Monday, March 10, 2014

Pattishall lectures to be held on March 19 and 24

Tags: bahr, deans updates, lectures and talks

In March, Peter Riley Bahr, associate professor, and Donald J. Peurach, assistant professor, will be making all-school presentations on their work as the recipients of the 2013 Pattishall Award.

Don’s talk, "Improving the Practice of Educational Reform: The Developmental Evaluation of School Improvement Networks," is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, 2014, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Prechter Laboratory (room 2202). While educational reform is ubiquitous in the US, few understand educational reform as practice; that is, as day-to-day work enacted outside of the K-12 educational system, with the aim of improving day-to-day work within the K-12 educational system. In this talk, Don will examine educational reform as an essential, complex, and weakly understood category of educational practice, focusing specifically on the work of establishing, managing, and sustaining large-scale "school improvement networks." He will also examine developmental evaluation as a form of collaborative, practice-based learning with potential to improve the practice of educational reform.

Peter’s talk, "The Labor Market Return in Earnings to Community College Credits and Credentials in California," is scheduled for Monday, March 24, 2014, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Prechter Laboratory (room 2202). In it, he will draw on data from California to estimate the labor market return in earnings to a community college education, including the returns to credentials in 23 fields of study and the returns to course credits in 181 subfields. He finds that the return to credits in many career and technical education (CTE) subfields is significant, positive, and oftentimes strong, while the reverse is true of credits in many non-CTE subfields. Furthermore, he finds that much of the labor market return to community college credentials is a result of the underlying coursework, which arguably is a reasonable proxy for human capital accumulation. In other words, the return to students who are not awarded credentials can be as large as, or larger than, the return to students who are awarded credentials, depending upon the coursework that students complete. Given that the majority of community college students do not complete a postsecondary credential, the results of this study demonstrate the importance of accounting for the human capital acquired by “non-completing” students as we seek a thorough understanding of the economic benefits of a community college education. These results may be contrasted with contemporary discourse on community colleges, which, framed by the "college completion agenda," focuses primarily on the value of credentials and minimizes the value of non-completing pathways.

Endowed in the School of Education in 1993 by Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall, the Pattishall Award is to encourage early career faculty with the pursuit of their research. I hope you can attend what promise to be interesting talks.

Donald J. Peurach is Associate Professor

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