David is Professor of Critical Race Studies, editor-in-chief of the journal ‘Race Ethnicity and Education’, Director of Research in the School of Education and Director of the Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE).
David’s research focuses on race inequalities in education, especially the role of racism as a changing and complex characteristic of the system. He has written 6 books and more than 140 refereed articles, chapters and reports that range from original studies in classrooms and with teachers, through national reviews of research evidence in the field, to analyses of the changing policy landscape internationally. He is closely associated with the approach known as ‘Critical Race Theory’ and, in 2012, received the Derrick Bell Legacy Award; the highest honor possible from the US-based Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEA).
Feedback and office hours
Please contact David directly, via email, to arrange the most convenient time to meet.
- Ph. D. Sociology of Education, University of Nottingham (1987)
- BA (Hons) Sociology of Education, University of Nottingham (1983)
Professor Gillborn’s first full-time job in higher education was as a Lecturer in Education at the University of Sheffield. After a spell as a research fellow, working closely with Jean Rudduck and John Gray, he moved to the Institute of Education, University of London, in the Department of Policy Studies led by Geoff Whitty. Geoff went on to become Director of the Institute while David became a Reader in Sociology of Education (1996) and then a Professor (in 2000). After almost 20 years at the Institute, David moved to Birmingham in 2012. Despite having worked in the North and South, David remains a committed Midlander with a season ticket to the City Ground and an unshakeable belief that Nottingham Forest FC will once again reign supreme.
David Gillborn’s teaching is closely allied to his research interests in Critical Race Theory and countering inequities in education. In particular, he focuses on education policy and the construction of race inequality; the complex and changing nature of racism(s) in educational practice; research methods and controversies in race scholarship. David currently teaches on the courses 'Education Policy & Social Justice', 'Identity, Politics and Everyday Life', and 'Researching Education'.
David supervises doctoral students working on a wide range of issues, usually with a focus on the construction of educational inequalities through policy and practice. Past projects include the transmission of educational values in the parenting of Black British families; a study of medical education; the schooling experiences of academically successful African Caribbean students; assessment practices in Early Years education; and ethnographic studies of class, race, gender and disability in the everyday life of schools.
Race, Racism and Education: inequality, resilience and reform in policy and practice
David is principal investigator for this 2 year project, funded by the Society for Educational Studies. The project combines two key elements; first, a quantitative analysis of statistical data to provide the first-ever authoritative picture of the changing landscape of educational achievement and experience in relation to ethnic diversity over the 20 year span since the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Second, drawing on links with policy-makers, advisors and race equality advocacy groups, the research team will use ethnographic interviews to explore the processes by which policy was formed, contested, and re-modelled during this unique period.
The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Class
Funded by the Economic & Social Research Council this project explores how Black Middle Class parents view the education of their children. The research extends understandings of class/race intersectionality in the lives of parents, children and schools. Carol Vincent is Principal Investigator.
A new book (The Colour of Class, written with Nicola Rollock, Carol Vincent and Stephen J. Ball) arsing from this project will be published in the Autumn, 2014. For further details see http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415809825/
Further information on the project and its findings.
REACH: raising the aspirations and attainments of Black boys and young men
Co-ordinated by the Department for Communities & Local Government,the REACH initiative brought together a range of activists, experts and community-members to explore ways of reducing race inequality in education. The group produced and independent report and went on to examine ways in which school inspections could be improved to better support race equality.
Further information on the REACH project
Aiming High: African Caribbean Achievement Project
David was part of the team (led by Professor Leon Tikly at Bristol University) that evaluated the pilot programme of 'Aiming High', an initiative dedicated to raising Black students' achievement through dedicated work with a sample of schools. Their report highlighted both successes and problems.
Download the final report for the Aiming High: Africa Caribbean Achievement project.
Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief, Race Ethnicity and Education: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cree20#.U6won_ldWSo
Editorial Board Member, British Journal of Sociology of Education: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cbse20/current#.U6wo4PldWSo
Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Inclusive Education: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tied20#.U6wpBvldWSo
Editorial Board Member, International Journal on School Disaffection: http://ioepress.co.uk/journals/international-journal-on-school-disaffection/
Editorial Board Member, Review of Educational Research: http://rer.sagepub.com/
Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS)
Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA)
Rollock, N., Gillborn, D., Vincent, C. & Ball, S.J. (forthcoming) The Colour of Class: the educational strategies of the Black middle classes. London: Routledge. (224 pages).
Gillborn, D. (2008) Racism and Education: Coincidence or Conspiracy? London: Routledge. (255 pages). Winner, Book of the Year, Society for Educational Studies.
Gillborn, D. & Youdell, D. (2000) Rationing Education: Policy, Practice, Reform and Equity. Buckingham: Open University Press. (253 pages) Winner, Book of the Year, Society for Educational Studies.
Gillborn, D. (1995) Racism and Antiracism in Real Schools: theory . policy . practice. Buckingham: Open University Press. (234 pages).
Gillborn, D. (1990) ‘Race’, Ethnicity and Education: Teaching and Learning in Multi-Ethnic Schools. London: Unwin Hyman/Routledge. (245 pages)
Gillborn, D. (Ed.)(forthcoming, 2014) Multicultural Education: Major Themes in Education. 4 Volumes. London: Routledge. (1,724 pages).
Taylor, Edward, Gillborn, David & Ladson-Billings, Gloria (eds)(2009) Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education. New York: Routledge. (364 pages).
Ladson-Billings, Gloria & Gillborn, David (eds)(2004) The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Multicultural Education. New York & London, RoutledgeFalmer. (265 pages).
Articles in refereed journals
Gillborn, David (2013) Interest-divergence and the colour of cutbacks: race, recession and the undeclared war on Black children, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 34(4): 477-491.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2013.822616
Gillborn, D., Rollock, N. Vincent, C. & Ball, S.J. (2012): ‘You got a pass, so what more do you want?’: race, class and gender intersections in the educational experiences of the Black middle class, Race Ethnicity and Education, 15(1): 121-139. Special issue on CRT in England.
Gillborn, D. (2010) The colour of numbers: surveys, statistics and deficit-thinking about race and class, Journal of Education Policy, 25(2): 253-276.
Gillborn, D. (2010) The White working class, racism and respectability: victims, degenerates and interest-convergence, British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(1): 2-25.
Gillborn, D. (2010) Reform, racism and the centrality of whiteness: assessment, ability and the ‘new eugenics’, Irish Educational Studies, 29(3): 231-252. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03323315.2010.498280
Gillborn, D. (2009) Risk-Free Racism: Whiteness and So-Called “Free Speech”, Wake Forest Law Review, 44(2): 535-555.
Gillborn, D. (2008) Tony Blair and the politics of race in education: whiteness, doublethink and New Labour, Oxford Review of Education, 34(6): 713–725.
Gillborn, D. (2006) Critical Race Theory and Education: racism and anti-racism in educational theory and praxis, Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 27(1): 11-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01596300500510229
Gillborn, D. (2005) Education policy as an act of white supremacy: whiteness, critical race theory and education reform, Journal of Education Policy, 20(4): 485-505.