A Balance Between Research and Practice

Gloria Ladson-BillingsGloria Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at UW-Madison. She holds three honorary degrees, and in many educational circles, is considered to be a rock star.

Ladson-Billings is perhaps best known for her book, “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children.” Published in 1994, the book continues to be used in teacher-education programs around the country.

This renowned educator has done groundbreaking work on culturally relevant pedagogy and critical race theory. Her work centers on examining the practices of teachers who are successful with African American students.

“One of the reasons I have stayed at UW-Madison for 24 years,” says Ladson-Billings, “is that we try to strike a balance between research, or discovering knowledge, and impacting practices. You’d be surprised at how many of our counterparts don’t have their top researchers engaged in schools.”

Ladson-Billings’ commitment to staying engaged and her ongoing work draws top students and scholars to campus. While her work has focused on kids who are struggling the most, the results of her research provides knowledge that helps teachers be successful with all children. Ladson-Billings is more than an educational rock star — she’s a force of change whose bold ideas are affecting the way millions of students are being taught today.