Seminar at Wesleyan, Spring 2015

CSPL 341: Choice – A Case Study in Education and Entrepreneurship
Spring 2015 seminar, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, Wesleyan University
begins on Wednesday, January 28th 7-9:50pm, in Allbritton 004
see WesMaps course listing

Jack Dougherty, Associate Professor of Educational Studies at Trinity College
and Harber Fellow in Education and Entrepreneurship, Wesleyan Univ., Spr 2015
personal website,  email, phone 860-655-0982, appointment calendar

Description: In this seminar, we will investigate an increasingly popular reform movement — choice — to better understand what happens when educators act more like entrepreneurs in competing for students, how families navigate both schooling and housing markets, and the outcomes of recent policy innovations. Drawing from the disciplines of history, sociology, and government, we will compare and contrast choice models that have been promoted by charter schools, magnet schools, and move-to-opportunity housing experiments. Teams of student researchers will conduct quantitative analyses of choice data and qualitative interviews with parents and stakeholders in Hartford. Enrollment limited to 19.

Additional requirements: Students are expected to arrange a one-time field visit to Hartford to conduct interviews or site visits related to our research project. The instructor will assist students with scheduling and coordinating transportation.

For each class session, students must bring a laptop (Mac, Windows, or Chromebook) to in-class writing, peer review, and data analysis. Let me know if you need to borrow one.

Assignments: Weekly response papers/online reading quizzes, two short essays, one final project essay

Full syllabus will be posted here by January 28th. See Trinity syllabi from prior years.

UPDATE: 19 students have received permission to enroll, and no seats are currently open. To request a spot on my informal wait list: Explain your academic interests, related coursework, and/or relevant experiences via email to or

Learn more about the instructor:
Faculty profile at Trinity College

On The Line: How Schooling, Housing, and Civil Rights Shaped Hartford and its Suburbs (book in progress)

How the CT Mirror Hackathon taught me to be a student again,” May 2014

Trinity College students: According to the Trinity Bulletin, “exchange agreements exist with Wesleyan University and Connecticut College. The arrangement is limited to one course per term and to a course offered at either Wesleyan University or Connecticut College, but not available at Trinity. Applications should be made through the Trinity College registrar.”

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