Faculty Directory

Scott Seider

Associate Professor


CDEP Counseling, Developmental & Educational Psychology


Scott Seider is an applied developmental psychologist whose research focuses on the role that educators can play in fostering young people's civic development and critical consciousness. He is the author of three books and numerous articles that report on the promising practices of educators committed to supporting their students' positive development in these areas. At Boston College, Dr. Seider teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on adolescent development, transformative teaching and learning, qualitative research methods, and social oppression and transformation. He previously worked as an English teacher in the Boston Public Schools and as a teacher educator at Boston University. Dr. Seider also currently serves on advisory boards for a number of different youth-serving organizations including Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education, the Journal of Adolescent Research, Character.org, and the Center for Parent & Teen Communication.

Select Publications


  • Seider, S., and Graves, D. (2020). Schooling for critical consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx youth in analyzing, navigating, and challenging racial injustice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
  • Seider, S. (2012). Character Compass: How powerful school culture can point students toward success. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. 
  • Seider, S. (2010). Shelter: Where Harvard meets the homeless. New York, NY: Continuum.

Refereed Articles

  • Seider, S., Clark, S., & Graves, D. (2020). The development of critical consciousness and its relation to academic achievement in adolescents of color. Child Development, 91(2), 451-474. 
  • Clark, S., & Seider, S. (2020). The role of curiosity in the sociopolitical development of Black and Latinx adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 30(1), 189-202. 
  • Seider, S., Clark, S., Graves, D., Kelly, L., El-Amin, A., Soutter, M, & Jennett, P. (2019). Black and Latinx adolescents’ developing beliefs about poverty and associations with their awareness of racism. Developmental Psychology, 55(3), 509-524.

Articles for Practitioner Audience

  • Seider, S., & Graves, D. (2020 March). Raise their voices: By fostering political agency, schools can ramp up students’ civic knowledge and engagement. Educational Leadership, 77(6), 36-40. 
  • Seider, S., & Graves, D. (2020 January). Making SEL culturally competent: Teaching students about oppression and critical consciousness is a vital component of social-emotional learning. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/making-sel-culturally-competent. 
  • El-Amin, A., Seider, S., Graves, D., **Tamerat, J., **Clark, S., **Soutter, M., ***Johannsen, J., & ***Malhotra, S. (2017 February). Critical consciousness: A key to student achievement. Phi Delta Kappan, 18-23.
  • Seider, S. (2009). Social justice in the suburbs: Challenges to engaging privileged youth in social action. Educational Leadership, 66(8), 54-58.

Select Grants

  • Principal Investigator, “The development of critical consciousness in adolescents attending no excuses and progressive urban charter high schools.” Spencer Foundation (with Daren Graves, Co-PI) (2016-2020) ($350,000). 
  • Principal Investigator, “Critical consciousness combines civic, intellectual, and performance character virtues to foster positive youth development.” John Templeton Foundation (with Daren Graves, co-PI) (2015-2017) ($421,590). 
  • Principal Investigator, “Developing curiosity in adolescents through the Question Formulation Technique.” John Templeton Foundation (with Shelby Clark, Co-PI) (2015-2017) ($153,132). 
  • Principal Investigator, “The impact of urban charter schools on the critical consciousness of marginalized youth.” National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship (2013-2015) ($55,000). 
  • Co-Principal Investigator, “The health benefits of pro-social behavior.” Canadian Institute of Health Research. (with Elizabeth Dunn, PI) (2011-2014) ($173,194). Principal Investigator, “Investigating the impact of ethical philosophy upon the civic identity and actions of urban adolescents.” Spencer Foundation (2010-2012) ($38,700).

Select Appointments & Awards

  • NAEd Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation (2013) 
  • Moral Development & Education Outstanding Book Award, American Educational Research Association (2013). 
  • Community Builder Award, Phillips Brooks House Association Summer Urban Program (2013) 
  • Moral Development & Education Outstanding Book Award, American Educational Research Association (2012)
  •  Kuhmerker Dissertation Award, Association for Moral Education (2010)
  • Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling, Harvard University (2007)

Professional Activities

Editorial Board, Journal of Adolescent Research; Editorial Board, Journal of Character Education; Research Advisory Board, EL Education, Education Advisory Council, Character.org; Advisory Board, Center for Parent & Teen Communication