Scott Davies


My research has several branches. One examines trajectories of student achievement over several years. With various institutional partners I am compiling data sets that  track students from their early years into post secondary levels, and to assess the impact of various interventions in reducing educational inequality.  Another branch examines educational organizations, paying attention to the variety of school forms that are emerging at all levels of schooling, including various types of private schools and tutoring businesses, and various public schools of choice. In a third branch, I am attempting to contribute to sociological theories of education, variously interpreting how schooling and society have become more deeply ‘interpenetrated’ over time, charting different forms of cultural capital, and attempting to apply Interaction Ritual Theory to schooling.

Recent Publications:

Mehta, Jal and Scott Davies (editors). 2018. Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Zarifa, David and Scott Davies. 2018. “Structural Stratification in Higher Education and the University Origins of Political Leaders in Eight Countries.” Sociological Forum, 33(4).

Davies, Scott and Jessica Rizk. 2018. “The Three Generations of Cultural Capital Research: A Narrative Review.” Review of Educational Research 88(3):331-365.

Davies, Scott and Neil Guppy. 2006, 2010, 2013, 2018. The Schooled Society: An Introduction to the Sociology of Education (first, second, third and fourth editions). Toronto: Oxford University Press. 275, 313, 333 and 312 pages. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Davies, Scott, Magdalena Janus, Eric Duku and Ashley Gaskin. 2016. “Using the Early Development Instrument to Examine Cognitive and Non-Cognitive School Readiness and Elementary School Achievement.”  Early Childhood Research Quarterly 35(2):63-75.

More information about my work can be found here:

Ruth Childs


Ruth A. Childs is a professor and the Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at OISE. Her research investigates the design and equity of large-scale assessments, admissions processes, and other evaluation system.

Recent Publications:

Childs, R. A., Elgie, S., Brijmohan, A., & Yang, J. (2019). “What if I don’t know the answer?” Fifth-grade students’ responses to uncertainty in test-taking. Canadian Journal of Education, 42, 905-930.

Paabo, M., Brijmohan, A., Klubi, T., Evans-Tokaryk, T., & Childs, R. A. (2019). Participation in peer-led supplemental instruction groups, academic performance, and time to graduation. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice

Brijmohan, A., Khan, G. A., Orpwood, G., Brown, E. S., & Childs, R. A. (2018). Collaboration between content experts and assessment specialists: Using a validity argument framework to develop a college mathematics assessment. Canadian Journal of Education, 41, 584-600.

Childs, R. A., Broomes, O., & Herbert, M. B. (2018). Deciding whether to respond: A latent class analysis of nonresponse on Ontario’s Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 64, 70-87.

Childs, R. A., Ferguson, A. K., Herbert, M. B., Broad, K., & Zhang, J. (2016). Evaluating admission criteria effects for underrepresented groups. Higher Education Research and Development, 35, 658-668.

More information about my work can be found here:

Anna Katyn Chmielewski

Associate Professor

I am an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy in the LHAE department at OISE. I received my PhD in Education from Stanford University in 2012. 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).

Recent Publications:

Chmielewski, Anna K. 2019. “The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964 to 2015.” American Sociological Review 84(3): 517-544.

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Sean F. Reardon. 2016. “Patterns of Cross-National Variation in the Association Between Income and Academic Achievement.” AERA Open 2(3): 1-27.

Jerrim, John, Anna K. Chmielewski, and Philip D. Parker. 2015. “Socioeconomic Inequality in Access to High Status Colleges: A Cross-Country Comparison.” 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.” 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.” American Educational Research Journal 50(5): 925-957.

More information about my work can be found here:

Claudia Díaz Ríos

Assistant Professor

My research uses political science frameworks to analyze the effects of governance reforms on school improvement and the global-local politics of education policy change. I have employed comparative qualitative analysis to explain different configurations of school choice, curriculum decentralization, and accountability in different Latin American countries. I have also used quantitative and mixed methods to examine the operation and effects of publicly subsidized private schools on student learning in Colombia. My current project seeks to understand the policy responses to guarantee immigrant children education in the low- and middle-income countries.

