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Reimagining the Role of Schools in Society: A Conversation and Call to Action

A black and white photo of a class of young teenage students looking at their teacher, who stands in front of an out of focus dry erase board
12 pm - 2 pm ET

Watch the Recording


For 200 years, we have debated the role of schools in U.S. society. Today, we face an unprecedented opportunity to reexamine long-standing assumptions and to include voices that have been marginalized in the construction of our current systems. As we struggle with the impacts of a global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice, how do we take this moment as an opportunity to re-envision the role of schools in U.S. society? How do we enact this fresh vision for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond?

Our forum aims to re-imagine a role for schools that rectifies societal inequities rather than replicates them, embraces new opportunities to meet student needs, and "builds back better" in the areas of mental health, teaching and learning, and racial and social justice. Join us for a vigorous, forward-thinking conversation and call to action at this unprecedented moment, co-sponsored by the Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC), the Institute of Education Sciences-funded Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training (IES-PIRT) program, the Center for Practice and Research at the Intersection of Information, Society, and Methodology (PRIISM), and the Research Alliance for New York City Schools.

This conversation will feature research and practice ideas from a new generation of education scholars, and a moderated discussion and Q&A from a panel of seasoned education leaders. The schedule is below:

12:00 - 12:05pm  Introductions

12:05 - 12:35pm  Early Career Scholar Presentations: 

  • Chelsea Daniels, Doctoral student in Sociology, NYU Arts & Science
  • Olga Pagán, Doctoral student in Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt
  • Sarah Rosenbach, Doctoral student in Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt

12:40 - 1:45pm   Moderated Panel Discussion:

  • Melinda Anderson, Education Journalist and Author (moderator)
  • Dr. Marc Atkins, Director, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Denise Forte, Interim CEO, The Education Trust
  • Dr. Shabnam Javdani, Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt, and Associate Faculty Director, NYU Prison Education Program
  • Ralph Smith, Managing Director, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

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Welcome to IHDSC

The Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC) is the largest interdisciplinary institute on New York University's Washington Square campus. The Institute aims to break new ground through support for rigorous research and training across social, behavioral, educational, policy, and health sciences.

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For over a decade, IHDSC and faculty from seven NYU academic units have trained incoming and advanced doctoral students from diverse backgrounds to become outstanding researchers in the educational sciences.

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PRIISM is an interdisciplinary center that builds capacity for researchers within academia and beyond to collect data, build inferential models and predictive algorithms, and communicate findings in impactful and socially responsible ways.

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The Research Alliance for New York City Schools

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools conducts rigorous studies on topics that matter to the city’s public schools. We strive to advance equity and excellence in education by providing nonpartisan evidence about policies and practices that promote students' development and academic success.

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