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Richard Duran AAB

Richard Duran 1 HS Oval Portrait
Richard Duran
Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

Richard Durán is a Professor in the Department of Education. Most of his research interests are centered on literacy and learning of persons from varied language and cultural backgrounds, but they are not confined solely to learning in school settings. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1977 he worked at Educational Testing Service in Princeton conducting investigations and publishing research findings on the validity of the SAT, GRE, and TOEFL tests. This work benefited from his graduate training in quantitative and cognitive psychology. One of the main findings of this research was that SAT test scores predict early college grades less accurately for Latino students as compared to other students, but that there was clear evidence of poor schooling preparation of Latino students. Yet despite the latter evidence, Duran was not convinced that students’ true learning potential was assessed adequately by standardized tests. As a result he developed a strong interest in how more effective instruction could be designed to assist academic outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse students who don’t perform well on standardized tests and who come from low-income families. Enter social constructionism and cultural psychology as new fields for his research.