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Christine R. Finnan


Address: 86 Wentworth Street, #311
Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:30 pm and Thursdays 9:00 - 10:30 am or by appointment
Phone: 843.953.4826
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Dr. Finnan is a native Californian who moved to South Carolina in 1993. She was actively involved in a national school reform model, the Accelerated Schools Project, for nearly twenty years. She joined the Teacher Education Department faculty in 1997 and now holds a joint appointment in the Teacher Education Department and the Sociology and Anthropology Department. She is married and has two grown daughters, Holly and Leslie. Dr. Finnan is currently serving as the Program Director for the Masters in Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy program.


ANTH 205.01

MTLA 607.01 


Ph.D. Stanford University. Education (Anthropology Minor). Dissertation: The Development of Occupational Identity Among Vietnamese Refugees

M.A. University of Texas, Austin. Anthropology (Folklore).

B.A. University of California, Berkeley. Folklore (Anthropology)

Research Interests

Schooling tribal children in India

Classroom effects on students' sense of accomplishment, belonging, and engagment

School and classroom culture

Influences on teacher perceptions of students

Childhood in cross-cultural perspective

Courses Taught

20000 - 2014


ANTH 319: Special Topics: Comparative Childhoods: India and the US (offered as a study abroad experience in India)

ANTH 319/SOCY 359 Special Topics: Cultural and Social Context of Education

ANTH 319: Special Topics: Anthropology of Childhood

ANTH 319: Special Topics: Anthropology and Education

ANTH 205: Language and Culture

ANTH 201: Comparative Social Organization

HONS 282: Language and Culture

HONS 392: Honors Language and Culture

HONS 282: ST Language and Culture

Teacher Education

MTLA 607: Teachers as Advocates for Children and Youth

MTLA 601: Race Class and Gender

MTLA 602: Critical Issues in Contemporary Education

EDEE 695: Field Experience III in Elementary Education

EDEE 382: Application of Curriculum and Instruction: Grades 2-6

EDEE 374:Introduction to Elementary Education: Balancing Students and Curriculum

EDEE 327: Learner Development and the Context of Learning

EDFS 201: Introduction to Education

Educational Leadership (University of South Carolina)

EDRM 740R: Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education

Honors and Awards

Nominatation for Distinguished Researcher Award, College of Charleston 2009

Nominatation for Distinguished Researcher Award, College of Charleston 2004

Inquiry Award (with Julie D. Swanson), Accelerated Schools SIG, American Educational Research Association, 2001

Inquiry Award (with Ed StJohn, Simeon Sloveck, Jane McCarthy), Accelerated Schools SIG, American Educational Research Association, 1996

Canfield Fellowship, Stanford University, 1977

Elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Univeristy of California, Berkeley 1973


2000 - 2014

Finnan, C. (2013). Perceptions of Self and Other in the Elementary Classroom:From George Spindler’s “Roger Harker Story” to Today’s Classrooms. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 44(1), 94-103

Finnan, C., Webber, K.,& McPartland, C. (2011). We Are Family: Providing a Second Chance for Over-Age Students. Uhrmacher, B. & Bunn, K.,   Eds. Beyond the One Room School. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Finnan, C. & Kombe, D. (2011). Accelerating Struggling Students Learning Through Identity Re-Development. Middle School Journal 43 (1), 4-12.

Finnan, C. (2010). A Focus on Upper Elementary Teacher Preparation: Developmentally Appropriate Practice and the Standards Shaping Our Programs. Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Education, 19 (1).

Finnan, C. (2009). Supporting and nurturing students and teachers in grades 3-6. Phi Delta Kappan, 90 (6), 400-403.

Finnan, C. (2009). Origins of Middle Childhood Generalist Certification and Issues in Teacher Professionalism: An Interview with David R. Mandel and Suzanne M. Wilson. Phi Delta Kappan, 90 (6), 422-425.

Finnan, C. (2009).  The Upper Elementary Years: Ensuring Success in Grades 3-6. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Van Sickle, M. L., & Finnan, C. R. (2009). Educated Opinions: What’s Next in Education Reform? (p. 3) Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association.

Finnan, C. (2008). Supporting our upper elementary teachers. Palmetto Administrator, 22.  15-18.

Finnan, C., & Chasin, G. (2007). Accelerating the learning of low-achieving students: The transformation of a dropout. Phi Delta Kappan, 88(8), 625-629.

Finnan, C. (2006). Enacting curriculum and teaching theory in contexts of countervailing thought: The cases of John Dewey and Accelerated Schools. Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, 8(1 & 2), 83-98.

Finnan, C. (2006). The United States: The Accelerated Schools Project  In J. C. Lee & M. Williams, Eds. School Improvement: International Perspectives. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Finnan, C., & Levin, H. M. (2006). Accelerated Schools and the obstacles to school reform In M. Constas & R. Sternberg, Eds. Translating Educational Theory and Research into Practice (127-150). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Finnan, C. R.& Swanson, J. D., (2005). Changing school culture: Rutledge Elementary as an accelerated school In W. T. Pink & G. W. Noblit, Eds. Cultural Matters: Lessons Learned from Field Studies of Several Leading School Reform Initatives (35-62). Cresskill: Hampton Press.

Powell, S. D. & Finnan, C. (2005). Accelerated Schools PLUS. In Anfara, V. A., Andrews, G. & Mertens, S. B. (Eds.) The encyclopedia of middle grades education. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc.

Finnan, C., Schnepel, K.C. & Anderson, L.W. (Fall 2003) Powerful learning environments: The critical link between school and classroom cultures. Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk (9)4: 391-418.

Byrd, S. P. & Finnan, C. (Fall 2003). Promising and proven: Lessons on initiating and sustaining school reform. Journal of Staff Development (24) 4:48-52.

Finnan, C. & Meza, J. (2003). Can a leader change the culture and embed reform? The Accelerated Schools Project in Memphis. In J. Murphy & A. Datnow, Eds. Leadership for school reform: Lessons from comprehensive school reform designs. Thousand Oakes, CA: Corwin Press.

Swanson, J. D. & Finnan C. (2002) Accelerated learning for all students. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties.

Finnan, C. (2000) Commentary on “Village school in Sri Lanka.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 31(1): 117-118.

Finnan, C. & Levin, H. M. (2000) Changing school cultures. In H. Altrichter & J. Elliott, Eds. Images of educational change. Pp. 86-98. Buckingham, England: Open University Press.

Finnan, C. & Swanson, J. D. (2000) Accelerating the learning of all students: Cultivating culture change in schools, classrooms and individuals. Boulder CO: Westview Press.