Last week, two Boston College professors—Andy Hargreaves and Marilyn Cochran-Smith—were listed in the Education Week’s RHSA Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which recognizes professors and scholars at the university level who substantiate public conversation and debate surrounding education. Hargreaves and Cochran-Smith, both professors in the Lynch School of Education, were ranked number 6 and number 46 respectively.
Approximately 200 professors earned their place in the rankings by completing scholarly work outside of the classroom, like writing books and articles for publications. The rankings are based on a points system, with about half the points a professor receives in the rankings originating from scholarly citations, where the professor’s work is cited in the scholarly research of other professors.
Cochran-Smith thinks that these rankings are effective in validating a professor’s ideas about various topics, considering it an honor to have her work recognized.
The rankings stimulate universities to consider the role of the intellectual in both public life and within the university. The best use of these indicators is to help professors reflect on the impact of their work, Hargreaves said.
“We shouldn’t just publish in a scholarly journal and then hope for the best in terms of impact,” Hargreaves said. “This is a special obligation of working in professional schools like education, nursing and social work.”
Hargreaves, who has done a lot of research on how to improve schools, thinks that it is important for schools to implement the knowledge and ideas these professors have to offer.
“The creators of the rankings are quite explicit that they want to encourage more academics in education to make a strong contribution to action and debate in the education profession and in public life,” Hargreaves said.
Hargreaves and Cochran-Smith’s achievement positions the Lynch School of Education alongside the nation’s top teaching program. The rankings are useful, according to Hargreaves, but not his first priority.
“When one of us does well at Boston College or in the Lynch School on some particular criterion, this really is a credit to all of us,” he said.
Featured Image by Emily Sadeghian / Heights Senior Staff