Valerie Ooka Pang

(e-mail address:

Professor, School of Teacher Education, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, 92182-1153

Research Fellow, National Center for Urban School Transformation, San Diego State University

Former Senior Fellow, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University

* Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Hi, I am a professor in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. I teach courses in multicultural education, social studies methods, curriculum & instruction, and social foundations. I am especially interested in culturally meaningful teaching and the use of culturally familiar analogies.

I enjoy the student teachers in our credential program; they are extremely committed to developing and providing the most effective and culturally affirming learning environments for children. In addition, many of our prospective teachers work an additional 30-40 hours a week so they can complete their bachelors in order to enter the teacher certification program. As part of my class I take my students on field trips and we are active in inner city neighborhoods in San Diego.
I am also a mother of two children. This is their picture when they were very young. Now our daughter is a doctoral student researching genetics and tuberculosis and our son is a public defender. Often times, I share their educational experiences with teachers in my classes. They have taught me a great deal about how to be a better teacher, parent, and person.


My teaching career began in Seattle where I taught first grade at an all Black neighborhood school. My experiences there showed how unprepared I was to teach children from other cultural groups. Since then, I am continually striving to become a better teacher. I also enjoy working with various groups who have children as their primary concern such as like Sesame Street, Fox Children's Network, and Family Communications (Mr. Rogers Neighborhood).

My work in urban schools led me to write a text for educators titled Multicultural Education:  A Caring-Centered, Reflective Approach (second edition, 2005, McGraw-Hill).  I believe in a relationship-centered, culture-centered approach to education where students work collaboratively to create a strong democratic community.  In addition I edited a book with my colleague, Dr. Lilly Cheng, on issues discussing the education of  Asian Pacific American children called Struggling To Be Heard: The Unmet Needs of Asian Pacific American Children. Another piece that discusses the cultural capital of Asian American children and their families is a chapter found in the text, Narrowing the Achievement Gap edited by Susan Paik and Herbert Walberg.  Other publications have appeared in journals such as Phi Delta Kappan, Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Teacher Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, The Reading Teacher, Action in Teacher Education, Multicultural Education, and Education Forum.

Other books--I have also acted as general editor with Wayne Ross to a series of texts called Race, Ethnicity, and Education.  The series includes the following volumes:  Principles and Practices of Multicultural Education, Language and Literacy in Schools, Racial Identity in Education, and Racism and Antiracism in Education.

Sending my good wishes to you. Have a great day!

If you would like to review my resume please click below.


Last updated on October, 2011


This is a personal home page and does not represent the opinions of San Diego State University.

Return to the College of Education | Teacher Education Department