Seminar at Wesleyan, Spring 2015

Choice: A Case Study in Education and Entrepreneurship
Spring 2015 seminar, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, Wesleyan University
Wednesdays 7-9:50pm, Wesleyan classroom TBA

Jack Dougherty, Associate Professor of Educational Studies at Trinity College
and Harber Fellow in Education and Entrepreneurship, Wesleyan Univ., 2014-15
personal website,  email, phone 860-297-2296; see my office hours appointments

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 20.

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

Additional comments: Request permission to enroll by explaining your interests and related coursework via email to the instructor ( He will assist teams of students in coordinating transportation for their one-time field research visits to Hartford. Students must bring a laptop (Mac or Windows, or a $249 ChromeBook) to each session for in-class writing, peer editing, and data analysis. Let me know if you need to borrow one.

Learn more about the instructor:

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.”

Full syllabus to be posted in January 2015. See related Trinity syllabi from prior years.

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