Dr. J. Lawrence Aber and Dr. Benard Dreyer served on the expert committee and co-authored A Roadmap to Reducing Childhood Poverty. On Wednesday, October 30th, Drs. Aber and Dreyer offered their perspectives on the report and discussed the proposed policies and programs with Jennifer Jones-Austin and Dr. Xavier de Souza Briggs.
Data & Ethics: In the public sector for the public good?
When designing experiments, how should researchers ensure that organizations and individuals are treated fairly and respectfully while maintaining fidelity to the study’s goals? During data collection, how should researchers ensure protection of identifiable information and minimize intrusiveness? As they build algorithms with “big data,” how can researchers minimize the risk of demographic or cultural bias? As public agencies use larger and more detailed data systems to capture information about the use and impact of public resources, what are the ethical parameters that should guide the conditions under which these data are made available to researchers?
Co-Sponsored by the Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC), the Institute of Education Sciences-funded Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training program (IES-PIRT), 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 research-policy-practice conference will explore these critical ethical questions and data challenges as they relate to education, criminal justice, and interdisciplinary research.
Working Across Sectors to Support Vulnerable Youth in Schools: Research Practice Partnerships at the Intersection of Multiple Agencies
Youth and families navigate a variety of complex systems, services, and city offices—how can researchers, agencies, and practitioners work together to improve the systems and opportunities that support vulnerable youth in New York City? This event addressed this question by assembling leaders, scholars, and policymakers from multiple sectors and agencies: NYC Department of Education Office of School Health, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, NYC Department of Probation, New York Community Trust, Advocates for Children of New York, Volunteers of Legal Service, and the Vera Institute of Justice.
This summit was co-sponsored by NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC), the IES-funded Pre-doctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training program (PIRT), the Center for Practice and Research at the Intersection of Information, Society, and Methodology (PRIISM), and NYU’s Strategies to Reduce Inequality (SRI) initiative.
Building NYC-NYU Connections: Research Partnerships for Knowledge and Action
Co-sponsored by NYU’s IHDSC, IES-PIRT program, PRIISM, and IPK, this conference highlighted a series of NYC-based university-community partnerships that involve linkages between city agency or community organization partners and NYU graduate students and faculty around policy-/practice-driven projects designed to strengthen knowledge and action. The day was structured in parallel morning and afternoon sessions. These featured brief showcases of existing partnerships, jointly presented by key members of the partnership. Sessions also included “breakout groups” where attendees had the opportunity to engage in deeper conversations about how to conduct ethical and impactful work in the context of these partnerships. The topics of these conversations ranged from trust building to technical needs of organizations and will be inspired by the showcases.
Outcomes Beyond Test Scores: New Directions for Education Science
The conference topic responded to national concern around standardized achievement test scores as sole accountability indicators and measures of student success; and capitalized on increasing knowledge of the importance of a diversity of student outcomes and ways these outcomes may be influenced by education systems, processes, and practices. The conference was organized to focus on three broad domains of student outcomes beyond achievement test scores – health (physical and mental), civic engagement, and social emotional. The research community plays a unique role in advancing knowledge on whether and how education influences outcomes beyond test scores, and in bridging research knowledge with policy and practice initiatives to enhance student development in and beyond schools.
Research and Policy Convening: Health Reform Efforts to Foster Better-Integrated Family and Child Development Services with Health Care Service Delivery Systems
This full day meeting convened a group of distinguished state and city government policymakers, academics, policy experts, and practitioners to discuss how health reform efforts could be used to better-integrate family and child development services within health care to improve outcomes.
Contextual Influences on Health: The role of social contexts in health decision making in adolescence and emerging adulthood
This conference focused on the influence of context and contextual factors on human behavior with a particular focus on the role that the settings and environments may play in shaping health, health risk behaviors, and health disparities. In many areas of health research and programming, the focus has been on person- or individual-level factors that put individuals at risk. This conference was informed by a biopsychosocial perspective of health and well-being and focused on the ways in which contextual factors (the neighborhoods, schools, family settings, and cultural contexts in which individuals engage) may play a role in these processes, in order to build a deeper understanding of health and human development, as well as to inform intentional change strategies aimed at improving health and development for individuals at risk.
Violence and Schools: New Findings and Emerging Questions from across the Disciplines
How does violence in our schools and communities affect learning? It is a complex question which requires research and theory on topics ranging from classroom management to brain development. This conference was an attempt to bring together a diverse set of scholars who provided unique perspectives on the following broad set of questions:
- How do various forms of violence affect learning, behavior, academic achievement, and cognitive development?
- How do individuals respond to the threat or fear of violence, and how might the physiological or emotional responses of students affect learning or behavior?
- What have we learned from interventions in classrooms or schools and public policies implemented in cities, states, or the nation?
- What are the implications of the research on violence and education for our understanding of educational inequality and educational policy?
Children, Families, and Disaster in Haiti: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Immediate and Long-term Responses to Catastrophic Events
IHDSC's 4th annual conference was held on February 16, 2011. This invitation-only research conference was organized by the IHDSC Haiti Working Group, an interdisciplinary and interuniversity group of researchers committed to working in Haiti. We focused the discussion on the response to catastrophic events in fragile communities, specifically the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, and how children and families have been impacted. Guided by an interdisciplinary approach, we sought a collaborative effort among scholars of various disciplines to explore how to help best protect the most vulnerable populations by advancing knowledge on how to respond to future natural disasters.
Measuring non-cognitive predictors of school success from early childhood to adolescence: Empirical roadblocks and their solutions
On March 24, 2008, a group of 19 nationally-recognized experts and influential researchers gathered for a working conference at New York University and hosted by the Institute of Human Development and Social Change and Dr. C. Cybele Raver and moderated by Dr. Stephanie Jones. The goal of this specially-selected group, each with strong track records of productivity and collaboration, was to agree upon and to draft "best practice" solutions to the empirical challenge of measuring and analyzing children's "non-cognitive predictors" of their educational success, including over time and across developmental stages.
On October 5, 2007 the Institute of Human Development and Social Change was formally launched and introduced to the New York University campus with a "kickoff" conference held at the Kimmel Center of University Life. Featured at the conference were three world-renowned scholars (one economist, one sociologist, one psychologist), each paired with two in-house discussants from NYU departments, across Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Wagner School of Public Service, and Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.