This literature review provides an overview of the research on Grow Your Own (GYO) educator programs as a strategy for states and district to employ to help recruit and retain teachers of color. It emphasizes equitable approaches and critical perspectives that combine the powerful roles of “homegrown” teachers, culturally-relevant curriculum and social justice pedagogy in addressing achievement and opportunity gaps, especially for the nation’s woefully underserved, largely urban schools serving students of color.
This review begins with a summary of the vast inequities in the representation of teachers in color in our nation’s primary and secondary schools. It next defines important terms in GYO scholarship, such as pathways, pipelines, and partnerships (Gist, Bianco, & Lynn, in press).
Next follows a discussion of community solidarity, which provides helpful language for distinguishing GYO models like those examined here, from perhaps many, if not most, university-based teacher preparation programs in the United States (Zeichner, 2016; Kretchmar & Zeichner, 2016).
The review ends with a summary of specific GYO-program types that could potentially not only increase equity in terms of the number of teachers of color entering the profession but also help ensure that those teachers are critically conscious leaders (Valenzuela, 2016).