Cynthia Coburn Relays Education Policy Research in Chile

Cynthia Coburn Relays Education Policy Research in Chile

Cynthia Coburn

“New policies should focus on educating teachers,” stated the headline of an interview with SESP professor Cynthia Coburn in El Mercurio, the primary newspaper of Santiago, Chile. Coburn was in Chile last week to give a public lecture as the Chair of Educational Change at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago.

Her talk on May 17, like much of her research, focused on narrowing the gap between education policy and classroom practice. Coburn has extensively studied many of the critical issues public schools face as they attempt to implement innovative new education policies. One issue at the forefront is the challenge of changing teachers’ practices.

“Changes in education require training and time for teachers to adapt,” Coburn told El Mercurio. For new initiatives in education to succeed, it is necessary to consider variables that affect sustainability and a sense of ownership, Coburn noted. 

Over several days at Universidad Diego Portales, Coburn met with national education experts, education faculty, doctoral students, the press and several education leadership teams. These teams are working on education policies related to educational leadership, school improvement and reading promotion in Chilean schools.

A specialist in the relationship between instructional policy and teachers' classroom practices, Coburn has investigated this issue in a number of studies that tackle critical concerns facing public schools. These include the expansion of innovative approaches to teaching, the relationship between reading policy and teachers' classroom practices, and data use for school improvement.

Coburn’s work was recognized in 2011 with the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association, honoring her contributions to the field of educational research in the first decade of her career. She holds a PhD in education from Stanford University.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/23/14