(8-11-98) -- Dennis Shirley, a scholar of urban school reform and past chairman of the Rice University education department, has been appointed an associate dean in the School of Education.
In announcing the appointment, SOE Dean Mary Brabeck said, "Dr. Shirley shares our commitment to the social justice values that undergird the mission of the School of Education."
Shirley, a specialist in the sociology and history of education, has focused his research on the role of community-based organizations in sparking school reform in inner-city neighborhoods.
His most recent book, Community Organizing for Urban School Reform, published in 1997 by the University of Texas Press, demonstrated that church congregation-based organizing can promote new and powerful kinds of public school reform while respecting the separation of church and state.
"In recent years, the School of Education at Boston College has attracted national attention for the scholarly research of the faculty and the innovative work in inter-professional collaborative efforts directed toward improving learning and the life chances of children and youth," said Brabeck.
"Dr. Shirley brings creativity, experience and commitment to continue Boston College's strong ties to schools, congregations and community organizations in New England."
Shirley earned his doctorate in education from the Harvard University School of Graduate Education in 1988. During his 10 years on the education faculty at Rice University, he was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa teaching award, served as master of Will Rice College and directed a summer school for middle school and high school students.
He has been a Chancellor's Scholar with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, and served on the executive planning committee of the Rice School, an innovative new public school opened in Houston in 1994.
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