Dr. Durene Wheeler
Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies
African and African American Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Education
(773) 442-4162
Educational Histories of Marginalized Groups ~~ (specifically African Americans and women)
Social Justice and Anti-Racist Pedagogy
Culturally Relevant Teaching and Learning
Community & Teacher Leadership Training
Authoethnography and Qualitative Research Methods
Curriculum and Instructional Design
Higher Education and Student Affairs
Courses Taught
AFAM 200 Introduction to African and African American Studies
AFAM 301 Foundations of African Civilizations
EDFN 305: Philosophical and Historical Foundations of Public Education
EDFN 307: Psychology of Instruction and Learning
EDFN 314B/WSP 311C: Power, Knowledge & Communities: Feminists Engagements with Education
EDFN 410 Education as a Social Institution
EDFN 451 Research Methods
WGS 101 Feminist Perspectives and Values
Research Interests
Development, Recruitment, and Retention of Diverse Faculty
Blended Instruction
Social Justice and Anti-Racist Education and Teaching Practices
Critical Race Theory and Education
Bias, Cultural Competency and Cultural Awareness
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
History of Marginalized Groups and Women in relation to education and leadership

B.A. The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 1989

M.A. The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 1996

Ph.D. The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 2004

Selected Publications


Perlow, Olivia, Wheeler, Durene, Bethea, Sharon, and Scott, BarBara (Eds.). (2018) Black Women’s Liberatory Pedagogies: Resistance, Transformation, and Healing Within and Beyond the Academy. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Perlow, Olivia, Bethea, S., Wheeler D. (2014) "Dismantling the Master’s House: Black Women Faculty Challenging White Privilege/Supremacy in the College Classroom." Resistance to Teaching Anti-Racism, Special Edition for Understanding and Dismantling Privilege. Online at https://www.wpcjournal.com/article/view/12307.

Wheeler, Durene I. (2008) “Answering the Call: Influencing Equity in Education through Teacher Preparation”, pp.63-68, in The Sophist Bane 4(1&2), Spring. 

Book Chapters

Wheeler, Durene I. (2017).  Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.  In Betty M. Lovelace-Ross (Ed.), A Collection of Sayings of Mama’Nem: The Wit and Wisdom of Mama, Muhdear, and Othermothers (pp. 85-87). Prospect, KY: Professional Women Publishing, LLC.

Wheeler, Durene I., & Nitihirageza, Jeanine  (2013).  Teach Me About Africa: Facilitating and Training Educators toward a Socially Just Curriculum. In Brandon D. Lundy & Solomon Negash (Eds.), Teaching Africa: A Guide for the 21st Century Classroom (pp. 104-111), Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indian University Press.

King, Toni C., Barnes-Wright, Lenora, Gibson, Nancy E., Johnson, Lakesia D., Lee, Valerie, Lovelace, Betty M.,Turner, Sonya, Wheeler, Durene I. (2002). “Andrea’s Third Shift: The Invisible Work of African American Women in Higher Education, pp. 403-415” in This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation, Gloria Anzaldua and Ana Louise Keating, eds.  New York: Routledge.

Selected Exhibitions

Social Justice Webinar

Constructing Difference: Understanding the Role of Social Justice in the Classroom, WEBINAR, November 8, 2017, Harper College, Palatine, IL.  Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn90C9e2Cs0&feature=youtu.be

In this webinar, Dr. Wheeler provides an introduction to faculty interested in creating a more socially just classroom. Through an examination of terminology and tenets of social justice as it relates to teaching and learning, participants examine how faculty and student identities impact content, comprehension, and classroom climate.

Selected Performances

A Diverse Fellow Writes Back: The Success and Pitfalls of Diverse Faculty Recruitment Programs at the National Organization for Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon May 2019

Pedagogy of the Heart: Evoking Empathy Through Literature and Film at the National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates 25th Anniversary Conference, Dallas, Texas February 2017

Empowering Black and Brown Youth: Identifying and Overcoming Degrading Practices in 21st Century Elementary Classrooms at the National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates Annual Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana February 2016

The Use of Emotion in the Classroom as Feminist Pedagogy at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference Feminist Transgressions, San Juan, Puerto Rico November 2014

Black Women Faculty and Administrators Negotiating the Academy at the National Council for Black Studies 38th Annual Conference, Miami, FL March 2014


Durene I. Wheeler, Ph.D., is Professor at Northeastern Illinois University in the department of Educational Inquiry & Curriculum Studies. She holds a core faculty appointment in African & African American Studies (AFAM) along with Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (WGS). Dr. Wheeler has served as Program Coordinator for both AFAM and WGS academic programs. Additionally, Dr. Wheeler served as founding Graduate Facilitator and Advisor for the Master of Arts in Community and Teacher Leaders program at NEIU. 

Her teaching and research interests include historical intersections of race, class, and gender in U.S. Education, practical application methods of critical race and feminist pedagogy, and helping teachers and parents in fostering more socially justice classrooms and school environments. Dr. Wheeler has presented at several National and Regional conferences on issues of intersectionality, social justice in education and anti-racist pedagogy. She is co-editor of the anthology Black Women’s Liberatory Pedagogies: Resistance, Transformation, and Healing within and Beyond the Academy addressing the pedagogical practices of Black women in and outside of the academy across multiple disciplines.

Additional Information

Honors and Awards

2018-2019: Faculty Award of Excellence Black Heritage Committee

2011-2012: NEIU Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching

2010-2011: NEIU Faculty Excellence Award in Service

2009-2010: NEIU Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching

2008-2009: Melvin Terrell Black Heritage Excellence Award in Research

Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-4162
Office Hours
By appointment
Main Campus