Utilizing the Urban Education Typology: A Content Analysis of Selected Citations Academic Article uri icon


  • In the seminal work But What Is Urban Education? from 2012, Richard Milner proffered a typology to better represent urban spaces as conceptions of urbanization's evolution. The typology consists of three descriptors, to which each highlights the manner in which population density influences the availability of resources to support culturally diverse learners: urban intensive (large spatially dense cities), urban emergent (large suburbs and mid-sized cities), and urban characteristic (smaller suburbs and some rural areas). In the present study, we used a cited reference search strategy to locate and retrieve 319 articles citing the Milner article. Then, through quantitative content analysis, we characterized the prevalence and utilization of the typology in educational research. Our results indicate that researchers have used Milner's urban typology to frame urban settings and contexts ( n=227). Moreover, the citation of the typology has consistently increased each year from 2012 to 2020. The majority of authors citing the typology have accepted it as a suitable framework to describe the urban characteristics of their study. Several authors have identified limitations and constraints related to the typology and have adapted, expanded, or rejected the typology. We provide implications to support theory development and empirical evaluation in urban educational spaces.

published proceedings

  • Urban Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Young, J., Williams, J., Daz Beltrn, A. C., James, M., Ogletree, Q., Neshyba, M., & Worely, C.

complete list of authors

  • Young, Jemimah||Williams, John||Díaz Beltrán, Ana Carolina||James, Marlon||Ogletree, Quinita||Neshyba, Monica||Worely, Cristina