Our research is distinguished by a common set of socio-culturally responsive methodologies, such as collaborative action research, ethnographies and biographical narratives. As we work to develop new methodologies for our research, we keep in mind the importance of discourse, community and context in the social construction of learning. These methodologies provide lenses for exploring the gaps in the learning opportunities of underserved students and for the discovery of more effective practices. These methodologies prove to be effective means for investigating the strengths as well as the limited learning opportunities of underserved students and for the exploration of more empowering classroom (or “instructional”) practices.
The figure above illustrates our focus and the interdisciplinary nature of our work.
Finally, a shared purpose and common research methodologies also inform the unique manner in which we view disciplinary knowledge. In most schools, colleges, and departments of education, faculty work in isolation from their colleagues in other disciplines (e.g., science educators talk only to other science educators), but the department has never valued this compartmentalized approach to the organization. Our own disciplinary knowledge and skills, while crucial to advancing our individual research agendas in the highly specialized world of academia, diminish in importance when we focus on our overarching mission of improving educational opportunities for underserved students. We see the common disciplinary categories in educational research and practice not as boundaries, but as lines to cross or erase altogether.
Please see the individual faculty pages for specific publications of our research.