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Research Handbook on Teachers of Color

Teachers of color are under-represented in public schools across America, yet research over decades has indicated their positive impact on students. A first-of-its-kind research handbook, set to be published in 2020, will address key issues and obstacles to ethnic and racial diversity in the teaching ranks such as recruitment and retention, professional development and the role of minority-serving institutions. The “Handbook of Research on Teachers of Color” — co-edited by UH College of Education Associate Professor Conra Gist and University of California, Berkeley Assistant Professor Travis Bristol — is designed to be an important resource for scholars, practitioners and policymakers and a launching pad for discussion and change.

Diversity GAP in U.S. Public Schools

  • 80%White teachers
  • 49%White students
  • 7%Black teachers
  • 16%Black students
  • 9%Hispanic teachers
  • 26%Hispanic students
  • 2%Asian teachers
  • 5%Asian students
Travis Bristoll and Conra Gist


The “Handbook of Research on Teachers of Color” will help bridge the gap between research, policy and practice. It will include articles from about 35 leading researchers and policymakers and testimonials from classroom teachers.

“What we’re hoping is that the research will begin to drive conversations around this issue of teacher diversity and people will have concrete practices about ways to address teacher diversity in the future,” co-editor Conra Gist said.

Co-editor Travis Bristol added: “At this critical moment in our country’s history, one goal of our handbook is to provide policy makers and practitioners with research that will allow them to make evidence-based decisions around recruiting, supporting and retaining an ethnoracially diverse educator workforce.”

Learn more about the project.

Read more about the UH seed grant for the proposed National Center for Research on Educator Diversity.

The Team

Handbook Co-Editors

Conra D. Gist
University of Houston

Gist, an associate professor of teaching and teacher education at the UH College of Education, is the award-winning author of “Preparing Teachers of Color to Teach: Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in Theory and Practice” (Palgrave, 2014) and editor of “Portraits of Anti-Racist Alternative Routes to Teaching in the U.S.: Framing Teacher Development for Community, Justice, and Visionaries” (Peter Lang, 2017).

Gist’s current projects include guest editing a 10-year retrospective issue of Teacher Education Quarterly on grow-your-own programs. She also serves as lead principal investigator on several research projects. These include a national study on homegrown programs and black teachers funded by a 2016 Spencer/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship and a project exploring the teaching and learning experiences of teachers of color funded by a 2015 American Educational Research Association Service Grant. She also has chaired the Diversified Teaching Workforce Topical Action Group for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education for the last three years.

Travis J. Bristol
University of California, Berkeley

Bristol is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a former high school English teacher in New York City public schools and teacher educator with the Boston Teacher Residency program. His research is situated at the intersection of policy and practice and is centered on three interrelated strands: district and school-based practices that support teachers of color; national, state and local education policies that enable and constrain the workplace experiences and retention for teachers of color; and the intersection of race and gender in schools.

His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Urban Education, the American Educational Research Journal, the Journal of Teacher Education, Urban Review and Education Policy Analysis Archives. Bristol received dissertation fellowships from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, Ford Foundation and the American Educational Research Association. In 2016 he earned the inaugural teacher diversity research award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Section Editors
  • Recruitment and Teachers of Color:
    • Margarita Bianco, University of Colorado, Denver
    • Ramon B. Goings, Loyola University, Maryland
  • Program Design and Preparation:
    • Thomas Philip, University of California, Berkeley
  • Minority Serving Institutions and Teachers of Color:
    • Leslie Fenwick, Howard University
  • Mentorship Supports for Teacher Candidates and Teachers of Color:
    • Belinda Flores, University of Texas, San Antonio
    • Socorro Herrera, Kansas State University
    • Lorena Claeys, University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Professional Development of Teachers of Color:
    • Rita Kohli, University of California, Riverside
  • Teacher Attrition and Retention:
    • Linda Darling-Hammond, Maria Hyler and Desiree Carver-Thomas, Learning Policy Institute
  • Teacher Induction & Human Resource Development:
    • Francisco Rios and Desiree Cueto, Western Washington University
  • Intersectionalities and Teachers of Color:
    • Ed Brockenbrough, University of Pennsylvania
    • Jason Irizarry, University of Connecticut
  • Educational Impact of Teachers of Color:
    • Donald Easton-Brooks, University of South Dakota
    • James Martinez, Valdosta State University
    • Jemimah Young, University of North Texas
  • Pedagogical & Leadership Practices:
    • Dorinda Carter Andrews, Michigan State University
  • Education Policy and Teachers of Color:
    • Anthony Brown and Keffrelyn Brown, University of Texas, Austin
Advisory Board
  • Layla Avila
    Executive Director
    Education Leaders of Color
  • Seth Gerson
    Program Director Education Division
    National Governors Association
  • Ashley Griffin
    Interim Director of P-12 Research
    The Education Trust
  • Pam Grossman
    Dean of the Graduate School of Education
    University of Pennsylvania
  • John Jackson
    President and CEO
    Schott Foundation for Public Education
  • Carol Lee
    Edwina S. Tarry Professor
    Northwestern University
  • Andre Perry
    David M. Rubenstein Fellow
    Brookings Institution
  • Sonja Brookins Santelises
    Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Delisa Saunders
    Deputy Director of Human Rights and Community Relations
    American Federation of Teachers
  • Corey Scholes
    Director of Education
    Kauffman Foundation
  • Christine Sleeter
    Professor Emerita
    California State University, Monterey Bay
UH administration building


Leading scholars in the field presented their research on teachers of color during a two-day convening at the University of Houston Nov. 12-13, 2018. The event, supported by an American Educational Research Association Conference Grant, gave researchers an opportunity to collaborate and connect with local stakeholders.

Explore the convening agenda.

Questions? Email Conra Gist at