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Michel Estefan

Assistant Professor of Teaching in Sociology, University of California, San Diego
Chapter Member: San Diego SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Michel

Estefan’s research combines philosophical humanism, sociological theory, and the scholarship of teaching and learning to produce systematic frameworks for critically understanding and addressing some of the most daunting challenges facing instructors and students in today’s higher education landscape. Estefan has trained close to 2,000 graduate students, faculty, lecturers and postdocs across the University of California and California State University systems on various aspects of teaching and pedagogy.


Beyond the Research

In the News

Opinion: "Show Them You Care," Michel Estefan, Inside Higher Ed, February 2, 2021.
Opinion: "Getting Small-Group Work Right," Michel Estefan, Inside Higher Ed, December 10, 2018.


"Deliberative Interdependence: A Durkheimian Approach to Promoting Collaborative Learning in Diverse Classrooms" Sociological Focus 57, no. 1 (2024): 21–26.

Critiques the prevailing approach to building classroom community in higher education, arguing that it relies on a flawed understanding of the connections needed in diverse classrooms. Advocates for a shift towards "deliberative interdependence" as a better model for promoting collaborative learning in diverse classrooms, and illustrates how this model can be implemented through innovative teaching and assessment techniques.

"From Inclusive to Equitable Pedagogy: How to Design Course Assignments and Learning Activities That Address Structural Inequalities" (with Jesse Cordes Selbin and Sarah Macdonald). Teaching Sociology 51, no. 3 (2023): 262-274.

Discusses the limitations of current approaches to creating inclusive classrooms for first-generation, working-class, students of color, highlighting common communicative strategies that ultimately fail to address underlying structural issues such as academic disparities and resource inequalities. Proposes a new framework that addresses these structural challenges by integrating equity into teaching practices.