Dr. Arnetha F. Ball

Professor of Education

Arnetha F. Ball is Professor of Education at Stanford University, where she has taught for the past fifteen years. Prior to that, she taught at the University of Michigan (1992 –1999) where she received an Outstanding Teaching Award.

 Her research interests focus on the oral and written literacies of culturally and linguistically diverse populations in the United States and South Africa. In particular, she focuses on research in writing and writing instruction and the preparation of teachers to work with poor, marginalized, and underachieving students. She combines sociocultural and linguistic theory to investigate the discourse patterns of students in classrooms and community-based organizations across national boundaries and provides insights on teacher professional development and the successful pedagogies of teachers who work effectively with students of African descent. Currently, Dr. Ball's transnational work is focused on investigating paradigms, principles and practices that guide the preparation of teachers to work effectively with historically marginalized students across national boundaries.  Her work in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States will help us to better understand the intellectual and organizational structures that contribute to successful teaching and learning in culturally and linguistically diverse settings.

 This research is applicable to the teaching and learning of a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds and has broad educational implications. It emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between research on secondary and college students and the importance of incorporating students' cultural and linguistic resources into the curriculum.

 Before entering the professorate, she taught pre-school, elementary, and secondary students for over 25 years and was the founder and Executive Director of Children’s Creative Workshop, an early education center that specialized in providing premiere educational experiences for students from diverse backgrounds.

 Dr. Ball has served as an Academic Specialist for the United States Information Services Program in South Africa, co-taught courses on Multiliteracies and English Methodologies in the teacher education program at Johannesburg College of Education, and taught in the Further Diploma in Education Program at the University of Cape Town. She has served on many boards and committees in her field and has published widely, with numerous book chapters and articles in journals that include Linguistics and Education, Applied Behavioral Science Review, Language Variation and Change, and Written Communication.

 Dr. Ball is one of the editors of Black Linguistics (along with Dr. Sinfree Makoni, Dr. Geneva Smitherman, and Dr. Arthur Spears) and co-editor of Bakhtinian Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Learning with Dr. Sarah Freedman. She has four additional books, including the NSSE volume With More Deliberate Speed; Literacies Unleashed with Dr. Ted Lardner; her single-authored book, Multicultural Strategies for Education and Social Change: Carriers of the Torch in the U.S. and South Africa; and Studying Diversity in Teacher Education with Dr. Cynthia Tyson. She also has an additional forthcoming edited volume with Dr. H. Samy Alim and Dr. John R. Rickford.

Dr. Ball also received the Richard Braddock Award with Dr. Ted Lardner for a College Composition and Communication’s outstanding journal article published in 1997. Dr. Ball is also the winner of the 2009 AERA Palmer O. Johnson Award and is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.  Dr. Ball has been married for over forty years, is the mother of three daughters and the grandmother of four very sweet grandchildren.