The primary mission of the Educational Problems Division is to support research teaching, activism, and practice that critically explore the ways in which educational and learning practices are shaped by social contexts and conditions. The work of our Division is heavily influenced by our Membership’s commitment to social justice. As such, we are focused not just on understanding social life and the role that education and its institutions play in shaping it, but also in actively addressing the inequities of our educational system; in shaping social policy in the educational arena; and in bridging the divide between academics and non-academics in the field of education. Our concerns include but are not limited to:

  1. Understanding how schools help to maintain and perpetuate social inequality;
  2. Examining how factors of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability affect the educational experiences of students both within and across schools; and
  3. Exploring what the ultimate purpose of education should be and how we as a society might best achieve this ideal.

Our members advance our mission and pursue our concerns in many arenas. On college and university campuses across the country and the globe, our members advance our mission through teaching students to critically examine the world they confront and the role that education has played in preparing – or not preparing – them for its challenges. Commitment to our mission can also be found in the scholarship of our Division’s members, whether in leading academic and policy journals, acclaimed academic and non-academic books, or in newspapers and magazines that reflect the diversity of disciplines and intellectual traditions present in our membership. Finally, our Division’s mission is also advanced by our members engaged in advocacy work and in other non-profit endeavors working to dismantle the inequities that undermine the promise of many of our youth both well before and after they enter the classroom.

Division mission statement reviewed in December 2021 by Myron T. Strong, Community of Baltimore County, Educational Problems Division Chair, 2021-2023. No edits were made. Division mission statement last edited in 2013 by Leslie R. Hinkson, Georgetown University, Educational Problems Division Chair, 2011-2013.

Some Readings:

Apple, Michael W. 1982. Education and Power. Boston: Ark Paperbacks. 

Armstrong, Linda and Laura T. Hamilton.  2015.  Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 

Bowles, Samuel and Herbert Gintis.  1976.  Schooling in Capitalist America:  Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life.  New York: Basic Books.

Carter, Prudence L.  2005.  Keepin’ it Real: School Success Beyond Black and White.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chu, Lenora.  2017.  Little Soldiers: An American Boy, A Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve.  New York: Harpers.

Delpit, Lisa. 1995. Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom. New York: The New Press. 

Duncan, Greg and Richard Murnane.  2014.  Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Publishing Group.

Ferguson, Ann Arnett.  2000. Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 

Fullinwider, Robert K., & Lichtenberg, Judith.  2004.  Leveling the Playing Field: Justice, Politics, and College Admissions.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 

Hochschild, Jennifer and Nathan Scovronick.  2003.  The American Dream and the Public Schools.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kumashiro, Kevin.  2002.  Troubling Education: Queer Activism and Antioppressive Pedagogy. New York: Routledge. 

Lareau, Annette.  2003. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Morris, Monique W.  2016.  Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School.  New York: Basic Books.

Mullen, Ann.  2010.  Degrees of Inequality:  Culture, Class, and Gender in Higher Education.  Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins Press.

Musheno, Michael and Calvin Morrill. 2018. Navigating Conflict: How Youth Handle Trouble in a High Poverty School. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Orfield, Gary and Eaton, Susan E.  1996. Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. New York: The New Press. 

Pascoe, C.J. 2007.  Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School.  Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Ravitch, Diane.  2010.  The Death and Life of the Great American School System.  New York: Basic Books.

Thorne, Barrie.  1993.  Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School.  New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Tuchman, Gaye.  2011.  Wannabe U: Inside the Corporate University.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Tyack, David and Larry Cuban.  1995.  Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Warikoo, Natasha K.  2016.  The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Willis, Paul.  1981.  Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs.  New York: Columbia University Press.