The primary mission of the Educational Problems Division is to support research teaching, activism, social justice, and practices 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 exploring social change through various methodologies, pedagogies, storytelling, personal experience, and creative thinking. 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 such as of race, class, gender, sexuality, first generation etc. and ability affect the educational experiences of faculty, staff, and students within schools, the community, local geography, and globally
  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. Also, in the practices within and out the classroom such as high impact practices, study abroad, mentoring, creation of organizations, other non-profit endeavors, advocacy work, etc. Essentially the division’s mission is twofold with the first being to dismantle the inequities that undermine the promise of those on all levels of education inside and outside the educational settings. The second is to engage the imagination to envision a better world.

Division mission statement reviewed in November 2023 by Kyla Walters, Sonoma State University, Educational Problems Division Chair, 2023-2025. No changes were made. Division mission statement edited in November 2022 by Myron T. Strong, Community of Baltimore County, Educational Problems Division Chair, 2021-2023.

Some Readings:

Alexander, Karl,  L., Doris R. Entwisle, and Linda S. Olson. 2014. The long shadow : family background, disadvantaged urban youth, and the transition to adulthood. Russell Sage Foundation.

Armstrong, Elizabeth A. and Laura Hamilton (equal authorship). 2013. Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

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.

Cottom, Tressie. M. 2017. Lower ed : the troubling rise of for-profit colleges in the new economy. The New 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. 

Grundy, Saida. 2022. Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man. Oakland, CA: Universivity of California Press

Hamilton, Laura, and Kelly Nielsen. 2021. Broke: The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Universities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hamilton, Laura. 2016. Parenting to a Degree: How Family Matters for College Women’s Success. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

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. 

Reyes, Victoria. 2022. Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope. Stanford, CA: Stanford Briefs (an imprint of Stanford University 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.

Warren, Mark R., Karen L. Mapp, and The Community Organizing and School Reform Project. 2011. A Match on Dry Grass : Community Organizing As a Catalyst for School Reform. Oxford University Press.

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