Sociologist and education rights activist Pedro Noguera received a second annual award that recognizes outstanding achievement in advancing the understanding of the behavioral and social sciences as applied to pressing social issues. Having served as a classroom teacher in public schools across the nation, he continues to work as a researcher and advisor to schools nationally and internationally.
Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and the executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, was honored with the SAGE-Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Award in November 2014 at the annual CASBS summit Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. (SAGE is the parent of Social Science Space.)
He gave a keynote speech at the summit, themed “The City.” The summit brought together top social and behavioral scientists with leaders in industry, media, and the community to discuss the best means and policies for improving the urban experience.
“Pedro Noguera represents the very best of contemporary social science,” said CASBS Director Margaret Levi. “A distinguished professor of education and sociology, he has built an outstanding research career grounded in his formative, practical experience as a classroom teacher and school board member. He is fundamentally concerned with how to make teachers and indeed the whole of society accountable for providing equal educational opportunities and for closing the achievement gap. He focuses on education as an important developmental tool for individuals and their communities.”
Sara Miller McCune, the founder and executive chairman of SAGE, emphasized Noguera’s social justice portfolio: “Dr. Noguera’s remarkable work as an academic is rivaled only by his passionate efforts to transform his research into better educational environments and opportunities for underserved students,”
Noguera has a foot in popular media as a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, among others, as well as a writer for The Nation, and in academe as the author of hundreds of scholarly articles, monographs, research reports and editorials on topics such as urban school reform, education policy, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race and ethnic relations in American society. He is the author of several books including City Schools and the American Dream (2003), Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools (2006), and Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectories of African American and Latino Boys (2014) with Edward Fergus and Margary Martin.
“I have devoted my scholarly career to the study of pressing social problems: youth violence, school failure, urban poverty, racial disparities and many others,” Noguera explained. “Drawing on theory and method from the behavioral sciences has been extremely important for my work because it has made it possible to challenge poorly conceived public policies and to counter conventional thinking that is rooted in stereotypes and biases. By utilizing empirical research to explore the complexities that underlie many pressing social issues, we can open up new possibilities for policy, practice and social action.”
He concluded, “The SAGE-CASBS award is an affirmation that this type of inquiry and scholarly endeavor is not only legitimate but extremely important.”