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Asif Wilson

Key Professional Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research & Service

Asif Wilson's, Ph.D., research broadly focuses on justice-centered pedagogies in P-20 educational contexts and has been featured in peer-reviewed publications like the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, the Journal of Educational Foundations, and Rethinking Schools.

More specifically, Asif’s scholarship studies the historical and contemporary forces that shape justice-centered pedagogies, how teachers engage in, and conceptualize, justice-centered pedagogies, and how students experience justice-centered educational spaces. Wilson is a three-time alumnus from the University of Illinois Chicago, completing his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, master’s degree in Educational Studies, and doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. He is actively involved in education organizing in Chicago and nationally with several groups.



Gardner, J., Wilson, A., & Bigelow, S. (Accepted/In press). And Still We are Not Free: The School-Prison Nexus in Higher Education. Community College Journal of Research and Practice.  link >

Wilson, A. J. (Accepted/In press). The six pillars of teaching and learning: Towards pedagogies of risk in P-20 classrooms. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy.  link >

Wilson, A. (2021). Exclusion and Extraction: Situating Spirit Murdering in Community Colleges. The Journal of Educational Foundations, 34(1), 47-67.

Varelas, M., Menig, E., Wilson, A., & Kane, J. (2020). Intermingling of identities: a Black student in a middle-school science class. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 15(3), 695-722.  link >

Wilson, A. J., & Richardson, W. (2020). All I Want to Say Is That They Don’t Really Care About Us: Creating and Maintaining Healing-Centered Collective Care in Hostile Times. Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, 2020(43).

Wilson, A., & Henderson, D. (2020). Ambitionz az a Teacha: understanding Contemporary Rap Music’s Pedagogical Implications. The International Journal of Critical Media Literacy, 2(1), 31-55.  link >

Wilson, A. J. (2016). Youth as actors on their worlds. Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education, 8(1).


CI 402: Teaching Diverse Middle Grade Students (CI 402) Examines the curriculum and philosophy of teaching students in the middle grades. Students will focus on a number of related topics including teaching a diverse middle school student population, including all students in instruction, using technology for teaching middle school English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies and alternative means of assessing students' learning. Seminar content will be integrated with coursework in adolescent development, and special education in middle school settings. Coursework is integrated with a middle grade field experience.

EDUC 202: Social Justice, School and Society (EDUC 202) Examines the nature of justice and the dynamics of a pluralistic society to derive a conception of social justice. Working with this conception, it asks how schools function to perpetuate and/or remediate social injustice. The course will consider the history and nature of schooling, issues of access and tracking, and notions of the public and the common. The course is designed for students interested in reflecting on their own educational histories, for those considering careers in teaching, and for all future parents and citizens needing to be able to reflect critically on justice, school, and society.