Disrupting systems of inequality in education
When Hannah D’Apice first came to the GSE in 2016, she was looking to make sense of her experiences as a middle school teacher in Dallas, her hometown.
“I saw a real disconnect between what my students needed in the classroom and the resources we were provided as teachers,” said D’Apice, who received her master’s from the GSE’s International Comparative Education (ICE) program in 2017. “Inequality became a preoccupation of my research after seeing my brilliant, thoughtful students getting fewer opportunities to shine because of their income level.”
After finishing her master’s program, D’Apice continued her work as a researcher studying the efficacy of edtech interventions in schools before returning to the GSE to pursue her PhD.
“I love the research process and the opportunity to think deeply about important questions in education,” she said. “I really wanted this time period that I could dedicate to thinking and reading deeply, as well as researching and writing.”
D’Apice’s current research focuses on how systems of inequality can become encoded or disrupted by formal structures and policies.
“I’ve always been interested in how we can change the institutions around us,” said D’Apice, who is co-president of the GSE Student Guild and helps lead a program supported by the GSE Students Collaborative Learning Fund that works to promote antiracist practices at the GSE.
Through the program, D’Apice and other GSE students have helped Stanford faculty with syllabus consultations, advice on how to incorporate diverse voices in their coursework, and thought partnership in reimagining course pedagogy.
“Understanding that things can change in higher education to improve individual experiences of inclusion — and that I can inform that change through my research — gives me hope and makes me grateful that I can do such interesting and positive work.”