Workshop

Education & Inequality: Dana Burde, Assistant Professor, NYU Steinhardt School of Education

"Schools Without Stones: Closing the Gender Gap through Community-Based Education in Afghanistan"
Location: 
169 McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, March 28, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Abstract:
This talk presents key findings from a field experiment assessing the effect of community-based schools on children’s academic performance and it describes the structure and planning of a follow up study that examines the sustainability of these schools. With a sample of 31 villages and 1,490 children in rural northwestern Afghanistan, we show that the program significantly increases enrollment and test scores among all children, but particularly for girls. Girls’ enrollment increases by 52 percentage points and their average test scores increase by 0.65 standard deviations. The effect is large enough that it eliminates the gender gap in enrollment in remote Afghan villages and dramatically reduces differences in test scores. Boys’ enrollment increases by 35 percentage points, and average test scores increase by 0.40 standard deviations. The dramatic success of these schools has led to a commitment among governments—Afghan, Canadian, Danish, and US—to support additional research to understand how to maintain these gains over time. This talk will provide up to the minute reporting on the challenges researchers face conducting rigorous research in conflict-affected environments. 
 



From her NYU Bio Page:

"My research and teaching focus on humanitarianism, education, human rights, and political violence in countries and regions affected by conflict. In this context I examine how nonstate actors and transnational networks challenge and change norms and institutions.

This research agenda is currently dominated by my work on education in emergencies, or education as an element of humanitarian action. Providing education services during humanitarian crises and early reconstruction is emerging as a key element in humanitarian action. Humanitarian agencies view education as a way to protect children from violence, promote child welfare, and enhance stability in communities recovering from violent conflict.  Indeed, promoting education programs is no longer only a charitable endeavor; many consider it essential to promoting security (e.g., United States Agency for International Development, World Bank). This increased attention to education in relief work is reflected in the rising numbers of programs and the expanded role for education policies in post-conflict state building.

To contribute evidence-based research in this field, I launched a multi-year study to assess the impact of community-based education services delivered to civilian populations affected by war in Afghanistan. The most recent iteration of this project, which I conducted with Leigh Linden in Columbia University’s Department of Economics, examined the impact of educational services on children’s enrollment and achievement. In 2006, the U.S. government directed $24 million to a community-based schools program—Partnership for Advancing Community Education in Afghanistan. Comprised of four non-profits—CARE, International Rescue Committee, Agha Khan Foundation, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS)—the program fostered thousands of community-based schools across 19 provinces in Afghanistan. Taking advantage of an unusual opportunity to implement a rigorous research design in an early reconstruction context, we formed a partnership with the US-based nongovernmental organization CRS to implement random assignment of schools and program interventions to eligible villages.

With a sample of 31 villages and approximately 1,500 children between the ages of 6 and 11 in northwest Afghanistan, we randomly assigned 13 villages to receive community-based schools one year before the schools were supplied to the entire sample. This time delay allowed us to estimate the one-year impact of the schools on girls’ and boys’ attendance and knowledge of math and the local language, Dari. We found that community-based schools have a dramatic effect on children’s academic participation and performance and have tremendous potential for reducing existing gender disparities in rural areas in Afghanistan. Children are almost 50 percentage points more likely to attend school if a community-based school is available to them. Most importantly, the rate of girls’ attendance increases 15 percentage points more than their male counterparts. After one year of first grade classes these schools virtually eliminate differences in enrollment and significantly reduce the existing achievement gap between boys and girls.

The first phase of this project collected data on the cognitive skills, individual attributes, and experiences of adolescents aged 12-14 who were either enrolled in a government school, a school supported by a nongovernmental organization, a Qur’anic school, or who were unenrolled. Four findings are important in relation to the original hypothesis in the study: (1) attitudes toward education, (2) level of fear in children’s lives, (3) educational outcomes, and (4) influence of communitarian values on children’s attitudes and behaviors. For more information on this stage of the project, see the report here

Since its inception, this study has received approximately $750,000 from foundations including the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace and the Weikart Family Foundation. Institutes like Columbia University’s Institute for Economic Research and Policy and the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies were instrumental in the first phase of this study."

 

Family and Gender: Lee Badgett, Director, Center for Public Policy & Administration; Professor of Economics, UMass Amherst

"When Gay People Get Married"
Location: 
169 McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, March 21, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lee Badgett is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She also serves as research director of the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA’s School of Law. Her most recent book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage, addresses the core issues in marriage debates in European countries and the U.S. She drew on that work in her recent testimony in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial challenging California’s Proposition 8. She recently directed a successful four-year project funded by the Ford Foundation to encourage more and better data collection on sexual orientation. Other publications include Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men and the co-edited Sexual Orientation Discrimination: An International Perspective

Culture and Interaction (Co-Sponsored by Urban Ethnography): Diane Vaughan, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

"Mistake and Error; Risk and Stress: Air Traffic Control and the Social Transformation of Risky Work"
Location: 
169 McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, February 28, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Diane Vaughan received her Ph.D. in Sociology, Ohio State University, 1979, and taught at Boston College from 1984 to 2005.  During this time, she was awarded fellowships at Yale (1979-82), Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford (1986-87), The American Bar Foundation (1988-1989), The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1996-1997), and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2003-04). She came to Columbia in 2005.

Her interests are the sociology of organizations, sociology of culture, deviance and social control, field methods, research design, and science, knowledge, and technology.  The prime theoretical focus of her research is how the social - history, institutions, organizations - affect individual meanings, decisions, and action. Culture is the important mediator in this process, making ethnographic methods, supplemented by interviews, the best means of understanding these relationships.

