Erin Miller

Erin Miller

Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Ph.D Strand in Reading
Reading and Elementary Education

Erin T. Miller, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in The Reading and Elementary Education Department in the Cato College of Education at The University of North Carolina Charlotte. She is the coordinator of the Urban Literacy/Reading Strand for the Curriculum and Instruction PhD. Program. She teaches courses such as: Language Arts for Elementary School, Theories and Practice for Equity in Urban Education, and Racial Identity Development (Quality Matters certified). She recently developed a course, Anti-Racist Activism in Urban Education that is also Quality Matters Certified and will be offered in 2020. Her scholarly work has won a Taylor and Francis Distinguished Article award, an Outstanding Dissertation Award and has been included in Taylor and Francis’ Key Research Collection on Critical Race Theory. Her work has been published in journals such as: The Urban Review, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Ethnography and Education, Action in Teacher Education, and Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education. Dr. Miller is the ex-officio chair of the Early Childhood Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) serves on NCTE’s Elementary Steering Committee. She is 2018 recipient of a Spencer Foundation Small Research Grant to conduct studies of anti-racist pedagogical implementations in elementary school settings; Dr. Miller is also the incoming 2020-2022 co-editor of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Ph.D. University of South Carolina
2012 Language and Literacy
Dissertation Title: Whiteness, Discourse, and Early Childhood: An Ethnographic Study of Three Young Children’s Construction of Race in Home and Community Settings

M.A.T University of South Carolina
1999 Master of Arts in Teaching, Early Childhood Education

B.A. Emory University
1998 Educational Studies

Current Projects:
The Early Childhood Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE): Professional Dyads and Culturally Relevant Teaching (PDCRT)

A national project designed to create a space within NCTE for supporting early childhood educators of color and educators who teach children of color in developing, evaluating, and disseminating culturally relevant literacy practices in pre-k through third grade classrooms.

Pre-Service Teacher’s Preparedness to Teach African American Boys: The Impact of an Urban Collaboration on the Development of Afro-Centered Cultural Knowledge in an Elementary Education Program

The primary purpose of this research is to develop a focused unit of instruction on educating African American males within two sections of a course entitled Multicultural Education: Modifying Instruction for Urban Learners (ELED 4292) that is currently taught in the Reading and Elementary Education Department (REEL) of the College of Education at UNCC.

Past Projects:

Whiteness, discourse, and early childhood: An ethnographic study of three young children’s construction of race in home and community settings

This project was a one year ethnographic study looking at how race is constructed during the early years by examining the lives of three young white children in order to identify and examine racialized discourses in their worlds.

The Urban Cohort

This was a one year collaborative project in an Early Childhood Education teacher education program that aimed to recruit and teach students interested in centering their pre-service teacher education program on issues of equity in education.

• Theories and Practice for Equity in Urban Education
• Modifying Instruction for Diverse Learners
• Teaching Language Arts in Elementary School
• Racial Identity Theory
• Anti-Racist Activism in Urban Education

Community Involvement:
Invited Guest Speaker, January 15th 2019, Beyond Privilege: Anti-Racism in Teacher Education, 2nd Annual Equity in Education Conference, The Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students, Columbia, SC.
Invited Guest Speaker, October 24th, 2018, Explorations in Second Wave Whiteness Studies, The University of South Carolina, Language and Literacy doctoral seminar, Columbia, SC.
Invited Guest Speaker, June 8th, 2018 Cultural Relevant Practices for Classroom Management for Practicing Teachers, The South Carolina State Library, Columbia, South Carolina (for podcast interview of this workshop, see:
Invited Guest Speaker, March 25th 2017, The Unveiling of White Identity Construction in Early Childhood, Let’s Talk Racism Conference, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC.
Invited Guest Speaker, March 23rd, 2017, Critical Literacy & The Arts, United Community School, Parent Education Night, Charlotte, NC
Invited Guest Speaker, November 1st 2016 Critical Literacy, Myers Elementary School Staff Development Workshop, Bellwood, PA
Invited Guest Speaker, April 2016Race, Equity, and Advocacy in Childhood Education (REACH), Undergraduate Student Organization, The University of South Carolina

Awards & Honors:
2018 Nominee for the 2018 Cato College of Education Early Career Scholar Award
2018 Nominee for the Cato College of Education Excellence in Teaching Award
2017 Recipient of the Social Justice in Education Award 2107, National Council of Teachers of English: The Early Childhood Assembly
2013 Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood SIG Outstanding Dissertation Award
2013 Co-winner of the Taylor & Francis Distinguished Article of the Year for 2012 in the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.
2010 Mortar Board Honor Society Excellence in Teaching Award, University of South Carolina

Selected Publications:
Selected Publications (for a complete list of publications, please send request to

Miller, E. (Under Contract). Whiteness and Christianity. In Z. Casey (Ed). Critical Whiteness studies: Critical understandings in education encyclopedia. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill Publishers.

