Assistant Professor of Education and Sociology


University of Cambridge, Ph.D.
University of Cambridge, M.Phil.
Wheaton College, B.A.

Focus of Research

Sociology of Education, Comparative and International Education, Global Perspectives on Urban Education, Disability Studies, Caribbean Immigration, Pierre Bourdieu's Theory of Practice

Contact Information

ASA Complex 214

derron wallace

Derron Wallace

Derron Wallace is a sociologist of education whose research focuses on inequalities and identities of 'race', class and gender in urban schools and neighborhoods. More specifically, his work examines the educational outcomes of working class and middle class Black immigrants in global cities. Derron's most recent study explored the national, political and cultural factors that position Afro-Caribbean youth as 'high achievers' in New York relative to African Americans, and 'underachievers' in London compared to Black Africans. His new project examines the historical and contemporary patterns of educational attainment among first and second generation Black African boys in London and New York. As a central feature of his research agenda, Derron draws on qualitative methods to trace the interpretations, negotiations and impacts of difference in local and global contexts.

Derron is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wheaton College (Massachusetts), where he studied sociology and the African diaspora. He recently received his Ph.D. in Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Marshall and Gates Cambridge Scholar. For his dissertation, Derron was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the American Educational Research Association.

With wide-ranging experiences in educational activism, analysis, policy and research, Derron has worked with nomads in Ethiopia, young people with disabilities in Rwanda, immigrant youth in London, economically disadvantaged rural youth in Jamaica, English language learners in Thailand and gifted students in New York City. He served as Special Assistant to the Minister of Education in Rwanda. He also worked as a professional community organizer and consultant with local educational authorities in London.

Courses Taught

AAAS 177a  The Other African Americans: Comparative Perspectives on Black Ethnic Diversity
ED 170a  Critical Perspectives in Urban Education
EL 94a  Experiential Learning Practicum

Awards and Honors

University of Cambridge Board of Graduate Studies Dissertation Grant (2012)

Gates Cambridge Scholarship (2010)

British Marshall Scholarship (2009)

Fulbright Scholarship (2008)

Davis Projects for Peace Fellowship (2007)

Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (2007)