Research Spotlight: Dr. Travis Dumas

Travis Dumas

Dr. Travis Dumas is a Race and Social Justice in Education Research Post-Doctoral Fellow in the GSE’s Department of Learning and Teaching. Dr. Dumas’s research interests include anti-Black racism and schooling inequity; school climate and culture; student academic outcomes and opportunities; and culturally relevant pedagogy and practices.

Can you tell us about a new research project you are working on?

I actually have a few forthcoming projects I am happy to be working on. One beautiful thing about my time as a postdoc at Rutgers is that it has really given me space to sit with and develop my ideas. I have a project examining a selection of schools and community organizations with standing histories of supporting Black K-12 students well. My co-author and I call them our ‘Bright spots’. Additionally, I am working on a student-teacher relationship project I am excited about. It really speaks to the importance of care that can and should be happening in schools. 
Why did you decide to pursue this research? And what is unique about your approach?

I see so much of myself in my participants. The teachers and staff I’ve had opportunity to work with remind me of folks from my own student experiences. I want to be of support for students like me and I want to be of support to others who are dedicated to helping students like the one I was. My lines of research are one way I accomplish that.
What kind of methodological and theoretical approaches do you use? 

I enter research projects wanting to have genuine and authentic connection with the folks I will be working with. Whether it’s my participants, collaborators, etc. I feel having genuine connections with people is important for generative and humanizing research.
And why are these important to your work?
I typically employ qualitative methods. As a research dialogical, exchanges and tools are of the utmost importance and it’s because people’s words add the needed color and detail for us to understand a picture fully.
What’s next for you in terms of research, or this project?
I have so many ideas and avenues to be explored soon. Across them all I will remain committed to centering marginalized students as knowledge holders and doing all I can to ensure my research has as much impact as possible.