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Betsy DiSalvo Osborne

Service Assistant Professor of Social Studies Secondary Education

Teaching Fields

  • Social Studies Education
  • Education


  • Ph.D., West Virginia University, 2023
  • M.A., Radford University, 2009
  • B.A., Radford University, 2007

Research Interests

During her teaching career, Dr. Osborne dedicated ten years to teaching social studies in a middle school classroom. She taught 7th grade U.S. History (1865-present), as well as 8th grade Civics and Economics. Currently, as a teacher educator, she assists students in the Secondary Social Studies program who aspire to become social studies educators.

Dr. Osborne’s research interests revolve around critically examining and disrupting whiteness within social studies education. Her dissertation, “The Eruption of Disruption: The Manifestation of Disrupting whiteness in Secondary Social Studies in Appalachia” (2023), investigated the lived experiences of social studies educators and their entanglement with the phenomenon of disrupting whiteness. She is deeply invested in understanding and challenging the dominant narratives and perspectives that have historically excluded marginalized voices from K-12 social studies curriculum. By investigating the extent to which historically silenced voices are included, she aims to shed light on the gaps and biases that exist within educational systems and advocate for a more inclusive and accurate representation of history. Furthermore, Dr. Osborne is passionate about exploring the ways in which systemic oppression continues to influence the field of social studies. She is committed to unpacking the ways in which power structures, inequalities, and prejudices shape the teaching and learning of history. Her book chapter, “Resources and Materials for Teaching Social Issues” (2021), seeks to provide resources that classroom educators can utilize with their own students to help show the invisible structures which oppress people and cultures. By critically examining these influences, she aims to contribute to a transformative and emancipatory approach to social studies education that promotes social justice and equity.

In her research endeavors, Dr. Osborne utilizes phenomenology as both a philosophy and a methodology. By adopting a phenomenological approach and attitude, she aspires to understand the lived experiences and perspectives of individuals within the context of social studies education. This allows for a deeper exploration of how students, teachers, and other stakeholders engage with and make meaning of history and social studies. By employing phenomenology, Dr. Osborne strives to promote a more humanistic and empathetic understanding of education, thereby facilitating transformative change within the field of social studies education.

Courses Offered

  • C&I 453: Foundations of Social Studies Teaching
  • C&I 454: Teaching Social Studies in Secondary School
  • C&I 490: Field Placement Teaching Practicum I
  • C&I 490: Field Placement Teaching Practicum II
  • C&I 491: Professional Field Experiences
  • C&I 654: Social Studies in Secondary Schools
  • C&I 757: Social Studies Curriculum Development K-12


Osborne, E. D., Murray-Everett, N. C., & Mitchell Patterson, T. “Resources and Materials for Teaching Social Issues. In Handbook on Teaching Social Issues” (Information Age Publishing, 2021), 359–380.

Osborne, E. D. “I'm Tired.” Virginia Education Association Journal of Education. (June, 2018).