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Ball, Arnetha F.

Arnetha F. Ball
Arnetha F. Ball
Academic Title 
Other Titles 

Co-Director, Center for the study of Race, Ethnicity and Language (CREAL) & Co-Convener of the Inaugural Center Conference: “Racing Language, Languageing Race”

Contact Information
(650) 724-7424
(650) 725-7412
CU 226
Program Affiliations 
CTE: Literacy, Language, and English Education
CTE: Teacher Education
SHIPS (PhD): Educational Linguistics
SHIPS (PhD): Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE)
Research Interests 
Access and Equity
Curriculum and Instruction
Inner-city Youth
International Comparative Education
Linguistics/Linguistic Human Rights
Literacy and Culture
Multicultural Education
Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE)
Teacher Education
Urban Education

Language, Literacies, and Studies in Teacher Professional Development: research on the writing and writing instruction of cultually and linguistically diverse students; preparing teachers to teach diverse student populations in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms; linking sociocultural and linguistic theory with educational practice; and using the linguistic resources present among culturally diverse populations to enhance curriculum and instruction. She is currently conducting research on the implementation of her "Model of Generative Change" (Ball 2009) in pre-service teacher education, inservice teacher professional development, and a secondary pipeline program designed to "grow our own next generation of excellent teachers for urban schools."  Her research on the use of writing as a pedagogical tool to facilitate generative thinking is ongoing.

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. and South Africa. 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 Wits 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 has worked with Duquesne University as their visiting Sizemore Consulting Professor on issues of Urban Education and is a Fellow and Past President of the American Educational Research Association.

"Globalization, technological advances, and the increasing number of students in classrooms worldwide who are from various racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds make multicultural and multilingual education an imperative in the 21st century. … Teachers, however, continue to primarily come from backgrounds that are different from those of their students, and they feel woefully underprepared to teach students from cultural and linguistic groups that differ from their own."

- from Multicultural Strategies for Education and Social Change: Carriers of the Torch in the United States and South Africa (2006)

  • PhD (Language, Literacy & Culture), Stanford University, 1991
  • MS (Speech Pathology), University of Michigan, 1972
  • BA (Education), University of Michigan, 1971

Professor of Education (2007-present)

Associate Professor of Education (1999-2007)

Research Associate and Instructor (1988-1991)

Professor, Curriculum Studies, Teacher Education, and Educational Linguistics, Stanford University (2007-Present)

Director, Program in African and African American Studies, Stanford University (2010-2013)

Associate Professor, Stanford University (1999-2007)

Associate Professor of Education & Coordinator of the Literacy, Language and Culture Program, University of Michigan (1998-1999)

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan (1992-1998)

Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Michigan (1991-1992)

External Program Evaluator, Los Angeles Unified School District (1991-1992)

Speech Pathologist, Audiology Associates of Dayton, OH (1986-1987)

Classroom Teacher, Aurora Elementary School, Aurora, IL (1984-1986)

Head Start Speech/Language Pathologist (1980-1984)

Founder, Administrative Director and Classroom Teacher, Children's Creative Workshop, Richmond, CA (1974-1980)

Ethnic Studies Resource Specialist, Speech Pathologist, Classroom Teacher, Richmond Unified School District, Richmond, CA (1972-1983)

  • ED 103B/AAAS 106/ED 337/CSRE 103B - Race, Ethnicity, and Linguistic Diversity in Classrooms: Sociocultural Theory and Practices
  • ED 112/212/AAAS 112/CSRE 112/SOC 129/229 - Urban Education
  • ED 135 - Preparing Teachers for Diversity: Studying Diversity in Teacher Education
  • ED 243 - Writing Across Languages and Cultures: Research on Writing and Writing Instruction
  • ED 281 - Using Literacies to Support Struggling Students
  • ED 322/123/AAAS 130/CSRE 130 - Community-based Research as a Tool for Social Action: The Discourse of Liberation and Equity in Schools and Society

Ball, A. F.  (2013). Learning To Teach In A Complex Interconnected World. Theory into Practice 50th Anniversary Issue.

Ball, A. F.  (2012) To Know Is Not Enough: Knowledge, Power, and the Zone of Generativity.  Educational Researcher, 41(4), 283-293.  NY: AERA Publication.

Ball, A. F. and Tyson, C. A. (2011). Studying Diversity in Teacher Education, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Ball, A. F. (2009). Toward a theory of generative change in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms. American Educational Research Journal, 46(1), 45-72.

Paris, D. J., & Ball, A. F. (2009). Connecting teacher and student knowledge in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms: Lessons for teacher education. In L. M. Morrow, R. Rueda, & D. Lapp (Eds.), Handbook of research on literacy instruction: Issues of diversity, policy, and equity. New York: Guilford.

Cooks, J., & Ball, A. F. (2008). African American adolescent literacies: Practices, perspectives, and pedagogical approaches. In L. Christenbury, R. Bomer, & P. Smagorinsky (Eds.), Handbook on adolescent literacy research. New York: Guilford.

Ball, A. F. (Ed.) (2006). With more deliberate speed: Achieving equity and excellence in education. NSSE 2006 Yearbook: National Society for the Study of Education. Williston, VT: Blackwell Publishing.

Ball, A. F. (2006). Multicultural strategies for education and social shange: Carriers of the torch in the United States and South Africa. New York: Teachers College Press.

Ball A. F. & Lardner T. (2005) African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Ball, A. F. (2005). Culture and language: Bidialectal issues in literacy. In J. Flood & P. Andres (Eds.), Literacy development of students in urban schools: Research and Policy. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Ball, A. F., & Freedman, S. W. (Eds.) (2004). Bakhtinian perspectives on language, literacy and learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Ball, A. F. (2002). Three decades of research on classroom life: Illuminating the classroom communicative lives of America's at-risk students. Review of Research in Education,

Ball, A. F. (2000). Empowering pedagogies that enhance the learning of multicultural students. Teachers College Record, 102(6), 1006-1034.

Professor, Curriculum Studies, Teacher Education, and Educational Linguistics, Stanford University (2007-Present)

Co-Director, Center for the study of Race, Ethnicity and Language (CREAL) & Co-Convener of the Inaugural Center Conference: “Racing Language, Languageing Race”

Consulting Professor in Urban Education (2009-Present)

International Invited Guest Speaker, North West University, South Africa (2014)

International Invited Keynote Speaker, Te Whare Wanānga O Awanuiārangi Indigenous University, Wakatāne, New Zealand  (March 28, 2013)

International Invited Keynote Speaker, Jessie Hetherington Center for Educational Research, Hugh McKenzie Lecture Theater, University of Wellington, New Zealand (March 26, 2013)

Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association

All India Association of Educational Research Silver Jubilee Annual Conference

Educational Research Association of Singapore (ERAS)

American Educational Research Association

Human Rights Education Conference, Potchefstroom, South Africa

National Council of Teachers of English, San Francisco

Literacy Summit, The Importance of Writing in Literacy Development, Calif State University Dominguez Hills

International Reading Association, Conference on Literacy in Urban Schools

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Adolescent Literacy Conference