Kerri J. Tobin
PhD, Leadership and Policy Studies, Vanderbilt University, 2011
MSW, University of Pennsylvania, 2007
MS, Elementary Education, Mercy College, 2004
BA, Growth and Structure of Cities, Haverford College, 1997
Phone: (225) 578-4717
Office Address: 205 Peabody Hall
Dr. Tobin is a researcher who focuses the effects of poverty on all facets of a child’s education, with particular interest in the intersections of race and class as they play out in classrooms and schools. Knowing that research shows poverty impacts which school a child attends, what his teachers expect of him, and what he will ultimately go on to achieve, she helps new and pre-service teachers recognize and understand their tremendous responsibilities in the classroom.
Dr. Tobin started her teaching career in the poorest Congressional district in the United States, and the grace of the children and teachers she encountered in classrooms there prompted her to spend a decade mentoring new teachers in high-needs schools across New York City, Philadelphia, and Nashville. She uses the foundational social work values and ideals she learned in her MSW program to guide students in developing empowering, student-centered classroom practices.
While studying with Dr. Joseph Murphy at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Tobin developed her specific focus on children experiencing homelessness; they co-authored the book Homelessness Comes to School (Corwin Press) in 2012. Dr. Tobin has since written, published, taught, and delivered professional development for teachers on the needs and experiences of this vulnerable population. Her dissertation, Identifying Best Practices for Homeless Students, received the Dissertation of the Year award from the American Educational Research Association’s Leadership for School Improvement SIG in 2012.
Murphy, J.F. and Tobin, K. (2011) Homelessness Comes to School. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Tobin, K. and Murphy, J. Understanding homelessness. (2016) in Burnes, D. (Ed.) Ending Homelessness: Why We Haven’t, How We Can. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Tobin, K. (2016). Homelessness and academic achievement: Evidence from a large urban area. Urban Education, 51(2), 197-220.
Murphy, J. and Tobin, K. (2014). Homelessness in the United States: An historical analysis. American Educational History Journal, 41(2), 281-298.
Tobin, K. and Murphy, J. (2013). Addressing the problems of homeless children. Journal of Applied Research on Children, 4(1), np.
Tobin, K. and Murphy, J. (2011) A policy agenda for addressing homelessness. School Leadership Review 7(1), 71-97.
Murphy, J. and Tobin, K. (2011). Homelessness comes to school: How homeless children and youths can succeed. Phi Delta Kappan. 93(3), 32-37.
Tobin, K. (2015) Homelessness and education. Session presented at the Teacher Education Assembly of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, October 2015, Harrisburg, PA.
Bower, C. and Tobin, K. (2014). Social spending and educational inequality in OECD nations. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA, April 2014.
Tobin, K. and Murphy, J. (2013). Policies and practices to reduce poverty: Educator advocacy and homeless students. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the University Council for Educational Administration, Indianapolis, IN, November 2013.
Tobin, K. (2013) Responding to the global financial crisis: Supporting students experiencing homelessness. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the New DEEL, Philadelphia, PA, May 2013.
Tobin, K. (2012). Homelessness and academic achievement: Evidence from a large urban district. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada, April 2012.
Murphy, J. and Tobin, K. (2011). Homelessness comes to school: An analysis of homelessness and of homeless children and unaccompanied youth. Symposium presented at the Annual Convention of the University Council for Educational Administration, Pittsburgh, PA, November 2011.
Tobin, K. and Murphy, J. (2011). The role of education in solving the problems of homeless children and unaccompanied youth. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the University Council for Educational Administration, Pittsburgh, PA, November 2011.
Tobin, K. (September 2015). Homelessness and teachers: What can we do? Presentation given to the Student New Jersey Education Association at The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, NJ.
Tobin, K. (August 2015). Homelessness in the Classroom. Presentation to be given to the Luzerne County Reading Council, Pittston, PA.
Tobin, K. (March 2015). Homelessness comes to school. Honors program lecture. Misericordia University, Dallas, PA.
Tobin, K. (October 2013). Specific strategies to support academic achievement for students experiencing homelessness: Evidence from a large urban area. Annual meeting of Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program, Harrisburg, PA.
Tobin, K. (October 2013). Homelessness and educator advocacy. Annual meeting of Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program, Harrisburg, PA.
Tobin, K. (October 2013). Keynote presentation: Homelessness comes to school. Southeast Area Liaisons’ Annual Meeting, Rochester, NH.
Awards & Honors
Dissertation of the Year (2012), American Educational Research Association Leadership and School Improvement SIG
Best Paper (2014), American Educational Research Association International Studies SIG
Chair, School Effectiveness and School Improvement SIG, AERA
Reviewer, International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership
Reviewer, American Educational Research Journal
Reviewer, Urban Education
Reviewer, Educational Studies
Reviewer, Housing Policy Debate
Vice President, Al Beech West Side Food Pantry
Trustee, Wyoming Valley Montessori School
Member, Board of Directors, Fell Charter School