PEDRO NOGUERA is a Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Crediting his educational success in large part to his parents, both of whom were immigrants without a high school diploma, Noguera studied sociology and history, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown University and doctorate from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. His early experiences as a classroom teacher and graduate student engaged in community organizing and work with urban youth as well as an assistant to the Major of Berkeley helped him develop a keen understanding of the challenges facing educators. Becoming coming to UCLA, he served as a faculty member, educational researcher, and scholar at UC, Berkeley, Harvard University, Columbia University, and New York University (NYU), spending more than three decades conducting research on the impact of complex social problems and inequities on poor, marginalized children. Noguera is a member of the National Academy of Education as well as the recipient of numerous awards and honors including: UC, Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award (1997), Hero Award for Leadership in Education (2009, Scholastic Books), Border Crosser Award for Leadership in Promoting Racial Understanding and Justice (2010), Martin Luther King Award (2012, NYU), John Dewey Award for Critical Scholarship in Education (2012), McSilver Award for Combating Poverty (2013, NYU School of Social Work), and Horace Mann Award (2015) as well as several honorary doctorates and awards for distinguished service to the field of education. As the author or editor of more than 200 articles, books, and chapters, Noguera is widely recognized for his expertise on urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race/ethnic relations in American Society among other areas. His most recently co-authored books, Excellence through Equity: Five Principles of Courageous Leadership Guide Achievement for Every Student (2015, with Alan Blankstein) and Race, Equity, and Education: The Pursuit of Equality in Education 60 Years after Brown (2015, with Jill Pierce and Roey Ahram) highlight the impact of persistent inequities in education, calling to action educators, policymakers, and the general public to effect lasting change.

Video #1 – “Independence with Encouragement”

Born and raised in New York City as the second of six children, Dr. Pedro Noguera credits his educational success in large part to his parents, both immigrants who never graduated from high school. He notes that they encouraged independence in their children, all of whom earned degrees from among the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities. As a self-described “avid reader” who learned early on how to deal with the challenges of racism in integrated public schools, Dr. Noguera recalls his winding path to becoming an educator, including how he learned “teaching could be powerful.” Watch this clip to hear more from Dr. Noguera about the “power and influence of education” and critical importance of “building strong relationships” with students and the community.

Video #2 – “Hope is in the Kids”

Sharing stories from his own work alongside educators in high-need urban schools, Dr. Pedro Noguera describes their efforts to help children overcome persistent, complex social problems as barriers to learning. Once cautioned by a senior colleague about the risks of being a “scholar activist,” Dr. Noguera cites the importance of asking the right questions as an educational researcher, noting that the “first thing is to listen to the kids.” He also reflects on how he resists feelings of hopelessness, explaining that “poverty is not a learning disability” and a positive culture is critical to “create the conditions right for learning.” In this clip, learn more from Dr. Noguera about the need for flexibility, strong leadership, and a focus on building relationships to address inequities in education and close the achievement gap between poor, minoritized children and their more affluent peers.

Video #3 – So Much Yet to be Done

In this clip, Dr. Pedro Noguera challenges polices that mandate the use of standardized test results to judge teachers and schools, noting that these disproportionately stigmatize those serving the most disadvantaged children. Rather, he encourages educational researchers and scholars to “stay focused on the problems” in education and conduct impactful research that informs policymakers and changes policy in meaningful ways. Noting that there is much more to be done to remedy persistent inequities in education and society more broadly, Dr. Noguera continues to be inspired when he “sees things happen” that effect change. Watch this clip to hear more from Dr. Noguera about his goals for future research and the value of empowering others.