Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Enrollment in U.S. Catholic K–12 schools has fallen from 5.6 million in 1965 to 1.8 million today, and many once-thriving schools have closed. Families’ inability to pay tuition, changing religious attitudes, a shortage of qualified Catholic professionals available to teach, and the clergy sex abuse crisis have all contributed to the downturn.
Assistant Professor Andrew Miller, who conducts Catholic education research, says he is convinced that changing that trajectory requires a twofold process: clarifying the purpose of a Catholic education—to work toward social justice and bring people closer to each other and God—and finding new models to prepare excellent lay teachers and leaders. “We must have an intentional curriculum that’s aligned with the mission and focuses on developing the whole child,” he says. “We need to know how to hire teachers, prepare them, and sustain their professional development.
“I want to engage in these kinds of critical questions ... so that these schools can thrive long term,” says Miller, who—before he joined the Lynch School faculty—attended Catholic elementary and middle schools, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the Lynch School, and worked for the Archdiocese of Boston’s Catholic Schools Office for two years.
Miller is developing several studies on leadership preparation and formation models in Catholic education. One, which he’s conducting with former Lynch School classmate Michael O’Connor, Ph.D. ’17, aims to highlight Catholic school educators around the country who are doing exemplary work, for example, by assessing whether schools serving low-income students are effectively preparing them for college or jobs. Miller and O’Connor, who is the director of the Providence [R.I.] Alliance for Catholic Teachers, are using a conceptual framework they have developed to guide this and future research.
Another study, conducted with Stonehill College Associate Professor and Lynch graduate Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, Ph.D. ’18, will examine how Catholic schools are training teachers and leaders to support students with cognitive or physical disabilities.
Miller is teaching Ethics and Equity in Education this fall and will turn it into an online course for Lynch’s online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy program. This spring, he plans to teach Theories of Leadership and create an online version of a course about his passion: Transforming the Field of Catholic Education.
“We must have an intentional curriculum that’s aligned with the mission and focuses on developing the whole child. We need to know how to hire teachers, prepare them, and sustain their professional development.”
Ph.D., Boston College
M.Ed. University of Notre Dame
B.A., University of Notre Dame
Educational Leadership and Policy
Social Justice Teaching and Leadership
Teaching and Teacher Education
Whole Person Education
Cochran-Smith, M., Carney, M.C., Keefe, E.S., Burton, S., Chang, W.C., Fernández, B., Miller, A.F., Sánchez, J.G., & Baker, M. (2018).
Reclaiming accountability in teacher education.
New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Cochran-Smith, M., Keefe, E.S., Carney, M.C., Burton, S. Chang, W.C., Fernández, B., Miller, A.F., & Sánchez, J.G. (2018).
Democratic accountability in teacher education: Now more than ever.
Teacher Education and Practice, 31(2), 178-206.
Cochran-Smith, M., Baker, M., Burton, S., Carney, M.C., Chang, W.C., Fernández, M.B., Keefe, E.S., Miller, A.F., & Sánchez, J.G. (2017).
The accountability era in US teacher education: Looking back, looking forward.
European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(5), 572-588.
Cochran-Smith, M., Burton, S., Carney, M.C., Sanchez, J.G., & Miller, A.F. (2017).
Review of “A new agenda: Research to build a better teacher preparation program.”
Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center.
Cochran-Smith, M., Baker, M., Burton, S., Carney, M.C., Chang, W.C., Fernández, M.B., Keefe, E.S., Miller, A.F., Sánchez, J.G., & Stern, R. (2017).
Teacher quality and teacher education policy: The U.S. case and its implications.
In M. Akiba & G. LeTendre (Eds.), The international handbook of teacher quality and policy (pp. 445-462).
New York, NY: Routledge.