Miller, E. (Under Contract). Whiteness and Early Childhood Education In Z. Casey (Ed). Critical Whiteness studies: Critical understandings in education encyclopedia. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill Publishers.

Volk, D. & Miller, E. (Under Contract). A call to action: Methods, strategies, and practices for culturally sustaining literacy teaching in early literacy classrooms. In Nash, K., Glover, C., & Polson, B. (Eds.). Culturally Sustaining Early Literacy Teaching: New Approaches, Strategies, and Practices. NCTE.

Miller, E. & Tanner, S. (2019). “There can be no racial improvisation in white supremacy”: What we can learn when anti-racist pedagogy fails. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. DOI:10.1080/15505170.2018.1525448

Miller, E. (2018). Multiple pathways to whiteness: White teachers’ unsteady racial identities. In Brooker, L., Oberhuemer, P., Parker-Rees, R.,Volk, D. (Eds). Early Childhood education in the United States: Contemporary and critical perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Miller, E. (2018). Race, class, patriotism and religion in Early Childhood: The construction of whiteness. In McManimon, S. Casey, Z. & Berchini, C. (Eds). Whiteness at the table: Antiracism, racism, and identity in education. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield).

Miller, E., Murray, E., Salas, S. (2018). Artistic and collaborative approaches to social justice: A self-study about immigrant deportation with elementary teacher education candidates. Studying Teacher Education. DOI: 10.1080/17425964.2018.1544120

Miller, E., Tanner, S. & Murray, T. (2018). Castling Whiteness: White Youth and the Racial Imagination. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 14 (4),
For a podcast interview about this manuscript, see

Tanner, S., Miller, E., & Montgomery, S. (2018). We might play different parts: Theatrical improvisation and anti-racist pedagogy. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 23(4), 523-538.

Miller, E. & Starker-Glass, T. (2018). The Maintenance of whiteness in urban education: Explorations of rhetoric and reality. The New Educator, 14 (2), 129-152.

Nash, K., Howard, J., Miller, E., Boutte, G., Johnson, G. & Reid, L. (2017). Critical racial literacy in homes, schools, and communities: Propositions for early childhood contexts. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 19 (3), 256-273.

Miller, E. (2017). From being to becoming: The racialization of white women. In Hancock, S. & Warren, C. (Eds). White woman’s work: Examining the intersectionality of cultural norms, teaching, and identity formation in urban schools, p. 123-144. Scottsdale, AZ: Information Age Publishing.

Miller, E. (2017). Multiple pathways to whiteness: White teachers’ unsteady racial identities. Early Years: An International Research Journal, (37) 1, 17-33.

Miller, E. (2015). Race as the Benu: Anti-whiteness strategies emerge out of a reborn consciousness in Early Childhood Education. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 30 (3), 28.

Kissel, B. & Miller, E. (2015). Creative transformations: Shifting identities, countering narratives, and exerting curricula in pre-kindergarten Writers’ Workshops. The Reading Teacher, 69 (1), 77-86.

Nash, K. & Miller, E. (2015). Reifying and resisting racism from early childhood to young adulthood: Implications for early childhood education. The Urban Review, 47 (1), 184-208.

Miller, E. (2015). Discourses of whiteness and blackness: An ethnographic study of three young children learning to be white. Ethnography and Education, 10 (2), 137-153.

Miller, E. (2010). The Interrogation of the If Only mentality: One teacher’s deficit perspective put on trial. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38 (4), 243-249.

Long, S., Abramson, A., Boone, A., Borchelt, C., Kalish, R., Miller, E., Parks, J., & Tisdale, C. (2006). Tensions and triumphs in the early years of teaching: Real world findings and advice for supporting new teachers. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.