ITP: Interdisciplinary Training Program in the Education Sciences ITP: Interdisciplinary Training Program in the Education Sciences
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fall 2007 Interdisciplinary Training Seminar in Education Sciences

Causal Inference in Education Research:
Experimental and Econometric Approaches

Sociology 875
Fridays, 12:00-1:30
Education Sciences 13th floor Board Room

General readings (scroll to bottom of page for complete list of references):

Schneider, B., Carnoy, M., Kilpatrick, J., Schmidt, W. H., & Shavelson, R. J.  (2007).  Estimating causal effects using experimental and observational designs.  Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.  [Distributed to registered students.]

Morgan, S. L., & Winship, C.  (2007).  Counterfactuals and causal inference: Methods and principles for social research.  Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.  [Available for checkout in the ITP suite.]

SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS AND READINGS

September 7:   

David Kaplan, Educational Psychology, “Causal inference in education policy research.”
[Add'l reading: "On exogeneity"]

September 14: 

Dan Hausman, Philosophy, “Concepts of causation and their relevance to causal inference.”
[Add'l reading: Glymour, "The automation of discovery"; Worrall, "What evidence in evidence-based medicine?" ]

September 21: 

Adam Gamoran and Ruth López Turley, Sociology, “Testing the causal effects of social capital: Design for a cluster-randomized field trial.”
[Add'l reading: Mouw, "Estimating the causal effect of social capital"; Gamoran, PowerPoint presentation]

September 28: 

Judith Harackiewicz, Psychology, “Experimental studies of motivation in education.”
[Add'l reading: Harackiewicz, PowerPoint presentation; Hidi & Harackiewicz, "Motivating the academically unmotivated"; Harackiewicz & Barron, "Conducting social psychological research in educational settings." ]

October 5:       

Joshua Cowen, Political Science, "School choice as a latent variable: Estimating the complier average causal effect of school vouchers in Charlotte."

October 12:     

Guanglei Hong, University of Toronto, “Marginal mean weighting with an application to evaluating the effects of concurrent instructional treatments.”
[Add'l reading: Hong, G., & Hong, Y., "Reading instruction time and homogeneous grouping in kindergarten"; Hong, G., "Marginal mean weighting adjustment for selection bias."]

October 19:     

Geoffrey Borman, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, “The National Randomized Field Trial of Open Court Reading.”

October 26:     

Anna Haskins, Sociology, Nicholas Mader, Economics, and Hilary Shager, Social Work, will lead a discussion of Estimating causal effects using experimental and observational designs (AERA, 2007). [ PowerPoint presentation; Large-scale database group activity: Research ideas ]

November 2:   

Douglas Harris, Educational Policy Studies, "Teacher training and teacher value-added."
[Add'l reading: Harris & Sass, "Teacher training, teacher quality and student achievement."]

November 9:   

Tom Cook, Northwestern University, “Within-study comparisons: What they teach us about the conditions under which experiments and non-experiments create comparable effect sizes.”

November 16: 

Steven Alvarado, Sociology, “Causal inference in applied education research: Internship experience at Mathematica.”
[Add'l readings: Orr, "Social experimentation"; Duflo, "Empirical methods"; "Abstinence education programs"; "Upward Bound exec. summary". ]

November 23: No meeting, Thanksgiving

November 30: 

Jane Cooley, Economics, “Alternative mechanisms of peer achievement spillovers: Implications for identification and policy.”

December 7:    

James Benson, Sociology. "Treatment assignment as an instrumental variable for assessing program effects when compliance is incomplete: Evaluating a Fast ForWord field trial."
[Reading: "Can brain research and computers improve literacy? A Randomized field trial of the Fast ForWord Language computer-based training program." ]

December 14:  

Chris Taber, Economics, “Estimating the effect of student aid on college enrollment: Evidence from a reform of Government grant policy.”

List of References (last updated 12/06/07)

Borman, G. D., & Benson, J. G. (2007). Can brain research and computers improve literacy? A Randomized field trial of the Fast ForWord Language computer-based training program. Unpublished manuscript.

Borman, G. D., Dowling, N. M., & Schneck, C. (2007). The national randomized field trial of Open Court Reading. Unpublished manuscript.

Cooley, J. (2007). Alternative mechanisms of peer achievement spillovers: Implications for identification and policy. Unpublished manuscript.

Cowen, J. (2007). School choice as a latent variable: Estimating the complier average causal effect of school vouchers in Charlotte. Forthcoming in Policy Studies Journal, 2008.

Duflo, E. (not dated). Empirical methods. Unpublished manuscript.

Gamoran, A. (2007). Social capital and children’s development: An experimental study. Unpublished manuscript.

Glymour, C. (2004). The automation of discovery. Daedalus, Winter 69-77.

Harackiewicz, J. M., & Barron, K. E. (2003). Conducting social psychological research in educational settings: Lessons we learned in school. In Sanstone, C., Morf, C., & Panter A. T. (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Methods in Social Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2007). Teacher training, teacher quality and student achievement. Under peer review.

Hidi, S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000). Motivating the academically unmotivated: A Critical issue for the 21st century. Review of Educational Research. Vol. 70, No. 2, Summer 151-179.

Hong, G. (2007). Marginal mean weighting adjustment for selection bias. Unpublished manuscript.

Hong, G., & Hong, Y. (2007). Reading instruction time and homogeneous grouping in kindergarten: An application of the marginal mean weighting method. Unpublished manuscript.

Kaplan, D. (To appear). Causal inference in educational policy research. In the upcoming AERA Handbook of Education Policy Research.

Kaplan, D. (2004). On exogeneity. In Kaplan, D. (Ed.)  The Sage Handbook of Quantitative Methodology in the Social Sciences. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Morgan, S. L., & Winship, C. (2007).Counterfactuals and causal inference: Methods and principles for social research. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Mouw, T. (2006). Estimating the causal effect of social capital: A review of recent research. Annu. Rev. Sociol. 32:79-102.

Myers, D., Olsen, R., Seftor, N., Young, J., & Tuttle, C. (2007). Upward Bound executive summary. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Unpublished manuscript.

Nielsen, H. S., Sorenson, T., & Taber, C. (2007). Estimating the effects of student aid on college enrollment: Evidence from a government grant policy reform. Unpublished manuscript.

Orr, L. L. (1997). Analysis. Part 6 in series Social Experimentation: Evaluating public programs with experimental methods. Department of Health and Human Services, USA. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Schneider, B., Carnoy, M., Kilpatrick, J., Schmidt, W. H., & Shavelson, R. J. (2007). Estimating causal effects using experimental and observational designs. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Trenholm, C., Devaney, B., Fortson, K., Quay, L., Wheeler, J., & Clark, M. (2007). Impacts of four Title V, Section 510 abstinence education programs: Final report. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Worrall, J. (2007) What evidence in evidence-based medicine? Unpublished manuscript.