2010 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellows
Karen Benjamin, Saint Xavier University
Suburbanizing Jim Crow: The Impact of School Policy on Residential Segregation
An extensive literature documents the historical process of suburbanization, residential segregation, and the popularity of restrictive covenants in the early twentieth century. Yet, the importance of local school policy in facilitating and driving that process remains a neglected area of research. Over the last century, school policy and housing markets shaped each other so extensively that a line cannot be drawn between them. This argument is particularly relevant for southern cities during the period of rapid urbanization between World War I and the Great Depression. During the school construction boom of the 1920s, southern school boards manipulated school site selection to create residential segregation in cities with previously integrated housing patterns. According to municipal documents, school board minutes, and local newspapers, board members in Houston, Raleigh, Atlanta, and Little Rock placed the newest and most expensive white schools in outlying suburbs with racially restrictive covenants. Meanwhile, they placed black schools in older neighborhoods rather than the newer suburban developments popular with the black middle class. Since schools helped determine where people lived, these policies helped pull white residents from integrated areas to all-white suburbs and cement black residents in deteriorating neighborhoods. As a result, previously vibrant, integrated spaces became politically isolated and economically depressed ghettos. Moreover, board members selected many of these sites over the ardent protests of both black and white residents, belying the myth that “de facto” segregation was at play. Neither the process of school site selection nor the outcomes of residential segregation reflected democracy.
Rebecca W. Black, University of California, Irvine
Early Childhood Literacy, Development, and Learning in Online Virtual Worlds
In recent years there has been an explosion of virtual worlds intended for early childhood populations; however, because the majority of research on virtual worlds has focused on adults and adolescents, we know little about these child-focused spaces. The proposed study attempts to address this gap in the research by providing a systematic content analysis of the literacy-related and developmental features of three popular virtual worlds, Webkinz World, Club Penguin, and Barbie Girls, and by providing in-depth case studies of children who frequent these popular websites. This project is grounded in a sociocultural theory of learning and literacy in which mediation is a primary factor in cognition and development. Through this lens, human action, interaction, and learning are all mediated through tools that shape and constrain our relationships with physical and social environments. Content and discourse analyses will compare and contrast the literacy-related features and developmental appropriateness of three popular virtual worlds. An open-ended, qualitative protocol will focus attention on key features of each site, such as how they provide opportunities for or limit identity play and self-representation, how they promote or constrain opportunities for structured and informal learning, and how they encourage or curtail the development of community and connection among players. Site artifacts will be analyzed using grade level readability and word per minute measures and examined in terms of linguistic, technical, and developmental appropriateness for the target age groups of these sites. Analysis will also include an explicit focus on how gender, race, and socioeconomic status are represented. Case studies will focus on ten children who frequent these sites. In-home observations of participants’ game-related activities and electronic log files will provide data on their gameplay over a six month period. Semi-structured interviews will also be conducted with participants and their parents, and will be based on questions related to ease-of-use, safety, learning, and socialization in these virtual worlds. Analysis will focus on answering three fundamental research questions: 1) What opportunities for learning and literacy development do these virtual worlds offer? 2) How do these opportunities align or conflict with accepted educational standards (e.g., standards for early literacy, benchmarks for 21st century skills)? and 3) What forms of social development and options for belonging and self-representation do these sites promote? Literacy researchers and educators may benefit from considering how the various literacy materials and skills that children are engaging with in these online spaces may intersect with school-based practices, and how these spaces may be leveraged to motivate or complement children’s school-based learning. In addition, this study can provide insight into how virtual worlds may be designed in ways that better facilitate learning, communication, and full participation for early childhood populations, inclusive of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
George C. Bunch, University of California, Santa Cruz
Generation 1.5 Students and the Language Demands of Community College
As the US public school population becomes more linguistically diverse, and as higher education is increasingly necessary for 21st Century economic and civic life, a greater understanding is needed of the linguistic challenges facing students as they pursue postsecondary education. The proposed project aims to develop a framework for documenting language demands facing US-educated language minority students (“Generation 1.5”) as they pursue higher education at the community college level, the first step in many students’ postsecondary endeavors. A multidimensional framework, based on functional and sociocultural perspectives on language, will identify the language demands associated with one professional program and one transfer program at a central California community college. Administrative and instructional documents, interviews with instructors and students, and classroom observations will be used to evaluate which language demands are most crucial to the completion of the academic work required for the program, which of the demands present significant challenges, and what strategies students used to meet the challenges. The study will inform research, policy, and practice related to the preparation of language minority students for college-level coursework as well as larger efforts to understand how language ideologies influence academic and language development opportunities throughout students’ academic careers.
