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20062017

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University profile

Dr. Zoë Burkholder is a professor of educational foundations and the founding director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project in the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University. She is an historian of education with expertise in antiracist education, school integration, the social construction of race in schools, and educational activism among Black, Native American, Latinx, and Asian American communities.

Her most recent book, An African American Dilemma: A History of School Integration and Civil Rights in the North (Oxford University Press, 2021) analyzes debates within northern Black communities over the question of whether school integration or separate, Black-controlled schools provides the best strategy to equalize public education. In Integrations: The Struggle for Racial Equality and Civic Renewal in Public Education (University of Chicago Press, 2021) she investigates the relationship between school integration and educational equality among African American, Native American, Asian American, and Latinx communities. Her first book, Color in the Classroom: How American Schools Taught Race, 1900-1954 (Oxford University Press, 2011) documents how teachers influenced the social construction of race in America, and uncovers the nation’s first antiracist curriculum developed by anthropologists Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, and Ruth Benedict during World War II.

Burkholder has a Ph.D. in the history of education from New York University, a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. She runs antiracist and anti-bias professional development workshops for K-12 teachers on topics such as the Holocaust, Black history, Native American history, Asian American and Pacific Islander history, and LGBTG+ history, and trains undergraduate students in human rights education. 

Research interests

Antiracist education, school integration, the social construction of race in schools, and educational activism among Black, Native American, Latinx, and Asian American communities.

Scholarly Interests

History of U.S. education, racial equality in public schools, educational policy, school desegregation, antiracist education, African American educational history, social construction of race in schools.

Faculty/Media Expert

Expert on the history of school desegregation, antiracist education, and Holocaust education.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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