Benson’s areas of expertise are in urban schooling and critical pedagogies, urban education reform policy, and school choice within contemporary urban redevelopment. Further, within a standpoint theory framework, he is also very interested in eliciting and highlighting the voices of forgotten urban community members impacted by both urban redevelopment and the education reforms that accompany it. Additionally, as an urban education researcher and activist, he is an active member of local activist civic groups Save Camden Public Schools, Black Lives Matter-Camden, New Jersey Communities United and the Camden County NAACP.
Addressed the challenges and opportunities to trying to engage urban students, whose neighborhoods have largely been abandoned by government institutions, to become more civically engaged.
Seeks to better understand and highlight the views of prospective and current Camden residents’ views of state-imposed charter schools proliferating throughout the city during a time of simultaneous redevelop efforts.
Examines the ways in which digital media like blogging and social media can aid activists who are ordinarily easily ignored, to advance their efforts and connect with other like-minded activists.
Communicates the need for urban teachers, especially black and Latino teachers, to become active partners in community social justice struggles outside of the classroom setting.
Explores how silenced urban students find value and excellence within their high school that is often considered deficient and “failing."