Recent Publications

Díaz Ríos, C. (forthcoming). The role of policy legacies in the alternative trajectories of test-based accountability. Accepted for publication in Comparative Education Review.

Dion, M. L., Díaz Ríos, C., Leonard, K., & Gabel, C. (2020). Research Methodology and Community Participation: A Decade of Indigenous Social Science Research in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie57(1), 122–146.

Díaz Ríos, C. (2019). Domestic coalitions in the variation of education privatization: An analysis of Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. Journal of Education Policy34(5), 647–668.

Díaz Ríos, C., Dion, M. L., & Leonard, K. (2018). Institutional logics and indigenous research sovereignty in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Studies in Higher Education0(0), 1–13.

Díaz Ríos, C. (2018). Foreign Prescriptions and Domestic Interests: A Comparison of Education Reform in Argentina and Chile. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice20(2), 193–208.

Elizabeth Dhuey

Associate Professor

Elizabeth Dhuey is an associate professor of economics at the University of Toronto. Her primary appointment is at the Department of Management at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. She holds her graduate appointment at OISE in the Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education. She is also non-budgetary cross-appointed to the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the Department of Economics, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Additionally, Elizabeth is an adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at McMaster University. She received her B.A. (1999) in economics and sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her M.A (2002) and PhD (2007) in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Elizabeth’s research focuses on the economics of education. In particular she focuses on three main areas: (1) the early years of children’s development; (2) special education financing; and (3) education and training for the future world of work. Her research has been published in top economics and education journals and also has been widely cited by the popular press, for example in The Globe and Mail, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and has appeared on 60 Minutes.

Professor Dhuey serves at the Chair of the Canadian Women Economists Committee. She is the co-director of FutureSkills research lab and the academic director of the Research Initiative on Education + Skills.

Recent Publications:

Dhuey, E., Lamontagne, J., &  Zhang, T. (forthcoming).  Full-Day Kindergarten: Effects on Maternal Labour SupplyEducation Finance and Policy

Dhuey, E., Tang, L. & Auden, E. (forthcoming). Who Benefits from Regular Class Participation? Journal of Economic Education

Dhuey, E., Did, J. & Neil, C. (2020). Parental Employment Effects of Switching from Half Day to Full Day Kindergarten: Evidence from Ontario’s French SchoolsCanadian Public Policy, 46(1), 145-174

Dhuey, E., Jasnen, A., White, L., Foster, D. & Perlman, M. (2019). Training and Skills Development Policy Options for the Changing World of WorkCanadian Public Policy, 45(4), 460-482.

Dhuey, E., Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. (2019). School Starting Age and Cognitive Development. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 38(3). 538-578.

Daniel Corral

Assistant Professor

I am an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in LHAE. My research broadly examines to what extent socioeconomic contexts and public policies affect inequality in higher education. My research agenda currently focuses on 1) choice and enrollment in postsecondary education for students who have been historically and persistently underrepresented and 2) funding policies and practices affecting U.S. Minority-Serving Institutions. I use critical theoretical perspectives from sociology and public policy to conduct research using econometric methods and qualitative interviews.

Recent Publications:

Corral, D., Lor, N., Hirschl, N., & Grodsky, E. (2020). Equity and access in the UW System: A review of  student applications. (WCER Working Paper No. 2020-10). University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

Furquim, F. F., Corral, D., & Hillman, N. W. (2020). A primer for interpreting and designing difference-in-differences studies in higher education research. In L. W. Perna (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research Vol.: XXXV (pp.667-723). Springer.

Hillman, N. W., & Corral, D. (2018). The equity implications of paying for performance in higher education. American Behavioral Scientist, 61(14), 1757-1772.

Gasman, M., Nguyen, T. H., Castro Samayoa, A., & Corral, D. (2017). Minority-serving institutions mosaic: A data-driven student landscape. Berkley Review of Education, 7(1), 5-24.

