Faculty/Staff Detail

Rhiannon M. Maton

Website: Rhiannon Maton website

Rhiannon M. Maton, Ph.D is an assistant professor in the Foundations and Social Advocacy department in the SUNY Cortland School of Education. As a qualitative educational researcher, her research focuses on how teachers can better support students facing systemic social and economic marginalization. The primary strand of this research examines how inquiry-driven collaborative learning groups can support teachers in learning how to better understand and support students and their families, through deep engagement in critical social justice topics including race/ism and mass incarceration.

Secondary strands of this research focus on: teachers’ grassroots activism and organizing in response to neoliberalism and systemic racism; and how alternative school models might be engaged to provide a more responsive and critical education. She is currently developing a research project in partnership with a local community organization and area school districts that supports teachers in building deeper understanding of the educational needs of students who have incarcerated loved ones. Her work has appeared in various journals and book volumes, including Curriculum Inquiry, Critical Studies in Education and Policy Futures in Education.

Dr. Maton’s expertise ranges from issues of teacher learning and leadership; grassroots organizing and mobilization; alternative school issues and models; activist teachers; teacher unions; and race, class, gender and sexuality in education.

Prior to coming to Cortland, Dr. Maton was faculty in University of Pennsylvania’s Critical Writing Program and taught in traditional and alternative public and private high schools in Canada and the United States for over ten years. She has also provided professional advocacy and direct support services to children and teenagers experiencing economic hardship, homelessness, and physical dis/Ability.

Dr. Maton is currently the elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Teachers’ Work/Teachers Unions Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, and she serves on the Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council, which advises the Ithaca City School District. She has won a number of distinctions, including the Curriculum Inquiry Writing Fellowship, and the University of Pennsylvania Ralph C. Preston Award for scholarship and teaching contributing to social justice and educational equity.


  • Ph.D, Reading/Writing/Literacy, University of Pennsylvania, 2016
  • M.Ed, Educational Administration (Policy Collaborative Program), Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, 2012
  • B.Ed, Teacher Certification in English and Individual & Society, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, 2006
  • B.A. (honors), Philosophy, University of Guelph, 2002


  • FSA 103: Gender, Race and Class Issues in Education
  • FSA 400: Foundations in Education: Schooling in American Society
  • EDL 657: Principles of Organizational Leadership


Articles in Refereed Journals

  • Maton, R. & Nichols, T. (2018). Mobilizing public alternative schools for post-neoliberal futures: Legacies of critical hope in Philadelphia and Toronto. Policy Futures in Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/1478210318789730
  • Maton, R. (2018). From neoliberalism to structural racism: Problem framing in a teacher-led activist organization. Curriculum Inquiry. https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.2018.1474711
  • Maton, R. (2016). WE learn together: Philadelphia educators putting social movement unionism into practice. Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, 26, 5-19.
  • Bascia, N. & Maton, R. (2015). Teachers’ work and innovation in alternative schools. Critical Studies in Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2016.1117004

Book Chapters

  • Stark, L. W. & Maton, R. (In press). Teacher radicalization and school closures in the United States. In E. M. Duncan (Ed.), Losing Schools: Race, Community, and School Closures in American Cities. Information Age Publishing.
  • Maton, R. & Nichols, T.P. (2017). Tracing tensions in humanization and market-based ideals: Philadelphia alternative education in the past and present. In Bascia, N., Fine, E. & Levin, M. (Eds.), Alternative Schooling and Student Engagement: Canadian Stories of Democracy within Bureaucracy. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bascia, N. & Maton, R. (2017). Curriculum development in alternative schools: What goes on in alternative schools stays in alternative schools. In Bascia, N., Fine, E. & Levin, M. (Eds.), Alternative Schooling and Student Engagement: Canadian Stories of Democracy within Bureaucracy. Palgrave Macmillan.

Other Publications

  • Maton, R. (2016). Learning racial justice: Teachers’ collaborative learning as theory and praxis. University of Pennsylvania (Dissertation).
  • Bascia, N., Fine, E., Johnson, C., & Maton, R. (2012). Alternative schools: Issues and models. Report commissioned by Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Hewitt-White, C., Maton, R., Rourke, T. (Eds.) (2002). Special Issue: Sexual assault in activist communities. The Peak, 36 (1).



  • Search Committee for Assistant Professor of Education Leadership (2017-2019)


  • Africana Studies Committee (2018-2019)
  • College Scholarship Committee (2018-2019)
  • College Writing Committee (2017-2019)


  • Secretary/Treasurer, Teacher’s Work/Teachers Unions SIG, American Educational Research Association (3-year term, Elected position) (2018-2021)


  • Council member, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council (EILC), Advisory council to Ithaca City School District, Ithaca NY (2018-2019)
  • Supporting member, Caucus of Working Educators, Philadelphia PA (2014-2019)