Dr. Lori Shorr's interests in education stem from the two paths that brought her to Temple. First, she pursued her doctoral degree in critical and cultural studies with an emphasis on how social changes are connected to, and influenced by, narratives - be they political, historical, social or personal. Second, she has culminated a 20-year career in policy development and implementation from special assistant to three Pennsylvania Secretaries of Education to eight years as the chief education officer for the City of Philadelphia, which entailed setting the mayor's policy agenda in K-12 and higher education. The courses she teaches and the work she continues to do in the community, as well as the mentoring she does with students, is therefore centered around the theories which help to explain how power, representation, constructions of social justice and community interact with the "lived experiences" and policy realities in specific historical junctions.

Dr. Shorr's current research involves working with international democratic activists on organizing and storytelling, editing a new international journal on research/activist partnerships, evaluating a trauma-informed intervention in local Philadelphia elementary schools and working with a collaboration of regional school leaders who are committed to student-centered and project-based education across sectors of education (district, charter, private) to increase opportunities for success for all students through holistic and project-based instruction. She remains committed to increasing the capacity of the schools and the nonprofit sector in Philadelphia in order to bring about equity in educational opportunity in hopes of a more just city.

Research Interests

  • Action Research
  • Educational Policy
  • Urban Education

Courses Taught




HDCE 2304

Families and the Community


EDUC 0823

Kids in Crisis: When Schools Don't Work


URBE 4301

Partnerships between Schools and Communities


URBE 5501

Urban Schools


URBE 5516

School-Community Partnerships in Urban Settings


URBE 5630

Special Seminar in Urban Education