Social Chair, VCU Holmes Scholars Program
Ph.D., School of Education
Program Area: Curriculum, Culture and Change
Projected Completion: May 2023
- Ph.D. (Education: Curriculum, Culture and Change), Expected Graduation May 2023
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
- M.T. (Elementary Education, endorsement in Special Education), May 2015
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
- B.A. (Psychology), May 2015
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
Line of Research
My research examines how teacher and student critical racial consciousness impacts racial identity development, student learning outcomes, and student belonging to positively address racialized opportunity gaps.
Research and Scholarship
- Parkhouse, H., Bennett, E., Pandey, T., Lee, K., Wilson, J. (accepted) Opposition to Culturally Relevant Education Among Practicing Educators: Is CRE a Choice or a Professional Expectation? Educational Researcher.
- Tichnor-Wagner, A., Bennett, E., Parkhouse, H., & Schcolnik, A. (accepted) Towards a Cohesive Union? Currents and Cleavages in State Civic Education Policy Discourses. American Journal of Education.
- Parkhouse, H. & Bennett, E. The Power of Action Research for Developing Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices: A Case Study of Three Secondary Social Studies Teachers.
- Bennett, E., Merritt, A., & Parkhouse, H. Towards Effective Culturally Responsive Teaching Professional Developments for Black Educators.
- Gómez, R., & Bennett, E., & Cammarota, J. The Battle for Curriculum: Reconciling Racism with Critical Race Theory and Ethnic Studies.
- Gómez, R., Apugo, D. & Bennett, E. “We Look Like the Brady Bunch”: Chicana and Black Women Faculty Critical Incidents of Microaggressive Attacks as Barriers to Decolonization Work.
- Gómez, R., & Bennett, E., & Cammarota (2022, June) The Battle for Curriculum in the Racial State: Reconciliation of Racism through Ethnic Studies and CRT. Presenation at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education, Portland, Oregon.
- Gómez, R., & Bennett, E. (2022, April) Racial Identity Development Toward Transformative Pedagogy. In Nicolai, K. & Chen, K. (Chairs), Discussing Race, Ethnicity, and Culture While Teaching Educational Psychology [Symposium]. American Education Research Association, San Diego, California.
- Bennett, E. (2022, March). Turning the Mirror on Yourself: Racial Identity Development in Teacher Education. Presentation at the AACTE Holmes Preconference, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Bennett, E., Merritt, A., & Parkhouse, H. (2021, April) Towards Effective Culturally Responsive Teaching Professional Development for Black Teachers. Presentation at the American Education Research Association, Virtual.
- Tichnor-Wagner, A., Bennett, E., Parkhouse, H., & Schcolnik, A. (2021, April) Towards a Cohesive Union? Currents and Cleavages in State Civic Education Policy Discourses. Presentation at the American Education Research Association, Virtual.
- Bennett, E. (2021, February). The Need for Professional Development on Culturally Responsive Teaching for Black Educators. Presentation at the AACTE Holmes Preconference, Virtual.
- Parkhouse, H. & Bennett, E. (2020, December). The Power of Action Research for Developing Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices: A Case Study of Three Secondary Social Studies Teachers. Presentation at the National Council for Social Studies Conference, Washington, DC.
- Bennett, E. (2020, February). The Need for Critical Racial Consciousness in a Colorblind Teaching Force. Presentation at the AACTE Holmes Preconference, Atlanta GA.
- Yingling, T., Lyn, R., Bennett, E., Lambert, A., Hanley, E., Nicolai, K., Venning, C., Rawls, M. (2020, October). Anti-Racist Transdisciplinary Coalition in Higher Education. Presentation at the 17th Annual Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium Conference. Richmond, VA.
- Parkhouse, H., Senechal, J., Bennett, E., Gui, J., Lyn, R., Merritt, A., Mann, M., Kenup, A., O’Neal, C., & Macaulay, S. (2019, October). Designing Effective Professional Development to Support Culturally Responsive Teaching. Presentation at the 16th Annual Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium Conference. Richmond, VA.
- Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium- Research Project: Professional Development for Success in Culturally Diverse Schools
- Professional Development Designer- Henrico Public Schools, Culturally Responsive Teaching Microcredential
- Professional Development Facilitator- VCU Summer Learning Institute- Professional Development Title: Racial identity development toward transformative pedagogy
Ejana Bennett is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the current president of the VCU Holmes Scholars Program. She works as a graduate research assistant with the VCU Teaching and Learning department. She has practitioner experience as a former elementary school teacher in Richmond Public Schools. She also has experience teaching special education in a charter school in Brooklyn, NY. She currently examines the impact teacher racial identity development and teacher critical racial consciousness has on student outcomes such as student critical consciousness, student-teacher relationships, and student belonging. The key issues she investigates are the underdevelopment of racial identity in teachers, and how this lack of critical race consciousness among K-12 public school teachers, creates classrooms that are violent spaces for Black, Idigenous, People of color (BIPOC) students, as many teachers do not realize the ways that they uphold Whiteness and continually reproduce race in their classrooms.
What does the Holmes Scholars Program mean to you?
VCU Holmes Scholars program means being seen, heard and understood as a historically marginalized student. The VCU Holmes Scholars program fulfills my yearning to be supported and mentored without partaking in what W.E.B. DuBois calls, “double consciousness”. I am a part of a supportive network of peers and have access to unique professional experiences that will lead to my overall success in academia. I am surrounded by like-minded doctoral students and mentors who look like me and support me through my educational journey.