Bio


I am an organizational sociologist with longstanding interests in educational sequences, lifelong learning, alternative educational forms, and the formal organization of knowledge. With John Mitchell, I co-direct the Stanford Pathways Lab (pathwayslab.stanford.edu).

Academic Appointments


Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Associate Professor, New York University (2003 - 2009)
  • Assistant to Associate Professor, Hamilton College (1995 - 2003)

Program Affiliations


  • Science, Technology and Society

Professional Education


  • PhD, Northwestern University (1996)
  • BA, Macalester College (1988)

Research Interests


  • Alternative Schooling
  • Educational Policy
  • Higher Education
  • Leadership and Organization
  • Lifelong Learning

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My most recent book is Seeing the World: How US Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era, coauthored with Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Seteney Shami.

With Ben Gebre-Medhin (UC Berkeley) I developed a synthetic account of change in US higher education.

With Mike Kirst I edited a volume on the organizational ecology of US colleges and universities.

With Arik Lifschitz and Michael Sauder I developed a theory of sports and status in US higher education.

Earlier work on college admissions, home education, and (with Wendy Espeland) quantification continues to inform my scholarly world view.

Projects


  • Academic Pathways in Sweden and the United States, Stanford University and Uppsala University (June 1, 2017)

    University curriculums are dynamic templates of the official knowledge of their host societies, and students' pathways through them represent a negotiation of personal, ideational, and class identities. This project compares the evolution of both curricula and pathways in Sweden and the United States in recent history. The goal is to provide a dynamic picture the culture and class structures of two of modernity's signal democratic societies. We intend it to lay the groundwork for multiple cross-national comparisons going forward.

    Location

    Uppsala University

    Collaborators

    • Mikael Borjesson, Professor of the Sociology of Education, Uppsala University
    • Mitchell L Stevens, Associate Professor, Stanford University
    • Ylva Bergstrom, Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education, Uppsala University
    • Tum Chaturapruek, Doctoral Candidate, Stanford University
    • Tobias Dalberg, Doctoral Candidate, Uppsala University
    • Ida Lidegran, Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of Education, Uppsala University
    • Andreas Melldahl, Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of Education, Uppsala University
    • Andreas Paepcke, Senior Research Scientist, Stanford University
    • Monique Harrison, Doctoral student, Stanford University
    • Marissa Thompson, Doctoral student, Stanford University

    For More Information:

  • Carta Lab at Stanford, Stanford University (8/1/2016)

    US university students make decisions that are fateful for their academic lives and personal identities as they negotiate elective curricula. Carta is a web-based course exploration and research tool at Stanford University whose purpose is to observe and understand the evolution of academic pathways at scale.

    Location

    Stanford University

    Collaborators

    • Ramesh Johari, Associate Professor, Stanford University
    • Mitchell Stevens, Associate Professor, Stanford University
    • John Mitchell, Betty and Gordon Crary Family Professor, Stanford University
    • Tum Chaturapruek, Doctoral candidate, Stanford University
    • Rene Kizilcec, Research Scientist, Arizona State University and Stanford University
    • Arik Lifschitz, Lead Academic Advising Director, Stanford University

    For More Information:

2022-23 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Forecasting Undergraduate Majors: A Natural Language Approach AERA OPEN Lang, D., Wang, A., Dalal, N., Paepcke, A., Stevens, M. L. 2022; 8
  • Anesthesiologists With Advanced Degrees in Education: Qualitative Study of a Changing Paradigm. JMIR medical education Aggarwal, A., Hess, O., Lockman, J. L., Smith, L., Stevens, M., Bruce, J., Caruso, T. 2022; 8 (2): e38050

    Abstract

    Anesthesiology education has undergone profound changes over the past century, from a pure clinical apprenticeship to novel comprehensive curricula based on andragogic learning theories. Combined with institutional and regulatory requirements, these new curricula have propagated professionalization of the clinician-educator role. A significant number of clinician-educator anesthesiologists, often with support from department chairs, pursue formal health professions education (HPE) training, yet there are no published data demonstrating the benefits or costs of these degrees to educational leaders.This study aims to collect the experiences of anesthesiologists who have pursued HPE degrees to understand the advantages and costs of HPE degrees to anesthesiologists.Investigators performed a qualitative study of anesthesiologists with HPE degrees working at academic medical centers. Interviews were thematically analyzed via an iterative process. They were coded using a team-based approach, and representative themes and exemplary quotations were identified.Seven anesthesiologists were interviewed, representing diverse geographic regions, subspecialties, and medical institutions. Analyses of interview transcripts resulted in the following 6 core themes: outcomes, extrinsic motivators, intrinsic motivators, investment, experience, and recommendations. The interviewees noted the advantages of HPE training for those wishing to pursue leadership or scholarship in medical education; however, they also noted the costs and investment of time in addition to preexisting commitments. The interviewees also highlighted the issues faculty and chairs might consider for the optimal timing of HPE training.There are numerous professional and personal benefits to pursuing HPE degrees for faculty interested in education leadership or scholarship. Making an informed decision to pursue HPE training can be challenging when considering the competing pressures of clinical work and personal obligations. The experiences of the interviewed anesthesiologists offer direction to future anesthesiologists and chairs in their decision-making process of whether and when to pursue HPE training.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/38050

