Richard Milner IV is a Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development. He has secondary appointments in Peabody’s Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations and the Department of Sociology in Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science.

Milner is a researcher, scholar and leader of urban education and teacher education. Centering on equity and diversity, he has spent hundreds of hours observing teachers’ practices and interviewing educators and students in urban schools about micro-level policies that shape students’ opportunities to learn. He examines the social context of classrooms and schools and looks at ways in which teachers talk (particularly about race) influences student learning, identity and development.

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Show Highlights

  • Authentic vulnerable moment break barriers 
  • Will you knock down walls so students get the education they deserve? 
  • Relationship building and cultivation has to be essential throughout  for sustainability
  • Ethnic matching-showcase the differences that make a difference
  • Help teachers build their toolkit, their repository to be responsive in all spaces
  • Opportunity centered connections and teaching. See them beyond the walls
Rich Milner: Understanding Diversity, Opportunity gaps, and Teaching in today’s Classrooms

“We have to as educators, we have to be our authentic selves. Young people don’t need you to be more of who they are. They need you to be the best of who you are in order to compliment and advance their identity spaces, their exposure to different kinds of things. They need you to be anti-racist. They need you to be pro people, pro equity, projustice. Those are the things that matter to young people, more than the other pieces. When you don’t come from the same community, when you don’t share the same background there are concrete, really transformative ways to build those links, to build those relationships.”

Rich Milner

Bringing together leading scholars of urban education in the edited volume, “Handbook of Urban Education” (2014), Milner and co-editor Kofi Lomotey have attempted to describe and discuss what urban education is, what we know about it (empirically and theoretically), how we know what we know about urban education, and what other knowledge, as a field, is important for us to study in order to advance policy, research, theory and practice in urban education.



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