University of California, Riverside

Faculty Profile System

Reba N. Page

Reba N. Page

Professor Emeritus

Graduate School of Education
1207 Sproul Hall

Research Areas

  • Tracking in high schools, how schools are social institutions and in part construct the society we live in by affecting children in various ways. I’m also now interested in science education. Most recently, I’ve gotten funding from NIH to study what the science curriculum is for undergraduates in colleges and universities, particularly what it is for underrepresented minorities.

Curriculum and cultural differentiation, particularly as they are manifested in tracking in US secondary schools. High school science What is it? Who decides? How does it matter? The complexities of qualitative research. Findings: The impact on classroom practice of recent state and national policies in science education has been paradoxical, at best. This should not surprise us, however, because US culture is deeply paradoxical, most centrally in the value it places on both individualism and competition and the common good. Accordingly, reforms in science education make ambiguous and often contradictory demands for greater excellence and equity in school science. However, they provide woefully inadequate material and intellectual support for meeting these ambitious demands. Without support, teachers haphazardly mix elements of the initiatives with more established practices. The result is a hodgepodge curriculum that presents different versions of school science, any one of which may contradict and cancel out the others. Students see the contradictions. They respond by rejecting school science and remaining content with the science they already know. With teachers, they produce an ABSENCE of science in high school science classes.


B.A. History 1964
Washington University
M.L.A. Literature and History 1973
The Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction 1984
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Major teaching interests: Curriculum theory and practice; interpretive research methods; secondary education; organizational cultures. Professional Notes: Vice-President Elect, American Educational Research Association, for Division B (Curriculum Studies); Editorial Board, Journal of Curriculum Studies and American Journal of Education;


  • Page, R. (1991). Lower-track classrooms: A curricular and cultural perspective. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Page, R. & Valli, L. (1990). Curriculum differentiation: Interpretive studies in U.S. secondary schools. Albany, NY: State University Press of New York.
  • Page, R. (2006). Curriculum matters. In D. Hansen (Ed.), John Dewey and our educational prospect: A Critical Engagement with Dewey’s Democracy and Education (pp.39-66). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Page, R. (1999). The uncertain value of school knowledge: Biology at Westridge High. Teachers College Record, 100(3), 554-601.
  • Page, R. (1987). Lower-track classrooms in a college-preparatory high school: Caricatures of educational encounters. In G. Spindler (Ed.), Interpretive ethnography of education: At home and abroad (pp. 447-474). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  • Becker, N., Echeverria, B. & Page, R. (in press). Science, Religion, and Education. In H. Varenne, E. Gordon, & L. Lin (Eds.), Comprehensive Education: Explorations, Possibilities, Challenges.
  • Page, R., Samson, Y., & Crockett, M. (1998). Reporting ethnography to informants. Harvard Educational Review, 68, 299-334. [Reprinted in B. Brizuela, J. Stewart, R. Carillo, & J. Berger (Eds.), Acts of inquiry in qualitative research (pp. 321-352). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review.

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University of California, Riverside
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Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Graduate School of Education
1207 Sproul Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5234
Fax: (951) 827-3942