Biographies OP27

William Ayers
Gail Boldt
Greg Dimitriadis
Jeff Duncan-Andrade
Ann Haas Dyson
Celia Genishi
Marc Lamont Hill
Fred Klonsky
Kevin K. Kumashiro
Deborah Meier
Erica R. Meiners
Pedro Noguera
Diane Ravitch
Raynard Sanders
Gil Schmerler
Peter Taubman


William Ayers, formerly Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He has authored 6 books, co-authored 3 books, most recently (with Ryan Alexander-Tanner) To Teach: The Journey, in Comics, and co-edited 3 volumes.

Gail Boldt is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at Penn State University. She teaches in the undergraduate literacy education program and is the Professor in Charge of the Ph.D. program in language, culture and society. Her research interests include analyses of constructions of identity in school settings, the emotional dimensions of reading difficulties, literacy curriculum and children's subjectivities, children's popular culture, and narrative research.

Greg Dimitriadis is Professor of Sociology of Education in the Graduate School of Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is author or editor (alone and with others) of over 10 books and 50 articles and book chapters. His books include Critical Dispositions: Evidence and Expertise in Education, Performing Identity / Performing Culture: Hip Hop as Text, Pedagogy, and Lived Practice, Friendship, Cliques, and Gangs: Young Black Men Coming of Age in Urban America, and Studying Urban Youth Culture. He edits the book series Critical Youth Studies and co-edits Key Ideas and Education, both published by Routledge.

Jeff Duncan-Andrade is Associate Professor of Raza Studies and Education at San Francisco State University and Director of the Educational Equity Initiative at the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design (ISEEED). In addition to these duties, he continues as a high school teacher in East Oakland where for the past 19 years he has practiced and studied the use of critical pedagogy in urban schools (see Dr. Duncan-Andrade has authored two books and numerous journal articles and book chapters on the conditions of urban education, urban teacher support and development, and effective pedagogy in urban settings.

Anne Haas Dyson is a former teacher of young children and, currently, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previously she was on the faculty of the University of Georgia, Michigan State University, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a recipient of the campus Distinguished Teaching Award. She studies the childhood cultures and literacy learning of young schoolchildren. Among her publications are Social Worlds of Children Learning to Write in an Urban Primary School, which was awarded NCTE's David Russell Award for Distinguished Research, Writing Superheroes, and The Brothers and Sisters Learn to Write.

Celia Genishi is professor of education and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a former secondary Spanish and preschool teacher and now teaches courses related to early childhood education and qualitative research methods. She is co-author (with Anne Haas Dyson) of Children, Language, and Literacy: Diverse Learners in Diverse Times. Her research interests include collaborative research and assessment with teachers, childhood bilingualism, and children’s language use in classrooms. One of her cherished awards is called Advocate for Justice, presented to her in 1998 by the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education.

Marc Lamont Hill has been on the faculty of Columbia University as Associate Professor of Education, Teachers College, since 2009. He also holds an affiliated faculty appointment in African American Studies. Dr. Hill is the author of two books: Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life and The Classroom and the Cell. In addition, Dr. Hill has lectured widely and provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, Washington Post, Essence Magazine, and The New York Times. He is the host of the nationally syndicated television show Our World With Black Enterprise and provides regular commentary for CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel.

Fred Klonsky began teaching art to elementary school students in 1984. He teaches in a suburban school district outside of Chicago. Fred is a long-time teacher, union, and political activist. From 2000 to 2010 he was President of the Park Ridge Education Association. Fred blogs daily at He retires from teaching in June of 2012.

Kevin K. Kumashiro is professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was formerly chair of Educational Policy Studies and interim co-director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy. He is the award-winning author of nine books on education and activism, including Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture (Teachers College Press, forthcoming in spring 2012). He is the founding director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education, and the president-elect of the National Association for Multicultural Education (2010-2012). 

Deborah Meier has spent 45 years in urban public schools as a kindergarten teacher and principal, K-12; she is also author of The Power of Their Ideas and many other books, a founding member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, and a MacArthur Fellow.

Erica R. Meiners lives in Chicago and teaches, writes and participates in justice work. She is the author of Flaunt It! Queers Organizing for Public Education and Justice (2009), Right to be Hostile: Schools, Prisons and the Making of Public Enemies (2007) and numerous articles. A 2010 Lillian J. Robinson Scholar at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, a 2011-2012 Visiting Research Faculty at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she is Professor of Education and Gender and Women’s Studies and a member of the University Professionals of Illinois, local 4100, at Northeastern Illinois University.

Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. He holds tenured faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development at NYU. Dr. Noguera is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). In 2008, he was appointed by the Governor of New York to serve on the State University of New York Board of Trustees. 

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She is the author of ten books including The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (2010). She is also an editor of 14 volumes and has written more than 500 articles and reviews for scholarly and popular publications. She shares a blog called Bridging Differences with Deborah Meier, hosted by Education Week. She also blogs for and the Huffington Post.

Raynard Sanders has served as professor and Interim Director in the Master of Arts in Urban Education Program at Southern University at New Orleans. He also served as the Executive Director of The National Faculty at New Orleans, a professional development agency designed to improve the quality of teaching in poor performing schools throughout the Mississippi Delta. He hosts The New Orleans Imperative, a weekly radio show on public education. Dr. Sanders received his B.A. from Dillard University, a Masters of Educational Administration from Southern University, and his Doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Gil Schmerler is director of the Leadership for Educational Change program at Bank Street College. He has been a teacher, administrator, staff developer, and new school designer in K-12 schools in NJ, MD, NY, and RI. His recent work and writing have focused on teacher leadership, small schools, and constructivist teacher supervision. He is co-author with Mary Anne Raywid of Not So Easy Going: The Policy Environments of Small Urban Schools and Schools-within-Schools (2003), and editor of Teacher Leaders: Transforming Schools from the Inside (2009).

Peter Taubman is professor of education in the School of Education at Brooklyn College. He is a co-founder of the Bushwick School for Social Justice, in Brooklyn, New York. His book, Teaching by Numbers: Deconstructing the Discourse of Standards and Accountability in Education, published by Routledge Press, received the 2010 Outstanding Book Award from AERA’s Division B, the 2010 Critics Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association, and the OL Davis, Jr. Outstanding Book Award from AATC. His most recent book, Disavowed Knowledge: Psychoanalysis, Teaching and Education, was published by Routledge Press.