Dani O'Brien

Assistant Professor of Education

Dani O'Brien headshot
Office:Wheeler Hall 212
Email:Send a message...


Earned and Honorary Degrees

PhD University of Massachusetts Amherst
MEd American International College
BS Simmons College


I was born and raised in Massachusetts.

Why Northland?

I was first drawn to Northland because of its commitment to sustainability and the environment. From the moment I stepped on campus, it was clear that faculty and students have created a rare and much-needed community where together we can work toward a more just and sustainable future.


I teach courses on diversity in the classroom; classroom management; and curriculum, planning, and assessment, among others. I also supervise student teachers and practicum teachers.

My teaching is rooted in the belief that deep and meaningful relationships are central to learning, transformation, and resistance, and thus, all my classes involve community building and the co-construction of knowledge.


As an activist-scholar, my research is grounded in critical social theory and participatory methods, with a focus on issues related to race, inequity, and youth activism in US urban public schools. I am particularly interested in identifying and understanding how inequities are reproduced, challenged, and transformed in and through public education.


In my free time, I love to read, embroider, and perform stand-up comedy.