KU News Service

Media advisory: KU education experts can speak on same-sex schooling, other AERA research topics

Mon, 04/09/2012

The University of Kansas has several education professors and experts in various fields of education who will be on hand for the American Educational Research Association conference April 13-17 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The faculty members, and a description of the work they will be presenting, are below. To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

Why parents choose same-sex schooling: Meagan Patterson, assistant professor in KU’s Department of Psychology and Research in Education, will present her study on why parents and students choose same-sex schooling. Many studies have looked at the effectiveness of such schools, but even though they are rapidly increasing in popularity, very little research has been done concerning why people choose them. Patterson and her co-authors surveyed more than 1,000 students, parents and teachers to gain an insight into why they choose them, and how people both in and outside of same-sex schools view the fairness of educating students in gender-specific classrooms.

Leading in tough financial times: Rick Ginsberg, dean of KU’s School of Education, and Karen Multon, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology and Research in Education, will present their research “Leading During a Financial Tsunami: The Experiences of Deans and Department Chairs.” Both have extensive experience in studying leadership, having published books and articles on the topics. Ginsberg is also a professor of educational leadership and policy studies. Their recent research focuses on how chairs of psychology departments and school of education deans across the country were impacted by budget cuts and how they have dealt with declining resources.

Guiding student learning: Neal Kingston, associate professor of psychology and research in education and director of KU’s Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, is presenting research on a radically new technology-based approach to assessment aimed to improve student learning. Kingston is overseeing a $22 million grant at KU working to create a new generation of standardized assessments for students with cognitive disabilities. He can speak on state-level standardized scoring and his group’s work to ensure that better assessments exist for students who experience a wide range of disabilities.

The struggle for equal education: John Rury, professor of educational leadership and policy studies, will present three papers: one on seeking a social and urban history of education, a paper on black student protests of unequal education and another on the changing nature of inequality in American schools, as measured by secondary educational attainment from 1940 to 1980. Rury has done extensive research on American educational policy, especially as it relates to urban schools, and has authored studies on the shift in achievement from urban to suburban schools and a book about the African-American struggle for equal education in the United States.

Aligning classroom activities with state assessments: Vicki Peyton, assistant professor of psychology and research in education, will present her research with graduate student collaborators Melinda Montgomery and Linette McJunkin examining the alignment between state science assessments and classroom activities.  She can speak about statistical analysis, academic measurement and the relationship between activities in the classroom and science assessments given by the state.

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