Amita Chudgar, Michigan State University
The Impact of Contract-teachers on Student Learning in Developing Countries: A Multi-level, Multi-country Analysis
In developing countries, millions of new children are enrolling in schools, propelled by Education for All initiatives. This has led to a severe shortage of school resources, especially teachers. In response to this shortage, many developing countries are compromising the quality of their teacher labor force by hiring underpaid and underprepared teachers on a contract basis. But teacher quality is a crucial determinant of student learning; by compromising the quality of their teachers, these countries may be compromising the quality of their children’s learning. As this type of teacher hiring increasingly becomes a norm in developing countries, it becomes important to ask: How is this reliance on contract-teachers impacting student learning? What local or national responses may be available to mediate these implications? These questions are surprisingly under-researched despite their immediate relevance to education policy in developing countries. My study will address this gap in our knowledge using a unique dataset from eight francophone African countries where significant proportions of teachers are already hired on a contract basis. I will use propensity score matching and hierarchical linear models to analyze variations in policy and practices within and across countries to address these questions.
Stella M. Flores, Vanderbilt University
The College Trajectories of English Language Learner Identified Youth: An Analysis of Postsecondary Outcomes in Texas
English language learner (ELL) programs have been at the forefront of various court decisions since well before the 1970s, and more recently through state referenda. Adding to the contextual complexity of these legal decisions are federal mandates stemming from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) that now require public school districts to account for the academic achievement of students identified as English language learners. It is therefore becoming increasingly clear that educational decisions regarding this population require stronger reliance on data-driven analyses. Key to making such assessments is the availability of appropriate data and knowledge of programs affecting ELL students. As research on ELL students has expanded significantly over the last three decades, few studies have used reliable and detailed datasets that extend into state postsecondary school systems to examine ELL students’ odds of going to and succeeding in college. Using a unique, confidential, and longitudinal state administrative dataset in Texas, this study proposes to evaluate the effects of ELL identification on the college-access trajectories of students who have been assigned this identification status. Specifically, the project will investigate the demographic and academic determinants of college access as well as more detailed postsecondary outcomes of ELL and former ELL students who enroll in college. Finally, the project will examine whether the effects of postsecondary remediation differ for ELL students relative to non-ELL students. The data are well-suited for a series of quasi-experimental research studies represented by the proposed research questions:
1. What are the demographic and academic achievement determinants of college entry for ELL students and how do they compare to observationally similar non-ELL students?
2. What are the postsecondary outcomes of ELL and former ELL students who enroll in college (specifically, taking remedial courses, persistence, and performance)?
3. Do remediation effects differ for ELL students relative to non-ELL students in Texas? Effects may be defined as type of remediation, exit from remediation into traditional coursework, credits attained, and persistence by semester.
My project fills an important gap in the quantitative examination of these students as an underrepresented student population in the nation’s colleges and universities. In addition, the project builds on the growing diversification of ELL research and econometric studies of college access by merging the literature and methodological techniques used by multiple disciplines to study the college outcomes of one of the most underrepresented but fastest growing populations in the United States.
Hunter Gehlbach, Harvard University
New Perspectives on Investigating Teacher-student Relationships
Teacher-student relationships lie at the heart of students’ schooling experience. Past studies have linked these relationships with multiple student outcomes. However, how to best improve teacher-student relationships to impact these outcomes remains an open question, particularly at the secondary level. The proposed longitudinal study takes two steps towards answering this question. First, the study seeks to understand the associations between teacher-student relationships and students’ achievement, behavioral, motivational, and affective outcomes over time. Extending previous research by assessing both students’ and teachers’ perspectives on their overall relationships at two time points within the school year will clarify our understanding of these associations. Second, the study examines a previously unstudied precursor to teacher-student relationships. Specifically, social perspective taking – the motivation and ability of teachers and students to discern one another’s thoughts and feelings – is investigated as a promising basis for interventions to improve teacher-student relationships. The proposed study will generate new knowledge by tracking the associations between social perspective taking and teacher-student relationships as well as between these relationships and educational outcomes at the beginning and end of the school year. The goal of this research is to lay the foundation for developing perspective-taking interventions to improve teacher-student relationships.
