Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
by Monique W. Morris
Get it Now

Cult of Pedagogy receives a small commission for every copy of Pushout purchased on Amazon through the links on this page. For all copies purchased in May, June, and July, I will donate that commission to A Long Walk Home, an organization working to end violence against girls and women.


I have worked hard on this site to spread the message that knowing our students is one of the most important things we can do to make our teaching more effective. That means knowing them individually and learning more about the needs and challenges of specific demographic groups. Pushout puts the spotlight on a single demographic—Black girls—and examines their experiences in schools.

Here’s a selection from the book’s synopsis:

“Just 16 percent of female students, Black girls make up more than one-third of all girls with a school-related arrest. For four years Monique W. Morris chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond. Pushout supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.”

Although my previous summer book choices—Understanding by Design in 2014 and Make it Stick in 2015—focused strictly on instruction and had broader appeal, I’m going with something different this summer because I think this is such an important book. I have taught dozens of Black girls, some of whom were not successful in school and whose futures I worried about. If I’d had this book back then, I know I would have done some things differently.

How Our Book Study Will Work

On July 3, I will publish my own reflections on the book, along with a podcast interview with the author, Monique Morris. Dr. Morris has also agreed to engage with readers in the comment section of my July 3 blog post, so the conversation will begin that day, but it can continue all summer as different readers reflect on the book. Once the summer is over, the post, interview, and comment threads will remain for anyone who happens to read the book at a later date.

I hope you’ll join me in exploring how we can better meet the needs of this precious and vulnerable population. Get your copy now and join me to talk about Pushout on July 3.