Leadership Opinion

How Should Education Scholars Join the Public Conversation?

To accompany the 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, Education Week Commentary partnered with Frederick M. Hess to invite four education and policy scholars to discuss the following query: Are there costs or negative consequences that can follow when academics wade into public debate, especially in this polarized era of ubiquitous hot takes? How do we distinguish between a scholar making a distinctive contribution to the public square and a scholar becoming just one more partisan? How do scholars engage in heated public discourse without compromising the scholarly mission of the university or the credibility of their own work? Do scholars or their institutions have an obligation to monitor and maintain that line? If so, how would you encourage them to do so?

Classroom Technology Commentary Junior Scholars Have Much to Lose—and Gain—From Public Engagement
Young academics interested in becoming public scholars should proceed with caution, writes Seton Hall University’s Robert Kelchen.
Robert Kelchen, January 16, 2018
3 min read
Law & Courts Commentary The Problem With Calling Scholars 'Too Political'
Scholars shouldn't opt out of public-policy debates for which they have a deep well of knowledge, writes Diana Hess.
Diana Hess, January 16, 2018
2 min read
Law & Courts Commentary How (and When) Researchers Should Speak Truth to Power
Pedro A. Noguera shares the guidelines he uses to decide when he should participate in heated education debates.
Pedro A. Noguera, January 16, 2018
2 min read
Law & Courts Commentary Four Prerequisites for a Productive Education Debate
In our hyperpolarized political environment, education scholars should wade into public debates wisely, cautions Patrick J. Wolf.
Patrick J. Wolf, January 16, 2018
3 min read
Law & Courts Commentary When Does Scholarship Give Way to Bombast and Bluster?
For education scholars, when does public engagement cross the line into rote partisanship? Rick Hess proposes six steps to make the call.
Rick Hess, January 16, 2018
6 min read