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Higher Education Scholars Use Critical Theories to Identify and Explain the Sources of “Racial Gaps” in Higher Education at AERA 2010 Annual Meeting

Participants to include researchers from the USC Rossier School of Education’s
Center for Urban Education, Boston College, University of Virginia, University of Melbourne, and the Ford Foundation

April 30, 2010

DENVER - An emerging body of research which argues that critical frameworks position scholars to decode and analyze inequitable social relations and actions in higher education in ways that traditionally functionalist, rational and increasingly neoliberal approaches do not will be discussed at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 2, 8:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at the Colorado Convention Center, Room 107.

Sandra Luca, a research associate at the Center for Urban Education (CUE), will chair the symposium “Critical Theoretical Approaches to Research in Higher Education,” which convenes researchers involved in the ASHE Institutes for Equity and Critical Policy Analysis. Dr. Ana Martinez-Aleman of Boston College will present her Institutes commissioned paper “Critical Discourse Analysis in Higher Education Policy Research,” which provides the foundation for this symposium.

Several critical policy analyses will be presented, including a critique of global college rankings by CUE Affiliate and University of Virginia professor Dr. Brian Pusser and Dr. Simon Marginson of the University of Melbourne; a review of states’ 2/4 transfer policies by Dr. Estela M. Bensimon, co-director of CUE and Professor of Higher Education and CUE Research Associate Loni Bordoloi Pazich; and a reframing of the concepts of student effort and engagement by Dr. Alicia C. Dowd, co-director of CUE and Associate Professor at USC Rossier School of Education who will be joined by USC doctoral student Misty Sawatsky. Dr. Gregory M. Anderson, Dean of Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, will be the discussant.

The USC Rossier School of Education is one of the world's premier centers for the study of urban education, preparing teachers and educational leaders who are committed to strengthening urban education locally, nationally and globally. Established at USC in 1999 as part of the University's urban initiative, the Center for Urban Education (CUE) leads socially conscious research and develops tools needed for institutions of higher education to produce equity in student outcomes.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ana Beatriz Cholo (213) 240-2307 direct; (323) 208-2338 cell;

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Center for Urban Education
University of Southern California
Rossier School of Education
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Phone: (213)740-5202
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