    View details for PubMedID 35771619

  • Anesthesiologists with Advanced Degrees in Education: A Qualitative Study of a Changing Paradigm Hess, O. M., Daniel, D., Aggarwal, A., Lockman, J., Smith, L. E., Stevens, M., Bruce, J., Caruso, T. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2022: 388-389
  • Should I Start at MATH 101? Content Repetition as an Academic Strategy in Elective Curriculums SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION Harrison, M. H., Hernandez, P. A., Stevens, M. L. 2022
  • Essay content and style are strongly related to household income and SAT scores: Evidence from 60,000 undergraduate applications. Science advances Alvero, A. J., Giebel, S., Gebre-Medhin, B., Antonio, A. L., Stevens, M. L., Domingue, B. W. 2021; 7 (42): eabi9031

    Abstract

    [Figure: see text].

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.abi9031

    View details for PubMedID 34644119

  • What is educational entrepreneurship? Strategic action, temporality, and the expansion of US higher education THEORY AND SOCIETY Kindel, A. T., Stevens, M. L. 2021
  • Studying Undergraduate Course Consideration at Scale AERA OPEN Chaturapruek, S., Dalberg, T., Thompson, M. E., Giebel, S., Harrison, M. H., Johari, R., Stevens, M. L., Kizilcec, R. F. 2021; 7
  • Ambiguous Credentials: How Learners Use and Make Sense of Massively Open Online Courses JOURNAL OF HIGHER EDUCATION Laryea, K., Paepcke, A., Mirzaei, K., Stevens, M. L. 2021
  • Universities as peculiar organizations SOCIOLOGY COMPASS Eaton, C., Stevens, M. L. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1111/soc4.12768

    View details for Web of Science ID 000506374600001

  • The Paradox of the Global University World Class Universities: A Contested Concept Stevens, M. L., Giebel, S. Springer Nature. 2020; 1: 123–37
  • Via: Illuminating Academic Pathways at Scale Angus, G., Martinez, R., Stevens, M. L., Paepcke, A., Assoc Comp Machinery ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY. 2019
  • Research Universities and the Future of Work ISSUES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Stevens, M. L. 2018; 35 (1): 45–52
  • How a data-driven course planning tool affects college students' GPA: Evidence from two field experiments Chaturapruek, S., Dee, T. S., Johari, R., Kizilcec, R. F., Stevens, M. L., ACM ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY. 2018
  • Higher Education Politics after the Cold War Change Stevens, M. L. 2018; 50: 13-17
  • The Evaluation Machine CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY-A JOURNAL OF REVIEWS Stevens, M. L. 2017; 46 (4): 403-405
  • From soldiers to students: The Tests of General Educational Development (GED) as diplomatic measurement Social Science History Hutt, E. L., Stevens, M. L. 2017; 41 (4): 731-755
  • Association, Service, Market: Higher Education in American Political Development ANNUAL REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY, VOL 42 Stevens, M. L., Gebre-Medhin, B. 2016; 42: 121-142
  • Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education edited by Kirst, M. W., Stevens, M. L. Stanford University Press. 2015
  • Football as a Status System in US Higher Education SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION Lifschitz, A., Sauder, M., Stevens, M. L. 2014; 87 (3): 204-219
  • A Sociology of Quantification ARCHIVES EUROPEENNES DE SOCIOLOGIE Espeland, W. N., Stevens, M. L. 2008; 49 (3): 397-432
  • Sieve, incubator, temple, hub: Empirical and theoretical advances in the sociology of higher education Annu. Rev. Sociol Stevens, M. L., Armstrong, E. A., Arum, R. 2008; 34: 127-151
  • Creating a Class: College Admissions and the Education of Elites Stevens, M. L. Harvard University Press. 2007
  • Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement Stevens, M. L. Princeton University Press. 2001