Judith Herb College of Education

Lynne Hamer, Ph.D.

Lynne Hamer

PROFESSOR, Program Coordinator

Academic program:
Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education, Educational Studies

Office: Gillham Hall 5000-E
Office Phone: 419-530-7749
Email: lynne.hamer@utoledo.edu
Mailing address: Mail Stop 921
2801 West Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606-3390


  • Ph.D., Folklore Institute, Indiana University, 1995
    Major: Folklore 
    Minor: American Studies
    Dissertation: Building American History:
    Mediating Performances in Classroom and Community
  • M.A. with Distinction, Folklore Institute, Indiana University, 1990

  • B.A. Magna Cum Laude, Hamline University, 1985
    Major: English
    Minor: Education
    Honors Thesis: In Sight of Crow Butte
    Stories from Northwestern Nebraska
  • Teaching Certification, Grades 7-12, English & Language Arts, Minnesota, 1986


  • Multicultural Leadership Recognition Award, Office of Excellence & Multicultural Student Success, UToledo, 2014
  • Edith Rathbun Award for Community Engagement, UToledo, 2013
  • Alice H. Skeens Outstanding University Woman Award, UToledo, 2012
  •  Excellence in Service Award, JHCOEHSHS, UToledo, 2011
  • University Outstanding Teaching Award, UToledo, 1999


Dr. Lynne Hamer is Professor of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education in the Judith Herb College of Education at The University of Toledo.  As a folklorist, she specializes in humanities-based approaches to democratic culture, social justice and schooling.  She co-edited Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore, Community, Curriculum and has authored numerous peer-reviewed research articles on folklore and education, using community resources for culturally relevant teaching, participatory action research as a pedagogical approach, reversing the school-to-prison pipeline, pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward diverse students, and other topics. Her work is driven by community engagement with local Toledo neighborhoods. She is a regular contributer to Toledo’s The Sojourner’s Truth community newspaper (https://www.thetruthtoledo.com/ )and mentors both undergraduate and graduate students to publish versions of their scholarship for popular audiences.  She also led convening a group of faculty and graduate students from across JHCOE and the College of LLSS to offer Anti-Racism Teach-Ins to the community, an initiative that drew participation of teachers from across northwest Ohio and many from Michigan as well (https://www.utoledo.edu/education/programs/educational-theory-and-social-foundations/anti-racism-teach-ins.html ).Hamer has created undergraduate and graduate courses over the past decades that are based in community engagement and service learning.  From 2007-2016, her widely-recognized participatory action research course involved over 200 graduate students from the fields of education, counseling, and public health working with over 100 community experts to document assets in central city Toledo neighborhoods.  She is documenting the process and products of this decade in a book with the working title, From Kuhschwantz to Kwanzaa Park: Community Engagement as Pedagogy in Higher Education. Building on this foundation, beginning in spring 2021, Hamer will be collaborating with the Junction Coalition to bring TSOC 3000 students, through service learning, to be near-to-peer mentors in the Junction’ Circles and Verses afterschool program. C&V utilizes hip-hop pedagogy and restorative justice circles to help central city K-12 students develop cultural competencies for success in school and college. The service learning will help UToledo teacher education candidates develop cultural competencies necessary for all teachers to succeed in teaching their students, but particularly teachers who are white and middle class with no lived experience in urban neighborhoods (as most are) and are hired to teach students of color, many of whom are economically disadvantaged, in central city schools. Hamer’s current UToledo passion is leading creation of Teach Toledo, a collaboration of UT with Toledo Public Schools to recruit underrepresented populations into the teaching profession and to provide an undergraduate teacher education curriculum that focuses on excellence in urban education and knowledge of non-Eurocentric culture.  The research base for this initiative shows the lack of teachers of color in our nation’s schools as a civil rights crisis (see http://www.thetruthtoledo.com/pdf/2019/051519pdf.pdf ). For information about the program, visit www.utoledo.edu/education/teachtoledo . 

Hamer received the University of Toledo Outstanding Teacher Award early in her career at UT, in 1999. Since 2011, she has received numerous community and university recognitions for service and engagement, including the University of Toledo Edith Rathbun Outreach and Engagement Excellence Award in 2013.  Lynne was recognized with the University Women’s Commission Outstanding University Woman Award in 2012.  