Tsafrir Goldberg, Haifa University
Can’t Hold the Past from Both Ends?: Exploring Students’ Learning of Conflicting Historical Accounts on a Charged Intergroup Issue
The proposed research aims to explore the relation of group identity and collective memory with narrative construction and argumentation in the learning of charged historical issues and to assess the effects of educational interventions on learning and bias in such a context. Cognitive studies and Social cognition perspectives hint to a strong biasing influence of collective memory and group identity on perception of the past. However, argumentative disciplinary practices and narrative-empathetic approaches are assumed to help students overcome such biases and foster historical and mutual understanding. The proposed research design will compare the historical learning processes of Israeli Jewish Arab students within narrative-empathetic, disciplinary-argumentative and regular historical learning designs. Students’ stands, preconceptions and attitudes to knowledge and to ingroup will be assessed before and after intervention to note change through learning. Narrative change and evidence evaluation will be analyzed in relation with group identity to assess social and cognitive biases. The project aims at developing instructional methods to promote students’ historical understanding of charged issues and help educators overcome their reluctance to deal with them. In the theoretical realm it seeks to enhance and conceptualize the notions of social cognition and collective memory in relation to historical understanding.
Scott A. Imberman, University of Houston
Peer Effects from Students with Limited English Proficiency: How Does Sharing a Classroom with LEP Students Affect Native English Speakers?
In the 1990’s, enrollment of students with limited English proficiency (LEP) grew by 105% compared to overall enrollment growth of 24%. As the LEP population in US schools grows, these students will increasingly interact with native English speakers. However, while there is some research about the effectiveness of immersing LEP students in regular classrooms on the LEP population, we know little about the impact they have on their English speaking classmates. Indeed, a proper assessment of the costs and benefits of programs for LEP students such as Bilingual education needs to take into account the impacts on non-LEP students. In this project we address this question by estimating the impact of LEP classmates on non-LEP students’ educational outcomes. Using student level data for all students in the state of Texas from 1998 through 2009, we exploit quasi-random assignment of LEP students to mainstream classes generated by a policy rule in Texas. This rule requires school districts to provide bilingual education in a particular language only if there are at least 20 LEP students in the same grade and language. When a bilingual education class is formed, exposure to LEP classmates jumps down. This enables us to employ a regression discontinuity approach to identify the causal impact of LEP classmates. We supplement this approach with a strategy that uses natural variation in immigrant share within schools across time and grade-levels. Through these strategies we will establish the first causal estimates of peer effects from students with limited English proficiency.
Kara J. Jackson, McGill University
Understanding How Urban Districts and Schools Can Support Middle-Grades Mathematics Teachers’ Development of Ambitious and Equitable Instructional Practices
In the current era of high-stakes accountability, districts and schools face increasing pressure to improve overall mathematics achievement and to close achievement gaps; however, most urban districts are not equipped to respond to these pressures in ways that improve the quality of instruction for all students, including traditionally low-performing students. The goal of this research is to identify how urban districts and schools can support middle-grades mathematics teachers’ development of equitable, ambitious instructional practices. This study draws from an existing data set of 120 teachers and their instructional leaders across 30 schools in four urban districts that are implementing ambitious middle-grades mathematics reforms. Based on video-recorded lessons, I will identify schools in which the majority of teachers have developed ambitious and equitable forms of instructional practices using a tool that measures the extent to which such practices have been established. Using interview data, I will then complete a qualitative analysis of selected schools that focuses on how aspects of the institutional organization, resources, and social relations have supported teachers’ development of these practices. The research will result in an empirically grounded account of how districts and schools (with diverse organizational constraints and resources) can configure aspects of institutional settings to support middle-grades mathematics teachers’ development of equitable, ambitious instructional practices.
