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Jennifer Bradley

Associate Professor

Educational Studies


  2. Phone: (610) 957-6291
  3. Pearson Hall 108
Jennifer Bradley

As a White woman who holds many privileged identities, my work explores the urgency of now and the intersections of child development, identity, racial justice, and activism. My work is guided both by the students in front of me and the multiple worlds in which we all move. In the classroom, we work together to build an environment where voices are heard, where identities are valued, and where we immerse ourselves in projects and topics that matter.

My research explores how young children, educators, and families understand, disrupt, and transform the systems of oppression in which we operate. This inquiry is fueled by my work both inside and outside of the classroom, where I advocate for change, equity, and justice. As an activist and public scholar, I work to organize communities of praxis where knowledge and theory merge with practice and action. 

Two of the communities most central to this praxis are the Philly Children’s Movement and the ‘Talking with Kids about Identity’ project. 

As a co-founder and core member of the Philly Children’s Movement, I work with educators and parents to discover what we can learn, question, and interrupt in support of racial justice. PCM is an intergenerational, Black-led, youth-centered collective in service of the Black Lives Matter movement. PCM organizes with families and educators throughout Philadelphia, across the region, and both within and outside of the U.S. border. I am grateful to the Swarthmore College students and alums who have helped to shape PCM over the last decade as summer interns, workshop facilitators, core members, and project coordinators.

While bringing students from Swarthmore into PCM has been transformative for the collective, I have also sought to bring more of my work in the community onto campus. Just before the pandemic, students in my Teaching Diverse Young Learner course partnered with a local preschool, Swarthmore Friends Nursery School, for their fieldwork. Through this partnership, we identified a need for parents, teachers, and caregivers of young children to build knowledge and skills for talking with young children about aspects of identity. In working to meet this need, the Diverse Young Learner students and I co-created a workshop on Talking with Kids about Identity. 

During the workshop, students read children’s books about race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability to teachers and parents. Students also offered up tips, materials, and role-play scenarios for practice. The workshop was so well received, we turned it into a six-part series organized by a crew of educator and parent planners and presenters, with seven workshops and events spanning 2019-2021. This collaborative preK-university partnership has stretched across several local school districts and received both internal and external funding. It now continues on under the care of the Philly Children’s Movement. 

I am eager to connect with others at the college and beyond with similar research, educational, and activist goals. May we continue to build community and create the more just world we imagine.

Recent Publications:

2024  Bradley, J. & Dieterich, P. “Mutual Aid as Project & Practice: A Pandemic Collaboration Between an Elementary School Teacher and Pre-service Teaching Professor”.  Schools: Studies in Education, (forthcoming/in press) Spring 2024 issue.

2023    Bradley, J. & Mayorga, E. “Doubling Down: Collective Racial Literacy Development”. Pennsylvania Teacher Educator, (22)1 pp. 11-27. 

2023 Bradley, J. “Children are Powerful: The Role of Play in the Black Lives Matter Movement, in Jarrett, O.,  Stenhouse, V., Sutterby, J. & Patte, M. (Eds.), Play & Social Justice: Equity, Advocacy & Opportunity. New York: Peter Lang Publisher.

2023 Mayorga, E. & Bradley, J. Critical Race Theory & Abolition: Disrupting Racial Policy Whiplash in Teacher Education. Thresholds in Education (46) pp. 126-138.

Ph.D., Temple University, Urban Education
M.Ed., B.A., Loyola University, Curriculum & Instruction, Political Science

Swarthmore Courses:
EDUC 014 Pedagogy and Power: Introduction to Education
EDUC 017 Diverse Young Learner
EDUC 018 Critical Perspectives: Educational Activism
EDUC 024 Special Education: Adolescents with Special Needs
EDUC 026 Special Education: Issues & Practice
EDUC 092 Curriculum & Methods Seminar
EDUC 093 Practice Teaching