Alexandra Freidus

Assistant Professor

Expertise: Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership


Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership

Academic Degrees:

Ph.D., Urban Education, New York University, 2018
MA, Education, Mills College, 2007
BA, History, Brown University, 1998


Alexandra Freidus is an educational ethnographer whose work is focused on racism, social inequality, and educational policy. She is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut. Alex uses sociocultural and critical race theory to ask how educators, policies, young people, and their families sustain and interrupt racial inequality in public schools. Using participant-observation, interviews, and public archives, she examines how community stakeholders conceptualize student diversity; how school and district administrators enact educational policy; and how these interlocking contexts relate to schools’ central work – teaching and learning. She is currently working on a study of recent mandates to teach Black and Latinx studies in Connecticut. Recent projects includes studies of diversifying schools in gentrifying neighborhoods and teen activism for school integration in New York City. Alex’s forthcoming book centers the experiences of young people as learners and policy actors to demonstrate the possibilities and constraints of school diversity as a strategy for educational justice.

Before becoming a professor, Alex taught high school social studies, led professional development, and supported school reform efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City for over fifteen years. Her professional experiences in K-12 deeply inform her teaching and her research. She currently teaches courses on educational policy and qualitative research to graduate students. Alex completed her PhD in Urban Education at New York University, her MA in Education from Mills College, and her BA in History from Brown University. When she’s not teaching or writing, Alex loves spending time with her partner and their two young sons, running, cooking, and reading mysteries.

Honors and Awards:

National Academy of Education/Spencer Research Development Award

Council on Anthropology & Education Concha Delgado Gaitán Presidential Fellow

National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Fahs-Beck Fund for Social Research Dissertation Scholar

Selected Publications:

Freidus, Alexandra. (2022). “Segregation, Diversity, and Pathology: Constructing School Quality in Gentrifying New York.” Educational Policy 36(4). DOI: 10.1177/08959048221087206

Freidus, Alexandra and Eve Ewing. (2022). “Introduction to Special Issue: Good Schools, Bad Schools: Race, School Quality, and Neoliberal Educational Policy.” Educational Policy 36(4). DOI: 10.1177/08959048221087208

Freidus, Alexandra. (2021). “Looking Smart: Race and Ability in a Diversifying Middle School.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 53(2). DOI: 10.1111/aeq.12408

Freidus, A. (2020). “Problem Children and Children with Problems: Discipline and Innocence in a Gentrifying Elementary School.” Harvard Educational Review 90(4): 550-572. doi: 10.17763/1943-5045-90.4.550

Freidus, A. (2020). “Modes of Belonging: Debating School Demographics in Gentrifying New York.” American Educational Research Journal 57(2): 808-839. doi: 10.3102/0002831219863372

Freidus, A. (2020). ““I Didn’t Have a Lesson’: Politics and Pedagogy in a Diversifying Middle School.” Teachers College Record 122(7).

Freidus, A. (2019). “‘A Great School Benefits Us All’: Advantaged Parents and the Gentrification of an Urban Public School.” Urban Education 54(8): 1121-1128. doi: 10.1177/0042085916636656 

Freidus, A. & Noguera, P. (2017). “Making Difference Matter: Teaching and Learning in Desegregated Classrooms.” The Teacher Educator 52 (2): 99-113. doi: 10.1080/08878730.2017.1294925 

Freidus, A. & Noguera, P. (2015). “From ‘Good Will’ to ‘Anachronism’: School Desegregation in an Era of Shifting Demographics, Racial Discourse, and Conceptions of the Public Good.” Humanity and Society 39 (3): 1-25. doi: 10.1177/0160597615601716 

Alexandra Freidus.
Contact Information
Mailing AddressU-3093
Office LocationGentry 242A