Graduate Students

Zahide Alaca

PhD Student, Leadership Higher and Adult Education

Zahide is a PhD student in Educational Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, where she holds a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She previously completed a Master’s and Bachelor’s (Honours) of Social Work at Carleton University. Zahide studies students’ educational trajectories and the emergence, growth, and curbing of various inequalities therein. She is particularly interested in the ways in which multiple service sectors (e.g., education, social services) jointly impact student trajectories. A major focus of her research is on the appropriate use and advancement of quantitative methods and causal inference techniques in education and social research.

Fatemeh Ameli

PhD Candidate, Educational Leadership and Policy

Fatemeh Ameli is a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy program and a data manager and analyst in the DEPE lab at OISE. Currently, her research deals with several branches: 1) Educational Stratification: As a USA’s Clark Scholar 2022, she is examining student achievement trajectories in Ontario from kindergarten to grade 10. Using a large-scale and province-wide dataset, her doctoral project employs quantitative longitudinal approaches to track student achievements, examine the most dominant individual and contextual determinants, and eventually reduce educational inequality; 2) Organizational Analysis: A former university lecturer and managing director of an education and research institute in management and business, she has been engaged in designing, organizing, and conducting the “Ontario Private Schools Census” to examine characteristics of schools and to investigate the environmental factors affecting newly opened schools; 3) Soft Skills Development: She examined the association between psychological capital of young Canadians and their intrinsic work values. The findings of this study can provide managers with practical implications in three major areas of human resource management: employee recruitment, engagement, and retention. Fatemeh has also been involved in several research projects leading to publications in national and international journals and presentations at international conferences.

Sheena Bell

PhD Student, Educational Leadership and Policy

Sheena is a PhD student in Educational Leadership and Policy in OISE at the University of Toronto. Her research interests lie in comparative and international education, specifically evidence-based policy making and policy evaluation to improve the equity and quality of K-12 education in middle and lower income countries. Previous to joining OISE, Sheena worked for ten years in education data and programming with UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.  She previously completed an MA in Political Science at McGill University, and a Masters in Public Administration – International Development at the University of York (UK).

Cosmin Marmureanu

PhD Student, Leadership Higher and Adult Education

I am a PhD student interested in examining how the environment can have an impact on students, specifically the relationship between vegetation around schools and student achievement. My background is in Geography, but my work experience is in the Education sector. I have worked with the Toronto District School Board, Knowledge Network of Applied Education Research (KNAER), the Ministry of Education, and Conestoga College. My role in the lab is to maintain the datasets, reach out to other researchers who may be interested in working with us, and to ensure this website is working (and since you’re reading this it is!)

Alice Romo

PhD Student, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Alice Romo is a PhD student in Education Leadership & Policy with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She holds an MA in Socio-Legal Studies from York University and has many years successfully supporting research project teams at York University and McMaster University. She is currently co-authoring two academic articles and has worked with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Student and Parent Census data on the Gateway Cities Project, housed at McMaster University. Alice serves as a Graduate Assistant at the Data, Equity and Policy in Education (DEPE) Lab for the Canadian and Global Trends in Socio-economic Segregation between Schools, 1964-2018, project. Alice is additionally very active in community and advocacy work and continues to serve on various parent advisory councils with the TDSB. Alice is interested in student pathways to post secondary education, existing barriers and educational inequities and the role that policy and community partnerships play in student success of these trajectories.

Sana Abuleil

PhD Student, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Sana Abuleil is a PhD student in the Educational Leadership and Policy program at OISE. Her research interests revolve primarily around refugee education, specifically in regard to concepts such as achievement gaps, school segregation, and social integration. She previously completed her Master of Teaching at OISE, and has worked with non-for-profit organizations that cater to refugee students in the educational system. 

Ashley Rostamian

PhD Student, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Ashley Rostamian is a Ph.D. student in OISE’s Educational Leadership and Policy. Her proposed doctoral research will examine the role of pan-Canadian exchange programs in students’ experiential learning, civic engagement, and pathways. Ashley completed her Master of Education in the same program, with her research project investigating self-governing regulatory bodies of teachers in Canada.

