Warner School of Education

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Nancy Ares

Nancy Ares

Associate Professor
Teaching & Curriculum

LeChase Hall 468
Office Phone: (585) 273-5957
Fax: 486-1159


PhD, Auburn University (educational psychology)
BS, University of Arizona (ecology and evolutionary biology)

Nancy Ares joined the Warner School in 2003 to teach doctoral-level courses in learning and teaching theories and research methods, as well as master’s-level courses in adolescent development and race, class, gender and disability in American education. She has taught at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, and coordinated academic support programs for underrepresented and migrant students. Her primary concentration in teaching is in addressing power, culture, class, and privilege as central issues in educational research and practice. To that end, she explores social constructivist and critical approaches with students to pose problems and investigate solutions.

Ares conducts research using critical geographies and sociocultural theories as frameworks for investigating classroom and community practices. This research focuses on social and spatial practices that shape participation, how structures and activity are mutually constituted, and how power and roles are negotiated through social interaction. Her work in formal and informal settings emphasizes resource-rich approaches to understanding school and community revitalization. She is committed to bridging multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives in studying learning and pedagogy as complex phenomena.

Her work has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Teachers College Record, International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Journal of Literacy Research, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Mathematical Thinking and Learning.

She is the author and editor of Youth-full Productions: Cultural Practices and Constructions of Content and Social Spaces (Lang, 2009). She is also co-author, with Edward Buendía, of the book Geographies of Difference: The Social Production of the East Side, West Side, and Central City School (Lang, 2006) and a chapter in Literacy as Snake Oil: Beyond the Quick Fix, Second Edition  (Lang, 2007), edited by Joanne Larson. With Walter Stroup, Andy Hurford, and Richard Lesh, she is co-author of a chapter in Foundations for the Future in Mathematics Education (Routledge, 2007).

She is currently analyzing data from a three-year ethnographic study of the former Rochester Surround Care Community initiative with colleagues Joanne Larson and Kevin O’Connor. Her research investigates issues of equity, agency, and participation in school and community reform. The influence of historical, geographical arrangements of people based on race, class and language, as well as the role of community funds of knowledge in school and community transformation, are central issues. Another project in which Ares is involved focuses on Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools’ support of youth social and academic development, using indicators/criteria grounded in community goals and standards for children. This community-based participatory research is aimed at disrupting academic and social structures that maintain social, academic, and economic inequities.

In the News


ED415 Adolescent Development and Youth Culture (ages 10 to 20)
EDE436 Diversity and Equity in Education
EDU442 Race, Class, Gender, and Disability in American Education
ED506 Concepts and Issues in Social Science Research
ED507 Qualitative Research Methods
EDU525 Theory and Research in Teaching and Learning
ED527 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods