Faculty and Staff Profiles

Brian L. Wright, PhD
Asst Professor, Instruction Curriculum Leadership
Email: blwrght1@memphis.edu
Office Location:
Profile

Dr. Brian L. Wright is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Memphis. His research and publications examine high-achieving African American males in urban schools pre-k-12, racial-ethnic identity development of boys and young men color, African American males as early childhood teachers, and teacher identity development. His focus on the academic achievement of Black males, in particular, has resulted in opportunities to conduct professional development workshops for teachers locally and nationally. He also presented his research at local, national and international conferences. The Superintendent appointed Dr. Wright in 2014, to the Shelby County Schools Division of Early Childhood Head Start Policy Council as its resident early childhood education expert for a 3-year term. Dr. Wright was the first African-American male to earn his doctoral degree in 2007 in Applied Child Development from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University (see http://ase.tufts.edu/epcshd/documents/newsletterSpring2009.pdf.) He completed a 2-year residential Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Education at TERC in 2011.

Additional Information

Dr. Wright is the author of "The Brilliance of Black Boys: Cultivating School Success in the Early Grades": https://www.tcpress.com/the-brilliance-of-black-boys-9780807758922?page_id=149. Recently named a 2016-2017 Hooks Fellow/The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute For Social Change, Dr. Wright is committed to the education and academic achievement of African American boys/males P-16.

Education
  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Education STEM/Education - Education Research Collaborative (ERC) at TERC, Inc. - 2009-2011
  • PhD Applied Child Development - The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University - 2007
Honors/Awards
  • NATIONAL & LOCAL: The Philip C. Chinn Multicultural Book Award: The Brilliance of Black Boys: Cultivating School Success in the Early Grades - National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) - 2018
  • Faculty Excellence Award in Research - Dept. of Instruction & Curriculum Leadership, College of Education, University of Memphis - 2017-2018
  • Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of Your Outstanding Commitment to the Academic Achievement and Personal Growth of Early Childhood Students and Families - Shelby County Schools/Head Start Policy Council - April 28, 2018
  • Teachers College Press 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Reception to Celebrate Authors, Friends, & Legacy of Maxine Greene (Invited) - Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York, NY - April 14, 2018
  • Junior Scholar Award - R.A.C.E. Mentoring Board of Directors (given at Vanderbilt University) - July 2017
  • Certificate of Appreciation-Tireless Dedication to the African American Community - Hanley Elementary School, Memphis, TN (Achievement School District) - July 2017
  • Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of Your Outstanding Commitment to Early Childhood Children and Families - Shelby County Schools/Head Start Policy Council - April 28, 2017
  • Division of Early Childhood Head Start Policy Council Recognition Award - Shelby County Schools/Head Start Policy Council - 2016-2017
  • Hooks Fellow - The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change/University of Memphis - 2016-2017
  • Certificate of Appreciation in Grateful Recognition of Your Continuous Service, Hard work, and Support in the ICL Department - Department of Instruction & Curriculum Leadership/College of Education/The University of Memphis - November 17, 2017
  • Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of Outstanding Dedication and Commitment to The Memphis Association for the Education of Young Children - The Memphis Association for the Education of Young Children (MAEYC) - October 20, 2016
  • Division of Early Childhood Head Start Policy Council Recognition Award - Shelby County Schools - 2015-2016

Student Advising/Mentoring

  • Ed.D. (ICL/ECED) - Darnecia D. Felix - To be determined
  • Ed.D. (ICL/INCU) - Tanara Teal-Tate - To be determined
  • Ed.D. (ICL/SPED) - Nancy Hubbard - To be determined
  • Ed.D. (Member of Dissertation Committee) - Marquetta Nebo (ICL) - December 2014
  • Ph.D. - (Member of Dissertation Committee) - Brittany C. Lee (Counseling Psychology) - August 2017
  • M.S. in Early Childhood Education - Najla Alluhaidan (ICL/ECED) - May 2017
Service
  • REGIONAL & NATIONAL SERVICE: International Literacy Association (IRA) - Journal Reviewer-The Reading Teacher - 2018 to Present (Invited)
