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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Scott Davies

Scott Davies
Program Coordinator, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

phone: 416 978-1157
email: scott.davies@utoronto.ca  

Department: Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Research Overview

Sociology of education, large scale data analysis, research design and methods, policy-oriented research, student achievement.

My research has several branches. One examines trajectories of student achievement over several years. My ultimate aim is to compile data sets that will allow researchers to track students from their early years into post secondary levels, and to assess the impact of various interventions in reducing educational inequality. For instance, I am currently partnering with Ontario’s Ministry of Education to assess the power of summer learning programs to reduce numeracy and literacy gaps.

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 school.

As a recent Canada Research Chair and recipient of CFI and ORF grants, I plan to build a research lab at OISE that will house a wide variety of education data, and will become a major hub for policy-relevant research in the Toronto area.

Curriculum Vitae


Academic History

PhD in Sociology, University of Toronto (1992)
MA in Sociology, McMaster University (1987)
BA in Psychology and Sociology, University of Toronto (1986)

Academic positions:
Current: Professor and Canada Research Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy, OISE, University of Toronto (since 2014)

Former: Professor and Ontario Research Chair, Department of Sociology, McMaster University, 1994-2014
SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia, 1993-4

Teaching Overview

I teach the following courses at OISE:

LHA 1040: Introduction to Leadership: Organizational Studies in Education

LHA 1035: Sociology of Education

JOI 6003: Quantitative Research Practicum

I have supervised MA theses and PhD dissertations on topics including school bullying, structural stratification of higher education, returns to schooling, labeling of students, private schools, linguistic minority students, technology and student engagement.

Representative Publications

Student Achievement Trajectories

Davies, S., D. Cyr and J. Rizk. “Exploring Patterns of Educational Achievement Gaps: Where Do They Come From?” Chapter for The Sociology of Education in Canada: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives, edited by Wolfgang Lehmann, Oxford University Press.

Davies, Scott, Magdalena Janus and Eric Duku. Forthcoming. “It Takes a Whole Child to Achieve.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Davies, Scott, Janice Aurini, Johanne Jean-Pierre and Emily Milne. “Les effets des programmes d’été de littératie : Les théories d’opportunités d’apprentissage et les élèves « non-traditionnels » dans les écoles ontariennes francophones.” (The Effects of Summer Literacy Programs: Learning Opportunity Theory and “Non-Traditional” Students in Ontario French Language Schools). Canadian Journal of Sociology, 2015.

Davies, Scott, Vicky Maldonado and David Zarifa. 2014. “Effectively Maintaining Inequality in Toronto: Predicting University Destinations of Toronto District School Board Graduates.” Canadian Review of Sociology 51(1):22-53.

Davies, Scott. 2013. “Are there Catholic School Effects in Ontario, Canada?” European Sociological Review 29(4): 871-883.

Davies, Scott and Janice Aurini. 2013. “Summer Learning Inequality in Ontario.” Canadian Public Policy. 39(2) 287-307.

Tanner, Julian, Scott Davies and Bill O'Grady. 1999. "Whatever Happened to Yesterday's Rebels?  Longitudinal Effects of Teenage Delinquency on Education and Occupational Outcomes." Social Problems 46(2):250-274.

Davies, S., and Neil Guppy. 1997. "Fields of Study, College Selectivity, and Student Inequalities." Social Forces 73(4):131-151.

Educational Organizations
Davies, Scott and Roger Pizarro Milian.  “Maintaining Status in Times of Change: The Interplay of Institutional Forces and Stratification among Anglo-American Universities.” Chapter for The Handbook of Sociology of Higher Education, edited by James Cote and Andy Furlong.

Pizarro Milian, Roger, Scott Davies and David Zarifa. Forthcoming. “Barriers to Differentiation”. Canadian Journal of Higher Education.

Aurini, Janice, Julian Dierkes and Scott Davies (editors). 2013. Out of the Shadows: The Global Intensification of Supplementary Education. Emerald.

Davies, Scott and David Zarifa. 2012. “The Stratification of Universities: Structural Inequality in Canadian and American Higher Education.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 30(2): 143-158.   

Davies, Scott and Janice Aurini. 2011.  “School Choice in Canada:  Who Chooses What and Why?” Canadian Public Policy 37(4): 459-477.

