I focus my research on cultures of violence and female students in cities.
I also investigate school and community concerns confronting youth and families in economically and racially marginalized neighborhoods within cities. For instance, I research the impact of industrial effluent, deteriorating infrastructure, and the conditions of water and food access on the healthy development of students. My research methods include ethnography and policy analysis.
Research indicates ever more numbers of young women are straining to negotiate their lives at home, in their neighborhoods, and in their schools as those spaces are becoming saturated with violence. This is particularly the case in urban areas of concentrated poverty and racial segregation. What does a girl do when there is no place to get away from this, and even school is a danger zone? She may disengage from learning and this along with the violence itself likely has a negative impact on her future. Why have so many educators turned their attention away from the reality of violence against girls, seeing the issue as already addressed in prior decades? If it is acknowledged, why is there a tendency to categorize it as just another example of the generic, de-contextualized, depoliticized, and watered down concept of 'bullying?' Those who research the effects of economic restructuring on schooling have yet fully to focus on these specific issues. My intent is to put gendered violence in schools back on the table for discussion and immediate action.
I involve students in research in as many ways as possible. For instance, I teach and model how to use data gathering strategies and modes of inquiry to design and conduct a large-scale study and analyze findings. We work with students to shape their research around the social problems that interest them, and we believe a multidisciplinary approach leads to the most effective social change. Students have opportunities to assist directly in field work and policy analysis projects. Our coursework is designed to prepare students for the rigors of their own dissertation research and problem-solving beyond their studies.
Dr. Hall is currently working on a cluster of three edited books and a series of journal articles, including: Children's Human Rights and Public Schooling in the United States (Sense Press); Underprivileged Children and the Assault on Dignity: Policy Challenges and Resistance in the Current Political Economy (Routledge); and Urban Girls and Cultures of Violence and Silencing in an Era of Public Repression (Routledge).
Dr. Hall's collection, Children's Human Rights and Public Schooling in the United States was recently awarded an AESA Critics' Book Choice of the year for 2013.