Ben Kirshner
Associate Professor

P-12, Higher Ed

  • Civics
  • Community involvement
  • Engagement
  • Public opinion and advocacy
  • Race and diversity
  • School reform
  • Urban education

Ben Kirshner’s research examines how young people from marginalized communities interpret their sociopolitical context and learn to exercise collective political agency. Kirshner is co-principal investigator for an international study, led by Roderick Watts and funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, examining community-based youth organizing as a vehicle for civic engagement in South Africa, Ireland and the United States. In a study supported by the Spencer Foundation, Kirshner works with secondary school teachers to provide opportunities for their students to discuss, investigate and take action to dismantle educational barriers, such as unsafe school climates or inadequate facilities. He is also a network advisor for the MacArthur Foundation’s Connected Learning Research Network. His publications discuss youth civic engagement and activism, participatory action research and urban education policy.