Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Photo of Brian Gibbs

Gibbs, Brian

Assistant Professor

T: 919.843.1998
121A Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“Radical simply means grasping things at the root.”

—Angela Y. Davis

“The world is on fire, and the youth of the world must be equipped to combat the conflagration.”

—Harold Rugg


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, choice and decision making in the implementation of pedagogy and curriculum within complicated socio-political contexts.

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 at Hollenbeck Middle School (one year) and Theodore Roosevelt High School (15 years). During that time he served as department chair and small school lead teacher, served on school and district level committees, and wrote inquiry-driven, discussion-based, critical, justice-oriented, and interdisciplinary classroom curriculum. While a classroom teacher he was a lecturer in the schools of education at Claremont Graduate University, UCLA, USC, and Antioch LA. 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 and whether war can be taught critically in this context.
  4. How war is taught in different socio-political environments and how the teaching of war does/can impact student sense of civic agency.
  5. How lynching is (not) taught in schools in complicated socio-political environments in the South, with particular attention to schools near sites of lynchings.

When not in his office, Dr. Gibbs can most likely be found outside the classrooms of local teachers begging them to let him teach just one last lesson, one more time.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Curriculum and Instruction (major), Education Policy Studies (minor)
  • M.Ed. University of California, Los Angeles, Principal Leadership Institute (PLI)
  • B.S. Miami University (OH) Social Studies Education
  • B.A. Miami University (OH) History

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction

Ph.D. in Education

Research Interests

  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Social Justice and Democratic Education
  • Social Studies Teaching
  • Teacher Disposition, Positionality, and Ideology
  • Teacher Education
  • Justice Oriented School Leadership
  • School Transformation

Teaching Areas

  • Education Leadership
  • Policy, Leadership and School Improvement
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Curriculum and Instruction

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)
  • College and University Faculty Association (CUFA)
  • Organization of American Historians (OAH)
  • National Council for Social Studies (NCSS)
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