The connection between anti-racism and learner-centered education | Devin Vodicka | 7 Min Read

As a teenager growing up in a small-town in the foothills of Northern California, I remember being shocked watching the beating of Rodney King. I was even more astonished when those white policemen who had administered the beating were found not guilty, leading to riots and mass unrest.  When I was an undergraduate student I was depressed and saddened to learn about how there had been cycles of similar events throughout our nation’s history. 

The writing of James Baldwin was particularly impactful for me.  It was through his writing that I started to develop some understanding of how long standing and pervasive racism was in our country.  Baldwin was a pragmatist who also expressed optimism in the face of challenges.  He believed that we could create a better future together. 

I went into teaching as a young man full of hope that through education we could work together to create a more respectful, inclusive, and humane society that would be free of inequality and injustice.  Teaching elementary school at a high-poverty school in LAUSD where almost all of the students were non-white was a humbling, eye-opening experience.  The range of inequalities in our society…

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Devin Vodicka

Devin Vodicka is the CEO of Learner-Centered Collaborative and the author of Learner-Centered Leadership. He is also three-time California superintendent of the year (2016 AASA, 2015 ACSA, 2015 Pepperdine), Innovative Superintendent of the Year (2014 Classroom of the Future Foundation), and nine-time White House invitee, both in recognition for district-wide achievement, and to advise and partner with the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Educational Technology and Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools.