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Mary Shelley Thomas

Associate Professor of Middle and Secondary Education, University of Louisville
Chapter Member: Kentucky SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Mary

Thomas' research focus is on transdisciplinary social justice approaches to pervasive challenges in teacher preparation, such as classroom management with trauma informed and anti-racist perspectives. Overarching themes in Thomas' writing include the necessity of ongoing learning and reflection and consideration for the contexts, settings, and circumstances in which teachers and students interact. Thomas has served as a member of Jefferson County Public Schools (Kentucky) first Equity Scorecard Team, and currently serves as a member of the district's Racial Equity Policy subcommittee. Pipeline for Teachers of Color.


"Trauma-Informed Practices in Schools Across Two Decades: An Interdisciplinary Review of Research " (with Shantel Crosby and Judi Vanderhaar). Review of Research in Education 43, no. 1 (March 2019): 422-452.

Outlines research around trauma-informed, school based interventions over the last 20 years. Finds that because this research exists primarily outside of education, there is a need for researchers in education to understand and participant such research.

"Enacting Culturally Responsive Pedagogies: A Multi-Case Study of Middle Level Teachers in Urban, Priority Schools" (with Penny B. Howell), in Equity and Cultural Responsiveness in the Middle Grades, edited by Kathleen M. Brinegar, Lisa M. Harrison, and Ellis Hurd (Information Age Publishing, 2019).

Describes four middle school teachers working with their students to create engaging, rigorous learning experiences. Finds they did so by attending to students' developmental, racial, language, and/or ethnic identities and providing appropriate instructional in order to challenge students with new content and skills.