Hugh Mehan is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Director of The Center for Research on Educational Equity, Access, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at UCSD, appointments that link his commitments to research and practice. CREATE coordinates efforts at UCSD to improve the academic preparation of under represented students in the community through partnerships with K-12 schools and districts and the Preuss School, UCSD’s on-campus model charter school.
Since receiving his PhD in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara in 1971, he has studied classroom organization, educational testing, tracking and untracking, computer use in schools and the construction of identities such as the “competent student,” the “learning disabled student,” the “mentally ill patient” and the “genius.” He has worked closely with K-12 educators so that they can make informed decisions to insure that excellent educational opportunities are available to all children.
He has authored 6 books (The Reality of Ethnomethodology, Learning Lessons, Handicapping the Handicapped, Constructing School Success), Extending School Reform: From One School to Many and Reform as Learning: School Reform, Organizational Culture, and Community Politics in San Diego and edited 4 (Language Use and School Performance, The Write Help, The Social Organization of Intellectual Behavior, and The Discourse of the Nuclear Arms Race).
His recently published book, Reform as Learning (with Mary Kay Stein and Lea Hubbard), discusses the contentious cultural and political controversies engendered by the reforms instituted by Alan Bersin and Tony Alvarado in San Diego from 1998-2003.
Elected to the National Academy of Education in 1997, he is the recipient of 4 teaching awards and a public service award at UCSD: The Thurgood Marshall College Outstanding Teaching Award in 1991, the Eleanor Roosevelt College Outstanding Teaching Award in 1994, The Academic Senate’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1997, the Muir College “Most Valuable Professor” [MVP] award in 2001, and the Chancellors’ Associates’ “Outstanding Faculty Member” award in 2004. He was presented the George and Louise Spindler award for outstanding contributions to anthropology and education by the American Anthropological Association in November 2006, the Elizabeth Cohen award for outstanding contributions to Applied Sociology by the Sociology of Education SIG of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in April 2007, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by AERA in March 2008.