Katherine E. L. Norris, Ph.D.
Professor, College of Education & Social Work,
West Chester University
For a career in education that spans over 30 years, Dr. Katherine Norris has been an educator for social justice and equity in classrooms ranging from Pre-K all the way through her doctoral students at West Chester University. Her work in education shows a commitment to the advancement of multicultural education in Philadelphia, Coatesville, and West Chester as well as other areas throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Norris’ work is evidenced through her scholarship, teaching, and service in addition to strong collaborative community partnerships.
As a teacher in Philadelphia for over 18 years, Dr. Norris’ love of literature and understanding of the importance of self-identity, encouraged book clubs and a strong literacy component in all of the classes she taught. Using Black History titles, her students often read about people and topics that many mainstream classes were not exposed to. Dr. Norris fostered an understanding of history and a love of self through reading, drama clubs, and after school dance groups.
Since entering the Department of Early Childhood Education in 2007, and now the Early and Middle Grades Education Department, Dr. Norris has been an advocate for teaching, programming, and support services for students of Color in Education. With Pennsylvania holding the recording for the lowest percentage of Teachers of Color, Dr. Norris has recently secured a small start-up $50 ,000.00 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to create a Teacher of Color high school – college pipeline in an effort to Diversify the Teacher Workforce. This project begins with a Why Teach? Teacher of Color Symposium for Philadelphia High School, and this summer, students will then earn college credits while still high school students.
Dr. Katherine Norris has recent publications on multicultural education and social justice in education. She has co-edited a book on Multicultural Parent Partnerships in Education. More recently, Dr. Norris has included international programming in her scholarship and was recently added to the Fulbright Specialist Roster. Dr. Norris is a past board member of PA NAME and is an active member of NAME.