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Alexis D. Riley

Alexis D. Riley

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Science Education

Teaching and Learning

Alexis D. Riley, Ph.D. (she/her) is a teacher-educator, writer, and Stevie Wonder enthusiast. She is a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor at New York University-Steinhardt in the Teaching & Learning Department, in the Science Education Program. Originally from South Central Los Angeles, CA, Alexis earned her Ph.D. in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in the Fall of 2021. She received her MS.Ed at Fordham University in 2013 and her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California - Santa Barbara in 2011. Alexis has been faculty at California State University - Los Angeles, Barnard College, and Relay Graduate School of Education as an Assistant Professor and Adjunct Assistant Professor, respectively.

Alexis’ research has prioritized the legacy, innovations, and healing of Black women teachers by placing their instinctual and improvisational teaching skills at the center of science education. She has major publications in journals such as the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, the Journal of Science Teacher Education, Cultural Studies of Science Education, and Race Ethnicity, and Education. She served on the Board of Directors for the ASTE, Alexis has used her position to push the science education field to meet the unique realities of teachers and students of color. Her research and scholarship are heavily informed by her decades' worth of experience as a secondary Science and History teacher and curriculum and instruction specialist in public and charter schools in Harlem and Brooklyn.

In 2022 and 2019, Alexis was a Jhumki Basu Scholars Program from the Ethics & Equity Committee for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. In 2015, the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health honored her with the prestigious Health Equity Champion Award for her efforts towards informing her students about the health disparities and institutionalized racism in communities of color.

Selected Publications

  • Riley, A.D., & Mensah, F.M. (2023). “Things your history teacher won't teach you: Science edition”: Black women science teachers as anti‐racist teachers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. DOI: 10.1002/tea.21912 (online first)
  • Riley, A. (2023). Womanist Pedagogy and Black Women’s Science Teaching. Race, Ethnicity, and Education. DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2023.2210512
  • Riley, A., & Mensah, F.M. (2022). “My curriculum has no soul!”: A case study of the experiences of Black women science teachers working at charter schools. Journal of Science Teacher Education
  • Riley, A. (2021). Science in the city: Culturally relevant STEM education book review. The Journal of Education.
  • Wright, C., & Riley, A. (2021). Mitigating the need for resiliency for Black girls: Reimagining the cultural brokering through a lens of science as white property. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 1-6. 
  • Riley, A. (2021). Exploring the philosophy and need of Black women science teachers. Academia Letters, Article 1769.
  • Riley, A. (2020). Lifting as we climb: Re-centering Black women science teachers. ASTE Newsletter, 54(4).


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