DRP Lecture Series


Tuesdays @ 3:00 – 4:00 pm
259 Educational Sciences Building (unless noted)
All lectures are free and open to the public. Light refreshments served at most events.

February 21, 2012 - Room 466 Educational Sciences Building

The first five years: Moving from being a PhD student at Madison to professor and researcher with Dr. Anand Marri

How I Made it as a Educational Researcher: Dr. Anand Marri discusses his trajectory as a Educational Researcher in Academia. Dr. Marri received his Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education in 2003. Currently, he's an Assistant Professor of Social Studies at Columbia University's Teacher's College. He will talk about his move from doctoral student to assistant professor, what he did, how it worked, and what things like "tenure track" really mean at a place like Teacher's College.

February 7, 2012

What Are Teaching Experiments and What Can They Teach Us? with Dr. Amy Ellis from the Department of Curriculum & Instruction

A key methodology in mathematics education is the teaching experiment. The primary purpose of a teaching experiment is for researchers to gain direct experience with students' mathematical reasoning, learning, and development over time. This methodology emerged for two primary reasons: First, the field came to understand that mathematics educators could not simply borrow models from psychology in order to properly address students' learning and development in the context of teaching. Instead, we needed a model that included an account of the progress that students make over time—in contrast to a series of snapshots provided by clinical interviews—and that occurs as a result of interactive teaching. Second, a large divide existed between the practice of research and the practice of teaching. Classic experimental design methods have many important merits in educational research, but they shift the role of the student to one as a treatment recipient rather than the focus of conceptual analysis. In contrast, the teaching experiment method provides a way to investigate how students think and reason. In this talk Dr. Amy Ellis will discuss the teaching experiment methodology and its origins, share results from multiple teaching experiment studies with middle school students learning algebra, and discuss the potential applicability of the teaching experiment methodology to educational research beyond mathematics education.

January 24, 2012, 3:30-4:30 pm

"Taking Randomized Trials to Unexpected Places: The Case of the Milwaukee College Access Project" with Douglas Harris

Randomized control trials (RCTs) have become popular ways to evaluate education programs in recent years, due to their ability to identify causal effects. Many criticize RCTs, however, for focusing only on identifying average effects and ignoring the ways in which effects arise, for which students, and in what contexts. While most RCTs are subject to this criticism, Harris will show that RCTs are also advantageous for these other purposes as well. He will illustrate this using his new RCT of a college scholarships for low-income high school students in Milwaukee.

Douglas Harris is an economist whose research explores how the level and equity of student educational outcomes are influenced by education policies such as desegregation, standards, teacher certification, test-based accountability, school choice, privatization, and school finance. His work also focuses on the educational role of factors such as families and neighborhoods and the way in which educational outcomes affect the long-term labor market success of individual students and the overall competitiveness of national economies. In studying these topics, he develops and utilizes innovative research methods, including value-added modeling, mixed methods, and cost analysis. His research is frequently cited in current policy debates and he consults widely on policy matters with organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, RAND, the U.S. Department of Education, and state education agencies.

December 13, 2011

"Wisconsin Information System for Education (WISEdash)" with Laura Pinsonneault

Come learn about Wisconsin Information System for Education (WISEdash), a new statewide student and district data reporting system. 

The aims of WISEdash include:

  • Helping school and district staff making decisions to improve
    student achievement
  • Helping parents and community members learning more about 
    their schools
  • Providing accurate and timely data reporting to meet federal, state, and local requirements
  • Providing diagnostic and policy-relevant research
November 29, 2011

"Theoretical Affordances of Chronotope for Conceptualizing Literate Trajectories: The Case of Jermaine" with Catherine Compton-Lilly

In this talk, Catherine Compton-Lilly will explore the affordances offered by Bakhtin's (1981) construct of chronotope as a heuristic for making sense of one student's literate trajectory. Chronotope invites analysis of what school literacy experiences offer, allow, and reject in terms of school trajectories as well as how trajectories are constructed and how they operate—providing students with various possibilities for change, malleable sequences, connections to the world beyond school, and opportunities for critique. This talk focuses on Compton-Lilly's ten-year longitudinal case study which includes interviews with Jermaine and his mother to document his literate and schooling trajectories. Chronotopic analysis not only allowed Compton-Lilly to examine how Jeramine was positioned in relation to literacy and schooling but to also to document Jermaine's and his mother's efforts to alter his trajectory and the meanings they ascribed to his literacy and schooling experiences across time.

November 15, 2011

"What Do Cognitive Scientists Study When They Study 'Learning'?" with Charles Kalish 

Psychologists have many ways of characterizing and studying learning, however the most basic notion is what we call "statistical learning." In statistical learning the student tries to extract a pattern from a set of data. For example, a child learns what "dog" means by hearing the word used in various contexts. Kalish will talk about some of the different ways people study statistical learning, and some of the "big questions" (as well as some of the "littler questions" he works on).

Kalish will also be reflecting on how statistical learning does or does not figure in formal education. It seems that psychologists and educators worry about very different kinds of learning. As time permits, he will talk about a second kind of learning, cultural learning, that might be more congenial to educators. Cultural learning research explores how we learn from (and teach to) other people.

October 18, 2011

"Quantitative Methods in Educational Research," with David Kaplan

What is quantitative methods? What do quantitative methods researchers do exactly? Are you wondering, as an educational researcher, how can I collaborate with a quantitative methodologist? Dr. Kaplan educates us on the field of quantitative methods in education. 

Dr. David Kaplan received his PhD from UCLA and was a faculty member at the University of Delaware. Currently, he is Professor of Quantitative Methods in the Educational Psychology department here at UW-Madison. Dr.Kaplan has been a consultant for projects sponsored by the US Department of Education, NSF, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He is actively involved in the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) where he serves on the technical advisory group and questionnaire expert group. 

School of Education
1025 W. Johnson St.
Madison, WI 53706

For more information:
Richard Halverson
DRP Director

Al Barnicle abarnicle@wisc.edu