Fatima Brunson, PhD. is post-doctoral researcher in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Brunson earned her doctorate degree in Policy Studies in Urban Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her research is used to connect literature on workplace conditions, teachers collaborative practice and culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogies. Currently, she works with schools and districts to better understand how school leaders and teachers work together to enact responsive pedagogies in racially isolated schools and culturally mixed middle schools, high schools, and higher educational institutions. Her work with teaching teams specifically focuses on disseminating strategies for enhancing student engagement in science and math classrooms, through supporting teachers’ adoption of culturally sustaining innovations. As well, she provides consultation services to various types of organizations to provide in-person and online trainings surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.
Her dissertation entitled, “Organizational Conditions Impacting Teachers’ Culturally Responsive Pedagogies: A Look at African American Schools” is deeply informed by her experiences as a practitioner and education researcher within urban communities across the midwestern region of the country. It is an interdisciplinary research project that illuminates essential organizational elements that are inextricably linked to educators pedagogical style and praxis, that make up the various enactments of culturally responsiveness received by Black and Brown youth. Her work goes beyond individual pedagogical practice to look at the systems and supports that highlight both the challenges posed to schools experiencing the demographic divide and the potential for schools to function as space where transformative pedagogies are birthed and sustained.
As a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, she teaches a course on the historical and philosophical foundations of public education amongst a group of ambitious PhD and EDD candidates. She works under the direction of Dean Valerie Kinloch on two grant funded research projects that focus on equity and justice in PK-12, higher educational, and community contexts; designing and conducting equity oriented professional development programs, while advancing her dissertation research to look at organizational leadership and responses to institutional barriers when promoting antiracist, culturally responsive approaches.