Valerie Valdez

 Valerie Valdez headshot

UC Santa Barbara
PhD Student 

Valerie Valdez is a third year doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Valerie received her BA in Sociology from UC Berkeley and her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from University of the Pacific. Prior to enrolling in the doctoral program, Valerie taught second and third grade and worked as a mentor teacher in Sacramento. Valerie has also taught preservice teachers in the masters/credential program at Antioch University. Her experience in teaching and facilitating a co-teaching environment with preservice teachers greatly informs her research today.

Valerie's research is centered on the preparation of preservice teachers, and the ways in which teacher educators construct learning opportunities and facilitate reflective conversations in order to support preservice teachers' professional development. Valerie's research focuses specifically on interactions and dialogue between teacher educators and preservice teachers, and examines the ways in which teacher educators present and frame pedagogical issues, raise questions, and create spaces for conversations around equity, building positive teacher-student relationships, and enacting culturally sustaining pedagogy. Valerie is also interested in teacher educator career trajectories and professional development, and the university and organization-wide supports that help them to confront inequities in education. Valerie's work examines this process of teacher educator reflection, the ways that they question, revise, and enact their own practices, and how this influences their work with preservice teachers.