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Manya Whitaker

Associate Professor of Education at Colorado College

About Me

Manya Whitaker, PhD is a developmental educational psychologist. Dr. Whitaker is concerned with preparing K-12 teachers who can meet the unique cognitive, emotional and social needs of each student in their classrooms. She is an Associate Professor of Education at Colorado College where she teaches courses on social and political issues in education, along with Educational Psychology. She is the founder of Blueprint Educational Strategies, an educational consulting business that works with families to help them make informed educational decisions for their children. Dr. Whitaker is the author of Learning from the Inside-Out: Child Development and School Choice, and is the co-editor of Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance.

My disciplines and areas of professional expertise include…



  • Colorado College

    • 8/2011 - 5/2013 Riley Scholar in Residence
    • 2/2019 - Present Associate Professor of Education
    • 8/2013 - 2/2019 Assistant Professor of Education
  • Blueprint Educational Strategies

    • 9/2013 Educational Consultant


My newest research addresses teacher preparation for pre-service teachers hoping to work in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. Working with a collaborator, we follow teacher candidates through their respective preparation programs and into their career to measure how specific aspects of teacher preparation programs affect future teacher thrival.

A secondary research line addresses social justice pedagogy as a means to affect social change. I specifically investigate teacher and student cognitions about poverty, out-group members, and their own civic responsibility. I link these variables to various educational outcomes, paying close attention to well known mediating and moderating variables related to teacher practices.

My past research line investigated parental involvement in low income schools. I was particularly interested in how parents construct their role in their children's education, where parents get information related to schooling, and how school practices affect role construction.


Who I am as a teacher is a direct result of who I am as a learner. I believe strongly in multiperspectivity. When people see beyond their own experiences they can begin to understand the complex framework in which education exists. Guided by the reflective judgment model, I hope my students learn how to learn; evaluating and synthesizing across bodies of knowledge. I employ dialogic teaching where I situate myself as a learner modeling active listening and engagement. I take pride in the reality that my students co-construct knowledge, making every course new and exciting for me.

Courses Taught

  • Teacher and Teaching Identities


    Colorado College

  • Educational Assessment


    Colorado College

  • Educational Psychology


    Colorado College

  • Urban Education


    Colorado College

  • Diversity and Equity in Education


    Colorado College