Colleen Fairbanks

Teacher Education and Higher Education (TEHE) Department
Colleen Fairbanks


Research Interest

Language, Literacy, Culture, Schooling


  • Ph.D Joint Program in English and Education, University of Michigan
  • M.A. in Reading, University of Michigan
  • B.A. in French (with certification), University of Michigan


Dr. Colleen Fairbanks is currently the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education. She is also a professor of literacy whose research interests focus on language, literacy, and schooling. She has published widely in journals, such as Harvard Educational Review, International Journal for Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Teacher Education, and Research in the Teaching of English, and served as editor of the National Reading Conference Yearbook. She is a co-founder of the Coalition for Diverse Language Communities (CDLC). She began her career as a teacher at an alternative school for disenfranchised youth.

Link to Dr. Fairbanks’ CV


Fairbanks, C. M., Faircloth, B. S., Gonzalez, L., He, Y., Tan, E., & Zoch, M. Beyond Commodified Knowledge: The possibilities of powerful community learning spaces. In S. Salas & P. R. Portes (Eds.) Latinazation of K-12 communities: National Perspectives on regional change. Albany, NY: SUNY Press (under contract for 2017).

He, Y., Vetter, A., & Fairbanks, C.M. (2014). Reframing the literacy policies and education of English Leaners in US schools. English Education, 46(4), 327-344).

*Fairbanks, C. M., Crooks, P., & Ariail, M. (2011). Becoming something different: Learning from Esmé. Harvard Educational Review, 81(1), 1-24.

*Vetter, A., Fairbanks, C. M., & Ariail, M. (2011). “Crazy ghetto smart”: A case study in Latina identities. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 24(2), 185-207.

*Fairbanks, C. M., Duffy, G., Faircloth, B., He, Y., Levin, B. B., Rohr, J., Stein, C. (2010). Beyond knowledge: Why some teachers are more thoughtful than others. Journal of Teacher Education. 61, 151-161.