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Garrett Albert Duncan

Associate Professor of Education and of African & African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences, Washington University in St Louis

Garrett Albert Duncan is Associate Professor of Education in Arts & Sciences. In addition, he holds an appointment in African & African-American Studies and courtesy appointments in American Culture Studies and Urban Studies, all in Arts & Sciences.

Professor Duncan’s research focuses broadly on race, culture, education, and society. Along these lines, he has published extensively on black youth, identity, language, and ethics in peer-reviewed journals, edited books, encyclopedias, and other reference books. In addition, he has presented his scholarship at major universities throughout the nation and in Western and Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. Professor Duncan has also appeared in JET Magazine and on Good Morning America, Al Jazeera Television (English) and National Public Radio, to name just a few popular and news media outlets.

Professor Duncan’s larger program of research, “Schooling as a Moral Enterprise,” examines the moral and political contexts of the education of black students in urban and suburban schools in post-civil rights era North America. This project is largely concerned with questions of race, citizenship and democracy in the contexts of post-industrialism and globalization and how these forces fuel the expansion of the U.S. prison-industrial complex. He has a book project along these lines, tentatively titled Race and Schooling in a Prison Society. Professor Duncan will deliver the 2014 Distinguished National Educator Lecture, “From ‘Beyond Love’ to Ubuntu,” based on his research at the Summit for Courageous Conversations.

In addition to teaching classes that align with his research, writing, and methodological interests, Professor Duncan teaches social foundations of education courses. His work experience also includes eight years teaching science in public secondary schools in Pomona, California, two years teaching ethics at the top-rated high school in Missouri, and a brief stint teaching GED courses to incarcerated male teenagers at the Fred C. Nelles School for Boys, California Youth Authority.

Professor Duncan served on the Executive Board and as Treasurer of the Association for Moral Education (2004-2008), as the 2008-2009 Vice President for Division G: Social Context of Education of the American Educational Research Association and serves on numerous editorial boards. He also served as the 2008-2009 Acting Chair of the Department of Education and Director of the Program in African & African-American Studies from 2009 -2012, both in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Education and of African & African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences, Washington University at St Louis