Dr. Chiara Cannella

Dr. Chiara Cannella
Associate Dean
Professor of Teacher Education


  • Culturally responsive & anti-bias education 
  • Sociocultural research on education
  • Qualitative research methods  
  • American Indian education  
  • Social justice 
  • Race, culture & equity in education 
  • Academic identity 
  • Counter-hegemonic research methods  
  • Critical pedagogy 
  • Participatory action research and community-based research  
  • Youth development 
  • Civic identity and activism  


  • Ph.D., Anthropology and Education, University of Arizona, 2009
  • M.A., Anthropology and Education, University of Arizona, 2004
  • B.A., English Language & Literature, University of Michigan, 1996


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About Dr. Chiara Cannella

Chiara Cannella is a professor in the Department of Education at Fort Lewis College. She joined the college in 2010. In the Teacher Leadership program, Dr. Cannella teaches and advises on topics related to culturally responsive pedagogy, identity, research methods, technology, and 21st century teaching and learning. Cannella’s research focuses on education for marginalized students and identity construction. Her most current research examines identity construction and agency among participants in a teacher leadership master’s degree program. She also studies construction of academic identity and social agency among marginalized students in both in-school and out-of-school programs.  
Cannella provides professional development and consulting on supporting marginalized students for regional schools and districts. She co-founded the Southwest Colorado Culturally, Linguistically, and Economically Diverse Working Group, which brings together educators and scholars in the fields of race, culture, language, and social justice in education. She also serves on the Durango 9-R Achievement Gap Task Force. Cannella is an active member of the Council on Anthropology and Education. She also serves on the annual conference program committee for the American Educational Research Association’s Division G: Social Contexts of Education.  

Selected publications and presentations 

“Agency and Acquiescence: Paradoxes of Teacher Leadership in Contexts of Support and Coercion,” American Anthropological Association, Denver, CO, 2015 
“‘Food and Water’: The Nourishment of a Humanizing Pedagogy,” Raza Studies: the Public Option for Educational Revolution, 2014 
 “Sociocultural Perspectives on Interpersonal Relationships,” co-authored with Luis Moll, Julio Cammarota, and Maria Gonzalez, Association of Mexican American Educators, 2012 
“‘Food for You to Eat, Water for You to Drink’: Pedagogy of Expansion in Tucson’s Besieged Ethnic Studies Classrooms,” American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA, 2012 
“‘Opening Windows, Opening Doors’: Marginalized Students Engaging in Praxis to Become Socio-Historical Analysts and Actors,” Society for Applied Anthropology, Baltimore, MD, 2012 
“Faith in Process, Faith in People: Confronting Policies of Social Disinvestment with PAR as Pedagogy for Expansion,” Revolutionizing Education: Youth Participatory Action Research in Motion, 2008 

In the news

Associate Professor of Teacher Education Chiara Cannella presented at American Indian Resource Center's Native Educated Teacher Successfully Taught Academic Rigor program at Northeastern State University, in Oklahoma, in October. [10/24/18]

William Camp
Coordinator of Field Experiences

Jonathan Smith
Coordinator of Teacher Licensure & Dual Enrollment


Berlinda Begay
Adjunct Instructor for Teacher Education

Penelope Frost
Adjunct Instructor for Teacher Education

Elanor Meeker
Adjunct Instructor for Teacher Education

Judith Reed
Adjunct Instructor for Teacher Education

Kelly von Stroh
Adjunct Instructor for Teacher Education

Gretchen Willis
Adjunct Instructor for Teacher Education