Episode 152: Critical pedagogy for democratic citizenship with Melissa Gibson

In episode 152, Dan and Michael chat with Melissa Gibson about their new article in Theory & Research in Social Education titled, “From deliberation to counter-narration: Toward a critical pedagogy for democratic citizenship.”

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Books, Articles and Other Amazing Resources

  1. Gibson, M. (2020). From deliberation to counter-narration: Toward a critical pedagogy for democratic citizenship. Theory & Research in Social Education, 48(3), 431-454.
  2. Tips For Staying Civil While Debating Child Prisons by the Onion
  3. Jones, T. (2018). There’s nothing virtuous about finding common ground. Time Magazine. 
  4. This article gets at the image of epistemic privilege in liberation theology: Fletcher, J. (2013). Companions, Prophets, Martyrs: Jesuit Education as Justice Education. In Combs M. & Schmidt P. (Eds.), Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World: Justice in Jesuit Higher Education (pp. 298-315). New York: Fordham University Press. 
  5. This article focuses on core questions: Gibson, M. L. (2018). Scaffolding critical questions: Learning to read the world in a middle school civics class in Mexico. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 62(1), 25–34.        
  6. This chapter is a classic primer on CRT in social studies: Ladson-Billings, G. (2003). Lies my teacher still tells: Developing a critical race perspective toward the social studies. In G. Ladson-Billings (Ed.), Critical race theory perspectives on the social studies: The profession, policies, & curriculum (pp. 1–11). Information Age. 


Melissa Gibson, Ph.D. is a teacher educator and educational researcher at Marquette University, where she is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy & Leadership in the College of Education and where she leads work in social studies education.

Her teaching career began in the suburbs of Chicago, and has spanned a range of settings: Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, Los Angeles’s Watts neighborhood, small-town Wisconsin, and Guadalajara, Mexico. Additionally, she has led educational and service learning programs in Washington DC, Cincinnati, New York City, South Africa, Chicago, and Peru. These experiences in diverse and wildly unequal educational settings motivated my work at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she completed a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and Education Policy Studies, with a focus on Multicultural Education. 

Her research examines how diverse schools work to enact educational justice in classrooms. She primarily researches pedagogy, or the art, practice, and theory of teaching. In particular, she studies democratic pedagogies that promote equity and youth empowerment, such as critical civic education. In addition to examining classroom life, she also considers how to best prepare justice-oriented teachers as well as how all of this plays out within the relationships and communities of the school. Ultimately, she wants her research to help expand our educational imaginations, to help us as educators and citizens re-envision what schooling could be. Her work has appeared in Multicultural Perspectives, Equity & Excellence in Education, Teachers College Record, The Social Studies, The Journal of Adult & Adolescent Literacy, Theory & Research in Social Education, and Intercultural Education, as well as in several edited volumes.


We would like to thank Zack Seitz of Wylie High School (TX) and the University of North Texas for his editing skills.

Episode 145: Elementary World Cultures Curriculum by Heidi Torres

In Episode 145, Dan and Michael chat with Heidi Torres about her recent article in Theory & Research in Social Education titled, “‘They have their own way, and you should respect that’: Investigating the outcomes of an elementary world cultures curriculum.”

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Episode 145

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