Faculty Directory

Martin Scanlan

Associate Professor


ELHE Educational Leadership & Higher Education


Martin Scanlan is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Before joining the academy, Scanlan spent over ten years as a teacher and administrator. He primarily worked in urban settings in schools serving traditionally marginalized students in Washington, D.C., Berkeley, CA, and Madison, WI. This laid a foundation for his teaching and scholarship interests, which focus on how schools can be organized to more effectively welcome all. Scanlan’s research primarily focuses on the organizational routines and practices of adults in schools, including the policies and procedures that shape these. While attending to multiple dimensions of diversity, his work has looked most carefully at how schools across sectors - including Catholic schools and public schools – can better serve students who have diverse cultural and linguistic heritages, as well as students with special needs. Scanlan has an extensive record of scholarship in academic journals reporting this work.

  • Editor, Journal of Professional Capital and Community : recruit and publish empirical scholarship with a growing emphasis on perspectives from diverse national contexts globally.
  • Conducting a study of Catholic Schools providing culturally and linguistically responsive education
  • Participant in NetEDU Project, an international network of scholars exploring school/community collaboration

Select Publications

  • Scanlan, M., (2021). Cultures of Critical Spirituality to Advance Inclusion of Immigrant Students and Families. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. DOI: 10.1080/09518398.2021.1982060 
  • Theoharis, G., & Scanlan, M. (2020). Leadership for Increasingly Diverse Schools, second edition. New York: Routledge/ Taylor and Francis Group. 
  • Scanlan, M., & Park, H. (2020). The learning of stakeholders in a community school: A narrative history of Gardner Pilot Academy. Journal of Students Placed at Risk. 
  • Scanlan, M., Hunter, C., & Howard, E. (Eds.). (2019). Culturally and linguistically responsive education: Designing networks that transform schools. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Scanlan, M. (2017). Meeting students’ special needs in Catholic schools: A report from the USA. International Studies in Catholic Education, 9(1), 58-75. 
  • Scanlan, M., Kim, M., Vuilleumier, C., & Burns, M. B. (2016). Poco a poco: Leadership practices supporting productive communities of practice in schools serving the new mainstream. Educational Administration Quarterly, 52(1), 3-44. 
  • Scanlan, M., & Lopez, F. (2014). Leadership for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Schools. New York, NY: Routledge / Taylor and Francis Group. 
  • Scanlan, M. (2013). A learning architecture: How school leaders can design for learning social justice. Educational Administration Quarterly, 49(2), 348-391. 
  • Scanlan, M., & Miller, P. M. (2013). In fits and starts: Learning to create a neighborhood educational opportunity zone. Teachers College Record, 115(5).

Select Grants

  • Kern Family Foundation - Expanding the Reach of Formative Leadership Education by Building Communities of Practice ($1,500,000, 2022 - 2025)
  • Boston College Formation - Integration of Formative Education and Social Justice Leadership ($13,300, 2021 - 2022)
  • Boston College Collaborative Fellows Grant – Edison Includes – NIC ($24,000, 2018 – 2019)
  • BC Research Incentive Grant - Establishing a Networked Improvement Community to Expand Refugee Students’ Opportunities to Learn ($14,950, 2018 – 2019)
  • Warmenhoven Fellows Research Grant Proposal Communities of Practice in TWIN-CS ($26,570, 2017 - 2018)
  • Academic Technology Innovation Grant - Universal Design for Learning Leadership ($17,500, 2016 - 2018)

Professional Activities

  • Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Professional Capital and Community