Rajni Shankar-Brown

Rajni Shankar-Brown

Associate Professor, Jessie Ball duPont Chair Social Justice Education, Director of DOE Graduate Programs, Co-Coordinator of M.Ed. Education for Social Justice

Dr. Shankar-Brown has published in leading journals and received numerous awards for her innovative leadership and ongoing community engagement.

  • Ph.D., curriculum and instruction with specializations in urban education and literacy education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • M.A., teaching with concentrations in middle level education and language arts, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • B.A., communication with emphases in interpersonal communication and international conflict resolution, George Mason University


Course Sampling

Undergraduate Courses:

  • EDUC 245H Social Foundations of Education
  • EDUC 302 Improving Reading/Writing in the Middle/Secondary School
  • EDN 352 Developing Reading and Writing Competence, 6-9
  • EDN 355 Language Arts Methods, 6-9
  • EDN 411 Middle Level Practicum in Education, 6-9
  • EDN 491 Classroom Management, 6-9
  • EDN 495 Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning, K-12
  • READ 5255 Reading & Writing in the Content Areas, K-12
  • MDSK 3160 Child Development: Birth through Adolescence
  • MDLG 4430 Middle Grades Student Teaching Seminar, 6-9
  • MDLG 3130 The Early Adolescent Learner, 6-9
  • MDLG 3131 The Philosophy and Curriculum of Middle School

Graduate Courses:

  • EDUC 530 Curriculum and Instructional Development
  • EDUC 544 Educational Management and Systems Planning
  • EDUC 567 Communication and Research Analysis for Educational Leaders
  • EDUC 591 Educational Leadership Internship
  • EDUC 685 Curriculum & Instruction Directed Study
  • EDN 595 Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning, K-12
  • EDN 595 21st Century Multiliteracies for Diverse Learners, K-12
  • EDN 595 Advanced Middle School Reading, 6-9
  • LIC 511 Middle Grades Internship, 6-9
  • LIC 552 Literacy Integration in the Middle Grades, 6-9
  • LIC 555 Advanced Language Arts Methods, 6-9
  • LIC 595 Global Perspectives on Poverty and Homelessness
  • EDUC 5100 Educational Diversity, K-12

Areas of Expertise

  • Homelessness and poverty
  • Multiple literacies
  • Transformative educational practices


Rajni Shankar-Brown is an associate professor and the Jessie Ball duPont chair of social justice education. She is also the director of Graduate Education Programs, co-coordinator of the M.Ed. program and a member of the Nina B. Hollis Institute for Educational Reform. She is a passionate teacher-scholar and internationally known expert on poverty and homelessness. As a dedicated educational leader, she has facilitated workshops for thousands of educators and presented around the globe. She has published in leading journals and received numerous awards for her innovative leadership and ongoing community engagement. Prior to her work at Stetson University, Shankar-Brown served as a language arts teacher in high poverty schools in the United States and overseas, a literacy facilitator and the middle level education graduate program coordinator at UNC Wilmington. Shankar-Brown had the honor of receiving Stetson University’s 2014 Hand Community Impact Award and UNC Wilmington's 2013 Inclusive Excellence Award for her teaching, service and scholarship efforts towards social equity, diversity and inclusion. She is actively involved with several professional education organizations at the international, national, state and local levels. She is the founder and executive director of the Poverty and Homelessness Conference (PHC). She is also the current president of the AAUP Stetson Faculty United and the Past-President of the North Carolina Professors of Middle Level Education organization. Through her research, scholarship and service, Shankar-Brown is committed to transforming education and positively impacting the lives of marginalized students, particularly children experiencing poverty and homelessness in the United States. As a distinguished teacher-scholar and educational leader, her work is focused on transformative education, equity and social justice, culturally relevant pedagogy, diversity and inclusion, arts integration and multi-literacies. In addition to being a teacher-scholar, Shankar-Brown is a devoted mother, accomplished multi-media artist and a dedicated social activist.


Equity and social justice are at the heart of Rajni Shankar-Brown's research. Her research and scholarship focuses on the development of educational leaders, teachers, students and community advocates. She is committed to positively impacting education for at-risk students from socially marginalized groups, particularly children experiencing poverty and homelessness. Specific areas of her research overlap and include the following:

  • Poverty, homelessness and social justice education
  • Transformative educational practices
  • Culturally responsive pedagogy
  • Global diversity and inclusion
  • EcoJustice arts integration
  • Multiple literacies in the 21st century


  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2014). "Wearing language: Celebrating multiliteracies through graphic tees." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 57(5), 366.
  • Shankar-Brown, R. and Brown, B. (2014). "Today's vodcast: Sunny and clear, with an increased chance of learning." Middle School Journal, 45(3), 19-25.
  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2013). "Filling our jars with middle level rocks." AMLE International Magazine, 1(1): 20-21.
  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2013). "Ten ways teachers can support homeless young adolescents." Middle Level iNSIDER.
  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2013). "Providing shelter for young adolescents: Addressing homelessness in middle level education." Middle Ground, 16(3), 18-19.
  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2013). "From subject-centeredness to life-centeredness." In Dick Lipka and Kathleen Roney (Eds.), Middle level curriculum: Voices and visions of the self-enhancing school. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2012). "Inviting multilevel commitment: Addressing homelessness in education." Association for Teacher Education Middle Level Research Newsletter, January (1).
  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2011). "Actively Engaging Middle School Students with Photo Journals." Middle School Journal, 43(2), 24-31.
  • Davies, M.A. and Shankar-Brown, R. (2011). "A Programmatic Approach to Teaming and Thematic Instruction." North Carolina Middle School Journal.
  • Shankar-Brown, R. (2010). "Teaching our children to embrace diversity: Globetrotting without leaving town." Childhood Education, 86(3), 175-178.
  • Yon, M. and Shankar-Brown, R. (2009). "Homelessness: A continuing concern." In Richard, S.A., Bidell, T.R., Dailey, A.C., Dixon, S.D., Miller, P.J., and Modell, J. (Eds.), The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Mickelson, R. and Shankar-Brown, R. (2008). "Educating homeless children." In Mathison, S. and Ross, W.E. (Eds.) Battleground Schools. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.