Earl J. Edwards ’10, co-author of the practitioner-driven book All Students Must Thrive: Transforming Schools to Combat Toxic Stressors and Cultivate Critical Wellness, is among new faculty members the Lynch School of Education and Human Development this academic year.  

Earl J. Edwards

Earl J. Edwards

An assistant professor in the Educational Leadership and Higher Education Development department, he is teaching in the Professional School Administrator Program, a curriculum that prepares future superintendents and leaders for public, Catholic, charter, and independent schools.

Edwards, whose scholarship focuses on the impact of structural racism on public institutions, and how K-12 students whose families are homeless navigate schools, centers his practice on training leaders and policymakers to proactively create systems to address racial inequities. A native of
Brockton, he launched his education career as a classroom teacher in Providence and Los Angeles after graduating from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He also earned a master’s degree in school leadership from Columbia University Teachers College, and a Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from the University of California-Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Edwards’s dissertation evaluated the formal and informal networks of support that Los Angeles County high school students utilized to meet their academic, social, and physiological needs to remain housed and graduate from high school.

While at UCLA, Edwards was a researcher at the Center for the Transformation of Schools, the Black Male Institute, and the California Policy Lab; he also served on the Race Equity Committee at the Homeless Policy Research Institute, a partnership between the USC Price Center for Social Innovation and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

He has published in Urban Education, the Journal of Children and Poverty, Phi Delta Kappan, and Education Week, and he has led race and equity workshops for educators and youth service providers in cities and school districts nationwide.

“We are thrilled to welcome Earl Edwards back to BC,” said Wortham. “After earning a bachelor’s degree here, he has gone on to distinguish himself as a teacher and an educational researcher. His work on opportunities for schoolchildren who face housing challenges makes important contributions both to academia and educational practice.”

While at BC, Edwards was president of its NAACP chapter and the AHANA Leadership Council, and he’s an alum of the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center’s Options Through Education Transition Program. In his senior year, BC’s undergraduate newspaper The Heights recognized him as “2010 Person of the Year.”

“Attending Boston College as an undergraduate was an extremely rich experience,” said Edwards. “The Jesuit values of being reflective, challenging the status quo, and being a servant leader shaped my orientation to social justice. I am excited to embed those same values in my courses, scholarship, and service as a professor at BC.”

Phil Gloudemans | University Communications | February 2023