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Brian Williams

Clinical Associate Professor    Director of the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence    

Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Emory University, 2003
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1996
B.S. in Physics, Norfolk State University, 1994


Urban Education
Science Education
Elementary Education
Multicultural Education


Brian Williams has over 20 years of experience working in schools and other educational communities around the world. His work is situated at the intersection of science education, urban education, and education for social justice. More specifically, he is interested in the ways in which equity issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, and class influence science teaching and learning and access to science literacy.

He currently serves as director of the Alonzo A Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State Education in Atlanta, Georgia.

Before joining the faculty at Georgia State University, Williams coordinated the Math/Science Equity Program (MSEP) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The program examined the link between parental involvement and the tracking of African American students in science. His work has been published in Democracy and Education, School and Community Journal, Negro Ed Review, and International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

In addition to his research, Williams has over 15 years of experience working with teachers and student in science education. He has taught science methods and content courses to K- 12 teachers in the United States and other countries around the world.

In addition to his work with teachers, he has also developed science and mathematics curricula, served as an educational adviser to various schools and professional organizations, and taught science to both middle and elementary school students.

Because of his extensive work in the fields of science and education, Williams has also served as a consultant to organizations such the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Educational Development Center (EDC), and Quality Education for Minorities (QEM). Williams holds degrees from Emory University (Ph.D., 2003), Georgia Institute of Technology (M.S., 1996), and Norfolk State University (B.S., 1994). He is also a Former Ford Foundation Fellow and Spencer Fellow.


Britner, S., Williams, B., Pecore, J, Gagne, P, Demetrikopoulos, M., Poh, R., Carruth, L., Goode, C., DeHaan, R., & Frantz, K. (2012). Portraits of science self-efficacy: Four undergraduate women in a summer research experience. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. 18(3): 273-293.

Williams, B., May, L.A., & Williams, R. F. (2012). Flowers, fruits, and fingers: Preservice teachers write about difficult topics for a child audience. Multicultural Education, 19(3), 27-33.

Williams, B. (2012). Early Mathematical Experiences of Successful African American Scientists, Engineers, and Mathematicians. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education. 5(1):55-65.

Johnston, A, Butler, M., Mensah, F. & Williams, B (2011). Playing with Science: Models for Engaging Communities. Children, Youth and Environments, 21(2): 312-324.

Williams, B. (2011). In search of a better way: Cultivating critical consciousness in urban elementary teachers. Science Education at the Crossroads. San Antonio, TX, National Science Foundation.

Dangel, J., C. Dooley, Swars, S., Truscott, D., Smith, S., & Williams, B. (2009). Professional development schools: A study of change from the university prospective. Action in Teacher Education. 30(4): 3-17.

Truscott, D., S. Smith, Swars, S., Smith, S., Thorton-Reid, F., Zhao, Y, Dooley, C., Williams, B., Hart, L. & Matthews, M. (2010). A cross-disciplinary examination of the prevalence of mixed methods in educational research: 1995-2005. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 12(5): 317-328.

Williams, B. (2009). Restructuring elementary science education within alternative preparation programs. Science Education at the Crossroads. Portland, OR, National Science Foundation.

Williams, B. and S. Lemmons-Smith (2009). Perspectives on equity and access in mathematics and science for a 21st century democracy: Re-visioning our gaze. Democracy and Education. 18(3): 23-28.

Cousins, L., Mickelson, R., L., Williams, B. & Velasco, A. (2008). Race and class challenges in community collaboration for educational change. School and Community Journal. 18(2): 29-52.

Williams, B. (2008). Collective agency as a means of ensuring equal access and opportunity in science education. Science Education at the Crossroads. Alta, Utah, National Science Foundation.

Matthews, L. & Williams, B. (2007). Beyond commentaries of despair: Reengineering pathways to design in the schooling of Black men. Negro Education Review. 58(3).

Book Reviews
Williams, B. (2009) Teach Freedom: Education for Liberation in the African American Tradition by C. Payne & C. S. Strickland. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 11(2). Retrieved from International Journal of Multicultural Education website:

Book Chapters in Edited Volumes
Stinson, D., Jett, C., & Williams, B. (2012). Counterstories from mathematically successfully African American male students: Implications for mathematics teachers and teacher educators. In J. Leonard & D. Martin (Eds) Beyond the Numbers and Toward New Discourse: The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.

Britner, S., Williams, B., Pecore, J., Gagne, P., Demetrikopoulos, M., Poh, R., Carruth, L., Goode, C., DeHaan, R., & Frantz, K. (2012). Scientific research self-efficacy among undergraduates: Current contexts and approaches for measurement. In S. Britner (Ed), Self Efficacy in School and Community Settings (Perspectives on Cognitive Psychology). Nova Publishers.

Feinberg, J., Williams, B., Taylor, D., Matthews, L., Curry, K., Matthews, L & Black, L. (2012). Making a difference in PDS teacher development and retention. In C. Bohan & J. Many (Eds.), Clinical Teacher Education: Reflections from an Urban Professional Development Network. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.

Mickelson, R., L. Cousins, Velasco, A. & Williams, B. (2011). Taking math and science to Black parents: Promises and challenges of a community-based intervention for educational change. In C. C. Yeakey and W. Tate (Eds). Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Obidah, J., Jackson-Minot, M., Monroe, C. & Williams, B. (2004). Crime and punishment: Moral dilemmas in the inner city classroom. In V. Siddle-Walker & J. Snarey (Eds). Racing Moral Formation: African American Voices on Care, Justice, and Moral Education. New York: Teachers College Press.