Dean Stanton Wortham

An award-winning teacher, scholar, and documentary film producer, Stanton E. F. Wortham, Ph.D., comes to the Lynch School of Education as its inaugural Charles F. Donovan, S.J., Dean from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, where he was the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor and associate dean for academic affairs.

A linguistic anthropologist and educational ethnographer with a particular expertise in how identities develop in human interactions, Wortham has conducted research spanning education, anthropology, linguistics, psychology, sociology, and philosophy. He is the author or editor of nine books and more than 80 articles and chapters that cover a range of topics including linguistic anthropology, discourse analysis, “learning identity” (how social identification and academic learning interconnect), and education in the new Latino diaspora. 

He spent 18 years as a professor and administrator at Penn, where he served twice as interim dean of the Graduate School of Education and won multiple awards for teaching excellence, including the University of Pennsylvania Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Stanton Wortham

For the last 10 years, Wortham has studied the experiences of Mexican immigrant students both in and outside of school as they adjusted to lives in communities with largely non-Latino populations. 

As part of that project, he was the executive producer of the award-winning 2014 documentary Adelante, which chronicles how a Mexican-immigrant and Irish-American community are revitalizing a once-struggling parish. Wortham is currently writing a book based on his research in the small town.

Research Interests