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Roderick L. Carey - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Roderick L. Carey

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Sciences | University of Delaware


Prof. Carey's research serves to make sense of the school experiences of black and Latino adolescent boys and young men in urban contexts.






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Dr. Roderick Carey




Roderick L. Carey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware. His current interdisciplinary research serves to make sense of the school experiences of black and Latino adolescent boys and young men in urban contexts, drawing upon critical theories, sociological tools, and constructs from developmental psychology. Dr. Carey employs primarily qualitative approaches in researching and writing about both macro and micro issues related to families and schools, teacher education, professional development for equity, and the ways black and Latino adolescent boys and young men conceptualize their post-secondary school futures and enact college-going processes.

Dr. Carey received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration on Minority and Urban Education, from the University of Maryland College Park; his Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education; and his B.A. in Secondary Education and English from Boston College.

Prior to joining the University of Delaware, Dr. Carey was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Urban Education. In partnership with the Department of Applied Developmental Psychology in the School of Education, he was the lead qualitative researcher on a team conducting mix-methods evaluations of the Heinz Endowments Youth Organizing initiative. He also chaired the first Center for Urban Education Summer Educator Forum, which brings together approximately 100 Pittsburgh area educators annually for two days of workshops, lectures, discussions, and other professional learning experiences. From 2009 to 2012, he was a Research Assistant for a $1.5 million Institute of Education Sciences grant to design a writing curriculum to improve reading and writing among predominantly black and Latino middle-school students.

Industry Expertise (1)


Areas of Expertise (5)

Teacher Education

Post-Secondary Education

Developmental Psychology

African American Education‎

Latino Education

Media Appearances (5)

Study: Positive Teacher-Student Relationships May Lead to Better Teaching

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education  online


Dr. Roderick L. Carey, an assistant professor in the department of human development and family sciences at the University of Delaware, College of Education and Human Development, said the four high-impact teaching practices in the report are incredibly important, noting that the report referred to eliciting positive emotion from students during a lesson. He said it is important that teachers not cling to the historic tropes of the distant, sage-on-the stage teacher presenting or lecturing.

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Plateaued public school enrollment will likely fall due to COVID

Amsterdam News  online


“The pandemic exacerbated feelings of nonbelonging and not-mattering; already tenuous relationships between schools and Black boys became more frayed,” Roderick L. Carey, a professor at the University of Delaware and creator of The Black Boy Mattering Project, told Chalkbeat. “We can use COVID as a miraculous opportunity to change schools for the better.”

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Boys of color were hit hard by the pandemic. What do they need now?

Chalkbeat  online


The country’s reckoning over race has brought a greater sense of urgency to the search for solutions, and districts are flush with billions of federal pandemic relief dollars. But so far, most efforts to rethink learning for male students of color seem to be relatively small-scale, often driven by nonprofits rather than schools and colleges, say experts such as Roderick L. Carey, professor at the University of Delaware who studies the educational experiences of Black and Latino boys and young men.

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Improving teacher diversity: Black and Latino boys reveal what they need in male teachers of color | UDaily

University of Delaware  online


There’s a critical shortage of male teachers of color in the United States. Black and Latino men make up less than five percent of the teaching workforce, even as the student population in school districts across the country are growing more racially and ethnically diverse. They are underrepresented in teacher training programs and, once in the field, are more likely to leave the profession than their peers, a disparity that Roderick Carey, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware, attributes to the daunting and unrealistic expectations these men encounter in the classroom.

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Reframing the Problem: Prof. Roderick L. Carey talks about the educational challenges facing Black and Latino Boys | UDaily

University of Delaware  


The challenges facing Black and Latino boys as they move through the education system are daunting, said Roderick Carey, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) at the University of Delaware. It’s not just the lack of material resources that plague many high-needs, low-income urban public schools; although, this is certainly critical to student success. Rather, Carey is interested in the ways in which societal discourse about Black and Latino boys influences their treatment in the public sphere, which in turn shapes their academic future.

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Articles (5)

Black adolescent boys’ perceived school mattering: From marginalization and selective love to radically affirming relationships

Journal of Research on Adolescence

2022 Inspired by Black Lives Matter activism, we used racialized lenses on social‐psychological “mattering” to investigate how Black high school boys’ interactions shaped their perceived mattering. Researchers conducted interviews with 17 self‐identified Black boys who were part of a larger school‐based partnership called The Black Boy Mattering Project. Participants reported experiencing and resisting interpersonal marginal mattering (e.g., evidenced in negative interactions with educators and peers and fueled by racist stereotypes) and described mattering partially through selective love (e.g., inferring significance through athletics, yet deemed anti‐intellectual).