Forsey, Martin, Scott Davies and Geoffrey Walford (editors). 2008.
The Globalization of School Choice? Symposium Books: Oxford Studies in Comparative Education, Oxford.

Davies, Scott and Linda Quirke. 2007. “The Impact of Sector on School Organizations: The Logics of Markets and Institutions.” Sociology of Education 80(1):66-89.

Davies, Scott, Janice Aurini, and Linda Quirke. 2006. "Institutional Theory Goes To the Market: The Challenge of New Forms of Private Education." in The New Institutionalism and the Study of Education, edited by Heinz Meyer and Brian Rowan. Albany: SUNY Press.

Davies, Scott and Linda Quirke. 2005. “Providing for the Priceless Student: Ideologies of Choice in an Emerging Educational Market.” American Journal of Education 111(4):523-547.

Aurini, Janice and Scott Davies. 2005. “Choice Without Markets: Homeschooling in Context of Private Education.” British Journal of Sociology of Education 26(4):461-474.

Davies, Scott and Janice Aurini. 2005. “Home Schooling and Canadian Educational Politics: Rights, Pluralism, and Pedagogical Individualism.” Evaluation and Research in Education 17(2&3):63-73.

Davies, Scott and Floyd Hammack. 2005. "Channelling Competition in Higher Education: Comparing Canada and the US". Journal of Higher Education 76(1):89-106.

Davies, Scott. 2004. “School Choice by Default? Understanding the Demand for Private Tutoring in Canada.” American Journal of Education 110(3):233-255.

Aurini, Janice and Scott Davies. 2004 “The Transformation of Private Tutoring: Education in a Franchise Form.” Canadian Journal of Sociology 29(3):419-438.

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

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

Davies, Scott. 2009. “Drifting Apart? The Institutional Dynamics Awaiting Public Sociology in Canada.” Canadian Journal of Sociology 34(3):623-654.

Davies, Scott. 2002. “The Paradox of Progressive Education: A Frame Analysis” Sociology of Education 75(4):269-286.

Davies, Scott. 1999. "From Moral Duty to Cultural Rights: A Case Study of Political Framing in Education." Sociology of Education 72(1):1-21.

Davies, Scott, and Neil Guppy. 1997. "Globalization and Educational Reforms in Anglo- American Democracies" Comparative Education Review. 41(4):435-59.

Davies, S. (1995). "Leaps of Faith: Shifting Currents in Critical Sociology of Education." American Journal of Sociology 100(6):1448-1478.

Research Grants and Contracts

Scott Davies 2015: CFI and ORF for the Data, Equity and Policy in Education Lab: $200,000

Aurini, Janice and Scott Davies. 2013-2018.” "A Multi-Method Examination of Summer Learning Inequality" SSHRC Insight Grant 435-2013-0730, $299,233.

Davies, Scott and Janice Aurini. 2010-13. “Measuring and Reducing Summer Setback in Ontario: A Multi-method Investigation of Inequalities in Student Achievement.” SSHRC Standard Research Grant 410-2010-1786. $90,090.

Davies, Scott, Abigail Payne and Magdalena Janus. 2010-12. “Creating Longitudinal Data on Students’ Early Years.” SSHRC Research Development Initiative grant. $34,000 over 2 years.

Davies, Scott and several others. 2010. Awarded Vendor of Record (VOR) Status for Offord Centre for Child Studies, Ontario Ministry of Education.

Honours and Awards

Editorial Boards:
- 2011-2014, American Educational Research Journal
- 2013-2016: Child Development Perspectives
- 2010-2012: Sociology of Education
- 2004 -2010: Associate Editor, Canadian Public Policy
- 2003-2006: Sociology of Education
- 2006-present: American Journal of Education
- 2001-2013: Sociological Inquiry
- 1998- 2000: Sociology of Education

2011: Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania, January-May.

2006: Visiting Scholar, Harvard University, September-December.

2006: Invited Visiting Professor, University of Western Australia, January.

2002: June-July. Invited Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (declined)

2001: Winner (with Neil Guppy) of R.W.B. Jackson Award for most outstanding English language article, Canadian Education Researchers Association, for “Understanding Canadians’ Declining Confidence in Public Education.”

2001: Jan-June. Visiting Professor, University of Toronto

2000: Sept-Dec. Visiting Scholar, Stanford Universit