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Arnetha F. Ball

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Arnetha F. Ball

Professor Emerita

Assistant: Terrance Turner


Before entering the professorate, Dr. Arnetha Ball was a speech/language pathologist, taught in pre-school, elementary and secondary classrooms for over 25 years, and was the founder and Executive Director of an early education center for students from diverse backgrounds. Currently, she conducts an interdisciplinary program of research that aims to improve education for diverse student populations in three intersecting contexts: U.S. schools in which predominantly poor African American, Latino, and Pacific Islander students are underachieving; community-based organizations that are part of an alternative education system offering "second chance" or "last chance" opportunities for individuals in search of personal, academic, and economic success; and teacher education programs in the U.S., South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Dr. Ball specializes in the preparation of teachers to teach in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms and has served as an Academic Specialist for the United States Information Services Program in South Africa. She has co-taught courses on multiliteracies and English methodologies in the teacher education program at the Education Campus of Witwatersrand University and has taught in the Further Diploma in Education Program at the University of Cape Town. Dr Ball's research integrates sociocultural, sociolinguistic, and ethnographic approaches to investigate the processes of teacher change, teacher generativity, and teacher professional development in transnational contexts, as well as the language and literacy practices of students in multicultural and multilingual settings. She also specializes in research on writing and writing instruction. She has worked with Duquesne University as their visiting Sizemore Distinguished Professor on issues of Urban Education and as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Auckland Education Campus. She is a member of the National Academy of Education, an AERA Fellow, a past President of the American Educational Research Association, and a past U.S. Representative to the World Educational Research Association.

Other Titles

Emeritus (Active) Professor, Graduate School of Education

Program Affiliations

CTE: Literacy, Language, and English Education
CTE: Teacher Education
Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE)
SHIPS (PhD): Educational Linguistics

Research Interests

Curriculum and Instruction | Diversity and Identity | Equity in education | International and Comparative Education | Literacy and Language | Poverty and Inequality | Research Methods | Teachers and Teaching | Technology and Education

See a full list of GSE Faculty research interests >

Recent Publications

Lampert, J., Ball, A., Garcia-Carrion, R., & Burnett, B. (2019). Poverty and schooling: three cases from Australia, the United States, and Spain. ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION.

Liu, K. (2019). Critical reflection and generativity: Toward a framework of transformative teacher education for diverse learners. Review of Research in Education.

Ball, A. F. (2016). Teacher Professional Development in a Complex and Changing World: Lessons Learned from Model Teacher Education Programs in Transnational Contexts. TEACHER EDUCATION FOR HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS, 2, 115–34.

Arnetha F. Ball in the News

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