Crystasany Turner, Assistant Professor in Teaching and Learning

Crystasany R. Turner, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning

As a third-generation early childhood educator, Crystasany R. Turner, PhD served over a decade as a preschool teacher and administrator in her family’s childcare business—now a nationally accredited early care and education program. Her teaching philosophy and classroom practice still reflect the pedagogy of care that was demonstrated by her grandmother. In her years serving as a Spanish teacher and performing arts educator within Milwaukee’s K-12 classrooms, she aimed to honor students’ diverse ways of expression, while fostering an appreciation for cultural and linguistic pluralism.

Rooted in Black feminist epistemologies, her teaching and research focus on culturally sustaining and liberatory practices in early childhood education and teacher education. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters that interrogate institutionalized anti-Blackness and the systemic oppression of children and families with marginalized social identities. She is especially committed to illuminating the narratives of Black and Latina women as they care for and educate young children. To guide this inquiry work, Dr. Turner developed a culturally relevant research model, called Endarkened Feminist Narrative (EFN), to critically unveil the unique yet underrepresented epistemologies of Black women navigating the intersectional effects of race, class, and gender.

In addition to her work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Turner serves the early childhood community as an active Board Member of the National Association of Family Child Care as well as the Black Child Development Insitute-Wisconsin Affiliate.