review article brings together anthropological and ethnographic studies, conducted during the last two decades, which examine issues of college access, preparation, financing, and retention. In it, the author synthesizes exiting knowledge and examines the ways in which this scholarship informs our knowledge about the processes of going to college.
This article addresses what we know around the transition to college from selected disciplines, the gaps therein, and finally, where we need to go next, in terms of methodological and substantive concerns.
The essay provides a comprehensive review of work by economists and others in related quantitative disciplines on the transition of students to college. A particular emphasis is given to the role of price and financial aid although issues related to college preparation, access, and persistence are also investigated. The final section discusses ongoing debates within economics about college access and success and suggests directions for future research.
This review focuses on the transition to college literature in sociology published since 1983 with an emphasis on revealing the contribution that sociology has made to our understanding of under-represented U.S. populations and their transition into and completion of postsecondary education.
This article introduces a special issue on discipline and field based research on youth transitions into and through college. This article describes the role of the Social Science Research Council and its scholars advisory group in sheparding field and discipline reviews, six of which are included in this journal. The article concludes with the group's recommendations for future integrated research.
This essay tells the forgotten story of the founding of essentialism. After a brief biographical description of the career of William Bagley, the paper describes in detail how essentialism came to be and why it matters. Then, the work connects the principles of essentialism to contemporary debates in teaching, teacher education, and curriculum.
Plagiarism, like other ethical problems, flourishes in atmospheres with few consequences. The finding by one survey that only 27% of college students thought cutting and pasting someone else’s work was “serious cheating” is troubling evidence of student inclination to cut corners ethically.
This study uses a poststructural analysis to explicate the social production of Whiteness in a college classroom.
This article argues that Jürgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action exposes the common ground beneath a range of progressive ideals and offers new support for these ideals by relating them directly to the economic aims of schooling, which are typically ignored by advocates of progressive education. It argues that education for open-ended, mutual interactions prepares students for the practical challenges of work, and broad personal and social development.
The article critiques the idea of merit in education and suggests that it may be counterproductive for educators to insist upon an individual basis for it, as the idea of merit advances but covers over the inequitable institutional structures that legitimate themselves by putting forth an individualistic understanding of merit.
Our research examines variation in teacher learning in a school–university partnership. We explore the personal characteristics of social trust and teaching efficacy beliefs in relation to teachers’ levels of learning.
A large number of community college students have difficulty with postsecondary-level reading, writing, and math demands, necessitating remedial education. This often leads to a struggle between the access mission of the traditionally open-door community college and the drive to protect educational standards.
New approaches to addressing the information needs of college students may have important implications for their confidence and success.
This article examines the approach to teaching social skills in two kinds of colleges: community colleges, and private for-profit and nonprofit “occupational” colleges, with a focus on college credit programs that lead to applied associate’s degrees in a variety of business, health, computer, and technical occupational programs.
The rise of articulation agreements constitutes a new state strategy to cope with the stagnation of higher education appropriations, the spiraling costs of tuition, and an excess demand for affordable higher education.
The growing policy interest in community colleges as gateways to the baccalaureate degree naturally raises the question of how equitably transfer opportunities are distributed by student background and what factors may explain background differences that might be found.
An increasingly broad array of cultural and institutional forces are at work creating a new “common sense” of education that maligns or manipulates the corpus of educational research and attacks promising practices and reforms. In addition, a new type of education scholarship has emerged that is delivered in alternative ways, funded through unorthodox sources, motivated by nonacademic purposes, and supported through direct access to media and political organizations, including the federal government. This article examines the details of the new commonsense policy and rhetoric and considers what is being lost and what educators need to do to restore to public education its position of civic and moral leadership in our society.
In this article, we use narrative inquiry to engage in a collaborative project between two White faculty members and three African American graduate students.
What happened to a professor who made voting a course requirement