Dr. Belinda Williams is a psychologist with 30 years of experience studying the academic achievement patterns of culturally different and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. She held administrative positions in Head Start and urban education for nearly 20 years and senior research development positions at the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Improvement regional laboratories at Brown University and Research for Better Schools. Dr. Williams received her doctorate in psychology from Rutgers University.
The central focus of Dr. Williams’ work identifies theory and evidence that reject a deficit interpretation of low performing, socioeconomically disadvantaged, culturally diverse children to support the shift to an asset based framework. Building on the strengths of children recognizes their cultural diversity, developed abilities, interests, resilience as opportunities to guide teaching and learning and reform. Her research, recent work, and publications focus on the impact of cultural environments on cognitive development and student engagement and the implications for practice and reform in: curriculum, instruction and assessment; professional development; community, and parent and school engagement; and school leadership.