Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt


Rachel Fish

Associate Professor of Special Education

Teaching and Learning

As a sociologist of education, I study the racialized and gendered constructions of disability and giftedness, how these processes are shaped by school context, and how they relate to educational inequality. I use multiple methods, including experimental methods, observational data analyses, and interviews, to understand how students are sorted into special and gifted education programs, and how these services ameliorate and exacerbate inequalities. In another line of research, I focus on relations among teachers, families, and administrations, and how these relationships are shaped by—and shape—inequality by race/ethnicity, class, gender, and disability. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, my M.A.T. in Special Education from Western New Mexico University, and my A.B. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College.

Prior to joining NYU, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame's Center for Research on Educational Opportunity. I also taught students with disabilities in northwestern New Mexico for five years.

At NYU, I teach classes to students preparing to become special education teachers, including methods for teaching for racial justice, methods for students with low-incidence disabilities, and using classroom data for reflective practice.

Selected Publications

***If you do not have institutional access to my publications, I am happy to provide you with a copy***


Special Education

Learn to develop child-centered educational environments for students of all abilities and gain firsthand teaching experience with diverse student populations.

Read More