Archive by Author

Mentoring Graduate Students, Part 2

Discovery is central to graduate education. Students explore new ideas and challenge old beliefs. They practice complex skills and interact with an array of scholars. But, from reading a professor’s trenchant feedback to narrowing your dissertation focus, the process is not always glamorous. Here are a few resources to ease the journey: Purdue Owl APA […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

Mentoring Graduate Students Part 1

I love Shakespeare. No. Wait. That’s not quite right. I really love Shakespeare. As an undergrad student, I read most of his plays and all of his sonnets. I visited the Folger Shakespeare Library. I studied literary criticisms. I enrolled in as many Brit Lit classes as possible. And, I constantly thought about his lines […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

Why Scholars Should Use Big and Little Data to Study Complex Issues

Last week, I read an article in the Chronicle about the growth of data-related graduate programs. Big data are big, both in scope and popularity. Large datasets require data analysts with specialized skills. As a result, universities are creating more and more graduate programs to address market demand. As colleges adjust to shrinking budgets and […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

How Do Scholars Produce Policy Relevant Research?

As I mentioned in my last post, I was named as an Emerging Education Policy Scholar (EEPS). The program, a collaboration between The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, provides the opportunity for young, policy-minded scholars to collaborate with and learn from a range of key policy players. Our first meeting took […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

Sitting at Some New Tables in the Academic Cafeteria

As Murray Milner documents in Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids, teenagers often order themselves using status symbols. Take a stroll around a high school cafeteria. With few exceptions, students clump neatly into groups: cool kids, jocks, band geeks, drama nerds, emos (not to be confused with emus), and any number of other categories. Each group […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

Rush to Relevance: Conducting Research to Improve Policy and Practice

“We need research to be more relevant” is a common clarion call in education. Most recently, John Easton, Director of IES, released a video for AERA in which he talks about different initiatives to improve relevancy. During one of my first Ph.D. courses, Bill asked us about the three major responsibilities of academics: research, teaching, […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

Counting Progress with Semesters

Summer is a precarious time for scholars, young and old. During spring doldrums, when everything is most chaotic, summer becomes a hopeful respite. We long for more time to finish a few articles, grants, and all the other tasks we have delayed. It is a “tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther” […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

Tumult at the Top

I taught in a district that was a punching bag for critics of underperforming schools. Scandals appeared in local newspapers and on nightly news reports. In my school, teachers then debated the issues, including cheating, sexual assaults, theft, embezzlement, bribery, racism, dropout factories, fired or defecting leaders, and on and on and on. At a […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

The Digital Bookshelf of an Assistant Professor

Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is one of my favorite plays. At the beginning of the story, Faustus, surrounded by countless dusty tomes, declares that he has read everything about everything. I’m not sure what it says about me (especially given Faustus’ fate), but I frequently think about that scene. I read a lot. I eagerly […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →

Have Ph.D. … Will Travel—Part II

Because newly-minted Ph.D. graduates far outweigh the number of tenure-track positions [read about the sobering statistics here], many will have to travel if they want a job in academia. From my own experiences with friends and colleagues, graduate students deal with the possibility in different ways. Some have families and friends and roots. Travel is […]

Comments Off Continue Reading →