Research Project

Challenges in education and criminal justice

Meghan Caven is a predoctoral trainee in Sociology researching education, race, social inequality, and public policy. Her dissertation, titled “School Disciplinarity and Carceral Outcomes: a Mixed-Methods Study of Pipelines and Policies,” examines the relationship between school-level disciplinary policy/practice, and students’ outcomes in the criminal justice system. Her dissertation committee includes two PSTC faculty associates: Margot Jackson and Zhenchao Qian. Caven has also engaged in a side project that uses ethnographic methods to interrogate how teacher-student identity congruence influences students’ educational experiences. Her research speaks to a body of work that uses population-level data to argue that minority students benefit from identity-matching with their teachers. Existing research does not test the mechanisms that underlie this relationship; the qualitative case study approach begins to populate an account of how identity matching operates in individual classrooms, highlighting directions for future study.