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) - Proposal Reviewer - 71st Annual Meeting-February 22-24, 2019 Louisville, KY - 2018 to Present
  • Tennessee Department of Education - EPP Literacy Reviewer for Early, Elementary, and Special Education Programs - 2/2018 to 6/2018
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) Book Advisory Group [Invited] - 1/2018 to 6/2018
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - Consulting Editor for Young Children [Premier Journal] and books to ensure that NAEYC published high-quality/impactful content - 2017 to Present
  • Education and Urban Society - Board of Reviewers [Invited] - 2016 to 2019 (3-year appointment and renewal)
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - Proposal Reviewer - 2016 to Present
  • Memphis Association for the Education of Young Children (MAEYC) - MAEYC Board of Directors - 2016 to Present
  • National Science Foundation - Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Program [Proposal Reviewer] - 2015 to Present
  • Teacher Education Quarterly - Ad hoc Reviewer - 2015 to Present
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA) - Division K Section 3 - Lives of Teachers - AERA Annual Meeting Proposal Reviewer - 2015
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA) - AERA Annual Meeting Proposal Reviewer - 2014
  • Urban Education - Ad hoc Reviewer - 2010 to Present
Consulting
  • [INVITED] Keynote Address "Fostering Healthy Self-Identity and Agency in African-American Boys" for "Lead Aspire Forward" event - Aspire Public Schools - Oakland, CA [Hosted by Memphis, TN] - September 11, 2017
  • [INVITED] Workshop Presenter/Session titled, BRIDGING the GAP: How African American Boys Learn | Porter-Leath/Head Start - Professional Development Pre-Service/"Building Connections and Bridging the Gap | Hilton of Memphis - August 1, 2017
  • [INVITED] Guest Speaker, Presentation titled "A Change Is Gonna Come: Fostering a Healthy Self-Identity and Agency in African-American Boys - Aspire Hanley Elementary | Achievement School District | Staff Retreat | Lichterman Nature Center - July 20, 2017
  • [INVITED] Keynote Speaker/Memphis Association for the Education of Young Children (MAEYC) –Theme: “The Changing Face of Early Childhood Education” MAEYC & U-MAEYC Annual Membership Meeting University of Memphis. [Thursday, October 20, 2016] - October 20, 2016
  • [INVITED] Guest Speaker/Public Lecture: Males of Color Mosaic “Spanning the Continuum from Cradle to Career”, Jefferson County Public Schools, Department of Diversity, Equity, and Poverty Programs. Louisville Urban League, Louisville, KY. [Tuesday, May 17, 20016] - May 17, 2016
  • Professional Development Co-Presenter: Ford, D.Y., Wright, B.L., & Amos, S.O. (18-MAR-2016). Creating culturally responsive education. Achievement School District (ASD), Memphis, TN. - March 18, 2016
  • Professional Development Co-Presenter: Ford, D.Y., Wright, B.L., & Amos, S.O. (17-MAR-2016). Becoming a culturally responsive educator. Achievement School District (ASD), Memphis, TN. - March 17, 2016
Books Published
  • BOOK CHAPTER: Ford, D.Y., Young, J.L., Wright, B.L., & Goings, R.B. (2019). Honoring differences: Improving the representation of culturally different gifted students based on equity. Sisk, D., Wallace, B., & Senior, J. (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of gifted and talented education. (pp. 59-69). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Wright, B.L. with Counsell, S.L. (2018). The brilliance of Black boys: Cultivating schools success in the early grades. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. (Winner of the National Association for Multicultural Education’s (NAME) 2018 Phillip C. Chinn Book Award presented to Dr. Brian L. Wright, Author, an expert on Black boys - at the 28th NAME Annual Conference - Thursday, November 29, 2018, Memphis, TN)
  • BOOK CHAPTER: Trotman Scott, M., Wright, B.L., & Ford, D.Y. (2018). The book matters: Using the color-coded Bloom-Banks matrix to support the literacy and engagement of Black boys. In E. Moore, Jr., Michael, A., & Penick-Parks, M.W. (Eds.), The guide for White women who teach Black boys (pp. 358-364). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
  • BOOK CHAPTER: Wright, B.L., Ford, D.Y., & Grantham, T.C. (2018). Black faces and White spaces: Recognizing and supporting Black boys in gifted education. In E. Moore, Jr., Michael, A., & Penick-Parks, M.W. (Eds.), The guide for White women who teach Black boys (pp. 352-357). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
  • BOOK CHAPTER: Ford, D.Y., Wright, B.L., Grantham, T.C., & Moore, III, J.L. (2017). Infusing culture and equity in gifted education for students of color: Three frameworks. In J. Plucker, A. Rinn-McCann, & M. Makel (Eds.), From giftedness to gifted education: Reflecting theory in practice (pp. 183-201). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.
