Peter C. Murrell, Jr., Ph.D.


Teacher Education Department
Loyola University Maryland
School of Education
4501 N. Charles Street, Beatty Hall 120
Baltimore, MD 21210


Ph.D., Urban Education-Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, 1987.
Areas of research: Cognition and learning; human development in social and cultural context; social and cultural contexts of urban schooling.

M.S., Experimental Cognitive Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1980.  Areas of research: Human information processing, reading.

B.A., Psychology, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, 1974.
Honors in Psychology.


Peter C. Murrell, Jr. is a Professor of Urban Education at Loyola University Maryland. He is the Founding Dean of the School of Education, and served as dean from 2008 to June 2011. Currently he is the Co-Founder and Senior Associate for Research and Development of the Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools, where he leads the design and delivery of the organization's Communities of Practice professional development programs for urban school districts. Dr. Murrell consults with urban school districts in major cities across the country to develop systematic solutions to the challenges of elevating the quality of teaching and learning in diverse urban schools and communities.  Dr. Murrell's research focuses on the role of social identity in academic proficiency and intellectual developing in learners as well as their teachers, and shows how to promote development of academic identity and racial/cultural identity in the varied social contexts in urban schools and communities.

He has authored several books, numerous articles and book chapters on the theory and practice of building culturally centered learning communities for teachers and students, including The Community Teacher (Teachers College Press), African-Centered Pedagogy (SUNY Press) and his most recent monograph Race, Culture and Schooling: Identities of Achievement in Multicultural Urban Schools (Lawrence Erlbaum). As a member of the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education’s TEAM-C (Teacher Education as a Moral Community) and working committees of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) he is actively engaged in the development of new models of teacher preparation and professional development.

A former middle school and high school teacher (Milwaukee Public Schools), college-access program administrator (Marquette University), psychology department chair (Milwaukee Area Technical College), and assistant professor of Psychology and Education (Alverno College), and associate professor of Education (Wheelock College, Northeastern University) Dr. Murrell earned his bachelors degree in Psychology from Carleton College; his masters degree in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and his Ph.D. in Urban Education and Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Research Interests

Dr. Murrell’s research examines issues of the identity, intellectual growth and human development. Trained in the areas of cognitive development, human information processing, and the inter-disciplinary study of resilience and efficacy, Murrell examines issues of the development of social identity and scholastic development through various forms of social engagement in communities of practice – exploring the role these forms play in enculturation and cultivation of scholastic proficiency and educational resilience.  His research on the cognitive dimensions of resilience and efficacy explain the intersections of social, cultural and symbolic contexts in the development of learners and teachers conjointly.

Currently, in collaboration with the Boston Public Schools and the Baltimore Public School districts, Dr. Murrell is investigating the development of adolescent literacy ability as it conjunctively emerges through the professional development of those educators working with adolescents.  This dual-strand inquiry seeks to uncover how deep pedagogical knowledge combines with content knowledge in the development quality clinical practice in urban contexts.

Recent Publications

Books Authored

Murrell, P. C., Jr. (June 2007).  Race, Culture, and Schooling: Identities of Achievement in Multicultural Urban Schools.  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Books Edited

Murrell, P. C., Jr., Diez, M., Feiman-Nemser, S., & Schussler, D. (eds) (December, 2010) Teaching as a Moral Practice: Defining, Developing, and Assessing Professional Dispositions in Teacher Education, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Articles and Chapters

Murrell, P.C., Jr. (2009).  Identity, agency, and culture: Black achievement and educational attainment.  In L. C. Tillman (Ed). Handbook of African American Education (pp.  89 -105).  Sage Publishers.

Murrell, P.C., Jr. (2009). Community action and agency in the education of urban youth.  In Susan E. Noffke & Bridget Somekh (Eds.) Handbook of Educational Action Research.  Sage Publishers.

Murrell, P. C., Jr. (2007). Toward social justice in urban education: A model of collaborative cultural inquiry in schools In Francine Peterman (ed.).  Washington, DC; The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

Murrell, P. C., Jr. (2006). Toward social justice in urban education: A model of collaborative cultural inquiry in schools.  Equity and Excellence, 39, 81-90.


Constructing macrostructure: the effect of generative summarizing on the comprehension of main ideas from lengthy expository text

Editorial Posts

Urban Education
Journal of Teacher Education
American Educational Research Journal

Professional Activities/Society Memberships

American Educational Research Association
American Anthropological Association
Member, Archdiocesan Catholic School Board Member, Baltimore, MD (2010 to present)
President of Board of Trustees, Social Justice Education (April 2006 to 2008)
Co-Chair, Board of Trustees Orchard Garden’s Pilot School (May 2006 to 2008)
Associate Editor, American Educational Research Journal (Fall 2006 to 2008)
Commissioner, Association of Teacher Educators, National Commission on High Stakes Testing
Member of NCATE Unit Accrediting Board (2006 to the present)
Member NCATE Board of Examiners (1996 to 2006)