Perry Schlanger

Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Perry is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership and Policy program of the Department of Leadsership, Higher, and Adult Education. His research focuses on the social determinants of educational achievement. Current projects include analyzing the relationship between Early Development Instrument (EDI) results and Grade 3 EQAO scores in Ontario’s French-language school system. Another project involves determining how school funding affects the relationship between student demographic factors and academic achievement.

Originally from New York City, Perry spent part of his early teaching career in the Bronx. For the last 13 years, he has been teaching for the District School Board of Niagara. Currently, he is a Student Success Teacher with the DSBN’s Alternative Pathways Centre where he works to re-engage students who have not experienced success in traditional secondary school settings.

Yara Abdelaziz

Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Yara Abdelaziz is a PhD student in Education Leadership & Policy with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.  She holds an M.Ed. in Research on Teaching and Learning from the Technical University of Munich and a BA in Economics from the American University in Cairo. She has diverse research experiences from working in research groups at the Technical University of Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, and the University of British Columbia. She is currently co-authoring an academic publication that explores the effect of socioeconomic status on children’s active learning. Yara is interested in studying patterns of educational inequality, their association to educational policies, and how both factors contribute to socio-economic segregation, especially in middle-income countries.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Xavier St-Denis

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

Xavier St-Denis is an economic sociologist currently working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He completed his graduate work at McGill University and spent two years conducting research in the Income Statistics Division at Statistics Canada. His research focuses on labour markets, stratification, careers, education, organizations, and comparative political economy using quantitative methods. His most recent work explores the drivers of trends in job stability in Canada, the UK and Germany, and the consequences of job hopping on hiring outcomes in different US occupations. His postdoctoral research builds on work he conducted at Statistics Canada on the role of education and life course outcomes in intergenerational income transmission and social mobility using administrative and integrated datasets. 

Visiting Faculty

Ee-Seul Yoon

Professor, University of Manitoba

Ee-Seul Yoon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, Foundations & Psychology at the University of Manitoba, Canada. Dr. Yoon’s research aims to better understand the complex patterns and processes of educational inequality and inequity with a focus on the marketization and privatization of education. She earned her PhD from the University of British Columbia, and her dissertation, which examined school choice from the perspective of young people, received the AERA Social Context of Education Division’s Distinguished Dissertation Award. In 2017, she and Dr. Chris Lubienski guest-edited a special issue of Educational Policy Analysis Archives, entitled “School Diversification and Dilemmas across Canada in an Era of Education Marketization and Neoliberalization.” Also, she recently completed co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration and History, entitled “Private Partners and Profits in Public Schools: New Challenges” with Dr. Sue Winton.

Kane Meissel

Professor, University of Auckland

Dr. Kane Meissel is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice, in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Kane’s research focuses on the use of advanced quantitative methodologies to identify and reduce educational disparities, as well as promote equity and social justice for traditionally marginalised learners. A particular focus of Kane‘s research is the identification of specific factors that relate to resilience among under-served learner groups. 

Visiting Graduate Students

Ting Chen

PhD Candidate, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Ting Chen is a PhD candidate at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. Her research examines socio-economic status and student achievement gap. She will be joining OISE as an International Visiting Graduate Student in 2021.

Ross Goldstone

PhD Candidate, University of Cardiff

Ross Goldstone is a second year PhD candidate at University of Cardiff, United Kingdom researching the role social class operates in post-secondary education, also coined further education, in England. He plans to joins OISE on a 3-month exchange in early 2021. 


Daniel Hamlin

Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma

Daniel Hamlin graduated from OISE’s Educational Leadership and Policy program in 2016. He went on to take a position as a postdoctoral fellow at The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University before beginning his current role as assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Hamlin’s research examines non-tested measures of school performance with an emphasis on school climate, parental involvement, school safety, and student nutrition. His work appears in a number of scholarly journals, including the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Policy, Educational Administration Quarterly, and Sociology of Education. He has written research reports for organizations, such as People for Education and Education Next, that have received extensive coverage in the media.

