Educator. Author. Speaker. Advocate.

Marcia J. Vandiver, Ph.D. is an educator, author, and speaker whose work consistently advocates for marginalized voices. She is currently an Associate Professor of Education at Towson University in Baltimore County, Maryland. 

Dr. Vandiver attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where she received her B.S. in Middle Grades Education with specializations in language arts and social studies methods. After her undergraduate studies, she worked for Atlanta Public Schools as an alternative middle school teacher and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2010 at Forrest Hill Academy. She received her M.Ed. in Educational Policy and Leadership from Georgia State University. She later received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction [Urban Education] and Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

Dr. Vandiver has worked with the Children’s Defense Fund ©, Freedom School Partners, HomeWorks Incorporated, and various non-profit organizations, communities of faith, colleges, and universities. In 2018, she was invited to give the keynote Children’s Sabbath address at The Riverside Church in the City of New York. 

Dr. Vandiver is an advocate whose work centers critical perspectives, anti-racist pedagogy, and African American education. To date, Dr. Vandiver has authored/coauthored/co-edited several books on urban student success. Her newest book, The Healing Power of Education [Teachers College Press], finds connections between liberatory educational practices and meaningful learning. 

Dr. Vandiver has published several articles on urban student success. Today, her research interests include the various intersections of Black education, including: transformative/emancipatory learning, Afrocentric schools, and non-traditional pedagogy.

Featured Publication

The Healing Power of Education: Afrocentric Pedagogy as a tool for Restoration and Liberation

“It is the meaning of the self-healing power of education, that is to say, the power of ‘Afrocentric pedagogy as a tool for liberation,’ that Watson-Vandiver and Wiggan introduce that also makes this book exceptionally noteworthy. Demonstrating that ‘self-healing is both an individual and a collective approach to restoration and uplift,’ this book affirms that Black identity is inherently communal. Thus, the inherent connection between self and community and self-healing ‘eventually leads to collective and communal healing.’ To say that this understanding of Afrocentricity as a paradigm of communal healing is profound is an understatement. Rather, regarding Afrocentric pedagogy as a tool for ‘making us healthy’ indicates that this educational model is indispensable not only to heal Black students, but also for the health and wellness of everyone in this society—a society that is traumatized by the emotional and spiritual damage of dehumanizing racial domination. Marcia Watson-Vandiver and Greg Wiggan have given us a book that is liberating for us all.”

—Joyce E. King, Ph.D.,

Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning & Leadership,

Georgia State University

March 8, 2021

Other Publications

Contemporary African American Families: Achievements, Challenges, and Empowerment Strategies in the 21st Century

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Contemporary African American Families: Achievements, Challenges, and Empowerment Strategies in the 21st Century

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Teacher Education to Enhance Diversity in STEM: Applying a Critical Postmodern Science Pedagogy

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Sister Outsider in the Academy: Untold Stories of Afro-Caribbean Women in United States Colleges and Universities

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Race, Class, Gender, and Immigrant Identities in Education: Perspectives from First and Second Generation Ethiopian Students

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Critical Perspectives. Anti-Racist Pedagogy. Black Education.

Keynotes and Professional Development


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Dr. Marcia J. Vandiver in gold dress