I was born and raised in California, graduated with a B.A. from the University of California/Santa Cruz in 1984, and earned the Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, in 1993. From 1984-1986, I taught middle school in San Diego, working mainly with recent Mexican immigrant students. My primary training is as a social and cultural anthropologist, with significant influence from sociology and history.
I maintain a broad interest in exploring the many forms and purposes of education, both in and out of schools. My research interests and publications include student culture and identity formation at the secondary level, in Mexico and the United States; multicultural civic and citizenship education for democracy and social justice, especially in Latin America; the sociocultural practice of policy formation and implementation; critical social theories in education; transnational migration and education; and ethnographic research methods.
I have served as President of the Council on Anthropology and Education, and Founding Editor of the Inter-American Journal of Education for Democracy. I have also served on numerous editorial boards for journals and book series.
Current interests and projects include the study of secondary education reform in Mexico and Latin America; attitudes toward "choice" and public education in the state of Indiana; and translation of recent critical educational research in Latin America from Spanish to English.