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Brian Gibbs
Biographical Information

Brian Gibbs earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on social studies teaching and critical theory and a minor in Education Policy Studies. Dr. Gibbs’ work is rooted in the task of teaching, learning, and the potential of schools as sites of individual and collective transformation. His research interests include the possibilities and limits of critical, democratic and justice-oriented pedagogy, as well as the intersection of teacher ideology, teacher choice and decision making in the implementation of pedagogy and curriculum within the context of policy-driven standardization. He is also interested in the role school leadership can play in finding and expanding the space for critical and justice-oriented teaching.

Dr. Gibbs student taught social studies in the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, New Mexico while living with and mentoring formerly incarcerated students. He taught social studies in East Los Angeles, California for 16 years. He has been twice Nationally Board Certified in 1999 and 2008.

Dr. Gibbs’ is currently involved in four core research projects: 

  1. A longitudinal study examining how self-described justice oriented teachers defend, maintain, and expand their pedagogy in unsupportive environments.
  2. A longitudinal study examining new school leaders’ conceptions, implementation, and support of democratic, justice oriented and rigorous teaching.
  3. An investigation into how war is taught to the children of soldiers in schools near military bases and how students experience this teaching.
  4. How the teaching of war does/can impact student sense of civic agency.