Urban education, community engagement, democratic education, folklore and indigenous teaching, culturally relevant pedagogy and reality pedagogy, school-to-prison pipeline.  


Current projects include From Kuhschwantz to Kwanzaa Park: Community Engagement in Higher Education (tentative title), a monograph chronicling ten years of participatory action research and theorizing university/community engagement; Teach Toledo, further development of the program and writing about it; and Public Institutions and Democracy, a collaboration with colleagues in the JHCOE and in the College of Arts and Letters and community partners to create a thematically linked pathway through required humanities core courses and education courses by which students will investigate, through experiential learning in a series of courses, how democracy is practiced  in public institutions. 

As a UToledo Provost’s Fellow for the 2019-2020 AY, Hamer initiated research to investigate how specific culturally relevant practices in classrooms and programs have helped UToledo students succeed in higher education.  In a related project, Hamer is working with colleagues Drs. Revathy Kumar and Liu Mingyang Students’ experiences of online learning during the COVID-19 spring 2020 shutdown and their recommendations.  


Current community engagement efforts based at UToledo include Teach ToledoPublic Institutions and Democracy, and the Junction Coalition’s Circles and Verses. 


Popular scholarship examples
Hamer, L. (2019, July 10). Students from all walks of life pursue teaching licensure;
Teach Toledo cohort II to begin in August. The Sojourner’s Truth.Download http://www.thetruthtoledo.com/story/2019/071019/teach.htm  

 Hamer, L. (2013). Afterword: Piecing as democratic pedagogy. In L. Osbourne, Quilt University: Transforming oral learning into academic knowledge (pp. 181-203). Toledo, OH: QU Press. 

Peer-reviewed scholarship
Hamer, L., & Johnson, G. (2019). Clues to reversing the school-to-prison pipeline: Portrait of a scholar. Urban Review (online first). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-019-00544-z.  


 Hamer, L., Chen, W., Plasman, K., Sheth, S., & Yamazaki, K. (2013). Kwanzaa Park: Discerning principles of Kwanzaa as a basis for culturally relevant teaching through participatory action research. Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, 7(4), 188-203. 

 Hamer, L., Jenkins, M., & Moore, B. (2013). Toward a cultural framework for dialogue about justice. Journal of Black Studies, 44(4), 356-376. 

 Kumar, R., &   Hamer, L. (2013). Preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward student diversity and proposed instructional practices: A sequential design study. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(2), 162-177. 

 Hamer, L., & Bowman, P. (2011). Introduction: Through the schoolhouse door. In P. Bowman, & L. Hamer (Eds.), Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore,Community, Curriculum (pp. 1-18) Logan, UT: Utah State University Press. 

 Hamer, L. (2011). Turning the university inside out: Bringing university and community together through the Padua Alliance for Education and Empowerment. In P. Bowman, & L. Hamer (Eds.), Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore,Community, Curriculum (pp. 192-216) Logan, UT: Utah State University Press. 


  • EDU 1700 Introduction to Education
  • TSOC 2000 Diversity in Contemporary Society (not currently assigned to teach)
  • TSOC 3000 Schooling and Democratic Society
  • TSOC 5/7110 Modern Educational Controversies (not currently assigned to teach)
  • TSOC 5/7200 Sociology of Education (not currently assigned to teach)
  • TSOC 5/7210 Multicultural, Non-Sexist Education (not currently assigned to teach)
  • TSOC 5/7230 Critical Responses to Deculturalization (formerly Intergroup & Intercultural Education)
  • TSOC 5/7500 Anthropology and Education
  • TSOC 6/8190 Seminar in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • TSOC 6/8190 Internship in Teaching Social Foundations of Education
  • TSOC 6/8240 Sociological Analyses of Urban Education (not currently assigned to teach)
  • TSOC 6/8320 Education and the Democratic Ethic
  • RESM 5/7330 Qualitative Research I: Introduction and Methods (not currently assigned to teach)
  • RESM 6/8340 Qualitative Research II: Design and Analysis (not currently assigned to teach)
  • TSOC 6/8960 Thesis / Dissertation in Social Foundations of Education
Last Updated: 6/27/22