American Sociological Association

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  1. Blended Learning as a Potentially Winning Combination of Face-to-face and Online Learning: An Exploratory Study

    Blended learning, in the form of screencasts to be viewed online outside of class, was incorporated into three sections of an introductory sociology course in a liberal arts college setting. The screencasts were used to introduce concepts and theories to provide more time for discussion in class and more opportunity for students to review concepts and theories outside of class. Students’ use and their perceptions of the impact of the screencasts were assessed with an in-class survey instrument in addition to a web-based college-administered survey.

  2. Should We Talk about the Pain? Personalizing Sociology in the Medical Sociology Classroom

    This article discusses the potential of personalizing sociology curriculum, specifically in Medical Sociology courses, to increase student engagement and sociological awareness. Based on our experiences offering separate Medical Sociology courses at a large public research university and a small private teaching university, respectively, we outline emotional techniques we have each employed—separately and together—in our classes to facilitate student engagement, critical awareness, and medical coming out processes in our classrooms.

  3. An Exploratory Study Comparing the Effectiveness of Lecturing versus Team-based Learning

    Lecturing has been criticized for fostering a passive learning environment, emphasizing a one-way flow of information, and not adequately engaging students. In contrast, active-learning approaches, such as team-based learning (TBL), prioritize student interaction and engagement and create multidirectional flows of information. This paper presents an exploratory analysis of whether lecturing or TBL was better for teaching content; developing skills, such as critical thinking; and creating an enjoyable learning environment in a sociology course.

  4. Symbolic Politics of the State: The Case of In-state Tuition Bills for Undocumented Students

    A symbolic politics approach contends that the meanings policy proposals convey, and the audiences they attract, may matter more than whether they become law. Yet, we know little about the sociopolitical conditions prompting lawmakers to engage in symbolic politics.

  5. Kindergarten Black–White Test Score Gaps: Re-examining the Roles of Socioeconomic Status and School Quality with New Data

    Black–white test score gaps form in early childhood and widen over elementary school. Sociologists have debated the roles that socioeconomic status (SES) and school quality play in explaining these patterns. In this study, I replicate and extend past research using new nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011. I find black–white test score gaps at kindergarten entry in 2010 in reading (SD = .32), math (SD = .54), and working memory (SD = .52 among children with valid scores).

  6. Student Neighborhoods, Schools, and Test Score Growth: Evidence from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Schools and neighborhoods are thought to be two of the most important contextual influences on student academic outcomes. Drawing on a unique data set that permits simultaneous estimation of neighborhood and school contributions to student test score gains, we analyze the distributions of these contributions to consider the relative importance of schools and neighborhoods in shaping student achievement outcomes.

  7. When Change Doesn’t Matter: Racial Identity (In)consistency and Adolescent Well-being

    Law enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border region has significantly changed since the 1970s. Currently, Latinas/os make up more than half of the agents who patrol the southern border region. The Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley, in particular, has transformed from a predominantly Anglo police establishment to one with a heavy presence of Mexican American agents within local and federal agencies.

  8. The Paradox of Success at a No-Excuses School

    No recent reform has had so profound an effect as no-excuses schools in increasing the achievement of low-income black and Hispanic students. In the past decade, no-excuses schools—whose practices include extended instructional time, data-driven instruction, ongoing professional development, and a highly structured disciplinary system—have emerged as one of the most influential urban school-reform models. Yet almost no research has been conducted on the everyday experiences of students and teachers inside these schools.

  9. Theorizing Teacher Agency and Reform: How Institutionalized Instructional Practices Change and Persist

    One reason reform does not dramatically change public schools is because instructional practices are highly institutionalized. This article advances a theory for how teacher agency can both change and maintain institutionalized instructional practices in schools. Based on findings from one U.S. urban public school undergoing state-mandated reform, I assert that three mechanisms drive a particular form of teacher agency.

  10. Divergent Urban-rural Trends in College Attendance: State Policy Bias and Structural Exclusion in China

    Despite the massive expansion of higher education in China since 1998, the cohort trends of urban and rural hukou holders in college attendance have widened sharply. Prevailing explanations emphasize the advantages of urban students over rural students in school quality and household financial resources. We propose the structural exclusion hypothesis that underscores the unintended consequences of a state policy: the urban concentrated expansion of vocational upper secondary education.