Alisun Thompson

Assistant Professor

Rogers Hall Rogers Hall 419

Dr. Alisun Thompson is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. In addition to working with pre-service teachers, she also teaches social foundations courses on the undergraduate campus. 

Alisun began her work in education as a middle school language arts teacher and instructional coach supporting teachers in their work with culturally and linguistically diverse students. She left the field in 2007 to pursue a PhD in education from the University of California Santa Cruz but remains dedicated to advocating for students from non-dominant and historically marginalized communities and understanding how to prepare and support teachers to better meet their needs. 

Before coming to Lewis & Clark, Alisun was a teacher educator and postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her postdoctoral research was funded by the National Science Foundation and focused on the recruitment and retention of math and science teachers in high-need schools. 

Personal Statement

My research focuses on the contours of the teacher workforce and the conditions that attract, support, and retain teachers in schools. My work seeks to unpack notions of teacher quality by investigating teachers’ work as situated in schools as workplaces. I am interested in how teacher commitment, particularly pertaining to equity and social justice, is supported and sustained in teachers’ professional lives and the contexts of their work.

Areas of Expertise

The Teacher Workforce; Teacher Recruitment & Retention; Educational Policy & Teachers’ Work

Current Research

Dr. Thompson’s is currently studying how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced teachers’ work. You can learn more about the study here: https://sites.google.com/ucsc.edu/suddenlydistant/home?authuser=0 

Publications

Thompson, A., Darwich, L., & Bartlett, L. (2020). Not Remotely Familiar: How COVID-19 is Reshaping Teachers’ Work and the Implications for Teacher Education. Northwest Journal of Teacher Education, 15(2), 2.

Thompson, A. & Scott, J. (2020) Disrupting Whiteness in Classroom Libraries: Using the Windows and Mirrors Metaphor in Teacher Education. In A. VandeHei Carter & N. Villanueva (Eds.), Multicultural curriculum transformation in literacy and language arts. Lexington Books.

Thompson, A. & Pease-Alvarez (2019) Working the system: Teacher resistance in a context of compliance. In D. Santoro & L. Cain (Eds.), Principled Resistance: How Teachers Resolve Ethical Dilemmas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press

Bartlett, L., & Thompson, A. (2019). Seeking to Stay: Job Search Process and Teacher Retention. In Recruiting, Preparing, and Retaining STEM Teachers for a Global Generation (pp. 346-367). Brill Sense.

Pease-Alvarez, L., & Thompson, A. (2014) Teachers working together to resist and remake  educational policy in contexts of standardization. Language Policy, 1-17.

Presentations

Thompson, A. (2021) Teachers’ working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic: Teaching, learning, and leading during a crisis. [Keynote address]. STEM Leadership Institute at Biosphere 2. Oracle, AZ.

Thompson, A., Darwich, D., Bartlett, L., (2021) “I couldn’t do both:” Parenting, policy, and teachers’ instructional practice during COVID-19. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. (Online)

Thompson, A., Darwich, L., Watson, D. (2019) Racial discussion fatigue: Teacher educators examining their commitment to racial justice. Presented at Oregon Association of Teacher Education. Monmouth, OR.

Thompson, A., Darwich, L., Watson, D. (2019) Recentering race: A critical collaborative self study of teacher education. Presented at the Ninth Conference on Education and Social Justice. Honolulu, HI.

Thompson, A. (2019) “No one should do this work alone”: Sustaining teachers as civic agents in urban schools. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Toronto, ON.

Thompson, A. (2017) Taking what they get: Job search and school selection among beginning math and science teachers. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Antonio, TX.

Thompson, A. (2016) Staying the course: Thriving in your first school and first years of teaching. Presented at the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Annual Summit. Washington, DC.

Andreasen, G. & Thompson, A. (2016) Attractions and barriers: Cal Teach intern perspectives on careers in teaching. Presented at the Cal Teach Annual Symposium. Oakland, CA.

Thompson A. (2014) Finding a fit: Information-rich hiring for urban teacher retention. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Diego, CA.

Thompson, A. (2012) A matter of assignment: Beginning math teachers, job satisfaction, and professional commitment. Presented at the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Annual Summit. Washington, DC.

Pease-Alvarez, L. & Thompson, A (2009) Teacher resistance in a context of compliance Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Diego, CA.

Thompson, A. (2009) Teacher Attrition in Local Context.  Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Diego, CA.

Academic Credentials

PhD in Education (Designated Emphasis in Sociology) 2014 University of California Santa Cruz