Alesha Gayle

Director, Urban Teaching Residency Program

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania


Professional Biography

Dr. Alesha Gayle is interested in the ways in which parents, teachers, and students in urban schools use the World Wide Web to connect, explore, and interact with each other, and specifically how digital literacy informs those interactions. She studies the Internet: how educators use it, how late adopters navigate it, and how race impacts web use, parents and schools, and public memory. An editor, journalist, and curriculum developer, Dr. Gayle has taught in high-needs schools for over 20 years. 

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Gayle’s research considers how issues of race in digital spaces are narrated by teachers and students, as well as the ways in which online participatory culture impacts notions of transformative access. Additionally, she examines the challenges implicit in online composing and deletion—particularly how notions of transmedia navigation and online networking inform protest rhetoric and the rhetoric of racial difference. Dr. Gayle connects the related disciplines of composition, literacy, and urban teacher education, bringing to mind new questions about the interdisciplinary nature of research on the Internet.