Christopher M. Span

Dean and Distinguished Professor
10 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Dr. Christopher M. Span is Dean and Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers—New Brunswick.

Prior to his arrival to the GSE, Dr. Span was a Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership (EPOL), and Chief of Staff and Associate Chancellor for Administration and PreK-12 Initiatives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He brings a comprehensive background in higher education administration, having served in progressively responsible roles at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the past twenty years. These experiences include serving for more than a decade as an Associate Dean in the College of Education for all curricular and student matters, as a Chancellor-appointed Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), who represented the Chancellor on all matters related to intercollegiate athletics, and as the Chief of Staff for the Chancellor.

Dr. Span is a historian of education who specializes in the educational history of African Americans in the 19th century.  He is the author of From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse: African American Education in Mississippi, 1862-1875, co-editor of Using Past as Prologue: Contemporary Perspectives on African American Educational History and has published numerous articles and book chapters on the educational history of African Americans. Dr. Span is the past Vice President of Division F (History of American Education) for the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and past President of the History of Education Society.

• Ph.D., Education/Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign Concentration: History of Education—19th century southern African American education
• M. A., Education/Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, Concentration: History of Education
• B. A., Liberal Arts and Sciences/History, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign
• American Educational Research Association (AERA)
• AERA—Division F (History)
• American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)
• American Educational Studies Association (AESA)
• History of Education Society (HES)
• Organization of American Historians (OAH)
• Organization of Educational Historians (OEH)
• Research Focus on Black Education (RFBE) AERA Special Interest Group
• Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)

  • Research/Teaching Interests
    • African American History/Education
    • 19th/20th Century American Educational History
    • Race, Culture, and Diversity in America
    • Culture-Specific Schooling/Pedagogy
    • Social/Historical Foundations in American Education
    • Urban Education
    • Methodology and Historiography in American Educational History
  • Books

    Purdy, Michelle, Danns, Dionne, and Span, Christopher M. (eds.) (2015). Using Past as Prologue: Contemporary Perspectives on African American Educational History. Greenwich, Conn.: Information Age Press.

    Span, Christopher M. (2009). From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse: African American Education in Mississippi, 1862-1875. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

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