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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Anna Chmielewski
Assistant Professor

phone: 416-978-1174
email: ak.chmielewski@utoronto.ca  

Department: Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Research Overview

My research examines trends and patterns of educational inequality, both internationally and over time. Specifically, I am interested in socio-economic disparities in academic achievement, school segregation, curriculum differentiation/streaming/tracking and the consequences of childhood inequality for adult skills and university access. I use a sociological lens and quantitative methods, including multilevel modelling and methods for measuring segregation and achievement gaps. Much of my research draws on data from international large-scale assessments, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

I am also participating faculty in the collaborative specializations in Comparative, International & Development Education (CIDE) and Educational Policy (CSEP), as well as the new CFI-funded Data, Equity and Policy in Education (DEPE) lab, headed by Prof. Scott Davies (see https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depelab/).

I am currently recruiting masters and doctoral students interested in writing theses using quantitative methods to study educational inequality, policy and/or international comparisons. (Please simply apply to the program in Educational Leadership & Policy within the department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, and mention my name in your Statement of Intent. To be considered for a graduate funding package, please apply to the full-time MA or PhD [not MEd, EdD or flex-time] programs.)

Curriculum Vitae


Academic History


PhD in Education, Stanford University (2012)
MA in Sociology, Stanford University (2010)
BA in Education Policy, Duke University (2005)

Academic positions:

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy, OISE, University of Toronto (since 2014)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pathways to Adulthood program, Michigan State University (2012-2014)

Teaching Overview

I teach the following courses at OISE:

JOI3048 Intermediate Statistics in Educational Research: Multiple Regression Analysis [RM, CSEP] (Winter)
LHA600X Multilevel and Longitudinal Modelling [RM, CSEP]
LHA1004 Research Literacy in Educational Leadership and Policy [RM]
LHA1065 Educational Equity and Excellence in International Comparison [CIDE, CSEP]

For more information about quantitative methods training in the LHAE department, please see: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/lhae/Students/Quantitative_RM_Courses.html

Representative Publications

Working Papers & Manuscripts Under Review:

Chmielewski, Anna K. 2017. "The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964-2015." CEPA Working Paper No. 17-04.
Chmielewski, Anna K. Forthcoming, 2018. "Can We Close Gaps in Literacy by Social Background over the Life Course? Evidence from Synthetic 1950-1980 Birth Cohorts." OECD Working Paper.
Chmielewski, Anna K. and Elizabeth Dhuey. 2017. "The Analysis of International Large-Scale Assessments to Address Causal Questions in Education Policy." Background paper commissioned by National Academy of Education for workshop series on Methods and Policy Uses of International Large-Scale Assessments.


Refereed Journal Articles:

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Sean F. Reardon. 2016. "Patterns of Cross-National Variation in the Association Between Income and Academic Achievement [open-access link]." AERA Open 2(3): 1-27.
Jerrim, John, Phil Parker, Anna K. Chmielewski, and Jake Anders. 2016. "Private Schooling, Educational Transitions and Early Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Three Anglophone Countries [open-access link]." European Sociological Review 32(2): 280-294.

Jerrim, John, Anna K. Chmielewski, and Philip D. Parker. 2015. "Socioeconomic Inequality in Access to High Status Colleges: A Cross-Country Comparison [open-access link]." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 42: 20-32.

Chmielewski, Anna K.  2014.  "An International Comparison of Achievement Inequality in Within- and Between-School Tracking Systems [pre-print link; post-print (JSTOR) available here]."  American Journal of Education 120(3): 293-324.

Chmielewski, Anna K., Hanna Dumont, and Ulrich Trautwein.  2013.  "Tracking Effects Depend on Tracking Type: An International Comparison of Mathematics Self-Concept [toll-free link]." American Educational Research Journal 50(5): 925-957.


Book Chapters:

Chmielewski, Anna K. 2017. "Social Inequality in Educational Transitions under Different Types of Secondary School Curricular Differentiation [pre-print link; book available for purchase here]." Ch. 1.2 (pp. 51-72) in Pathways to Adulthood: Educational Opportunities, Motivation and Attainment in Times of Social Change, edited by Ingrid Schoon and Rainer Silbereisen. London: UCL IoE Press.

