The Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis embraces separate and venerable programs in Economics and Education, Politics and Education, and Sociology and Education, and a notable group of legal scholars. Our programs value communication and collaboration across the disciplines and to prepare students to operate in those environments. In addition, our Education Policy program offers a interdisciplinary degrees.
Apply economic concepts and tools to address both domestic and international issues in pre-kindergarten through post-secondary education.
Examine both formal and informal institutions of schooling and the political, legal, bureaucratic, organizational, economic, and social factors that affect both schools and the broader educational enterprise.
Study the ways in which governance institutions, political ideologies, and competing interests, both within and outside of the education community, influence the content, form, and functioning of schooling.
We educate aspiring researchers, policy makers, school leaders, and teachers to use sociological theories and research findings as they analyze educational problems and seek to have an impact in solving those problems.
Learn about EPSA from our faculty.
Aaron Pallas studies how schools sort and select students, and the consequences of schooling for adult lives. His research looks at how federal, state and local policies shape how schools work. His current research looks at teacher accountability systems, and how teachers experience and make sense of efforts to hold them accountable for how they teach and what students learn.
As a political scientist, Jeff Henig is interested in the ways that governance institutions, interest group competition, electoral politics, and ideological perspectives shape, constrain, and enable schools and school systems. In this video, he reflects on how his own notions have evolved since moving to Teachers College in 2002.
Alex Eble studies how early exposure to various messages, such as those coming from gender bias, can reduce human capital investment and harm individuals’ later life outcomes. He also works to identify, evaluate, and study the scalability of potentially high-leverage policy options to raise learning levels in the developing world.
My work focuses on research, advocacy and teaching about how to reform educational institutions to promote equity -- and on bringing active litigations to bring about these changes. Students find it stimulating to see the ideas we discuss in class included in actual cases that are seeking to effectuate real educational reform.
My research uses quantitative methods to address urgent questions in higher education policy. My interests include financial aid policy, college remediation, racial disparities in student loans, and the returns to college persistence and completion. What keeps me motivated is knowing that the work that I do can actually change policy - so I focus on answering important questions with the best data and methods available, and communicating findings as clearly as possible.