Cheryl Fields-Smith Joins CUE as Scholar-in-Residence

Cheryl Fields Smith

The University of Pittsburgh Center for Urban Education (CUE) has named Dr. Cheryl Fields-Smith as a scholar-in-residence. 

During this year-long appointment, Fields-Smith will support CUE’s research, service, and knowledge sharing in a variety of ways.

“As a CUE Scholar-in-Residence, I look forward to serving as co-guest editor of a special issue of the Negro Educational Review focused on Black home education research and consulting with the Homewood Children's Village partnership on a Village Learning Hub,” says Fields-Smith. “In addition, I hope to be able to conduct virtual talks and dialogues related to my research and academic writing.”

Fields-Smith is a professor of elementary education at the University of Georgia Mary Frances Early College of Education, where she has been a faculty member in the Department of Education Theory and Practice for 18 years and currently serves as the department’s graduate program coordinator. Prior to earning her doctoral degree from Emory University in 2004 under the direction of Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker, Fields-Smith was an elementary school teacher in Connecticut, teaching first, second, and fourth grades.

Fields-Smith’s research interests center on understanding Black parents’ engagement in their children’s education from the perspective of Black parents. She is a pioneer in Black homeschool research, having published the first empirically based study in 2009 in the article, Motivations, Challenges, and Sacrifices: Black Parents’ Decisions to Homeschool co-authored with a doctoral student who served as her research assistant on a Spencer Foundation grant. Since this publication, Fields-Smith has written a book titled, Exploring Single Black Mothers’ Resistance Through Homeschooling; co-edited a book titled, Homeschooling Black Children in the U.S.: Theory, Practice, and Popular Culture, and published several articles and chapters on Black home education. Her work has been featured in major networks and other multimedia broadcasts.

“The Center is grateful to Dr. Cheryl Fields-Smith for her collaboration and scholarship,” says Dr. T. Elon Dancy, executive director and chief research scientist at CUE. “She is a leading education scholar whose work has helped shape the knowledge base on the purpose and praxis of Black home education. This scholarship is important at a time Black family decisions to homeschool are growing, even when other groups of people returned to public and private school after the pandemic quarantine ended. Her work also rightfully centers a site that has historically been one for fostering Black education when it was outlawed and nurturing the possibility to grow our collective self-determination desires and practices. Her guidance in our partnership with Homewood Children’s Village is invaluable, and I’m so excited about the youth and families who will benefit.”