Miguel Zavala joined the Attallah College of Educational Studies in 2015 and teaches in the Integrated Educational Studies and Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction (MACI) programs. Dr. Zavala earned his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in Education with an emphasis in Urban Schooling. Prior to joining the Chapman University community, Dr. Zavala worked in the Department of Secondary Education at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), where he taught courses in curriculum theory, action research, diversity in education, and content-area literacy. Along with colleagues at CSUF, he helped form the Center for Migrant Students & Families, serving as Director of the 2015 Migrant Student Leadership Institute (MSLI), a residential program that empowers migrant youth throughout the state of California. Since 2013, he has assumed key leadership positions in the California Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (CA-NAME). For the past decade he has been an active member and founder of grassroots organizations in South Los Angeles and is currently organizing with Chicana/o high school students in Santa Ana, CA.
Dr. Zavala’s research explores the possibilities of learning and teaching within grassroots spaces. In particular, he builds on the emerging scholarship by critical Chicana/o and Indigenous scholar-activists, working with a decolonizing framework for understanding pedagogical, research, and community organizing processes and spaces. His most recent work involves studying and building Youth Participatory Action Research projects in urban contexts.
K-12 Teaching Experience
Miguel Zavala worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District for six years, in some of the most neglected urban areas of Los Angeles. He taught English and Social Studies at the middle school level and English at high school level. For the past eight summers, Dr. Zavala has been teaching social science, writing, and sociology in alternative programs that seek to empower urban and migrant high school students.
Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Dr. Zavala’s research on learning and action-research in grassroots spaces has been published in the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and the journal Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. He has made critical contributions to the other fields such as urban teacher education (Urban Education) and community-university partnerships (published in the Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis). He has also several published chapters, his most recent being a theorization that outlines a Chicana/o standpoint for educational praxis. For the past six years has served as Lead Editor for Regeneración: The Association of Raza Educators Journal, a grassroots publication.