Dr. Michelle Sadrena Pledger is the Director of Liberation at the Center for Research on Equity and Innovation, a center that brings together practitioners, researchers and youth to address complex problems of practice in K-12 education and create more equitable, engaging learning environments for all students. She co-directed the Share Your Learning Campaign which spread student-centered practices (exhibitions, student led conferences, and presentations of learning) to 5 million students. As a faculty member at High Tech High’s Graduate School of Education, she co-teaches Justice: Self, Schools, and Society course in the San Diego Teacher Residency Program, Leadership for School Change in the Master’s Program, and Culturally Responsive Continuous Improvement in the new teacher induction program. As a Freedom Facilitator, Dr. Pledger consults with organizations and districts who seek to liberate self, others, and systems.
Dr. Pledger has been recognized as a Yale University Bouchet Graduate Honor Society member, a David L. Clark Scholar, a Billions Institute Fellow, a Chrispeels Doctoral Fellow, a Shoephlin Fellow, a recipient of the National Society of High School Scholars Higher Education Award, as well as the Inter-American Development Award. She was recently awarded the 2022 Outstanding Alumnus Award by the CSUSM College of Health and Human Services. She earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in social justice education through a joint doctoral program at the University of California, San Diego and California State University, San Marcos. Her research focused on cultivating culturally responsive teaching and classroom management self-efficacy in novice and veteran teachers for the purpose of improving academic opportunities and outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse students. She holds a Master’s degree in Pacific International Affairs and a Bachelor's degree in International Studies with a minor in Clinical Psychology.
Dr. Pledger is committed to disrupting inequity in education and cultivating a community of practitioners who honor the lived experiences of all their students and educators. Her book, LIBERATE! Pocket-Sized Paradigms for Liberatory Learning is a must read for any educator who aspires to design educational experiences that are responsive to culturally and linguistically diverse young people. Whether it is through the vehicle of project-based learning, culturally responsive-sustaining pedagogy, or freedom facilitation, her hope is to develop educators and students who think critically, act empathetically, and live a life of liberation.
Leading for Liberation Series
UC Irvine Writing Project
Aprendizaje Basado en Proyectos: Transferemos la Educación en Chile
National Forum for the Advancement of Rural Education Conference
High Tech High Organization Annual All Schools Day
San Diego, California
UC San Diego EDS/CREATE Conference: Engaging Today's Student: Sharing What Works
San Diego, California
Conference on International Exchange of Professionals
National Writing Project Annual Conference
St. Louis, Missouri
High Tech High Graduate School of Education Spring Residency: Assessment 2.0
San Diego, Ca
USC Shoah Foundation's Auschwitz: The Past is Present 70th Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz
Los Angeles, California
USC Shoah Foundation 20th Anniversary Gala
Los Angeles, California
Pledger, M.S. (2022). Liberate! Pocket-Sized Paradigms for Liberatory Learning. Living for Liberation.
Lemberg, J., & Pope, S. (2021). Becoming a Holocaust Educator: Purposeful Pedagogy Through Inquiry. Teachers College Press.
Pledger, M. S. (2018). Cultivating Culturally Responsive Reform: The Intersectionality of Backgrounds and Beliefs on Culturally Responsive Teaching Behavior. Retrieved from: https://csusm-dspace.calstate.edu/handle/10211.3/207193
Pledger, M.S., (2018, October) “I'm an Exhibitionist of Student Learning”: Public presentations stimulate deeper learning, Childhood Education, 94:6, 20-24, DOI: 10.1080/00094056.2018.1540193 Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00094056.2018.1540193?journalCode=uced20
Pledger, M.S., (2016, December) On Examining Slavery Through Deeper Learning Edweek Deeper Learning Blog. Retrieved from: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning_deeply/2016/12/i_didnt_know_slavery_was_that_bad.html
Pledger, M.S., (2015, December) Other People’s Children are My Children…at Least for Nine Months. Unboxed: A Journal of Adult Learning, issue 14. Retrieved from: http://gse.hightechhigh.org/unboxed/issue14/other_peoples_children_are_my_children/