Laura Ruth Johnson, Ph.D.

Research Interests

  • The experiences of Latinx and African American pregnant and parenting youth
  • Mentorship and school-based support and advocacy programs for pregnant and parenting youth
  • Youth civic engagement within minoritized communities
  • Literacy learning within urban community contexts and out-of-school settings
  • Community-based qualitative research
  • Community-university parternships
  • Youth participatory action research


  • 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 brought 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 (2023). “Proving them wrong”: Reproductive justice, civic engagement, and advocacy for and by Pregnant and Parenting Youth. Schools: Studies in Education, 20(1), 144-163.

Johnson, L.R. (2022). Community-based qualitative approaches to studying literacy: Methodological issues and concerns. In L. Henry and N. Stahl (Eds.). A field guide to community literacy: Case studies and tools for praxis, evaluation, and research (pp. 254-265). Taylor and Francis.

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, and R. Santiago De Roock (Eds). The Handbook of critical literacies. Routledge.

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. 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.



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