Bret Cormier

Associate Professor

Contact Information:


Harkins Hall 328C


Ed.D. - Executive Leadership/Cooperative Superintendency Program The University of Texas at Austin

Brief Biography:

Dr. Bret D. Cormier, is Chair of the Elementary/Special Education Department as well as an Associate Professor, in the Elementary/Special Education Department. Dr. Cormier received his B.A. from Park University, an M.Ed. from Southwest Texas State University in Special Education, an M.Ed. from Texas State University-San Marcos in Educational Leadership and Social Justice, and an Ed.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, in the Executive Leadership Program in the Department of Educational Administration. He has presented his work at international, national, and regional conferences in education. His work has been published in the peer-reviewed journal American Secondary Education Journal. His co-authored chapter is published in the text African American Perspectives on Leadership in Schools: Building a Culture of Empowerment. His first solo author book, The Achievement Gap: Unsolvable Problem or Bridgeable Gap? will be released in 2020. His first co-edition text, Change, Diversity, & Ethical Leadership Challenges in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade and Higer Education, will be released in 2020.

Area(s) of Expertise:

Achievement gap & public policy related to the achievement gap
The Deficit-Thinking Paradigm
Social justice & Social/structural inequalities
Leadership in education/ Organizational behavioral design
School to prison pipeline/Zero tolerance polices
College and career readiness

Teaching Philosophy:

I firmly believe that the purpose of teaching is to effect social change and produce a more active citizenry. Although my graduate training has been in the field of education, I have always been committed to an interdisciplinary lens of learning and the world. In my own work, I utilize theories from a variety of disciplines and am partial to social theory. This inclination is evident in my teaching as well. My lessons continually present education as the social and cultural event that it truly is. I strive to engage my students critically through readings, assignments, discussions, and in-class activities.

I view myself as a lifelong learner and eagerly attend conferences as well as present my own work at them. Dialogue with my peers, engaging in reflection, and reading to keep abreast of the current research in my field are all continual habits in my quest to grow as both an instructor and a researcher. Just as my goal in my courses is to have students stop, think, and reconsider, I strive to engage my own reflective practice to do the same. Our intellectual responsibility is to embrace critical and independent thought whenever possible. We must continue to challenge ourselves just as we strive to challenge our students.