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Teacher Education

Alisun Thompson

Assistant Professor

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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 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

Teacher quality is not an individual trait. It is developed and sustained in schools as workplaces for teachers. How can we create the schools we need to attract, support, and retain the teachers we want. 

Areas of Expertise

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

Current Research

Alisun’s research focuses on the contours of the teacher workforce and the conditions that attract, support, and retain teachers in schools. She is also interested in how beginning teachers understand and sustain their pedagogical commitments to social justice teaching. 

Publications

Thompson, A. & Pease-Alvarez (forthcoming) Working the system: Teacher resistance in a context of compliance. In D. Santoro & L. Cain (Eds.), Teachers’ principled resistance: Protecting a community standard of good work. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press

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. (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