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Cheryl Fields-Smith

  • Associate Professor, Department of Educational Theory and Practice (Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education)

Portrait of Cheryl Fields-Smith

Contact Information

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Office Location

624D Aderhold Hall
110 Carlton Street
Athens, Georgia 30602


Affiliated Units

Research Interests

  • Family engagement
  • Homeschooling among black families
  • Discipline disproportionality and teacher education

Programs of Study

Research Summary

Dr. Fields-Smith's research interests include family engagement and homeschooling among Black families. Her dissertation explored family engagement from the perspective of 22 Black middle class families. Later, she received a Spencer Foundation Grant to conduct a two-year study focused on homeschooling among 46 Black families. From this study Dr. Fields-Smith has published several journal articles and chapters, which among them include the first empirically-based publication to focus exclusively on Black homeschool families. Her research on homeschooling among Black families has most recently been featured in a PBS NewsHour report and the Atlantic.


Prior to earning her doctorate from Emory University in 2004, Dr. Fields-Smith served as an elementary school teacher in Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk, Connecticut. During her tenure as a teacher she taught in two magnet schools, both of which employed the Bank Street Model, which emphasizes child-centered, hands-on, experiential learning through thematic, social studies-based integrated instruction.


Degree Concentration Institution Year
PhD Urban Education Emory University 2004
Masters Elementary Education University of Bridgeport 1991
BA Economics Hampton Univeristy 1985

Awards and Accolades

Year Award From
2014 Carl Glickman Faculty Fellow Award UGA - College of Education