Jennifer C. Lee, Indiana University
Geographic Variation in the Relationship between Bilingualism and Education among Children of Immigrants
Almost one out of four school-age children has at least one immigrant parent, and recent studies have found that children of immigrants who are fluently bilingual in English and their parents’ native languages have higher academic achievement than their monolingual peers. Although more immigrants are now settling in cities others than traditional immigrant gateways, research on bilingualism and academic achievement typically focuses on immigrant gateway cities or areas with historically large concentrations of co-ethnics (individuals of the same national origin). Little research has examined if and how patterns vary by geographic area and neighborhood characteristics. This project seeks to better understand relationships between bilingualism and educational outcomes among children of immigrants by examining how they vary across geographic areas. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K), the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS), and the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS), this project will assess whether the relationships between bilingualism and educational outcomes (school performance, test scores, and educational attainment) differ between traditional and non-traditional immigrant gateway areas and/or between urban and rural areas, and how these relationships vary by neighborhood racial/ethnic composition.
Jane Arnold Lincove, University of Southern California
Characteristics of Teacher Incentive Contracts and the Effects on Student Performance
In an era of high stakes accountability, many states and school districts are moving from traditional models of teacher pay to incentive-based models. In theory, incentive pay creates a financial reward to induce teachers to improve effort and quality of instruction. In practice, little is known about whether incentive models developed for the private sector can benefit public schools. While past empirical research suggests that incentives can improve teacher performance, there is little insight on the elements of an optimal incentive contract for teachers. A statewide program in Texas is currently funding over 200 school districts to implement unique, locally designed incentive contracts. This study will use the Texas data to examine how specific contract components – such size of bonuses, selection performance measures, level of risk sharing, and targeting high risk students – influence student performance and teacher sorting. This will be the first comprehensive large N study of incentive pay in a public school setting. The results will inform policy makers about how to design effective teacher incentives across diverse school contexts.
Ian MacMullen, Washington University in St. Louis
Compliance, Conservation, and Community: Civic Education and the Limits of Autonomy
How should civic education in a liberal democracy shape children’s values, beliefs, preferences, identities, and dispositions? Civic education has traditionally been understood to include teaching future citizens to be law-abiding, to support their society’s fundamental political arrangements (such as those contained in a constitution), and to love and/or identify with their political community. But each of these traditional goals of civic education can be criticized for compromising future citizens’ capacity for autonomous judgment and choice. How seriously should we take these criticisms of traditional civic education? Under what circumstances, in what senses, and to what extent are adults justified in shaping children’s attitudes to their political community and its laws? These are the central questions of my project. I intend to argue that liberal democratic civic education permits and sometimes requires significant deviations from education for autonomy: civic education rightly aims to cultivate various non-autonomous motives for compliance with the law, to reproduce support for certain status quo political institutions, and to instill patriotism and a sense of civic identity. My book manuscript will be a work of applied normative political theory; its focus will therefore be on the justification of educational goals that require adjudicating between and making trade-offs among conflicting values. My aim is to generate and defend principles to guide public education policy and the actions of civically responsible educators and institutions.
Issac Mbiti, Southern Methodist University
School Quality and Student Achievement: Evidence from the Centralized School Placement System in Kenya
I utilize data from the Kenyan secondary school system to obtain causal estimates of the effects of school quality on student achievement. Whereas most studies on the effects of school quality on student achievement generally face difficulties in obtaining unbiased estimates due to the non-random selection of students into schools, the placement of students into government secondary schools in Kenya is based on national primary schools test scores and district quotas. I utilize the random variation induced by this system to isolate the treatment effect of school quality on subsequent student performance in the national high school examination. Using a unique data set containing high school test scores, primary school test scores, district of origin and school level information for every high school exam taker in the country, I compare the high school examination outcomes of students who had very similar primary school test scores but were assigned to different schools due to the placement system. I explore plausible mechanisms that underlie this relationship, especially the potential role of peer effects and school inputs such as teachers and facilities.
