SESP Faculty Teach Continuing Education Class

SESP Faculty Teach Continuing Education Class

SESP faculty

Testing, standards, accountability, teacher quality, achievement gap — education issues concern many citizens today. To share insights and research findings about current issues, 10 SESP faculty members are pitching in to teach a continuing education class at Northwestern this spring.

American Education Today: Challenges and Issues is presented by the Alumnae of Northwestern from March 31 to June 4. Registration is at

Following is the lineup of class sessions:

  • James P. Spillane - Where Are We Today, and How Did We Get Here? April 2

Spillane, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change, will discuss the extent to which today's education problems and practices are rooted in our history as he looks at the evolution of U.S. education.

  • Timothy Dohrer - Testing: Standards and Assessments, April 9

The director of the Master of Science in Education Program and former principal of New Trier Township High School discusses how teachers view new standards for student assessment, the effectiveness of standards for social and emotional learning, the Common Core state standards and new state tests.

  • David Figlio - How Do We Know Our Schools Are Any Good? April 16

The director of Northwestern’s Institute for Police Research and the Orrington Lunt Professor at SESP presents research and understandings on the best way to design school accountability systems and the role of public policy.

  • Diane Schanzenbach - Why All the Attention on Early Learning? April 23

An associate professor of human development and social policy, Schanzenbach presents evidence on preschool learning and explores policy challenges in implementing high-quality early childhood education.

  • Kirabo Jackson What Is a Good Teacher, and How Do We Know?,April 30

An associate professor of human development and social policy, Jackson will consider the definition and measurement of teacher quality, as well as the fairness of judging teachers on pupil test scores and the use of other types of evaluation.

  • Jonathan Guryan - Early vs. Late Intervention: It's Not Too Late in High School, May 7

Associate professor of human development and social policy, Guryan will discuss research showing large, long-term gains from early childhood interventions, as well as programs aimed at improving the life chances of at-risk adolescents.

  • Kemi Jona - Technology and Learning, May 14

Jona, who is a research professor in learning sciences, will consider the proper role for technology in education, how technology can be used to transform the way students learn and what might this mean for schools.

  • Carol Lee - Educational Inequality: Implications of Cultural Assumptions, May 21

The Edwina S. Tarry Professor, Lee will explore responses to inequalities in educational opportunity and how cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, and physiological factors influence equality of learning opportunities?

  • Paula Olszewski-Kubilius - Teaching the Gifted and Talented, May 28

As the director of SESP’s Center for Talent Development, Olszewski-Kubilius will discuss how gifted kids fare in our educational system and society’s ambivalence about nurturing giftedness. She will also examine myths about gifted children.

  • Mesmin Destin - Disparities in Educational Attainment: How Do We Prepare All Students for Success? June 4

An assistant professor of human development and social policy, Destin will examine factors leading students to succeed in school and small interventions that can help students to work toward better futures despite challenging circumstances.

Alumnae Continuing Education is a program of university-level non-credit courses taught by Northwestern University faculty members. Since 1968, this program has been organized and run by alumnae volunteers. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 3/5/15