Teachers in the Movement with Derrick P. Alridge | The LP: EP 13

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It's fascinating what educators of color historically have been able to do in this country despite deep and consistent obstacles. If you are a millennial or younger, it may not seem like there is an educator legacy that precedes you, but there is a rich one. One filled with high expectations, best practices, and resilience. Some powerful books are written about this subject (check out Episode 2), but we want to highlight a different type of text regarding this topic: a database. A database of oral histories from civil rights and post-civil rights era Black educators and students from “back in the day” where we can honor and retrieve mindsets and skillsets for providing grade-level, engaging, affirming, and meaningful instruction. In this episode, I speak with Professor Derrick Alridge, who leads the project for this database of oral history texts aptly called Teachers in the Movement. Join us as we dive into the past to pour into the future. 

Key Takeaways

  • Teachers, during the Civil Rights era, were intellectual underground railroad conductors. Their movement toward abolition and equity existed in their instruction despite state, federal, and local oppression. This is something we can learn from today.
  • If we have professional development that includes structured learning experiences from elders and veteran teachers during epic times, we can enrich how teachers show up to become equity-focused instructors. 
  • When we commit to having a humanity-based lens, teachers can navigate racial, ethnic, and socio-political lines in ways that don't compromise their instruction but instead can amplify it. With folks like Derrick Alridge providing us access to instructional role models, I think this commitment can reach critical mass.



Derrick P. Alridge
Derrick P. Alridge
Philip J. Gibson Professor of Education at the University of Virginia and director of Teachers in the Movement.

About Derrick P. Alridge

Derrick P. Alridge is Director of the Teachers in the Movement Project and a professor in the Social Foundations of Education program at the University of Virginia. His primary areas of scholarship are African American educational and intellectual history and the civil rights movement. 

About The LP: Literature in Practice

UnboundEd's goal is to instill the GLEAM™ (Grade-Level, Engaging, Affirming, and Meaningful) instructional framework into classrooms across the nation with professional development, curated programs, and now with a brand new podcast series, The LP: Literature in Practice. Host Brandon White interviews the authors of today’s thought-provoking educational literature and connects the text to GLEAM.

About Brandon White

Brandon White is a former middle school ELA teacher and Restorative Practices educator for the Rochester City School District. He has worked for seven years as a servant leader intern and site coordinator for Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer Literacy Programs in Rochester. He has also advocated for these practices through his participation in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Teacher Advisory Council and through providing professional development at BMGF-sponsored Elevate and Celebrate Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) Conferences.


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