Broh and co-authors Doug Downey and Paul von Hippel received the Willard Waller Award for their paper titled “Are Schools the Great Equalizer? Cognitive Inequality during the Summer Months and the School Year,” published in the October 2004 American Sociological Review. The award recognizes the best Sociology of Education paper published in the last three years.
Willard Waller (1899-1946) is best known for his paper “Sociology of Teaching,” which was first published in 1932 and has become a classic in its field. Waller described school as a social system in which stability is constantly endangered by both internal and external forces, and themes of conflict, change and coercion are evident throughout. It helped create a new field of study – the sociology of education.
Broh’s study used data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Cohort of 1998–99, and estimated school and non-school effects on the inequality in cognitive skill gains between students from different socioeconomic and racial groups.
“Sociology gives you skills to better understand the world around us,” said Broh, who starts each class with a question about what is happening in the world that day. The exercise allows students the opportunity to discuss world events and what those events mean to them and to the different populations.
Inspired by Wittenberg President Mark H. Erickson’s reference to “global citizens” during a recent convocation address, Broh hopes to inspire students to think critically about the world and its people.
“Students need opportunities to develop the desire to be active citizens in their communities, locally and globally,” Broh said, noting that a basic sociology course will give students the tools to be more engaged.
With areas of expertise and interest in race and ethnicity, gender and class; stratification inequality and power; education, family and work; and research methods, Broh looks forward to future research with colleagues at Wittenberg.
“Although classroom teaching is my sole focus this first year at Wittenberg, I’m looking forward to opportunities to engage in scholarly work with the talented faculty here at Wittenberg.”
- Phyllis Eberts
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