  • BOOK CHAPTER: Wright, B. L., Young, J. L. & Ford, D. Y. (2017). Will every child count? Exploring what early childhood and gifted children of color risk losing under a Trump administration (pp. 133-146). In D. T. Harris, (Ed.), Newschaser: The Rhetoric of Trump in Essays and Commentaries. New York, NY: University Write Publications, LLC.
  • BOOK CHAPTER [REPRINT]: Wright, B. L., Counsell, S. L., & Tate, S. L. (2016). We're many members, but one body:" Fostering a healthy self-Identity and agency in African American boys. In H. Bohart, Collick, H.B., & Charner, K. (Eds.), Spotlight on Young Children: Teaching and Learning in the Primary Grades (pp. 95-105). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. [Addition with Guiding Questions]
  • BOOK CHAPTER: Abbate-Vaughn, J., & Wright, B. (2011). Preparing early childhood teachers: Transition and social readiness challenges. In I.M. Saleh & M.S. Khine (Eds.), Teaching teachers: Approaches in improving quality of education. (pp. 359-372) Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
  • BOOK CHAPTER: Wright, B. (2005). Gospel music. In E. Dowling and W. George Scarlett (Eds.) The Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development (pp. 183-185). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Journal Articles
  • Wright, B.L. (2019). Black boys matter: Cultivating their identity, agency, and voice. Teaching Young Children, 12(3), 4-7.
  • Ford, D.Y., Wright, B.L., Sewell, C.J.P., Whiting, G.W., & Moore, III, J.L. (2018). The nouveau talented tenth: Envisioning W.E.B. Du Bois in the context of contemporary gifted and talented education. Journal of Negro Education, 87(3), 294-310.
  • Counsell, S.L., & Wright, B.L. (2018). High-stakes accountability systems: Creating cultures of fear. Global Education Review, 5(2), 189-202.
  • Wright, B.L., & Ford, D.Y. (2017). Multicultural pathways to STEM: Engaging young gifted Black boys using the color-coded Bloom-Banks matrix. Gifted Child Today, 40(4), 212-217. doi:10.1177/1076217517722577
  • Wright, B.L. & Ford, D.Y. (2017). Untapped potential: Recognition of gifted in early childhood and what professionals need to know about students of color. Gifted Child Today, 40(2), 111-116. doi: 10.1177/1076217517690862
  • Wright, B.L. & Counsell, S.L. (2017, Winter). Fostering a healthy self-identity and agency in African American boys, Childhood Explorer. Retrieved from http://www.childhoodexplorer.org/winter-2017/
  • Wright, B.L., Ford, D.Y., & Young, J.L. (2017). Ignorance or indifference? Seeking excellence and equity for under-represented students of color in gifted education. Global Education Review, 4(1). 45-60.
  • Wright, B.L. (2017). Five wise men: African American males using urban critical literacy to negotiate and navigate home and school in an urban setting. Urban Education, XX(X), 1-33. doi: 10.1177/0042085917690203
  • Ford, D.Y., Wright, B.L., Washington, A., & Henfield, M.A. (2016). Access and equity denied: Key theories for school psychologists to consider when assessing Black and Hispanic students for gifted education. School Psychology Forum, 10(3), pp. 265-277.
  • Wright, B.L., Counsell, S.L., Goings, R.B., Freeman, H., & Peat, F. (2016). Creating access and opportunity: Preparing African American male students for STEM trajectories preK-12. Journal for Multicultural Education, 10(3), pp. 384-404. doi:10.1108JME-01-2016-0003
  • Wright, B.L., Ford, D.Y., & Walters, N.M. (2016). Karl is ready! why aren't you?: Promoting social and cultural skills in early childhood education. Wisconsin English Journal, 58(2), 81-101.
  • Wright, B.L., & Ford, D.Y. (2016). This little light of mine: Creating positive early childhood education classroom experiences for African American boys prek-3. Journal of African American Males in Education, 7(1), 5-19.
  • Wright, B.L., Crawford, F., & Counsell, S. (2016). The other half hasn't been told: African-American males and their success in special education. Journal of African American Males in Education, 7(1), 35-51.
  • Counsell, S., & Wright, B.L. (2016). Science learning for ALL young scientists: Exploring, investigating, learning, and growing with Ramps and Pathways in diverse settings. Childhood Education, 92(5), pp. 365-372. doi: 10.1080/00094056.2016.1226110
  • Counsell, S., & Wright, B.L. (2015). Metaliteracy: A Race or Journey? Schools: Studies in Education, 12(2), 297-328.
