Where are We? Critical Race Theory in Education 20 Years Later

Adrienne D. Dixson, Celia Rousseau Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the territory that has been covered since the publication of Ladson-Billings and Tate's 1995 article, “Toward a Critical Race Theory in Education.” We organize our review of the CRT literature is organized around what we are calling CRT “boundaries.” We identify six boundaries for CRT and education: 1) CRT in education argues that racial inequity in education is the logical outcome of a system of achievement presided on competition; 2) CRT in education examines the role of education policy and educational practices in the construction of racial inequity and the perpetuation of normative whiteness; 3) CRT in education rejects the dominant narrative about the inherent inferiority of people of color and the normative superiority of white people; 4) CRT in education rejects ahistoricism and examines the historical linkages between contemporary educational inequity and historical patterns of racial oppression; 5) CRT in education engages in intersectional analyses that recognize the ways that race is mediated by and interacts with other identity markers (i.e., gender, class, sexuality, linguistic background, and citizenship status); 6) CRT in education agitates and advocates for meaningful outcomes that redress racial inequity. CRT does not merely document disparities. We suggest that these core ideas provide a framework for analyzing the work that has been done in education in the past and a way to determine what might be left to do.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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