Gloria Ladson-Billings

Most Influential Person

American Educator and Theorist

Why Is Gloria Ladson-Billings Influential?

Gloria Ladson-Billings was born in 1947. She is best known for her book, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children, and her work to reduce the education disparities faced by African American children. She earned her master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Washington and her Ph.D from Stanford University.

She has devoted her life to addressing culturally relevant pedagogy and the education of African-American children, specifically, but also children of other ethnicities. In recognition of her work in education and race theory, she was elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018. She also served as the president of the National Academy of Education, a position from which she was able to promote equality in educational access and opportunities for children of color.

Today, she is the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at University of Wisconsin–Madison and a researcher for the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. She was the very first black female tenured professor at University of Wisconsin–Madison. Throughout her decades as a teacher and teacher-instructor, she has touched countless lives by instilling in them an appreciation for culturally-relevant education for all and working to promote diversity, inclusion and equality.

Academic Website

According to Wikipedia, Gloria J. Ladson-Billings is an American pedagogical theorist and teacher educator. She is the former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She also served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. She retired in January 2018. Ladson-Billings is known for her work in the fields of culturally relevant pedagogy and critical race theory. Ladson-Billings' work The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children is a significant text in the field of education. She was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and was educated in the Philadelphia public school system. Ladson-Billings served as president of the American Educational Research Association in 2005-2006. During the 2005 AERA annual meeting in San Francisco, Ladson-Billings delivered her presidential address, "From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt: Understanding Achievement in U.S. Schools", in which she outlined what she called the "education debt", highlighting the combination of historical, moral, socio-political, and economic factors that have disproportionately affected African-American, Latino, Asian, and other non-white students. In 2021 she was elected a corresponding fellow of the British Academy.

Gloria Ladson-Billings's Published Works

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