University of South Floroda College of Education
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Faculty Research Profiles: Deirdre Cobb-Roberts

Associate Professor

Phone: 813-974-8119

Psychological and Social Foundations
4202 E. Fowler Avenue EDU105
Tampa, FL 33620

Research Biography

Dr. Deirdre Cobb-Roberts is an Associate Professor of Social Foundations in the Department of Psychological and Social Foundations at the University of South Florida and a former McKnight Junior Faculty Fellow. She received her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1998).  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of American higher education, multicultural education, and social foundations of education. Dr. Cobb-Roberts is particularly interested in issues of access, equity, excellence and social justice from both a contemporary and historical lens.  Her research focuses on the history of American higher education, teacher education with an emphasis on cultural diversity, and the role of social justice in culturally responsive and responsible pedagogy.  She has co-edited a book and published articles related to this research in the History of Education Quarterly, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, International Journal of Educational Policy, Research and Practice, Educational Considerations, College Student Affairs Journal andAmerican Educational History Journal.  She is currently working on a book documenting the academic and social experiences of African American students at two land grant universities in the post-World War II era.  Her teaching, research and service builds upon her passionate commitment to assisting students in their socially just knowledge construction while encouraging constant critical self-reflection. 


  •   B.A., Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990
  • M.A., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996
  • Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998

Selected Publications

  • Cobb-Roberts, D. (in press).  Betwixt safety and shielding in the academy: Infringing upon institutional gendered racism. The Negro Educational Review.
  • Cobb-Roberts, D., & Agosto, V. (in press). Tedious Journeys: Auto-ethnography of Women of Color in Academe (book review). The Negro Educational Review.
  • McHatton, P. Shircliffe, B., & Cobb-Roberts. (2011). Promoting diversity through multilevel activism: An organizational approach. Educational Considerations, 38(2), 7-12.
  • Cobb-Roberts, D. (2010).  A daughter’s acceptance.  In C. Marshall (Ed.), Surviving cancer as a family and helping co-survivors thrive (pp. 41-50). New York: Praeger.
  • Johnson, L., Cobb-Roberts, D., Shircliffe, B. (2007). African Americans and the struggle for opportunity in Florida public higher education, 1888-1980.  The History of Education Quarterly, 47(3), 328-358.
  •  Henry, W., Cobb-Roberts, D., Dorn, S., Exum, H., Keller, H., and B. Shircliffe. (2007). When the dialogue becomes too difficult: A case study of resistance and backlash.  College Student Affairs Journal, 26 (2), 160-168.
  • Cobb-Roberts, D., & Shircliffe, B. (2007).  The legacy of desegregation in Florida.  In K. Borman, & S. Dorn, (Eds.), Education reform in Florida: Diversity and equity in public policy (pp.19-52). New York: State University of New York Press.
  • Cobb-Roberts, D., Dorn, S. & Shircliffe, B. (Eds.). (2006). Schools as imagined communities: The creation of identity, meaning and conflict in U.S. history. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Teacher Beliefs
  • Pre-service Teachers
  • In-service Teachers
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Justice & Equity in Schools
  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Urban Ed
  • University-School Partnerships
  • Higher Education
  • Bicultural/Multicultural Ed
  • Equity & Diversity
  • Educational Access