A Commonwealth University



Will J. Jordan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education
258 Ritter Hall
(215) 204-6677
Email: will.jordan@temple.edu
Ph.D. Teachers College, Columbia University, Sociology & Education
M.A. Stony Brook University, Political Science
B.A. Stony Brook University, Sociology

Areas of Interest

  • Urban Context of Schooling
  • Sociology of Education
  • Educational Reform Policy
  • High School and Postsecondary Collaborations
  • Evaluation of Educational Interventions

My recent scholarship has focused on conducting empirical research to enhance program and policy development for improving the conditions of education in urban schools. In recent years, I have engaged in a variety of research projects on issues such as high school and postsecondary collaborations, the connection between school leadership content knowledge in mathematics and instructional quality, and interventions to improve failing comprehensive high schools. My primary interests and expertise fall in the areas of sociology of education, urban education, high school reform, resiliency among adolescents of color, and at-risk students.

Recent Scholarship

Research in Progress

“An examination of racial/ethnic congruence between teachers and students in the middle grades.” Preliminary evidence from this study suggests that black students report higher levels of motivation and engagement in courses taught by black teachers. Controlling on various background characteristics, such as prior achievement and SES, the significance of race congruence was found in social studies and English, but not science and math. Implications for theory, research and practice are explored.

“Thinking about Mathematics Instruction.” This is a large scale, research and technical assistance project, supported by the National Science Foundation, that investigates the nature of elementary and middle school principals' knowledge of mathematics and beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning through the construct of Leadership Content Knowledge (LCK) and its effect on their practices of classroom observation and teacher supervision.


Legters, N. E., R. Balfanz, W. J. Jordan & J. M. McPartland (2002). Comprehensive Reform for Urban High Schools: A Talent Development Approach. New York: Teachers College Press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Jordan, W. J., L. Cavalluzzo, C. Corrallo, & D. Redfield (In press). Community colleges and high school reform: Homegrown lessons from five case studies. Community College Journal of Research and Practice.

Cooper, R. & Jordan W. J. (2003). Cultural issues in comprehensive school reform. Urban Education, Volume 38 (4), 380-397.

Jordan, W. J. & Cooper, R. (2003). High school reform and black male students: Limits and possibilities of policy and practice. Urban Education, Volume 38 (2), 196-216.

Balfanz, R.., Legters, N.E. and Jordan, W.J. (December 2004). Catching-up: Effects of the Talent Development ninth-grade instructional interventions in reading and mathematics in high-poverty schools. NASSP Bulletin, 88 (641), 3-30.

Plank, S. B. & Jordan, W. J. (Winter 2001). Effects of information, guidance, and actions on post-secondary destinations: A study of talent loss. American Educational Research Journal, 38 (4), 947-979.

Plank, S. B., E. L. McDill, J. M. McPartland & W. J. Jordan (June 2001). Situation and repertoire: Civility, incivility, cursing, and politeness in an urban high school. Teachers College Record, 103 (3), 504-524.

McPartland, J. M. & Jordan, W. J. (2001). Restructuring for reform: The Talent Development Model. Principal Leadership, 1 (8), 28-31.

McPartland, J. M. & Jordan, W. J. (Autumn 2000). It's never too late to help older students. The State Education Standard, 30-36.

Jordan, W. J., J. M. McPartland, N. E. Legters, and R. Balfanz (2000). Creating a comprehensive school reform model: The Talent Development High School with Career Academies. Journal for Education of Students Placed At Risk, 5 (1&2), 159-181.

Jordan, W. J. (1999). Black high school students' participation in school-sponsored sports activities: Effects on school engagement and achievement. Journal of Negro Education, 68 (1), 54-71.

Jordan, W. J. & Nettles, S. M. (1999). How students invest their time outside of school: Effects on school-related outcomes. Social Psychology of Education, 3 (4), 217-243.

Jordan, W. J., J. M. McPartland & J. Lara (1999). Rethinking the causes of high school dropout. The Prevention Researcher, 6 (3), 1-4.

McPartland, J. M, J. Balfanz, W. J. Jordan, and N. E Legters (1998). Improving climate and achievement in a troubled urban high school through the Talent Development model. Journal on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, 3 (4), 337-361.

McPartland, J. M., W. J. Jordan, N. E. Legters, and R. Balfanz (1997). Finding Safety in Small Numbers. Educational Leadership, 5 (2), 14-17.

Jordan, W. J., J. Lara, & J. M. McPartland (1997). Causes of early dropout in race/ethnic and gender groups. School Safety, 27-30.

Gadsden, V. L., R. R. Smith, & W. J. Jordan (1996). The promise of desegregation: Tendering expectations and reality in achieving quality schools. Urban Education, 31 (4), 381-402.

Jordan, W. J., J. Lara, & J. M. McPartland (1996). Exploring the causes of early dropout among race-ethnic and gender groups. Youth and Society, 28 (1), 62-94.

Davis, J. E. & Jordan, W. J. (1994). The effects of school context, structure and experiences on African American males in middle and high school. Journal of Negro Education, 63 (4), 570-587.

Chapters in Books

McPartland, J. M., R. Balfanz, W. J. Jordan & N. E. Legters (2002). Promising solutions for the least productive American high schools. In S. Stringfield and D. Land (eds.) Educating At Risk Students. Chicago: National Society for the Study of Education. Pp. 148-170.

Jordan W. J. & Plank, S. B. (2000). Sources of talent loss among high-achieving poor students. In M. G. Sanders (ed.) Schooling Students Placed At Risk: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Pp. 83-108.

Sanders, M. G. & Jordan W. J. (2000). Student-teacher relations and academic achievement in high school. In M. G. Sanders (ed.) Schooling Students Placed At Risk: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., Inc. Pp. 65-82.

Book Reviews

Jordan, W. J. (1996). Bringing college within reach: Critical intervenors in the schooling of the poor. Educational Researcher, 25 (9), 28-30.

Jordan, W. J. (1996). Homegrown Lessons: Innovative Programs Linking School and Work. By E. Pauly, H. Kopp & J. Haimson. Teachers College Record, 28 (2), 357-359.


UE 500 Issues in Urban Education

UE 810 Research Practicum

EA 630 Educational Reform


Site last updated: February 2006