2011 TC Research
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College Columbia University


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Lesley Bartlett

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1991);
Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2001).

Scholarly Interests

Anthropology of education; International and comparative education; literacy studies (including multilingual literacies); immigration and schooling; secondary education; teacher education; human rights and humanitarian issues; youth and adult education; Freire and critical pedagogy; race and class formation; Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States; sub-Saharan Africa.

Selected Publications


Bartlett, L. and Ghaffar-Kucher, A. (eds) (2013). Refugees, Immigrants, and Education in the Global South: Lives in Motion. New York: Routledge.

Vavrus, F. and Bartlett, L. (eds) (2013). Teaching in Tension: International Pedagogies, National Policies, and Teachers' Practices in Tanzania. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Bartlett, L. and Garcia, O. (2011). Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times: Educating Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Vavrus, F.. Thomas, M., and Bartlett, L. (2012). Ensuring Quality by Attending to Inquiry: Learner-Centered Pedagogy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fundamentals of Teacher Education Development Series. Addis  Ababa: UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa.

Bartlett, L. (2010). The Word and the World: The Cultural Politics of Literacy in Brazil. Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Vavrus, F. and Bartlett, L. (eds) (2009) Critical Approaches to Comparative Education: Vertical Case Studies from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Holland, D., C. Lutz, D. Nonini, L. Bartlett, M. Frederick, T. Guldbrandsen, and E. Murillo. (2007)  Local Democracy Under Siege. New York: New York University Press.

Articles and Chapters

Bartlett, L., and Vavrus, F. (fc). Research Global Educational Policy: Transversing the Vertical Case Study. Anthropology and Education Quarterly.

Vavrus, F. and Bartlett, L. (2012). Comparative Pedagogies and Epistemological Diversity: Social and Material Contexts of Teaching in Tanzania. Comparative Education Review 56, 4, 634-658.

Bartlett, L. (2012). South-South Migration and Education: The Case of Schooling for Haitian Immigrant Youth in the Dominican Republic. Compare 42, 3.

Bartlett, L. and Koyama, J. (2012). Additive Schooling: A Critical Small School for Latino Immigrant Youth. In Tyner, Alia and Hantzopoulos, Maria (eds), Critical Small Schools in New York City. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.

Bartlett, L., Jayaram, K., and Bonhomme, G. (2011). State Literacies and Inequality: Managing Haitian Immigrants in the Dominican Republic. International Journal of Educational Development 31, 6, 587-595.

Garcia, O. and Bartlett, L. (2011). Dominican Youth in New York City Schools: A community stands up and delivers. Camino Real 4, 2. Madrid: Instituto Franklin of Universidad de Alcalá.

Koyama, J. and Bartlett, L. (2011). Bilingual Education as Political Spectacle. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 14, 2: 173-187.  

Bartlett, L., López, D., Vasudevan, L. and Warriner, D. (2011) The Anthropology of Literacy. In Levinson, B., and Pollock, M. (Eds.), A Companion to the Anthropology of Education. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell. Pp. 154-176.

Bartlett, L., López, D., Mein, E., and Valdiviezo, L. (2011) Adolescent Literacies in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Gadsden, V., Wortham, S., & Lukose, R. (Eds.), Review of Research in Education 35, 1, pp. 174-207.

Bengtsson, S. and Bartlett, L. (2011) From Child-Friendly Schools to Child-Friendly Research Methods. In Education in Conflict: A Tribute to Jackie Kirk. New York: Teachers College Press. Pp. 235-254.Bartlett, L. (2008). Literacy’s Verb: Exploring What Literacy Is and What Literacy Does. International Journal of Educational Development 28, 6, pp. 737-753.

Bartlett, L. (2007) Bilingual Literacies, Social Identification, and Educational Trajectories. Linguistics in Education 18, 3-4, pp. 215-231.

Bartlett, L. (2007) Human Capital or Human Connections? The Cultural Meanings of Education in Brazil. Teachers College Record 109, 7, 1613-1636.

Bartlett, L. (2007). Literacy, Speech, and Shame: The Cultural Politics of Literacy and Language in Brazil. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 20, 6, 1-17.

Bartlett, L. (2007). The Comparative Ethnography of Educational Projects: Youth and Adult Literacy Programmes in Brazil. Compare 37, 2, 151-166.

Bartlett, L. (2007). To Seem and to Feel: Situated Identities and Literacy Practices. Teachers College Record 109, 1, 51-69.

Garcia, O. and Bartlett, L. (2007). Educating Speech Communities: An Unusual School Model for Latino Newcomers in an Era of Standards. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 10, 1, 1-25.

Michael, A., Andrade, N., and Bartlett, L. (2007). Figuring “Success” in a Bilingual High School. Urban Review 39(2).

Bartlett, L. (2007) To Seem and to Feel: Cultural Artifacts and Literacy Practices. In New Literacy Studies, Global and Local, edited by Mastin Prinsloo and Mike Baynham.  London: AILA and John Benjamins Publishers.

Garcia, O., Bartlett, L., and Kleifgen, J. (2007). From Biliteracy to Pluriliteracies. In Handbook on Multilingualism and Multilingual Communication, vol. 5,edited by Li Wei and Peter Auer.  Mouton/de Gruyter. Pp. 207-228.

Vavrus, F. and Bartlett, L. (2006). Comparatively Knowing: Making a Case for the Vertical Case Study. Current Issues in Comparative Education. (on-line at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/cice/Archives/8.2/82vavrus_bartlett.pdf )

Bartlett, L. and Brayboy, B. (2006). Race and Schooling: Theories and Ethnographies. Introduction to Race and Schooling, a special issue of Urban Review 37, 5, 361-374.

