Laura Krystal Porterfield is an Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations and the Coordinator of the Urban Education program at UW-Whitewater. She also holds an affiliated facultyship in the department of Women's and Gender Studies, and is the faculty coordinator for the Teaching Internship Abroad in Daegu, South Korea.
Dr. Porterfield's fundamental belief and philosophy is that education is a human and civil right. Dr. Porterfield believes that it is her life's work to advance the achievement of that right for all.
2013 - Ph.D., Urban Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
2009 - M.Ed., Urban Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
2006 - B.A., English Literature, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Dr. Portefield studies the socialization experiences of Black girls in schools and society. Drawing primarily from visual sociology, anthropology, gender studies, and geography, her work takes a multi-disciplinary look at the educational lives of Black girls. Broadly speaking, Dr. Porterfield is interested in how young Black women and youth more generally learn about varying forms of human difference from visual texts and from their everyday spaces and places. Her recent work explores the intersections of the hidden visual curriculum, race, gender, and safety in the urban school environment. Similar to her topical approach, Dr. Porterfield engages multiple methods in doing her work, including photographic, discourse analysis, and ethnographic methods.
Dr. Porterfield also investigates teacher preparation and retention issues in conjunction with the Research Network of the Institute for Urban Education (IUE). This research explores how pre-service teachers engage with culturally-relevant pedagogy. The central tenant of this research is an assessment of pre-service teachers' development of knowledge, skills, and awareness in connection to their work with diverse urban students and communities. Dr. Porterfield has contributed to the co-developed of an assessment tool entitled the "TC-CARES: the Teacher Candidate, Cultural Awareness, Relevancy, amd Efficacy Scale," aimed at assessing pre-service teachers' cultural relevancy as they exit their undergraduate programs.