  • Wright, B., & Counsell, S. (2015). We're many members, but one body: Fostering a healthy self-identity and agency in African American boys. Young Children, 70(3), 24-31.
  • Wright, B. (2011). Valuing the everyday practices of African American students k-12 and their engagement in stem learning: A position. Journal of Negro Education, 80(2), 5-11.
  • Wright, B. (2011). I know who I am, do you?: Identity and academic achievement of successful African-American male adolescents in an urban pilot high school in the U.S. Urban Education, 46(4), 611-638.
  • Wright, B. (Ed.). (2011). K-16 and beyond: African American male student engagement in STEM disciplines [Special issue]. Journal of African American Males in Education, 2(1). http://journalofafricanamericanmales.com/issues/vol2no1
  • Abbate-Vaughn, J., Frechon, O., & Wright, B. (2010). Accomplished urban teaching. Theory into Practice, 49(3), 185-192. [2011 Taylor and Francis Award for Outstanding Article]
  • Wright, B. (2009). Racial-ethnic identity, academic achievement, and African American males: A review of literature. The Journal of Negro Education, 78(2), 123-134.
  • [INVITED] Wright, B.L. (2016, April). It's not your thing, you can't do what you wanna do: Holding schools and society accountable for the (mis)education of African American males. Jefferson County Public Schools, Envision Equity: Diversity, Equity and Poverty Programs, 12-13.
  • [INVITED] Wright, B.L. (2016, Spring). Killing me silently: Childhood lead poisoning and its educational implications. Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL VOICES), 6(2), 8.
  • [INVITED] Wright, B.L. (2016, Spring). Who is the young child? Considerations for Black males in the special education pipeline. Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL VOICES), 6(1), 4-5.
  • [INVITED] Wright, B.L., & Ford, D.Y. (2016, Spring). What are little boys made of?: The vital need for equitable early childhood education classrooms for African American boys. Living Education eMagazine XV, 18-17. [Online publication]
Presentations
  • Wright, B.L. (2018). Inclusivities and diverse identities in educational settings. Division G - Social Context of Education/ Division G - Section 2: Studies of diversity and variation within social contexts of education. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, New York, NY. April 13-17 (Chair of Session).
  • Counsell, S.L., & Wright, B.L. (2017). Snack time is the new STEM time for the full range of young learners. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference & Expo, Atlanta, GA. November 15-18, 2017. (Paper presentation)
  • Wright, B.L., & Arrington-Rivera, J. (2017). Lgbtqqiaap faculty and students of color navigating in the academy. Research, Advocacy, Collaboration, Empowerment (R.A.C.E.) Mentoring Conference, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. July 14-16. (Workshop)
  • Wright, B.L., Grantham, T.C., & Hall, L. (2017). Presumed incompetent - refuting/challenging stereotypes by students, classmates, advisor & colleagues. Research, Advocacy, Collaboration, Empowerment (R.A.C.E.) Mentoring Conference, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. July 14-16. (Workshop)
  • Wright, B.L., Shaw, M., & Forber-Pratt, A.J. (2017). Post-doctoral research fellowships. Research, Advocacy, Collaboration, Empowerment (R.A.C.E.) Mentoring Conference, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. July 14-16. (Workshop)
  • Wright, B.L., & Counsell, S.L. (2017). Mothers on a mission: African American mothers raising and loving their High-achieving African American sons. Division G-Social Context of Education. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Meeting, San Antonio, TX. April 27-May 1 (Paper Presentation).
  • Counsell, S.L., & Wright, B.L. (2017). Ranking and sorting America's children: The vertical view. SIG-Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX. April 27-May 1 (Paper Presentation).
  • Wright, B.L. (2017). Chinese teachers and North American schools: Navigating language, culture, and identity. Division K - Teaching and Teacher Education. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX. April 27-May 1 (Chair of Session).