Bartlett, L. (2005). Dialogue, Knowledge, and Teacher-Student Relations: Freirean Pedagogy in Theory and Practice. Comparative Education Review 49(3): 344-364.

Bartlett, L. (2005). Identity Work and Cultural Artifacts in Literacy Learning and Use: A Sociocultural Analysis. Language and Education 19(1): 1-9.

Bartlett, L. (2003). World Culture or Transnational Project? Competing Educational Projects in Brazil. In Kathryn Anderson-Levitt, (ed.), Local Meanings, Global Schooling: Anthropology and World Culture Theory. New York: Palgrave Global Publishing. Pp. 183-200.

Bartlett, L. (2003). Common Roots, Shared Shortcomings: Conceptions of Power in Freirean Literacy and Alternative Development. Den Ny Verden (The New World). Aarhus, Denmark.

Bartlett, L. (2003). Social Studies of Literacy and Comparative Education: Intersections. Current Issues in Comparative Education 5(2). http://www.tc.columbia.edu/CICE/

Bartlett, L. (2001) Women Teaching Class: Emotional Labor in Brazilian Literacy Classes. The Anthropology of Work Review 22, 3, 22-26.

Bartlett, L., Frederick, M, Gulbrandsen, T., and Murillo, E. (2002). The Marketization of Education: Public Schools for Private Ends. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 33, 1, 5-29.

Bartlett, L. and Holland, D. (2002). Theorizing the Space of Literacy Practices. Ways of Knowing Journal 2, 1, 10-22.

Bartlett, L. and Lutz, C. (1998). Disciplining Social Difference: Some Cultural Politics of Military Training in Public High Schools. The Urban Review 30, 2, 119-136.

Bartlett, L. and Lutz, C. (1995). JROTC: Making Soldiers in the Public Schools. Education Digest 61, 3, 9-12.

ITSF 4003: Culture and education

An introduction to the major contributions of anthropology to the study of education with particular emphasis on America as culture in the United States and the world.

ITSF 4013: Literacy and development

This course examines common assumptions about the relationship between literacy and cognitive and/or social, political and/or economic development.

ITSF 4060: Latinos in Urban schools

Students will be introduced to theories and research explaining why Latinos in the United States are least likely of all major social groups to be enrolled in school and, as adults, are most likely to lack a high school diploma. The course will explore the racial/ethnic differences that exist between and within recent immigrant groups, drawing especially on research that shows the diversity of cultural backgrounds within Latino subgroups. Topics will include assimilation of new immigrants, educational achievement and persistence in school, language and schooling, the interplay of race and gender and class with educational attainment, and transnational communities.

ITSF 5000: Methods of inquiry: Ethnography and participant observation

This course examines the methods of the social sciences as they relate to ethnography and participant observation. The course emphasizes the role of theory, characteristics of various research techniques, and the importance of integrated research design. The course provides opportunities to practice ethnographic research techniques, including developing a research question, designing a study, interviewing, conducting observations, and analyzing data.

ITSF 5001: Ethnography and participant observation: fieldwork, analysis, reporting

Permission required. ITSF 5000 or equivalent required. This course examines methods to analyze ethnographic and, more broadly, qualitative data. Students who enroll are expected to have already completed a significant amount of data. The course emphasizes the role of theory, different analytical traditions and techniques, and how to write up ethnographic data.

ITSF 5007: Race, class and schooling: Ethnographic approaches

This course examines the role of schooling in the formation of race and class structures across the Americas, including Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

ITSF 5090: Migration and education

This course examines the relationship between education and demographic change in international educational development. It focuses on historical and cultural changes in the areas of fertility, migration, mortality, and sustainable development.

ITSF 5500: Education Across the Americas

In this seminar, students will be introduced to education and social issues in Latin America and the Caribbean since the consolidation of national systems of public education during the twentieth century. Using theoretical perspectives drawn from development studies, globalization and comparative education, the course will include case studies of individual nations as well as issues embracing the region as a whole. Topics will include social and political dimensions of education, ethnicity and academic achievement, womens education and social change, teacher preparation, student movements and patterns of migration. Moreover, the effects of projects financed by international organizations will be evaluated in terms of improved access, teacher training and intercultural understanding within the education systems of Latin America and the Caribbean.

ITSF 5611: Second-year colloquium in anthropological method

Permission required. This is a year-long review of the methods of field research and data analysis in anthropology, with special reference to educational systems and processes. Network analysis, systematic observation, quantification procedures, participant observation, ethnographic interview, use of film and videotape, cross-cultural survey techniques, and testing and experimental design. During the spring semester, students report on their completed summer fieldwork before the members of both programs. Required of, and open only to, second-year doctoral students. Meets concurrently with ITSF 5610 during the spring semester.

Centers and Projects

Center for Multiple Languages and Literacies
Website: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/centers/cmll

The Center for Multiple Languages and Literacies (CMLL) focuses on the challenges occasioned by the multiplicity of languages and literacies in the 21st century. CMLL conducts and disseminates research on how different languages and literacies can be used as resources to advance human development, education, and intercultural understanding. CMLL also promotes dialogue across societies and groups through lectures, conferences, and the Internet. In addition, it supports educators in using research to inform practice. CMLL's work is elaborated in the context of a world characterized by greater flows of people, information, goods and services within and across national boundaries. CMLL is distinctive because of its emphasis on international and transcultural societies, with New York City as an expression of such a society, and its attention to educational systems, including schools, families, religious institutions, community centers, the workplace, and the media.

Latina/o and Latin American Faculty Working Group
Website: http://www.tc.edu/latino-ed/

New York City