Ben Kirshner
Professor, Leadership Studies Minor • Faculty Director, CU Engage
CU Engage | School of Education

Ben Kirshner, PhD is Associate Professor of Educational Pyschology and Learning Sciences in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder and Faculty Director of CU Engage: Community-Based Learning and Research. 

Ben's research examines how young people from marginalized communities interpret their sociopolitical context and learn to exercise collective political agency. Ben is co-PI for a international study, led by Roderick Watts and funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, examining community-based youth organizing as a vehicle for civic engagement in South Africa, Ireland, and the United States. In a study supported by the Spencer Foundation, Ben works with secondary school teachers to provide opportunities for their students to discuss, investigate, and take action to dismantle educational barriers, such as unsafe school climates or inadequate facilities. He is also a a “network advisor” for the MacArthur Foundation’s Connected Learning Research Network. His publications discuss youth civic engagement and activism, participatory action research, and urban education policy.


PhD Psychological Studies in Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2004
MTS Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, 1999
BA History and Religious Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1993