For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop


Bic Ngo

Professor, Rodney S. Wallace Professor for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Culture and Teaching, Immigrant Education

Curriculum and Instruction .
Room 350A PeikH

159 Pillsbury Dr SE
Tel: 612-625-7520

Office hours:
By appointment.

Areas of Interest

Exploration of understandings and influences of “culture” and “difference” on immigrant students' education, and the implications for how we theorize immigrant identity, culturally relevant pedagogy, and anti-oppressive education.

Research Interests

My research and teaching interests focus on culturally relevant pedagogy, urban and multicultural education in general and immigrant education in particular.

In my research, I examine: 1) the ways in which the education of immigrant students are shaped by dynamic power relations as they play out at the intersection(s) of race, ethnicity, class and gender; and 2) the ways in which classroom and school practices may mitigate educational and social inequalities. I engage interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks, including critical, cultural and feminist theories. I have drawn on the work of Homi Bhabha, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, among others, to explicate, critique and re-imagine the lives of immigrant students, the work of urban teachers, and the role(s) of critical multicultural education.

I have worked extensively with Hmong American and Lao American students, families and communities in the Twin Cities area. In a case study with Hmong college students, I explored the social, cultural and economic negotiations among working-class, first-generation students as well as the affect of race, ethnicity, class and gender on their educational experiences. In an ethnographic study of Lao immigrant students at an urban, public high school I examined the ways in which we teach and talk about cultural difference within the contexts of “culture” and “cultural identity.” Most recently, my research projects have included an ethnographic study involving Hmong American high school students, parents, and community leaders.

By looking at how “culture” and “cultural difference” play out in the practices of schools, teachers and students, I seek to reveal the complexities of urban education and the implications for teaching immigrant students. In my research and teaching, I am committed to working toward equity and social justice.

Selected grants, awards and distinctions

       Asian American College Excellence (AACE) Project, Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions Program, 2016-2021

       U.S Department of Education, $1.75M

       Principal Investigator, Josephine Lee, College of Liberal Arts, UMN, Co-Investigator


       Scholars Award, 2011-2016

       William T. Grant Foundation


       Early Career Award, 2011

       Committee on Scholars of Color in Education, American Education Research Association


       Rising Star Award, 2010

       Philanthropic Leadership Circle, CEHD


       President's Interdisciplinary Conference Award, 2009

       Graduate School, UMN


       Symposium Award, 2007

       Institute for Advanced Study, UMN


       Faculty Residency Fellowship, 2006

       Institute for Advanced Study, UMN


       Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, 2005

       Graduate School, UMN 

Selected Publications

  1.                  subtractive schooling on family and community. Educational Studies.
  2.          Ngo, B., Dyke, E., & LoBello, J. (2017). Connecting as “Family” in Educative Relationships
                     Insights From a Media Program Serving Hmong Immigrant Youth. Urban Education.
  3.          Ngo, B., Lewis, C. & Maloney Leaf, B. (2017). Fostering sociopolitical consciousness with
                       minoritized youth: Insights from community-based arts programs. Special issue on “Disrupting
                       inequality through educational research.” Review of Research in Education, 41(1), 358-380.
  4.          Cross, W. Gee, G., Ngo, B. Roth, W., Rivas-Drake, D., Schwartz, S., Seaton, E., & Yip, T.
                         (2017). Doing ethnic-racial Identity. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research,
  5.                      Adolescents in an after-school theatre program. Journal of Adolescent Research, 32(1), 37-63.
  6.          Simpkins, S., Riggs, N., Ngo, B., Okimoto, D., & Ettekal, A. (2016). Designing culturally
                           responsive organized after-school activities. Journal of Adolescent Research, 32(1), 1-36.
  7. Ngo, B. (2015). Hmong culture club as a place of belonging: The cultivation of Hmong students’ cultural and political identities. Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, 10(2).

  8. Ngo, B. & Kwon, M. (2015). A glimpse of family acceptance for queer Hmong youth. Journal of LGBT Youth, 12(2), 212-231.

  9. Ngo, B. & Kumashiro, K. (Eds.) (2014). Six lenses for anti-oppressive education: Partial stories, improbable conversations, 2nd Edition. New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

  10. Ngo, B. (2013). Culture consciousness among Hmong Immigrant leaders: Beyond the dichotomy of cultural essentialism and cultural hybridity. American Educational Research Journal, 50(5), 958 –990.

  11. Ngo, B. & Hansen, S. (2013). Constructing identities in UN refugee camps: The politics of language, culture and humanitarian assistance. Journal of Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 19(2), 97-120.

  12. Ngo, B. (2012). The importance of family for a gay Hmong American man: Complicating discourses of “coming out”. Hmong Studies Journal, 13(1), 1-27.

  13. Ngo, B. and Leet-Otley, J. (2011). Discourses about gender among Hmong American policymakers: Conflicting views about gender, culture and Hmong youth. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 10(2), 99-118.

  14. Ngo, B. (2010). Unresolved identities: Discourse, ambivalence and urban immigrant students. New York: State University of New York Press.

  15. Ngo, B. (2009). Ambivalent urban, immigrant identities: The incompleteness of Lao American student identities. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 22(2), 201-220.

  16. Ngo, B. (2008). Beyond “culture clash” understandings of immigrant experiences. Theory into Practice, 47(1), 4-11.

  17. Ngo, B., and Lee, S. (2007). Complicating the image of model minority success: A review of Southeast Asian American education. Review of Educational Research, 77(4), 415-453.

  18. Ngo, B. (2002). Contesting “culture”: The perspectives of Hmong American female students on early marriage. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 33(2), 163-188.

  19. Courses taught

    • CI 8146—Critical Ethnography in Education
    • CI 8156—Asian American Education
    • CI 8155—Immigrant Families and U.S. Schools
    • CI 8154—Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
    • CI 8148—Conducting Qualitative Studies in Educational Contexts
    • CI 8131—Critical Examination of Curriculum in Context