Fall 2004 Colloquia

This series brings to NYU recent education scholarship by nationally and internationally distinguished researchers.

Presentations typically generate lively group discussion. All events are open to the entire NYU community and to scholars citywide.

All colloquia are at NOON in the HMSS seminar room, Kimball Hall, 246 Greene Street, 3rd floor.

You are welcome to bring a lunch. Coffee will be provided at each session.

Monday 20 September

Robbie McClintock, Teachers College/Columbia University


Tuesday 5 October

Stanton Wortham, University of Pennsylvania School of Education

“LEARNING IDENTITY” - School socializes children into institutional and academic practices. Because socialization occurs over time, it cannot be analyzed simply by describing typical speech events that occur in school or by positing stable social processes that occur the same way in all cases. Instead, we must analyze trajectories of events across which schoolchildren become different kinds of people. This paper analyzes the social identification that occurred in one ninth grade U.S. high school English and history classroom over an academic year, tracing events across which one student developed a distinctive social identity. The analysis attends to more widely circulating categories and practices, but it also describes how these were contextualized and sometimes transformed both in the local classroom ecology and in particular events

Monday 18 October

Pamela Barnhouse Walters, Indiana University

“RACE, REDISTRIBUTION, AND EDUCATIONAL POLICYMAKING” - Americans believe deeply in equality and have undertaken a number of significant efforts to reduce social inequality in education - especially racial inequality - in recent decades. Yet measured against original expectations, our progress has been disappointing. My current research is an attempt to understand why by exploring the connection between the core American value of equality, public support for redistributive educational policies, and the adoption and implementation of redistributive reforms in education.

Educational reforms intended to promote equality are a key mechanism of social redistribution in America, yet little research has analyzed them within this context. My current research examines the politics of school funding equalization and school vouchers, which I see as the two major redistributive educational efforts Americans have undertaken since the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education and the desegregation and busing efforts that followed from it. Despite their formal race-neutrality, school funding equalization and school vouchers are the political descendants of Brown and the Civil Rights Movement, and race plays an important role in the public perceptions of these reforms and in public and political support for them. I argue that the public perception of these reforms as primarily benefiting minorities introduces contradictions and ambiguities in the very political culture that gave rise to the educational reforms in the first place, which in turn have contradictory effects on support for the policies. I will discuss two lines of my current research that bear on these issues: the effects of core political values, racism, and race on Americans' support for vouchers and funding equalization, and the way in which the popular understanding of "equality" gets defined and redefined during the political debate over and political resistance to school funding equalization and vouchers - especially the role played by race in the development of 'equality talk.'

Monday 15 November

Hanns-Fred Rathenow, Technical University of Berlin


CONTACT: Mitchell Stevens, 212.998.5501; mitchell.stevens@nyu.edu