Member Since: 2017
Vivian L. Gadsden is the William T. Carter Professor of Child Development, Professor of Education, and Director of the National Center on Fathers and Families at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a faculty member in Department of Africana Studies and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, and served as Associate Director of the National Center on Adult Literacy. Gadsden is Immediate Past President of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Gadsden’s research and scholarly interests take a life-course developmental perspective that integrates historical and contemporary social analyses. Across her work, she seeks to uncover the cultural repertoires, strengths, as well as the needs that young children, youth, and families bring to learning, schooling, health, and well-being. Guided by interests in the cultural and familial domains in which children, youth, and adults form identities, Gadsden’s scholarship examines how these identities are leveraged, while also documenting the social hierarchies that constrain and enable opportunity. As part of this scholarship, she is concerned with the ways language and literacy practices contribute to the development, engagement, and well-being of vulnerable populations. Her conceptual framework, family cultures, has been used widely to examine the interconnectedness among families’ political, cultural, and social histories and racialized identities; social practices; and literacy processes. Her current, collaborative projects include studies of Head Start children’s literacy learning and teacher communities; parenting and family engagement; young fathers in urban settings; health and educational disparities within low-income communities; children of incarcerated parents; and intergenerational learning within African American and Latino families. Former co-editor of Educational Researcher, Gadsden served as the chair of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Supporting Parents of Young Children, and co-edited the report,Parenting Matters. She was also lead editor for the AERA Review of Research in Education volume on risk.