Rebecca Cooper Geller is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Schooling division of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Before attending UCLA, she taught in an Oakland, CA public school for six years at both the elementary and middle school levels. She left the classroom in order to study teaching and learning in social studies for young people from marginalized and vulnerable populations. While at UCLA, she has been a teaching assistant, curriculum consultant, and a graduate student researcher for numerous projects including the creation of the Mann UCLA Community School in South Los Angeles. Her research interests focus on social studies education, culturally relevant teaching, civic and political education, and critical race theory. Her dissertation will explore how high school social studies teachers in diverse settings use and make sense of classroom democratic deliberation and discussion of controversial issues in a contentious, polarized political climate.