Arnetha Ball
Stanford University
Associate Professor

Year Elected


Membership status

Arnetha F. Ball is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University in the Curriculum Studies, Teacher Education, and the Race, Inequality and Language Programs. Dr. Ball is also the Charles E. Ducommun Professor in the Graduate School of Education. She currently serves as Chair of the Race, Inequality, and Language Program and is past Co-Director of Stanford’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Language, past Director of the Program in African and African American Studies, 2011-2012 President of the American Educational Research Association, and past US Representative to the World Educational Research Association. Before entering the professorate, Dr. Ball taught in pre-school, elementary, and secondary classrooms for over 25 years and was the founder and Executive Director of “Children’s Creative Workshop,” an early education center that specialized in providing premiere educational experiences for students from diverse backgrounds. Her research is designed to advance sociocultural theory through studies that integrate sociolinguistic, discourse analytic and ethnographic approaches to investigate ways in which semiotic systems in general, and oral and written language in particular, serve as a means for mediating teaching and learning in culturally and linguistically diverse settings. Her interdisciplinary program of research is conducted in complex learning environments that are faced with the promise and the challenges of improving education for diverse populations in three intersecting contexts: U.S. schools where predominantly poor African American, Latino/a, and Pacific Islander students are underachieving; community-based organizations that provide alternative education opportunities for academic and/or economic success; and US and South African teacher education programs that prepare teachers to teach students in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms. Her most recent research investigates successful paradigms, principles and practices in preparing teachers for diversity across national boundaries in countries that serve large numbers of historically marginalized students—including the US, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Winner of the 2009 AERA Palmer O. Johnson Award and author/co-editor of seven books and numerous articles, Ball is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and has served as an Academic Specialist for the United States Information Services Program in South Africa and Distinguished Visiting Scholar in New Zealand and Australia. Recipient of the 2015 St. Clair Drake Teaching Award, Dr. Ball served as a trustee of the Research Foundation of the National Council of Teachers of English, was the Inaugural Barbara A. Sizemore Distinguished Visiting Professor in Urban Education, and was the 2015 Co-convener for the World Educational Research Association’s International Research Network on “Overcoming Inequalities in Schools and Learning Communities: Innovative Education for a New Century.” Her recent work focuses on the development of blended online professional development that prepares teachers to work with diverse student populations and on the implementation of her Model of Generative Change (2009). She holds a B.A. and M.S. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

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