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Shannon Calderone, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership

Research Interests

My work explores how various manifestations of the educational accountability movement have produced high risk school environments within K-16 spaces that serve to undermine educational reform efforts, particularly in areas related to racial and equity-minded transformational change. Accordingly, my inquiry work is organized around the following question: What are the consequences of risk environments on efforts to create more inclusive, equity-minded, sustainable, and democratic K-16 settings?

There is great merit to this line of inquiry. As Lupton (1999) points out, risk maintains a different ontological and epistemological position dependent upon discipline and historical moment. My use of the term considers the role that social, cultural, historical, and material contexts play in the creation of risk perceptions that structure individual and collective judgement. Under this definition, risk represents a reflexive response to confrontations with existing social and power arrangements. Consequently, risk assessments color the most complicated issues that educators face and why reform efforts that focus on equity, inclusivity, democratic practice, and social justice often conjure technocratic or utilitarian responses that favor incremental or symbolic rather than profound transformational change. Risk-focused scholarship is critically important if we are to understand its full ramifications for educational practice. My scholarship explores these domains of interest by: (1) Documenting local level risk mitigation practices deployed in K-16 educational environments; (2) Understanding the macro-level impact of reconceiving K-16 institutions as high-risk environments; and (3) Examining the constitutive elements as well as implications for “risk-informed” leadership in K-16 settings.

Areas of expertise: 

Higher Education Institutional Practices, Educational Equity & Inclusion, Trust/Social Trust, Democratic Engagement, Institutional Sustainability and Cohesion, Risk Leadership.

Teaching Interests

I currently teach in the WSU statewide Ed.D. and Tri-Cities based principal/administrator certification and Master’s programs.  Given my interests in trust, risk, equity, and inclusivity in relation to educational reform, my teaching focuses on such areas as school improvement/change, educational policy, and the social foundations of educational practice.  Current courses taught include the following:

Statewide Ed.D. Program

  • EDRES 563 Principles in Research (Fall)
  • EDAD 582 Policy Formation in Education (Summer)
  • ED AD 591 Action Research (Spring)

Principal/Administrator Certification and Master’s Programs

  • ED AD 509 Leading School Improvement (Spring)
  • ED AD 501 Philosophy of Education (Fall of even years)
  • ED AD 507 Social Foundations of Education (Fall of odd years)

Selected Publications


  • Calderone, S.M., Fosnacht, K. (in press). Student Trust in Higher Education Institutions: How the Pandemic Influenced Undergraduates’ Trust. American Behavioral Scientist.
  • Calderone, S.M. (in press).  Educational Leadership & Preparation in the Risk Society”. In An Analysis of Educational Leadership Preparation, Policy, & Practice, edited by Denver J. Fowler, Julian Vasquez Heilig, Sarah M. Jouganatos, & Arvin Johnson. Information Age Publishing.

Book Chapters

  • Calderone, S. M., McDonald, T., Hill, G., & Derrington, M. L. (2021). Life Course and Gender: Unpacking Women’s Thoughts About Access to the Superintendency. In Fuller, K., Moorosi, P., Showunmi, V., Shah, S. J. A., Eds. (2021). Ways of Seeing Women’s Leadership in Education: Stories, Images, Metaphors, Methods and Theories (pp. 70-81). Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88971-944-0.
  • Calderone, S.M. (2021).  The Power of Relational Work: Reimagining New Forms of Financial Citizenship through Sociability (& Rejoinder). In Financialization, Financial Literacy, and Social Education, edited by Thomas A. Lucey. Routledge.
  • Calderone, S.M. (2021).  Rejoinder Response to “Financial Literacy, Financial Liberation:  Towards a Critical Race Approach to Financial Education”. In Financialization, Financial Literacy, and Social Education, edited by Thomas A. Lucey. Routledge.
  • Kruse, S.D. & Calderone, S.M. (2020).  Cultural Competency and Higher Education: Toward Racial Reckoning on College Campuses. In Handbook of Social Justice Interventions in Education (Springer), edited by Carol A. Mullens.
  • Huerta, A.H, Calderone, S.M., and McDonough, P.M. (2017). School Discipline Policies and the Undermining of College Aspirations for Latino Male Students. In Policy Goes to School: Case Studies on the Possiblities and Limitations of Educational Innovation (Routledge Research in Educational Equality and Diversity), edited by Gilberto Q. Conchas & Michael Gottfried.

Journal Articles

Research Briefings & Reports




  • College of Education Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2021-22)


Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles (Higher Education & Organizational Change)

M.A. University of California, Los Angeles (Higher Education & Organizational Change)

B.A.  Georgetown University (History)