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Dr. Arnetha Ball


Before entering the professorate, Dr. Ball was a speech/language pathologist, taught in pre-school, elementary and secondary classrooms for more than 25 years, and founded and directed an early education center for students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Ball is currently pursuing an ambitious interdisciplinary research agenda that aims to improve education for urban populations in three intersecting contexts: American schools in which predominantly poor African American, Latino and Pacific Islander students are underachieving; community-based organizations that are part of an alternative education providing “second chance” or “last chance” opportunities for individuals in search of personal, academic and economic success; and teacher education programs across the United States and South Africa. This research integrates sociocultural, sociolinguistic and ethnographic approaches to investigate the processes of teacher change and development, as well as the language and literacy practices of students in multicultural settings.


One of the world’s leading authorities in urban education, Dr. Ball is President of the American Educational Research Association, and is past president of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy.