The Impact of Social and Behavioral Science Research on Educational Issues

Spring Quarter, 2007

MW 9:00-10:50

Professor:  Kenji Hakuta --

The purpose of this course is to examine the intersection of research with educational practice or policy, using a case study approach. This is an experimental course, and therefore there will be considerable flexibility in topic and format. Generally, the idea is that students will read and discuss a summary or synthesis document on a topic on the Monday meeting of the class, and there will be a follow-up discussion with a guest on the Wednesday meeting. The guest will not necessarily be a scholar of the area, but rather someone who plays or has played a policy or practice role in interpreting and using the work. A main objective of the course is to more clearly understand how research influences policy and practice, and how research itself is framed by societal context.

Course requirement is a project that explores an educational topic in depth with respect to the relationship of policy, practice and research, and must have the following components: a review of the research literature with an analysis of its quality; an analysis of the practical or policy impact of the research based on a variety of sources including interviews with some primary sources (e.g., researchers, journalists, practitioners); and suggestions for research areas that can inform practice or policy. In addition to the final written paper, students will give an oral presentation of their findings to the class (with invited guests) at the end of the quarter. Final grade will be based on the paper, the presentation, and class participation.


April 4 (Wed) Introduction.
April 9 (Mon)

Exploration of Issues and Topics

Spencer Foundation website on opinions by selected experts on the impact of education research:

Lynne Whitney and Rob McIntosh. An OECD perspective on connecting educational resaerch with policy and practice in Aotearoa-New Zealand. New Zealand Ministry of Education.

Reese, W. J. What history teaches about the impact of educational research on practice. Review of Research in Education, Vol. 24. (1999), pp. 1-19.

What Works Clearinghouse.

Shavelson, R. & Towne, L. Scientific Research in Education. National Academy Press.

April 11 (Wed)

Idea generation for class topics and paper topics.

Course logistics slides.

Class slides 1

Class slides 2 (Official USDOE position)


April 16 (Mon)

Early Reading.

Keith Rayner, Barbara R. Foorman, Charles A. Perfetti, David Pesetsky, and Mark S. Seidenberg, How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading Psychological Science in the Public Interest.  Volume 2, Number 2 · November 2001


April 18 (Wed)

Guest: Marion Joseph (retired, California State Board of Education), introduced by Tina Cheuk.

Joanne Jacogs: California: A Shock to the System (Fordham Foundation Website)

List of materials left by Marion Joseph (Tina has copies)

April 23 (Mon)

Early Childhood Education.

Shonkoff, J. & Phillips, D. (Eds.). From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Executive Summary

Carnegie Corporation of New York. Starting Points: Meeting the Needs of Our Youngest Children.

Bruer, J. Let's Put Brain Science on the Back Burner.

April 25 (Wed) Guest: Kathy Reich (Packard Foundation), introduced by Erika Strochlic.
April 30 (Mon)

Science Education.

Duschl, H., Schweingruber, H. & Shouse, A. (Eds.)  (2006).  Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8,  Washington: National Academies Press

National Research Council.

May 2 (Wed) Guest: Helen Quinn (SLAC), introduced by Nuree Choe.
May 7 (Mon)

Affirmative Action in Higher Education

University of Michigan Admissions Lawsuits Website.
Center for Equal Opportunity

May 9 (Wed) Guest: Claude Steele (invited); Tom Fenner (Deputy Counsel, Stanford Office of the General Counsel), introduced by Victoria Tse.
May 14 (Mon)

School Finance and Governance

IREPP (Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice): Getting Down to Facts:
A Research Project Examining California’s School Governance and Finance Systems


May 16 (Wed) John Affeldt (Managing Attorney, Public Advocates, Inc.), introduced by Autumn Xiaoqiu Xu.
May 21 (Mon)

Bilingual Education

August, D. & Hakuta, K.  Educating Language-Minority Children.  Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

May 23 (Wed) Guest: Liz Wolfe (Assitant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Redwood City Schools), introduced by Elizabeth Sigler.
May 28 (Mon) Memorial Day Holiday
May 30 (Wed) Topic: Leadership and School Design. Guest: Ray Pechone (School Redesign Network, Stanford University) and Jeannette La Flors (Envision Schools), introduced by Jason Weeby.
June 4 (Mon) Student Presentations
June 6 (Wed) Student Presentations



This page was last updated 4/21/07 5:40 PM