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Department ofChild Studies

Brita Bookser

Brita Bookser

Assistant Professor

Brita Ariel Bookser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child Studies with expertise in early childhood, educational (in)equity, and antiracist and liberatory pedagogies. Throughout her childhood, Brita envisioned her future career as a “baby doctor.” She completed her B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Counseling and Family Psychology at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo; M.A. in Infant Mental Health at Mills College; and Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

Brita’s recent scholarship includes “Unsettling the Unimaginable: A Genealogical Counterstory of Early Care and Education in the United States,” published in a special issue of Pedagogy, Culture, & Society, and “Context Matters for Preschool Discipline: Effects of Distance Learning and Pandemic Fears,” coauthored with an interdisciplinary team in a special issue of School Psychology. Brita embraces open science and team science frameworks, and has recently collaborated on projects with the Black Cultural Zone, KQED Public Media of Northern California, and the California Arts Council, among others. In addition, Brita is passionate about collaborating with and mentoring undergraduate student researchers, best embodied in her Tensions and Transformations Research Group.

An enthusiastic, compassionate mentor and teacher, Brita is the professor of courses including Antiracist and Decolonial Praxis in Early Childhood Contexts (CHST 6), Cultural Humility with Children and Families (CHST 4), Quantitative Research Methods and Statistics (CHST 11), Urban Education and Multiculturalism (CHST 106), the Child Studies Senior Capstone series (CHST 181, 182), a First Year Seminar (UGST 45), and Education and Social (In)Justice — a Spark Seminar (UGST 100) that she co-taught with Professor Michael Kaufman, Dean of the Law School. In addition to her research, teaching, and departmental and community service engagements, Brita is Faculty Director of the Loyola Residential Learning Community. With students, Brita co-creates a learning community where all belong, and where standpoint, personal testimony, and transdisciplinary scholarship bear shared importance.

Brita practices self-love and rejuvenation through various activities, such as running, rock climbing, cycling, birding, and reading. She is deeply fulfilled by good food and conversation around the kitchen table, quality time with beloved family and friends, and volunteering with community organizations, especially Hearts for Paws Rescue.