Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Whitnee Garrett-Walker

Whitnee Garrett-Walker
Assistant Professor


Department: Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Research Overview

After over a decade of working in California urban public schools in the United States as a teacher, teacher-leader, instructional coach and school leader, I have come to understand the importance of developing meaningful and accessible research projects that will have a direct impact on the lives and work of educators. Given this, my main theoretical frameworks are critical race theory (Bell, 1993; Delgado & Stefancic, 2001), critical leadership (Alston, 2012, 2015; DuFour & Mattos, 2013; Fullan, 1998, Fullan, 2011, Fullan, 2013; Santamara & Santamara, 2012; Theoharis, 2007; ), critical race theory in education (Tate, 1997; Ladson-Billings, 1998), Critical Race Methodology (Solrzano & Yosso, 2002), and Black feminist thought (Hill-Collins, 2000; hooks, 1984 ; hooks, 2015; hooks 2015). I use these theories to better understand the identities of school leaders and the ways in which intersectional and critical leadership practices are engaged. Specifically, I study Black women's positionality and resistance as leaders in the field of education. My current research goes beyond collecting the experiences of Black women school leaders and opens the door to understanding how intersectionality is a necessary pillar of learning for educators of all levels, along with the need to reconstruct the transnational narrative of Black women's contributions to the field of education and guide our thinking in preparing and continually developing school leaders for their work in an every changing social and political context.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History

Ed.D in International and Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco

Administrative Credential, Mills College
Masters of Arts in Teaching, Saint Mary's College of California

Teaching credentials (Special Education and Social Science), Saint Mary's College of California

Bachelor of Arts in History, University of California, Berkeley

Academic Positions

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Social Diversity OISE, University of Toronto (Present)

Adjunct Professor, Saint Mary's College of California, Kalmanovitz School of Education

Teaching Overview

My teaching philosophy is grounded in two areas, a commitment to inquiry and a commitment to equity-centered teaching. In my work as a facilitator of learning unlearning traditional 'banking' models of teaching became necessary to make space for unique learning opportunities for students (Freire,1970). To do this, I engage my students as facilitators and collaborators, rather than empty vessels. As a teacher, instructional coach, and school administrator, I have learned to appreciate and accept my students, and staff, as individual and capable scholars, which means that I have to get out of the way for them to truly discover course and professional development materials. This often takes the form of providing time and space for rich dialogue, detailed feedback on student writing, being an available thought-partner to talk through complex topics, all while maintaining high expectations for their academic/professional learning and personal outcomes. The purpose of my existence as a scholar-practitioner is to disrupt white supremacy in learning and engaging in the field of education.

I will teach the following courses during the 2021-2022 school year:
LHA 1042: Educational Leadership & Diversity (Fall)
LHA 1041: Educational Administration II: Social and Policy Contexts of Schooling (Winter)
LHA 1004: Research Literacy in Educational Leadership and Policy

Representative Publications

Garrett-Walker, J. J., Broussard, D. A., & Garrett-Walker, W. L. (2019). Re-imagining masculinities: How Black Queer Feminism can liberate Black people from the toxicity of patriarchal masculinity. Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships, 5 (4), 69-98.

Garrett-Walker, W. (In press). Bent to the Brink: Mothering, Healing, and Dissertating During the Pandemic. In R. Goings, S. Cupid, A. Tomlin, & M. Gardner (Eds.), Dissertating During a Pandemic: Scholars of Color Share Strategies for Success. Information Age Publishing

Garrett-Walker. W. (In press). [Review of the book Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, by C. A. Carruthers]. Special Issue on Human Rights Education and Black Liberation in the International Journal of Human Rights Education.

Garrett-Walker, W. (2020, October 15). If you believe Black lives matter, please stop posting images of Black death. Huffington Post.

Garrett-Walker, W. (2018, May/June). 4Rs of Teacher Leadership Through School Transition. Leadership, 47(5), 28-30.

Research Grants and Contracts

Educate 78 Teacher Retention Grant (2018-2020)

Light Awards (2014)

Honours and Awards

Mayor of Oakland's Fulfilling the Promise Teaching of the Year Award, 2016

Professional Activities

AERA (2012-Present)
California Council on Teacher Education (2013-Present)
University Council of Education Administration (2017-Present)