Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) professor Bryan A. Brown has been appointed to an endowed chair, the highest honor the university can bestow on faculty.
Brown was named the Kamalachari Professor of Science Education, and he receives the appointment after more than 20 years on the GSE faculty, including serving as current chair of the GSE’s program on Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE) and as associate dean of students from 2014 to 2019.
GSE Dean Dan Schwartz announced Brown’s appointment, as both chair and vice provost for faculty development, diversity and engagement, at a GSE faculty meeting on Feb. 6.
“Bryan has worked for decades to bring marginalized youth into science in ways that leverage their experiences and knowledge,” said Schwartz, who nominated Brown for the professorship. “He’s also worked tirelessly to prepare the next generation of teachers and scholars. He is a superb teacher, researcher, and human being, and this honor is well-deserved.”
Brown’s research focuses on how race, technology, language, and culture impact science teaching in urban schools, and examines how science education has underserved minority students by failing to design instruction that keeps cultural factors in mind. Since 2013 he has run a weeklong science camp at Stanford for fifth- and sixth-graders from inner-city schools, offering students a hands-on introduction to biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering.
His 2020 book, Science in the City, was named 2021 Book of the Year by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. He received an award from the Journal of Research in Science Teaching in 2009 for his project on disaggregating science instruction, the idea that science teaching and learning can be separated into conceptual and language instruction components.
In 2007 he won an award from the National Association for Research in Science Education for outstanding early career scholarship, and was named a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Fellow in 2005.
Brown, who also led the Equity in Learning initiative task force for the Stanford Accelerator for Learning, earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Hampton University, and his master’s degree and doctorate in educational psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Brown is the second person to hold the Kamalachari Professorship, which was originally established in December 2007 as the California Science Education Professorship. The endowment was created for a scholar who would play a major role in developing the university’s work in science education as part of the initiative on improving K-12 education in the Stanford Challenge. The previous chair holder was Jonathan Osborne, professor emeritus of science education.
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