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“Whatever you become, just be proud of it.” Uncovering the ways families influence Black and Latino adolescent boys’ postsecondary future selves

Journal of Adolescent Research

2022 As researchers and school stakeholders determine ways to best support Black and Latino adolescent boys from low-income communities in actualizing their postsecondary future ambitions, more attention is needed on the types of futures these boys imagine and how family members influence this process. Guided by future orientations and possible selves frameworks, this school-based ethnographic study investigated the ways families influenced what the author calls the “postsecondary future selves” of Black and Latino (i.e., U.S.-born Salvadoran) 11th-grade boys (N = 5).

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Foregrounding family: How Salvadoran American boys formulate college‐going mindsets at the nexus of family, school, and the self

Anthropology & Education Quarterly

2021 I investigated how two U.S.‐born Salvadoran eleventh grade boys formulated college‐going mindsets at the nexus of family‐based cultural influences, adolescent development, masculinity, and academic self‐appraisals. With asset‐based theories, findings show how immigrant families encouraged college going by shielding their sons from noneducational responsibilities and conveyed educational messages with words and deeds. Participants formulated mindsets by interpreting family‐ and school‐based messaging and weighing college going against gender‐based responsibilities. Implications for educational anthropologists and practitioners are provided.

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‘And school won’t teach me that!’ Urban youth activism programs as transformative sites for critical adolescent learning

Journal of Youth Studies

2021 To challenge deficit discourses and victim narratives of youth marginalized due to their race, gender, class, age, and/or sexuality, child and youth service providers can build on young people’s agency by implementing creative, radical, and social-justice-oriented services. Youth activism programs offer such opportunities by supporting young people in understanding and working toward dismantling the marginalization they face. These programs can also offer supplemental learning opportunities usually missing from schools, stimulate positive identity development, foster youth civic agency, and motivate young people to agitate for social change. However, while many studies have described what youth do in activism sites, what youth learn from activist engagement is less evident in the literature.

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Making Black boys and young men matter: Radical relationships, future oriented imaginaries and other evolving insights for educational research and practice

International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education

2020 How have Black boys and young men mattered within society and schools, and how can educational stakeholders formulate contexts for them to do so more fully, robustly or comprehensively? Drawing from social-psychological conceptualizations and the author’s own prior theorizing, this essay investigates how Black boys and young men matter to those within society and schools by summoning historical antecedents, empirical research and present-day examples. Three types of mattering emerge from this investigation. Marginal mattering is realized through societal and educational practices that criminalize, dismiss and propel Black boys and young men into school and social failure. Partial mattering signals the valuation of some of their skills and abilities (e.g. often athletic, artistic and heroic in nature) and those which leave racist systems unchallenged.

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Accomplishments (5)

Outstanding Service Award, Urban Education Journal Editorial Board (professional)


William J. Davis Award, Division A, AERA (professional)


Outstanding Service Award, Center for Urban Education, University of Pittsburgh (professional)


Distinguished Graduate Student Teacher Award, University of Maryland College Park Center for Teaching Excellence (professional)


Professional Service Award, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (professional)


Education (3)

University of Maryland: PhD, Minority and Urban Education 2015

Harvard University: MEd, Human Development and Psychology 2005

Boston College: BA, Secondary Education and English 2004

Affiliations (4)

  • American Educational Research Association : Divisions E, G, J, & K
  • Society of Research on Adolescence
  • National Association of Multicultural Education
  • Critical Race Studies in Education Association

Languages (1)

  • English

Event Appearances (5)

Mattering During the “Dual Pandemics”: Black Boys’ Perceived Educational (Un)importance Throughout Health and Racial Crises

(2022) American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting  San Diego, CA

Black Boy Mattering During the “Dual Pandemics”: School Relationships and Students’ Perceived (In)significance in the Time of Heightened Racial Realism

(2021) Critical Race Studies in Education Association Conference  Newark, DE

Promoting Engaged Scholarship Through Seed Grants: University of Delaware’s Partnership for Public Education Fellowship Program

(2021) Engagement Scholars Consortium Annual Conference  Virtual

“She Cares... She Doesn’t Let Them Slack!”: How Teachers Influence Adolescent Black Boys’ Perceived Mattering

(2021) American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting  Virtual

Boys and Men of Color: New Possibilities for Engaged and Collaborative Education Research and Practice

(2021) American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting  Virtual