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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Welcome to the Berkeley Review of Education, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published online and edited by students from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. The Berkeley Review of Education engages issues of educational diversity and equity within cognitive, developmental, sociohistorical, linguistic, and cultural contexts. The BRE encourages submissions on research and theory from senior and emerging scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers. To submit a paper, please click on "Submit article to this journal" in the side bar.


The Politics of Fair and Affordable Housing in Metropolitan Atlanta: Challenges for Educational Opportunity

This qualitative case study considers the politics of the coalitions that emerged to address fair and affordable housing in the Atlanta metropolitan area between 2017 and 2020 and the connections or barriers they identified to educational opportunity. It applies regional, civic capacity, and social construction of policy frameworks to explore in which arenas the two issue areas of housing and education have been linked by policymakers, and by selected civic entities, non-profit organizations, and philanthropies. The case draws on demographic data, interviews, and documents in the analysis of the barriers to, and possibilities for, coordination of housing and education policy instruments to promote educational opportunity in the region. The author found that the majority of efforts to bridge the two policy areas were developed and led by non-profit actors, and mostly took the form of place-based interventions rather than mobility programs.  Implications of these findings for policy design are discussed.

Unicorns Are Real: A Narrative Synthesis of Black Men’s Career Trajectories in Special Education in the United States


Black male teachers are scarce, and Black males who teach special education are so rare as to be metaphorical unicorns. As a result, both empirical and theoretical research that examines the trajectories of Black male teachers has almost completely avoided addressing Black men who teach special education. This narrative synthesis examines the historical landscape of Black teachers in general, the difficulties they face, and the limited empirical research on Black male special education teachers. Policy and research implications are explored, reflecting the dire need for Black male special education teachers in the United States and programs to improve their participation and retention.

Student Movements Against the Imperial University: Toward a Genealogy of Disability Justice in U.S. Higher Education

This article explores insurgent knowledge created by student organizers who are collectively challenging institutional complicity with U.S. imperialism, racial capitalism, settler-colonialism, and disability injustice through social movements on U.S. college campuses. Taking Syracuse University as a case study of anti-imperialist student organizing from 1968-1970, I analyze student protest materials—primarily political education leaflets and literature opposing the Vietnam War and anti-Black racism—from the university archives. Following a lineage of anti-imperialist student organizing from the second half of the twentieth century to the present-day student movement for justice in Palestine, I highlight traces of disability within histories of student protest that have largely been framed as extraneous to disability issues and histories on U.S. campuses. My argument is twofold: 1. Student movements opposing Israeli apartheid, U.S. imperialism, and settler-colonialism are also movements for disability justice, and 2. Student movements for disability justice must actively oppose Israeli apartheid, U.S. imperialism, and settler-colonialism. Through collective labor and direct action aimed at transformation over inclusion, student protestors throughout history and today offer a different framing of what a university might do under other, non-white supremacist, heteropatriarchal, and settler-capitalist social relations and economic conditions that impede collective access. The visions put forth by student organizers can inform how we teach and labor at universities to bring our politics and practices in closer alignment with the principles of disability justice.

Unpacking the T: Understanding the Diverse Experiences Trans Students Navigating Schools

In this mixed methods study, we use quantitative and narrative survey data from 47 parents/guardians of trans youth to understand their experiences navigating schools. In our analytic process, we recognized that how students identified mattered to parents/guardians’ stories. We use trans theories and concepts of materiality, embodiment, and subjection to understand our initial thematic analysis. Our findings indicate the need to attend to students’ material bodies, how their embodied experiences differ based on how they are read and which “rules” they “break,” and how masculinity and femininity might be regulated differently. We aim to contribute to the growing literature in PK-12 education that calls for research to differentiate the experiences of trans students by unpacking the T.