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Jennifer Nelson

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations

I study schools as workplaces for teachers and principals. I use field research methods to investigate how aspects of the organizational environment, such as demographic composition of teaching faculty, spatial arrangements in the workplace, and the principal’s leadership practices shape teachers’ coworker support and relationships. My dissertation project is a multi-site ethnography and survey study exploring these dynamics. My other research examines urban teachers’ job reward bundles as predictors of turnover, early childhood teachers’ identity strategies for safeguarding dignity at work, the role of organizational justice in predicting teacher trust, and determinants of state-level adoption of alternative teacher certification laws. At Vanderbilt, I am working with Jason Grissom on projects concerning gender pay gaps among principals and principal attitudes about their evaluation systems.