Thomas M. Philip, University of California, Los Angeles
Exploring Teachers’ Racialized Reasoning to Re-conceptualize Teacher Education in the Era of “Color-blind” Racism
Despite the relative consensus among teacher educators that it is critical for teachers to understand their positionality and the nature and purpose of their work within the larger context of a racially structured society, research and practice in this field are most often rooted in approaches that emphasize social structure or individual agency at the expense of the other. This study builds on contemporary theories of race as well as advances in the learning sciences to investigate a novel hypothesis: When teachers develop analyses of inequitable social structures as emergent from people’s actions, as opposed to such structures being externally imposed, accidental or inevitable, their fundamental premises about society and about their agency will be transformed. Such transformations will facilitate teachers’ engagement in practices that address racialized inequity in their classrooms and their larger contexts. The study will explore contemporary approaches in a social foundations course that engage teacher candidates in learning about the purpose and nature of their work in relationship to their historical, social, political and economic contexts. It will further examine how such understandings translate, or do not translate into equitable teacher practices as evidenced in teacher performance assessments. The study will further investigate differences in teachers’ understandings and evidenced practices when they participate in a social foundations course that is theoretically and pedagogically grounded in an approach that emphasizes complex systems and emergence. The findings from this study will contribute to re-envisioning teacher education in the era of “color-blind” racism.
Rosemary S. Russ, Northwestern University
Examining Discourse Interactions in Clinical Interviews about Students’ Intuitive Science Knowledge
Education researchers rely heavily on one-on-one cognitive clinical interviews to investigate student intuitive science knowledge and its underlying architecture. However, these interviews do not provide a direct window into cognition; it is only through the interaction with the interviewer that data on students’ thinking is generated (diSessa, 2007; Roth, 2008). Truly understanding that data requires framing clinical interviews as discourse interactions. This project adopts this framing and seeks to, first, systematically unpack interview discourse patterns and, second, examine the relationship of that discourse to the conceptual knowledge students express in the interviews. To characterize the discourse patterns I will design, collect, and videotape clinical interviews with high school physics students about their intuitive understanding of force and motion. Researchers have extensively studied student thinking in this domain (e.g. Ioannides & Vosniadou, 2002) and there exist both a wealth of well-tested interview prompts known to productively elicit student thinking and a thorough account of the breadth of student ideas about force and motion. In addition to the interviews, I will also collect episodes of tutoring and peer collaboration with the same population in the same domain. For each of these three interactions, I will examine their linguistic features – regularities in the discourse that stem not from the content of what is being said but rather when and how it is said – such as the rules for turn taking and repair (Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson, 1974), procedures for establishing of common ground (Clark & Schaefer, 1989), and the efficiency and effectiveness of the cooperative talk (Grice, 1975). By comparing both qualitative coding of linguistic features and quantitative measurements such as pause time and utterance length across the three interactions, I will identify those features that distinguish clinical interviews from other forms of talk-in-interaction centered around constructing and explaining science concepts. To examine the influence of these linguistic features, I will first create dynamic profiles describing the conceptual knowledge each student uses during the interview. Consistent with a model of mind in which students posses a relatively large number of weakly-connected abstractions they use to reason about the physical world (diSessa, 1993), these profiles will document the conceptual resources (Hammer, 2004) students draw on in each utterance and the changes in those resources over the course of the interview. I will look for correlations between shifts in student resource use and the linguistic features identified in the first phase of the project. In addition, narrative case studies will be developed to define and explore potential relationships between discourse and conceptual shifts. Given their popularity as a research methodology for understanding student thinking, clinical interviews need to be placed on more solid methodological ground. This work will allow our field to conduct and analyze clinical interviews more responsibly by elucidating whether and how the interaction impacts students’ expressed knowledge. It will also help to define those interactional skills that are most influential on student thinking so that those new to clinical interviewing can develop expertise in using them to tap the full breadth of students’ ideas.
Jessaca Spybrook, Western Michigan University
Detecting Intervention Effects across Context: An Examination of the Power of Experimental Studies Launched by the Institute of Education Sciences
Since 2002 the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has funded more than 55 experiments to evaluate educational interventions in an effort to generate scientific evidence of program effectiveness on which to base education policy and practice. These studies are typically designed with the goal of having adequate statistical power to detect the average treatment effect. However, the average treatment effect is of limited utility to a practitioner in a particular site if the treatment effects vary substantially from site to site. This project will examine the power of studies to detect differences in intervention effects across contexts or sub-populations. Using data from the IES group randomized trials funded between 2002 and 2006, I will assess the statistical power of the studies to detect 1) variability in treatment effects across sites, typically districts or schools, 2) non-zero site-specific treatment effects, and 3) moderator effects at the setting or student-levels.
