Bio


Before entering the professorate, Dr. Arnetha Ball was a speech/language pathologist, taught in pre-school, elementary and secondary classrooms for over 25 years, and was the founder and Executive Director of an early education center for students from diverse backgrounds. Currently, she conducts an interdisciplinary program of research that aims to improve education for diverse student populations in three intersecting contexts: U.S. schools in which predominantly poor African American, Latino, and Pacific Islander students are underachieving; community-based organizations that are part of an alternative education system offering "second chance" or "last chance" opportunities for individuals in search of personal, academic, and economic success; and teacher education programs in the U.S., South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Dr. Ball specializes in the preparation of teachers to teach in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms and has served as an Academic Specialist for the United States Information Services Program in South Africa. She has co-taught courses on multiliteracies and English methodologies in the teacher education program at the Education Campus of Witwatersrand University and has taught in the Further Diploma in Education Program at the University of Cape Town. Dr Ball's research integrates sociocultural, sociolinguistic, and ethnographic approaches to investigate the processes of teacher change, teacher generativity, and teacher professional development in transnational contexts, as well as the language and literacy practices of students in multicultural and multilingual settings. She also specializes in research on writing and writing instruction. She has worked with Duquesne University as their visiting Sizemore Distinguished Professor on issues of Urban Education and as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Auckland Education Campus. She is a member of the National Academy of Education, an AERA Fellow, a past President of the American Educational Research Association, and a past U.S. Representative to the World Educational Research Association.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • The Charles E. Ducommun Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Emerita, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2017 - Present)
  • Director/Chair, Race, Inequality and Language in Education Program (RILE), Stanford Graduate School of Education (2016 - 2020)
  • Co-Convener, World Educational Research Association’s International Research Network (IRN) (2015 - 2019)
  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Auckland (2014 - 2016)
  • Co-Director, Center for the study of Race, Ethnicity and Language (CREAL) (2011 - 2019)
  • Co-Convener, Inaugural Center Conference: “Racing Language, Languageing Race” (2011 - 2012)
  • Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2007 - Present)
  • Associate Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education (1999 - 2007)
  • Research Associate and Instructor, Stanford University (1988 - 1991)

Honors & Awards


  • Member, National Academy of Education (2019)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • International Invited Guest Speaker, North West University, South Africa (2014 - 2015)
  • International Invited Keynote Speaker, Te Whare Wanānga O Awanuiārangi Indigenous University, Wakatāne, New Zealand (2013 - 2016)
  • Visiting Scholar, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, New Zealand (2013 - 2015)
  • International Invited Keynote Speaker, Hetherington Center for Educational Research, Hugh McKenzie Lecture, University of Wellington, NZ (2013 - 2014)
  • Co-Director, Center for the study of Race, Ethnicity and Language (CREAL) (2011 - 2019)
  • Director, Program in African and African American Studies, Stanford University (2010 - 2013)
  • Consulting Professor, Urban Education and Teacher Education (2009 - Present)
  • Professor, Curriculum Studies, Teacher Education, and Educational Linguistics, Stanford University (2007 - Present)
  • Associate Professor of Education & Literacy Program Director, Literacy, Language and Culture Program, University of Michigan (1998 - 1999)
  • Assistant Professor, University of Michigan (1992 - 1998)
  • External Program Evaluator, Los Angeles Unified School District (1991 - 1992)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Michigan (1991 - 1992)
  • Speech Pathologist, Audiology Associates of Dayton, OH (1986 - 1987)
  • Classroom Teacher, Aurora Elementary School, Aurora, IL (1984 - 1986)
  • Head Start Speech/Language Pathologist, . (1980 - 1984)
  • Founder, Administrative Director and Classroom Teacher, Children's Creative Workshop, Early Educational Center, Richmond, CA (1974 - 1984)
  • Ethnic Studies Resource Specialist, Speech Pathologist, Classroom Teacher, Richmond Unified School District, Richmond, CA (1972 - 1983)

Professional Education


  • BA, University of Michigan, Education (1971)
  • MS, University of Michigan, Speech Pathology (1972)
  • PhD, Stanford University, Language, Literacy & Culture (1991)

Research Interests


  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Diversity and Identity
  • Equity in education
  • International and Comparative Education
  • Literacy and Language
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Research Methods
  • Teachers and Teaching
  • Technology and Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Language, Literacies, and Studies in Teacher Professional Development; research on the writing and writing instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse students; preparing teachers to teach diverse student populations in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms; linking sociocultural and linguistic theory to educational practice; and using the linguistic resources present among culturally diverse populations to enhance curriculum and instruction. She is currently conducting research on the implementation of her "Model of Generative Change" (Ball 2009) in pre-service teacher education, inservice teacher professional development, and a secondary pipeline program designed to "grow our own next generation of excellent teachers for urban schools." Over the last few years she has been collecting data in New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and the United States on the preparation of teachers to work with historically marginalized populations. Her research on the use of writing as a pedagogical tool to facilitate generative thinking is ongoing and her most recent project looks at the development of blended online learning environments that are designed to prepare teachers to work effectively with diverse student populations in transnational contexts.

