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Department ofChild Studies

Omar Davila

Omar Davila, Jr.

Assistant Professor

Omar Davila Jr. received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. His research examines the nexus of education policy, political discourse, and the social construction of merit. More specifically, he investigates how social inequality is reproduced and resisted; how political ideologies shape academic contexts; and how to reimagine education to serve a transformative end. His research appears in numerous academic journals, including Teachers College Record, Race Ethnicity and Education, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, Urban Education, and more. His work received financial support from UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and the Center for Latino Policy Research. He was previously a McNair Scholar at California State University-Monterey Bay, and a visiting scholar at Michigan State University and Yale University.

At SCU, Professor Davila serves as Director of the Future Teachers Project (FTP), a teacher preparation program for undergraduate students interested in becoming teachers in urban contexts. FTP scholars participate in weekly seminars, scholarly research, and community leadership. In 2023, he organized the inaugural FTP Summer Fellows Program for local high school students. FTP has produced three publications—all of which were co-authored with undergraduate students—examining various topics related to educational inequality: (1) the zero-sum phenomenon in education (Davila et al, 2021), (2) political discourse vis-à-vis the “teacher shortage” (Davila et al., 2022), and (3) the experiences of Latinx youth participating in a Grow-Your-Own teacher preparation program (Davila et al, forthcoming). In recent years, FTP alumni have been recruited for graduate study by top universities, including Stanford University, Columbia University, and UC Berkeley.

Professor Davila teaches various courses in Child Studies, including the Senior Capstone Series, FTP Seminar, Urban Education & Multiculturalism, Exceptional Child, and Qualitative Research Methods.

Selected Publications

Davila Jr. O. (2024). Teacher diversity as interest convergence? A cautionary note. Labor Studies Journal.

Davila Jr., O. (2023). Elite schooling in the city: The model minority myth and urban education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 1-16.

Davila Jr, O. (2022). When academic success is insufficient. Urban Education, 57(7), 1288- 1293.

Davila, O., & Rios, V. M. (2022). Between market logics and resistance logics: the tech boom and high-performing Latino boys in the Bay Area. Race Ethnicity and Education, 25(5), 629- 646.

Davila Jr, O. (2021). Is structural change “practical"? Latino boys & imagining otherwise. Journal of Leadership, Equity, and Research, 7(2), 1-13.