Tracy L. Steffes, Brown University
School, Society, and State: A New Education to Govern Modern America, 1890-1940
This project explores the expansion and transformation of public schooling from 1890-1940 as a central American response to industrialization. While historians and social scientists have often puzzled why American social welfare policies were so weak and stingy compared to Europe, this project argues that public education reform was an underacknowledged, distinctly American effort to meet the same goals: to provide for the welfare of citizens, address the vagaries of the new industrial economy, and reconcile tensions between deepening economic inequality and political democracy. This project explores how and why Americans invested so heavily in schooling, how these reforms subtly transformed schooling into a more powerful project of social governance, and what consequences flowed from these choices. The project draws insights from the interdisciplinary social science effort to “bring the state back in” and from political and legal history to offer a synthetic reinterpretation of American education at a pivotal moment. This reinterpretation highlights the central role that schooling played as a site of governance and traces important changes in the legal and political power of schooling. It also places educational reform at the very center of the history of the period, including American progressive reform, responses to industrialization, and political development.
Andrew T. Stull, University of California, Santa Barbara
Modeling in Chemistry: Evaluating the Educational Merit of Instructional Models
Although concrete and virtual models are commonly used by chemists and despite the perceived value of models as effective tools for science educators, there are no well controlled empirical studies that document the cognitive factors and instructional conditions under which these models contribute to meaningful learning in chemistry. The goals of this study are to investigate the conditions under which chemical models, including concrete, diagrammatic, and virtual models, may be effectively employed as educational tools. A protocol study documenting how students spontaneously use concrete models demonstrated large diversity in their use and preliminary results suggest that moving, holding, and reconfiguring the models during the course of a common diagrammatic translation task improves performance. To investigate the value of concrete and virtual models, three studies are proposed. Study 1 is designed to document and quantify the types of behaviors used by students and the relative effectiveness of these behaviors. Study 2 is an experiment designed to test the value of active manipulation of concrete models versus passive viewing of the models. Study 3 is an experiment designed to test the effectiveness of concrete models versus virtual models.
David F. Suarez, University of Southern California
Institutional Change in American Universities: The Rise of Human Rights Centers and Degree Programs
Over the last 30 years an increasing number of universities in the Unites States have established research centers and degree programs in human rights. Why and how did human rights become university knowledge, what types of degree programs and research centers exist, and which universities develop human rights programs? These core questions frame my proposal to study human rights in universities, building from research on the global rise of human rights education in primary and secondary school curricula. Event history analyses will address the adoption of human rights programs in U.S. universities, and I will evaluate hypotheses based on four conceptual frames using a sample of 384 institutions with data since 1970. Qualitative comparative analysis will focus on the diversity and evolution of human rights programs in universities, and I will select 10 programs for intensive study. This research is important because it draws attention to the transformation of human rights from a radical social movement to a legitimate academic field in universities. Moreover, by addressing a curricular innovation that builds from a global social movement, my work contributes to understanding how processes operating beyond the United States are translated into local contexts.
Marc A. VanOverbeke, Northern Illinois University
Shaping Educational Access and Economic Opportunity through State Colleges and Universities, 1945-1970
Between 1945 and 1970, the nation’s comprehensive colleges—state colleges and regional universities—evolved and helped to “democratize” education by providing opportunities for more students to get a college degree. By the 1970s, these institutions awarded one-third of the nation’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees and educated the majority of the country’s schoolteachers. As such, they proved to be integral to the social ambitions and economic aspirations of Americans, who increasingly saw a college degree as a route to economic mobility and success. This study documents the history of these institutions, most of which began as teachers colleges, technical schools, or agricultural colleges. It examines their evolution into multipurpose colleges in the postwar years, the purposes and missions they embraced, the relationships they forged with other parts of the educational structure as they expanded access, and the social and economic opportunities they provided. By emphasizing these institutions and the ways in which Americans embraced them, this study provides an important lens for understanding the shifting demands that Americans placed on education after World War II. As they developed in this period, state colleges struggled with questions that continue to challenge educators and others today: who should benefit from advanced education; how should the nation provide a strong education to all who seek it; what does it mean to have a college education; and what should be the relationship between a college degree and economic mobility, for example? This study suggests avenues for thinking about and answering these questions, since it emphasizes the historical factors and contexts that gave rise in the postwar years to the institutional dynamics that continue to shape access and attainment today.