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Valerie Shirley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from Purdue University and M.S. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon receiving her B.A. degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, she taught in two elementary schools located in two Indigenous communities in Arizona. She is a member of the Diné Nation (Ma’iideeshgizhinii, Tsinaajinni, Todich’iinii and Honaghaanii clans) which continues to shape her research and pedagogical interests. As such, her previous research work engaged Diné youth in the process of decolonization to critically examine their identities in relation to history and the Diné epistemology. Her research interests are within the areas of critical Indigenous pedagogy, social justice pedagogy, youth empowerment, curriculum development, teacher education and Indigenous education.

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Courses
  • FESJ
    Foundations of Education for Social Justice

  • CTP
    Curriculum Theory and Policy

  • YDC
    Youth in Diverse Communities

  • TESSSMS
    Teaching Elementary School Social Studies in a Multicultural Society

  • SIA
    Schooling In America

Grants
  • Funding agency logo
    Natives Who Code: Creating New Stories - Creating Career Pathways

    Key Personnel (KP)

    2022

    $500.0K
    Active
  • Funding agency logo
    Indigenous Teacher Education Program

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2021

    $2.0M
    Active
  • Funding agency logo
    Collaborative Research: NSF INCLUDES Alliance: Broadening Career Pathways in Food, Energy, and Water Systems with and within Native American Communities (Native FEWS Alliance)

    Co-Investigator (COI)

    2021

    $1.4M
    Active
  • Funding agency logo
    Teachers as Native Nation-builders: Igniting the Embers of our Languages

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2021

    $799.6K
    Active
  • Funding agency logo
    Indigenous Teacher Education Project

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2018

    $1.3M
    Active
  • Funding agency logo
    NRT-INFEWS: Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Security and Sovereignty

    Key Personnel (KP)

    2017

    $3.0M
    Active
  • Funding agency logo
    Indigenous Teacher Education for Academic and Cultural Sustainability

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2016

    $966.9K
News
  • UArizona Program for Indigenous Teachers Will Expand With New Federal, State Funding

    2021

  • $1.2M Grant Will Help Prepare Indigenous Elementary Teachers for STEM Instruction

    2018

Publications (1)
  • Indigenous social justice pedagogy: Teaching into the risks and cultivating the heart

    2017

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