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Efrain Brito
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Efrain Brito, Danielle Greene, CoCo Massengale, Jessica Stovall

All Publications


  • Poverty and schooling: three cases from Australia, the United States, and Spain ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION Lampert, J., Ball, A., Garcia-Carrion, R., Burnett, B. 2019
  • Critical reflection and generativity: Toward a framework of transformative teacher education for diverse learners Review of Research in Education Liu, K. 2019
  • Introducing Raciolinguistics Raciolinguistics: How language shapes our ideas about race Alim, S., Rickford, J. R., Ball, A. F. 2016: 1-30
  • Teacher Professional Development in a Complex and Changing World: Lessons Learned from Model Teacher Education Programs in Transnational Contexts TEACHER EDUCATION FOR HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS Ball, A. F., Lampert, J., Burnett, B. 2016; 2: 115–34
  • Learning to Teach in a Complex Interconnected World THEORY INTO PRACTICE Ball, A. F. 2013; 52: 31-41
  • Learning to teach in a complex interconnected world Theory Into Practice Ball, A. F. 2013; 52 (sup1): 31-41
  • To Know Is Not Enough: Knowledge, Power, and the Zone of Generativity EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER Ball, A. F. 2012; 41 (8): 283-293
  • To know is not enough: Knowledge, power, and the zone of generativity Educational Researcher Ball, A. F. 2012; 41 (8): 283-293
  • Studying diversity in teacher education Ball, A. F., Tyson, C. A. Rowman & Littlefield. 2011
  • PREPARING TEACHERS FOR TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SCHOOLS: ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING AS A MEANS TO IMPROVE THE RELEVANCE OF TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS TEACHING TEACHERS: APROACHES IN IMPROVING QUALITY OF EDUCATION Anthony, A., Ball, A. F., Saleh, I. M., Khine, M. S. 2011: 65–82
  • Preparing teachers for diversity in the twenty-first century Studying diversity in teacher education Ball, A. F., Tyson, C. A. 2011: 399-416
  • Research on Literacy in Diverse Educational Contexts An Introduction RESEARCH IN THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH Kinloch, V., Ball, A., Franquiz, M. 2010; 45 (2): 93–96
  • Toward a Theory of Generative Change in Culturally and Linguistically Complex Classrooms AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL Ball, A. F. 2009; 46 (1): 45-72
  • Toward a theory of generative change in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms American Educational Research Journal Ball, A. F. 2009; 46 (1): 45-72
  • With more deliberate speed: Achieving equity and excellence in education: Realizing the full potential of Brown v. Board of Education Ball, A. F. Blackwell Publishers. 2006
  • Multicultural strategies for education and social change: Carriers of the torch in the United States and South Africa Ball, A. F. Teachers College Press. 2006
  • African American literacies unleashed: Vernacular English and the composition classroom Ball, A. F., Lardner, T. SIU Press. 2005
  • Culture and language: Bidialectical issues in literacy: A response to Carol Lee Literacy development of students in urban schools: Research and policy Ball, A. 2005: 275-287
  • Lifting voices in the city EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Busch, A. E., Ball, A. F. 2004; 62 (2): 64-67
  • Bakhtinian perspectives on language, literacy, and learning Ball, A. F., Freedman, S. W. Cambridge University Press. 2004
  • Chapter 3: Three decades of research on classroom life: Illuminating the classroom communicative lives of America’s at-risk students Review of research in education Ball, A. F. 2002; 26 (1): 71-111
  • Race, rhetoric, and composition (Book Review) COLLEGE COMPOSITION AND COMMUNICATION Book Review Authored by: Ball, A. F. 2000; 51 (4): 668-672
  • Teachers' developing philosophies on literacy and their use in urban schools - A Vygotskian perspective on internal activity and teacher change Vygotskian Perspectives on Literacy Research Centennial Conference Ball, A. F. CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS. 2000: 226–255
  • Empowering pedagogies that enhance the learning of multicultural students Teachers College Record Ball, A. F. 2000; 102 (6): 1006-1034