Dr. Hamlin has also received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Education, and the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems research organization. He received the Ken Leithwood Outstanding Thesis of the Year award at OISE for his dissertation examining charter schools on non-tested outcomes in Detroit, Michigan. In the classroom, Dr. Hamlin has been recognized for instructional excellence, receiving the Derek Bok Award for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University as well as six teaching awards from Sejong University.

Selected Publications

Hamlin, D. (2020). Can a positive school climate improve student attendance? Evidence from New York City. American Educational Research Journal.

Hamlin, D. & Li, A. (2019). The relationship between parent volunteering in school and school safety in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Journal of School Violence.

Hamlin, D. & Cheng. A. (2019). Parental empowerment, involvement, and satisfaction: A comparison of choosers of charter, Catholic, Christian, and district-run public schools. Educational Administration Quarterly.

Hamlin, D. (2019). Do homeschooled students have opportunities to acquire cultural capital? Evidence from a nationally representative sample of American households. Peabody Journal of Education.

Li, A. & Hamlin, D. (2019). Is daily parental help with homework helpful? Reanalyzing national data using a propensity score-based approach. Sociology of Education.

Erica Cheng

Master of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

In Fall 2019, Erica received her Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Toronto with a collaborative specialization in Educational Policy. During her time at OISE, she completed two quantitative Graduate Assistantships.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Professional Certificate in Public Administration and Law from York University. This certificate and her teaching experience during her undergraduate studies in different classrooms across Toronto helped influence her decision to pursue graduate studies. Her teaching experience also inspired the research topic of her Major Research Paper to study the achievement gap between Public and Catholic Schools in Ontario. Using multi-level modelling, she conducted her research study, examining both school-level and student-level characteristics. As of February 2020, Erica has been working as a Program Officer with Service Canada. In May 2020, she joined the International Writing team of the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies.


Singh, J., Ashraf, T., Cheng, E., & Lieu, J. (accepted pending revisions – October 2020). How positive leadership fosters flourishing relationships towards positive outcomes: Reflections from four master of education students. Leadership and Wellbeing in Diverse Educational Contexts: Positive Perspectives and Approaches.


Former Visiting Graduate Students

Adriano Senkevics

PhD Candidate, University of São Paulo

Adriano Senkevics is a PhD candidate at the University of São Paulo (USP) and a researcher at the National Institute for Education Studies and Research (INEP), Brazil. He previously joined OISE for the 2019/2020 academic year as an International Visiting Graduate Student (IVGS).

Gustavo Bruno de Paula

PhD Candidate, University of Minas Gerais

Gustavo Bruno de Paula is a PhD Candidate in Education at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, previously at OISE/UofT as an International Visiting Graduate Student for the 2019/2020 academic year. His research focuses on sociology of education and education inequalities. His current project is to analyze the effects of socioeconomic inequalities and dropout from higher education.

Pauline Proboeuf

PhD Candidate, Sciences Po Paris

Pauline Proboeuf is a PhD candidate at Sciences Po Paris, associated to the Social Change Observatory (OSC). She previously joined OISE for four months in the Fall 2019 term as an International Visiting Graduate Student (IVGS).

Angran Li

Assistant Professor, Zhejiang University

Angran Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Angran received his PhD in sociology from the University of Connecticut. His research explores intergenerational transmission of advantages/disadvantages across social groups and national contexts from a comparative perspective. His substantive work has been published in the Sociology of Education, Social Science Research, and Chinese Sociological Review.

Recent Publications:

Li, Angran. 2018. “Unfulfilled Promise of Educational Meritocracy? Academic Ability and China’s Urban-Rural Gap in Access to Higher Education.” Princeton Research Network on Contemporary China (PRCC) Working Paper Series, edited by Yu Xie.

Obach, Heidi, Angran Li, and Simon Cheng (equal authorship). 2018. “Boys, Girls, and the Second Shift: Paid and Unpaid Labor in High School and Adolescents’ Enrollment in College.” Social Currents. 5(2):173-92.

Li, Angran, and Mary J. Fischer. 2017. “Advantaged/Disadvantaged School Neighborhoods, Parental Networks, and Parental Involvement at Elementary School.” Sociology of Education 90(4):355-77.