Barbara Schneider

Barbara  Schneider
  • John A. Hannah University Distinguished Professor
  • College of Education and Department of Sociology
  • Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1979
  • M.S., National Louis University, 1976
  • B.S., National Louis University, Sociology, with honors 1967


Barbara Schneider


Barbara Schneider is the John A. Hannah Chair University Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. She has used a sociological lens to understand societal conditions and interpersonal interactions that create norms and values that enhance human and social capital for the past thirty years. Her research focuses on how the social contexts of schools and families influence the academic and social well-being of adolescents as they move into adulthood. Barbara is the Principal Investigator on the College Ambition Program—a model that encourages low income and minority adolescents to pursue science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) majors in college and occupations in these fields. Recently, she was awarded the National Science Foundation’s first-ever Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) award in education with The University of Helsinki also funded by the Academy of Finland. This project is designed to enhance adolescent engagement in secondary school science physics and chemistry in the US and Finland. Past president of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of an Honorary Doctoral Degree from the University of Finland, which she donated her honor sword to Michigan State University.


Schneider’s research interests are in the  social context of schooling and its impact on issues of racial and ethnic and socioeconomic equity, STEM gender differences in education and careers, and sociology of knowledge. Most recently she is working on a gamified app to improve college going and crafting engaging science environments that promote student academic, social and emotional learning. 


  • College of Education—Measurement and Quantitative Methods


 Schneider, B., Krajcik, J., Lavonen, J., Salmela-Aro, K. (Expected publication 2020) Learning Science: Crafting Engaging Science Environments. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Schneider, B. (Eds.). (July 2018) Handbook of the sociology of education in the 21st century. New York: 

Springer. Kim, S., Klager, C., and Schneider, B. (2019).

The Effects of Alignment of Educational Expectations and Occupational Aspirations on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from NLSY79. The Journal of Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2019.1615333

Kim, S., Wallsworth. G., Xu, R., Schneider, B., Frank, K., Jacob, B., and Dynarski, S. (2019). “The Impact of the Michigan Merit Curriculum on High School Math Course-Taking", Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, in   press.

Yeager, D. S., Hanselman, P., Walton, G. M., Crosnoe, R., Muller, C. L., Tipton, E., Schneider, B… Dweck, C.S. (Forthcoming). A national experiment reveals where a growth mindset improves achievement. Nature.