Laura Ruth Johnson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Research Interests

  • The experiences of Latinx and African American Pregnant & Parenting Youth
  • Mentorship and school-based support and advocacy programs for Pregnant & Parenting Youth
  • Youth civic engagement within minoritized communities
  • Literacy learning within urban community contexts and out-of-school settings
  • Community-based Qualitative Research
  • Youth Participatory Action Research


  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL  August 2005-May 2006
  • Rockefeller Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Latino and Latin American Studies
  • University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  • Ph.D. Education, Language and Literacy, Society, and Culture  May 2005
  • M.A. Education, Advanced Reading and Language Leadership Program, Language, Literacy, and Culture  May 2000


  • ETR525, Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education
  • ETR526, Advanced Technologies in Qualitative Research
  • ETR739x, Advanced Field Methods
  • ETR745, Interpretive Research
  • ETR746, Qualitative Interview Methods in Education


Laura Ruth Johnson, Ph.D., was awarded a $50,000 Spencer Foundation Conference Grant, (co-PI), with Jonathan Rosa, Ph.D., (PI), of Stanford University to design, organize, and implement the conference: "Community as a Campus: Decolonial Praxis and Chicago's Paseo Boricua." The conference will bring together educators, organizers, youth, community residents and researchers to share, critically reflect on and synthesize efforts toward building alternative institutions, enacting educational justice and transforming communities.

Recent Publications

Johnson, L.R., Stribling, C., Rivera, N., Preissner, K., Hsu, C.P., and Jones, A. (2019). Earning the right: Reflections on conducting community-based research. Critical Questions in Education10(3). 

Johnson, L.R. (2018). Foreword. In E.C. Sheffield, and S.P. Jones (Eds.) Why kids love (and hate) school: Reflections on difference (pp. ix-xiii). Myers Education Press. 

Leedy, P. and Ormrod, J. (with L.R. Johnson) (2018). Practical research: Planning and design (12th edition). Pearson Education, Inc. 

Johnson, L.R. (2017). Community-based qualitative research: Approaches for education and the social sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Johnson, L.R., Stribling, C., Almburg, A., and Vitale, G. (2015). “Turning the sugar”: Adult learning and cultural repertoires of practice in a Puerto Rican community. Adult Education Quarterly, 65(1), 3-18.

Flynn, J.E. Hunt, R, Johnson, L.R, and Wickman, S. (2014). Considering new paths for success: An examination of the research and methods on urban school-university partnerships, post-No Child Left Behind. International Journal of Educational Reform, 23(3), 191-206.

Book Chapters

Dharmashi, P., Johnson, L.R.,and J. Sharkey (2021). Critical community literacies in teacher education. In J. Zacher Pandya, R.A. Mora, J. Alford, N.A. Golden, & R. Santiago De Roock (Eds). The Handbook of critical literacies. Routledge.

Rosario-Ramos, E.M. and Johnson, L.R. (2013). Communities as counter-storytelling (con)texts: The role of community-based educational institutions in the development of critical literacy and transformative action. In J.C. Zacher-Pandya and J.A. Avila (Eds.). Moving critical literacies forward: A new look at praxis across contexts. New York, NY: Routledge.

laura johnson


Gabel Hall 204

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Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
Gabel Hall 208
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-9388 (fax)

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