Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
Carla O’Connor's disciplinary emphasis is sociology of education and she has expertise in the areas of African-American achievement, urban education, and ethnographic methods. Her work includes examinations of how black identity is differentially constructed across multiple contexts and informs achievement outcomes, how black people’s perceptions of opportunity vary within space and influence academic orientation, and how black educational resilience and vulnerability is structured by social, institutional, and historical forces.
O’Connor’s work has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Sociology of Education, and Ethnic and Racial Studies. She co-edited (with Erin McNamara Horvat) the book, Beyond Acting White: Reframing the Debate on Black Student Achievement. She is a founding member of the NSF-sponsored Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context.
O’Connor was named an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, an honor given to tenured faculty with “exceptional commitment” to undergraduate teaching. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago.
O’Connor's administrative responsibilities include overseeing the Office of Student Affairs, chairing the Graduate Affairs Committee, serving as the liaison between the school and Rackham Graduate School in matters of education and financial aid, and coordinating relationships with College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and other university administrative units concerned with undergraduate programs and student affairs. In addition, she is the dean's office liaison with the Graduate Student Community Organization of the school. She works with program chairs, faculty, staff, and students to develop and implement academic program procedures and policies and to ensure efficient and equitable use of resources in the school's academic programs.
O'Connor teaches courses in the following program(s):
Educational Foundations and Policy
Educational Policy, Leadership, and Innovation
Combined Program in Education and Psychology
Secondary Teacher Education
Elementary Teacher Education
Elementary Teacher Education (ELMAC)
- Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context
- Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
- National Poverty Center
Courses & Syllabi
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