School of Education News

Research on teachers' social ties from UW-Madison's Benbow, Lee published in Higher Education

November 26, 2018

Research by UW-Madison's Ross Benbow and Changhee Lee was recently published by the academic journal, Higher Education.

Benbow is an associate researcher with the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and Lee is a doctoral student with School's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

This research is part of their work on the NSF-funded "Exploring Multiple Postsecondary Opportunities through Workforce and Education Research (EMPOWER)." This project is housed in WCER and focuses on how social capital develops among college faculty and affects teacher-learning and how leaders should address that.

By surveying college faculty members across 17 institutions in one city, Benbow and Lee found that faculty members at two-year colleges share teaching-focused discussion with more diverse organizations and disciplines than faculty at four-year colleges.

From their research, Benbow and Lee suggest that administrators promote “the importance of teaching-focused social ties, both formal and informal, among faculty teaching in their institutions.”

Read their paper: "Teaching-focused social networks among college faculty: exploring conditions for the development of social capital."

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