  • Counsell, S.L., Wright, B.L., & Peat, F. (2016). Seeing all children as young scientists: Ensuring an equitable, accessible STEM curriculum for everyone. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference & Expo, Los Angeles, CA. November 2-5. (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B.L. (2016). Family roles in supporting achievement: Asset-based perspectives Division G Social Context of Education/section 5: Social Context of Research on Schools and Communities. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. April 8-12 (Chair of Session)
  • Wright, B.L. (2016). And they said we don't care: African American mothers raising and loving high achieving African American sons. Division G Social Context of Education/section 5: Social Context of Research on Schools and Communities. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. April 8-12 (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B.L., Counsell, S., Crawford, F., & Letofsky, K. (2016). They can't teach what they don't know, they can't lead where they won't go: Preparing culturally competent teachers for urban schools. Division K Teaching and Teacher Education/section 3: Focus on the Lives of Teachers (knowledge, thinking, dispositions, perspectives, ideology, reflective practice, and the moral dimensions of teaching). American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. April 8-12 (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B.L., & Counsell, S. (2016). Fostering a healthy self-identity and agency in African American boys. Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA), Annual Conference, Tulsa, OK. February 11-13. (Paper Presentation)
  • Counsell, S., & Wright, B.L. (2016). Early physical science activities for all children: Ramps & pathways. Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA), Annual Conference, Tulsa, OK. February 11-13. (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B.L., & Counsell, S. (2015). Mothers to sons: African American mothers raising and loving high achieving African American males. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference & Expo, Orlando, FL. November 18-21. (Paper Presentation)
  • Counsell, S., & Wright, B.L. (2015). Collaborating to enhance and improve early STEM: Opportunities, experiences, and preparation for diverse preservice and inservice teachers in order to increase STEM outcomes for the full range of diverse learners. Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children (TAEYC), Annual Conference, Memphis, TN. September 24-26. (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B.L., Counsell, S., & Peat, F. (2015). African American fathers and their sons: Strengthening their lives through literacy. Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children (TAEYC), Annual Conference, Memphis, TN. September 24-26. (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B.L. (2015). Expanding the conversation on African American literacies and language. Division G Social Context of Education/Division G Section 3: Social Context of Multiple Languages and Literacies. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Chicago. April 16-20. (Chair of Session)
  • Wright, B.L., & Counsell, S. (2015). African American fathers and their sons: strengthening their lives through literacy. Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI), Institute for Global Education Diplomacy, March 5-8, Washington, DC. (Paper Presentation)
  • Counsell, S., & Wright, B.L. (2015). Florida's A+ plan increasing achievement through fear: The antithesis of education. Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI), Institute for Global Education Diplomacy, March 5-8, Washington, DC. (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B. (2014). Doing early childhood math: Successful preschool African-American boys engaged in mathematical thinking on an individual mathematics assessment. Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI), Global Summit on Childhood, April 10-13, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B. (2014). Supporting culturally relevant practices in STEM. Division K Teaching and Teacher Education/Section 4: Multicultural Education and social justice frameworks (including English Language Learners & Special Education) in PK-12 Classrooms American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA. April 3-7. (Chair of Session)
  • Wright, B. (2014). Mothers to sons: African American mothers raising and loving high Achieving African American males. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA. April 3-7. (Paper Presentation)
  • Wright, B., & Letofsky, K. (2013). When and where i enter: Pre-service teachers in an urban early childhood licensure program acknowledging and understanding their positionality. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference & Expo, Washington, DC, November 20-23. (Paper Presentation)
  • Veeragoudar, S., & Wright, B., (2013). Investigating the identities, agency, and knowledge of African-American males in computing. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA., April 27, May 1. (Paper Presentation)
Appendix C - Research/Scholarship/Creative Activities
  • RADIO INTERVIEW: Wright, B.L., & Ford, D.Y. (2017, September, 23). Will every child count?: Exploring what early childhood and gifted education of color risk losing under a Trump administration (M.A. Medley, Interviewer) [Audio File: 'Newschaser' WP88.7 BRAVE NEW Radio - William Paterson University] This episode of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley is a continuation of the series Newschaser: The Rhetoric of Trump in Essays and Commentaries. Both Dr. Ford and Dr. Wright are contributors to the book and have extensive biographies and experience. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1YDt6hFX3tg
  • RADIO INTERVIEW: Wright, B.L. (2017, June, 24). The local take: Gumbo moc - a call for chapters (K. Primus, Interviewer) [Audio File: JAZZWCLK 91.9 Atlanta's Jazz Station] Retrieved from http://wclk.com/post/local-take-gumbo-moc-call-chapters
  • AUDIO PODCAST INTERVIEW (three audio clips: Part I, II, III) Wright, B.L. (2016, February, 10). Don't drink the water: The Flint water crisis (M. Robinson, Interviewer) [Audio File: Parent Talk Live]. Retrieved from http://forestoftheraineducation.weebly.com/parent-talk-live-dr-brian-l-wright-education-and-the-flint-water-crisis.html