Dr. Michelle Sadrena Pledger at a Glance

Dr. Pledger is the Project Co-Director of the Deeper Learning Hub, a national practitioner hub whose mission is to spread deeper learning practices and ensure that more students across the country are achieving deeper learning outcomes. She is co-directing the Share Your Learning Campaign which aims to spread student-centered practices (exhibitions, student led conferences, and presentations of learning) to 5 million students by 2020. At the Center for Research on Equity and Innovation, Dr. Pledger serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Integration facilitator and coach. As a faculty member at High Tech High’s Graduate School of Education, she co-teaches the Equity, Diversity, and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy course in the Teaching Apprentice Program, the Leading for Diversity, Equity, and Integration course in the Master’s Program, and serves as culturally responsive pedagogy coach for the HTH organization.

She 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. Dr. Pledger holds 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.. Whether it is through  the vehicle of project based learning or culturally sustaining pedagogy, her hope is to develop educators and students who think critically and act empathetically so that the education of tomorrow is more equitable, effective and enduring.


Significant Keynote and speaking engagements


Aprendizaje Basado en Proyectos: Transferemos la Educación en Chile

Santiago, Chile

National Forum for the Advancement of Rural Education Conference

Denver, Colorado

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

Shenzhen, China

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

Warsaw, Poland

TEDx Hollywood 

Los Angeles, California

USC Shoah Foundation 20th Anniversary Gala

Los Angeles, California


Pledger, M. S. (2018). Cultivating Culturally Responsive Reform: The Intersectionality of Backgrounds and Beliefs on Culturally Responsive Teaching Behavior.

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

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.