Join USF’s educational studies masters program!

My college is starting up an educational studies masters program this year–we’d love to have you apply!–and if you click the link, you’ll see a discussion of who would benefit from the program, how to combine an ed studies masters degree with doctoral programs, and post-graduate outcomes. The following is the transparent end sentence: “The concentration is recently approved, and we do not have post-graduate employment statistics yet.”

What is true is that there is data on post-graduate job data for this field of study in the state university system in general: of the 134 graduates of programs at sister institutions from 2006-07 through 2010-11, one year after graduation 75% of them were working in the state of Florida, 68% full-time, and the average salary was $50K and change.

If you are admitted to and join the 33-hour non-licensure educational studies masters program at USF, you will learn the following:

  • Why there is now a website called “BeyondEducation” with this measure, along with some initial forays in similar ways at the University of Texas and other places.
  • The limits of such data — both statistical and otherwise.
  • The types of bureaucratic operations in schools (both K-12 and higher ed) that may lead that measure to be even more misleading than what you might guess without that knowledge.
  • The major issues surrounding questions of equality of schooling from a social-science standpoint.
  • A general grounding in the history of education.

My program colleagues are great teachers as well as fellow historians of education, and if you have questions about the problem, I am happy to answer them by email.

“Instructional design” and “authentic assessment” strike me as hubris

If I were a sloppy New York Times reporter, I’d start this blog post by constructing a faux-trend narrative about the increasing use of “design” in educational discourse or practice. But I’m not a reporter and don’t work for the Times, so I will just note that in the past six months I have come across enough references to “design philosophy” in education to rub me the wrong way. Not enough to take off skin, but to give me a bit of rhetorical rugburn. The argument runs something like this: “We need to design educational experiences so that we can …” and here append a predicate of your choice: engage the alienated, close the achievement gap, focus on important learning objectives, or solve the split-end crisis in cosmetology.

Yes and no.

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Erratum for “Writing History in the Digital Age”

I realized this morning that I had omitted an acknowledgment in my chapter for Writing History in the Digital Age. In the chapter, I noted that for some historians, there were places to write about methods and specifically mentioned archaeology as one of those fields. What I failed to mention was my debt to USF colleague Phil Levy for pointing that out in a discussion on a different matter. I remembered the conversation for the chapter but failed to write the acknowledgment.

13 education stories for 2013

What does an education historian see as important developments in a year? I have a complicated arrangement for my end-of-year review: I position my rearview mirror (the one that came with my history Ph.D.) to reflect the 880-nm laser focus of my attention, split the laser beam with my “multiple-perspectives” prism, diffract it through a “tears of irony” globe of water, and then aim it at the Infographic Screen o’ Doom that I picked up on eBay (historians always get the short end of the stick with equipment). And then I brew myself a mug of coffee, sit in a different room, and think about what’s happened in the past 12 months.

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13 blog entries for 2013

I hope your last week has gone well. My children have returned from college for winter break, my family has visited several beaches, and my university is in the middle of its winter closure. So a little time for reflection, and here is the first part, a bit personal: my writing on this blog that I think contributes more than small drips to current discussion about education, history, or education history. Take with a grain of salt…

  1. Five oft-overlooked facts about Barack Obama and education (January 19)
  2. Early childhood education, feminism, and public policy (February 15)
  3. Bottom 10 Common Core blarney (March 17)
  4. Lashon hora, microaggression, and the academic asshole (May 16)
  5. “Parent trigger” as a pale shadow of community involvement (May 28)
  6. Student services and higher-ed unbundling (August 12)
  7. Rhetorical allocations in higher education (August 19)
  8. Atomic department ravages the Big Apple! (August 21)
  9. Four (or maybe five) ideas for how President Obama really could reform college financial aid (August 26) (also see the translation into an Inside Higher Ed column)
  10. How to fix some of public higher education in the real world, NOW (September 12)
  11. General-education courses and barriers to entry (September 17)
  12. On Ravitch, Reign of Error (September 25)
  13. What is historiography? (December 24)