Since 1980, she has been working on analogical theorizing: developing theory from qualitative data based on cross-case analysis.  The goal is to compare cases of similar events, activities or phenomena across different organizational forms in order to elaborate general theory or concepts.  This project has focused on the "dark side" of organizations:  mistake, misconduct, and disaster.  Her interest in how things go wrong in organizations has thus far resulted in Controlling Unlawful Organizational Behavior, Uncoupling, and The Challenger Launch Decision.  The product of this work is a book in progress, Theorizing:  Analogy, Cases, and Comparative Social Organization.

Her NASA analysis was awarded the Rachel Carson Prize, the Robert K Merton Award, Honorable Mention for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship of the American Sociological Association, and was nominated for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. As a result of her analysis of the Challenger accident, she was asked to testify before the Columbia Accident Investigation Board in 2003, then became part of the Board's research staff, working with the Board to analyze and write the chapters of the Report identifying the social causes of the Columbia accident.

The analogical theorizing project has led her now to an ethnography and interview-based study of air traffic control. In particular, she is examining it as a negative case: how controllers are trained to recognize early warning signs and anomalies as signals of potential danger and correct them, so that little mistakes do not turn into catastrophes.  Comparing four air traffic facilities, the focus is the work that air traffic controllers do and the interface between human cognitive abilities and technology in a highly standardized system in which risk and safety are their responsibility.  Much of the viability of air traffic control depends upon the human component, as individuals do boundary work, negotiating institutional, organizational, and air space boundaries in order to keep the system going.

Race, Ethnicity and Immigration: Gabriela Sanchez-Soto, Assistant Professor of Demography, University of Texas at San Antonio

"Immigration and Union Formation: Comparing Trajectories for Mexicans and Mexican Americans from a Binational Perspective"
Location: 
169 McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, February 7, 2014 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Race, Ethnicity and Immigration: Gabriela  Sanchez-Soto, Assistant Professor of Demography, University of Texas at San Antonio

From Gabriela Sanchez-Soto's website:

"My research focuses on three primary fields: migration and immigration, family demography, and the transition to adulthood in the United States and Latin America. In my current and past research I have studied the impact of migration on the socioeconomic status of families with migrants, the role of international migration on the education of youth, and the effects of migration on union formation and union stability. Overall, I am interested in exploring the impact of migration on the families of migrants, as well as the demographic impact of migration in both sending and receiving societies."

Education & Inequality: Aaron Pallas, Professor of Sociology, Teachers College, Columbia University

"Hijacking the money train: School spending in New York City"
Location: 
169 McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, January 31, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Aaron Pallas, Professor of Sociology, Teachers College, Columbia University

Aaron Pallas is the Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has also taught at Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Northwestern University, and served as a statistician at the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education. Professor Pallas has devoted the bulk of his career to the study of how schools sort students, especially the relationship between school organization and sorting processes and the linkages among schooling, learning and the human life course. He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and an elected member of the Sociological Research Association. His most recent projects are explicitly designed to inform policymakers and other stakeholders about conditions in New York City public schools.

Family & Gender - Betsie Garner

"Only Natural: Families and the Social Construction of Gender in a City Zoo"
Location: 
169 McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, January 24, 2014 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Authors: Bestie Garner and David Grazian (Garner will present)

Abstract
:

Although accomplishments of human behavior, masculinity and femininity appear natural because gendered individuals adhere to an institutionalized set of myths they learn through everyday forms of socialization in their formative years. As family-oriented cultural attractions, zoos and their animal displays provide symbolic resources for “naturalizing” masculine and feminine gender roles. We will illustrate this socialization process by highlighting three normative gender roles children are socialized to embody in the interactional and interpretive context of a city zoo: hegemonic femininity represented by “girly girls” and an attention to poise and attractiveness; a masculine ideal of physicality and toughness emphasized by the notion that “boys will be boys”; and contemporary redefinitions of heroic femininity as represented by models of “girl power” in popular culture. In each of these cases, families construct distinct gender ideologies through their imagined visions of the natural living world.

Professional Development Seminar - Frank Furstenberg

"Behind the Academic Curtain: How to Find Success and Happiness with a PhD"
Location: 
169 McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, December 6, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm

 

Social Science & Policy Forum: Demetrios Papademetriou

“Getting Comprehensive Immigration Reform Right”
Location: 
College Hall 205
Date: 
Friday, December 13, 2013 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Demetrios G. Papademetriou is President and Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a Washington-based think tank dedicated exclusively to the study of international migration.

More information at www.sas.upenn.edu/sspf/upcoming

 

Social Science & Policy Forum: Ana Ramos-Zayas

"Learning Race in Newark"
Location: 
McNeil Building
Date: 
Friday, December 6, 2013 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Ana Ramos-Zayas is Valentín Lizana y Parragué Chair of Latin American Studies within the Black and Hispanic Studies Department (BHS) at Baruch College, CUNY.

More information at www.sas.upenn.edu/sspf/upcoming

 

Social Science & Policy Forum: Michael Jones-Correa

“Brotherly Love? Diversity, Community, Trust, and Civic Engagement among Immigrant and Native-Born Philadelphians”
Location: 
College Hall 205
Date: 
Friday, November 8, 2013 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Michael Jones-Correa is Professor of Government at Cornell University.

More information at www.sas.upenn.edu/sspf/upcoming