For the April 2023 DEI Collective Learning Series, we will learn about and reflect on QuantCrit, or Quantitative Critical Race Theory, an anti-racist theoretical approach to quantitative methods that examines the ways in which these methods can reflect racial biases. The readings and video for this month’s series have been generously provided by Dr. Nicholas Bell (University of Delaware), who will join us in Week 4 as our invited speaker.
Nicholas Bell, Ph.D. is an instructor and researcher at the University of Delaware (UD) in the School of Education. Recently, he earned a Ph.D. in Education with dual specializations in Sociocultural and Community- Based Approaches and Educational Statistics from UD. His research focuses on interconnected areas of research that have the potential to bring about transformational changes for students, educators, and regular and special education teachers. Specifically, he studies anti-racist special education practices and policies, equity-focused models and interventions for teacher education and preparation, the impact of culturally relevant teaching, and the application of QuantCrit to educational research.
In his research, Nicholas utilizes a variety of research methods, including the application of advanced statistical models (e.g., structural equation modeling and Bayesian modeling), qualitative approaches, and mixed methods.
Prior to higher education, Nicholas spent ten years working as a special education teacher. During that time, he witnessed rampant racism, ableism, and sexism in elementary and high schools. This experience shapes his pursuit of research on overrepresentation in special education through the lens of CRT, particularly as it intersects with disability.
As a part of the DEI Collective Learning Series, we ask that you spend time preparing for this talk with the following weekly reflections:
Week 1: Watch/Listen
ASHE 2022 Keynote Conversation with Dr. David Gillborn, moderated by Dr. Jerlando Jackson
*The video (begin video at 4:09 minutes) starts by giving an overview of Critical Race Theory. Then, later in the video (38:57) Dr. David Gillbron discusses QuantCrit.
QuantCrit (Quantitative Critical Race Theory) offers researchers ways in which they can understand and think about their positionality, data creation and its dissemination, and how they engage with systemic inequities in society (STEM Equity). In this keynote conversation, Dr. David Gillborn addresses the notion of data and quantitative analysis as devoid of bias, instead arguing how quantitative analysis can be deeply influenced by racism.
Week 2: Read
Building off the discussion found in the video, read the following articles:
Nichole M. Garcia, Nancy López and Verónica N. Vélez. “QuantCrit: Rectifying quantitative methods through critical race theory”
*The article is one of the first QuantCrit articles
Nicholas S. Bell, Zachary Collier, and Verónica Vélez. “Applying and Extending QuantCrit: Examining Overrepresentation at the Intersection of Race/Ethnicity and Special Education” (Draft)
*This manuscript will be the focus of Dr. Bell’s April talk, in which he will focus on the extension and application of QuantCrit in anti-racist research.
Week 3: Write
As researchers, we are often encouraged to consider data and quantitative analysis as devoid of bias. How does racial bias affect the way you have understood data? Think about your past and/or current research. How can QuantCrit benefit you research data, methodologies, and analyses? In what ways can your incorporate QuantCrit into your research?
Week 4: Engage
Participate in Dr. Nicholas Bell's session on QuantCrit. Register at the link above.