US: Discord in Harvard's education school

The recent denial of tenure to a prominent Harvard scholar whose work focuses on grassroots organising has sparked student protests over the direction of one of the nation's most influential education schools, writes Tracy Jan for the Boston Globe.

More than 50 doctoral students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education are demanding that the 91-year-old school redirect its mission. Over the last decade, they say, it has veered away from social justice issues in education toward more results-driven management and policy concerns. The students, who are groomed to be national leaders in education, said they fear the shift will hamper their professional development and tarnish the school's reputation.

Since 2003, the school of education has lost half a dozen professors who specialised in diversity and community involvement because they were denied tenure or recruited by other universities. Students' concerns, voiced this month during two protests outside faculty meetings, prompted the dean of the education school, Kathleen McCartney, to issue a letter last week reaffirming the university's commitment to social justice research and to a method of study called qualitative research, which emphasises the personal experience of students and their families.
Full report on the Boston.com site