Parker, Philip D., John Jerrim, Anna K. Chmielewski, and Herbert W. Marsh. 2017. "Machine Learning Approaches to Developmental Transition: Illustrating Penalized Regression and Decision Tree Models of University Entry." Ch. 1.4 (pp. 92-110) in Pathways to Adulthood: Educational Opportunities, Motivation and Attainment in Times of Social Change, edited by Ingrid Schoon and Rainer Silbereisen. London: UCL IoE Press.

Chmielewski, Anna K., Karen Mundy, and Joseph P. Farrell. 2017. "International Indicators and Assessments: Issues for Teachers [pre-print link; book available for purchase here]." Ch. 13 (pp. 361-391) in Comparative and International Education: Issues for Teachers, 2nd Edition, edited by Kathy Bickmore, Ruth Hayhoe, Carly Manion, Karen Mundy, and Robyn Read. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press Inc.

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Corey Savage. 2015. "Socioeconomic Segregation between Schools in the US and Latin America, 1970-2012." Ch. 12 (pp. 394-423) in Land and the City: Proceedings of the 2014 Land Policy Conference, edited by George McCarthy, Gregory Ingram, and Samuel Moody. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. 

Reardon, Sean, John Yun, and Anna K. Chmielewski.  2012.  "Suburbanization and School Segregation."  Ch. 5 (pp. 85-102) in Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility, edited by Willam F. Tate IV.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.


Policy Brief:

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Yossi Shavit. 2014. "Recommendations for Measuring and Monitoring Equity in Upper Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training." Memo presented at Workshop on "Framing and Measuring Inequalities in Post 2015 Education Targets." Sponsored by Education For All Monitoring Report and UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics. Dec. 1-2, 2014, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.


Selected Refereed Conference Presentations:

Chmielewski, Anna K. "Global Trends in Socioeconomic Segregation between Schools, 1964-2015."
  • 2017 ASA Annual Meeting, Aug. 12-15, 2017, Montreal, QC.
  • 2017 AERA Annual Meeting, Apr. 27-May 1, 2017, San Antonio, TX.
Chmielewski, Anna K. "Trends in Inequality in Educational Outcomes for Adults: Evidence from the 1930-1990 Birth Cohorts."
  • 2016 AERA Annual Meeting, Apr. 8-12, 2016, Washington, DC.
  • PIAAC International Conference, Nov. 23-24, 2015, Haarlem, Netherlands.
Chmielewski, Anna K. "Changes in Socioeconomic Achievement Gaps in International Comparison, 1964-2012."
  • 2016 APPAM International Meeting, June 13-14, 2016, London, UK.
  • 2014 ASA Annual Meeting, Aug. 16-19, 2014, San Francisco, CA.
  • 2014 AERA Annual Meeting, Apr. 3-6, 2014, Philadelphia, PA.
Chmielewski, Anna K. and Fabian T. Pfeffer. "Do Socioeconomic Achievement Gaps Persist in Adulthood? Evidence from 50 Years of International Assessments."
  • International conference on “How do education systems shape educational inequalities?” July 2-4, 2014, Institute of Education and Society of the University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg City.



Research Grants and Contracts

University of Toronto Connaught New Researcher Award (2015-2016)

American Educational Research Association (AERA) Dissertation Grant (2011)

Honours and Awards

National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017-2019)

Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2015-2016)

Gerhard Casper Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering (Stanford University) (2006-2010)

Professional Activities

Member of Steering Committee, Workshop Series on Methods and Policy Uses of International Large-Scale Assessments, National Academy of Education (2015-2017)

Co-Instructor, Workshop on Hierarchical Linear Modelling with Large-Scale International Databases (2015 CIES and AERA Annual Meetings)

Instructor, "Calculating Indicators of Equity: Categorical Variables and Trends." Workshop on Techniques for Collection and Analysis of Learning Assessments for Equity Studies, April 16-19, 2013, Interamerican Development Bank, Washington, DC.