AMLE Virtual Equity Book Club: Transformative Frameworks for Middle Grades Education

What is the AMLE Virtual Equity Book Club?

We welcome middle grades educators and administrators (folx who work with students in grades 5-8) to participate in a virtual book club series on creating equitable teaching and learning experiences for middle schoolers. The books explore various pedagogical frameworks for enacting transformative education, identifying structural barriers to equity, and implementing culturally responsive teaching strategies.

Who should apply?

We are looking for practitioners who are interested in creating a diverse educator learning community committed to grappling with what it means to be an equitable middle grades educator. Book club groups will consist of a maximum of 15 participants to support and encourage active engagement where everyone’s voice can be heard. There will be an emphasis on designing a brave space for shared learning. We seek participants who are diverse in their personal identities and in their understanding of equitable practices.

The book clubs will meet bi-monthly. When submitting an application for the book club series, you are committing to all five meetings.

Dates and Books*

August 25, 2021: We Want to do more than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom (2020) by Bettina Love

October 27, 2021: It’s Not About Grit: Trauma, Inequity, and the Power of Transformative Teaching (2018) by Steven Goodman & Michelle Fine

December 8,2021: Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (2020) by Gholdy Muhammad (AMLE’s 2021 Annual Conference keynote speaker)

February 16 2022: This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work (2020) by Tiffany Jewell

April 13, 2022: Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (1994) by bell hooks

There will be two book club groups. Group 1 will meet from 5:30-7:00pm EST and Group 2 from 7:30-9:00pm EST. Participants will indicate on the application form, which group they prefer.

Application and Timeline

Applications Due June 1

Notification of Acceptance by June 15

Confirmation of Acceptance by July 1

Facilitator Bios

Lisa Harrison     Kathleen Brinegar

Lisa Harrison and Kathleen Brinegar are associate professors of middle grades education. Prior to becoming teacher educators, Lisa taught middle school mathematics in Brooklyn, NY and Kathleen taught language arts and social studies in Vermont. They, along with Ellis Hurd, co-edited the book, Equity & Cultural Responsiveness in the Middle Grades and serve as co-editors of Middle School Journal. They are both passionate about engaging in teaching and learning that affirms the identities and experiences of all young adolescents.

Note about research

This virtual book club series is being offered free to AMLE members as part of a research project exploring the impact of book clubs on educators’ professional development. Book club sessions will be recorded. Pseudonyms will be used for any presentations or publications referencing the book club.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us:

Lisa Harrison (

Kathleen Brinegar (

*Books will not be provided. Participants are responsible for purchasing the required books in advance of each session.